Tire glues have traditionally been “thin” cyanoacrylates (CAs) that rely on their water-like consistency to wick between tire and rim to provide a tight bond. This also makes them prone to running across tire sidewalls and rims, marring their finish, or worse, gluing your fingers to the tire, the tire to your workbench, or both. ZAP‘s new “rubber toughened” glue is applied from a tube in gel form rather than a thin liquid, and the unique “No-Drip Tip” is literally pretty neat. I put the stuff to the test myself …
One ounce doesn’t sound like much, but it actually represents a healthy-sized tube of glue. The consistency of the glue is something akin to paint, and is not as thick as an RTV sealant (such as ZAP Goo) nor does the glue pull off in a “string” when the tip is removed from the surface you’re gluing. It’s thick enough to stay where you put it, but is easily displaced to flow over the area being bonded (such as the bead of a tire and rim).
The “No-Drip Tip” has a fine opening (about 1mm) and makes it easy to apply the glue precisely. When you release pressure on the tube, the glue remaining in the nozzle is sucked back into the tube, preventing drips–especially important when dealing with CA, unless you enjoy “guess what I just glued to the kitchen table” surprises. When you’re done gluing, the tip fits into a recess inside a screw-on cap to prevent clogs, and it works–every time I reach for RT, it flows just like a freshly-opened tube.
Since ZAP bills the RT glue as an “excellent RC tire glue,” I tested it as such with a set of JConcepts Pressure Points tires and Hazard wheels. Other than cleaning the wheels’ and tires’ mounting areas with denatured alcohol, nothing was done to prep the parts for assembly. Instead of mounting the tires to the wheels and then peeling back the joint to apply the glue (as I would with thin CA), I first “painted” the wheel’s tire-mounting area with glue, using the tube’s tip to smear the CA. Then I pushed the tire over the rim and popped the beads into place. The JConcepts wheels and rubber fit very precisely, which goes a long way toward a good glue job. After rolling each mounted tire and wheel between my palms to ensure the beads were fully seated, I simply set them aside for fifteen minutes to allow the glue to fully cure (which should happen within 15 seconds, but what’s the hurry?).
Once glued, the tires were absolutely stuck, and I could not peel them off without fear of tearing the rubber. I have no trouble endorsing ZAP’s “excellent tire glue” claim. I’ve also used the glue on household projects and other non-RC repairs with great results. Unlike liquid CAs, RT is easily applied to vertical surfaces, making it much more versatile for general gluing. It’s also flexible, which makes it useful in many applications that would break a brittle liquid-CA bond. As with other hiqh-quality CAs, ZAP-RT isn’t cheap, but it’s certainly worth it–especially when gluing wheels and tires, which are never inexpensive. Don’t skimp on the glue!
- Drip-free tip really works
- Easy to apply, even to vertical surfaces
- High-strength bond
- Not cheap (but worth it)
ZAP-RT Rubber Toughened CA
#PT-44 1 oz. tube with No-Drip Tip
Price (varies with dealer): $9.99