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How Do You Unglue RC Tires?

Taking care of your RC car is not an easy task to do. There are many things involved especially if you buy a hobby grade RC car as you will have to spend not only a good bit of money but also time to learn the ins and outs of how to take care of it.  

One important thing to know how to take care of on your RC car is the tires. Sometimes you will have to unglue and then reglue them to keep the tires attached to the rims properly. Although this doesn’t need done very often it does have to be done. 

So, when you need to unglue the RC  tires how do you do it? 

There are a few different methods that you can use to unglue your RC tires from the rims. The most popular methods are: 

  • The acetone method 
  • Using a vegetable steamer
  • Oven method 
  • Using boiling water

Each of these methods will work to remove the glue but you will have to decide for yourself which one is the best based on your circumstances. If you are looking for the absolute easiest method then the carton method is easy and fast however it is more expensive than the other methods as you have to buy the acetone. 

We will go into more detail about each of these methods in this article so you can decide for yourself which one is the best for you. 

There are obviously other methods that people have tried and used successfully over the years with one of those being using a heat gun. You can check out that method in the video below. 

The Acetone Method

This is considered to be one of the easiest and best methods to be used for ungluing RC tires. There are some necessary precautions that need to be taken before using this method which include being in a well ventilated area wearing gloves and eye protection, and also being careful to not splash the acetone onto yourself. 

For this procedure, it is essential to have at least a whole bottle of acetone solution that is at least ½ gallon In addition to that you should get a paint or other metal can that is approximately twice the size of the acetone. 

You will also need to get a paintbrush and rubber gloves (as mentioned earlier) to protect yourself. 

In order to start with this process you will need to pour the acetone in the paint can or other container first. Then, put the tires in the acetone liquid and cover the can with the help of its lid. This will prevent the acetone liquid from evaporating. 

This solution will typically take a few hours to start loosening the glue but if you want the glue to be removed entirely then the longer you give it the better. Some people even suggest giving it multiple days for the glue to be entirely removed. 

You also have to make sure that the tires are fully submerged so that you can successfully get the results that you are looking for. 

The acetone works great for ungluing RC tires from the rims and the result is definitely the most effective of all of the methods mentioned in this article. If some glue still sticks to the tires, then just use a paintbrush, dipped in acetone, to remove it. 

Always wear gloves and eye protection, when undertaking this procedure.

Vegetable steamer

The vegetable steamer process is also a successful method if you are able to follow the instructions carefully. Mostly, professionals tend to use this procedure, with years of experience but it certainly isn’t too difficult for a beginner.

For this method, you will need a large steamer pan and enough water to go in it. To start with the procedure, get the water heated up to a high enough temperature until it comes to a boiling. Now, dip the RC tires in the water that is inside the vegetable steamer. 

The heat from the water is able to make the glue brittle and in this way, the majority of the glue comes off of the tires easily. However, the rims must be steamed for at least 45 minutes, in order to remove all of the glue completely. 

The best part about this process is that it is less time consuming, easy to do, and is not harmful as well. If steaming is done perfectly, the tires will easily get unglued from the rims but you should take some precautions as well. 

The main thing is to be careful when touching the tires as they will be extremely hot and will retain their heat for some time even after being removed from the water. Also, the hot water could be inside the tire so when taking it off the rim be careful that scalding water doesn’t pour out all over you! 

Oven method

The oven method consists of baking the tires in the oven! This method is also consistent, in that it will unglue the tires from the rims at the same time for all 4 tires. 

To start off with this process, you will need an oven, a pan to put the tires on, and of course hot pads. I recommend keeping a special pan for this method as you don’t want to cook food on the same pan that you baked your RC tires on! 

Turn on the oven beforehand, and pre-heat it on high for at least 10-15 minutes or until it gets to 450 degrees. Now, place the rims along with the tires inside and bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour. You will notice that the tire is now able to come off the rim quite easily. 

This process is yet again not that risky or difficult but there are a couple precautions to keep in mind. 

The oven method will often smell absolutely horrible! This method is best used when you can open the windows to get some of the smell out but even then the stench can linger for quite some time.  You also have to be careful that you don’t burn yourself on the hot tires, glue, or pan as well. 

Use of boiling water

Lastly, the boiling water method is also preferred by some individuals, when the need to unglue your RC tires from the rims arises. The industrial experts out there, advise every individual to try this method, only if all the other procedures are not that practical or don’t work for you. There is a lot of effort involved here, just to remove the glue but in my opinion it beats the stench of the oven method. 

For this method you need to have boiling hot water. Then just take the tires and put them in the pan, containing the already boiling water. Make sure that the tires are submerged fully (which is actually quite difficult sometimes) and then place a lid on top to trap in the heat.

It will at least take 30 minutes or more to unglue the tires using this method. However, rubber tires can get damaged, if they are exposed to too much heat. Even, the glue sometimes fails to come off, which can prove to be a danger as well. Thus, always have an alternative plan in mind, in case this one fails.

The final verdict: Which method is perfect for beginners?

As beginners, ungluing rc tires can be a challenging task to undertake. However, if you are aware of the possible issues, then going for the acetone method is the best method. Acetone will help with ungluing the tire within a time span of 24 to 48 hours at most and will work without any sort of external pressure. Plus, the process is cheap, easy to handle and comparatively safer as well. 

However, for any method you use to unglue the RC tires, proper safety needs to be ensured. Accidents and minor injuries tend to happen when you do not pay enough attention to your safety. Thus, for ungluing RC tires, it is advised to gain some knowledge, prior to doing the task all by yourself!

In most cases you can find a video online for the exact method that you choose so if you prefer one type of method just search and watch a video about it before trying it yourself.