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Old 05-07-2011, 11:32 PM   #1
thumpetto007
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Default Cheapest tires for the track

I don't have enough money for DOT legal racing tires, nor high performance street tires, but I'd like to know what budget (most likely off brand) tires have a good life on the track...ie doesn't chunk to bits.

I'm not looking for a necessarily super grippy tire, just one that I can learn on and not have to worry about failures on the track.

Just to let you know, as far as budget goes, I'm looking at around 250 dollars for the set.

I'm also not even sure if there are tires that meet these requirements, but I figure this is the best place to find out!

Thanks.
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:46 PM   #2
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You can pick up a set of used hoosires with low heat cycles on them for like 300 for a set... also Toyo RA-1's or 888's used are good options - fairly cheap.
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:02 AM   #3
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It also bears mentioning that if you can't afford a set of decent street tires, going to the track probably isn't a good idea.
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:23 AM   #4
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^^ To expand.. Trackdays are pretty good at breaking cars.. Taking a car and runnning high rpm's / flat out for extended periods is pretty punishing.. Not to mention other hazards..

As for tires.. Take off's would be your best bet..

I wasn't even aware you could buy 4 new tires for less than 250.
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:33 AM   #5
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i run off brand tires for daily's. they are about 250 a set. that said. they are hell to even drag race on much less turn on.
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:20 PM   #6
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If you can't afford decent tires for the track, you shouldn't be going to the track. Not trying to be a smartass, just realistic. It's great that you want to get out there, but if your budget is that tight, you should be saving, or spending elsewhere. Or are you just really cheap?
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:38 PM   #7
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^^^.

tires arent something you want to cheap out on. honestly, when youre learning, your tires will probably last longer than a seasoned driver as youre not being as hard on them. go buy a set of good 17's and you'll never go back to cheapies.


you can get tires for 250 for 4? WTF?! i just bought inepensive tires for $650!!
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Old 05-08-2011, 04:59 PM   #8
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^^^^^^^^^^

Why would you wanna put smacking something up in the equation.
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:39 PM   #9
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Thanks. Take offs are what I was thinking of. Would I just go to a local track and see what they have? Or should I put up a WTB thread for Hoosier take offs?

Yeah, the predicament (sp?) I'm in is that I've spent all my money on getting the right parts for my street/track build (I'm a cashier, so not much income) that when I finish the swap and build, I won't have enough money for a solid set of new tires, but at that point I'll be dying just to use the setup, hence the "budget" for tires.

I actually do appreciate the honest criticism, because it shows that you guys/girls care!
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Old 05-08-2011, 08:54 PM   #10
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I'll be the dissenting voice and say that any tires will work on track, as long as the driver understands their limits and drives with that in mind. IMO, that's true of any tires at the track, so inexpensive tires are no different. I did a weekend at Summit Point on RE92s (in my sister's stock WRX wagon), tires that many on this site would have you believe were spawned by the devil and handle worse than shopping cart wheels. They survived just fine, and my sister proceeded to put thousands more miles on them.

With that said, I would try to find some used / take-off tires before I would buy some Primewells or some other brand of garbage Chinese tires. I don't how much track experience you have, but if it's not much, get some used street tires from someone; you don't want to run Hoosiers or other R-compounds if you're not an experienced driver. Keep an eye on the Classifieds here, RS25.com, etc - lots of people go from 16s to 17s/18s, so there are very often wheel/tire deals to be had.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
I'll be the dissenting voice and say that any tires will work on track, as long as the driver understands their limits and drives with that in mind. IMO, that's true of any tires at the track, so inexpensive tires are no different. I did a weekend at Summit Point on RE92s (in my sister's stock WRX wagon), tires that many on this site would have you believe were spawned by the devil and handle worse than shopping cart wheels. They survived just fine, and my sister proceeded to put thousands more miles on them.

With that said, I would try to find some used / take-off tires before I would buy some Primewells or some other brand of garbage Chinese tires. I don't how much track experience you have, but if it's not much, get some used street tires from someone; you don't want to run Hoosiers or other R-compounds if you're not an experienced driver. Keep an eye on the Classifieds here, RS25.com, etc - lots of people go from 16s to 17s/18s, so there are very often wheel/tire deals to be had.
Had a similar post in mind, but thanks for not having to make me right it.

