Why glue and tape my foam inserts and tires?

January 24, 2009 by  
Filed under F.A.Qs

There are more ways to do this then there are people doing it as well as ways no one has thought of yet. Yes, there is so much information out there that its confusing. Lets back up a step and look at the issues involved so you can make an informed decision on how to move forward.

Attaching the foams to the wheels:
Centrifugal force causes the foam to expand. The foam inserts act like air in a car tire to keep the tire on the road as well as giving the tire a cushion when pressed on. As the wheel turns faster the foams will expand changing the properties to be different then they were intended to be. Attaching the foams to the tire will help to eliminate half this problem. The other issue is having the foams move around inside the tire rotating and causing them to wear much quicker.

Attaching the foams to the wheel can be achieved in several ways. I use a rubberized CA glue designed to mount tires to wheels in the RC industry. There are many different glues available. Look at the properties of the glue and pick one. You mentioned Velcro, Hmm… haven’t heard of this one yet but I dont see why it woudnt work as long as there is enough to keep the entire foam secure to the wheel and that the glue on the velcro stayed attached to the foam. Only issue I see is what a pain in the ass its going to be to get them on strait.

Second foam issue is that once attached to the wheel the foam itself can expand during use and tear itself apart. For this people will use tape around the outside of the foam to help hold it together and to keep it from expanding. Choosing a good tape is the secret. You need a tape that will not easily stretch. A GOOD quality duct tale or strapping tape is what seems to work best. This is tape that had strings in it to help it from stretching while its under a load. I like to get a 3-4 inch wide tape that will cove most of the foam at one time rather then using 2 thinner strips however either will work.

Ballooning tires:
This is also an issue. the centrifugal force causes the tire to get larger as they turn faster. This can cause several issues one of them being that they can pull the lugs out of the bead locks. It can be addressed the same as the foam by taping the inside of the tire much the same as we did the outside of the foams.

Beads pulling out of the bead locks:
Once you have minimized the the tire and foam expansion this will also minimize the chances of the beads pulling out of the locks. Now we need to look at other reasons this may happen. The tile is held in by a bead lock that captures the tire mounting lugs in between the wheel and the lock. Anything other then a tight lock will give the opportunity for the bead to pull out. When assembling the bead locks its important to make sure that you tighten the screws down properly but to not over tighten them. The screws will easily strip out the plastic and allow for them to pull out. Its a delicate balance to get them tight but not to damage the wheels.Take your time, look and feel whats going on and you will be fine. Another fix for this is to get longer screws for the fronts and to put a nut on the inside. If your after a more permanent solution you can use the rubberized tire glue and glue the bead lugs onto the wheels then glue the bead locks onto the wheel sandwiching them followed up with the screws or screws and nuts.

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