Cone shaped wheels

Ralph_Technology97 Friday, 5/15/2020


If you're part of the 3dbotmaker racing league facebook group then you've probably seen me posting about this subject but I wanted this information to reach more people. I've noticed some people purposely bending the axles so that it runs with less friction. Well, here is a better solution to that. Coning wheels. This will greatly reduce friction and you don't have to damage any axles. You're gonna need a dremel tool, a utility blade, wire cutters to hold the axle (as shown in the picture). So what you do is you use the blade to eat the wheel from the outside to the inside while the dremel tool spins it. You can do it in whatever angle you want but I should warn you that some wheels support more aggressive angles and some don't. You have to test that for yourself. Here is an old Nascar car I dug up to demonstrate the process. I took it apart, put some weight on it (54 grams) and worked on some spare wheels I had to revive it. The 4th picture shows you how the car sits with its new wheels. I've never looked back since then. It doesn't affect stability either, cars roll nicer, better and smoother than flat wheels. Speaking of smooth, this method also skips the sanding process, as it is no longer needed. I will be posting more pictures of other cars I've done over the past year. Hope this helps anyone that wishes to be faster on the track!


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Mattman213 5/15/20

Ive seen it long ago on Youtube but never really got around to trying it myself.  Its in the "to do" bucket to do and test back to back with normal and skinny wheels on the same vehicle and see how it does.


  • Awesome! Once you master the craft you'll see the difference it makes! — Ralph_Technology97

Looks like you could over heat and possibly melt the hub during this process by the speed of the Dremel over heating the wheels? Any thoughts on this?

  • Yes, it does happen sometimes. What I do is wait a couple seconds until the wheel cools down and I start cutting it again. With patience, you can master the technique and it'll give you great results — Ralph_Technology97
  • I've also had cases where if the wheel wobbled originally, once it starts spinning and gaining some heat, it'll actually correct that wobble for you and giving you a great wheelspin in the process — Ralph_Technology97
  • But again, you gotta have some patience. It doesn't take long if your blade is fresh so it's a minor inconvenience but be delicate and precise and you'll get the hang of it — Ralph_Technology97
  • Re Ralph's Quote: "where if the wheel wobbled originally, once it starts spinning and gaining some heat, it'll actually correct that wobble for you and giving you a great wheelspin in the process — Ralph_Technology97" I would imagine if you corrected wheel wobble, that probably would be that through coning the wheels, you corrected an "out of round wheel" Just my thought. Cheers — CutRock_R_Marc_D
  • Exactly! Thanks to heat and continous spinning it allows the plastic wheel to reshape — Ralph_Technology97

Would need to see it in competition against other Builds for a true test...but absolutely love the ingenuity and forethought on the technique...Bravo 

  • Thank you! I've tested this method many times and it is a proven winning method. Since last year, I've modified every racecar I have with coned wheels and it makes all the difference in the world. I started racing flat wheels and kept being eliminated in the 1st and sometimes (if I was lucky) I would get to the 2n round in my community races. But once I discovered this method and gained new info I started wheel farming (just like you) to find the best wheels to cone. Since then I've been able to go multiple rounds and even being a finalist or the winner in every competition I've been. If you try it for yourself I'd love to see you make a video out of it on your youtube channel! — Ralph_Technology97
  • Would love to see a Build show up at a Redline Derby sanctioned be sure to check "find a race" and send a couple Builds in — LeagueofSpeed
  • Yeah I agree, send in your quickest example for the next RLDRL race! — Mattman213
  • I'll see what I can send thank you for the heads up! — Ralph_Technology97
  • Yeah please do, you will love the competition and its a monthly points race so its fun to look forward to the next round! — Mattman213
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Chaos_Canyon 5/15/20

I love this idea. I have some trashed, second hand cars that i can experiment on first, as they need axle replacements anyway and the wheel surface is pretty marked up so this could solve that issue too.

Will let you know how I get on

  • I would love to see your progress so I'll be sure to check it out once you do it! — Ralph_Technology97
  • Have you had a go yet CC? — CutRock_R_Marc_D
  • No, not yet. I"m flat out trying to finish all the filming and editing for the Chevy Showdown as I'm going to be pulling the track down to fully rebuild it in the next couple of weeks - adding all the diorama suff, a couple new tracks and redesigning a few elements to it too. — Chaos_Canyon

New information about this topic! Check the latest discussion under "Modding and Performance" 

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Peter_Bee 8/9/20

I'm confused. You use the pliers to hold the axle, but don't the wheels still spin on the axle? 

How do you use the utility blade to cut the wheels?

I'm not a tool use savvy guy, and I could use a YouTube video to explain this process to me. 

The theory fascinates me and I'd like to learn more, but as I said, the spinning wheels are a huge obstacle.

  • You want the wheel to spin. Hold the axle with the pliers and have your dremel tool spin the wheel and with light pressure you use the blade to cut the wheel. Its easier if you have a bench vise. I don't or I would make a video it's not difficult — NDeavers80
  • Okay, I get the picture better now. I think I can figure out the logistics of it. My brain doesn't work like it used to before my stroke, so simple things sometimes elude me. Thanks Nick for breaking it down for me. — Peter_Bee
  • You're welcome — NDeavers80
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The_Commish 3/8/21

would love to see a video on this. I just posted a question regarding camber for the same sort of effect and this seems much more advantageous...

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RallycrossGT 9/30/21

question: would this be best for drag racing or open track racing?

I would assume the angle of the wheels (or camber) would help with cornering more than anything else...

  • Interesting question...although I believe the thought behind it is more for drag racing since that's where speed makes more difference. Not saying the cones wouldn't help on an open track but it would be hard to measure. — redlinederby
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