Dear Ralph: Some of the lugs on my inch and a quarter (high) bar track are starting to tear. Is there any way to...

Dear Ralph:

Some of the lugs on my inch and a quarter (high) bar track are starting to tear. Is there any way to fix this ? Can I apply a patch (like on a tire) to the damaged area ?

The only possible fix we have heard of is a product called “Black Max” from Loctite. It is difficult to find and costs about $20 per ounce, and we have not actually tested it. It is used like a “glue” to bond the lug back together, but we doubt it would be anything more than a temporary “band-aid”.
We asked Jim Shepard from the Gates Rubber Company about this one. Here is what Jim had to say: “This is a problem where we have a large strain (large deflection) combined with large stress (high loading due to transmitting the power through a deep lug that makes it a long lever arm). Tires go through a relatively small deflection and rely on the fabric in the body to withstand the load. Patches on tires spread the extra load from the failed part of the body over a rather large area.
In the case of the torn track lug, the damage is concentrated in a small area where it is almost impossible to reinforce the lug. It might be tempting to try to build up the root of the lug with, some sort of cold or even hot bonding product. That would work only until you tried to bend the track around the track drive lugs which would quickly break the bond.”

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