I do bargain tire shopping allll the time.
1)I would suggest 100% against R Comps in any condition. New set-up with a driver not used to that set-up= skip the rcomps until you get things buttoned down.
2)Jump on the boards and keep your eyes out for ANY tire that is in your size range. Make sure there are no plugs and patches and there is even tread wear and they are nice and cheap. Win. (example, picked up 4 225/45/17 Dunlop Sp Sport Maxx tires, certainly not a great tire, but for $50 i paid for them, they will serve their purpose).
3)Its alway more rewarding and fun to drive on a more competent tire, so if you can skip the absolute junk tires/complete 100% all season tires, certainly try to.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:14 PM   #12
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A lot of folks seem to be successful with the Federal 595 RS-Rs, if you can get your hands on them. Once I've put enough away to piece together an autox car, I'd really love to try these out from all the reviews I've heard and read.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:27 AM   #13
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Here's the site you can buy take offs:

http://www.nasaforums.com/viewforum....74177dc5d12867
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
I'll be the dissenting voice and say that any tires will work on track, as long as the driver understands their limits and drives with that in mind. IMO, that's true of any tires at the track, so inexpensive tires are no different. I did a weekend at Summit Point on RE92s (in my sister's stock WRX wagon), tires that many on this site would have you believe were spawned by the devil and handle worse than shopping cart wheels. They survived just fine, and my sister proceeded to put thousands more miles on them.

With that said, I would try to find some used / take-off tires before I would buy some Primewells or some other brand of garbage Chinese tires. I don't how much track experience you have, but if it's not much, get some used street tires from someone; you don't want to run Hoosiers or other R-compounds if you're not an experienced driver. Keep an eye on the Classifieds here, RS25.com, etc - lots of people go from 16s to 17s/18s, so there are very often wheel/tire deals to be had.
This. I recently went to my first track day, and as luck would have it my 255/40/17 Star Specs mounted on 17x9 wheels picked up a nail in 1 tire. So I ran my street setup: 225/45/17 General Exclaim UHPs on 17x8 Limited Enkeis. They started the day at about 4/32" of tread, and I corded the front-right during my last session, finished up with < 1/32" on the front tires and ~1-2/32" on the rears.

Go into the event understanding that you won't have ultimate grip and that you're new and learning everything and you'll be fine, no matter what tire. But also realize that the non-high-performance tires will wear horribly on the track.

I'd also highly suggest you rotate tires front-rear about midway through your sessions.

By the way, what tire size do you need...? I've seen several 17" Star Specs and RE-11s pop up in the classifieds here.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:16 PM   #15
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Start saving up for brake pads too...
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:21 PM   #16
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Start saving up for brake pads too...
Good point. I highly recommend you pick up some track-capable pads (XP8 or DTC-30 or CL RC5+). I attempted a track day at a brake-intensive track and grooved my front rotors badly as well as partially melted the front pad material into the grooves...
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:54 PM   #17
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I am also a nay sayer about take offs and the expense of tracking. Getting free used tires is not difficult but getting them mounted and balanced from your local tire shop will cost you $80.00 - $100.00 since you didn't even buy the tires from them. Used Hoosiers, R comps, or even extreammaximum traction summer tires still have to be mounted. Good "free" used tires will only last 4-5 more track days at the most. For the kind of buget you are on start looking for the most rock hard,820 milage life, lousey traction tires and learn to drive them at their limit.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:51 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the advice, everyone...

As far as brake setup goes, I have EBC Red stuff pads, a set of new OEM style rotors, valvoline DOT 4 (I think) brake fluid, and stainless steel lines. Will this be sufficient for a car that weighs 2700 pounds wet, with driver?

What kind of tires should I be looking for, then, if I should practice on rock hard, low traction tires? And would they still be as cost effective as finding much better tires for 350 mounted/balanced that will last a couple of track days (say 4)

Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:55 PM   #19
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this is the motto I've sort of adopted- "if you can't afford to total it, don't take it to the track". In the ~20 days I've been at tracks, I've probably seen an average of at least one car per day get seriously damaged or totalled. Many were experienced drivers who got caught out pushing the limits, but maybe a quarter of them were relative novices. Some of the crashes, like 2 S2000's that went into the wall at Shenandoah, resulted from other cars having mechanical problems (blown engine dumped coolant all over the track in that case). At least have a plan to get to work on Monday if you damage your track toy

ebc red's are probably fine for that first day. I agree partially with Patrick- just drive what you have. greasy over-heated street tires are fun! I drove two days on my all seasons before I got my first set of track tires.

Frank
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumpetto007 View Post
Thanks for all the advice, everyone...

As far as brake setup goes, I have EBC Red stuff pads, a set of new OEM style rotors, valvoline DOT 4 (I think) brake fluid, and stainless steel lines. Will this be sufficient for a car that weighs 2700 pounds wet, with driver?

