Introduction: Make Your Own R/C Beadlock Rim

About: I'm just a maker, absolutely love designing and making all sorts of different kinds of things, and am quite happy to help others to do the same. One of my favorite quotes & practices: It's not the resou…

How many of us scale R/C fans out there have a small mountain of those rims (or wheels) that you can only use if you glue the tires to the rims. But if your one that wants to be able to switch out rim & tire combinations or if you're like me and you buy the kit version to save money and get what you want a little sooner but don't want to glue the tires to your rims. You find another way to get it working so you can get your new R/C out crawling and racing around.

Step 1: Get Together What You Need.

First - get your hands on a set of those 'glue on only' rims, next is to 3D print a few parts and buy a bunch of screws.

Now I posted the parts that I drew up over on Thingiverse, here's the link:

You will need to print 6 of these for each 1.9 inch rim that your putting together. Now I'm sorry, I don't have a regular 2.2 inch 'glue on only' rim to try it out on or to properly design a different part to use on 2.2 rims. However, theoretically you could still use these same parts on a 2.2 inch rim, you would just need more of them. If you want to try it out on 2.2 rim, please let me know. You could, again theoretically, print the parts, space them out evenly about a quarter inch or 6.5 mm apart on the 2.2 inch rims, tape them on with some masking tape, use a 1 or 2 millimeter drill bit to mark the wholes, take the parts off, drill out each whole with a 3 millimeter bit and use these same directions to complete it.

Here's a small video that I shot with my furry assistant Katty.

Parts list:

However many 1.9 rims that you need for your R/C

6 of the parts printed out for each of the rims. (I'd suggest printing them with 3 shells and a high infill percentage)

3D printer or one of the 3D printing services out there

6 M3x10 screws - for each of the rims that you are putting together. (one per part, 6 per rim)

6 rubber washers - for each of the rims that you are putting together. (one per part, 6 per rim) Now I didn't think of having these till after I had almost all of mine together, so they are optional but recommended. As without them a tiny amount of air does leak from around the screws.

1 - 2 millimeter hex key (allen wrench) (probably 2 millimeter, as that's what I needed for the M3x10 screws that I got) with the shorter end trimmed down (picture above) less then half of what it would normally be so you can fit and function in the tight space in the rim.

Masking tape

1 - 3 millimeter drill bit (to drill the wholes in the rims)

Either a hand drill or an electric drill. I'd personally recommend using a hand drill cause the plastic isn't usually very hard and it is really easy to make a mistake with an electric drill and destroy the rim.

1 tire for each of the rims that your putting together.

Step 2: Assembling Them

Grab one of the rims, now they usually come with two air wholes, I used those as 2 of my 6 wholes. Now on mine they weren't wide enough to fit the screws, so just took the 3 millimeter drill bit and opened the whole to what was needed for it to be. Take 1 of the screws and 1 or the rubber washers (that is if you chose to use them) put the washer on the screw and slide it through the whole so that the threaded part is pointing outwards and the screw head is on the inside. Grab one of the 3D printed parts so the flat side is facing out. Hold the screw strait in the whole, the 3D part should be able spin on with 2 or 3 full spins. Basically till the part is hitting the rim as it spins. Be careful that you screw it in strait. If you want, you can go through your 3D printed parts and use one of the screws to cut some threads before actual assembly. Just to make threading the piece on when the screw is in the rim that much easier. (that's what I did) Do the same for the air whole on the other side of the rim, and for the other four wholes. Take 4 of the 3D printed parts and put them on the rim, spacing the out evenly and secure them with some masking tape. Then you can use a smaller bit, say 1 or 2 millimeters (you don't want to ruin your 3D printed parts) to mark out the wholes. Take the 3D printed parts off & drill out the wholes with the 3 millimeter drill bit. After that, next screw, next 3D printed piece etc till your done. Might I suggest putting on a good movie or your favorite YouTube channel video while you do this. Lets face, it's going to take more then a couple minutes. But it's well worth it. ;-)

Step 3: Almost Ready to Put Them on Your R/C & Go Play

After all of your rims are all assembled, now it's time to pop them into your tire of choice and tighten them down.

Slide a screws through the wholes so that the 3D printed parts are up against the rim. It's going to be a very tight fit to get the rims into the tires, just take it easy (don't want to rip or destroy your tire or snap any of the 3D printed parts) & you shouldn't have too much difficulty getting them in. My tires were directional for my R/C, so you might want to watch out for that, just in case yours are too.

After you get them in the tires, take that shortened 2 millimeter hex key while holding the sides of the tire were the sides of each 3D printed part would be, being careful to make sure that each piece didn't turn on you, (like one did on me) and tighten down each screw.

And that is about it. Congrads and enjoy your new low cost bead lock rims. :-)