How To Dry RC Tire Foam


How To Dry RC Tire Foam

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If you have been racing your RC car or truck through a creek or a very wet environment recently you will quickly discover that the foam in the tires will get full of water. The wheels of your RC car tires come with small holes molded into them to let air enter and exit the tire when you’re doing your normal racing. However, as you race through water it will most likely get into those holes and get caught up inside the tires and saturate the foam inside. 

You may not know how to get the water out when it makes its way into your tires and foam, so the next question you’re going to be asking then is how exactly you can get the water out of the foam. 

There are several methods that you can use if you want to get water out of your RC tire foam. Some of the most popular methods are: 

  • Push up and down on the tires to attempt to squish the water out of the foam
  • Vent the tires (if they aren’t already) and then run the car around to get the water to fly out
  • Disassembled the wheels and take the foam out of the tires to let it dry

These are by far the most popular methods to use to dry out your foam but far from the only methods. Many people have tried putting the tires in the sun, using heat from a blow dryer, and many other methods. 

No matter which method you choose to use you should always dry out your foam after running your RC car through water as the foam staying wet can cause it to degrade and need to be replaced much faster. 

Now that you know the basic ways of drying out your RC tire foam let’s dive a little bit deeper into each of these methods for drying your RC tire foam.

Methods to dry out your RC tire foam

As mentioned above there are a variety of different methods that you can use to dry out your RC car tire foam. The methods honesty can vary a wide amount but no matter which method you use, drying them out is always better than simply leaving them. 

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Pushing and pulling

The first method that we will discuss is pushing and pulling on your tires. You can even get on the tires and stand on them, bouncing up and down on them off and on should cause the water to squirt out through the vent hole. If your tires are smaller or if the rims are fragile then you obviously would not want to attempt to stand on them but you could push on them using your feet. 

Another way to use this method is to simply use your hands. You can squish the tires back and forth and  up and down using your fingers and hands to try and work as much of the water out of the foam as possible. 

Vent the tires and run the car

Another method is to simply make sure that the tires are vented and then run your RC car around at high speeds. Some people will put their car up on blocks and then just run it while in place while others will simply drive it around on a hard surface. 

Either of these methods will work just fine as long as you are going fast and are driving on a hard surface that will allow water to squish out or not touching a surface at all. Venting the outer diameter of the tire and driving it fast is a good way to get out all of that excess water in the foam. However, this method also depends on whether your RC vehicle can go very fast or not. 

If you have a top speed of less than 5mph, then you may not get much water out of the foam at these speeds. If your RC vehicle gives you up to or more than 20mph, then you can vent the tires and rev it up. 

A lot of water is going to come out using this method as long as you are sure to vent the tires properly. You can use a small awl or pick to poke 4 holes on the quarters in the center of the tread, and as you drive at high speeds, the water will be pushed out with high force.

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Disassemble the wheels

This is certainly not the preferred method as it involves a decent amount of work as removing the tires from the rims is often an involved process that can take quite a bit of time and effort. If neither of the above methods work to get the water out of your foam then this is really your last resort. 

Once you have the tires off of the rims you simply have to squeeze out the water using your hands and then put the foam in the sun or let it sit on a rack to dry entirely. Once the foam is removed from the tire this is certainly the easiest method but having to remove and then re-glue the tire to the rim makes this method not ideal. 

Waterproof foam

If your tires have closed cell foam, otherwise known as waterproof foam, you can simply squeeze them out and run them at a very high speed and push all the water out of the foam. They will not get completely dry for a significant length of time, but they will eventually and the water will not hurt them.

If your foam is open-cell foam, otherwise known as the non-waterproof foam, then using either of the three methods mentioned above will work but taking the tires off of the rims entirely is really the only way to get the foam totally dry. 

Why it’s important to dry your RC tire foam

If you let the foam inside of your tires stay wet, what happens is that it will get incredibly soggy, and they will not give you maximum performance. Your tire is mostly going to be acting like it’s holding in wet noodles rather than a foam that should be supportive. If your RC tire foam is left wet it will also cause the foam to virtually disintegrate which in turn will hurt the way your RC car handles, accelerates, and drives. 

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 The winter is an even more important time for your foam in the tires as they must be kept dry at this time. The bottom part of the foam will freeze, and your tires will stay permanently chunky if you don’t dry the foam out. 

Essentially, the foam is included inside the tires to provide support to the tire while it does the job of racing. When your foam is wet, it is too weak to provide the needed support to the tire, and this will inevitably affect the whole performance of the car.

Can You Prevent Your RC Tire Foam from Getting Wet? 

There really isn’t a lot that you can do to prevent your RC tire foam from getting wet. Mostly, the only trustworthy protection your RC tire foam can get from wetness is if the tire itself is designed waterproof. And even if it was waterproof, this typically does not provide absolute protection to the tire when you submerge it in water. 

Apart from having waterproof tires, the only other way you can prevent your tires and foam from getting wet is by never submerging it in water and completely avoiding wet conditions. However, not very many racers may appreciate not being able to race their RC cars whenever they want just because it’s rainy or the grass is a little bit wet outside. If you are that racer who does not want to be limited, then you would have to be prepared to not only have wet foam but also to do the work of drying the foam out.

Conclusion

There are a variety of different things that you can do to dry out your RC tire foam but the most popular methods are to squeeze it, spin your tires at high speeds, or to dismantle the tire and seperate the foam. For most people the first two methods are much less work and will work just fine to get your foam tires “good enough”. 

Matt Robbs

I love to spend time with my wife and 3 kids. There is no better way to get them off the couch and outside than for us to grab the RC cars or boat and enjoy the sunshine!

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