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Sanding Tires mounted on Plastic Wheels/Rims on slot cars??nd

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  • Sanding Tires mounted on Plastic Wheels/Rims on slot cars??nd

    OK...not sure if this has been brought up before and this question pertains to all scales and brands of slot cars that have plastic or non-metal/aluminum wheels/rims/hubs and whether you use your Tire Razor, Hudy or whatever devise to sand down your rims and tires!!

    Anyway...question is...if you have cars (Carrera, Scalextric's, Pioneer...) with plastic rims and you have sanded these rims down and then want to mount the tire you are going to sand but are afeared to sand them down on your tire sanding machine for fear of spinning them off the axle whether knurled, smoothed or however attached, have you ever tried, let's say, to use a CB wheel/rim of the same proportions to mount the tire on then sand it down to your liking and then mount it back onto the plastic rim and away you go???

    I have done/tried both before and have really not noticed much difference and my mind was at ease to not messing the plastic rim up !! I hope this makes sense and any feed back or ideas would be great...thanks!!

    Warren, Ohio

  • #2
    There is no point in sanding a tyre which has not already been glued to a rim, as the distortion / swelling caused by centrifugal force when you are driving on the track, and the lateral forces in corners which also distend an unglued tyre, will outweigh any gain you had obtained from knocking high spots off the tyres in the first instance.

    Except for silicon tyres which are very hard and require significant force over time to true them, your action and loading of a rubber tyre on the lathe surface should be of such a gentle nature that knurled axles will be unaffected, and smooth axle plastic wheels may come loose, but can be easily glued back on

    - tip - a tiny hole drilled through the wheel from the inside to the outside with a pin vise will be barely noticeable, but allows air to escape if you are putting glue into the axle hole before pushing the wheel back onto the axle.

    If you only have a lathe of the type usually used for truing tyres on alloy wheels, you can get brave - at least with smooth axled wheels; by spinning them off, mounting on the lathe axle with a tiny dab of superglue, or a collr of very thing plastic bag material to make them tight, true, then re-fit to the car axle - it may not be 100%, but it will e close enough to finish "on car"
    Last edited by LegOutOfBed; December 25, 2019, 02:29 PM.


    • #3
      You have not said if you actually race your cars or only use them for casual running. If you intend to race your cars with a club that consists of experienced tuners you would want your tires to be as close to perfect as possible. In my experience even a seemingly insignificant problem, like a tire that has started to come unstuck from the wheel, can have a serious impact on a car's performance.
      Given a choice I would never race a car with plastic wheels. If plastic wheels were mandatory I would use a Tire Razor or similar machine to true the tires and if gluing was also allowed I would do that first. I have a Hudy and my club has a Tire Razor that I can borrow if necessary. Right now all of my cars have aluminum wheels with the exception of a couple of Carrera cars that must have plastic front wheels. In my view it is best to switch to aftermarket wheels, gears, etc. if you are racing, it will spoil your whole day if a wheel falls off during a race.
      If I was forced to use plastic wheels and gluing was not allowed I would true up rear wheels before I trued the tires. If gluing was allowed I would skip truing the wheels unless they had a lot of runout. I put no faith in wheels that have been glued back on, so if I was racing in a class where plastic wheels were mandatory I would buy a spare rear axle assembly for each car if possible.
      For less critical applications truing the tire on an aluminum wheel using a Hudy would be OK. The closer the dimensions of the aluminum wheel were to those of the plastic wheel the better off you would be. If you knew someone with a lathe they could modify an aluminum wheel to match your plastic ones or even make a new wheel for that purpose.
      See this article for more information:


      • #4
        The method I use on the Razor is to use lower voltage and lighter pressure.

        I just sand a little at a time and keep adjusting the pressure to just barely make contact. This reduces the stress on the wheel and less likely to spin one off.


        • #5
          I go along with Harry, truing up the plastic wheels/rims on a Razor, use lower voltage and a light pressure. You don't want to have the plastic to clog up the paper. I usually "color" up the center rib with a contrasting Sharpie to help gauge the progress on the truing. If I get a wheel to walk off a smooth axle (looking at you NINCO), I file two or three small flats on the end of the axle and apply some super glue on the flats and re-insert into the wheel. Rarely fails. Jon of Rzor makes (or made) a sanding plate that was made for truing of plastic wheels and it works well.



          • #6
            I grab a part off tool and sit that on a steel block, adjust the height to get the cutting edge on the centreline then skim with that including the beads the sandpaper can't reach.
            Kevan - Isle of Man
            Life is like a box of Slot cars...🚓🚗🚚🚜


            • #7
              I'm with Harry and Busterfla. I use very light pressure - it helps to have a power supply with a readout to 2 decimal places of current consumption.
              You can watch the latent current draw, and just wind the screw down until the current increases a little - how much you can lift the current safely on your rig is just experience
              (trial and much error)
              Last edited by LegOutOfBed; December 30, 2019, 07:38 PM.


              • #8
                A light touch with a Dremel whilst the wheels are turning greatly reduces the time to get the wheels high spots level.
                Kevan - Isle of Man
                Life is like a box of Slot cars...🚓🚗🚚🚜


                • #9
                  I agree on the light pressure and take your time, the slower the better, it takes me at least an hour to do a set.
                  I like the Cincyslots video with that device that moves the sanding block automatically, some really good instructions and tips on there too. I did the tires on three cars yesterday, it took me just over four hours and that back and forth movement can get really monotonous, and tiring.
                  I know what my next project is going to be, or can you buy one of those sanding rigs?