What happens when you replace a tire with one made out of nails? Well, this.
Science is all about asking “what if?” Like, what if we replaced washer fluid with juice and ran a line into the cabin? You get a god-awful mess and the ability to squirt juice in your face on a cold day.
You also might die, because washer fluid is highly toxic and it’s hard to clean the reservoir completely. Don’t do that.
We have Russian YouTube channel Garage 54 to thank for asking the question, “What happens when you replace a tire with one made completely out of 5-inch carpenters nails?” The answer: you get a wheel made out of nails.
Constructing the wheels was mostly an exercise in tedium. Mr. Garage 54 first had his garage team fashion a large steel sheet into a cylinder to fit over the rim where a tire normally would. Then using thousands of nails, he and his garage team laser welded each individual nail to the steel sheet.
They sort of played a music montage for this bit, but it must have taken hours.
Finally completed, it was time to test their creations in the real world. They drove out to an abandoned airfield, took off the front two wheels of their FWD car, and replaced them with their nail creations.
A few notes on these wheels. First, this wasn’t exactly done to any sort of specifications, so the wheels aren’t perfectly balanced. Second, they’re heavy. Real heavy. Much heavier than any regular tires on rims would be.
And third, as we’ll find out later, the density of nails on one wheel was somewhat higher than the other. This is important since the “tire” works on the same principle as a bed of nails, which distributes weight over more nails so nothing gets punctured.
At first, Garage 54’s little car seemed to deal with the new wheels quite well. It didn’t collapse, and vibrations were barely there at all. But as soon as he gave it a bit of gas, the left side wheel collapsed. Or maybe we should say he ran a flat?
With one tire flat, gunning it again caused so much vibration that the driver's side door flew open on its own. The other tire also failed, but not nearly to the same extent as the left tire.
So let this be a lesson to you: when making a tire out of nails, make sure your nails are of uniform density. And maybe try to balance them somehow.