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czerka
czerka New Reader
12/14/20 1:30 p.m.

I recently took my 09 Civic Si to our first track day.  The car came with brand new budget all seasons when I bought it and I thought while they wouldn't be great on track they would survive.  Instead they overheated and started losing chunks out of the outside blocks.  I'm sure me understeering all over the place didn't help.

What's the move here?  The car is my "daily" but I travel for work so it spends most of it's time sitting.  I live in Houston so below 40 days aren't common but definitely happen.  My work slows down in the winter months, so most tracking or autocross I do will most likely be in the cooler months.  I'm pretty sure I want to keep all seasons on the car for it's daily duties or any road trips that might come up.  I don't have a problem buying another set of wheel to swap between daily and track tires.

I guess what I need to know is, can you upgrade to 200 treadwear tires too early?  I worried about the extra grip teaching bad habits or wasting tires by overdriving and not realizing it.  Would ultra performance all seasons survive a track weekend?  Put them on now and get another set of wheel for track tires down the road?

 

 

84FSP
84FSP UltraDork
12/14/20 1:33 p.m.

Indy Firehawk 500

BFG Sport Comp 2

Hankook RS4

Many options

captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
12/14/20 1:47 p.m.

knowing the amount of rain that Houston gets from time to time, without a second set of wheels, I'm going to suggest Conti ECS. I recommend a second set of wheels for later on down the road that will allow for less compromise on both ends of the spectrum. 

cmcgregor (Forum Supporter)
cmcgregor (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
12/14/20 1:48 p.m.

I have Continental Extreme Contact Sports on my Miata and they're great. 2 track days and an autocross with no noticeable wear or damage, good in the wet and not super loud for daily driving. 

cmcgregor (Forum Supporter)
cmcgregor (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
12/14/20 1:50 p.m.

In reply to captdownshift (Forum Supporter) :

Damn, too slow!

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
12/14/20 1:55 p.m.

So I will give you the nagging instructor guy response:

Sticky tires will indeed cover up any bad habits you have..............beating on the tires till they chunk qualifies as a bad habit.

As the title says "for beginner" I will  touch on the two most common bad habits of beginners.

A. you are likely coming off the brakes to early and to abruptly, learn how to trail brake. This will get the car to rotate as opposed to trying to turn the wheel more to make the car turn.

B.  You're  trying to get back on the gas to early and to hard. You have to roll into the throttle at the same rate you unwind the steering wheel.

If A and B aren't the issue then it's purely a case of hard tires are slower tires and you need to accept this (read stopping beating on the tires like a hoon).

My advice is replace the all seasons and focus on being smooth. I've run FWD cars on track with all seasons and if you're smooth they'll tolerate it.  Eventually you will want better tires but for now I'd stick with the rock hard all seasons.

 

 

accordionfolder
accordionfolder SuperDork
12/14/20 1:59 p.m.

That looks camber deficient (potentially could help it a bit with some pressure adjustments?) - probably not helping things. What's the alignment? 

Above suggestions are all good too! Looks like you had fun ;) 

dps214
dps214 HalfDork
12/14/20 2:06 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

So I will give you the nagging instructor guy response:

Sticky tires will indeed cover up any bad habits you have..............beating on the tires till they chunk qualifies as a bad habit.

As the title says "for beginner" I will  touch on the two most common bad habits of beginners.

A. you are likely coming off the brakes to early and to abruptly, learn how to trail brake. This will get the car to rotate as opposed to trying to turn the wheel more to make the car turn.

B.  You're  trying to get back on the gas to early and to hard. You have to roll into the throttle at the same rate you unwind the steering wheel.

If A and B aren't the issue then it's purely a case of hard tires are slower tires and you need to accept this (read stopping beating on the tires like a hoon).

My advice is replace the all seasons and focus on being smooth. I've run FWD cars on track with all seasons and if you're smooth they'll tolerate it.  Eventually you will want better tires but for now I'd stick with the rock hard all seasons.

You're not totally wrong in your assessment, but crappy tires ike those just don't have enough heat tolerance for even the most competent track driving unless you're purposefully going slow to save the tires, which isn't fun or educational. Given those tires are wrecked I'd say it's time for at least a slight upgrade - ECS, indy 500, etc. Which will still show you if you're overdriving but will actually have some grip and not chunk all the tread off even when you're driving well and will let you gain some confidence and learn to trust the car which you really can't do on gripless tires. Or even 200TWs, they might allow you to get away with some bad habits, but assuming you're paying attention there will still be plenty of evidence of those bad habits.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
12/14/20 2:07 p.m.

 

 

Was going to say to just buy cheap summer tires, but in reality the Firestones are not that pricey and they will be more fun both on the track and on the street.

 

I vote for the Firestones as a good compromise.

