How To Repair An RC Tire


How To Repair An RC Tire

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RC car tires, just like any other tires found on the real car, will likely need to be repaired at one point or another during their lifetime. Glue is most often used to do most of the RC tire repairs so it is essential to have it in your kit all the time for the sake of fixing your tires if they happen to need to be repaired at a bad time. 

If you race your RC car off-road, eventually, your tire will start to separate from the rim or it’s possible that the rubber of the tire itself might even break apart.Of course these things will happen when you least expect them so it is important to be prepared for these possibilities. 

Once your RC car’s tire has come off the rim or the tire itself has become damaged your first thought will likely be asking how to repair it. If you are unsure exactly how to do that then this article is for you. 

How you repair the RC tire depends on what exactly the damage is. If the glue has just come loose between the tire and the rim then the easiest way to fix it is using some quick drying glue. 

If however the tire itself has come apart you might have to replace the tire with a new one and reglue the new tire to the rim which is not the kind of fix that you can do in a couple of minutes. 

Hitting the track with a tire coming unglued isn’t an option and panicking as it begins to come unglued, well that never fixes a thing.

What you need to do is get your tire and rim combo to stick together and stay together for an entire race but whether that will actually happen depends on how well you glued the tires in the first place as well as how old the RC tires are. 

Since many people (us included) often stress how important it is  to start with impeccably clean tires and rims when gluing, this whole idea of quick track fix might sound unlikely, but read this article and see how it works 

How to repair an RC tire trackside

If you find yourself in need of a quick repair when you are in the middle of a big day of racing or when you are simply out running your car around at the park, knowing how to fix a tire that has come loose from the rim quickly is an important skill to have. 

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De-glue

If you have to do a quick repair of your RC tire when you are on the go you will want to use a hobby knife to scrape away the loose glue residue that is still stuck to the tire and rim.

Before you begin adding new glue, use a sharp hobby knife to scrape off any glue from the separated tire rim carefully. It will enable the pieces to be pressed together more tightly, thus allowing for better glue bond.

Brush

Use an old brush to remove the dirt on the area to be glued. A clean surface is needed for the best possible repair task.

Use the old brush to clean out the scraped glue pieces from step 1 and all of the large pieces of dirt. Ensure you work in a way that pulls the debris away from the tire and rim and doesn’t force it in deeper. 

Deep clean

After you remove loose dirt, finish your task with a cleaner such as motor spray or rubbing alcohol. There are many types of solutions that you can use to clean out dirt from the area to be re-glued.

One of the best solutions is the ordinary rubbing alcohol; also, the motor spray will work. Soak a paper towel with a cleaner and apply it to the tire and rim, but don’t thoroughly soak the pieces, or you will run the risk of saturating the foam insert.

Redo the process, switching to a clean section of towel each time, until the sheet stops picking up dirt.

Add glue

Use high-quality glue that is specifically designed  for RC cars and is also fast drying. In this step, you need to master two crucial things, which is using the right adhesive and applying the right amount of glue. Note that all CA glues are not equal.

There are a lot of good CA glues on the market, but you should make sure you stick with glue explicitly made for RC cars and since you are doing it on the fly they should also be fast drying if possible. 

AKA and Losi glues will work perfectly for most people (you can find those by clicking here).

Do away with store brand glues and stick with thin glue. The medium might be a little easier to work with since it pours slower, but the thin glue dries very fast which is a must when you are repairing your tire trackside. 

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Flexible glue is not recommended for racing either so that is something you should keep in mind. 

Once you have the right adhesive, use the right amount, and use enough glue to wet the surface.

Hold tight

To get the bond to be as secure as possible, the tire must be firmly held in place until it sets, and the longer, the better. You can use a rubber band or wrap some electrical tape around the tire to keep everything in place.

Once the glue has dried to the touch (which if you use the right glue shouldn’t be too long) you are ready to hit the track with your freshly repaired tire. It is important however that once you get back home you do a complete removal and replacement of the glue that failed as if one spot came off during use it is likely another part will in the future as well. 

It is much better to make sure to do a proper cleaning and reglue than to have to repair the same tire or a different one the next time you are out racing your RC car! 

Factors that lead to frequent RC tire repair

Some things will reduce the quality of your RC tires and will prematurelyLo wear them out. These things will cause you to constantly have to be repairing your tires which is certainly no fun at all. 

Some of these factors are: 

Heavy track use

An enthusiast who is into indoor track racing knows that 30 minutes of hardcore track looping will entirely shred a set of tires. Indoor tracks use a unique material that is very grippy. The reason behind this is that it keeps the tires from slipping but it does cause many issues in return.

The aggressive turns found on the typical indoor track are very challenging and harsh for the standard tire, which might not withstand such pressure and will often cause them to break the glue or get torn up even worse. 

The massive turns will most likely do a number to your RC car’s tires. So if you belong to this class of users, you are likely to spend a lot more money on replacing your tires and will be having issues much more often. 

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Use of the wrong tires for the terrain

When you use off-roading tires on paved roads, expect them to last for a much shorter time than they should. Off-roading tires tend to have aggressive tread that is meant for muddy conditions so using them on a hard surface will wear them out. 

Besides this issue your car will not accelerate as quickly either, and you will also risk damaging your car’s internal parts. Using tires with deep thread is a waste of money on on-road conditions. The same thing applies to slick tires on trial-like terrain. 

Racing when it rains

You are really not being fair to your RC car when you decide to use it while it’s raining or on a wet road. Most likely, your tires will not provide adequate traction and you could end up wrecking your RC car entirely. 

It’s best to avoid using your RC car to drive on wet roads like I have said above, because slipping tires and drifting with your RC car will cause severe deterioration of the tires.

Using your RC car aggressively in wet conditions is like deciding to destroy your tires and eventually, you have to repair or replace them.

Doing stunts and tricks with your RC tires 

While doing things like donuts and drifting with your RC car might be fun and everything these things will destroy your tire’s rubber. If you have an interest in doing stunts and tricks, hobby shops sell special tires mainly meant for that purpose.o

These particular tires are very slippery, which makes them perfect for doing these types of tricks and stunts. It is recommended you buy those special tires instead of using normal ones for donuts and drifting, which are meant for putting the power down instead of sliding around.

Conclusion

With nitro and electric systems getting more and more powerful and more prominent and powerful batteries coming out every day, the RC cars and trucks we race are certainly getting faster. The challenge is that almost every component is becoming much more taxed with all that extra power. 

Items like tires get abuse, and even the most perfect glue job can come undone at the worst possible moment. Understand and follow the steps discussed in this article, and you will be ready to fix your tires. 

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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