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Dec 30, 2018, 01:21 PM
Did I make the A Main?
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Winter Racing with Tire Warmers

Tire warmers have been around for a long time, but they are mostly designed for on-road racing classes. I have found that when temps drop below 70F, it's best to break out the warmers if you want to get an advantage in racing. I no longer race on-road anymore, but the off-road club in my area installed a turf track just over a year ago. As cooler weather has settled in this season, I've noticed some of the faster drivers have been showing up to the track with tire warmers. What I've found is that with a set of warm tires that my lap times are right on par with warm summer days!

There are many different brands to choose from, but I will show you how I've modified a set of GT Power Tire Warmers to be used with 1/10 Buggy wheels. For smaller diameter tires like Schumacher Cactus and ProLine Pyramids, there is no modification necessary, but most traditional tires will need the velcro belt extended about 3.5". I simply cut a couple 3.5" strips of "One-Wrap" straps, if you want to get fancy, you can get a 1" wide roll of this material here. I am using the (1/2" doubled up) red strapping to make it easier to see in the photos.

One particular thing about these warmers that I don't like, is that the temperature sensor is "free floating" and there have been times where the sensor fell out of place which will not shut off the warmers when they get to the desired temp setting. *** There are newer versions of this warmer where the senor is already mounted inside one of the warmers. It seems that around 60C-65C is the optimal setting for Z3 ProLine tires, I would not go above 80C or you may risk damaging the foil liner and possibly un-glue your tires! Anyway, I used a hobby knife to cut a slit on one of the straps to feed the temp sensor under the flap and then cut another slit in between the heating element wires, and then used HVAC aluminum tape to secure the temp sensor in place. You can also use the same aluminum tape to make spot repairs should you damage the materiel on the straps.

The power input for the warmer comes with alligator clips which I find a bit annoying, I decided to solder up some deans style connectors so that I can power these up with either my 12V power supply or a spare 2S LiPo at the track side. Note that there is no voltage cutoff, so I highly recommend that you put a fresh charge on your LiPo between each use... I use a 4.2Ah pack for about 20-30 min between charge cycles. I'll start warming my tires up about 10-15 min before a race, typically power from the supply, then the race before, I'll swap the power over to a LiPo pack and carry my car with the warmers installed from the pit to track side, then wait to turn off/remove the warmer just when the previous race is finished... the tires tend to stay warm for about 8 min, so you might want to limit the amount of practice time you take for longer mains.

If money is no object and you prefer to have a built in car stand with a more sophisticated tire warming station that can use 1/10 buggy up to 1/8 Buggy wheels (including ST and SC wheels) then consider the Xceed TH2 "Tyre Heater" (also available through RC Market ) (also available from RacersRC ) which includes a separate thermostat for each individual wheel, as well as advanced programming with delay timer start settings, different temp controls between front/rear, and switchable to read in F. You can also connect a USB to charge your smart phone. The best part is that you can install an optional battery in the unit so it can be powered without the hassle of hooking up an external source! It charges 2S LiPo packs at 1A, however there is no balance port.

I chose to remove the Tamiya molex connector and solder up some bullet connectors, then I cut a sacrificial open cell foam insert to shim the battery in the tray to prevent the wires from shorting on the aluminum case, I also used a foam battery spacer on top to prevent the pack from moving around the tray:

I have found replacement belts Part #107013 here and also through the OEM here.

*** So I'm not really sure what they had in mind for the battery because I couldn't get it to operate the warmer using the default wiring, what I found was that it was necessary to get power from the external source and so I drilled a hole on the side of the unit to route my battery leads and charge the battery while on the pit table, power the warmer from my 12V supply, then swap over to the battery when carrying the warmer over to the track from the pits:

Check out more stuff on My Bookmarks page!
Last edited by bill_delong; Sep 16, 2019 at 09:06 AM.
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Jan 03, 2019, 04:01 PM
Did I make the A Main?
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After scouring the net for days an exploring different options, I have decided to make my own set of custom belts to fit 1/8 Truggy wheels which aren't commercially available that I can find. I decided to use "50 connector" width ribbon cable as my heating element. I cut 4 equal pieces at 18" long which will give me a couple inches of overlap on a standard mounted 1/8 Truggy wheel. I then splice soldered all 50 individual wires into a looping pattern so they snake back and forth to complete a full loop back to the original side. That means 100 total splice/solder connections per wheel and 400 total splice solder connections for this project, holy smokes!

I was careful to apply shrink tubing on each splice to make sure the entire circuit acts as 1 single wire going back and forth:

I have recycled a warming station that was originally designed to be used for 1/10 touring cars (just collecting dust in my collection) and I carefully removed the red aluminum cups and swapped out my new custom belt using the ribbon cable, here's a photo of my first test run, the custom belt takes a couple minutes longer to get up to operating temps, but that makes sense because there is significantly more wiring and no insulated aluminum cup anymore to trap the heat:

Final product after lining the inside with aluminum foil tape and the outside with gorilla duct tape and self stick velcro at the overlap:

Last edited by bill_delong; Jan 06, 2019 at 05:19 PM.
Feb 03, 2019, 09:32 PM
Did I make the A Main?
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So last week I accidentally shorted out my Xceed tire warmer... I had first unplugged the positive lead from the back of the unit and then when I let to go to then unplug the negative lead but the damage was already done... the positive lead had touched the green case which was grounded to the internals and fried the circuit board... doh!

After taking it apart and carefully inspecting the board, I was able to see where the filament was burned out:

I simply tinned some spare 20AWG wire and used it as a bridge to make the repair, I know it looks like the solder had spilled over to the other circuit but it's not touching, phew!

I decided to disconnect the bullet connectors off the back panel and re-routed the wiring through the vent hole on the right side of the unit, I tied knots in each wire to prevent any stress on the circuit board should the wiring get hung up on anything:

Then I soldered on some deans connectors for an easy connect to the internal battery or external supply, no more worry of being careful which wire to unplug first!

Feb 27, 2019, 11:03 AM
Did I make the A Main?
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Product Announcement from Muchmore:

Coming from Muchmore is a long belt type tyre warmer for 1/10th off-road and 1/8th GT tyres. The proven CTX-W tyre warmer unit offers 4-button navigation, an easy-to-read LC display and it is usable with with 12V DC power or an optional 11.1V LiPo battery pack that makes for a stand-alone unit that allows to carry the heater around even when heating the tyres. The included warming belts measure 440x60mm, large enough for 1/10th off-road and 1/8th GT tyres.

Notice that the 3S battery is fully enclosed now and offers an external balance port which is improved upon the original design from Xceed, also there is an on-off switch on the front making it easier to manage power rather than unplugging bullet connectors from the rear of the unit which has been a pain point for me!
Last edited by bill_delong; Feb 27, 2019 at 11:11 AM.

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