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Old 09-06-2006, 01:57 PM
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how muuch tire width do you really need

is there some way to calculate how much tire width you need for the amount for HP you have. im assuming the type of suspension (leaf springs, 4-link...) tire (slicks, radial...)and the weight on top of the tires you have, will affect the width you need. i'm assuming that at some point you will no longer gain traction and loose power trying to turn a bigger rim and tire, and at the opposite spectrum you will loose traction. sorry if i missed this thread but all my searches gave me tire diameter calculations. thanx guys

this for RWD (if it makes a difference)

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Old 09-06-2006, 09:08 PM
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It just depends on how well you can hook. There is a Nova runnig 7.16 on a 275/60 r15 MT ET street radials. He has 1500 hp and now that he knows he can hook he wants a bigger engine.
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:27 PM
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OLD HOT RODDERS RULE OF THUMB: Biggest tire that will fit the car. If you can spin it. Let air out. If you can't, add air.. If big is enuff than bigger is just right!!
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Old 09-07-2006, 02:46 AM
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As usual, Bob's right (and another way of expressing it: If some's good, more's better).

I remember when Tom Hoover was running a 392 hemi in a '57 Plymouth convertible in C/GA. The supplier tried to talk him into a smaller slick than he requested, but he pointed out that, with the torque converter and high numerical rear gear he was running, he was probably putting more launch torque to the slicks than the fuel dragsters! (He held both ends of the class record.)
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:24 PM
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It depends on whether you're driving or dragging. A daily driver doesn't normally need to float on puddles and swamps. A bigger footprint on a dragster means that each little square inch of pavement in that footprint doesn't have to handle as much push against it; you're spreading all that power over more area.

You could go through some calculation, if you can find the coefficient of friction for the surface. Weight pushing down, spread over the area of the footprint, tangential force at the pavement resulting from the torque applied, coefficient of friction over the footprint resisting that force. At some point, there has to be no gain in traction by going wider just because the weight is spread over that larger area.

Bob's practical method of figuring it out seems more fun, though. As you get wider you should reach a point where you can't spin it anymore.
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:09 AM
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Yes, I'm certain there's a point of diminishing returns. Unfortunately, the EFFECTIVE friction coefficient of a tire is not a simple number, but a function of loading and area. I'm certain tire engineers have developed such a relationship, but it would be of little value to the racer. If you're curious as to the effective friction coefficient for your particular car, the assumption of constant acceleration over the first 60 feet will serve to give you a pretty good idea. Use the spreadsheet on Page 17 of my blog:

http://home.earthlink.net/~whshope
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