Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Jefferson, Georgia.
Tires have a pressure range based on weight; first thing to do is find out what the manufacturer suggests is that safe range for your cars weight. Often TireRack has that and if not it exists elsewhere on the net. Start to the low side of what is the recommended pressure in order to allow for pressure increases due to heat and moisture. Make a run and immediately after square all four tires to the middle of what is recommended as the range by the manufacturer. Now you have a starting place. Note that it’s important to check pressure very quickly at the end of the run, heat and thus pressure will dissipate very quickly.
The sidewall marker, the triangle, is a wear indicator pointer, nothing else. Trying to get your tread to roll over to or near the triangle is not how you’ll see the professional teams do it. Lots of people like to try and use wear on the sidewall, that started way back before radial tires and the super strong sidewalls of today. It’s out of date.
Remember, when you start with low pressure, that lower pressure will cause squirm under hard breaking which can be unsettling, so consider that as you start your run, as the pressure comes up that will decrease. After you know to expect it, then it’s no big deal.
I’d suggest after you’ve made some runs and you know what cold pressure will place you in the middle of the tires pressure range, then start to adjust front to back to help balance the cars handling. Harder pressure is akin to changing to higher spring pressure. The front tires will most certainly start from different cold temps to arrive at the same hot temp; if your car has too much understeer or your not pushing hard enough, then the rears may start and end at complementing (same/same) pressures, meaning both sides starting the same and growing to the same pressure. If thats the case you want to change the balance to induce some oversteer, or drive the car with more throttle.
This approach of using the manufacturers pressure range and shooting for the middle to start, then adjusting for balance I’d suggest is far better than looking at a sidewall tread wear pointer and trying to move the wear up and down on the side of a radial tire. Old school is fine when it applies, but rolling over sidewalls is not applicable to a radial high performance tire. How you use the brakes too can have a big influence on how the cars handles, it’s an ever evolving game of data, learning, and skill. Start by requiring the tires to do only one thing at a time, brake, release, turn in, exit and open the wheel, then accelerate hard. Don’t overlap the actions and the tires will perform best, with more skill there are other techniques to learn but start here.
Best of luck.
Last edited by 66stangFb; 05-30-2019 at 07:38 PM.
Reason: Edit to indicate proper name of triangle as per manufacturer