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Thread: Suggestions for Maximizing Life of Alaska Bushwheels?

  1. #1
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Suggestions for Maximizing Life of Alaska Bushwheels?

    I am hoping to try out the new 31" ABW this afternoon and have had a few suggestions as to how to maximize the life of these tires.

    Facts for Me:
    1. I am on an all-asphalt airport (KANE)
    2. I am not sure that the Metropolitan Airport Commission will smile upon me landing short, or on the grass beside the runway

    Suggestions thus far...

    Tire pressure:
    1. Run at 12 lbs if on asphalt
    2. Run at 10 lbs if on grass

    Taxiing:
    1. If you have to taxi on asphalt, try to minimize taxiing distance by accepting intersection departures
    2. Make WIDE turns, avoid acute turns

    Landing:
    1. If possible, touch down short of the threshold in order to "spool up" the tires before setting down on the asphalt

    Any other suggestions/opinions?

    Many thanks to you.

    Randy

  2. #2
    DW's Avatar
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    Ask the airport manager he may say its Ok at your own risk also ask if you can at least taxi on the grass. Taxiing is by far the hardest on the tire its the scuffing as you turn so yes on wide turns will help. when I had my 31s I never had more then 6lbs in them I no a lot of guys run them with 10 to 12 lbs but I personally don't care for them that tight. I've never seen the need to spool the tires up just have a slight tail down on touch down and expect a little drag when the tires first touch down.

    DW
    Last edited by DW; 07-11-2012 at 01:35 PM.

  3. #3
    Mauleguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    I am hoping to try out the new 31" ABW this afternoon and have had a few suggestions as to how to maximize the life of these tires.

    Facts for Me:
    1. I am on an all-asphalt airport (KANE)
    2. I am not sure that the Metropolitan Airport Commission will smile upon me landing short, or on the grass beside the runway

    Suggestions thus far...

    Tire pressure:
    1. Run at 12 lbs if on asphalt
    2. Run at 10 lbs if on grass

    Taxiing:
    1. If you have to taxi on asphalt, try to minimize taxiing distance by accepting intersection departures
    2. Make WIDE turns, avoid acute turns

    Landing:
    1. If possible, touch down short of the threshold in order to "spool up" the tires before setting down on the asphalt

    Any other suggestions/opinions?

    Many thanks to you.

    Randy
    I have heard, not sure if it is true but it makes some sense in my mind that you will wear the tire out faster running them hard like that. You will wear out the top of the tire verses running a lower pressure and having more tire making contact with the ground.

    What is the point of having Bushwheels running that much pressure anyway, they don't really start working for off airport until around 5 psi.

    Greg

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    Minimize and slow down your ground ops. That means taxi less and taxi slower, take off shorter and slower, and land shorter and slower. Land near your runway exits. Minimize turning with brakes. Diameter of the turn is less important that resistance to the turn. I usually run my 31s at 4-5psi. My mechanic pumped them up to 8# per the STC because it made it easier for him to push the plane around. I don't care for how hard they are at 8#. It defeats the purpose.

    My tires will die from UV damage long before tread depletion. Maybe you should move to where there isn't any pavement.

    If you can't afford to wear them out you should leave them in the hangar. (Wearing them out is the point, isn't it?)

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    SteveE's Avatar
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    Dont fly .....

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    N5126H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    I am hoping to try out the new 31" ABW this afternoon and have had a few suggestions as to how to maximize the life of these tires.

    Facts for Me:
    1. I am on an all-asphalt airport (KANE)
    2. I am not sure that the Metropolitan Airport Commission will smile upon me landing short, or on the grass beside the runway

    Suggestions thus far...

    Tire pressure:
    1. Run at 12 lbs if on asphalt
    2. Run at 10 lbs if on grass

    Taxiing:
    1. If you have to taxi on asphalt, try to minimize taxiing distance by accepting intersection departures
    2. Make WIDE turns, avoid acute turns

    Landing:
    1. If possible, touch down short of the threshold in order to "spool up" the tires before setting down on the asphalt
    dges where
    Any other suggestions/opinions?

    Many thanks to you.

    Randy

    Old racing trick: Take white liquid shoe polish to the side walls and along the edges where you think it is wearing and see where it scuffs off while you do the things you do. The shoe polish will wash off when you are done.

