|01-09-2007, 12:19 PM||#1|
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Courtesy of RC ModZ
I’ve just spent a fair while testing the factors around tyre balancing and its benefits; I must admit I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference. I also didn’t imagine the differences between tyre brands it became quite evident as I set about balancing 6 sets of wheels.
GRP Grips pre mounted
GRP Cubics pre mounted
Proline Bow Tie MTR on Proline 17mm Rims
Proline Maxx Mulchers on GRP rims
Panther Python on PL 17mm Rims
Panther Meat Grinders on PL 17mm Rims
This is a very simple process indeed; you need a model aircraft prop balancer, a 17mm Hex and Nut, some Blue tack & Fuel Tube. You could use some 1/10 scale stick on touring car weights for a more accurate reading but Blue tack works just fine. I weighed each piece after balancing and rounded up when needed for this review.
To balance a wheel:
Remember it’s never going to be perfect but reducing un-balanced rotating mass will increase efficiency. First setup the prop rod like picture below with the 17mm hex & nut in the center using the cone shaped alloy pieces to center them on the prop rod.
Now place the wheel on the 17mm hex and do up the nut, then thread the rod through the wheel using the cones to center the wheel and finally the fuel tube to secure the cones in place.
Place the rod onto the balancer and center the wheel between the support rods holding the balancing wheels.
Then spin the wheel checking there are no areas that foul the tyre giving you a false reading and allow the wheel to spin freely until it stops, The heaviest part will always drop to the bottom and with this balancer it only takes ¼ of a gram to change the balance!
Once you have found the heavy spot place some Blue tack on the inside of the rim opposite the heavy spot and try again. The heavier spots will strike you straight away with the wheel only revolving a few times before it settles. A balanced wheel will spin for a good while with the lightest touch.
I first hit the GRP’s Grips & Cubics at 50 pounds a set of 4, as you may or may not expect these are a very popular choice in the Truggy paddock. I was pleasantly surprised when I balanced the first GRP it was well within 1 gram of being perfect, this now goes a long way in my book to being well worth the money!
When you have a new set of GRPs bolted on to your kit on the starter box in the pits, you rev to warm up the engine and all 4 wheels spin with complete ease, no wishbone shake and the tyre ballooning is to a minimum.
After 8 (race condition) runs on 2 different surfaces I balanced the GRP’s again and they were all within 1-2 grams of being very well balanced. In my opinion a very good tyre and very well balanced out of the box and after several runs.
I balanced the Proline wheels next with the most surprising results! At 56.98 per set you might think they would be well balanced although we have to glue them on ourselves but dose this make a difference?
The new Bow Tie MTR’s with the side wall ribbing that prevents ballooning at high speeds were up to 5 grams per wheel out when spun on the prop balancer. It really is surprising to see how un-balanced they really are and it is striking when on the balancer.
I can’t really see the rims being that un-balanced, it must all be in the rubber molding and to a degree the inserts might make a difference although not much. Before I balanced this set I used them for 1 run and sure enough they gave a fair wobble when on the starter box and at high revs on track.
After balancing I gave them a run and sure enough they were a lot better at high revs and on the box giving a smooth action through acceleration.
The Maxx Mulchers on GRP rims were the most un-balanced wheel I found and with so much tread and being Proline gave no surprise to me after doing the BT’s. The results were between 3 & 8 grams per wheel and became quite difficult to balance.
Next, the Panther Meat Grinders on Proline 17mm rims at 52.90 per set. Being the same size and similar tread pattern to the Maxx Mulchers I didn’t hold much faith to them being well balanced. Again I was very surprised because they were far better than the Mulchers and very close to the GRP’s! being only 1-1 1/2 grams out. So Panther obviously mold their treads in a far better way to archive this. The Python’s were again very well balanced a little more than the MG’s but not much.
It does make a difference.
We pay lots of attention to many things on a car when racing at high level, engine, clutch, drive chain, bearings; and so on… we pay almost no attention to the wheels themselves. I’ve always noticed this with tyres and that’s one of the reasons I like GRP’s so much, but with Proline’s new array of treads it’s hard to stick to 1 brand. I’m glad I’ve done this myself because I believe it’s a very easy way to help balance your car and a balanced car driven well will be a fast car!
GRP’s have to pitch the Panthers with 9 ½/10 it would have been 10/10 but because there is only 2 tread patterns to choose from for the Truggy boys and no choice of inserts (Yet), however they are a very well balanced Truggy wheel out of the box and one of the cheapest options.
Panther I have to have a very close 9/10 and take second place with a well balanced tread & insert that we have to glue up ourselves. Good tread choices and excellent choice of compounds
Proline even with the massive choice of tread have to take 3rd place with 8/10 I think they beat the others with choice but when it comes to balancing they are way out and it shows when on the car. Maybe it would be better for them to pre-mount their wheels and take a leaf out of Panthers & GRP’s book when it comes to molding the treads! It may even prove a cheaper option to mount their own wheels as this would cut down packaging & shipping costs and may just be passed onto the consumer
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