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How to soften & use race slicks?

Old 08-11-04, 02:57 AM
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How to soften & use race slicks?

Hi, I just picked up some used race slicks. I got a set of yokohama slicks and also some Goodyear eagle slicks. They are size 21.5x9x13 and the others are like 18.5x8.5x13.
They are still in decent condition, but I wanted to know how to soften them up before use. They aren't hard like rock the way used up burnt out slicks usually feel but they are harder than I'd like. I've heard of ways to chemically soften them. Anybody know how to do that, or what you're supposed to use? If I chemically soften them how long d o they stay soft for, until the solution dries off or do they stay soft for like a day or a week? Any info you would have on how to use and car for race slicks would be great. I plan on using one set for autocrossing as they are still fairly thick and the other set I will use for having fun at the 1/4 mile track. thanx
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Old 08-11-04, 07:16 AM
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Formula V traction treatment is what you're looking for. Essentially you paint several coats of this on over time and it softens the rubber back up. Be aware that the tires will regain grip but they will also wear much faster.

Last edited by DamonB; 08-11-04 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 08-11-04, 08:37 AM
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Age kills slicks. After they are over one year old, even with treatment they will loose a second or so per pass autocross, and two seconds per lap road racing. That is why used slicks are so much cheaper than new slicks.
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Old 08-11-04, 06:46 PM
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We don't mind if they wear out to fast, we got them for almost nothing. We just wanted to use them on the 1/4 mile for some fun, just some tire to rip up on. We've never used race slicks before tho so we just need some info. I've also heard of softening them by using Mineral spirits or gasoline. That doesn't exactly sound safe to me but it seems to be I've found at least a handful of people that say you can do that. Also I'm planning on getting some rims to mount a new set of slicks on in the near future but in the mean time I was wondering if I could fit this one set of tires on a stock 1st gen wheel. Its a yokohama slick. The measurements are in meatric but they are 180-515-13, they are T-422 compound. The tread area measures 8 inches wide, sidewall to sidewall they measure 10 inches wide, they are about 19 inches tall or so. From the bead to the outer edge the tires are only about 3 inches of sidewall. Any chance I could squeeze these on a set of stock wheels. I'm not pushing alot of power thru the car, only about 145hp at the flywheel on a 12A. It's an 84 GSL with LSD. Also I was wondering if you can fit 13 inch rims on a 13b GSL-SE, I know the bolt pattern is different, 4x114, but I would go out and buy some big offset black steel wheels for a set of slicks if a 13 can fit. Let me know what you guys think. I appreciate all the help and info.
peace
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Old 08-11-04, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by DamonB
Formula V traction treatment is what you're looking for. Essentially you paint several coats of this on over time and it softens the rubber back up. Be aware that the tires will regain grip but they will also wear much faster.

I looked traction V on www.jegs.com, I guess it can't hurt to try for $40. Like I said we got the slicks for real cheap so we just want to learn how to play with them.
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Old 08-12-04, 01:32 AM
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Those size sound a bit small.
FC tire sizes are about 24" tall for stock tires!
Talk about screwing up your speedo...


-Ted
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Old 08-12-04, 09:14 AM
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Another trick is to apply the formula 5 and then put tire in garbage bag
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Old 08-12-04, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by RETed
Those size sound a bit small.
FC tire sizes are about 24" tall for stock tires!
Talk about screwing up your speedo...


-Ted

I'm not going to use them on an FC, I siad I am going to use them on a 1st gen.
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Old 08-12-04, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by banzaitoyota
Another trick is to apply the formula 5 and then put tire in garbage bag

What do you mean? Do you mean apply the formula 5 times? Or is there a product called formula 5? I'm not sure if you missed a word there or if I just don't know what your talking about. Either way, let me know. Thanx
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Old 08-12-04, 09:19 PM
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Formula V = Formula 5



-Ted
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Old 08-13-04, 01:27 AM
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Originally Posted by RETed
Formula V = Formula 5



-Ted
Oh, Damn. LOL
I guess I'm just retarded, I didn't catch that.
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Old 08-14-04, 05:14 PM
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We used to wrap the tire with gauze/cheese cloth and saturate with FV. Then wrap celophane over the tires/guaze and rotate every once in awhile.
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Old 08-14-04, 08:41 PM
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Are these slicks cantilever sidewall slicks or straight sidewall slicks?

The cantilever sidewall slicks have a very rounded, curved sidewall that bulges out from the tread and then goes way in. These cantilever sidewall tires are designed to mount a wide tire on a skinny rim.

Straight sidewall slicks are designed to mount on a rim that is the same width as the tire. They will not tolerate a skinny rim.

The best thing to do is contact the tire manufacturer to see what rim size they recommend for these tires. It is very important to have the right size rim that the tire was designed to fit. Goodyear and Hoosier have websites showing tire sizes and recommended rim sizes. Check your tire manufacturer.

Even if they will fit on your rims, they will probably not clear your fenders and front struts. The curved sideall on cantilever tires are real bad about wanting to rub on front struts - you will need either hubcentric spacers or 3" backspace rims to make them work. STock 4" backspace rims will make them rub the struts. Again, you will need wide fenders to clear the 10" wide section width.
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Old 08-14-04, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by speedturn

Even if they will fit on your rims, they will probably not clear your fenders and front struts. The curved sideall on cantilever tires are real bad about wanting to rub on front struts - you will need either hubcentric spacers or 3" backspace rims to make them work. STock 4" backspace rims will make them rub the struts. Again, you will need wide fenders to clear the 10" wide section width.
Why would he put slicks on the front of hs car for running down a 1/4 mile?
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Old 08-15-04, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by stinkfist
Why would he put slicks on the front of hs car for running down a 1/4 mile?

yeah good point.
I only need them on the back, no slicks for the front on a drag track.
Other than that yes, they are the rounded sidewall style slicks. They are actually road race slicks. The tires with the straight sidewall I think are strict hi power handling drag slicks. Those are usually made of a different compund such as D-5 or D-6. Road race tires have a different compund, mine are T-422 and T-425. They use different compunds and sidewall design because they are being used for different purposes. A drag slick is softer and gets stick faster with a burnout then a road race tire sine for road race you take turns lap after lap, they need to be harder. We usually use a heat blower gun to heat up or slicks though. That way less stress is put on the car trying to heat them up with a burn out. Then when we roll up to a lane with preheated tires we only need to do a short burn out to clean the surface of the tire off.
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Old 08-15-04, 09:07 PM
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you orginally said you wanted one set for autocrossing and the other set for 1/4 mile
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Old 08-16-04, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by speedturn
you orginally said you wanted one set for autocrossing and the other set for 1/4 mile

You're right I did. Sorry bout that. Anyway I'm not going to be doing any autocrossing any time soon. I don't have the finances right now to buy all the suspension upgrades I would need. So, we decided just to run the crap out of our cars at the 1/4 mile track and see what power can be released through tuning.
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Old 08-16-04, 06:34 PM
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Dont worry about the tires or suspension goodies yet. Just go get some seat time, thats where the speed is!
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