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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for a shorter tire which will fit my 16" x 9" rims. Would like as much tread width as possible while still staying close to 26" diameter. Have checked MT, Nitto, M&H, BFG, Toyo and Hoosier, and didn't find much. There are 255/50R16s, of course, but I don't think those will harness the torque my car is putting down now. Most of the 275s are for 17" wheels, but Toyo does have a 275/45R16 size in their Proxes TQ tire. Has anyone used these? If so, how did they perform?
 

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These? :D RobertP sells them.

I haven't run them, but he has and they perform well. He could fill in the details.

 

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I have the Proxes TQ 255/50/16s. But cant give a honest option on them yet , have yet to get a good heat cycle in them .

Unless RobertP has . LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Trunk Monkey,

Yes, those, but in a wider size.

_95badbird,

I run NT555s on the street (285/40R17s) and love 'em. But, the only size NT555R that would work with my 16" drag wheels is 245/50R16 which strikes me as too narrow.
 

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Mike get the 255 50 16 Mickey Thompson drag radials they will handle your torque with ease, I can sell u a set a decent price if needed the Toyos are good but not as sticky.

I ran the Toyos on my cobra 6 speed it pulled a 1.67 60 ft with over 500 ft pounds of torque on a 255 50 16 size.
 

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285/40/18 NT05Rs FTW :D I've had a 1.61 60 ft on these.

With good track prep these tires hook like a young Gold digger sinking her teeth into an old man on Viagra.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
RobertP,

I was pretty happy with the stickyness of my MT 295/50R16 ET Street Radials until this Fall with the new torque curve and tighter converter. Sounds like either the shorter MT or the Toyo TQ would be worth trying.

Trunk Monkey,

My preference would be to find tires that fit my existing wheels. But, I do like your imagery!
 

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Baddest N/A NPI in Canada
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What is the track like that you go to? Is it well prepped? If it is anything like the track I go to, no drag radial will work for you. If you are having issues with a 295/50 R16, you need to look at the bias ply slicks available.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
TGJ,

I mostly run at Milan, MI. Have been told they do a good job of track prep for actual races. My experience with test 'n tune nights has been mixed. Sometimes the traction is pretty good, other times I struggle to hook. Usually I get little or no wheelspin if the burnout is really good.

I've not been comfortable with running a bias ply tire at high speed, but then I haven't done it for decades. I do know that drag radials are stable at the big end.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was leaning toward getting the Toyo TQs because they're a little wider, but I talked to Harlow Racing Tire (the shop where I bought my other DRs and front runners) today. They really like the MT ET Street Radial and said they have performed well for their customers. So, I'm planning to buy a pair of the 255/50R16s after the first of the year.
 

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I run slicks and radials on my race car. Radials are harder to hook than slicks. You have to keep that in mind when running a radial and run it as a radial and not as a slick. They are 2 different types of tires. When hooking a radial you really have to pay attention to the sidewall. You need that sidewall to help the tires ease the shock of the initial launch. If your set on staying with radials I would mover to a 15" wheel so you can have more sidewall with the size tire your choosing. If you want your radials to hook good at the track don't ever drive on the street with them.

I have tried various different brands and wheels sizes of radials. The 15" wheels always seem to work best because of the sidewall size. As far as brands. Look at the racing venues out there. Most classes are running Goodyear and Mickey Thompson with a weight penalty for the new Hoosiers. The nitto 555R suck and i use them as a street tire to be a little stickier than a regular street tire. The NT05R is slightly better than the 555R but not by much. The toyos were about as good as the NT05Rs. I have not tried the hoosiers personally or on one of the cars I currently work on, I have tried every other drag though and the mickeys seem to be hooking the best. I am going to be trying out the hoosiers this year I think.

Now if your just doing this as a hobby and your not trying to race in a class that requires drag radials, then why not use slicks? They are much easier to hook and more consistent. Drag radials require the best track prep and the best car prep with the suspension set up just right. Slicks are more forgiving.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
fordfreak300,

Thanks for your feedback - it is helpful. I don't ever drive my DRs on the street. I've been looking at 16" tire offerings because I have a set of widened 16" wheels I'd like to continue using. And no, I don't race in a class, I just go to the track occasionally to see how much improvement my latest change has made.

