How To Start A Nitro RC Car With A Drill?

If you own an RC, you must have an idea about the nitro engine and the struggle to start the engine. Usually, the nitro engine starts through a pull string with loud noises. But pulling the line, again and again, is most likely the disliking part to do with the engine. That is why most people prefer to use battery RC cars or use a drill to start the car.

Then, how to start a nitro RC car with a drill? If you want to know the answer and avoid such troubles, this article will help you in this matter. We have discussed 2 methods.

Therefore, it would be best to read this article until the end and carefully notice every detail.

How To Start A Nitro RC Car With A Drill?

The Nitro RC Cars

Having an RC car does not mean that the engine will also be nitro. There are many RC cars out there. But most people love nitro cars because of their sounds which give you a feel of real racing. The battery-operated RCs do not give you that vibe.

Some battery-powered RCs have speakers for the sounds, but they cannot compete with the real nitro engines. Mainly, the nitro engines use actual nitro fuels. You have to pull strings to start the engine, which makes loud noises.

Read Also: Best Nitro RC Truck Review

How To Start A Nitro RC Car With A Drill? (Method-01)

When you had enough trouble starting the nitro engine, this method will be proved helpful to you. All you need is just two tools which are a drill starter and igniter. Let us show you the techniques to start the engine with the drill,


First of all, you have to start on the radio along with the receiver. Without a proper connection with the controller, the car will not even near the start. Therefore, secure the connection between the controller and the receiver.


Then you have to prime the engine. There are two ways that you can use to prime the engine of your RC.

Way Number-01: You have to take off the back pressure tube from the nitro engine hop. Then give the tube a blow. It helps to enforce the fuel through the carb. When you ensure the fuel flows enough, then you can start the ignition.

Way Number-02: All you need to do is insert the drone staff into the system. It blocks the exhaust, and then you can turn the engine over.


Then you will need a fully charged glow plug igniter or glow igniter. Insert the igniter into the plug and insert the drill starter through the exhaust system.


When you plug the ignition and set the drill, you will hear the amazing sound of an active nitro engine.


The most important thing to remember is not to remove the igniter immediately after you heard the sound. It is because the fuel is needed to ignite correctly. Sometimes the engine stops when you remove the igniter immediately. It does not have to be too long. Just a few seconds will do the trick.


After a few seconds, you can remove the igniter, and the nitro engine is fully accelerated.

How To Start A Nitro RC Car With A Drill? (Method-02)

This method should be applied when you do not have any glow igniter. But the experts say that you must have an igniter to start the engine. There are some tools you would need while you try to start the nitro engine without an igniter.

  • A cordless drill
  • A 12mm socket and matching kit
  • Electrical tape
  • Two crocodile clips
  • A bit of  extension
  • One AA battery
  • Metal nails (3.25 inches in length)

You will have to use these tools as an ignition source then plug the drill to start the engine. These are not such expensive kits. When you have an RC, you would have most of these tools to work with.


First of all, you have to attach two nails to both sides of the AA battery using electrical tape. Make sure the nails are at enough distance from each other. They should stick out past the end of the battery you are using.  


Then you have to connect the bit and the bit driver. Now it is time to set them into the drill.


Take the crocodile clips and place each clip to the nail’s end, which is attached to the battery. You have to ensure that the clips do not get in contact with each other. If they are in contact somehow, then there will be sparks and a possibility to break the circuit. That is why the clips should be at enough distance from each other.


After that, get the red wire to the nitro engine’s cooling head and the black wire to the plug housing. See if the connections are secure or not.


Then connect the drill, which was set with the bit driver, to the one-way bearing. You will easily notice the bearing on the RC. Double-check all the connections, and then start your drill.


When you start the drill, you might see some sparks. But the engine will start, and you will hear the satisfying sound of the nitro engine.

Another crucial thing to remember is the battery. A single AA battery can last only for a few ignitions. Therefore, it would be wise to keep an extra until you do not buy an igniter or glow igniter.

You Need To Do the Replacement

If you are looking to use a drill to start the nitro engine instead of a pull string, you must install the drill starter. All of the nitro RCs come with pre-installed pull strings. Therefore, if you want to use the drill, you have to remove the pull string and place the drill. Let us show you how to do the replacement in detail not to have any confusion.

How Can You Do That?

First of all, you will need some conversion tools for the specific nitro engine. When the necessary tools are here, then it is just about removing some screws and assemble the settings. To do the replacement, the nitro engine has to be detached from the RC. You have to remove the screws (about 4 to 6 screws) and detach the pull string starter. When the string is being removed, then you have the space to install the drill. Typically a simple small screw is enough to attach the drill rod.

Make sure that no loose screws are hanging around the engine.


Now the replacement has been done. But you have to check whether it is working or not. Therefore, put the nitro engine back to the mainframe of RC. Then, follow the methods which have been discussed in this article. You will see the result. If the engine is providing enough sounds, there might be some problems with the connections.

Why Do You Need The Replacement?

You might be thinking that the pull string comes with the RC then why would you need to do the replacement. Another question might become to your mind – why would you bring some extra kits while you have the one you need. Well, you are not quite illogical. But there are some downsides to using a pull string to start the nitro engine. The most important thing to notice is that the pull string will eventually begin to fray after you start to use it.

After some time, it might even break while you try to start the engine. You will also face worse situations when the string breaks in the middle of a competition or a race between friends. Just imagine the situation. On the other hand, if you use the drill, you will see how easy to start the nitro engine while your friends are struggling with their pull strings. The most significant advantage is that you do not have to worry whether the pull string might break anytime or not.

Some Final Tips for You

When you are doing the replacement or trying to start your nitro engine with a drill starter, you must keep in mind a few things. Using an igniter is the best way for an ignition source. You have to ensure that the fuels get enough ignition by putting the igniter into the plug for about 4 to 8 seconds. After starting the engine, you should let it warm for a while. Always buy the drill by looking at the specific model of your nitro RC car. You can also look into the manual to check if it is the correct one or not.

Final Words

If you are a racing enthusiast, you should know how cool the nitro RCs are. But most people prefer to use drill starters instead of pull strings. We hope you have learned the techniques of how to start a nitro RC car with a drill. If you want to avoid trouble while starting the engine, then use a drill starter.



Welcome to the home of John, the founder & editor of The RC Valleys. Here you’ll find everything RC related guides, reviews, and even videos too! Stick around and see what we have in store.