Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Kumho Ecsta LE Sport

Monday, June 25, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Kumho Ecsta LE Sport Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.14

2000 Mercedes-Benz E55
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Miles driven on tires: 100
Location: Southeast , MI
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 100 Miles on Tires
May 31, 2012

Just installed these tires today. So far I've been able to experience dry and wet conditions. Please note: I put in "Average" for my driving style as that is how I drive most of the time with the occasional "Drive crazy" blast, which most people would consider to be A LOT more than spirited.
First thing I noticed is how smooth the ride felt. Nice and smooth all the way up to speeds well above the posted limit on the freeway.
Second is noise. These tires aren't as quiet as I was hoping they'd be. They're still audible inside the car but they're not annoyingly loud (my E55 is SUPER quiet inside). However, given the size of the tires (245/40/18 Fr, 275/35/18 Rr)and how tight the suspension is, it is to be expected that there will be some road noise.
Third is dry traction. Dry traction is good overall. The traction control only kicks on when going over the stop line at a light. Other than that, no surprises.
Dry cornering is also very good. The tires feel like there's some give in the sidewall, so they're not quite as responsive as I'd like, however, it's very predictable. I'm sure pumping these things up more would firm them up. Dry stopping is also phenomenal.

Finally --wet traction. Wet traction is, for the most part, very good. Braking is excellent, even hard braking in the rain didn't activate the ABS. Wet cornering is very good overall. Definitely very confidence inspiring when driving in the rain on curvy roads.
The ONLY gripe I have with these tires is wet acceleration. From a dead stop, with slightly less than half throttle, the traction control was on the whole time until I reached the speed limit (55 MPH). However, given the torque output of the car (400 ft./lbs), I doubt there's a tire that could keep traction in the rain.
So far these seem to be great tires for the money. I'll post a follow up after I get another 1000 miles on them.


Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Michelin Energy MXV4 S8

Monday, April 23, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Michelin Energy MXV4 S8Reviewer's Overall Rating: 8.09

2003 Honda Accord Sedan EX V6
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Miles driven on tires: 44,790
Location: Sterling, VA
Driving Condition: Average

Initial Review, 44,790 Miles on Tires
April 13, 2012

Had them on my new 2003 Honda Accord EX V6. They performed well for the most part, with the exception of deep snow. The car handling is fine but the tires do not like hard cornering, they start to loose grip way before the car suspension gives in. These tires are also very quiet, unlike my last set of Dunlop on my old '93 Maxima. Granted, this car is no BMW but its handling is the best among the Japanese contemporary comparable mid size cars. Even some unsuspected underpowered bimmers and audi's will smell my exhaust in a hurry in a straight line start or on highway. I was fairly unlucky with this set as I lost two before their due dates. I lost one tire due to the ----ed pot hole on VA street that take out the tire sidewall at 4K. I had to replace a pair ($300) in 2004 to get matching traction at the front end. I lost another at 44K because some idiot dropped a large 2.5" bolt on the road and it went into my side wall, puncturing a big hole. The guy replaces my tire found the bolt inside the tire as I did not know why the tire blew out at 45mph. I think I will probably get another 5K out of this set before I had to replace it for the next winter. For V rate tires, they are not bad in terms of wear but I will probably replace them with the newer Primacy H rate. Some other reviewers actually got better than 50K mileage with these tires, I assume they only got the H rate tires.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the General Altimax Arctic

Thursday, April 12, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

General Altimax ArcticReviewer's Overall Rating: 8.55

2003 Mercedes-Benz E320 Sedan
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Miles driven on tires: 3,000
Location: Boise, ID
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 3,000 Miles on Tires
March 31, 2012

This is my second set of studded Altimax Arctics. the first is on my 1999 E320, and those also are holding up well after 5 seasons. They are noisy as are any studded tires, so the noise rating is relative to other studded tires, not to plain rubber. The handling is surprisingly stable on freeways and mountain roads. These tires get me around as well as most AWD vehicles, on miserable roads driving to and from ski areas in Idaho and Utah. I'm surprised at how comfortable these are on the 2003, more so than on the 1999. I'm guessing that difference may be related to the age and mileage on the '99 compared to the '03 and normal deterioration of rubber parts in the suspension. Having the studded tires is a must for night time driving in high river valleys where cold temps and any humidity turn instantly to black ice.

