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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We'll start with some background. My roadster is getting painted, but I put about 9,000 miles on the car in gel coat. When I first ordered the car I wanted it to be a driver. Road trips, weekend back roads, some auto cross and track days on the side. Since finishing the car I've found that I really love autocross. It's not to expensive, not dangerous, and pushes me and the car way harder that I can on the street. I haven't done a track day, but I will eventually. I have realized it's not a race car. If you or someone else makes a mistake, things can go very bad. My wife and I recently had our first child, so the idea of road trips have vaporized. So now the car is probably 50% autocross and 50% mountain roads with a track day every once and a while.

So given what I want to do, let's talk tires. I have a set of 17" wheels and Nitro 555G2 tires. The tires have been great for driving around but are not a track or autocross tire. If I could go back in time I would have bought 18" from the beginning and put a set of BFG rival tires on it. Here are the options I've been thinking about.

Assumptions
1. move to a competitive 200tw tire
2. I do like the look of the halibrands but would change for something I can get in matte black
3. I need to be able to drive to the track on the tires. Usually 60-120 miles each way. But I would switch wheels at homeif needed.

Options
1. Keep the 17s and put a set of Nitro NT05s (want to keep to 200tw tires. More options for autocross) costs about $700. NT05 are 200TW, but they are very old and not a competitive autocross tire.

2. Sell the 17s and buy the 18s from ffr with the BFGs. $3300 for the wheels and tires. Maybe get a grand for the 17s for a total cost of $2300.

3. By a cheap set of FR500 18" wheels and put the BFGs on. Probably $2300 for the set. If I sell the 17s for a grand it would be down to $1300. Issue is the FR500 are only 10" wide so they won't work with 315s so you need to run 295s. I also like the look of the halibrand and spinners for cruising.

4. Buy a custom wheel to fit. Probably at least $2000. So with the tires we are at $3400. Sell the 17s and you are down to $2400.

Autocross drivers, let me know what you think. Is there a set of tires I should look at? Wheels I need to consider? Something I'm missing?

Right now the misser in me is thinking of just being happy with the NT05s on the 17s and save some money... But in the back of my mind my ego is saying go to the 18" and the best tire you can.

Thanks for the help and sharing your thoughts and experience!
 

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NT 01 is a stickier tire I drive mine to events but it’s only 14 miles. 17” wheels 9” all around. 275/40 tire. Sorry it’s not a 200 tw tire but I love them. XP class
 
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FFCobra Craftsman
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Rival S1.5 are one of the current hot autocross tires. No sizes in 17 so have to go to 275/315- 18s. I know all the experts will say 315 is too wide for a 10 inch wheel but I'd do that in a heartbeat.
I have been seeing these lately. Falkan Azenis RT660 here is a Tire Rack test of several tires. Note this test is on a track so some of their results may not apply to AX.
Tire Test Results : Testing More Extreme Performance Summer Tires 2020 (tirerack.com)
You will need to temper your desires a little because of the need to drive to and from the AX. Any of the good 200TW tires will be fine until they are down to 3/32 tread and it rains. The 3/32 would be ideal for AX so you can run them to near bald but may be forced to dump them early because of the drive back and forth.
I would do your option 1 or 3. I would not count on getting a grand for your current wheels/tires though. If there is a way to buy FR500 or Bullit wheels w/ tires and keep the current wheels that would be my choice.
 
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Drive 275/315/17" Nitto NT01 street & AutoX. Not a problem on the street in generally warm states. Almost a daily driver for me. It does put you into XP with 100 treadware rating.


363043

Fresh NT01
 

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...want to keep to 200tw tires. More options for autocross...
Not really, at least practically. Our cars can run in XPrepared or E-Mod with no tire restrictions. We can also run CAM-S with a 200 treadwear tire HOWEVER the car must weigh a minimum of 2,500 pounds (2,650 if you use other than a glass windshield). Since most of our roadsters come in right around 2,200 pounds that means that even if you use a 200 treadwear tire you still won't be legal unless you add about 300 pounds of ballast. Sooooo...unless you add weight you'd still be limited to either XP or EM---and you can use any tire up to and including slicks in either of those.

FWIW, I have run XP with both Nitto NT-01s and Toyo R888Rs and usually drive them to the events. They don't grip when it's cool or wet and will last about 5,000 miles.

Just want to make sure that you understand.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Currently my car weighs 2400 pounds with no interior, paint or oil cooler. So for me it would be less than 100 lbs of blast. Still a lot, but not undoable.
 

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Currently my car weighs 2400 pounds with no interior, paint or oil cooler....
Interesting. I'm curious to know your configuration.My aluminum head 5.0 Windsor with PS, a T-5, 3 link live axle and insulated and carpeted interior weighs in at 2,180 with a full tank of gas.

