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Thread: Bedliner on ABW Airstreaks

  1. #1

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    Bedliner on ABW Airstreaks

    I mentioned on another thread a few days ago I was getting concerned about the number of cuts in my 29" Airstreaks, and had heard vague rumors about others using brush on bed liner as a stopgap measure to maybe slow down the damage.

    Bob Breeden makes a good arguement for running less pressure to allow the tire to hit the rocks softer, I had been running 6 lbs. but after trying as low as 3 lbs I have now settled on 4 for my local ridgetop landings. At 3 I could barely push the 740 lb plane out of the hangar, the increase in rolling resistance was nice on landing, but a lot of work otherwise. So, no more 6, but not as low as 3, keep in mind these numbers may not extrapolate directly to you Cub guys using the standard Bushwheels, the Airstreaks on my lightweight bird are built for lighter planes and may have thinner more flexible sidewalls?

    So after thinking about it for several days, and really not wanting to somehow ruin my tires by a half ass experiment, I decided to try it anyway NAPA had several brands of bedliner, the stuff that caught my eye is a Dupont product, and it prominently states on the label MADE WITH DUPONT KEVLAR, MADE KEVLAR STRONG. It was also the most expensive, 40 bucks a qt. I washed the tires with soap and water, then after drying wiped them good with Xylene, they have never been so clean! The goop needed vigourous stirring as it had clumped up in the can, I also stirred it every few minutes during application. I put the first and subsequent coats on with a brush. I waited a couple hours between coats. I think I ended up putting on 4 coats in all, and I think that several light coats is better then fewer heavy coats. It looked good, just added a slight amount of texture to the tire but not enough to grab hold of mud. You can see where I stopped alongside the sidewall, appearance wasn't a concern.... In between tire coats I decided to do my rocker panels on my pickup, right behind the front wheels. I kept putting coats on the tires and the pickup until the qt. was gone, and decided that was "just right". I waited three days before flying it, and kept it on the jacks while it cured.


    The good news is it didn't fall off the tire as soon as I rolled it out of the hangar! I also can't see it somehow flying off all at once and going in the prop, too grippy for that. After rolling it out on my concrete ramp I made the usual taxi up my gravel driveway, turned around and tookoff the grass strip. I landed in a couple cut mountain hayfields on the way to the first real test, a 7200' ridgetop where I know from past experience has pretty much worst case type embedded shale rocks, though I do have a place picked out that avoids the worst of them, the narrowness of the ridge means the turnaround has to be pretty tight and that is how I have cut them before.

    Upon landing back at home, I saw one spot where the bed liner was bit scuffed from a rock that I had turned on after landing so I could get sideways to the slope before putting the parking brake on and getting out, otherwise the stuff seems to be a sucess. Time will tell, but here's the good thing: though I can't read the label anymore (covered up) I remember it made a big deal that AT ANY TIME AFTER INITIAL APPLICATION TOUCHUPS CAN BE DONE, or words to that effect..... So, I think that every now and then I will do just that, the stuff sticks to itself real well so no need to Xylene again, just soap and water clean should do it.

    All in all I'm happy with it, at least I have have the feeling I've done all I can, using the bedliner and running lower pressure. Not flying into these sites at all is not an option, they are way too much fun!

  2. #2

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    How much weight do you think it added?

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    Great report Tom. While I have very few 'real rough' surface landings, I may try a can when ever I start to see cuts. My landings are generally on grass strips and I can still see the seam down the middle of my tires.

  4. #4

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    Weight? Whatever 1/2 to 2/3 of a qt weighs i guess.

  5. #5
    Bill Ingerson's Avatar
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    A guy told me that the edges of the bedliner will sometimes start coming loose, he just glues it back down with Gorilla Glue. Sounds like you will get more life out of your tires.

  6. #6

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    So.... two months after applying the bedliner on my 29" Airstreak Bushwheels, I thought I'd report on how it is holding up: in 101.5 hrs flying time, I landed on pavement twice, tookoff on pavement 6 to 10 times (I land between the taxi way and the runway when going into a strange airport, uncontrolled of course, I stay away from the controlled ones all together) with much thought going into how I can taxi the min. when on pavement. Mid field departures etc. The rest on gravel dirt, rock and shale. No new cuts in the tires, and I believe my effort to reduce tire pressure to the absolute min. when landing higher up on known rocky areas has helped there. I run 4 lbs normally at my 5400' elevation, I reduce that to 2.5 or 3 if I plan on going up to some of my higher sites at 8K and above. Makes sense, as to allow for the lesser pressure up higher, thanks to Bob Breeden for pointing that out to me. One thing there, the NoTubes sealant I put in the tires at the same time, really slows down the rate you can reduce the pressure, it works almost too good!

