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The process of putting holes in the wheels or tires of your RC car is known as venting them. Venting your tires makes it possible and easy for air to get both in and out of your RC tire. Generally, when you vent your RC tires, it helps to ensure that the car can run smoother and faster especially when driving off road.
When you vent your RC tires by putting holes in them, you make it possible for them to breathe as well as prevent the extra bouncing that comes from air filled tires. Venting also helps to make sure that any dirt or water that gets into the tire can be easily removed as well through the venting holes.
To vent your RC tires you either have to punch holes in the rubber or drill holes in the rims. The most common method is to put holes in the rubber tire either by using a hole punch or a drill.
You can certainly use any pointy or sharp object to make the holes but if the hole is not made properly it can easily get caught on something while driving which could destroy the tire. That is why many people prefer using a drill and drill bit to get uniform holes all round the tire.
Vents, in your RC tires, help to prevent your tires from bouncing like a rubber ball. Even though the effect is typically not super noticeable to most people, it is still there, especially if you have big tires. If you’re racing with your RC car, venting them and having foam inside, gives extra support, and provides another level of bump dampening.
If your tires are sealed instead of vented, you would get bounce rather than dampening which would work fine for on road use but not very well when off the road.
To see a simple method for venting RC tires check out the video below.
Important things to know about venting RC tires
Before we get into the actual process of venting your RC tire, there are a few important things that you should know about venting them.
Most RTR’s (ready time race) tires are vented through the holes in the plastic rim, which is very easy and simple to be done by the manufacturer. But, when you race with the car and dust, water, sand, or mud can get into the rim and find their way into this hole then this debris will often get stuck inside your tire.
When this happens, your tires will soon be out of balance, and the car will get out of control when running it at high speeds or it simply won’t be able to perform like it once did.
If you vent the tire by putting a hole in the actual rubber then any water or dirt that finds its way into the tire should be expelled from the vent hole when the car is running at full speed. This doesn’t always work but in most cases it will.
If water gets into the foam, the foam can get damaged which is why some people assume punching the holes in the rubber is a bad idea, but it actually allows the water to get out rather than sitting in the foam and degrading it.
If you are expecting to drive in wet conditions regularly you might be better off using air filled tires to prevent water from getting into them but for most people this isn’t the best course of action.
If you are just bashing, sealing the vents will likely not cause any problems short term besides not being as smooth of a ride but if you are racing someone, having a bumpy ride can cause you to lose control of the vehicle and lose the race.
How to Vent Your RC Tires
There are two different types of venting that you can do based on the fact that there are two different places where you can vent your RC tires. While some racers will only make use of one type of venting, other racers will use both of the two types as they believe that’s a better option.
However, it mostly depends on the surface you plan to be racing on and the results you are hoping to get.
Venting on the rim
A lot of RC tires are already vented on arrival. Since a lot of racers want to have venting already in place, many manufacturers design the wheels with a hole or two in the rims so that air can flow in and out of the tire. However, if your rim does not already come with venting holes, you can simply drill a ⅛” hole in the rim at multiple locations.
There’s a number of things you can use to drill a hole, but using a drill press will help to make sure that you get a straight hole. You can also simply use a cordless drill and drill bit to accomplish this as well.
You will also want to drill two vent holes in each of your tire’s rims. If you are going to drill two holes, try to make sure that the holes are 180 degrees apart so that allows the tires to take in air evenly and give you a smoother ride.
A major problem of venting holes in the rim is the fact that they have a tendency to let water and dirt get in, but they don’t let the dirt and water easily leave the tire. This can lead to the wheels getting heavy and unbalanced, causing you to lose speed and affecting the handling of the car.
For this reason, a lot of racers cover the holes in the rims that already came with holes so as to use another method of venting.
Venting on the rubber
If you really want the water and dirt to stay out of your tires, putting holes in the rubber part of your tires is your best bet. While holes in the rims can actually allow water and dirt to get in, the holes in the tires ensure that the water and dirt are flung out of the tires to help keep the foam dry and in good shape.
Centrifugal force will force the water and dirt out of the tire when you’re racing at high speeds.
Now, here’s a few different methods to vent your tires:
- Get a small leather punch that you can easily find, at an affordable price, at any local hardware store or craft store. Simply punch a hole in the rubber tires and you are ready to go.
- With the tire on the rim, drill two to three holes at equal distance apart in the middle of the tread. The holes should be about ⅛” in diameter.
That’s all you need to do, and you can install the tires back on your car and you are now ready to race.
A lot of people feel that venting your RC tires is just going to create an avenue for dirt and water to get in hence, making your car slow. This may be valid because of the different ways that people use their RC cars. However, while venting your RC tires has been a controversial topic that may stay that way for quite some time, you have already seen from this article that venting your RC tires is essential to having a smooth race.
If you are the racer who always runs your car on a paved surface or even a track, you may see no need to vent your RC tires, and you would certainly be right. However, a hobbyist who constantly races their RC car in wet or muddy conditions will definitely want to vent their RC tires.
As we’ve already mentioned, the need to vent your tires will largely depend on how the car itself is used. Depending on the way you use your car, you can decide whether or not you really need to vent your tires.
Seeing as RC tires are quite cheap, it may be best for you to buy a number of sets and not vent one set while venting the other one. This way, you can decide what works best for your RC car depending on where you are using it at and changing out the tires as needed.