Welcome to our guide detailing how to start your new HSP nitro powered model.
Please carefully read the steps listed here as well as the product manual to fully understand the model components, controls and adjustable settings.

Please note – If you purchased your model from Serious-RC then the engine will have been pre-tuned ready for the run-in period. There is likely no need to adjust any of the engine screws at this stage, unless the engine starts and continuously cuts-out/stalls. If this does happen, check the troubleshooting steps located at the bottom of this guide.

The engine will run “rich” during the run-in period with a small amount of fuel spitting out the exhaust. This is normal and designed to ensure the safe run-in of the engine.

Quick Start Steps

Read the product manual to become familiar with the model components, controls and trims. Note, the controller has been pre-configured so there shouldn’t be any need to adjust the trim settings.

Place the glow plug ignitor on charge for a minimum of 5 hours. Do this by inserting the charger connector into the glow ignitor.

Put 4 AA batteries in the controller and 4 AA batteries in the car (remove three screws from the battery tray). Note, you must use good quality batteries else the car servos will not perform properly.

Fill the fuel tank using the provided fuel (16% Nitro only) and close the lid making sure it is securely shut.

Prime fuel into the engine by placing your finger over the exhaust outlet and pulling the pull-start. When pulling the pull-start you should see fuel moving through the fuel line and entering the carburettor. This process should take 4-5 pulls to complete.

You can also remove the black plastic air filter to expose the carburettor chamber - you will then see fuel droplets enter the engine when performing the priming process.

Switch on the electrics on both the car and controller. Check the car responds to the controller (test the steering for example).

Attach the glow plug ignitor on to glow plug on the engine and pull the pull-start using short, sharp pulls. Be very careful to not over-extend the pull-start. It should be extended a maximum of 20cm, otherwise you may snap the cord.  

Short and sharp pulls are the way to do it. Pull cords are not covered under warranty so be careful.

The engine should start within 4 to 12 pulls (you may need to give the engine a small amount of throttle to help it start).

Once started, leave the glow plug ignitor on the engine for 4-5 seconds to allow the engine to warm up. Then remove the glow plug ignitor. Do not leave the glow plug ignitor connected for longer than necessary else you risk burning out the glow plug.

Now that the engine has started you can begin the run-in period. This is done by leaving the engine to run at idle speed for 2 whole tanks of fuel, giving it the occasional blip’ of throttle.

Once you have ran two tanks of fuel through the engine the run-in period is complete. You are now ready to use the model.


For smooth running of the model ensure you follow basic maintenance including:

  • Check all nuts/bolts are tight before each use. Nitro engines create a lot of vibration which can work components loose.
  • Keep the air filter clean by regularly cleaning it. Best practise is to apply air-filter oil to the foam filter to keep dirt particles out the engine.
  • Clean grime and grit off the models components after each use.
  • If the model is used in wet conditions, make it is dried after use to prevent accelerated wear to components.
  • Apply after-run oil to the engine after each use (recommended) .
  • If not using the model for a long period of time remove all fuel from the tank.

Maintenance Products


The engine won't start

Nitro engines are quite simple machines in their design. If you couple fuel at the right ratio with a glow from the glow plug your engine will run. Therefore, if your engine isn’t starting it is likely due to one of four things;

  • Not enough fuel primed into the engine.
  • Too much fuel primed into the engine - flooded engine.
  • The glow plug element not producing a "glow".
  • Incorrect tuning - carburettor screws set in the wrong position.

To ensure fuel has entered the engine follow the priming instructions in step 5.

If too much fuel has been primed the engine may be flooded. A tell tale sign of this is fuel leaking from the exhaust outlet and the pull start being stiff to pull. See the next troubleshooting section to resolve a flooded engine.

If multiple tuning adjustments have been made to the engine screws then the engine may be suffering from a bad tune. It's often easier to just reset the screws to the factory settings in this scenario. Contact us for help doing this.

Testing the glow plug

To check the glow plug is working properly simply follow this steps:

  • Remove the glow plug from the engine.
  • Insert it into the glow plug ignitor.

The glow plug should glow orange like the picture and you may hear a sizzle type noise as left over fuel left on the glow plug element is burned.

If the glow plug doesn't glow orange like the picture you should first ensure the glow plug ignitor is fully charged. If fully charged and the glow plug is still not glowing orange then the glow plug may be at the end of it's life and burned-out. You can purchase a replacement glow plug here.

The engine won’t start and the pull start is stiff (Flooded)

If the engine won’t start and the pull-start becomes stiff or hard to pull it is likely the engine has become flooded. This occurs because too much fuel has been primed into the engine.

If the pull start becomes stiff to pull do not continue pulling it as you risk snapping the cord!

To unflood the engine you simply need to unscrew the glow plug using the provided wrench, turn the car upside down and then pull the pull-start 3-4 times. You will see excess fuel spit out of the engine head. You can now refit the glow plug and try starting the engine again.

hsp vertex engine tuning low speed needle

The engine keeps cutting out/stalling

This is likely due to the engine running slightly too rich. The way to fix this is by adjusting the LOW SPEED NEEDLE screw on the engine. Locate this screw (see picture) and turn it clock wise --> by half a full turn only (180 degrees).

You can then start the engine again – note the changes made may need 10 seconds of engine running to take effect. If the engine is still cutting out, go ahead and adjust the LOW SPEED NEEDLE screw again by a screwing it quarter of a full turn clockwise --> and repeat the process.

Note, it is very important to only adjust the LOW SPEED NEEDLE only. Do not touch any other engine screws as they are unlikely to need adjusting. Adjusting of the wrong screw/adjusting it the wrong way will result in engine being out of tune and will not start.

Contact us if you need any help with this.