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Tire question - SBR vs. natural vs. fish rubber


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#1 Pablo

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 06:15 PM

After 2 decades of rubber compound experience, I'm to the point of having a good understanding of untreated/treated/wonder rubber for racing. (and it's been a long road :o  :))

 

But SBR/Natural/Fish Rubber is still unclear to me.

 

How do they compare to each other, and to untreated/treated/wonder, as far as grip?

 

Which of the three would be closest to untreated?

 

I'm needing to re-rubber my Buena Park Lola Hardbody car. The rubber on the Pro-Tracks is almost gone. What rubber do Pro-Tracks use? The car won 3 races in a row so it must have liked that flat track. Wheel OD is .950

 

Left to right is SBR, the stock Pro-Tracks, Natural rubber, and Koford Fish rubber

 

IMG_4660.JPG

 

Thank You!  :)


Paul Wolcott




#2 gotboostedvr6

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 06:49 PM

Nautral, piranha, tuna, and fish are the same thing. Different batches of natural rubber look, smell, feel and run differently. Sometimes good sheets make the rounds. The last good rubber that racers could buy retail was in 2017.

SBR belongs in the trash or ebay. You couldn't pay me to race SBR today.

I don't think protrack treats their rubber. If your old protrack tires are hard they are wonder, if soft then fish. I don't think they offer sbr.

Our fast hard body guys run wonder rubber on flat and backed tracks. They use hawk25 motors

If you have large donuts you could try to treat them in acetone for 24 to 48 hours to firm them up and dramatically reduce tire wear. They will shrink a bit after they dry.
David Parrotta

#3 MSwiss

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 07:05 PM

Did the Protracks have an N in the stock number?

N tires are natural/fish.

If not, they are SBR.

At my track, guys prefer SBR Protrack to N.

I've won a fair amount of races with the SBR Protrack, including this past Saturday.

But the track was a bit loose.

When it's heavily rubbered up, B & E firm tires are usually the way to go.

I believe they are Wonder.
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Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave., Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

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#4 Pablo

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 07:35 PM

Thanks guys. I'm under a time crunch here, one way or the other I need to rubber these wheels and get them curing tonight.

 

"If your old protrack tires are hard they are wonder, if soft then fish". They feel soft so they must be fish
 
"Did the Protracks have an N in the stock number? N tires are natural/fish. If not, they are SBR". Great info, thanks, but I'd have to search my records deeper than I have time for to see what part# wheels I have. 
 
Based on what you guys told me, I'm feeling like the Koford M678 "Fish Rubber Donuts" will do the trick. Of course the track surface changes day by day, hour by hour, I get that. I have to roll the dice. I'll go with the Koford Fish. If it's the wrong choice for the day (Sunday 19 Jan) at BP Flat track, he can slap something else on.
 
Thanks David and Thanks Mike  :)

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Paul Wolcott

#5 bbr

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 09:41 PM

kinda depends who prep the track in the am.

sometimes someone is bold enough to re-glue the track if the conditions don't suit their cars, ugh


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Mike Low
Cry like a baby, drive like a girl, walk like a man.
Give me enough rope and I'll build a fast car... or hang myself?

#6 Pablo

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 10:16 PM

Yep, I know that. Thanks Mike Low.

 

I ain't scared  :D


Paul Wolcott

#7 Dan Ebert

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Posted 10 January 2020 - 11:40 PM

You can get Pro Track in all 3.  Wonder, SBR and Natural.   The Pro Track tire of choice for FCR racing at North East Slot Car Raceway is the SBR rubber.  


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#8 Pablo

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 05:18 PM

If you have large donuts you could try to treat them in acetone for 24 to 48 hours to firm them up and dramatically reduce tire wear. They will shrink a bit after they dry.

 

David, I always thought MEK was the ticket for "treating" donuts. Does Acetone work same way? Thanks


Paul Wolcott

#9 gotboostedvr6

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 05:38 PM

Methyl Ethal Death? (MEK)

Yes it works better (different) but is SUPER DUPER hazardous.

Naphtha works to slightly firm without much shrinkage but takes a long time to dry

Perchloroethylene works the best but is just as bad as MEK.

Xylene might work too. Never tried it tho.

Every thinner works differently. Acetone provides the best finish without much health risk.
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David Parrotta

#10 Pablo

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Posted 11 January 2020 - 07:43 PM

Understood, thanks. That's good news for me because I have Acetone on hand, not MEK. 

 

I may try that soak method in the future. For now, the Koford Fish is on the ProTrack hubs and it feels just like the rubber that came on them originally. The car won 3 races in a row, so I think it will be OK. 

 

Thanks for the info everybody  :good:


Paul Wolcott

#11 stevphens

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 11:00 AM

I once experimented with treating my own rubber for a few years. I tried lacquer thinner, acetone, MEK, naphtha, etc. Plus different mixed combinations of these. Lacquer thinner worked best. I learned how many hours to soak them to get different hardness of rubber. The most important and surprising result: one time I placed a weight on top of the donuts to hold them under the lacquer thinner. I chose an object for weight that I didn't think would dissolve. I was wrong. It dissolved and penetrated the rubber. The result was fantastic. The finished, trued tires had a smooth, velvety texture. Worked better than anything I could buy. Very forgiving, and work best late in each heat as the "special rubber" gets laid down.

