80's K&B factory tour.


Help Support Intlwaters:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Thanks for posting this Terry. I toured the K&B factory after they moved to Arizona. John Brodbeck was a friend to all model boaters.
Yup, used to buy a carton of 100 glow plugs at a time, don't remember exact but around a buck each. My 7.5 OBH used a plug and flex shaft per heat (sometimes wouldn't make a heat) I couldn't afford to run it now.
I really enjoyed that video! I still wear a K&B ball cap LOL! And i still have a fair stash of K&B 3.5 and 7.5 engines i mess around with!! As long as i can find parts for them i'll tinker with 'em!!
Currenty lol, Great video, times definitely changing.


  • 20240401_085837.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 0
Thanks for posting this Terry. I toured the K&B factory after they moved to Arizona. John Brodbeck was a friend to all model boaters.
John wasn’t interested in model boaters in the beginning, he was very content to sell cheap motors to airplane guys. As more and more competition came along and started to affect his sales and RC boating had taken hold he finally started listening to boaters. I spent lots of time on the phone with he and Bobby Tom’s and always looked forward to our meeting at the Toledo RC Conference. Great memories! Thanks.
We were lucky enough to have a couple of guys in Houston that could make a lot of “aftermarket parts” that were pretty good for running K&B motors.. there were a few guys that could make them sing and wouldn’t run any other motors…

Running them straight out of the box, they were a time bomb,, Ka-Boom !
Actually Bill Wisniewski, K&B's engine designer, was a leading figure in model engine design. Read my article on the history of the nitro racing engine. K&B improved their engines up to the end. Their red head outboard and its inboard version were as good as you could get at the time, especially at a reasonable cost. They backed them with a great warranty even for racing damage. I personally got parts from Bobby Tom at the NAMBA Nationals. Their closing over 20 years ago destroyed economical nitro racing.

Lohring Miller


  • The Nitro Engine.pdf
    1.2 MB · Views: 2
I have had and have seen K+B motors that lasted over 15 years.. with just bearing changes.. I have also nuked a few.

In the end.. I have had way more successes then failures with K+B.

For the money.. they were a great way to get people boating..

Also, my piped 21 (12mm) motor is a BEAST with an APC 8X6 on my King Kombat!

K&B was never on par with the Italian engines, but they were affordable.
For that very reason many of us bought them when we first started out and I'm sure a good portion of their engines were trashed do to that lack of experience.
Always liked the 3.5 outboard, especially for the price!