 

The stock tires might  indicate some driving habit that you need to overcome, I don't think it is all the tires fault.

 

czerka
czerka New Reader
12/14/20 2:09 p.m.

In reply to accordionfolder :

Car is bone stock, as is the alignment.  Now that you mention it, most of the wear came from the first couple sessions where I was running normal drive to work 33 PSI.  Once I lowered the pressures, the wear wasn't nearly as bad.  It was only the front left that wore this bad.  The front right had some chunking but nothing like the left, and same thing, once I lowered the psi the wear slowed down.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/14/20 2:12 p.m.

Yeah,  all-seasons that just chunk doesn't really teach you anything. What you need is a tire with good breakaway behavior. Could be RA1s, could be something like RE71s. I'd talk to the Lemons and Champ Car crowd to see what the currently friendliest  and longest lived 200TW tire is. Higher grip tires just mean you'll run into those bad habits at higher speed, which doesn't prevent you from learning.

If you're running really low traction tires, you sometimes can't get enough weight transfer to wake up the chassis. Trail braking, for example, relies on forward weight transfer to work. If you don't have enough traction to transfer enough weight, it doesn't really work. My Locost (an extreme example) was terrible on heat-cycled tires. It needed the grip level of a set of happy R comps or at least 200TW to get working, and then it worked very well. We don't do chassis development work on Miatas using stock tires very often for this same reason.

I also believe it's easier to learn to ski on the blue runs :)

Olemiss540
Olemiss540 Reader
12/14/20 2:17 p.m.

Michelin Pilot Sports (are PS4s the latest?) are fantastic if budget isnt a concern. Absolutely great wear, rain handling, grip, noise, etc. 

If budget is a concern I would try for the RS4 as they wear like bricks.

No it is NOT to early to upgrade to a quality summer tire. No need to worry about treadware rating but definately want a popular summer tire at minimum.

jharry3
jharry3 HalfDork
12/14/20 2:20 p.m.
captdownshift (Forum Supporter) said:

knowing the amount of rain that Houston gets from time to time, without a second set of wheels, I'm going to suggest Conti ECS. I recommend a second set of wheels for later on down the road that will allow for less compromise on both ends of the spectrum. 

I emailed Continental about a year ago on minimum temperatures for Extreme Contact Sports. 

They say not to run them below 40 degrees F and do not expose them to below freezing temperatures. .   

I realize lots of people do this.     I would definitely not run them below freezing.  Personally I put mine in a corner of the dining room under a table cloth.  Just lay a square of plywood on top the stack, then the table cloth.  Instant extra serving table for the holidays.

czerka
czerka New Reader
12/14/20 2:28 p.m.

In reply to jharry3 :

This is what I am wondering about.  It was 39 degrees this morning when I left for work.  Almost all the summer tires say not to use near freezing temps.  Is it just a liability thing or will driving in the cold damage the tires? 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
12/14/20 2:33 p.m.

Conti ecs. 

 

If you can afford two sets get some azenis and some all seasons from costco or the like. 

 

dps214
dps214 HalfDork
12/14/20 2:39 p.m.
czerka said:

In reply to jharry3 :

This is what I am wondering about.  It was 39 degrees this morning when I left for work.  Almost all the summer tires say not to use near freezing temps.  Is it just a liabily thing or will driving in the cold damage the tires? 

Driving cold is fine. What they don't like is the shock of rapid temperature changes or hard use when they're dead cold. So yeah, if you go out to the car when it's 20* out and you hit max lateral G the first time you turn the steering wheel, you're going to have a bad time. If you drive gently and let the tires come up to temperature slowly, it's totally fine. My cayman isn't quite a daily driver but its on ECSs for street driving and I've put probably at least a thousand miles on it at temps at or below 40* between last winter and the beginning of this one, and it's totally fine. Grip is down a little but nowhere near dangerous, and it doesn't seem to have had any long term effects.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
12/14/20 3:41 p.m.

If you're going to daily these, be aware of wet weather performance, especially as they wear. And this is Houston, so what I really mean is those days where it's raining 4 inches an hour and the roads are essentially standing water. Not all tires are created equal in such situations. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
12/14/20 3:44 p.m.

OK so tire pressures were a contributing factor not all driver. I'm also curious as to whether or not you had an instructor and if so what did they say about your driving?

As for the tires, I've been on track with those exact brand of tires and while they are stones you can run them fast enough to learn car control on them. We had a set on my son's Imprezza 2.5 RS, they're fine for beginner or novice level.

The really cheap me would rotate the the right side tires and put a new Barum on the left front and run them for another track day then switch over to a more track friendly all season tire. 

If you start doing track days regularly eventually you'll want an extra set of wheels and tires (provided you have a place to store them) so that's something to think about. If you don't have a place to store wheels and tires put the most track friendly all seasons you can find on the car.

