Hints and Tips
All you need to know about RC Model Tires
Rubber Tires ALWAYS should have either soft sponge or rubber inserts. They will not function as they should without them. And if you are totally serious about your racing they should be glued to the rims.
You should also have at least three different compounds (Soft, Medium and Hard) fo varying track temperatures in On Road tarmac racing Touring cars, and varying pin sizes for carpet, and Off Road racing Buggys and Trucks.
How to Mount Rubber Tires onto Wheels/Rims.
Before mounting your Tires, I would recommend talking to the more experienced racers at your local club, as to what inserts they use. Even the top level racers rely on a bit of local knowledge on tracks they have never raced before.
1/ Once you have decided what inserts to use, position them inside the Tires ready to go onto the rims.
2/ You will need strong fingers to pull and maneuver the Tires over the rims, so you may need the help of an adult. I would recommend NOT using metal Tire levers or a spoon as they can not only damage the fragile plastic rims but can also put small tears in the rubber, that could cause problems later.
The technique I recommend, is to first of all hook the Tire on one side of the rim, then using the thumb and forefinger, grip the Tire and pull it upwards and over into position around the middle of the wheel, then over to its final position on the far side so that the beading is seated in the spigot. then position the near side beading in the opposite spigot making sure the sponge (or rubber) incert is not trapped and positioned centrally.
3/ You have the option of either gluing or not gluing your tires in position. If the track you race at is not too grippy you can get away with it, but on high grip tracks there is the possibility the tire might pull away from the rim and ruin your race.
My recommendation is to glue.
Superglue is the thing to use. To do this, carefully pull the beeding out of its seating, put on a spot of glue, then quickly push it back down. repeat this at least 6 times around each side of the wheel.
Superglue can be dangerous, so this is best done by an adult.
Sponge (Foam) Tires:
Sponge Tires can be purchased either pre mounted, glued and trued on the rims, or separately. Fitting the Tires onto the rims can be messy, so here are a few tips to make it a bit easier.
If you are fitting new Tires on old rims, make sure the old sponge Tire is completely removed. To do this, I recommend using a wood lathe and apiece of wood, at least 300mm long, and more than the width of your wheels, with medium grit emery paper stuck to it ... sand paper will also work, but emery is harder wearing ... This will also be used for truing a wheel. (Described later)
How to Mount and Glue Sponge Tires onto Wheels/Rims.
1/ Mount the Tires on the rims. Make sure they are reasonably tight on the rims, too loose and you might have problems.
2/ I find this to be easier if either in the lathe, or on the car itself. (but be careful with that glue)
Using your thumb and forefinger, lift up the Tire off the rim, then using a small spatula or a thin piece of rigid wood or plastic dipped in glue (I recommend Evo-Stik, Impact Adhesive) slip it in the gap, making sure both the Tire and the rim are smeared. Then lower the Tire back onto the rim and press it down. Turn the Tire approximately 60 degrees and repeat.
3/ Depending on the width of the Tire you may need to repeat the process on the inside also.
How to True Sponge Tires.
Trueing Sponge Tires is esential if you are serious about racing competitively. To do this you will need the piece of wood, as described earlier and a good pair of vernier or digital calipers.
Sponge Tires will always wear unevenly, weather you race on Carpet or Tarmac. The outside wheels will always end a race smaller than the ones on the inside, so after each race I recommend swapping them over (unless you are fortunate to have a new set for each race) and dont forget to adjust the steering trim on your transmitter before the next race.
1/ Before starting, check each mounted Tire for diameter and order them smallest to largest. Start with the smallest and mount it in the lathe.
2/ Make sure you are wearing safety glasses before you start this procedure: Lay the sanding wood under the Tire so that it can be pivoted up from behind onto the Tire. Start the lathe spinning, so that as you stand infront of the Tire, it is rotating downwards. Slowly lift the sanding wood and try to hold it ridged as it comes up against the Tire. There will be a high point on the Tire that if you hold the bat rigid enough will eventually wear down until the Tire appears completely concentric. at this point stop the lathe and measure the diameter on the inside and outside of the width. If needs be, repeat the process until satisfied.
Repeat for each Tire, matching them in pairs for diameter.
If considered necessary also trim the sides.
For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.