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M.L. Toys
KidsWheels
Gruber
HobbyMasters
M.L. Toys
KidsWheels
HobbyMasters M.L. Toys
Gruber
KidsWheels
Swapping wheels? Adding suspension? Adding traction mods? This is the place for anything between the body and the ground!
User avatar
By chart2006
#147317
I want to relay my experience attempting to upgrade the wheels/tires on my sons Raptor since this is often a topic people ask about. For easy and cheap traction many people would suggest putting a heavy layer of flex seal or other rubber coating on the tires. While I did this on my sons Lightning McQueen I didn't feel as though it would work quite as well on his Raptor. This is especially true for on pavement driving where the vehicle vibrates quite a bit. I then explored replacing the wheels all-together but many of the ideas out there I didn't like the look, cost, or added weight of the steel rims so I found a middle ground. What about adding tires around the existing wheels? Well most people who took this route added bicycle tires but this required you to screw them to the wheel and again I didn't care for it. Instead I wanted a tire that would cover the entire wheel. I went ahead and purchase two tires I felt would be wide enough and large enough to cover the wheel to experiment with. Unfortunately it looked terrible and performed terribly. Not only did I have to completely rip out both sidewalls but it was about 3 inches too short to reach around the entire wheel so ended up screwing them in anyway - $40 down the drain.

Crossing my fingers I found a size that I hoped would cover the wheels the way I wanted them to (16x8.00 - 7). I was surprised to see that they work perfectly and I mean perfectly. By keeping the existing wheels I was able to keep the weight down but adding these tires far exceed my expectation on performance and overall look. Here's Amazon link to the tires.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06X9 ... UTF8&psc=1

Here's the tires installed. See for yourself! Sorry Amazon Photos will only let me "share" the photo and not allow for imbedding it.
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/n2s ... H4EI86TfdG
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/77h ... MkYJYXfpth
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/LIP ... WyrTnTzFCa
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/t6Q ... l5hWHiIcgM
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/qP2 ... 7bA1vFzapd
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/bTi ... gMPcxKhsxo

I'll make another post once the entire truck is completed to share all the work done but for now here's a list of what I've done:
1. Replaced the stock motors with a set of 775s
2. Replaced the rear axle with a solid steel bar
3. Replaced the pinion and first gears
4. Installed a 24V 1000w ESC w/ Hall-effect pedal, 50 amp breaker, and ignition w/ keys
5. Added headlights (dim and brights), tail lights, and brake lights
6. New paint job and stickers. I bought it used for $100 so was in rough shape. I need to fix the stickers as they're peeling off but my plan is to glue them, do some tough up, and add a clear topcoat to protect paint
7. Added 5-point harnesses for both seats w/ footman loop tie down bars
8. Put mirrors on the side mirrors
9. And of course upgraded the tires
Last edited by chart2006 on Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.


User avatar
By chart2006
#147322
Update: So my son was able to test drive his Raptor yesterday so we took it up the block to an area that will eventually be built on but is great for some off-road driving. Unfortunately the front tires are rubbing the body when he does small turns and it's no small rub. It rubs so hard that it actually stops the truck. I didn't notice the rubbing when putting the wheels on because it only occurs on uneven ground - when you're turning into a hill. I haven't determined how to fix this yet but my thought is to possibly raise the front end an inch or two or widen the wheel base to clear the body. I like the wheels/tires as is so don't want to mess with them so I'll have to come up with another solution. Not to mention the road noise and vibration while driving pavement have significantly decreased. Anyway if anyone has insight in doing either one I'd love to hear it. Of if they faced a similar situation how did you solve it?

https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/171 ... K6htoZ1DpI
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/GoU ... vTkdJwScy2
User avatar
By Kombicol
#147334
Not quite following from the description and pics.

Can you explain a little more what you have done there?

Are you running tubes, or did you cut the back wallout of the tire and slide over the stock wheel.

I am doing a Pneumatic conversion with 16's on my sons raptor and I planned to radius cut the front fender for clearance.
User avatar
By chart2006
#147360
Kombicol wrote:Not quite following from the description and pics.

Can you explain a little more what you have done there?

Are you running tubes, or did you cut the back wallout of the tire and slide over the stock wheel.

I am doing a Pneumatic conversion with 16's on my sons raptor and I planned to radius cut the front fender for clearance.
No tubes just cut the back wall out of the tires and slid it over the stock wheel. It's a tight fit but with some work the wheel will go into the tire. The nice thing is it's tight enough you won't have to worry about the wheel slipping inside the tire which also means there's no need to screw or glue the tire to the wheel. I removed the wheel cover and drive hub and then pushed the wheel into the tire making sure to lineup the tires bead and where the cover will fit over it. I then reinstalled the drive hub and wheel cover but with larger, and more, screws. I added self-drilling screws around the drive hub edge to make sure the hub is secured to the wheel. The two screws that hold the wheel cover to the wheel I replaced with larger/longer ones because the cover doesn't sit down inside the wheel anymore. The bead of the tire or even the rim of the cover can be slightly modified to allow for the cover to sit further down but I didn't think it was necessary given the additional screws I added to the drive hub.

