How to glue rc car tires THE RIGHT WAY
There is probably no task as tedious you will face than having to glue RC car tires. It can be fiddly and difficult; but worse still, if you do not do it right, you can end up with a botch job.
As with anything worth doing, it is worth doing right. This means being prepared, breaking it down into a few simple steps; and getting the job done right - the first time!
The good news is, once you have done this once, you will be able to easily replicate this again and again. However, as it is a little dull, one would hope that it is not something you do too often.
Preparation is everything, so it is important you make sure you have all the tools to do the job from the start. Otherwise you could get caught in all manner of problems if you are missing something. Here is the step by step to How to glue RC Car Tires.
What you need to start Glue RC Car Tiers
1- Set of wheels and tires
This may sound like a given (and it is), but ensuring you have the proper wheels and tires for you RC car is essential. Of course, the wheels and tires that you use will be based on your RC car, and the terrain it is being used for.
2-Tire gluing kit
There are many tire gluing kits that you can use. Most kits available really are just the glue and some rubber bands (which will come into use later). Whether you use the standard or off road doesn’t make that much difference.
Topics: Best Traxxas RC cars
Our recommendations for tire gluing kits are at the bottom of this guide, if you would like our take on what has worked well for us.
You will need a pair of scissors, either straight or curved lexan is fine. They just need to be clean and functional.
You will want some motor spray. There are many different options you can choose from, and whatever you have to hand should suffice.
A decent amount of paper towels to hand is always something worth having. This will help with the gluing, but also with accidents.
6-A pit towel or some cardboard
The CA we are going to use can cause damage, so you want to make sure your surfaces are protected. It is also a good idea to not undertake this task on your best coffee table.
Now we have our kit
Now we are sure that we have everything, we are ready to get started. The first step is your environment. Where you are gluing should be clean, dry and airy. It is also best to not be wearing your Sunday best.
Next we need to make sure that we prep our wheels and tires before we get on with any gluing. Doing this part properly will ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Getting the tires ready
If you look at your new tire, you will able to see that the insert is putting the wall of the tire out. This is because the insert itself is molded and has a square lip to it. So our first step is to trim the insert to make a better fit and an easier job later.
What we are going to do is cut a lip into the insert. This can be done in a few easy steps.
1-Take the insert out of the tire
We want to work with the insert, so remove the insert and set the tire to one side for now.
2-Turn the insert inside out
We are looking to trim the inside lip of the insert, so by turning it inside out we are able to access this easier. However, though the insert is flexible, it is worth treating it with care.
3-Slowly cut around the edge with your scissors
Take your scissors and slowly cut around the edge of the insert. You do not need to cut off much to get the fit that you want.
At this stage it is better to cut off less rather than more. You cannot add back once you have cut, so less is definitely more here. You can always trim again if needed.
4-Place insert back into the tire
Turn the insert back in on itself to return it to its original shape. Then just slip the insert back into the tire.
You can now see that the side wall of the tire is more flush, making a better fit. This simple adjustment to the insert will make gluing and the finished project much easier with a slicker finish.
5-Some quick cleaning before gluing
If you give the beat of the tire a quick wipe with a paper towel, you will see a black smudge on the towel. This is the molding release agent from manufacture, and it is important to remove this from both the tire and the wheel itself.
6-Wipe clean tire and wheel
Simply take a paper towel, spray a little motor oil onto it, and wipe until clean. We recommend Dynamite Magnum Force, but most motor oils will suffice.
It is also at this point taking a moment to wash your hands before you start gluing. Any grease or dirt can get transferred over and interfere with your finish. This also goes for the surface you are using, especially if it is a dirty workshop.
7-Test fit the wheel and tire
Our next step is to test fit the wheel into the tire to make sure you have a good fit. If you are fitting more than one tire, it is worth doing each of the tires now in one go.
8-Fit the wheel into the tire
Simply slip the tire over the wheel and try to get it to lock on as best you can.
9-Look for gaps
Look carefully around the edge and look for any gaps or bumps.