    The bedliner is almost all worn away, so I guess I can state that there is no downside to using it, other then the 20 buck or so cost. I paid around 40 for the qt. and used about half for the tires and the other half on my pickup rocker panels. I will do it again, before I put the wheel skis on, (do the tires again, the rocker panels on the pickup are fine) and use a different brand this time (thinking about Herculiner?) but 20 bucks every 100 hrs or so ain't bad. Probably all about the same is my guess, but it can't hurt to play the field of whats out there. I also started to use a piece of plywood outside the hangar to let the one tire that gets scrubbed every time when I exit the hangar and then make a 90 degree turn before startup. So now that tire is scrubbing on plywood (with a little gravel under it to act like ball bearings) instead of concrete, that can't hurt either.

  7. #7
    nanook's Avatar
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    Interesting topic....a few points...Herculiner has chunks of rubber (or something?) in it. You would have to strain them out and probably thin the goop a bit to strain it...
    When you figure the weight, the final product weight is minus the base solvent (xylene?) which evaporates during the curing process. You could take a pound (or a lesser amount, 10% would be a nice round number) of the uncured and see what the wt reduction is after curing. You still need to figure out how much of the can is actually on the tire.
    Was the Dupont product their urethane? I have seen that applied to 31" ABW with good results as a sacrificial surface. You need to keep applying it regularly if you are on asphalt or concrete though.

  8. #8

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    Don't know if it had urathane or not.

    Chunks of rubber or whatever will just be more stuff to wear away before the tires. I'll apply it as it comes right out of the can.

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    When the bedliner wore off, did you notice how it wore. Did the bedliner peel off in patches or did it just wear as if it were tire? Did the bedliner crack etc from the deformation of tire when landing?

  10. #10

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    It wore just like a tire, adhesion was never a problem, no cracking either. Pretty amazing stuff.

    BTW, it was pointed out to me that of course this playing around with bedliner on the tires is only for us experimental guys, just saying.

  11. #11
    Marty57's Avatar
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    I have to tell you my results using Herculiner. No, my 2+2 is not flying yet. I started a walking kick about 5 years ago and average about 1000 miles a year. Great for the body but down side is I wear right through even the best shoe brands heals in a matter of months. So I found a great pair of walking sandals this past June. By early September after about 400 miles it was worn through the black rubber heals down to the lighter colored base material. So after reading here about bedliner and Bushwheels I figured why not give it a try. The success has been unbelievable. I brushed on a couple thin coats on the rubber soles and it stuck like it was the original heal. So I walked ....... and walked ...... After about 100 miles or so they were worn nice and smooth but you could not peal that stuff off at all. So after I wore down the first application (maybe 150 miles) I just applied another layer, this time applying it in three thin coats about two hours apart and it went on great. Now, it's time for more walking. As well as this stuff holds up on my walking sandals I would not hesitate to use it on Tires; it is strong stuff! Now my wife wants me to fix her shoes! That one quart of Herculiner is going to save me some $$$, great stuff. Ok, back to airplane talk now.

    Marty57
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  12. #12

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    Bedliner on ABW airstreaks

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty57 View Post
    I have to tell you my results using Herculiner. No, my 2+2 is not flying yet. I started a walking kick about 5 years ago and average about 1000 miles a year. Great for the body but down side is I wear right through even the best shoe brands heals in a matter of months. So I found a great pair of walking sandals this past June. By early September after about 400 miles it was worn through the black rubber heals down to the lighter colored base material. So after reading here about bedliner and Bushwheels I figured why not give it a try. The success has been unbelievable. I brushed on a couple thin coats on the rubber soles and it stuck like it was the original heal. So I walked ....... and walked ...... After about 100 miles or so they were worn nice and smooth but you could not peal that stuff off at all. So after I wore down the first application (maybe 150 miles) I just applied another layer, this time applying it in three thin coats about two hours apart and it went on great. Now, it's time for more walking. As well as this stuff holds up on my walking sandals I would not hesitate to use it on Tires; it is strong stuff! Now my wife wants me to fix her shoes! That one quart of Herculiner is going to save me some $$$, great stuff. Ok, back to airplane talk now.

    Marty57
    What I want to know is how do you keep a partially used can from solidifying? I've been using Herculiner to repair cattle waterers for a couple of years and haven't found a method of preserving the leftovers. I've even poured it into a double seal storage bag and put that into a screw cap jar and it gets solid within days.