 

I attended the first ROC race in Chicago. For this race, I had built my first RETRO stock car chassis. I put my "special formula" tires on it, and asked Hershman to test it in practice. In a half dozen laps, he had turned a time that would have been good enough for 2nd place qualifier for the A Main. But with my driving, I only qualified for the B Main. Roger had just installed his new tri-oval, and there was no monitor for the drivers so I didn't know how close the race was. With a couple of laps to go, another car was running about 3 or 4 feet behind mine, so I blipped to let it go, so it wouldn't distract me. This allowed Howie Ursaner to win by about 6 feet. The good results were not due to the chassis or my driving. It was all due to the "special formula" tires.

 

I considered making them to sell, but realized with my old Cobra tire truer, I would be working for just a few dollars per hour. I thought about offering to sell my formula to a tire manufacturer, but never got around to it. I just use the tires for my own racing program, and they work great wherever I race. I would share my special tire formula with you, but then I would have to kill you. :)

 

Race of Champions race report
The first annual Retro Race of Champions was held July 20-23 at Mid-America Raceway in Downers Grove, IL.

 

The B Main was a “barn burner” with Mike Reniger and Rick Stevens the early leaders. Howie moved into the lead by the halfway point and held on to win the B Main by about six feet over a hard-charging Rick Stevens.

1) Ron Hershman - 425 laps
2) Tom Harrington - 405
3) Rick Sloan - 402
4) Ralph Thorne - 399
5) Chris Radisich - 394
6) Rick Bennardo Jr - 390
7) Howie Ursaner - 379+
8) Rick Stevens - 379-
9) Mike Reniger - 376+
10) Dave Mountz - 376-
11) John Austin - 375
12) Phil Sloan - 373
13) John Miller - 369
14) Rick Bennardo Sr - 362
15) Ray Price - 361
16) Larry Kelley - 359


Rick Stevens

#12 Pablo

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 11:17 AM

Cool. No need to kill me, I can guess what it is  :D Or I could put several possibilities in thinner and see which one dissolves  :crazy:


Paul Wolcott

#13 stevphens

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 11:28 AM

True! Experimentation is fun, and you may find something better. Please keep me posted of your results.

Attached is a photo of that old stock car chassis. Very crude. It was all in the tires...

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  • RETRO stock car.jpg

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Rick Stevens

#14 gotboostedvr6

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 12:07 PM

I'm sure its some type of plastic or resin.  


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#15 Pablo

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Posted 13 January 2020 - 12:51 PM

Why would he use a piece of plastic to weight a donut down? :shok:  :crazy:


Paul Wolcott

#16 stevphens

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 08:55 PM

Pablo, I realize I'm not a member of the "club" here on Slotblog, and you may think I'm blowing smoke about the tire treatment I accidentally discovered. Actually, I have described the process in detail in a letter addressed to Mike Swiss. He has always been a straight shooter with me. When I die, my family will mail the letter to Mike. Maybe Mike can get a patent or copyright on the process? I don't know how these things work. Even if he can obtain legal rights, I'm guessing it would be difficult to police. Someone could do a chemical analysis on the tires, and determine what the substance is that dissolves and absorbs into the rubber. Then experiment with the time the donuts soak in the solution (which is critical), and repeat the process. But before this happened, I hope that Mike's vendor could manufacture one large run of the tires, and Mike could sell them before they were copied. My way of saying, "Thank you, Mike!".

 

The reason I don't share the "secret recipe" at this time is: it's the only advantage I have left racing slot cars. I'm 70 years old, have lost my reflexes, have blurry vision in one eye (I'm basically a one-eyed driver) and have severe arthritis in my hands. My "home made" tires are the only thing that keeps me in the game.

 

Adios...

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  • brass cheater chassis.jpg

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Rick Stevens

#17 Bill from NH

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 10:13 PM

Rick, is the chassis in the above post one of your builds? Whoever built it, did a pretty good job constructing it..


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#18 MSwiss

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Posted 15 January 2020 - 06:50 PM

Pablo, I realize I'm not a member of the "club" here on Slotblog, and you may think I'm blowing smoke about the tire treatment I accidentally discovered. Actually, I have described the process in detail in a letter addressed to Mike Swiss. He has always been a straight shooter with me. When I die, my family will mail the letter to Mike. Maybe Mike can get a patent or copyright on the process? I don't know how these things work. Even if he can obtain legal rights, I'm guessing it would be difficult to police. Someone could do a chemical analysis on the tires, and determine what the substance is that dissolves and absorbs into the rubber. Then experiment with the time the donuts soak in the solution (which is critical), and repeat the process. But before this happened, I hope that Mike's vendor could manufacture one large run of the tires, and Mike could sell them before they were copied. My way of saying, "Thank you, Mike!".
 
The reason I don't share the "secret recipe" at this time is: it's the only advantage I have left racing slot cars. I'm 70 years old, have lost my reflexes, have blurry vision in one eye (I'm basically a one-eyed driver) and have severe arthritis in my hands. My "home made" tires are the only thing that keeps me in the game.
 
Adios...

Rick,
Thanks for the kind words and the super-nice gesture.

It's probably the first time I've been willed a secret tire treatment recipe.
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Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave., Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516






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