Rather than making a snow track in the back yard this year, I decided to venture out and try some ice racing on a lake. There’s a group called MN R/C rally, rallycross and ice racers on Facebook and they create and maintain an ice track on Pickerel Lake in St. Paul.
Before we would visit the lake I wanted to make some studded tires for my daughter’s 1/18 LaTrax Prerunner.
I started by purchasing a couple sets of tires, part #TRA7674. Rather than un-mounting the tires and putting screws through from the inside out, I opted for the technique used in this video on the X-Maxx. The screws were added from the outside into the chunky part of the tread:
I started by mapping out where I wanted the studs to be located based on the tread pattern. I settled on a design with one in the middle followed by two on each side. The pattern worked out to 9 in each row, x3 would mean 27 screws for every tire.
I got 108 #6 3/8″ screws from my local Ace Hardware. They were 12 cents each, so $13 for the lot.
One concern was going to be the depth near the inside of the rim
To make sure there was enough room, I drilled the shoulder edges at an angle using a 5/64″ drill bit.
Here you can see the screws going in at a slight angle to avoid hitting the wheel underneath.
I tightened the screws 2/3 of the way in. Then I applied a dab of CA tire glue to the threads of 3 screws and then screwed them in. Repeat until all 27 screws are secured.
Learn from my mistake
I test fit two tires and realized at full steering lock the screws on the edge of the tire would come into contact with the chassis. 😩
I could have trimmed the chassis or made a wider wheel spacer. But I still had two more tires to add studs to, so I moved my first set of tires to the rear. Then on the next two tires I moved the studs away from the shoulder slightly. The screws aren’t hitting the wheel in this configuration as I had feared.
It gave me just enough clearance that it wouldn’t rub.
When it comes to scale, millimeters matter – the smaller the scale, the bigger the difference it will make.
The studded tires on the LaTrax Prerunner worked excellent:
Compare the performance of the Prerunner (on 50% power aka “training mode” mind you) to my 2wd Monster Snow Slash:
The Snow Slash’s tire chains are better than nothing, but the lateral grip is not great – so it severely limits acceleration and the amount of corner speed you can carry.
I actually liked the disadvantage because it made it challenging to keep up with my daughter. We had a ton of fun and hope to go back before winter is over.
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