Suspension Shopping for my BMW 740i Part II

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 by Ben Rooney

Having already chosen the Eibach Pro-Kit Spring Set for my 1997 740i, it's time to turn my attention to the the shocks and struts, known collectively as dampers. The available options include the Bilstein Touring Class, Bilstein Sport and KYB GR-2. 

The Touring Class and GR-2 are similar to one another in that they're both premium quality replacements for the stock dampers. They are valved about 10% firmer than the originals to account for the wear that accumulates in other suspension components over time and their goal is to provide ride and handling that equals or exceeds the Original Equipment.

The Bilstein Sport is a high-performance shock absorber designed for use with lowering springs. The mono-tube design, while more expensive to produce, has advantages for heat dissipation, longevity and consistent performance. 

Do I spend the money on the Bilstein shocks or save some cash and go back with a factory-equivalent part? The Bilstein Sports are the only replacement shock absorbers that are officially recommended to use with the Pro-Kit springs. Using the Touring Class or GR-2 with lowering springs would void their warranties. While this wouldn't be the first warranty I've ever voided when modifying a vehicle, I think that if I'm going to go through the trouble and expense of replacing them, it's worth doing it right. The Bilstein Sport was the winner and will make a great addition to my BMW 740i.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Continental ExtremeContact DWS Reviewer's Overall Rating: 9.33

2012 Mini Cooper S
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Miles driven on tires: 50
Location: Vancouver, BC
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 50 Miles on Tires
January 24, 2012

This is a follow up to the review I wrote a few days ago. My Cooper S came with Bridgestone RE050A RFT "run flats" and the ride was awful. I have just put these "conventional" Continental Extreme contact DWS tires on and the difference is huge.
1) The steering is now lighter when making corners at low speed and roundabouts
2) The "roar" from the tires is much quieter.
3) The Mini doesn't "crash" and "bang" into pot holes and ridges like it did with the Bridgstones. Don't get me wrong, it's not Lexus smooth, as the mini still has a sport suspension (i.e. firm) and large'ish 17" tires, but I drove the same route to work this morning over a section of badly surfaced road and I wasn't gritting my teeth and grimacing all the way. Sure you could feel the surface, but I now feel like the tire is part of the suspension not excluded from it.
4) Best of all, the tramling has all but gone. Its pouring here in Vancouver and worn inner city grooves in the road are everywhere, but the Mini now tracks straight and true, I can drive with one hand on the wheel instead of bracing myself with two and wrestling it in the direction I want it to go. Vast improvement - worth the upgrade for this alone. I noticed the same effect on my Mazda 3 sport when I changed from Goodyear Eagles to these Continental.

Based on experience in the Mazda, I know they will be good in the dry too, but I wimp out in the snow and leave the car in the garage so I don't have any experience of that.

Tire Rack Consumer Review of the Pirelli PZero RFT

Monday, January 23, 2012 by Tire Rack Consumer Reviews

The following post was created from content submitted via Tire Rack's consumer surveys. Information shown is the opinion of the consumer and meant to be used for comparison shopping purposes.

Pirelli PZero RFTReviewer's Overall Rating: 9.33

2008 Mini Cooper S
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Miles driven on tires: 11500
Location: Peoia, AZ
Driving Condition: Spirited

