Gluing tires is something every off-road basher and serious racer will have to do either occasionally for the back yard basher, or multiple times daily for serious racers. In this how to I will touch on a few things that will help you get the job done the right way the first time!
The most important part of of mounting and gluing tires is the prep. Tires and rims usually have residual mold release agents on them that negatively impact the glue bond. There are a few ways to prepare your tires. I have listed a few options below in order of my personal preference. I suggest option #3 for young racers who are gluing tires unattended but it is an equally acceptable option for even the most seasoned racer. Regardless of the option you choose, please wear protective safety glasses and save yourself a trip to the ER.
1. Use a Dremel and sanding drum to scuff the tire bead as well as the rim where the tire will sit.
2. Use a motor spray or similar product to clean the tire bead and rim where the tire will sit.
3. Use full strength window cleaner like Windex to clean the tire bead and rim where the tire will sit.
Now that your tires are ready to accept glue you should insert the foam of your choice and install the rim inside the tire. I usually work the tire around the rim a few times to ensure the tire is well balanced.
At this point you have invested time and effort into your project. This is not the time to cut corners and use a cheap glue. I highly suggest using a purpose designed product from ProLine, AKA, or Team Losi. Using either a strong rubber band or purpose designed tire band from ProTek RC secure the tire tightly to the rim. Carefully pull back small parts of the tire at a time and apply tire glue all the way down to the bead until you have completed the full circle. Once this is done you can use the end of an old tool or toothpick to smooth out the glue. You may feel the urge to wipe the access glue but do not do so. This will cause the glue to “shock” and will dry it too fast. This results in a weaker bond. once the glue has dried, remove the tire band and repeat these gluing steps for the opposite side.
Following those simple and easy steps will surely result in a well mounted set of tires you can use with confidence.