*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
One of the many reasons why someone can get stranded and disappointed when racing their RC vehicles is a bad, wobbly tire. There always seems to be at least one person who goes home from every RC event with a tire that has come off because it wasn’t glued right.
Of course you don’t want that to be you at the next family outing or racing event so knowing how to glue the tires on your RC buggy properly is important to making sure this doesn’t happen to you.
Just because you see people who’s tires come off or get damaged doesn’t mean that you have to buy the most expensive tires out there. When gluing your RC buggy tires if it is done right then the price of the tire won’t matter.
Often most of the frustration from your RC tire glue coming loose comes because it always seems to happen at the most inopportune time. The glue always seems to fail when you are racing against a friend or showing someone what your buggy can really do.
Surprisingly there is actually a reason for this happening and it isn’t simply “Murphy’s Law”!
Often the glue will give out at those times because that is when you are driving your RC buggy the hardest. If you are in a race or you are trying to show off you will of course be pushing your buggy a little bit harder than normal and that is almost always when the glue will give way because it is under more pressure.
Most people get mad at the glue or the person who glued the tires thinking that they didn’t do a good job. While that sometimes could be the case it is actually more rare than many people think. Often it’s just a matter of pressure.
When you are racing your RC buggy up and down hills or around corners your tires are simply going to move. The harder you are racing or driving your RC buggy the more the tires will move which also means the glue is going to be under a lot more pressure. All it takes is that pressure being put on glue that is a little thinner or has been worn out and boom, your tire is done.
Even if you know how to properly glue your RC buggy tires you will likely still have issues with them coming off although it should be much less rare.
In the rest of this article will will dive a little bit deeper into how to properly glue your RC buggy tires but you can also watch the video below if you prefer.
Gluing Your RC Buggy Tires
If you want the glue on your RC buggy tires to last as long as possible then you will need to make sure that you glue them properly. Follow the steps below carefully to ensure that the glue job works perfectly.
Prep the tire
Prepping is essential to virtually everything and RC tire gluing is no different. Without doing the proper preparation you will never successfully glue your tires.
The rims and tires of your RC Buggy will both need to be cleaned properly and completely to make sure that the glue will stick on them properly. This is especially important if your rims and tires have been used before as they will have a good amount of dirt and possibly even some wear and tear that would cause the glue not to hold.
To clean the rims and tires you should first use warm soapy water and then use any alcohol based product such as motor cleaner, brake cleaner or rubbing alcohol. Don’t stop cleaning until your tires and rims have no dirt on where the glue will go.
Once you have the tire perfectly clean and all residue off of it you will then want to use warm soapy water over the rims and the tires one last time to make sure there are no alcohol products left that might cause the glue to not stick. You will then water to use a rag or towel to dry off the rims and tires and then let them sit for a few hours to dry completely.
Some people prefer to actually sand the tires and rims but I have never felt that to be necessary as a good cleaning job will allow the glue to hold just fine in almost every case.
Put the tire on the rim
How you do this will depend on the type of tire, the rim you are using and whether the tire comes with a foam insert or not. Most RC buggy tires will come with the foam already in the tire so you won’t have to mess with it but if you had to replace the foam because it is damaged or the tires that you bought didn’t come with the foam in it then that will need to be done first.
You shouldn’t assume that if your RC tires didn’t come with foam that you don’t need it either. All RC tires need to have foam inside of them or be air filled to allow the tire to have some give while going over terrain but not be flat.
Once you have the foam in the tire and the tire mounted on the rim then you are ready to begin gluing.
Prior to starting the gluing process you will want to make sure that you actually have enough glue to do all four of your tires as stopping midway through to find your other bottle of glue is a sure way to not have a good seal.
You should also make sure you are using the right glue for the job as well. There are many different options for glue on your RC tires but whatever you choose make sure it’s clear and has many reviews of it holding well.
The glue we personally prefer is the BSI-130 (found here).
Once you have the glue on hand and are ready to begin you will want to pull out the edge of the tire to get glue into the groove on the rim. This groove is designed to hold the glue so you can attached the rim to the tire.
Once you have put glue into that groove you will then want to push the tire into the groove as well. You will then need to go through this process over and over again all around the tire’s edge.
Once you have finished the front side you will want to give it a chance to dry and then turn the tire over and repeat the process on the other side as well. You will want to make sure that you get glue in the entire groove on both sides when going through this process but don’t use too much as thicker glue in some spots could easily cause the thinner spots to break when you are racing.
Check your tires
Once the glue has fully cured (normally 12-24 hours) you will want to pull on the sidewalls all the way around the tires to make sure that the glue is holding properly. If there are any places that are loose at all you will want to add extra glue to those spots.
Thankfully you don’t have to unglue the whole tire as you just need to pry up the tire at the loose spot, put more glue in the groove and on the outside of the tire and let it cure again.
Take your time with this process as it’s better to get the tire glued perfectly than to have it come off when you are racing because you skipped the checking process.
Gluing your RC buggy tires is a relatively easy process and something that anyone can do as long as they are willing to take the time and learn it beforehand. The steps above are simple enough but slowing down and making sure to do it exactly right is honestly the hardest part.
If you are unable to get it right the first time don’t worry about it. You can easily take all of the glue off and start from scratch again if you need to.