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Wheel insert removal

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  • Wheel insert removal

    Looking for suggestions to safely push out a slot it or sideways wheel insert without damage.
    Will heating the wheel in hot tapwater for a few minutes help release the adhesive?
    Last edited by Tuner28; February 28, 2022, 05:22 PM.

  • #2
    Slot.It and Sideways usually are press fit inserts, at least they have been lately.

    If it's a metal wheel, you can use an axle and push it out from the inside of the wheel. You might have to tap it gently.

    If it's a plastic wheel, you'll need something slightly smaller in diameter, but the same method applies.
    Dickie Pearson
    Canterbury, NH

    HOST - Home Operated Slot Tracks
    MSR - Main Street Racing


    • #3
      Thank you but I find they break when I just push them out.


      • #4
        That happens. But, you don't have any good alternatives.


        • #5
          Depending on which insert it is, some slot It inserts will just NOT come out.
          For instance, the SlotIt Matra is a 2 piece insert and you can't get them out, they seem to 'lock' in place.

          Sideways are usually a 2 piece insert.
          For their Ferrari, I use a sharp knife to get the outer part off and then use a pair of thin pointed pliers to twist and turn at the same time

          This twist and turn seems to work for a lot of the Slot It inserts as well

          I hope that help,
          Dennis M
          Adelaide, SA, OZ


          • #6
            In particular, the Slot.It BBS style inserts have a thin boss in the center and will tend to punch out when you press from the center.
            I try to use a thin bladed screwdriver in one of the larger holes and twist it around the center of the wheel to break it loose, then work it gently out.
            And sometimes I wreck them....which I don't care about since I will print the inserts I want....but I know some folks want to save them.
            Come Race at The Trace!
            Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN


            • #7
              I bend a piece of 047 piano wire into a an L shape and cut the short end to about 3/32 in. Then insert the short end “hook” into one of the holes and grip longer end with vice grips. Then try to rotate and pull on the insert. Once it has moved a little it is easier to push out through the axle hole. Still break my share.
              Mike V.
              Western North Carolina


              • #8
                I think Tuner28 (the original poster) was onto something. Using hot water to release wheel inserts, as he suggested, had some promise, but I think thermal contraction is a better idea.

                I just removed four wheel inserts using MG Chemicals brand 'Super Cold' refrigerant (HFC 134a) to chill the inserts before pressing them out of the wheel with an axle.

                Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_3505.jpg Views:	0 Size:	272.4 KB ID:	155136 Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_3506.jpg Views:	0 Size:	211.6 KB ID:	155139

                Like it says on the can, the refrigerant spray chills to -51 degrees Celsius (-60 degrees Fahrenheit ) . That will cause both the plastic and the aluminum to shrink due to thermal contraction. But plastic typically shrinks in the cold 10 times farther than aluminum, so the plastic inserts should come loose.

                I see some evidence of an adhesive on the back of the wheel inserts I just removed. So it is possible those inserts were glued in place rather that pressed in. If that is the case chilling the adhesive may have made it brittle, and the differential shrinkage broke it. Different mechanism, same result.

                Glued in, pressed in, maybe a bit of both. Whatever. My experiment with chilling the inserts shows once cold the inserts can be easily pressed out without damage. At least the inserts I experimented on, which were from Revoslot cars.

                Don't stop reading now -- I need to warn you about that Super Cold spray...

                That stuff is cold enough to give you INSTANT FROSTBITE. Dermatologists use it to remove skin tumors. A couple seconds of spray will KILL a patch of skin. BE REALLY, REALLY CAREFUL WITH THIS STUFF! Most especially DON'T SPRAY IT IN YOUR EYES! WEAR EYE PROTECTION!

                I should also mention this stuff ain't cheap. A 14-ounce can (0.414 liters) costs about US$23. But it only takes three or four seconds of spray to loosen a wheel insert.

                Please understand that I have only experimented with this refrigerant on one brand of slotcar wheel inserts. Your experience may dang well vary. It would be very useful to have some independent reporting using this technique on other inserts and by other people. Until we have some confirmation of my results don't assume this is a proven technique.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by HO RacePro; March 21, 2022, 11:28 AM.
                Ed Bianchi
                York Pennsylvania USA


                • #9
                  After reading ED's post above, I thought why not use a heat gun to heat the wheel. I focused on the back of the wheel but I also heated the front side very briefly. The insert came out easily.


                  • #10
                    Tuner 28,

                    I'm surprised using a heat gun on the wheel didn't melt/distort the insert. I was concerned that would happen which is why I chose to chill the insert. But you have shown heat will work -- if you are careful.
                    Ed Bianchi
                    York Pennsylvania USA


                    • #11
                      I warmed the front side