I didn't want to go with pneumatics because I was worried about the added weight. The tires alone easily added upwards of 40 or 50 pounds but they're not exactly small tires either. Even with the 10-turn 775 motors I feel as though the added weight and traction puts a decent amount of drag on the motors. So much so that the motors sometimes struggle with any real level of off-roading. There's the potential that it could also be attributed to the controller I'm using. It's a 1000 watt controller and I feel like that should be more than enough but who knows?! While I haven't decided yet, moving forward I may take a note from another poster who added two motors per gearbox or possibly converting the truck to 4x4 instead of 2x4. Now don't get me wrong the truck performs perfectly fine going through mud, over hills, in dirt/sand, and is quite a bit faster than stock motors but the problem is when doing small levels of rock crawling - it's not going to make it. As an example it'll never be able to drive up a standard roadside curb but that's probably more of a problem with a lack of 4 wheel drive than anything else.

The truck got stuck on the chunk of dirt in front of the driver side front wheel:
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/6Fb ... TRI4LawJgX

After removing the chunk of dirt and a little bit of help we made it to the top:
https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/4ZL ... pWlyXyyNH6

Since I'm posting I'll add an update on dealing with the rubbing. I ended up raising the front by 1 1/2" using some 1x's I had laying around. I have a few photos I'll post here but I didn't take enough to really see what I did so I'll try my best to explain. There are a total of 5 screws (two at the skid plate, 2 through the battery compartment, and 1 inside the cab under the center console which means you'll need to remove the windshield) holding the front axle assembly on. After removing the axle you'll notice there's a groove just over an inch in width that runs along the length of the axle. This groove helps with stability so I notched a piece of wood 18" long so it'll sit inside that groove. I then attached a 1x6x18" to the notched wood with glue and screws. I made sure to position the 1x6 to where it covered the screw holes that attach at the battery compartment.

https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/x38 ... fbKliaMKio

https://www.amazon.com/photos/share/aV2 ... TFxiKLgpDJ

After getting the axle mounted I had to deal with the steering column and steering radius. When raising it the steering column would no longer attach to the steering wheel with the existing holes. Fortunately there was just enough room to drill a new hole where the pin can be put back in at the steering wheel. For some reason this significantly reduced the steering radius which was pretty bad already. I ended up removing the steering wheel from the dash and inside the steering wheel hole on the dash I cut out a quarter inch from the lip on both sides. By doing this the steering wheel will no longer snap back into the dash however, once I reattached the steering column it provided the necessary support needed to keep the steering wheel attached. I know pictures are better than words but this is the best I can do. When pulling everything apart you'll understand what I'm trying to describe.
User avatar
By Kombicol
#147417
Thanks for sharing.

I had the 'Beam' out of my boys truck on the weekend, and was thinking a beam drop would be pretty doable. I thought if I spaced it forward slightly it would give some better clearance where the wheels rub.
Surprised that it reduced the turning circle. 1.5" is a big lift. Did it make it sit high at the front now?
User avatar
By Hammer-fm
#147422
Based on the description of what he did after, I think he meant that it "increased" the turning circle radius (or reduced its ability to turn). Chart, can you confirm?

I agree that it does seem odd -- I'm not sure how that geometry change would have an effect on the turning circle, but I'm no suspension engineer :lol:.
User avatar
By chart2006
#147608
Sorry for the late response and confusion. So after the modifications the turning "angle" was significantly reduced (turning circle was increased) - it didn't make sense to me either. I was only getting about 10 degrees in each direction at the tires. To increase the turning angle I increased the steering ratio. When the steering wheel is removed there is a notch in the hole of the dash that's, give or take, 45 degrees from 0 in both directions. I increased the notch size to 90 degrees from 0 in both directions. By doing this the steering wheel no longer "snaps" into the hole, however, the modified steering column provides enough stability to prevent the steering wheel from popping back out. If I get time I may try and increase the length of the steering column as well. If the steering angle was reduced when it was lifted maybe by increasing the length to where the column sits in the pitman arm where it's suppose to might give me a tighter turning circle radius. Anyway as of right now it's working fine other than a bit tough for my 3 yo to turn the wheel (mostly when not moving) so I probably won't mess with it too much.

Adding the "lift" to the front did bring the front end up slightly but nothing noticeable. The hardest part was making something to fit in the area where the steering module screws into the center console area. The lift created a sizable gap and misalignment of the two holes. Also there's a stabilizing "fin" on the underbody about an inch from the screw hole so I cut a small piece of 2x4 and notched it so it would settle on the fin and over the screw hole. I then placed a 3" deck screw with washer in the screw hole in the console. The module and console holes didn't align anymore but with a lot of effort I was able to get the deck screw to hit the original screw hole on the module but to be safe I took a shorter screw from under the steering module and into the 2x4. I did this because the steering modules stability arm originally sat inside a cubby area of the underbody and up against the fin where they provides lateral and longitudinal stability. Since the arm of the module no longer sat there it no longer had the same stability hence the extra screw through the arm and into the 2x4. Someone who has a lot more time than myself probably could have came up with a more elegant setup but I was ready to just be done with it.

*It's times like these when metal work skills and equipment would come in handy but wood has worked pretty good so far. :lol:

I'm very much leaning towards converting the Raptor to AWD. I've started thinking about how to modify the front axles to accommodate a set of gearboxes and 3/4" hubs. I can already tell this mod will most likely cost the better half of $400. To do the mod I'll have to add gearboxes with steel 1st gears, 775 motors, new hubs, a new ESC, new relays and wiring, and of course the axle modification itself. Should be interesting. :D

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