How to Make Custom and Strong Tank Tracks for Very Cheap.

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Introduction: How to Make Custom and Strong Tank Tracks for Very Cheap.

About: I will try my best to provide cheap and easy intructables!
Hi, after seeing PROTOS III on lmr I wanted a robot with big tank tracks even more than I already did, so I made some tank tracks, with slight modifications from calex63, they take some time, but are cheap and easy.


This tutorial only covers the making of the tracks, a tutorial for the whole tank might come sometime in the future.

Step 1: Materials

Materials:

- Bike chains, two bike chain per tank track, you can buy only two and cut them in half with a chain breaker that's what I did.

Each chain was 3€ at the mall, no need for quality shimano or sram chains or anything, cheap ones will do.

- PVC tube, I used 12mm diameter but thicker is good, definitely NOT thinner, that was 1€ for 3meters(I really want to replace the PVC with Al soon)

- Screws and self tightening bolts(the ones with a bit of rubber inside) and screws, my chain fitted M3 screws nicely in the thickest links.

 Quantities will depend on how big you want it, count your chain links.

Tools:

- X-acto knife.

- strong scissors(optional, easier than the knife, but results aren't so good).

- dremel with 3mm drill bit.

Step 2: Get Buildin'!

Cut tube in segments slightly bigger than the wheel you will mount the on, and cut those segments in half with knife or scissors.


Step 3: Drill

Drill both ends of the tube halves with the 3mm drill bit, Insert screw in chain's thickest type of link, and tighten self tightening bolt.

Do the same for the other screw.



Step 4: Keep Tightening... and Oh, You're Done!

Tightening all the tube halves takes time, but after finished it's worth it :-)

Consider upgrading to metal instead of PVC.
Example on my current project:




Have fun!



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    Could you show some images or describe how to make tank case for the chassis?

    72 Comments

    I guess I'm not very good at searching and found this by accident. Even though it's 7 yrs old now it's still a great Instructable, probably better than poster originally realised? Using tube to fit into curve of chain side plate will prevent it twisting ('racking') to a greater degree. As for drive cog, dismantle a free-wheel/gear assembly, usually plenty scrap at cycle shops they may just give you 2 (one for each track) Majority of cycling enthusiasts only use a few of the 6,7,8,9,10,11 gears but you need 'matched pairs (unless you only want to go in circles)

    Hello, nice project you have.
    What kind of wheel you use ?

    Check your photos page. I got a virus alert when trying to look at them.

    1 reply

    @badmanbaz previous message.

    this helped a when i was building this mini robot a while back using modified code from the lawnbot400 instructable
    https://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-RC-Lawnmower/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRUx7rRzfBc&feature=player_embedded i used derailleur cogs with every other tooth removed and small screws instead of bolts and filled them with glue gun glue as mentioned above works brilliantly and none of the slipping as i had issues with using Rollerblade wheels in a previous attempt

    5 replies

    Nice job! any chance we could get some detailed pics of the drive system? I'll add it to the tutorial, the more ways to make it the better, I'm relying only on friction to drive it, and it works very well, but other people haven't been so lucky.

    can you tell me what motor did you use and gearbox?

    Hey man where did you get those little sprockets? I can't find ones like that anywhere! It looks like the teeth fit perfectly between the bolts.

    I can only guess that you got 10-tooth sprockets and ground off every second tooth?

    Two question about the sprockets. What is the easiest way to attach two sprockets to eachother (to make one 'wheel' for the vehicle) and if I leave an alternating tooth out of the sprockets, does this always mean that the chains (with the PVC tubes) will fit?

    i've just bin looking to buy some tracks but the price is a tad high,lucky for me ialso found this great idea. after looking through the chat i'm thinkin rivets and ally angle from my old greenhouse, anybody tried something similar?

    i didnt mean to say that twice sorry

    which gearboxes / motors did u all use?

    what motors/gearboxes would anyone reccomend as a first time build

    Try adding some of the flex seal spray stuff it adds way more grip then just the PVC its what i did and now my bot can go almost anywhere.

    2 replies

    Can you robot climb stairs after adding the flex seal spray?

    mine cant but my friend made one with longer treads and added the flex seal spray and now his can

    I am trying to construct tracks for a vehicle that can climb stairs. Is your vehicle able to climb stairs with these tracks and if not, what do think I could use other than PVC to increase the traction and adhesiveness?

    Very nice tutorial. Can I use pop rivets instead of the screws?