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Metal v rubber tracks

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Folks,

 

When did rubber tracks/pads on allied WWII tanks start to be used - did they supersede metal ones? Or were they both from the same period??

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US tanks were rubber from the 1930s, steel being introduced as a result of the rubber shortages and to improve traction in the goo. In a set of rubber Sherman tracks, there is 1700 lbs of rubber (pads and bushes).

 

British tanks were all steel with dry pins till Challenger. Chieftain introduced a replaceable rubber pad.

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Thanks Adrian and what is the differences in the chevron vs the straight metal tracks?

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The chevron tracks come in a variety of styles, some rivetted together (T62), some welded (T54E1 etc). There are differences in weight and presumably cost. They were all variations of a theme and just different ways of achieving the same thing.

 

The straight bar tracks (T49) were cast and noticeably heavier than the fabricated tracks.

 

They all have their advantages!

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All I know is that steel track is more fun on the road!! Get a turn wrong and your going for a nice slide, and you can't just put on a bit of opposite lock to control it either! Only remedy is to plant the gas pedal to straighten up. :rofl:You should always drive to the level of experience you have. :coffee:

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All I know is that steel track is more fun on the road!! Get a turn wrong and your going for a nice slide, and you can't just put on a bit of opposite lock to control it either! Only remedy is to plant the gas pedal to straighten up. :rofl:You should always drive to the level of experience you have. :coffee:

 

Ain't that the truth! I can get some lovely power slides with my HST, 235 bhp in a steel tracked 10 ton vehicle, though opposite stick works a treat on that as it's controlled differential steering.

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One snowy, frosty, icy winter in Germany, I was taking a Centurion tank back to its unit after some repairs in the workshop. The route went across the airfield, and the runway crossing was controlled from the tower by a set of traffic lights.

Timing it so the lights were on green, I built up a fair speed when the lights suddenly changed to red! Well I tried to stop , but ended up doing a graceful half turn and slid, with locked tracks , straight across the runway.

Big trouble, until I took the airfield controller guy out for a run in a tank, and showed him that stopping fifty odd tons of metal on icy roads was not an option!

 

Incidentally, did you know that all the metal tracks fitted on Centurions, were fitted backwards, to avoid damaging the road surfaces too much. All that is except for one unit`s ARV, which had one track backwards, and one forwards. He was very easy to keep track of!! (Sorry).

 

Harry.

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Guest Yin717
Folks,

 

When did rubber tracks/pads on allied WWII tanks start to be used - did they supersede metal ones? Or were they both from the same period??

 

I was gonna say they were used in WW2.

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Incidentally, did you know that all the metal tracks fitted on Centurions, were fitted backwards, to avoid damaging the road surfaces too much. All that is except for one unit`s ARV, which had one track backwards, and one forwards. He was very easy to keep track of!! (Sorry).

 

Harry.

 

Harry, I was interested in this as I'd never heard it before. All the pictures I can find of Cent in service show them the correct way i.e. spud trailing at the front. This is the way shown in all the manuals even the early ones.

 

Was this a unit based thing?

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Incidentally, did you know that all the metal tracks fitted on Centurions, were fitted backwards, to avoid damaging the road surfaces too much.

 

Harry.

 

 

Harry that was my next question - how does that work? I know we used to have much spreaders with their tyres fitted backwards for grip...:confused:

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What happens to the rubber pad tracks when they're run beyond the pad?

Do they start to mangle the sleeves that the pins run through?

Is there much mileage left when the pads bottom out or do they need to come off straight away. Given that the pads are bonded to the link and irreplaceable (as such).

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Once a rubber pad has worn out then the pins are probably worn out too given the mileage done by that point. They do start to mangle the metal components of the track that come into contact with the road surface.

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First apologies for the grainy photo.

 

If you look at the ends of each link, you will see that the curved ends when they meet the surface are facing to the front, ie sliding over the road, but if they were fitted the right way round, the straight edges of these "horns" would dig in .

track.jpg

track2.jpg

Edited by harry7134

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Given that the pads are bonded to the link and irreplaceable (as such).

Thinking outside the box, would a company like this lot be able to attach new pads? They do say they do custom fittings...

 

Obviously for the time being the only answer is to fit NOS track but collectively we'll run out one day!

 

Stone

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First apologies for the grainy photo.

 

If you look at the ends of each link, you will see that the curved ends when they meet the surface are facing to the front, ie sliding over the road, but if they were fitted the right way round, the straight edges of these "horns" would dig in .

 

But that is the correct way as shown in the manuals hence my query.

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What happens to the rubber pad tracks when they're run beyond the pad?

Do they start to mangle the sleeves that the pins run through?

Is there much mileage left when the pads bottom out or do they need to come off straight away. Given that the pads are bonded to the link and irreplaceable (as such).

 

On wartime US track, there is a fair bit of use available after the pads wear down but ultimately, yes the link body starts to wear away and that can condemn the links. The pins themselves are pressed into the link and retained, by friction only, by the rubber rings moulded onto the pins. These can tear loose but that is incidental to the pads wearing.

 

Many post-war tracks have replaceable, bolt on rubber pads.

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