 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
12/14/20 3:44 p.m.

Just get a second set of wheels for some summer tires, and put a set of good all seasons on the stockers and enjoy. 

czerka
czerka New Reader
12/14/20 4:35 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

I did have an instructor.  At the end of the weekend he told me it was a good weekend and a good base to improve on.  I didn't get a lot of you're good at this, bad at that.  The organization that ran the track day said they would provide a copy of the report card the instructor filled out on us but I opted not to ask for one.  While driving, particularly in a couple corners, he would say I'd go quicker if I opened the wheel up and used the throttle to steer more.  It made sense, even I could tell the car was under steering but I had a hard time doing it consistently.  Personally, I didn't feel like I did that well.  Day one I felt like I was hanging on for dear life and day two I felt like I plateaued early and I spent most of the day over driving and not improving much.

accordionfolder
accordionfolder SuperDork
12/14/20 4:55 p.m.

In reply to czerka :

Mmmmm, with tires that look like that I'm not surprised you "plateaued" early the second day, looks like you're leaning on the shoulder a lot like most "stock alignment" fwd cars. You're probably trying to go faster towards the end of the weekend and the shoulder of the tire, which already has given up - is causing you to go into understeer earlier and earlier. A lot of the advice above is good for getting it to rotate and balancing the car a bit better next time you're out. 

Next time, you can do what I do and rotate your tires front to back half way through the day. I did this a bunch on my MS3 since it had effectively 0* camber in the front and I pretty much just was sitting on the front shoulder. I'd get the alignment checked for whatever you pick for you next tires before you head out and see if you can get more like 1-2* of camber - less "to go faster" and more to make it more consistent to learn/lean on (and easier on the tires). 

On street tires like that with not a ton of alignment you can also play with the balance a bit by adjusting the front vs rear tire pressures. Generally more pressure in the rear to make it want to rotate a bit more, but a lot of experimenting, etc would be needed to get it do what you want.

Lugnut
Lugnut Dork
12/14/20 5:14 p.m.

As an instuctor, I say stay away from the super-fast tires and just get one that'll last a while. The Indy 500s are great for this. Listen and feel what your tires are trying to tell you. If you're scrubbing them in that horrible understeery way, slow down, concentrate on making your inputs smoother and working together. You're fwd, so you need to work on hitting your apex and unwinding the wheel and applying the throttle at the same time in a way that they're both happy with, like learning how to release the clutch and apply the throttle at the same time to start smoothly. 

Don't worry about going fast for your first few days. You're learning what it means to drive on a racetrack, where the corner stations are and the things they can tell you, how to drive quickly around other cars, how to adjust your driving based on instruction, and how to feel what your car is trying to tell you and adjusting your driving to make the car happy.

In my opinion, you're 2 days in, so you're about 10% of the way to bumping up a run group. Make sure to try out different instructors - don't use the same one every time. Every one will have something different to teach you.

Stick with real street tires before you move on to track-focused tires. You're trying to learn how to be a better driver, so don't concentrate on lap times until you can consistently be more or less satisfied with every corner in at least one lap every session. :) It's a long road to being fast.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Reader
12/14/20 5:25 p.m.

Step 1- get a proper performance alignment.  Nothing else will matter unless you do this.  You can probably get good specs off the internet but it's better to take it to a reputable performance shop and let them do their thing.

Step 2- get a decent tire gauge and learn how to adjust pressures for the track.  Cheapest and easiest

Step 3a- get something in the 300-350tw range and run them daily.  I've had good luck with ECS, Sport Comp 2 and S.Drive. or:

Step 3b: Get a 2nd set of Civic factory wheels off of Craigslist, you should be able to find them dirt cheap.  Load them with a set of durable 200tw tires like RS-4 or Federal 595.  Your current  tires are probably safe to keep running for street/commuter use. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 Dork
12/14/20 5:59 p.m.

In reply to czerka :

The main reason you plateaued is down to overdriving; once you start over driving the car it's like smacking yourself in the head with a hammer, you just get completely wobbly and then your brain shuts down.

The hardest thing to learn is the art of bending the tires into a corner (take a stick and slowly bend it, it won't break, use sharp inputs and it snaps....this is how tire traction works). Learning to wind or unwind the steering slowly and coordinate that with the brake and gas takes time but pays huge dividends.

 

sergio
sergio HalfDork
12/15/20 2:32 a.m.

Two of my FWD cars have Indy 500's on them, good tire for fun street driving and some track time. The other FWD is the Lemons, Champcar, WRL race car, it has Hankook RS4. They hold up well for racing, but they aren't very good in the rain. RE-71R is better wet, but wears like an eraser when it's dry. Plus on the street they are really noisy and stiff riding. The stiff sidewall does give super steering feel though. 

Which track were you at?

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