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How to make RC Rock Crawler Tires Sticky

RC scale photos - vanquish vs410 pro and chevy silverado

It’s time to get your wheels sticky.

If you have ever gone rock crawling before, you know how annoying it gets when tires slip out of your grip. This is especially true if you constantly drive on dirt roads or rough terrain.

Rock crawlers are popular vehicles among hobbyists and enthusiasts because they can be customized to suit many different tastes. The tires are often the center of attention, and their modifications can help add traction and control to your vehicle.

One of the most important modifications you can make is to use sticky tires. This will ease your climb over rocks and other obstacles that would otherwise slow you down. If you’re looking to make your tires stickier, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got all the information necessary to make your rock crawler tires sticky.

First, let’s talk about what makes rubber sticky. It’s the same stuff that makes it so soft and flexible—the rubbery polymers in it! But they tend to lose their stickiness when not in contact with air. The only way around that is by adding a teeny-tiny bit of powdered sugar (or cornstarch) on top of your rubber compound. 

This small amount helps keep the rubber hydrated and ready for action (while also making it look cool). You can find this sugar-based product at most hardware stores or online retailers like Amazon or eBay.

Now that we’ve got the basics out, let’s delve into some detail on how to make your tires sticky! 

How do you make your RC rock crawler tires sticky?

The best way to get sticky tires is by using a glue-like substance that makes them stickier than regular rubber tires. You can do this in several ways, but we’ll cover two methods here: additive and solvent methods.

Additive Method: 

Additives are added inside the tire itself so that it’s “stickier” than a regular set of tire treads would be on their own. This additive method can work with premixed adhesives or homemade ones from scratch! All you need is some glue (like Elmer’s clear school glue), water, and an applicator brush or sponge—follow the instructions on the back of whatever product you buy! Some products may have instructions included with

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Solvent Method:

Liquid adhesives are probably the easiest to use because they’re water mixed with whatever substance you want to use as a base material in your tire adhesive. For example, if you want a base material that produces rubber-like results, mix water with some oil, such as vegetable oil or coconut oil. If you want something more like latex rubber, mix water with natural rubber latex (also known as parives) in many forms, such as aerosols or jars with propellants. They can be used directly on your tires or a piece of cardboard.

What is the easiest method to add traction to your sticky RC rock crawler tires?

There are several ways to make your tires sticky, but the simplest way is to spray them with Glue.

You can also use contact cement, which comes in a spray can and is easy to apply. It’s also possible to use super Glue or epoxy, but it’s not recommended because they have different properties that may not be suitable for your vehicle.

For example, super Glue will work best on smooth surfaces like metal or glass—but not on dirt or grass. Epoxy works well on smooth and rough surfaces but is not as strong as some glues. 

How does Glue make your RC tires sticky?

When trying to make tires sticky, the first thing to remember is that the more sticky your tires are, the harder they’ll be for other drivers to push around. This means you want to use some adhesive on your tires.

There are three main types of adhesives out there: liquid, spray and glue. Each has its uses and advantages over the others, so it all depends on what you need from your tires. Here I will focus on the glue method to enhance RC tire traction.

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You can enhance the RC rock crawler traction by adding a bit of Glue or Super Glue. Ideally, adding Glue is the most reliable approach. You can find Super Glue at most hobby stores, and comes in various colors.

There are many Glue available, but they all work the same way: they attach themselves to the surface of an object and create a bond between it and another object.

There are two types of Glue used in RC rock crawlers: 

• Cyanoacrylate (CA) 

• Epoxy resin (EP). 

Both have pros and cons, but we will focus on CA glues for this article because they’re cheaper and easier to find than EP glues.

CA glues come in tube form, which makes them easy to apply. However, a tube can only fit so much Glue before it becomes too long for the application, so we’ll need to cut down our CA tubes into smaller sizes that we can hold in our hands and apply 


The Glue will help the tire stick better, but you still need to put pressure on it while it dries to ensure it adheres well.

For this purpose, you can also use epoxy-based Glue like Weldbond or Epoxy Putty instead of Super Glue. Still, I prefer using Super Glue because it has better adhesion than epoxy when used in small amounts.

How to use Glue (step-by-step guide) in making your RC tires sticky

Glue is the commonest and reliable way to make your tires stick. Here’s a process you can use to get the results I identified:

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  1. The first step is to ensure that your tires are snug. The tire pressure should be set at the recommended level for your vehicle. You can use a gauge to check this if you have one or listen for any air escaping from your tire’s valve.
  2. Next, apply some glue to both sides of each of the tires. This will help seal them together and keep them from coming apart while you’re driving around.
  3. Once you’ve applied the Glue, carefully place them on top of each other, so they stay together. Be careful not to smear glue on the underside of your model car, as it could destroy its paint job!
  4. Thick the base of your tires with a little bit of rubber cement.
  5. Use a wire brush. This is to clean off the old Glue from the tire treads. If you don’t have a wire brush, use an old credit card or similar object long enough to reach between the treads and scrape off any loose glue.
  6. Wet down Elmer’s Glue or JB Weld in a spray bottle or small container. You want enough to cover your area but not too much so that it drips off when you apply it to your tires.
  7. Pour some of the Glue into an empty spray bottle, then add water until it reaches just below the rim of your tires. Each pound of Glue should take 1-2 ounces of water.
  8. Spray one side of each tire until it begins to dry almost instantly, flip them over and repeat on the other side. Let them sit for about 10 minutes before moving them around so they can fully dry out.


The easiest way to make your tires sticky is by using Glue. Nonetheless, the key to making sticky tires is the same as making any other tire sticky— use good quality glue, like 3M or DuPont’s Gobi-Bond. 

This will give you a strong bond and help prevent air bubbles from forming in the Glue. Whether you’re using Glue or not, keeping your tires clean and dry is the key. Don’t use oil on them—it’ll just attract dirt and worsen things! This will also help keep your tires from cracking.

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