Jeff
 

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Just to mix things up,
I bought a trailer for $1500, that’s less than many tire options.
I can use it and my wife’s suv to tow the car to the drag strip where I run slicks. I can also take along a full size cooler, tools, ez up tent etc.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My car is a 99 mustang donor build but with the 2015 IRS. So an iron block 4.6l overhead cam motor, and I think it's a T45 5 speed. Power steering, power breaks and the donor harness. I also put berliner on the underside of the body and some lizard skin coating in the cabin and trunk.

Anyone with experience running 315s on a 10" wide 18" wheel?

The trailer wouldn't be a bad idea if I had more space, but I have zero room. Storing it nearby would add up quick. I live in Los Angeles.
 

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I run the 275/47/17 combo with the Mustang Cobra rims. I do open track, but there should be tires available in 17"? I have been using the Hankook Ventus tires, very happy with them
 

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I have thought about a trailer several times in the last 16 years. I haven't done it for one reason- I enjoy the drive to and from the AX almost as much as the AX itself.
 

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Make sure the ramps are long enough to prevent the Cobra from scraping while loading and if buying new, throw away the tires and buy new better quality.
I bought my trailer used, had to replace all the original tires. Previous owner already had one blow out, for unknown reasons. Friend gave me 2 rims that blew out on his. Brother had all 4 tires go in 1st year.
I bought 8 ft long folding alum loading ramps from Harbor Freight. They are rated 1500 lbs each. They form an arc when extended and hope the roadster clears on the way up.
 

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I've been through a number of tire changes, including your G2's, but I recently switched to NT01s and couldn't be happier. They stick like crazy, and I'm going to continue to use them for daily driving, cruising, as well as track days. When they wear out, I'll probably get another set. They're that good.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Several people have recommended going to NT01s. My hesitation with those is I still want to drive the car on the road quite a bit. Rain and snow are usually not a problem in southern California, but there are cool mornings I've been out in the mountains and been caught in the rain along the coast. How limiting are the NT01s for driving on the street? How many miles do you get on your tires? NT01 or NT05?

thanks
 

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I've been quite happy with NT-01's on the street. Like any summer performance they do not have great grip when the road surface temperatures are below 50F and I wouldn't drive on them at all below freezing. I have been caught in the rain a couple of times and they are fine on very wet roads but obviously would be a problem with standing water. I have auto x'ed on the NT01, GForce R1, Hoosier A6 and Kuhmo V710 and the NT01 holds up pretty well if you are looking for a fast fun tire and don't mind giving up a little bit of time versus a more dedicated Auto X tire like the V710. Most people seem to get around 5000 miles out of a set of NT01's which for me is about 3 years. This is a 275-17 on the front of my MkI.
363030
 
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I also drive the NT01s exclusively, street and track. Unlike many other track day tires, the NT01 generally doesn't heat cycle out. In fact, I have the opposite problem; the cobra barely has enough weight to get the section widths we run to true operating temp (or I may just lack the talent to get there).

Cool mornings, they definitely have less grip, but that will be true of ANY summer tire. It doesn't get real bad until around freezing, but there is a progressive drop in grip as it gets cooler. The grip/slip remains progressive, just a much lower limit. I've driven to an event at 17F with autoX runs in the high 20s. Everyone was lacking grip and I was no worse off than anyone else. At least until the guy in front of me oiled the track down. 😱

My last 2 sets, I got 6k miles out of the backs with a mix of spirited driving and track use. By track use, I mean ~4-5 track events with 2 or 3 20 min sessions in each, 15-20 autoX runs, and maybe a stray trip to the drag strip throughout the life of the tire. The fronts I think I can get 12k miles now that I've got the toe/camber sorted out a bit better. I usually flip the tires on the wheel half at the half way point to even out the wear. The backs wear out the outside (solid axle with no camber adjust) and the front wear out the inside with a good bit of negative camber. They are they good to the cords, and actually have about 20% of the life left after the tread is entirely gone. They have depth indicators to help with remaining life, like slicks do.

I've only been caught in the rain a handful of times. A wet or damp road isn't a big deal, it does great. A downpour or standing water will obviously be a problem, you'll have to drive slower. I hear some racers/autocrossers use the NT01 as their wet tire instead of the hoosier A7.

Obviously, this tire isn't going to compete with the A7 in autoX. If you are serious about wining in XP, you'll need the A7. I've still placed well on my occasional autoX though.
 
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Warning sticker from my NT-01's. You might want to rethink using them in extremely cold conditions.

363033
 
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...
Obviously, this tire isn't going to compete with the A7 in autoX. If you are serious about wining in XP, you'll need the A7. I've still placed well on my occasional autoX though.
Yep. See the Hoosier logo color? Lots of people call A7s 'purple crack' because once you have run them you won't want to run anything else.
 
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