Losing grip – wheels keep on turning
Last week I wrote about how it was too warm and I was too lazy to go to my usual spot in the park for drifting, so instead did some drifting around the BBQ in the back. At the end of the day, my previously very shiny body was not so shiny any more, since it happened to be a bit too intimate with the table legs on numerous occasions. This due to the very high grip surface, and my reluctance to change tires.
Not only the body showed signs of wear and tear after my runs, but so did the rear tires. I didn’t look too closely (maybe I deliberately looked away) until yesterday, and it is a poor sight to behold. Those tiles at the back of the house might look slippery, but the surface is actually very close to sand paper. Essentially, I drove my car on a belt sander. Have a look, new tire to the left, current tire on the right.
Up until now I have been pretty good at keeping a stash of tires lying around, always having new ones ready to go, but the stash has run out! There’s no more tires around the house! They will be at least days away, probably weeks now that Christmas is coming up and the local LHS doesn’t carry much in the way of drifting. A driver without tires, how sad is that? My initial laziness has both caused me money, and drifting downtime.
Does anyone smell a moral to the story? I certainly don’t.
So, as soon as I am finished writing, I am not off to drifting, but off to order a couple of sets of tires. Luckily, this is very easy. Have a look at any crawler forum, and there will be lengthy disussions on which tires fit on which wheels. Compability between brands can be a pain. I for one certainly spent a lot of time trying to get to grips with it. For my Bomber and Yeti I finally settled for SSD Pro-Line wheels, with Pro-Line tires, since this was a good looking combination that couldn’t fail. Hyrax tires. Awesome for crawling. Amazing grip. Highly recommended.
But I digress. You certainly won’t be drifting with Hyrax tires. As I was saying, drift wheels and tires is a lot easier. Wheels are a standard 52 mm diameter, and 26 mm wide. Hence, any tire will fit on just about any wheel. At least in theory, the measurements might be a bit off on low quality, cheap stuff, but if you stay with the big brands, you should be fine. The one thing to keep an eye on, is wheel offset. You don’t want your wheels to stick too far out, nor are you allowed to in competitions.
Again, just like on my crawlers, I have chosen the easy path. MST makes high quality wheels, in seven different compounds that are easy to understand. Five of them ranging from soft to hard, plus wheels for carpet and HP wheels. That last one, HP, I still haven’t understood what it is for. HP? Anyone? If so, please leave a comment and enlighten me.
As far as wheels go, I also run MST, since they have a nice and simple variable offset system. With these wheels, offset can be changed in 2mm increments, and that certainly makes things simple. I do have a few other, fixed offset, wheels, but I am a fan of this system.
Mounting drift tires is a breeze too, especially when compared to crawler beadlocks. My preferred method is to put the wheels in the freezer for half an hour or so, making them shrink slightly. I then put the tires in boiling water for about thirty seconds (or the time it takes to take the wheels out of the freezer), making them expand sligtly. I take the tires out of the water, dry them quickly with a towel, and slide them on the wheels. A bit of force might be required, but not much. Done. Leave for fifteen minutes, and when both parts are back to room temperature, the fit is perfect. With MST wheels and tires, I don’t even need any glue.
When it comes to removal, do yourself a favor and buy a drift tire removal tool. There are lots of different options out there, I’ve got MST’s version. It’s cheap and easy to use. Saves a lot of hassle, and possibly even a couple of rims.
Now time to go shopping, so that the wheels can keep on turning.
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