Use the fat end of a cable tie to help remove a
After many runs with castor oil-based fuel,
carbon buildup coats the head and piston top.
A slightly damp Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is great for removing carbon buildup.
The Control Line (CL) Nats and US F2D (CL Combat) Team Trials are right around the corner. In case
you are still undecided, I urge you to go.
Just do it! This is our premiere event of
the year, so if you want to support the
sport, this is your moment.
To show the AMA that we are serious,
and to secure support for our national
CL Combat team, we need to have a
good turnout at the team trials. Come
fly, have a great weekend of Combat, and
show your support for the CL Combat
In keeping with the how-to theme
of this month’s issue, I’ve decided
to dedicate this column to engine
maintenance. Of course, it is not possible
to do the entire topic justice within a
single column, so consider this part one
of a series of an as-yet-unknown length.
For those who might not be in
the habit of regularly opening and
disassembling engines, it’s natural to
be slightly nervous about messing
something up. It’s actually quite
straightforward, and by keeping your
engines in tip-top shape, you’re bound
to fare better in the circle. Follow
procedures and use common sense (no
shortcuts), and you’ll be fine.
To make sure that everyone is on the
same page and to build confidence, I’ll
start with a basic decarbonization. I’ll
cover deep cleaning and changing the
bearings in a future article.
When you run your engine on castor
oil fuel, carbon residue can build up
into a thick, black layer on the piston
and head and degrade the engine’s
performance. Fortunately, it’s simple to
get rid of in a matter of minutes.
To begin, remove the plug from the
head then loosen the head and take it
out of the engine. Be sure to keep track
of all of the shims and do not bend
them. Next, you’ll need to remove the
backplate. In many engines, the piston
skirt fits into a slot in the backplate when
the piston is at the bottom of its stroke.
In this configuration, the backplate
cannot be removed; therefore, before you
try to pull out the backplate, be sure that
the piston is set close to the top.
Now it’s time to remove the cylinder
liner. If you’re lucky, you can simply
slide it out with one finger. However, if it
doesn’t budge, tighten a propeller on the
engine. With the piston at the bottom of
its stroke, insert a cable tie down into the
cylinder. The aim is to get the clasp end
of the cable tie into the exhaust port (see
the photo). Turn the propeller so that
the piston pushes up on the cable tie
and pushes the cylinder out of the case.
(The soft, plastic cable tie won’t damage
Finally, reach in through the back
of the case, pop the rod off of the
123 Model Aviation JULY 2017 www.ModelAviation.com sponsored by HOW-TO issue
Nats and F2D
by Mark Rudner
CONTROL LINE COMBAT