Tuesday March 22, 2005

Some times the wheels on your Fly models (and others too) arrive with small cracks in the hub where the axle sits inside. Rather than spending money on after-market wheels or direct replacements (which will crack eventually) there is a quick fix that works rather well if you wish to use the originals.

My recent Porsche 908/3 had just these issues. I inspect these wheels during the Fly Classic Tuning we perform and if they are cracked, I repair them before they are re-installed on the model. Evergreen Styrene makes a wide variety of plastic that is widely used in many hobbies, and the 1/4" tubing works perfectly to "sleeve" the hub and repair the crack. This process also makes the hub stronger to resist future cracking.

The process is very easy. I use an Exacto razor knife because it makes a very clean and straight cut, but you can use your preferred cutting tool. If you use a knife blade such as this, take the tubing and place it on a piece of cardboard (or other material) so that you do not damage your table top.

Then, using a rolling motion we begin to cut the tubing. Normally we cut it to around 1/8" give or take a few. Don't worry about being perfect here, as long as the sleeve sits flush with the hub end, you are doing just fine.

Next, I add a small drop of Testors model cement on the outside of the hub and then just slide the sleeve over the top until it sits flush.

And that's it. The sleeve fits very snugly around the hub and you can immediately re-install the wheel on the axle.

- Harry