Initial Review, 11500 Miles on Tires
January 10, 2012

When you are limited to RFT Tires, you really don't have much choice. I live in AZ where we see maybe 10 days of rain a year. My P-Zeros RFT's are 'simply without equal' as long as you have 'dry or slightly wet' roads. Naturally the MINI COOPER S is built to handle 'very well'. To that, I have made some 'upgrades' to the 'overall performance' of the car. I admit that I 'love driving fast' and when you make 'quick cuts' around 'slow moving traffic' at 'high speeds', you don't have time to wonder if your tires are 'up to the task'. Fortuantely the P-Zero's can easily and without any hesitation go where I point the car. Sometimes with maybe a 'foot or two' clearance when I change lanes at 80+ MPH. Wear is about what you would expect. The outer part wears faster than the middle of inner part of the tire.
I've driven Bridgestones as well and they are also 'very good', but the Perilli still does the job 'better'! Road noise is 'nil' Comfort? Well, Mini's don't have 'suspension' that 'comforts out' every bump in the road, but for the 'superior handling of the MINI, that is 'more than acceptable'. I wouldn't hesitate to get these tires again! Just 'Remember'. These are Ultra High Performance Summer Only Tires. I live very near Phoenix so there is 'never a chance of much rain'. If you live in a place where it does rain somewhat often, these may not be the tire you're looking for.
In AZ, they are TOPS!

Lowering Your Ford Mustang

Thursday, January 5, 2012 by Logan Woodworth
The late model Ford Mustang is fast becoming an extremely popular vehicle for both customizers and enthusiasts. This is partly due to the volume of aftermarket parts available and the demand from consumers to set their Mustang apart from the crowd and show off their personal style.

In addition to custom paint jobs and aftermarket wheels (rims), many Mustang owners are opting to lower their cars for more aggressive handling and appearance. Due to the flexibility of the late model Mustang chassis, there are several ride height and stiffness options available.

Depending on the version of Mustang, there are several options for lowering from standard non-adjustable springs to fully adjustable coil-over kits. Coil-over kits offer the height and dampening adjustability that is not possible with a spring-only application.
Eibach Multi-Pro Coil-Over R2 Kit for 2011 Mustang GT
It's important to note that when changing a vehicle's ride height, alignment adjustments will be needed for your vehicle. For lowering, this typically includes reduction in camber to counter the camber increase caused by shorter springs. For the newer Mustang, a set of camber bolts will do the trick for the front and an adjustable panhard bar or trailing arm for the rear.

When you're looking for Mustang shocks, springs, coil-over kits or other suspension parts for your ride, be sure to shop by vehicle to find the parts that are a great fit.

Winter Tire & Wheel Packages for Your BMW X5

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 by Marshall Wisler
No mRial Osloatter what you drive, Tire Rack has done the homework necessary to ensure a proper fit for your vehicle when it comes to our Tire & Wheel Packages. 

While some vehicles have many aftermarket wheel and tire options, others are a bit more challenging and require the use of specially selected wheels to clear brake calipers, avoid suspension components and offer a factory style stance. One such vehicle that comes to mind is BMW's X5. This vehicle, especially when equipped with the optional 20" sport package, is notoriously difficult to outfit with all-season or dedicated winter / snow tires. 

Although manufacturers are stepping up to the plate and beginning to offer non-summer X5 tires in the 275/40-20 front and massive 315/35-20 rear sizes, the most popular solution for those looking for the best traction in foul weather is a downsized Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package.

A few wheels, such as the Rial Oslo (pictured) offer enough brake clearance in an 18" size to allow for proper fitment. With wheels such as this, we prefer drivers run a 255/55-18 tire on all four corners. This tire size allows for a wide variety of cost-effective options, maintains the factory rolling diameter and has a better cutting effect on ice and in snow compared to the factory staggered setup. Most often, a Tire & Wheel Package for this SUV in the 18" size costs approximately the same or less than the factory sized tires by themselves.

How do we know which wheels will fit your vehicle? We measure your vehicle's critical components with sophisticated electronic tools that allows our engineers to create extremely accurate drawings of each part. For more information, read "How We Know What Fits."

What is the Best Tire Brand for You? We Can Help!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 by Doc Horvath
Tire RackIn a global economy, shoppers have more options than ever at their fingertips. From toasters to tires, products can be manufactured and shipped all over the world at a competitive price. And, when it comes to tires, how can you choose the most reliable and cost-effective brands? Let us help. 

Over our 32-year history, Tire Rack has developed close relationships with well over a dozen different tire manufacturers, including globally-respected brands like Michelin and Bridgestone to high quality but smaller companies such as Kumho and Yokohama. With every delivery to our warehouse and all shipments to our customers, tires are closely inspected for potential issues. Also, if an issue develops after the sale, we can work with you to get the issue resolved over the phone with the help of one of our friendly customer service representatives, via email or with the help of one of our independent Recommended Installers.

