HPDE tires and track readiness

A_Cochise

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Jun 9, 2021
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I'm in the process of getting ready for the track. Not sure if I have enough time but I'm hoping to get everything together. Seeing since I just got the car and I don't have any knowledge of the tires that are on the car, I'm getting ready to order some. Below is the current wheel set up.

275/40R17 front (17X9)
315/35R17 rear (17x10.5)

I thought there would be more options available for these sizes but it basically boils down to Nitto NT555G2 or the NT05. Anyone have any experience with these on track? I'm use to The Ventus RS3/RS4 and the RE71R's but those don't seem to be available for my sizes.
 
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A_Cochise

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Jun 9, 2021
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Nashville, TN
Open track, known as HPDE with Chin motorsports at NCM motorsports complex.
It’s considered my “home” track but I also frequent Putnam, Road Atlanta, Barber, and mid-Ohio.
 

Hoytster

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For dry pavement, the NT05 is a great cost effective performance tire. I ran a couple sets back in 2008 and 2009, so I'm not sure if they have changed the compound or not since then. Wet driving was down right scary with those tires though. The compound held up well and I was able to get a couple races out of one set. They do get a little greasy when you really start pushing them and get the temps up, but they weren't a light switch. You could tell when you were pushing them too hard, you just had to slow down for a couple laps and let them come down in temp.

What suspension are you running? I know when I was on a primarily "stock" suspension, I had a hard time getting the rear tires up to temp with that staggered setup. Once I moved to a better suspension I was able to use that rear tire a lot more (as well as the front).

Is this tire combo on a daily driven car? If not, and these are primarily for track use, I would look at the NT01's.

1630503705096.jpeg
 
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A_Cochise

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Jun 9, 2021
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For dry pavement, the NT05 is a great cost effective performance tire. I ran a couple sets back in 2008 and 2009, so I'm not sure if they have changed the compound or not since then. Wet driving was down right scary with those tires though. The compound held up well and I was able to get a couple races out of one set. They do get a little greasy when you really start pushing them and get the temps up, but they weren't a light switch. You could tell when you were pushing them too hard, you just had to slow down for a couple laps and let them come down in temp.

What suspension are you running? I know when I was on a primarily "stock" suspension, I had a hard time getting the rear tires up to temp with that staggered setup. Once I moved to a better suspension I was able to use that rear tire a lot more (as well as the front).

Is this tire combo on a daily driven car? If not, and these are primarily for track use, I would look at the NT01's.

1630503705096.jpeg

The suspension looks completely stock to me. Doesn't look like there has been anything changed at all. The shocks/struts look every bit of 20 years old.

I'm actually reconsidering getting new tires. I inspected the tires last night and they look to be in good condition and don't have excessive wear and no signs of dry-rot/cracking. The date code is in 2019 so they are only 2 years old or so which is fine. This is not going to be a daily by any means. I plan on driving it to the track and maybe to work on occasion, but it's not my primary vehicle and will mostly be used for the track 80% of the time with occasion back roads fun, and around town cruising.

I'm actually thinking of just focusing on seat time, trying to get use to RWD and a manual again. I am transitioning from VW/Audi, where I had AWD/FWD cars with DCT's.

What set up do you run for your suspension? Part of the reason I'm reconsidering getting tires is I'm not sure if I'm going square or staggered in the future. I love the look of the 315's, but I've read they hurt on track causing understeer, thought I think that might be the case for autoX more than full road courses. I also am concerned that if I keep those big tires they won't fit after I do decide to make suspension adjustments. I plan on going with a grip box from Maximum Motorsports.
 
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Hoytster

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If you don't have a whole bunch of track experience, then I would say you're on the right track. Seat time is really the most important thing before you start throwing parts on the car. Now with that being said, you do want a decent set of tires, solid brakes with fresh fluid, change the trans/diff/engine oil, and make sure all your suspension points (ball joints/tie rods/ect) are in good condition before you hit the track.

SN95 and new edge mustangs are pretty capable and fun cars in stock form. You're not going to set any records, but as I think you realize, you'll get faster with seat time and be able to figure out where you want to start modifying the car with that experience.