What kind of tires should I be looking for, then, if I should practice on rock hard, low traction tires? And would they still be as cost effective as finding much better tires for 350 mounted/balanced that will last a couple of track days (say 4)

Thanks.
I'd consider at least some ATE Superblue or RBF600 (what I use). And Redstuff won't hold up on the track, find something with a higher temp rating, at least 1400* F. Granted your car is lighter than mine (~3350 + me at 275) and I was at a stupidly brake-intensive track, but I partially melted my Yellowstuff. EBC also doesn't list this pad as acceptable for "race use."
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:19 AM   #21
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20 replies and nobody has asked the OP what kind of car this is? Is it the '95 L in your profile?

Do you have 15" wheels or 16"? If 15, grab a set of take-off 205/50-15s from any number of SM/ITA/ITB/e30 club racers. Or a set of half worn Azenis. Plenty of options for you.
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:17 PM   #22
Scooby921
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There is a lot of good advice in here, specifically the stuff pertaining to costs. The narrow point of view sees a track day as a $150 entry fee. I hope you understand all the little things that go into something as simple as lapping a track. In addition to your entry fee you need to consider fuel (you'll get 3-4mpg on track if you're lucky), brake pads (track pads will probably run you $400+ and only last you 3 or 4 track days), tires (better tires cost more and go faster, but they all wear out...expect 6-8 track days out of a street tire if you're lucky), and general wear and tear on the car (bleeding the brakes before every event, flushing the fluid every few events, decreased life of suspension components, etc).

You can bank on a track day costing you $400-500 when all is said and done. If you only have $250 to spend on a "set" of tires I would hold off on the track days for now. We'd love to see you out there, but its not the most financially sound decision. If you want to get out and enjoy your car and start to build on your driving/car control abilities some of the local Solo (auto-x) events are going to be a lot cheaper entry and less wear and tear on your car. Your current pads would be sufficient, you don't need really expensive tires to come have fun, and any mistakes you make will only kill cones instead of possibly wrecking the car.


As far as tires go, I have three lightly used 225/45r17 Advan Neova AD07's you can take out of my garage for $100. If you can find a single matching tire around 7-8/32" tread depth you'll have yourself a really nice set of tires.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:32 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby921 View Post
There is a lot of good advice in here, specifically the stuff pertaining to costs. The narrow point of view sees a track day as a $150 entry fee. I hope you understand all the little things that go into something as simple as lapping a track. In addition to your entry fee you need to consider fuel (you'll get 3-4mpg on track if you're lucky), brake pads (track pads will probably run you $400+ and only last you 3 or 4 track days), tires (better tires cost more and go faster, but they all wear out...expect 6-8 track days out of a street tire if you're lucky), and general wear and tear on the car (bleeding the brakes before every event, flushing the fluid every few events, decreased life of suspension components, etc).

You can bank on a track day costing you $400-500 when all is said and done. If you only have $250 to spend on a "set" of tires I would hold off on the track days for now. We'd love to see you out there, but its not the most financially sound decision. If you want to get out and enjoy your car and start to build on your driving/car control abilities some of the local Solo (auto-x) events are going to be a lot cheaper entry and less wear and tear on your car. Your current pads would be sufficient, you don't need really expensive tires to come have fun, and any mistakes you make will only kill cones instead of possibly wrecking the car.


As far as tires go, I have three lightly used 225/45r17 Advan Neova AD07's you can take out of my garage for $100. If you can find a single matching tire around 7-8/32" tread depth you'll have yourself a really nice set of tires.
I couldn't agree more. I started in AX, then picked up my STI to have a more fun/capable car. Not trying to scare you away, but it is what it is. My first track day was about 250 miles away, so about 3 tanks of gas, a night in a hotel, replacing all 4 corners pads/rotors... Yeah, ~$500 sounds about right.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:21 PM   #24
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If you are gonna get serious, AND you are cheap/poor.

Get this.


Next tip:

Find out what brands you local tire shops sell and will mount and balance for free. ala Les Schwab Tires. Then seek out those brands to buy used.

I just got 3 month old re92's for my daily, for 80 off craigslist, plus my HF changer mount then free balancing at the place that sell bridgestones = $$$ saved.

Or buy the balancer from HF too and have a total setup. 100 bucks to mount and balance all your own meats until the HF stuff breaks
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:18 PM   #25
thumpetto007
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Okay, I guess I should focus more on autocross, it seems. Even though I REALLY want to start driving on a racetrack (namely Gingerman...nothing to hit) it would be much more budget concious to autocross.

And yes I have the 1995 impreza L AWD, but it will have a high compression 2.5rs engine, 2.5rs brakes, 2006 legacy GT 5 speed, upgraded bushings and mounts, coilovers, bracing...

Also, thanks again for everyones responses!

I'll keep your tires in mind, Brad!
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