    I have had a few sets wear on me and have found that the tire has a heavy side where it always touches first. Therefore if you rotate the tires left to right and turn them on the rim as well so they are rotating in the same direction all the time (there are radial right) you will move the wear spot around on the tire.

    After I wore my first set, I now sell them after a couple years for 80% of new price and get a new set. A set of tires with tread showing is worth nothing, a used set with no tread showing is worth 80% of new. Do the math.

    Bill

  7. #7
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    It is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.
    Steve Pierce

    "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
    Henry Ford

  8. #8
    N5126H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    It is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.
    AND your point is?

  9. #9
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    2. I am not sure that the Metropolitan Airport Commission will smile upon me landing short, or on the grass beside the runway
    I was just being a smart alack to Randy the good doctor.
    Steve Pierce

    "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
    Henry Ford

  10. #10
    articfox's Avatar
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    Before you put them on make sure the toe-in/out are correct. That tears them up pretty fast. Any pavement will kill em quick. Enjoy them, put money in the bushwheel jar. There are guys that go through a set a year.
    The best mod for any aircraft is more gas.

  11. #11
    Bugs66's Avatar
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    Did you get the extra thick rubber option?

  12. #12
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Bugs66, I didn't know there is an extra thick option.

    Steve Pierce, I catch your drift... turns out one of the tower controllers (it is a private tower) flies a C170 and it has allegedly been seen landing in the grass

    Steve Pierce, I had that phrase as my motto until my kids grew up to be teenagers...now I am not sure that is such a good phrase

    Steve Eaton, you are sooooo enlightening.

    Randy

  13. #13
    DW's Avatar
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    His point is just land in the grass. TOWER! Time to move Randy.

  14. #14
    Tim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DW View Post
    His point is just land in the grass. TOWER! Time to move Randy.
    DW's right, are you crazy keeping your Cub at a towered airport, what's the matter with you

  15. #15
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    I am exploring the option of moving, but your suggestions are helpful (except yours Steve Eaton, you rascal). I have found a home for the super cub at a grass strip nearby

    Randy

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    Randy : Move it to BJI - 4200 FT. x 100 E-W No tower !!! No one squealling to the Feds as sometimes happens where you are now .

  17. #17
    aktango58's Avatar
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    fly all you want, just don't land!


    Seriously, find places to get fuel and such that don't require dreaded blacktop. Concrete is worse.

    keep them out of the sun...


    stay out of shale and broken rock

    don't loan them to Mr. Big Eaton, he will put them on his tractor!

    It has been said that you can paint conveyor belt dressing on them and extend their life.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  18. #18
    Tadpole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindOnHisNose View Post
    I have found a home for the super cub at a grass strip nearby
    Sounds like the best option there Randy!

  19. #19
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Another idea: land inverted
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  20. #20
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Another idea: land inverted
    put a set of 8.50 on some gear upside down...
    Tom Ford

  21. #21
    Bouncer's Avatar
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    I disagree that taxiing is worse for the tires than the initial spool up upon landing on asphalt. I have three nice little circles about the size of a half dollar with thread showing, just outside of the centerline of the tire. All three of these little hickies came from landing on asphalt. On the occasion I go to the local towered airport (restaurant on the field) I request landing on the grass "at my own risk". Seems to satisfy the Saturday morning controller who is a total prick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Another idea: land inverted
    So says "skirt dude"
    What are we building a box or a watch?

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    I thought landing inverted was a great idea. It's not.

  24. #24

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    There was a decussion about wear on Bushwheels a few posts ago. Some Cub owners had a Auto Parts store fix ,that was real tuff when applied.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveE View Post
    Dont fly .....
    Don't land....

  26. #26
    Bill Ingerson's Avatar
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    Im going on three years with the 31s no cords showing yet, course I ordered the extra thick ones like Bugg's mentioned Randy.

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    Wrap em with duct tape.

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    8GCBC's Avatar
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    Make sure to have $4K every 5-11 years. You will be fine.
    -- 8GCBC: 2100A, 31136.R, 8.566, C3000A
    A&P, ATP, SES, CFII, MEI

    Fly with me here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXI48e1heuo

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    SJ's Avatar
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    Randy,

    While I think all of the advice and comments above are fantastic and in some cases provided useful information, I would suggest you NOT even think about what the tires cost or how long they are going to last. If you wear out a set of tires whether on asphalt, concrete, gravel, or sand, it will be an indicator of how much fun you have been having - on any surface. You have plenty of time from when the first cords show to take a couple extra night shifts and pay for a new set of tires.

