Axle glue failure, how to ensure it holds

Milestone_Racing Wednesday, 6/7/2023

Need some advice on gluing axles. I recently had a glue failure on axles during final testing. Car was running well then suddenly stopped. On further inspection, all four wheels were rubbing the casting when they had not been before. On disassembly the JB quick I used to glue both axles had failed.

Any advice on better ways to secure them so they do not fail mid race. I suspect this maybe a potential cause of some of my recent more abysmal showings. 

Edit: I do not typically include the seating insert. If I can paint the windows makes weight appropriation much simpler. So I'm relying completely on glue to hold my axles in place.


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Uncle_Elvis 6/7/23

Did you JB it straight to the chassis or use the JB to hold down something else?

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Numbskull 6/7/23

J-B Weld for life.   J-B Kwik only in emergency.

  • I use jb weld to keep my cars together,to keep my axels secure I use gorilla glue,I would use jb weld but I have the one where you have to mix the quicker with the drier and that can get messy so I put a dab on the axel jigs and that seems to the trick — Kingjester
  • I don't know if I have the patience for JB Weld. — Milestone_Racing
  • It doesn’t take majorly long,a day for it to harden but I would wait 2 days for it secure completely just to ensure the car stars together but I understand if you don’t like using jb weld — Kingjester
  • I use JB Weld also, have never had a failure. However I rarely take out the interior since it usually holds the axle in place, I sand the underside to allow room for weight. I like interiors to show if I can, but that's just personal preference. — G_ForceRacing
  • Patience is a virtue. — Numbskull
  • lol...thruth — dr_dodge
  • Hi there Milestone. I agree with Numbskull. But here are a couple of things I do: JB Weld, after setting up the axles and "gluing" with JB Weld, put the car in the oven at 50 degree C, approx 120 degree F. After approx 1 hr? all set. (I try to make sure Mrs is out, but huh, one day saw she posted my cars in the oven, on FB!) Another thing I do, especially for fat track racers, in heavy battle tracks, make sure you scour the plastic base where the JB is to be. Also drill a couple of 1/16 holes through the chassis. When applying the JB make sure these holes are filled with it. They provide anchor points for the JB. Cheers, good luck out there, Marc D — CutRock_R_Marc_D
  • Great advice bro' — G_ForceRacing
  • we once fixed a broken welded/leaking clutch case on a pre 1950 d9 dozer with dozens tubes of thin layers of jd, also alcohol thins it to surface finish (on paint brush) — dr_dodge
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SpyDude 6/8/23

Part of the problem is not including the interior. Even if you JB Weld the axles in place, it still has the potential to fail if there is a hard hit on the axles. WIth the interior, or at least part of it, that won't happen, as the interior presses down on top of the axles to keep them in place.  I tend to hacksaw the interiors of my cars so that I can still use them, but have enough room for weights. The only cars that have failed on me so far have been ones where I have completely removed the interior.

  • Yeah, I tend to agree with this. Try to keep at least the posts that holds the axles — Underdogs_Unleashed
  • Totally agree... Didn't see your response before I wrote above lol — G_ForceRacing

Don't use JB quick, Use the red and white tube of JB weld. It takes longer to cure but is stronger and rarely fails. Also scratch up or rough up the plastic you are using it on to make it stick better. Hundreds of cars built and mine never fail. As far as using the interior. Never use it if the rules allow. This is if you want to build fast cars. If your one of these customizer types who's just trying to put your team name on a channel with rules about keeping interiors to enhance the look of the video then use the interior. Using interiors only became a thing when YT channels started asking for them to make cars look better. The JB doesn't need it, it distributes weight in the wrong places and I've never watched a race and said "oh look at that cool car with an interior" you never even see it on video in most cases. 

  • One challenge I find when they want you to keep the interior (big examples I can think of are Kotm season 4 and IDRL 2.0) is that I have to add weight while still keeping the interior of the car,im sure that you saw my cord cosworth in qualifying race 15 the thing wasn’t even seated on the base properly because of the weight I added so I had to use a combination of masking tape and gorilla glue to keep it together.One tactic I’ve tried is sanding the interior down from the bottom with my sanding jig so I have space to add weight while still keeping the interior relatively intact — Kingjester

I personally use superglue (Crazy Glue Advanced Formula) and I failed at a few attempts because the liquid runs down the axle and inside the wheel hub almost every time. The thing I started doing is to add some tiny pieces of paper towel so the glue is "held" by this instead of going wherever it wants to leak. Also it's probably not strong enough to JUST use paper towel and superglue if you remove the interior of the car (at least the posts that helps secure the axle)

  • If you're using super'CA glue, use the gel. But I recommend NOT using it at all. I use E-6000 which is strong yet stays a bit flexible. — FeralPatrick
  • Dude, don't use superglue. That stuff runs all over, and you will ruin more wheelsets than you will E6000 is a gel that stays in place, and doesn't run, and is strong yet flexible enough to use on wheels and resealing the car. I've been racing for three years, using E6000 exclusively, and none of mine have come loose or blown apart during a race. — SpyDude
  • The point was that I'm usually able to contain more liquid stuff using paper towel integrated strategically, so this tip could help with "gluing the axle to the wheel concern" — Underdogs_Unleashed

