Monster Truck Madness – Ungluing and Re-Using Your Tires
Happy Thursday all!
As we are set to hit February next week, many of us are at the height of bench racing season. New builds for warmer weather are being planned or are actively underway.
All those builds need one thing regardless of whether they are a monster truck, buggy, scaler, or stadium truck….a set of tires and wheels. And when many of us are building new rigs, we like to freshen up the rubber for either functional or cosmetic reasons.
This is especially true on monster trucks, where the giant tires you are rocking are a massive part of the vehicle’s vibe.
The price of those big tires can set you back a decent amount of cash, so a lot of folks like to re-use either the tires or wheels if possible. Many folks wonder if glued tires and wheels can be taken apart and reused. The answer is typically yes if you bake them, but there are some caveats before I give you instruction on how I do it.
Nylon plastic wheels are usually fine to bake, but if there are other kinds of plastic like 3D printed beadlock rings, they can shrink or warp depending on the compound used. I recently baked a set of JConcepts Tribute Wheels and Renegade tires and I had some different brand bead lock rings and they shrank to the point I couldn’t re-use them.
Standard open foams are usually fine after baking, but closed cells will get ruined. Be aware you won’t be able to re-use those typically.
While the tires bake, note that it may make your oven stinky. The smell has gone away quick when I’ve done it, but still. DO NOT overbake because if things start melting, you could have a VERY nasty oven situation on your hands.
Ok, with that said, here’s how I bake my monster truck wheels/tires to take them apart.
– Pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. Grab a flat head screwdriver.
– Once pre-heated, set your tires on a tray. I used aluminum foil underneath them. Place in the oven.
– Check your tires every 5 minutes (preferably with gloves that you don’t mind possibly getting rubber on!). Use the flat head as a pry bar on the bead and see if the glue will break.
– 20-30 minutes was the max I had to go on the ones with thickest glue. Not only did the tire pull off the wheel, but the Krylon paint i had used started to pull off, revealing the natural gray color underneath. While the wheels were still hot, I used a small steel brush to finish cleaning the paint off.
– I then let the wheels cool off and used a hobby knife to remove several chunks of rubber that didn’t want to pull off the rims. The wheels are now ready for you to paint and/or remount!
That’s how I do it and thus far I’ve not lost a set of monster truck tires. I have had some that were tricky to pry apart, but they came around after working them over with the screw driver.
Please remember that if you do this, you do it your own risk! Good luck out there!
Until next week, keep it on all 4’s!