Tire Gluing - The Right Way

5/7/2003 by Gary Katzer

Provider Name:  RC Car Action

Copyright:© 2003 Air Age Media

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In this article...

Page 1: Steps 1 and 2
Page 2: Steps 3 and 4
(continued from previous page)

Apply Glue

You can use one of two methods to glue your tires. The first is to use a tire fixture such as those sold by RPM and Tamiya. They both sell fixtures for sedan tires, and RPM also sells a larger one designed for off-road use. They work similarly—by pulling one of the beads of the tire away from the rim. Apply a light coating of glue around the bead, and release the pressure on the fixture to allow the tire to mate with the rim. A bit of glue oozing out from between the tire and rim is ok, but too much glue is not a good thing, as it can seep onto the inserts and ruin them. Use a napkin to wipe any excess glue off the face of the tire. When one side of the tire has dried, flip it over and glue the other bead.

You can also glue your tires by hand. Hold a tire in one hand, use your thumb to pull the bead away from the rim, and apply a drop or two of glue. Rotate the tire and apply glue every 1/4 inch or so using the same technique as before. When the bead is coated with glue, use a few rubber bands to secure the tire to the rim until the glue has dried.

Balance Tires

An unbalanced tire can have the same effect on your car's handling as a bent axle. In fact, an unbalanced tire can bend an axle if the vibrations are bad enough. Trinity's Matt Francis Tire Balancer tool is easy to use and will help prevent unnecessary vibrations. Put the wheel on the balancer and give it a slow spin. If the tire is balanced, it should slowly come to a stop at various points every time you spin it. If the tire seesaws at the same place every time you spin it, it needs balancing. Apply a small piece of lead tire tape straight across from the low point, and spin the wheel again. Keep applying small pieces of lead tape until the tire is balanced.

Selecting the right CA
Many thicknesses and brands of CA are available, but for gluing tires, use one with a fast-acting formula. Though a quick-drying glue won't give you much time to reposition the tire on the rim before the glue cures, a slow-curing glue will allow the tire to squirm on the rim until the glue has dried. With the simple steps described here, you shouldn't need a ton of time to reposition the tire on the rim once you've applied the glue. Team Losi, Pro-Line, Trinity, Acer Racing and others offer high-quality tire glues. Always use RC brands; stay away from "crazy" glues. Some good advice when using CA is to use a small extension on the end of the bottle (Losi's glue includes one). This will allow you to control the flow more evenly and accurately because when it comes to CA, too much is not a good thing.

A fresh set of tires can have a huge impact on your racing machine's overall performance. If you take your time when you glue your new meats, you will be rewarded with long life and consistent performance. As an added benefit, you won't need to reglue your tires as often because they'll adhere better to the rim to begin with. Keep in mind that proper preparation prevents poor performance.

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RC Car Action
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