If you really want to keep most of the interior, you can cut out/dremmel out the seats and keep the dash area and the parts that hold the axels. Then you have the axel stability and the ability to get some weight attached to the chassis. I have trouble getting axels out of metal chassis. I have all the tools I've seen people use, but 7 out of 10 times the process goes wrong and my wife wonders why I'm yelling at a Hot Wheels car. Then I give her that look that says: "What are you doing out of the kitchen?"  (not at all true, just attempting semi offensive humor)

  • That's usually what I do, except I use a jeweler's saw for more precise and thinner cuts. I leave just enough of the interior to press down on the wheels - the rest gets hacked out. — SpyDude
  • As for getting the wheels out of metal-based cars, use sidecutters (aka wirecutters). Snip the single tab and ease the axles out. — SpyDude
  • I have a small screwdriver that I heated the flat red hot, used a ball peen hammer and piece of steel, and hammered it into a tip thatlooks like a "sharp shooter shovel". If I am lucky, I can wiggle it in the crimped ears that hold the axle and pry it open, that way you can re-climp to hold it when gluing — dr_dodge
  • oh, don't forget to re-harden the top so it doesn't bend — dr_dodge
  • Now you know why it's called Kitchen_sink Race team — KITCHEN_SINK
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redlinederby 6/8/23
Site manager

I've never had any issues with the JB Kwik that I can recall. If I wasn't tubing the axles, then I always left the little stock clips that hold in the axle. Put a glob of JB over the clips and all and then put it on a jig, always came out working nice. 

Certainly the JB Weld is great too but I never had the patience :) Only time any sort of JB product failed me is if the car was seriously dropped. I've seen a few crack apart but then again, it was dropped so it didn't shock me.

+1 for the tip of scratching up the plastic before JB-ing anything. Just slice up the plastic a bit with the knife and that should be good.

I've had super glue gel fail during a race while it was being filmed. Luckily the race host was able to fix it. Since then I use either JB or E-6000, which is super strong yet remains a little flexible. Haven't had it fail yet (knock knock). JB Kwik once failed on a build during a race, but it was the body separating from the chassis. Luckily the chassis held the body on well enough to finish the tourney (which I happened to win). The car had fallen off the track a couple of times which caused the separation. I'm sticking with E-6000 (pun not originally intended).

  • Does the e6000 smell as bad as they say? I,be thought about trying it a couple of times but don't want to fume the whole house! — Milestone_Racing
  • It's a bit fumey for a little while, but it's not that bad, actually. The smell usually stays within the room I'm using it in. — FeralPatrick
  • Pick up a small tube of it at a local craft store and give it a try. You probably won't use anything else after that. — SpyDude
  • agreed... I have never used JB weld of any type for any hobby though I have several tubes lying around. E-6000 is good stuff. — Stoopid_Fish_Racing
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dr_dodge 6/9/23

I am doing things a bit different, I take the plastic bottoms and using a 1/8" router bit in my drill press,
make the bottom between axle saddles flat.  Then I fit a brass strip and put a single screw in the center, the brass can be tightened and holds the axles while fitting out the rest of the chassis.  I put the JB between the plastic lower and the brass, tighten it, inspect for side to side centering, and put it on the jig
I seems the JB grabs the brass better than untouched plastic, but when you mill out the bottom it roughs up the plastic nice.  

simple diagram below

  • So you're not putting any JB on the axles themselves? The brass gets fixed down and that squeezing keeps the axles in place? Kinda like old Matchbox style. — redlinederby
  • Like the old HW/MBX style, he has the screw in the middle - that allowed the axles the float up and down for a rudimentary suspension. However, from the diagram, he also placed two more, one at either end of the strip, to tighten things down even more. Not a bad system, actually. — SpyDude
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dr_dodge 6/9/23

This is my latest evolution
the honda civic hatchback I am finishing and packing today

Two screws hold the body on,
158°F diecast weight/spring mounts
brass spine and axles stay in place, held with the screw

I will put a small dab of JB Q to keep the axle from sliding in and out
the 2 piano wire springs hold the axles in the chassis
remove the screw, peel off the dab of JB, and swap axles easily
don't glue the axles till the car is at ship mode
this design allows for testing different combos (axles/springs) before final assy/ship

interior is sanded and jewelers saw cut
die cast girl has lost her feet for clearance

any questions feel free to ask

  • I gotcha. And it looks like your screws tap into the car's existing posts, right? Nice way to do some testing. Hope all the effort yields you some checkered flags! :) — redlinederby
  • gotta keep trying either — dr_dodge
  • That's a sweet setup! — SpyDude

If you want the truth and nothing but the truth, E6000 is all you need. I've never had it fail. I'd scratch up the chassis where the Axel is then put the solution. Also if you're unsatisfied, it comes off cleanly leaving no residue.

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RayRaySugar 11/26/23

I tend to score the section of axel and base that is being "glued" with 80 grit sandpaper or etching them with my dremmel. That increases the adhesion tremendously, and it's quick and easy

  • any oil or grease kills the ability of glue or paint to stick. cast plastic has mold release imbedded in the surface. clean, clean, then clean — dr_dodge
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