Lately manufacturers have been making more and more vehicles “waterproof”. Summer months were great for running your RC through the water. With the approach of winter, more people will be out playing in the snow with their vehicles. Most of the vehicle is capable of getting wet without harm. However, the tires don’t always fare as well as the rest of the vehicle. Water goes into the tires and doesn’t have anywhere to get out. After working on customers vehicles time and time again with the same problem, I’ve found a good method to fix it.
I recently got an Emaxx that had loose pillowballs in the knuckles and shaky driving caused by the tires being filled with water. The following steps were done to remove the existing water and prevent it from being a problem again.
1) Take a body reamer and poke (twisting a couple times) a hole through the center of the tread as shown, working your way around the tire in 1 inch increments. I used a three tread skipping method to keep track of where to place the puncture. The idea is to make a small hole, not a visible gash.
2) Find a mandrel that has a hex and screw configuration (I used one from a buffing wheel) that is about the size of the wheel nut and close to the size of the axle shaft so that it centers better on the rim.
3) Tighten that onto the rim and insert the mandrel into a corded drill (not cordless because it won’t go fast enough). Make sure you plug into a GFIC outlet so that if the drill gets wet, it won’t electrically shock you.
4) Put the rim and drill down into a trash can or barrel of some sort so that you don’t get sprayed. Slowly start to rotate the wheel and increase the speed as much as you’re comfortable based on how unbalanced the tire is. You will see a mist coming out of the trash can and the wheel will start to spin smoother. Slow the drill down and repeat the cycle and hold at full throttle for 15 seconds.
5) Replace the wheel on the vehicle and repeat for the other three. Don’t worry if you don’t feel that you got the water all the way out of the tires. Over time, the wheels will remove the remaining water while you run and prevent it from happening again.
I measured one stock Traxxas Talon wheel before I started and came up with 12.6 oz. After the process, I ended up with 11.2 oz. If you think about the motors, speed control, suspension and other affected parts, it only makes sense to do this. Any way you look at it, you will save $50 for a little effort.