    Just have fun. Don't worry, fly happy!

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

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    Just put them back on the shelf! They are useless anyways...

    I have heard of people putting rhino liner coating on the tire so you can wear out the rhino liner instead of the rubber itself. It would not make a difference in grip since there is no real tread to begin with!

    I do not know what pressure works best on hard surfaces but anything above 4psi is useless off airport because the tires will not absorb the bumps, they will just send you flying!

    But SJ is right, the wear is a measure of how much fun you are having!

    Bobby

  31. #31
    DW's Avatar
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    Good call SJ

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    Authentic question. Why don't more guys who are operating from pavement use the AK Tundra Tire or Bushwheels equivalent? Equal flotation. Probably better flotation than Bushwheels that are inflated to 8*. Probably equal shock absorption with the firmer bushwheel inflation, too. I'm curious about it every time I hear discussion about tire wear.

  33. #33

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    Authentic answer. They don't look as cool.
    I run my 29X11X10s almost all of the time because as someone recently told me
    "Buddy, your days of looking cool are long gone".
    Last edited by Carey Gray; 07-13-2012 at 10:13 AM.

  34. #34

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    EVERY landing as slow as possible and as others have said, land by your parking spot or as close as you can get.

    If you can first afford them, you can afford to wear them out!

  35. #35
    Patrol Guy's Avatar
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    Randy - My first set lasted 2.5 years and 2000 hours. I estimated that 10% of my landings were on pavement. Somehow I came up with a cost of $26 for every paved landing. The second set is doing much better, but they don't know what pavement is.

    Just charge those women who pay you an extra "landing fee."
    Last edited by Patrol Guy; 07-14-2012 at 05:13 AM.
    Those who pound their guns into plows, will plow for those who do not.

  36. #36
    RobW56's Avatar
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    One thing I did to help my bush wheels last longer is I moved hangars. I moved to a hangar where I could push straight out across to the grass before I start, I then taxi on the grass then across one taxi way to the grass on the side of the runway for takeoff. Landing is reverse. This won't help everyone but if you can move hangars or parking spots to a more ideal location it may help you out. From my old hangar I had to taxi on asphalt a lot more and make more turns on asphalt. Now my taxiing time on asphalt is pretty much eliminated at my home airport unless I need to get fuel.

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carey Gray View Post
    Authentic answer. They don't look as cool.
    I run my 29X11X10s almost all of the time because as someone recently told me
    "Buddy, your days of looking cool are long gone".
    The time for me to replace my 29s on the 180 has come. I need to decide whether to go with more 29s or switch to Air Hawk shaved 29x11x10s. Adapters v 10" wheels adds another twist to the decision. Looking cool has zero influence.

    How's the Cub project?

  38. #38

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    Stewart,
    Trying to look cool rarely works anyway, just speaking for myself.
    I like the shaved Air Hawks. Chances are, I won't live long enough to wear them out and they work just fine. The Bushwheel 10" wheels sure look like a better set up, but I don't personally know anyone who's had any problems with the Gar Aero adapters.

    I haven't touched the Cub and should probably just sell it.

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    Thanks for the comments. They make sense.

    FWIW, the cost for me to replace my 29" Bushwheels with more 29s versus switching to 29x11x10 shaved Air Hawks on ABW 10" wheels is almost identical. To go with adapters would save about $450 but would consume a pair of Cleveland wheels.
    Last edited by sierra bravo; 07-16-2012 at 02:30 PM.

  40. #40
    aktango58's Avatar
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    I ran 26" then Gar-aero tires on the 180. I would buy the ones other guys replaced as worn... and keep flying them.

    The bushwheels tires are softer for rough terrain. SB, you talk about your cabin and flying there, I think out of Birchwood? That means you have one paved strip to another well maintained landing area. Do you go out and see where you can land? (Been there done that I bet).

    If you are looking for a floatation tire, for soft beaches on clam days, or up to the cabin in mud, the wide tires are fine. If you are landing on tundra with big holes, hidden rocks and roots, and bouncing around the softer tire is nice.

    You preach "misson appropriate". Wide tires will save you cash as you will never wear them out. And for most flying, when thinking paved strips lots, on heavy aircraft.... bushwheels don't always fit.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

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