Thunder Tiger–Pro-12 BZ engine: Your next race engine?
The introduction of the Thunder Tiger* Pro-2 BZ could rock the 2cc engine world. More .12-size (2cc) engines are now available because of the increase in popularity of 1/10 nitro-powered cars, but this new player offers exceptional performance at a very reasonable price.
What makes the .12 BZ such a threat to the competition? This new design doesn’t break new ground in terms of technology, but it’s packed with features that should earn it a place on your A-list when you’re deciding which engine to buy.
Kaz Mihara-who designed the .12 CZ-Z for O.S. Engines-designed this offering from Thunder Tiger, so we can be sure it has the characteristics that make his previous designs the most popular among I,io nitro racers. The .12 BZ, at least on paper, goes beyond any of Mihara’s previous .12 designs in that its sleeve features true ABC construction (aluminum, brass and chrome). Its case appears to be of very high-quality aluminum, and the chrome-plated sleeve between the block and the aluminum piston (the “A” in “ABC”) is brass and has a hard chrome plating (“BX and “Ct). Cost and environmental considerations inhibit most manufacturers from using this design, but it’s widely held to be the best for performance and longevity.
Also key is the .12 BZ’s carburetor-a very important element in a nitro engine. If the quality of the manufacturing is not up to par, it’s very difficult to keep an engine tuned properly. This carb is of the highest quality and holds mixture settings well.
Before deciding to use the BZ as the standard engine in its RC10GT kits, Team Associated thoroughly tested it, and that brings me to another point about this engine: it’s available with two different cranksa standard crankshaft for use with most nitro-powered kits;
a special extended crankshaft (AP designation) for use with the RC10GT. This special crankshaft includes a clutch-bell pilot shaft, which is usually a separate piece that must be bolted onto it. This one-piece design eliminates the run-out, or wobble, that results from using a bolt-on piece that may not be perfectly in line with the shaft. This onepiece crankshaft is common in 3.sec engines designed for 1/8 on-road racing, but this is the first I’ve seen in a zcc engine. And although it was designed for the RC10GT, it can probably be used in many other applications. If you decide on the AP version BZ, ask your supplier whether the crank will work in your application; I highly recommend it.
Although I haven’t yet had a chance to test the Thunder Tiger .12 BZ in competition, I have had extensive experience with the engine in Thunder Tiger onand off-road vehicles. The BZX-the pull-start modelalways impressed me with its easy starting, robust lowend power and good top-end speed. The powerplant also holds its carb adjustments well, so you spend more time driving and less tuning. I plan to race my BZ equipped RC10GT soon, and if it performs as I expect, it may soon become the engine of choice in the racing community. -Steve Pond
Copyright Air Age Publishing Sep 1998
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