How do you make a set of badass Fifteen52 Turbomac track wheels even cooler?
Wrap them in some super sticky Toyo R888 rubber, and install some race-inspired white lettering from TIRE STICKERS to complete the motorsports-inspired look.
A few months ago I was quoted on the Tire Sticker’s Blog about the best performance tires, and that got my wheels turning (pun intended) on additional collaboration opportunities.
Tire Stickers was kind enough to send me one of their permanent raised rubber white lettering kits to try out, which brings us here. While I was given these free of charge, this did not impact my assessment or review of the product in this post.
What comes in a Tire Stickers kit?
The kit comes with everything you need to get going, including all of the letters, cleaning supplies, glue, instructions, and even gloves (all pictured below).
Other than a microfiber and some free-time, you need nothing else to install these.
I chose the 1″ height kit for Toyo R888 in white lettering, but they have all sorts of options you can choose from on their site depending on how tall your sidewalls are and what style you want to go with. Many of their designs are officially licensed by the tire brands or OEMs themselves, so you’re buying a legit product and not some cheap knock-off.
The kit arrives shipped to your door, so simply place your order online and while you wait, consider removing your wheels and tires for a deep clean before installing. This isn’t necessary, but will make the install easier.
How to install tire stickers
Okay you got your kit in the mail, now what?
The tire decals are pre-cut and aligned as part of the kit, so it’s very to install. No cutting or measuring is needed.
The most important thing to do is to take your time. They become permanently bonded to the tire, so there is no do-overs if you don’t like how they’re placed. Give yourself 15 minutes per wheel at a minimum, which includes prep time.
Start with cleaning everything very thoroughly with the supplied cleaner. Any grease, dirt, or residue left on the tire will prevent the letters from sticking, and could result in a letter peeling off around the edge or falling off all together. Like painting or plasti-dip, you want to 80% of your time on the prep work and 20% of the time on the application itself.
Once the wheels are properly cleaned and have fully dried from any cleaning solution you used, you’re ready to apply the letters.
Apply the supplied glue one section at a time to the back side of the rubber lettering. I found it best to apply the glue more moderately so that none seeps out. If you use too much you’ll get “glue slop” everywhere, although you do want to make sure there is adequate coverage all of the way to the end of the lettering otherwise the edges will peel up over time.
When in doubt, start with less, as you can always apply more.
The key is to just do a few letters at a time, or at most one decal, otherwise the glue will dry quicker than you can move, and you’ll have a mess on your hands…literally.
Once you have the optimal amount of glue applied to the underside of the decal, line up the decals on the sidewall of the tire. Use the natural lines on the tire to do this, and consider using masking tape to help guide your placement if you’re having trouble.
Some tires may have lettering already on the tires in which case you can go over those, other times you may want to offset the existing lettering and go for the smoothest and widest part of the sidewall.
I find it looks best to center the decal on the tire. Do not put them too close to the far edge of the tire, as when you’re cornering the outer edges can melt or wear down and eat away at the decal. Give at least 1/4 inch from the edge where the rubber hits the pavement to make sure you’re not at risk.
Once the glue is on, and placement is perfect, hold pressure for 45-60 seconds per decal to allow it to bond to the tire. Use steady pressure throughout the decal, and make any small adjustments you need to make sure they’re lined up perfectly.
Remember to take your time!
Is it really a sticker?
While the brand is called tire “stickers,” these are actually made of rubber and far from your average sticker.
The backside of the stickers (pictured above in black) forms a direct bond with the rubber in the tire, so even with extreme heat like a track day they will stay put with no problems.
The decals are made of rubber themselves, whereas a sticker is usually made out of vinyl. The texture of this product feels a lot like rubber itself, slightly sticky and slightly rough.
So in short it goes on like a sticker, but is made of entirely different materials and adhesive, making it a lot stronger and more robust than what you’d normally think of as a sticker.
How to maintain tire stickers
Tire Stickers intends for the lettering to be permanent, and will last you the lifespan of the tires.
Tire Stickers doesn’t recommend using tire shine, but who puts tire shine on track wheels anyway 🙂
Instead, use normal soap and pressure to wash them. They may eventually yellow over time, in which case they supply a cleaner that will help whiten them. Magic Eraser bars are also a good solution to scrub off any residue and keep them white, although they will inevitably get dirty over time.
They are a little high maintenance I found, so this mod isn’t for people who don’t like to take care of their cars or get super OCD about having everything perfectly white and new looking.
More pictures & thoughts
Overall, I think it is a really cool look…especially so with white wheels, a white car, and now white lettering.
The product is durable, easy to install, and can be customized to any tire brand/model you want, or you can even do custom lettering to promote your business or make a statement of your choosing. You’re also not limited to white as a color, and you can pick different fonts, sizes, etc.
You can also upload your own logo, so the possibilities are nearly limitless.
It’s a far more professional look than just rattle canning the tires with a stencil, and will last far longer too.
I think this is a great choice for people in the following settings:
- You’re sponsored by a tire company and therefore want to show off their support and reward them with increased exposure
- You’re going for a super aggressive look at car shows that is race inspired
- You track your car in a series and want to thank your sponsors or make it clear to your competitors that what kind of rubber you’re running
- You have a personal brand or something custom you want to advertise on your tires in a way that is sure to attract attention (i.e. if I put “Nick’s Car Blog” on my tires instead of Toyo R888)
As a bonus they look even cooler while rolling, which should make for some great pictures at my next track day…stay tuned for that!
A big thanks to the team at TIRE STICKERS for sending me the product to review!