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How To: Glue your Tires

For first-timers, gluing RC car tires can be a time-consuming process, but when you take your time to learn how it’s done, you’ll quickly develop a routine and it will take much less time in the future.

Tires may have mold-release agents residues, so to get your tires ready for gluing, you need to clean the tires and the rims with e.g. Brake cleaner to remove the mold-release agent as well as grease. This is to ensure that the glue will stick, and the surfaces will bond tightly.

Next, place an insert inside the tire. There are different types of inserts – the molded inserts (stiffer) and the more traditional foam inserts. Carefully place the insert in the tire and roll it in your hands so the insert will seat properly inside the tire.

Note! In some cases, inserts are bigger than the tires, so you can cut the insert so that it’s about 1-4mm wider than the tire.

Now, mount the tires on the rims. This is a little easier if you start by stretching them on the rims sideways. Note! Remember to take the running direction of the tires into consideration.

The sides of the tires have to be seated properly and smoothly on the rim. Some tires sit more tightly on the rim so make sure to do this carefully. You can also roll the tire against a table which will help the insert and the tire to seat smoothly on the rim. If you can see the tire is not seated smoothly on the rim, you need to start over the mounting process.

Make sure to use glue that is specifically meant for gluing RC car tires. There are different types of glues, some are runnier, and some are thicker, but they are equally good for the job, although there are some differences in working time. The runny types of glue are the most popular for gluing RC car tires, because they flow easier between the tire and the rim especially when the tires are tight.

Start by pulling the side of the tire until you can see the tire-mounting channel. Place a drop of glue in the channel and work back the tire. The runny type of glue will flow nicely in the tire-mounting channel. Run the glue in the channel while pulling the tire back and add more glue when needed as you go around the channel. After this, squeeze the tire in your hands to make sure that the tire is seated properly.

If you are using rubber bands put them on the tire and leave it to dry. After 5-10 minutes, try pulling the tire to make sure that the tire is glued throughout and add glue if necessary.

When gluing the tires, you need to be quick but careful and know what you’re doing. It’s important that the tire is seated properly on the rim at the point when you are gluing the tires because this will significantly affect whether the bond will last.

Pro-Tip: if it’s your first time gluing tires, do the sides facing inside first so when you get hang of it the better sides will be the ones facing out.

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