As more and more unique platforms become available, new sizes of tires emerge making hard to produce a race tire for each and every vehicle we are presented with. One vehicle that has had our attention this past year since it was launched was the Losi Mini 8ight.
With a recent face lift, Losi launched 2 new version of this platform to commemorate Pro-Line Team Drivers Adam Drake and Dakota Phend. These 2 new models are the same underneath but now come with scaled down replica bodies crafted after the cars they raced at this years ROAR Nationals! This article is a step-by-step how to guide showing you how to make a set of race tires for your Losi Mini 8ight!
Lets get started by gathering up all the products that will be needed to make a set of tires for your new RACE CAR!
REAR Wheel– Produced by Losi – LOSB1954
Front Wheel– Produced by Losi – LOSB1953
Rear Tire– We will be using Pro-Line ION tires originally designed for a 4WD buggy front.
Front Tire– We will be using Pro-Line ION tires originally designed for use on a 2WD buggy front.
Rear Insert– We will be using Pro-Line closed cell foam originally designed for use in a 4WD buggy front tire.
Front Insert– We will be using Pro-Line closed cell foam originally designed for use in a 2WD buggy front tire.
Tire Glue– We are using Pro-Line Pro Bond glue for its amazing adhesion strength.
You will also need-
Rubber bands or tire gluing bands small enough to use on a Mini 8ight
Lets get started by seeing why we need to cut down tires. Pictured below is a 4WD Buggy front tire that we will be using to make a Rear Tire for our Losi Mini 8ight. The reason we chose this tire is because the width and profile of the tire is correct for this application. The only issue is the overall size of the tire. As you can see when placed over the rear wheel it looks a bit too large.
The first step is to cut into the tire so that we can size it down. You will want to make a straight cut all the way across the tire and sidewall. I like to try and line it up with a tread block on the tire so that I know I am cutting straight, and so I can remove the same amount from the next tire.
Once you have made the initial cut on the tire go ahead and wrap it around the rear wheel to get a look at it. As you notice the sidewall DOES NOT drop all the way into the wheel so it will NOT be a perfect fit.
The next step will be to turn the tire inside out and trim off a small amount of rubber leaving the footprint of the sidewall slightly thinner
Once you install the tire back onto the wheel, you will see that it now drops in perfectly which will leave us with a great bond and a tire that stays on the wheel. (shown below)
Once you have both rear tires done go ahead and cut the front tires as well
Luckily the bead will drop on for the fronts so trimming the sidewall will not be necessary. You should now have 4 tires that look something like this.
Go ahead and wash them in your sink using dish soap to help remove all chemicals so that we get a solid bond when we re-glue them together.
Next, wrap the tire around the wheel and mark so that it is the correct size for this wheel. You can either mark it with a small snip from the scissors or use a silver paint pen.
Once you have it trimmed test fit it again and it should look something like this
Here is the section I removed from my tire
NOW COMES THE FUN PART!!!
Lets glue up some tires…. but dont go too fast
Start out by applying your tire glue to half the tire. This lets you align the sidewall and the center of the tire without getting in over your head. Hold it as it drys (should be less than 1 minute)
Once you have half of it glued up it should look like this
Now go ahead and apply glue to the remaining half and complete your first tire. Once you have it together flip the tire inside out and apply a little extra glue to the inside to insure a good bond. Also look for small areas that might not have fit perfectly and try and try to fix them.
Once it drys go ahead and test fit your new tire on your wheel! If it fits properly measure out the same amount of tread and remove it from the other side.
Then proceed to the front tires and do the same (the amount removed will be different for the front and rear)
Once you have all 4 tires complete we can move on to the insert of your choice.
Some racers prefer a softer tire and have been reusing the stock open cell foam insert that came with the car. Personally I prefer a slightly firmer insert and use a Pro-Line Racing Closed Cell foam insert. As with before we are using 2WD Buggy front and 4WD buggy front inserts with this project.
As with the tires make a nice straight cut into the foam, wrap it around a remove the proper amount of material to make it fit on your wheel
Apply a small amount of glue to the foam (the full width) and hold it together until dry (repeat for all 4 tires)
Once you have them all made up set them next to your 4 tires… take a picture and put it on FACEBOOK to share with everyone you know how talented you are!
Here is a picture showing all of the rubber and foam that was removed to make these amazing tires for your little monster
Go ahead and glue these up just like any other set of tires and you will be ready to go. If you did decide to use a closed cell foam make sure to put a small hole in the outside of the tire to allow air to escape and prevent the tire from ballooning.
If you are interested in racing a Mini 8ight like this, speak with your local track and see about getting a class going. I have been running mine for the past year but have recently found a new love for this little car. One of my local track IERC in San Bernadino, CA. runs a Mini 8ight class that usually has between 8 -12 cars and has been doing to for the last couple months. Each week the class gets bigger and bigger and the cars get quicker. Pick one up now, make some tires and join the fun!