Gluing tires is just part of the R/C hobby. It is not a glorious task by any means, but it is necessary in general. More and more companies are manufacturing beadlock wheels, which is great for the scale scene! But, beadlocks may not be optimal for some R/C scenarios. Racing is one example, buggies and trucks on a race track want the lightest tire and wheel combo possible for acceleration and overall top speed. Beadlocks, in general, are usually heavier so it really isn’t a viable option for the race scene. Another example is our Yeti XL RTR, we run 6S through this beast a lot and some beadlocks struggle to hold tires with that much power behind them. We recently picked up some new Pit Bull Rock Beast XL tires for our Yeti XL. We want all the speed we can get out of our monster basher and these tires, with as little wear and tear on components as possible. We don’t want to risk using headlocks only because of the extra weight, and the chance of popping a bead when the differentials unload in corners and under hard acceleration. So, we decided to go the plastic “glue on wheel” route. We turned to Vanquish Products and their 3.8 inch diameter KMC licensed Rockstar wheels, because of the good looks and overall light weight! We shot a few photos of our tire gluing process to share with our customers, and loyal followers!
A photo of everything we use before getting started!
This set-up is going to look great! We can’t wait to get them mounted up! The tires are due to be released very soon! The wheels can be found in the link below!
First thing we do is sand the tire bead seats in the wheels with a somewhat aggressive sandpaper. This allows the glue to really grab onto the wheel! As you can see in this photo the left side has been sanded, but the right has not.
Next we use a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol to clean the beat seats on the wheel after sanding.
Clean both bead seats thoroughly. This removes any plastic dust that the sandpaper may have left behind.
Wheel dust! As you can see cleaning the wheels is needed. If you skip this step you run the risk of the tires pulling away from the wheels over time, because the glue will stick to the dust not your wheels.
Now grab a fresh cotton swab, dip it in rubbing alcohol, and clean the tire’s bead seats as well. This removes any residue that may be left behind from the tire molding process.
Once everything dries assemble the now sanded, and cleaned, wheel and tire combo. We basically go around the perimeter of the wheel and stitch glue the tire into place. We start with four spots 90 degrees from each other, apply a stitch of glue to each area and allow that to sit and cure for a bit. Then go back and hit four more spots with glue, and repeat this method until the tire is glued all the way around on both the inner and outer beads. You can see our first “stitch” of glue in the photo above, which is about 3/4″ long. Carefully set the tire bead in place on the wheel once you apply glue, and move to your next spot. After you are finished you can use rubber bands around the tire to help make sure everything stays concentric. The Rock Beast XL tires fit very snug on these wheels so we didn’t bother with this step. But, different wheel and tire combos will vary as far as fit and finish goes.
A couple shots after we finished mounting the new tire and wheel combo up to our Yeti XL! Not too shabby! That covers how we prefer to glue R/C wheels and tires. Like anything else, there are other ways to arrive at the same end result. Best advice we can give is “practice makes perfect”! Happy wrenching!