    Oh, and don't get that crap on your hands either!

  13. #13
    shouldhunt's Avatar
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    My question could you just apply the stuff to rock cuts without doing the entire tire and do you think it would peel off if only done on small spots. I have a nice set of 30inch airstreaks for the cub Im building for my daughter that looks great with just a few cuts, and would keep the sidewalls looking better. The way I see it is this stuff is just my form of UV protection.

  14. #14
    Marty57's Avatar
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    To keep Herculiner from solidifying in the can try this. Get some clean pea gravel that has been washed for use in a fish tank. As you remove material from the can replace that volume with the gravel. The trick is to have as little air in the can as possible. I learned that trick with expensive wood finishes. Marbles work good also. My can of Herculiner is fine but I have only had it about two months. As far as spot application goes for cuts in a tire that is exactly how I use it on my shoes and the edges can not be pealed from the original material. The wear pattern has been even and feathers in to the original as the two wear together. Not sure about other brands but the Herculiner bonds better than any glue or adhesive I have ever used on a rubber material. I use sandpaper after a day or so to shape any areas that I apply too thick; still no pealing of the edges at all.
    Marty57
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shouldhunt View Post
    My question could you just apply the stuff to rock cuts without doing the entire tire and do you think it would peel off if only done on small spots. I have a nice set of 30inch airstreaks for the cub Im building for my daughter that looks great with just a few cuts, and would keep the sidewalls looking better. The way I see it is this stuff is just my form of UV protection.
    For small cuts and slashes, go to local hobby shop and get some IC-2000 rubberized super glue.
    http://www.bsi-inc.com/Pages/hobby/ca.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty57 View Post
    To keep Herculiner from solidifying in the can try this. Get some clean pea gravel that has been washed for use in a fish tank. As you remove material from the can replace that volume with the gravel. The trick is to have as little air in the can as possible. I learned that trick with expensive wood finishes. Marbles work good also. My can of Herculiner is fine but I have only had it about two months. As far as spot application goes for cuts in a tire that is exactly how I use it on my shoes and the edges can not be pealed from the original material. The wear pattern has been even and feathers in to the original as the two wear together. Not sure about other brands but the Herculiner bonds better than any glue or adhesive I have ever used on a rubber material. I use sandpaper after a day or so to shape any areas that I apply too thick; still no pealing of the edges at all.
    Marty57
    So what you're doing is eliminating as much air space in the can as possible? I tried that with the Zip-lock bags.

  17. #17
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Yup, eliminate the air and it should not dry up. That should work with most any solvent based material. The can I have has only been opened for a couple of months and has not changed at all. I would call the company and see if they have any suggestions. What brand are you using? Maybe it is from an older manufacturing lot and had been sitting on a shelf for a while?
    Marty57
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  18. #18
    Tim's Avatar
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    Marty it would seem that you would lose a lot of material ibetween the small stones

  19. #19
    Marty57's Avatar
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    Tim,
    About anything in the can to take up air works. I used to do this with wood finishes that were used for hand application. The instructions on the can actually said to do this remove the air. Bigger rocks would work, glass marbles would also do the trick. You would have some material stick to the stones I guess but that might also help mix the stuff. The rubber does settle out of the Herculiner and it has to be mixed before use. I'm leaving mine as is unless it seems to start thickening up.
    Marty
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  20. #20
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    We have been running the Herculiner for years. It works awesome. The little chunks help stop the thing on ice, grass and roof tops. It is a little hard water skipping. I just throw some acetone on a rag and wheel some more on. I have had 0 wear on the regular rubber. I will be able to run the bushwheel for the rest of my natural life. The doctor says I have exactly 3 months. JK.
    The best mod for any aircraft is more gas.

  21. #21
    nanook's Avatar
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    This thread is getting a little bizarre. Why would you want chunks of rubber painted on your tires? Smooth yes, chunks no.

  22. #22

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    Emphasis on "LITTLE' chunks, more like a rough texture I think? I'll try some Herc next time, I like the fact it seems to be a little thicker bodied then the stuff I used. I'll get around the problem of the leftover setting up in the can when stored by just using all of it, and do the truck rocker panels some more and maybe another rigs, and whatever else I can think of, (tailwheel?). This stuff seems to be the duct tape of the coatings world. I have some slippery spots on the crane I operate, steel deckplate walkways, that might benefit from a little friction enhancing also.