Regardless if you're looking for a new set of performance SUV tires, suspension parts, ceramic disc brake pads or more, we are sure to have what you want at the price you desire.

Tire Rack Gift Certificates: The Perfect Holiday Gift

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 by Marshall Wisler
If you're shopping for Tire Rack Headquartersa family member, friend or loved one this holiday season, consider a gift certificate from Tire Rack. With 17 different tire brands, approximately 40 unique wheel manufacturers, brand name suspension components, brake parts and more, we have a little something for everyone.

Not sure of a tire size, bolt pattern or desired product? Give the gift of unlimited choice for the person on your list. Once the certificate is purchased, the recipient will be able to purchase directly on our website or by simply calling one of our knowledgeable sales specialists.

Tire Rack Gift Certificates are available in dollar amounts ranging between $25-$5,000 and can be sent via email or paper form. For more information, please review the terms and conditions outlined below:

Gift Certificate Terms and Conditions

  • Gift Certificate is valid on future retail purchases from Tire Rack only.
  • Gift Certificates cannot be used to purchase additional Gift Certificates.
  • Gift Certificates are not redeemable for cash and cannot be returned for a cash refund.
  • Any unused balance will be credited to the recipient's Gift Certificate account.
  • Tire Rack reserves the right to change these terms and conditions from time to time at its discretion.
  • Gift Certificates and unused portions of Gift Certificates expire five years from the date of issue, subject to any applicable state law prohibiting any, or requiring a later, expiration date.
  • Tire Rack is not responsible for lost or stolen Gift Certificates.
  • The recipient's email address will be used once only for the purpose of sending the electronic Gift Certificate being purchased and will not be used for any other marketing purposes.
  • Gift Certificate cash value is 1/10 of one cent.

Boss 302S Wheels Available for Your 2005+ Ford Mustang

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 by Marshall Wisler
Ford Racing Boss 302S If you're looking to spice up your Mustang with a little bit of factory induced flair, take a look at the new Boss 302S wheel from Ford Racing.

The new Boss 302 has been heralded by many as the baddest Mustang ever built. With 444 horsepower on tap, a track-tuned suspension, aggressive Mustang rims (wheels) and tires and monstrous brakes, it's hard to find fault with these claims. Unfortunately, while the new Boss 302 may turn blazing fast lap times and turn heads while doing it, the cost for such pleasure is a staggering $45,000. No doubt still a tremendous performance bargain, but this price tag sadly puts it out of range for the large majority of buyers considering the purchase of America's iconic pony car.

Fear not, as parts exist to freshen up the pony already in your stable. Whether you own a 2005-2010 4.0L V6, 2005-2010 4.6L V8, 2011+ 3.7L V6 or a 2011+ 5.0, the new Boss 302S wheels are designed to fit all members of the S197 chassis team. Designed for use with Brembo brakes, these wheels will even fit the 2011+ 5.0L GTs equipped with the optional Brembo package and any 2007+ GT500. This truly is a versatile wheel that can be used with a large range of applications. What's more is these wheels can be used in a 19x9 at all four corners or with a 19x9 front and 19x10 rear stagger. 

So if you're in need of new Mustang wheels, search by vehicle to find the set that works best with this American legend. 

We tackle installing an aftermarket limited slip differential to help solve our wheelspin issues.

Monday, August 1, 2011 by Tire Rack Motorsports
As we look through our comments in the log book, one that stands out is rear wheel spin as we try to accelerate to the next corner. We’ve worked on the KW coil-over suspension to try and increase rear end grip, and even tried different tires, settling on the Hankook Ventus R-S3. And while this has helped, at most event sites we can still slide the rear exiting medium to high speed corners, resulting in sideways motion without forward progress. A look at the data stream from our onboard Race Technology data logger shows the OE Mazda diff still allows some single wheel spin, and we’re getting inside wheelspin and not just sliding both rears.

