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Wheels and Tires

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Well, the time finally came for me to replace the wheels and tires on my E-Maxx. The tires weren’t that bad (I was running the stock tires) but the wheels were shot. They were the RPM Monster Claws and they were full of chips and cracks. 

Too bad things weren’t the other way around! You can reuse wheels if you can remove the tires properly. Simply cut away the tires and let the wheel soak in acetone for 48 hours.  Acetone will dissolve the CA glue allowing the tire’s bead to pull right off leaving you with a wheel that’s ready for a new tire.

As you may be aware, new wheels and tires are not a cheap proposition! So, understandably, I took my time to decide the exact wheel and tire combination that would not only look good but also perform well.

Since I’m a basher and not a racer, I wanted a tire that could go through anything (sand, grass, pavement, gravel) and last for a long time.  I also wanted something with an aggressive yet realistic looking tread design. Lastly, I wanted a wheel that would give my truck the widest stance possible to improve high speed handling.

With this criteria in mind I decided on Pro-Line’s Velocity 6 40 series wheels and Pro-Line’s Masher 40 series tires (ever wonder what the “40” means? it’s the tire’s height/width ratio).

Here are the new wheels and tires

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Look how much bigger they are than stock!

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Remove the chrome and clean with rubbing alcohol to get the best mount possible. Don’t forget to drill vent holes!!!

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Before you mount your new wheels on your truck, balance them!! Surprisingly, this is something that very few people do. Why balance your wheels??? A truck with balanced wheels will handle better hand have higher top speed.  Think about it, if you wheels aren’t balanced, they they are converting energy that would otherwise be driving your truck forward into vibrational energy. Try this, while holding your truck off of the ground, have someone open the throttle wide open.  Are your wheels vibrating?? The chances are good that your truck is vibrating so badly that it seems like it’s trying to pull itself from your hands.

Since E-Maxxes don’t generally run over 30 MPH (unless they’re brushless), you don’t need to make your wheels perfectly balanced. A rough balancing will suffice.  To balance my wheels, I simply spin it on a screw driver (lubricate the driver with graphite from a pencil) and see if the wheel consistently stops with one side down. Not surprisingly, all four of my wheels were woefully unbalanced.  Mark the side of the tire that is at the bottom dead center (BDC) with a white crayon and spin the tire a few more times and see if the same part keeps stopping at the BDC.  Once you’ve established that this is the heavy side of the tire, attach a weight (I use pennies glued with epoxy) to the opposite side of the wheel. Make sure the weight is in line with the center of the hub (where the hub mounts to the truck). Spin the wheel again.  When the wheel is balanced, the wheel will stop at random locations when spun.

One of my wheels was so badly unbalanced that it required 3 pennies to balance it. The other wheels all required one penny.

Spin that wheel!!

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The weight’s mounted.  Note the vent hole to the left of the penny.

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The Finished Product!

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Look great, don’t they?  Due to the fact that these wheels are so much taller than the stock wheels I needed to change my gearing to keep the final drive ratio the same. I also had to lower the truck because it was a little too tippy (the increased height raised the center of gravity).  I lowered it by changing my shock mounting from the innermost to the second to the furthest A-arm mount hole. 

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