I don't have the car that's pictured above anymore, unfortunately. Before I sold that car in 2014 it was setup for AI with a full Griggs suspension/ect. I think all I had done to the suspension on the car in 2007/2008 was a set of Tokico HP shocks and springs, griggs racing caster camber plates, and bump steer kit. I had a ton of other mods to the engine and chassis by that point. The car ran really well with that setup, but you are correct, it had a tendency to oversteer with the staggered setup and primarily stock suspension. I was able to partially correct that issue with a rear sway bar change, but it really took a fully built suspension tuned for a staggered setup to get the car where I wanted it. The car still did well though, I got first place in SCCA SM class for my region in 2008 and didn't have any trouble keeping up with most of the pack at NJMP, Summit, and Watkins that year.

I had to hammer the hell out of my wheel well and roll my fenders to fit the 315 NT01's fyi and I had to run a 1/4 spacer. They would rub a lot during hard cornering before I did all that. You also don't want to lower your car too much on the stock suspension as you'll affect the handling characterizes of the suspension.

If I were you, I'd do a square setup to start off with. I'd upgrade your shocks, springs, add a bumpsteer kit, and throw some caster/camber plates on it. I ran -3.5 degrees of camber and max caster on my car with the stock suspension, and tire wear was flat an even on the front. Then I'd look at running a decent track pad, change the brake lines out for SS, and run a higher temp brake fluid.

And then have some fun!
 
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A_Cochise

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Thanks for the tips. You know, coming from AWD/FWD cars, it never occurred to me to change the diff fluid. Added to the list!

I think you have a good point with the square set up. I really wish I could keep those monster 315's but they would only be for looks. I've been to NCM at least a dozen times, it's the track I've been to most. So while I know it well, there is certainly going to be a bit of a learning curve with a heavier car that's also RWD.

I'll be sure to give everything a once over. Thanks so much for the input! Hopefully I can get the car in a safe condition ready for the track in the next couple weeks.
 

Hoytster

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No problem and good luck! I've driven some awd and fwd cars in both autocross and open track, but there's nothing like a rwd car for open track IMO.

Nice thing with a square setup is you can rotate the tires as well, which saves ya some $ since you can wear them all down. Be mindful of the snap oversteer tendencies of the stock 4-link. Be confident through the twisties and start off slow in, fast out and work from there. Don't be afraid to use the throttle to rotate the car in the slower turns.
 
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Narmalee

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I plan on going with a grip box from Maximum Motorsports.


Best move for the money, the Grigs SLA is sexy as hell, but dat money tho

I run the MM grip pack minus sway bars, car was a stock v6 before and swapped to a 408w now

I do not run a sway bar in the rear and still have stock front v6 275 viper venoms front and 315 mikey thompsons street ETs rear, and the car pushes evenly in the slaloms and handles great everywhere but the straight aways... stupid 408

I AM running a vert with battery relocation, so thats going to effect it alot if yours in a hardtop
Your going to love that torque arm setup tho, but full length exhaust with the PHB is a real PITA to get right
 

A_Cochise

Member
Jun 9, 2021
14
2
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39
Nashville, TN
Best move for the money, the Grigs SLA is sexy as hell, but dat money tho

I run the MM grip pack minus sway bars, car was a stock v6 before and swapped to a 408w now

I do not run a sway bar in the rear and still have stock front v6 275 viper venoms front and 315 mikey thompsons street ETs rear, and the car pushes evenly in the slaloms and handles great everywhere but the straight aways... stupid 408

I AM running a vert with battery relocation, so thats going to effect it alot if yours in a hardtop
Your going to love that torque arm setup tho, but full length exhaust with the PHB is a real PITA to get right
Thanks for the tips!
 
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Narmalee

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Thanks for the tips!
Some clearance pics around the PHB.
Passenger side tire looks tighter than reality, have maybe 1" -1¼ between pipe and tire.

Edit: oh and these are the larger than stock Flowmaster tips from my old Fox, so if your going from a newer model it will probably be diff...i just remembered that
 

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