Why Do RC Car Tires Balloon? (And Ways To Prevent It)
Why do RC car tires balloon? The reason RC Car tires balloon occasionally is due to centrifugal force and the compound of the car tire.
In this article, I will go into the reasons why your RC car’s tires are ballooning, whether or not ballooning is damaging for your car, and some practical ways of preventing ballooning that you can implement right away.
Why Do Tires Balloon?
There are plenty of theories as to why RC car tires balloon, including air pressure, heat, tire infrastructure, and compound makeup. But, the reason why an RC car tires balloon is down to physics.
Let’s cut to the chase, Centrifugal force is the reason why RC car tires balloon. This is due to the wheels naturally being round, and when you put power into the motor the wheels start to spin at an incredible rpm (revolutions per minute) the natural thing for the tire is to try and move outward.
If you have ever sat on a spinning ride at your local play park you will have felt this exact force. The quicker the ride is spun the more force is exerted on your body making you move to the outer edge of the ride.
This is exactly the same for RC car tires, and that is why Rc car tires balloon. They are made, mostly from soft compound materials the forces not only stretch the tires but also make them get thinner giving them a more flattened donut shape rather than the original shape.
How Do I Stop My RC Tires From Ballooning?
As you can see ballooning mainly comes down to speed and material. The one way to stop your RC car tires from ballooning is to slow your speed, but not many of us want to do this as that would take away from the fun!
So, the only other option to stopping your RC car tires from ballooning is to look at making your tyes more rigid, allowing them to keep their shape when you achieve these high speeds.
One way to help prevent RC car tire ballooning is to use a 25-pound fishing line. Once you have got your line take off your RC car tire.
Look along the RC car tire and identify a groove that goes all the way around the circumference of the tire. You can do this technique to multiple grooves.
Take a piece of fishing wire and wrap it around the RC car tire following the groove so it is set inside the tire treads.
As the two ends meet, tie them in a strong knot and clip off the excess line. Use a drop of super-glue on the knot, ensuring stronger knot strength.
Repeat this process for the other three tires, remembering every time to trim off the excess and apply super glue to the knots.
Fit the tires onto your RC car and apply adhesive.
The fishing line should now prevent your RC car tires from ballooning as much.
Another way to stop RC car tire ballooning is to use duct tape.
Take off your RC car tire and remove the inner foam, being careful not to damage it. Turn your tire inside out.
Using some rubbing alcohol, clean the inside of the tire making sure to remove any dust, foam residue, and adhesive.
Take a length of duct tape and stick it all along the inside of the RC car tire making sure to completely cover the inside of the tire.
Try not to overlap the ends as that will make the tire unbalanced. Now return the tire from being inside-out.
Press along the duct tape making sure it is smooth and crease-free and follows the natural curve of the RC car tire.
Re-insert your foam and fit the wheel rim using the correct adhesive.
Repeat this process for the other three tires and you should be ready to take your RC car for a spin.
This should drastically help with RC car tire ballooning.
By venting your tires you can prevent ballooning, but what is venting?
Venting is simply putting a hole into the RC car tire or the rim to allow the escape of air, water, and dirt that is trapped within the tire.
When your tire is going at high-speed anything that is inside will be forced to the extremities due to centrifugal force. This causes the RC car tire to balloon and loses balance.
To vent your tires you will need a Dremel or high-speed drill alternative.
First, remove the RC car tire and inner foam. Then find a spot close to the center line but not actually on it. The area in which you will vent should be between the tread.
Putting your Dremel on its highest speed and using a small drill head, drill down into the tire creating a small hole that goes all the way through.
Next, rotate the wheel 180 degrees and repeat in the same place on the opposite side.
Do this for all the tires and then re-insert the foam. Fit them back to the rims and use the relevant adhesive.
By venting your RC car’s tires you should have less ballooning.
Belted RC Car Tires
Finally, if you would rather just buy a solution then belted tires are the only option.
What is a belted tire? It is an RC car tire that has a belt manufactured into it to create better rigidity and to help with shape loss.
After handling one you will notice that a belted tire compared to a non-belted tire feels a lot firmer and has less slack.
The benefit of running belted tires is you will never have the issue of ballooning but they do come at a considerable cost. Because of this, they tend to be only used by professional RC race car drivers.
that being said if you can afford a set you will never look back.
Does Ballooning Make Your RC Car Go Faster?
Although ballooning can be a way of showing just how fast your RC car can go it is, in fact, one of the things that will slow you down.
Ballooning causes the tires to become a lot more narrow which in turn stops greatly reduces the contact with the ground. The more contact, the faster your RC car will go.
Ballooning also makes your RC car less responsive because you lose traction into and out of the corners, this can cause the RC car to understeer and make you slower and greatly increase the chance of crashing.
Another reason why ballooning makes your RC car slower is the fact it disrupts the balance across the RC car making it shake when it reaches high speed, this will make the RC car a lot less predictable.
Can Tyre Ballooning Damage Your Car?
Indirectly, yes tire ballooning can damage your RC car. As mentioned previously the car is more likely to be involved in crashes at high speed, this, in turn, will obviously cause damage. This damage could be anything from minor scuffs to unrepairable damage that can destroy an RC car.
The irregular shaking and different forces that are caused by RC car tire ballooning will also cause damage over time. This could be anything from loosening screws to damaging electronics.
Directly, when the tires balloon they may rub on your RC car shell not to mention the damage that is actually done to the tires themselves.
Although RC car tire ballooning may look pretty cool it is actually a hindrance to the performance of your car. Just by doing one of the preventative measures mentioned earlier, you should be able to get better performance, and more speed and prevent any unnecessary damage in the future.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this post and found out how you can prevent your RC car’s tires from ballooning.