So we turned to the guys at OS Giken, makers of some tricky driveline parts and the OS Super Lock LSD. This tunable limited slip diff allows the rear end to lock smoothly with power application, and can be tuned to have different lock rates during acceleration and deceleration.

To simplify our installation and allow us the opportunity to try some back to back testing, we sourced a separate diff carrier to install the Giken unit in. This allowed us to simply swap out the pre-loaded diff housing in about 2.5 hours, with the help of a co-worker’s lift. Some things shouldn’t be done on the garage floor.
Ring gear removed from the spare OEM diff awaits the new OS Giken LSDOEM ring gear is a precise fit on the new OS Giken diff

OS Giken diff installed int he spare diff housing

Project STR waits for another turn at the Windy City Miata Club eventAfter a few break in miles, Project STR driver Chris Harvey joined the fun with the Windy City Miata Club to get an initial read on how the freshly installed OS Giken limited slip differential works. The competitors enjoyed great courses and lots of runs as they battled to reduce time throughout the day. Chris piloted the Project STR MX5 to the quickest time of the day for all Mazda's entered and 2nd overall for the event, just a few tenths behind a well prepped and driven BMW M3 running on ultra-grippy Hoosier autocross tires.

Next up for Project STR will be the SCCA Great Lakes Division Championship event held at Grissom AFB in Peru, IN, August 6th and 7th.  

Coil-Over Kits

Monday, April 4, 2011 by Tire Rack Team
Eibach Multi-Pro-Callaway Coil-Over KitsA complete coil over system is one solution to improve your vehicle’s performance.

The system combines springs, shocks and bump stop into one assembly. The coil-over set-up is similar to a race set-up in that it allows tuning of the vehicle through ride height adjustment. Coil overs often use an adjustable spring perch that allows for different vehicle ride heights without changing the springs.

Springs encompass the shock and bump stop, working to minimize bounce that occurs during driving. Shocks help control suspension movement while bump stops keep your vehicle suspension parts from coming in contact with the vehicle’s frame.

More information on suspension terminology can be found here:

“Understanding Basic Suspension Terminology” 

Does your steering wheel shake?

Saturday, October 16, 2010 by Mac McNabb
My dad called last night and said, "your mom's car is shaking again..." He immediately thought that the Goodyear Assurance TripleTread tires that were approaching 50,000 miles must be getting old.

Back Story: She just had suspension work done. She had her struts and shocks replaced, a front half shaft, front wheel bearing and THEN an alignment. I, of course, first thought the mechanic's work may be the culprit, because that has been the case before. But then I thought about it, she's got the new parts on her car and the vehicle did drive smoothly for about three days before the steering wheel started to shake. So I ran out to the garage and got my torque wrench and off I went to try and torque her lug nuts.
Every single lug needed to be torqued. I set my wrench around 90-100 lbs., and all of them had at least 25-40 degrees of rotation, with one so loose that it would have surely fallen off today.
Took it out for a ride and smooth as silk.

Always check your lug nuts a day or two after a tire has been removed, and re-torque them. It is very important. If I wouldn't have done that, she would have lost a wheel and sheared off most of her lug bolts on the front passenger side within a few days and most likely wrecked her car.

Project STR to Continue Development in 2011

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 by Tire Rack Motorsports
Tire Rack and Grassroots Motorsports are excited to announce our drivers/test team will be returning in the 2010 Mazda MX-5 for another season of SCCA Solo competition and STR vehicle development. 2010’s competition success exceeded our expectations as the car and drivers scored: Project STR turns toward victory at the CENDIV Divisional Championship
  • Three divisional championships
  • Two ProSolo class wins
  • Second place overall in the year-end ProSolo class standings
  • Two Tire Rack SCCA National Championship trophy positions (6th and 9th of 51)
  • STRL Tire Rack SCCA National Championship
The results were accomplished by resisting the temptation to throw all the go-fast parts at the car at the beginning of the season. Instead, we followed a systematic approach of installing and testing the major component changes so we could share the real world gains with readers along the way.

