You Just Bought Your HPI Savage…Now What!?
You finally got the HPI Savage you were eyeing for months now eh. Congratulations you have just done the hardest part, you have parted with a good chunk of change. There are things you should know before you even think about starting your truck. Your Savage is just like a real truck and things you know about full size trucks can be applicable on your Savage.
What You Need To Actually Run Your Truck - No BS
Kits that are marked RTR or Ready To Run are actually only assembled and rarely come with every thing you need.
What you need for the HPI Savage to get started
AA Battery’s - You will need these for your transmitter and for your battery pack. (Unless Your RC comes with a rechargeable battery pack.
Glow Starter - A glow starter is simply like a car cigarette lighter. It heats up the glow plug in your engine just like a spark plug. There are 2 types of glow starters, rechargeable ones and ones that uses regular batteries. I always recommend getting a rechargeable one because it last longer and is cheaper in the long run. A glow starter that uses regular batteries is not going to give you as much life as a rechargeable one.
Pullstart/Rotostart - You will not need to worry about this as all Savages come with a rotostart if your engine needs one. The purpose of a rotostart or a pullstart is simple, it spins the engine’s crankshaft, and in turn starts the motor.
Battery Pack - If your truck uses a rotostart you will need to get a 7.2 Volt Rechargeable Battery Pack for it. I highly recommend getting a NiMH battery pack. If you get the standard NiCad you have to charge it and fully drain it before you can charge it again. With NiMH you charge it, use it a little, and pop it back on the charger. NiMH will cost a little more but are worth it.
Chargers - You need to charge these batteries with something, and that’s what a charger is for. I will not talk about chargers because there are a million makes and models out there and they all have different features. My best advice for a charger is this, go to your Local Hobby Shop and see what they have, talk to someone and see what the best one is for you.
Fuel - Ah yes the most important thing, yet the most undervalued. Similar to chargers, there are lots of brands of fuel. I almost always recommend getting a 20% nitro content fuel. It’s pretty much idiot proof, because it gives your plenty of lubrication.
Things that are not a MUST have, but good to have
Tempgun - It helps you see if your engine is in the right temp range.
Fuel Bottle - Pretty self explanatory it’s hard to fill a 160cc tank with a monster gallon sized jug.
Fail-Safe - You will wish you bought one when you are staring down at your truck after it took off into 6 lanes of traffic. If a signal interferes with your truck it will take off, simple as that. You connect the fail safe to your throttle servo and set it to where you want it to go (Full Brake). So when a signal interferes with your truck it just stops, which is what you want.
Your Almost There!
- You got everything you need but before you can run it here is a check list of things that need to be done.
- Fully Charge All Battery Packs
- Go Over Your Truck And Make Sure All The Screws Are Tight
- Check Your Radio Equipment Make Sure All The Wires Are Connected
- Make Sure Your Antenna Is Up
Alright before we go putting nitro in the tank let’s make sure our electronics work. Plug the battery pack in the radio box and install FRESH BATTERIES in your receiver. Turn on the transmitter first and then the truck. Pull the trigger back for throttle and push it forward for brake. Push the truck forward while braking to make sure it works. Next turn the wheel left and right for steering. It all works? Great let’s start it up!
Starting Your Engine
We are going to start the engine now but first you should elevate your truck so it is on a sturdy platform and its wheels are off the ground so they can spin freely. Fill your fuel bottle (I hope you got one) and then fill the tank. First we need to prime the engine, so with one finger cover the exhaust and spin the engine either with the rotostart or the pullstart. There are bubbles in the fuel line going to the engine, keep spinning the engine until there are no bubbles. Your engine is primed and ready to start! Snap the glow starter on and either spin the rotostart or pull the pullstart. If you are using a pullstart do quick short pulls. If you are using the roto start spin it for five seconds and wait for another five then spin for five more seconds until it starts.
How To Shut Off The Engine
Take your finger and plug the exhaust, simple as that.
Up And Running
It is running up on blocks now and your wondering “What do I do now”. Time to break it in. Grab your truck by the roll bar and set it on the ground, it may roll a little. If it wants to run away check the end of this tutorial to see how to fix this. How to properly break-in and engine is debated but I am explaining how to break in your engine the “Idiot Proof Way”. This break-in method has you go through 8 tanks of fuel.
Tanks 1-2 – Let your truck idle for these two tanks, meaning no throttle just let is sit and burn through 2 tanks.
Tanks 3-4 – Drive around in figure eights and loops at Â¼ throttle for 2 more tanks.
Tanks 5-6 - Drive around in figure eights and loops at Â½ throttle for 2 more tanks.
Tanks 7-8 - Full throttle baby! Gun it, vary the rpms back and forth. Your engine is now ready to run at full speed.
Note: This break-in method is for the stock HPI engines that come with your savage. If you are running an after market engine then ask around on the forum for the best break-in info.
HPI Savage Tuning
I am only going to briefly touch upon tuning because I could make an entirely different tutorial on it. Most likely you have 3 needles on your engine, a High Speed Needle, a Low Speed Needle, and an Idle Needle. Refer to your manual as to where each needle is.
High Speed Needle regulates how much fuel gets to the engine at high speeds.
Low Speed Needle regulates how much fuel gets to the engine at low speeds.
Idle Needle regulates how much fuel gets to the engine when there is no throttle a.k.a. neutral.
When you break it down like that it isn’t so overwhelming. You tune your truck by turning the needles. Turning a needle clockwise is known as Leaning It Out (Less Fuel). Turning a needle counter-clockwise is known as Richening It or Fattening It (More Fuel). Here are the basics.
If your truck shuts off when you apply the brakes- Lean the idle needle out 1/8 of a turn. If it still stalls do another 1/8 turn and so on.
If your trucks rolls on the ground without you touching the throttle- Richen the idle 1/8 of a turn until it stays put on the ground.
My truck won’t hit second gear- Lean the high speed needle out 1/8 of a turn and so on.
You should only have to touch the idle now and again but not much. I don’t recommend touching the low end until you are very familiar with tuning. The high speed needle will be the needle that you will spend the most time with. If you lean the high speed needle out you will notice a performance gain. DO NOT LEAN THE HIGH SPEED NEEDLE OUT TOO MUCH! How much is too much? 6 full turns is too much. When you accelerate you should see a thick stream of smoke coming from the exhaust, if you are not seeing smoke it is too lean. Immediately richen the engine. While your truck is at an idle you should be able to feel a "mist" of exhaust. When tuning it is important to take it slow and go in 1/8 increments. Tuning should be easier if you just remember what each needle does. The best way to get better at tuning is to practice over and over. The hardest part for me was learning to tune an engine, it just takes practice.
I hope this tutorial helped. You can’t really cover everything in one tutorial and the best way to learn is going out there and practicing, not just with tuning but with everything RC. It is a great hobby if you are patient and stick with it. Good luck, and always remember to have fun, it’s a hobby after all.
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