10-Reseat so that tire fits snug on the wheel
If you find any bumps or gaps, try to reseat the tire as best you can. You will want to have the best fit possible before you start gluing.
Should you not be able to fit the tire properly, judge whether the insert is still pushing against the tire. If this is the case it could be worth trimming the insert down some more.
As noted, if you are doing more than one tire do so now. The reason for this is because rubber stretches, so a few minutes gives the tire a chance to constrict back to shape. This will make gluing a lot easier and give a better fit.
It is now time to start gluing. This is where things get real, so it is important to take your time and go slowly.
1-Stretch rubber band over the tire
For anyone that was wondering why the gluing kit came with rubber bands, now you know. This is simply to hold the tire down against the wheel for a snug fit.
2-Pull bead back a little
Take hold of the tire with your thumb on the bead, and lift the lip a little. You want to create a small gap that is just wide enough for the glue. You do not want to pull it back so far it may snap back in the wrong way.
3-Squirt some CA into the gap
Take your glue and gently squirt it into the gap. Make sure it is going inside the beat itself, and not just dripping over the outside of the tire and the wheel.
4-Slowly work way around tire.
Go slowly and work your way around the tire. More is not always better, and you want to use just enough to do the job. The glue is especially designed for the job and you do not need to use loads.
5-Ensure tire is seated
Once you have worked your way all around the tire, glued and let the tire set back against the wheel, you need to ensure the tire is seated. To do this, put the wheel down, place finger on the wheel, and spin around to ensure properly seated.
6-Clean off tire and wheel
Now to clean the tires and wheels. To do this just place on a paper towel and spin to take off any excess CA. This will make for a nice and clean finish.
7-Set tire aside and leave glue to take hold
Now you can put the tire to one side and allow to dry. If you are gluing numerous tires, you can repeat these steps with them before moving on.
8-Check they have dried
Depending on what glue you are using, drying should take between five to eight minutes. If the glue is no longer shiny, doesn’t look wet, and has a dull finish, it is done. Do not pull on sides to check!
9-Repeat with backside of wheel
Now that you have finished all your tires and the glue has dried, all you need to do is the other side. Repeat the gluing steps above and you will be done.
Key points to take away
The most important thing to note is that you should always be prepared. Making sure that you have the right tools for the job and understanding each step before you start it is the recipe for success in any project.
In itself, gluing new RC tires can be difficult, fiddly, and annoying. However, when you have a proper guide and know what you need to do, then it can become very simple.
Though it is no one’s favorite, at the same time it is worth doing right if you want your RC car to work properly and look as good as it can. Rushing and cutting corners will always only cost you more time later, and maybe even cause a do-over.
So, take your time, be careful, and follow each step carefully.
As promised, here are the recommended products used. There are many other brands that work well, so do not worry if you have already gone out and purchased this already.
Though you can use any old scissors, for any avid crafts people out there who work a lot on their RC cars, then we would recommend Dynamite Curved Lexan Scissors. These will work well on many projects, including gluing your RC car tires.
Losi Off-Road Tire Gluing Kit
This is a good brand of tire gluing kit. Though there is little difference between the off-road and on-road kits, aside from the size of the elastic bands, so do not worry too much if you feel you have the wrong one.
If you would like to check out the video to this guide, just have a look below. The guys at Horizon RC have done a great job outlining the steps that you need to take to glue RC car tires the right.
Sometimes it is better to watch things in motion, but hopefully this guide helps to break down each step to keep you on the right path. But most importantly, remember to take the time to prepare before you start, have the right tools and environment ready, and to take your time.
If you have any extra questions on How to glue RC Car Tires, there are a load of tips and tricks on the comments on this video. These include things like ‘what to do if you get glue dried on your tire,’ and answers to questions like whether you can use alcohol to clean the tires.
Keep in mind that if you do run into any problems during gluing your RC car tires, it is best not to panic! Just come and ask the experts and everything will work out, you just need to get the right answers.