How to Change Tires for RC Cars

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The importance of having a set of well-maintained wheels

Tires can be some of the most important parts of the RC car when it comes to its running capability. It is vitally important that they are kept in good condition at all times. As soon as you think that there may be a problem with one or more of them, it will be time to look to replace them. This post is to share knowledge on how to replace your old tires with a set of new tires.

As well as capability, the tires you have on the vehicle can make the car look good and can also ensure that it performs well. There are a number of different ways to change the tires and often it will come down to your personal choice which one you use. If you do it well, you can be confident that you are looking after your car well and there are not that many pieces of equipment that you need.

The condition of the foam is a major reason for needing to change the tires. If the foam is not suitable, the tire will not react the way that it should do. If there is a problem, you should then consider changing the tires. You will need to get some good gloves and the ones that are both waterproof and heat-resistant are going to be the best. You are going to have to get the tire from the rim and the way to do that is to de-activate the CA glue that are keeping both parts together.


Check out a Acetone here.

Many people consider this to be the best way to remove the tires. There are a few things that you need, and you can soon be taking off the old tires. You will need:

  • Acetone – at least a liter
  • An old paint tin big enough to hold the tires
  • Paintbrush
  • Safety gloves

The process is simple. You just fill the paint tin with acetone and place the tires in. They must be fully covered. Place the lid on the tin and then leave for 48 hours. This may seem a long time, but it is best to leave them for so long. The acetone will dissolve the glue and you will have no problem taking off the tires.

If there is still glue left, then that can be removed by using the paintbrush to put a little acetone onto specific areas. This acetone should be used a number of times and you will find that it still dissolves the remaining glue so that the tire can completely come off. Before considering that the job is done, you should make sure that all of the acetone is removed from the tires and rims. You could notice that the inner foams increase in size, but they will dry out.

Steamer pan

All that is needed for this method is a steamer pan and some water. This is also a good method but should only be used when acetone is not available. The only cost here is going to be the power used to heat the steamer.

The wheels need to be placed into the steamer and the water needs to be heated to a boiling point. This is a much quicker system and will only take around 30 minutes. With just a little effort you should be able to pull the tires away from the rims. However, if your rims are not made of good materials, you take the risk of melting them.

Using boiling water is not the most effective method. It is unlikely that you will be able to use the tires again as often parts will have to be cut away to get them off the rim.  If the glue comes off easily and there will not be left to remove by hand. If there is some that need to be taken away, you can just push it off with a screwdriver.

Oven method

This is an even quicker method than the others as it will only take around 30 minutes. The glue will heat up, become brittle and fall away from the tire. There is the risk of damaging cheaper rims and there is the risk that you will leave an awful smell in the kitchen.

Put on the new tires

Now that the old tires are off, it is time to put on the new ones. Vent holes will have to be placed in them. The vents allow air to escape and return when the tire hits the ground. If there is no vent, the sealed tire will bounce like a spring jump.  To get the holes done, You need a special punch to put these in. Leather punches will be best, and these can be bought in hobby stores. 2 x 2mm holes will keep the car balanced.

Trimming the bead

You have to make sure not to take too much off as this will make it hard to place the glue. This can be done with scissors and sometimes both sides of the tire will need to be trimmed. Clean the beads until there are no marks at all on them. If this is not done, the residue will stop the glue from being effective. Rubbing alcohol will be ideal for this job. Plenty of clean rags should be available for this part of the job.


Whether you like driving your RC car on or off the road, its tires and wheels will soon succumb to the abuse. So you need to know how to remove old tires from their rims and how to replace them with new ones. Acetone is the best technique of all, followed by the food steamer pan method and oven method. While boiling water technique will work, it is not ideal as a lot of brittle glue can be left behind. As all the techniques shared in the article use extreme heat, always practice them safely.


Thanks for reading this blog post.


By Carlos Santos


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