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Silicone over foam tires

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  • Silicone over foam tires

    I'm not sure this topic only applies to oval racing, but that's my application.

    I recently bought some new Pro-Track foam tires because they were the closest to the scale size I'm after (1.06 inch diameter). But, what I really want is silicone over foam tires and the largest premade ones from Pro-Track are 0.91 inches in diameter.

    I just watched Harry's video on 'barfing a foam tire', showing how it's done. My questions are:

    1) Is there a recommended way to coat foam tires with silicone if you also want to preserve the white lettering on the Pro-Track tires?

    2) After coating can or should you put the axle in a drill and spin the tire so any excess silicone comes off leaving a smooth surface? I may not end up with a tire surface as smooth as what Pro-Track does with their silicone over foam tires, but I'd like tires that are as smooth as possible.

  • #2
    Hi,I did a set a long time ago and I spun the wheels in a drill at low speed applying silicone when at correct diameter I smoothed of with a little water and a flat bit of plastic , masking tape to protect tire wall. It's hard to get exact diameters but for home use there good enough.


    • #3
      slothead, H&R Makes silicone tires you may want to check there. I have done silicone over foam 8 or 10 times. I use a Flowable Silicone that is used for windshields. This stuff is easy to use. I put it on a thin coat with my finger all the way around. and I use this setup and turn the axle just a quarter of a turn every 15 seconds or so. It dries clear. Here are some pictures. I hope this help. Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1658.JPG Views:	0 Size:	2.97 MB ID:	73526 Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_1659.JPG Views:	0 Size:	2.81 MB ID:	73527
      Robert- Shoreline Model Raceways Club
      Connecticut, U.S.A.


      • #4
        This might help:


        • #5
          That's a good article Norman. I tried the Black silicone once, I myself did not like it, But everyone has a different way of getting the job done, and that what counts.
          Robert- Shoreline Model Raceways Club
          Connecticut, U.S.A.


          • #6
            For me like REL13 the black silcone did not work but the flowable silicone went unbelievably well, did 3 or 4 sets with same results every time, very smooth tires with little work.


            • #7
              Permatex works best, end of story. Coated sponge is all we race and I prep 25 cars or more, plus my own. We started with coated Pro Tracks. They eventually wear thru and you must re-coat. permatex will dry thoroughly in about 3-4 hours.

              I've done it several ways I have a small lathe type setup with a 1/8 shaft. I can put 4 wheels on at once and run it slow. I squeeze sil on each sidewall and the tread. Use a flat stick to shape it. Takes some practice to get the right technique for a smooth tire all around.

              When I just want to do one or two pair, I put them on an axle, put the drill on low speed and apply the sil then run the drill and uses the stick to shape it. Put the axle in a stand up position to let the sil dry so whatever sag there is will be toward the back edge to the tire and not to the lowest part of the tread, keep it fairly concentric.

              I have even turned the axle by hand and applied the sil with my finger, turn the axle as I did it.

              At one time Harry had a video coating tires. Not sure where it will be.

              As half-a** as I am, my tires are not always perfectly round, but we don't run high speed high tech cars so they work fine. One of the guys does it much better than me, but he much more patient and more skilled.

              After a year or two, the tires may have been coated 3-4 times and they will then need to be stripped and coating started all over. It's slow process to peel off all that old silicone. It is also hard to do any real sanding to coated tires.
              Matt B
              So. In


              • #8
                Matt, Which Permatex are you talking about. Both Normans and mine are Permatex.
                Robert- Shoreline Model Raceways Club
                Connecticut, U.S.A.


                • #9
                  That's a pretty old "How To" , I think the HOST club was dabbling with 1/24 Pro Track chassis on model bodies about 10 or so years ago.
                  We needed more traction as the sponge tires that came on the chassis were sliding all over the place.
                  Think we tried making some, but the class never really caught on.


                  • #10
                    Norman, I am using H&R chassis with Model body's still today. I have about 20 or so. A lot of the chassis came with foam tires, So a friend of mine told me about the windshield silicone that his club uses. He said it is self leveling. So I tried it real easy to use, the best part it dries clear.
                    Robert- Shoreline Model Raceways Club
                    Connecticut, U.S.A.


                    • #11
                      Nice, Robert!
                      Been looking on the Northeast forum to find when we did it, but not much luck.
                      Hey Dickie ( dungeonracer ) do you remember when we played with the 1/24 Pro Tracks?


                      • #12
                        I do remember.
                        I think any info on the North East site is long gone on the old Yuku forum (before Tapatalk)

                        FWIW, Slothead, nowadays we use Paul Gage urethanes on the stock wheels. Dip the foam in some kind of chemical (don't remember off hand which), and the foam comes right off. Then glue on the PG tires, let dry and then true (urethanes are easy). Not as much grip as silicone, but since you're after dirt track style, I think you may like them.
                        Dickie Pearson
                        Canterbury, NH

                        HOST - Home Operated Slot Tracks
                        MSR - Main Street Racing


                        • #13
                          For the 1/32 guys, urethane seems a much easier choice. For 1/24 foam tires, silicone works on them all. The sil is Permatex flowable windshield sealer.
                          Matt B
                          So. In


                          • #14
                            Thanks for all the feedback and comments. I'm definitely leaning toward silicone because all my other 'dirt' track cars are already fitted with them and on my old oval urethane tires weren't as good. The track was 'rubbered in' with silicone long before I tried urethane tires. The silicone over foam tires are the absolute best, use them on all my 'big block modified' cars which are wicked fast but you can push them hard enough to get some slide too. Best part is when you nail a perfect corner so the car is slideways just the right amount exiting a turn so you can get in the throttle and it launches down the straight. Run a couple of those corners back-to-back and you feel a little faint.

                            Click image for larger version

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                            These are the tires I have 2 pair of to try coating with silicone. Slightly over 1" tall.


                            • #15
                              In the mid/late 60's, one of our local tracks had a 220' ft track with a semi gloss epoxy paint surface that never saw glue.......the tire of choice was a silicone coated sponge that was locally made and used GE silicone exclusively........these tires were considerably better than any of the "home made " tires that used other brands/type of silicone. If/when I made my own Silicone coated sponge tires I only used GE silicone and always ended up with really great performing and long lasting "boots".

                              While I have not made/used silicone coated tire in decades, if I were to make some now, GE would be my first choice,.....that said, I do not know if the formulation has changed, and if it has, I would not hesitate to try Matts' choice which is Permatex, and, which I have heard good things about.

                              Chris Walker


                              • slothead
                                slothead commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Thank you.