  23. #23
    gpepperd's Avatar
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    Interesting thread. Would the bedliner work to seal a seeping area in an old hypalon boat? Would it be flexable enough to withstand a few roll up & unroll cycles?
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpepperd View Post
    Interesting thread. Would the bedliner work to seal a seeping area in an old hypalon boat? Would it be flexable enough to withstand a few roll up & unroll cycles?

    I think it could stand to be rolled up. I left some in a plastic container once, the next day I took it out, it was about 1/8 thick and sort of rubbery. It would stretch a little and I know you could roll it up. It's pretty tough stuff. I used it to seal my gutters that were leaking, worked great.

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    As mentioned, I use it to seal the inevitable gap between the concrete center and rubber bead on earth moving tires used for cattle waterers. It works wonderfully but if left to dry out over Winter and with the resulting temperature swings, it can lift and needs to be redone in the Spring. Amazing stuff really.

  26. #26
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    Do any Aussies reading this know what this stuff is called over here and where I could find it? I would have lots of uses for it after reading courierguy's ideas.
    Back Country O-375 wide body extended wing cub

  27. #27
    Wag2+2's Avatar
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    Looking at those landing spots in the pix, "you da man'

  28. #28
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    To stop the stuff from setting in the can, I crack the lid open just enough to insert the neck of a propane torch without the tip (and unlit) and displace the air in the can with propane. Works on anything solvent based. I found marbles or rocks in the can just make a mess. Its not forever but I have had cans remain liquid for over a year with no apparent degradation of quality.

    If you have lots of money, there is a product called bloxygen that does the same thing as the propane.

    Wayne

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgoldy View Post
    Do any Aussies reading this know what this stuff is called over here and where I could find it? I would have lots of uses for it after reading courierguy's ideas.
    http://www.rhinolinings.com.au/indus...g-products.htm

  30. #30
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    Thanks btracy
    Back Country O-375 wide body extended wing cub

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    Chuck Avon's Avatar
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    retread airstreaks

    did the Herculiner on my airstreaks today will see how it lasts 013.jpg014.jpg017.jpg018.jpg

  32. #32

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    I put the Herculiner on my bushwheels before my round trip to Ak from Ks. this fall. I knew I would be needing land and taxi on alot of pavement. Worked great , sure saved the bushwheel's rubber.
    Doug

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    Chuck Avon's Avatar
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    Up date on bed liner 30+ landings on pavement and the bed liner is still on the surface no pavemant contact with real tire rubber just bed liner

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    I heard a story this week, 2nd hand but from a person I think would be a very reputable source, that there have been two accidents involving bed liner coming loose in a big ol beaver pelt. Once doing major damage to an elevator and once making a hole in a wing. Has anyone else heard of this? Would you be concerned about it?

  35. #35
    Chuck Avon's Avatar
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    I don't think there is enough mass to the bed liner to do any damage to the plane Now if the tire came apart then maybe it could do what you say.also if you clean and apply it right it is part of the tire001.JPG the photo is with 30+ pavement landings

  36. #36
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    Chuck, how about some details on those sweet lights? Jim

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pundy View Post
    I heard a story this week, 2nd hand but from a person I think would be a very reputable source, that there have been two accidents involving bed liner coming loose in a big ol beaver pelt. Once doing major damage to an elevator and once making a hole in a wing. Has anyone else heard of this? Would you be concerned about it?
    Pictures or it didn't happen.
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  38. #38
    Chuck Avon's Avatar
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    Jim got them on ebay they have a control box that will flash them together or alternate them that is how i wired them and use them as recognition lights the guy had a store on ebay and had other LED lights they were cheep also like $39.00 plus shipping they have 22 led's in them and are bright can see a long way out on final and have a flat mount that i bolted then to a panel i have a strobe on the fuselage so i wired them to it work gratehttp://www.ebay.com/itm/Aircraft-Lan...22dfa6&vxp=mtr
    Last edited by Chuck Avon; 03-29-2013 at 04:50 PM.

  39. #39
    Tim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by behindpropellers View Post
    Pictures or it didn't happen.
    Yep, if it is put on right it won't come off

  40. #40
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    I know this the experimental thread but... what's to stop a guy from slapping on some bedliner on a certified airplane? Could this not be considered preventative maintenance?
    Part 43 Appendix A lists "(1) Removal, installation, and repair of landing gear tires" and "(10) Applying preservative or protective material to components where no disassembly of any primary structure or operating system is involved and where such coating is not prohibited or is not contrary to good practices" as preventative maintenance.
    Is considering bedliner a minor repair a stretch on my part? Are there any other work arounds with the FSDO or with an IA? Could you see a FAA guy giving me a stink about it? (I will be taking a checkride with one here shortly.)

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