Since you run both drag radials and slicks on the same car, you are in a good position to answer one of my concerns. My impression is that DRs give a car more stability at high speed than slicks do. Has this been your experience?

The other concern I have with slicks is killing my Torsen LSD and/or factory halfshafts. When the T2 was installed years ago, I was told it could handle everything except big torque and big traction at the same time. Staying on DRs has been kind of a balancing act between getting traction and giving up reliability.
 

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I see why you want to stay with radials then. I will let you know though, don't be fooled by thinking radials will keep you from breaking things. I just broke a stock 28 spline axle in an 03 mach 1 with nt05rs. When drag radials hook, they hook.

As far as the stability at the top end of the track, the radials are a little more stable. For my slicks I run a stiff sidewall. I do this because I have a stick shift car and it helps to lessen the hit off the line by shoving the tire into the ground harder vs wrinkling up as much as a wrinkle wall does. I run wrinkle walls on automatic cars but the stability is less. I will sometimes use tubes in slicks to help with the stability but tubes are heavy.

Here is the thing about tires. Tires are only part of hooking your car on the track. They are really part of the suspension. If you can get your suspension dialed into the track conditions you can have more tire tire pressure in yours tires. The more tire pressure you can have the more stability you will have. Also the more tire pressure you have the less rolling resistance you have and it helps you go faster.

IRS cars are very weired for drag racing as they are not really meant for it. They act different than a solid rear end. They will always squat on the launch. The squatting is not always a bad thing in a car with an automatic. What you will need to do is figure out how to get that front to come up easily while the rear is squatting to transfer some weight and sit on those rear tires. I don't have that much experience with the IRS and drag racing so I can't help out very well with how to do that. Once you can accomplish that and you are hooking your radials, you can likely add more tire pressure and still hook and have more stability at the top end of the track.

I also want to address the swaying that most experience with a slick or radial with low tire pressure. A small amount of swaying in the rear end on the top end is not bad as long as you don't have to steer to correct it. However the less sway you have the faster your going to go, which is why radials usually end up faster than slicks if you can get traction. radials have a stiffer sidewall and are more stable on the top end.

Out of all the radials listed in this thread. The 555Rs are the hardest to hook. The NT05R and the Toyos were easier to hook than 555RsBut not the Goodyears or Mickeys. The NT05s and the Toyos seemd to bring the best ETs and MPH when they did hook though. The Goodyears and Mickey's were the most consistent to hook. Now since your worried about breaking things I am going to offer you my suggestion on a radial. I think you should go with either the NT05 or the toyo (I would like to suggest the toyo as a member here sells them). Don;t try to dead hook them. Instead go for 1/2 to 1 full rotation of tire spin before the car launches. The spin will help to get your car starting to move making it easier on the parts when you do hook as the car is already in motion. it will also make you more consistent as you won't be relying on a dead hook to get to your best time. Once your consistent you will really be able to see the difference in the changes you have made. Doing this method I have described I bet you net your best 60' time and your best ET and MPH.
 

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I did not mention the BFG or the M&H radials. The BFG were good in their day, but are a hard tire. I can get street radials to hook as good as them. the M&H are about the same as the NT05 and Toyo tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've been able to run pressures as low as 15 psi in my current MT 295/50R16 DRs without sway at high speed.

My car has Koni adjustables at both ends. I turn the fronts to full soft at the strip and this lets the nose rise pretty high when launching. And yes, the car does squat pretty hard.
 

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Try adding enough tire pressure to get almost 1 full turn rotation of spin before the car leaves the line and watch the difference it makes.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've tried running pressure in the range from 16-20 psi, and typically get lots more wheelspin rather than a little.
 

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Try adding enough tire pressure to get almost 1 full turn rotation of spin before the car leaves the line and watch the difference it makes.
You need a high quality slo-mo vid to see one full rotation. If you see it with the naked eye live, it's more than one rotation, or it will turn in to far more pretty quick!

It is hard to stop a radial from spinning once it starts - esp with a turbo or S/C. I always have to backpedal.

Al
 
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