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Sponge tires

7888 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  dgersh
From time to time I read people refer to sponge tires and have often wondered what they were all about.I have never laid eyes on any! Could anyone enlighten me?
Pro`s and Con`s?
How good are they compared to rubber or urethanes?
Where can you get them from?
do they fit all cars?
any link to websites that have info on them?
etc etc

cheers, Dave
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I raced at commercial 1/24th raceways for years and sponge tires are used exclusivly on those. The tires come glued and trued on metal rims. Without using some sort of tire conditioner spongies are nearly useless, which is one reason that they are seldom seen on home tracks. A few years ago we were hosting a proxy race and one of the cars had sponge tires. As I had expected the car had very poor grip. Just for kicks I treated the tires with suntan lotion, which was a great improvement. The suntan lotion did not last as long as traction compound would have, but it does not make a mess out of the track like traction compound does when it is used in excess.
Actually the blowing agent is a hydrazine derivative and it releases nitrogen. If the cells were filled with oxygen the tires would probably be hard as a rock before they were sold. WD-40 works because it contains oil, 11% if I recall correctly. Suntan lotion also contains oil. Traction compound does not gunk up the rails as much as the rubber dust that gets stuck in it. Lighter fluid (naphtha) is good for removing the mixture of rubber dust and traction compound, but you only should wipe down the rails.
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