Plans are already in place for more car development and product testing -- a wet and dry extreme performance tire shootout, a brake pad comparison, further suspension changes and by popular demand, a heavy versus light weight wheel track test.

Do you have additional SCCA Solo-related comparisons you would like to see tested? Myths to bust or confirm? Give us your ideas below.

Are you looking for efficiency in all the wrong places?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010 by Connor Klink
Michelin, Bridgestone, and Goodyear have recently started producing low rolling resistance tires to help improve fuel economy. Many think that rolling resistance is a simple thing to evaluate and to place some form of numeric rating on. Regrettably, it is not that easy. There are many things that can affect the rolling resistance of a tire: tire tread compound, rotational mass, weight of the vehicle and the passengers in it, even ambient air temperature. But there are other areas that also affect the efficiency of the vehicle: proper engine maintenance, correct alignment, properly functioning suspension components, and of course the type of driver you are. Many people tend to ignore the overall vehicle, even with the hybrids, and try to follow the hype about tires being the great robber of a vehicle's efficiency. If you take the exact same tires and place them on the same exact cars but the cars are driven by two different types of drivers then you will find the efficiency rating will always be different.

Goodyear Assurance
featuring Fuel Max Technology
     Bridgestone Ecopia EP422         Michelin Energy Saver A/S

When we tested the low rolling resistance tires, I thought the ride quality tended to feel stiffer than a standard tire and the traction level nowhere near as good. In my own opinion, the wet traction was seriously lacking in all of the low rolling resistance tires compared to standard tires. So when it comes to the tires that my family drives on, I will always looks for traction and safety above all else, and would rather give up on efficiency to achieve a higher level of traction.

You can read more about rolling resistance in the tech articles below:

Tire Rolling Resistance Part 1: Understanding Corporate Average Fuel Economy

Tire Rolling Resistance Part 2: Defining Rolling Resistance

Tire Rolling Resistance Part 3: Changes to Expect When Switching from Worn-Out to New Tires

Search by vehicle or tire size—which is best?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 by Tire Rack Team
When it comes to picking out new tires, you can't venture a guess. The purchase must be educated, and it must make sense. Your safety on the road, after all, depends on it. So at Tire Rack, we offer a few different ways to reach a purchase decision. The easiest of which is to shop by vehicle.

When you enter your vehicle's make, model and year into our search tool, we will generate a list of tires that perfectly match your vehicle. It's a list that will offer Original Equipment and performance upgrade options, and it can be slimmed down by simply selecting your ideal performance categories. Every tire on your final list is accompanied by links to complete product descriptions, test results, tire reviews, specifications and warranty information.

We think it's the most complete way to search for a tire, especially if you don't know what you're looking for. But if you do know exactly what you want, you just need to find it in a size that fits your vehicle, you can search by tire size. The resulting list will match the tire size you selected, though it won't be specific to any particular vehicle. In this case, always check with a sales specialist if there's any doubt. We want your new tires to fit perfectly!

And finally, if you're in the market for more than just tires, we recommend you use our Upgrade Garage. Not only will we recommend vehicle-specific tires, we'll take it a few steps further. You can see everything we have that would fit on your vehicle. Think wheels, brakes, suspension, wiper blades and more. And the best part—the Upgrade Garage also creates a virtual representation of your vehicle, which allows you to actually see what certain wheels would look like. (Also read "Why Shop for Wheels by First Selecting a Vehicle?")

So really, the search method is up to you. Determine your needs, then search accordingly.

And as always, our sales specialists are on-hand and ready to help should you need it.

Another Victory for Project STR at the Toledo ProSolo

Friday, July 23, 2010 by Tire Rack Motorsports
Project STR is ready for actionAs our 2010 Mazda MX-5 autocross project continues to evolve, we’ve been hard at work on Project STR, installing and testing suspension components and adding some go-fast graphics.

We’ve also tried to answer the question about what tire and wheel size produces the quickest lap times. One thing we did confirm is that what feels good isn’t always fast, and what’s fast doesn’t always feel good.  The MX-5 has been a great test bed to find out what fits, and what works. A full report will appear in the next issue of Grassroots Motorsports magazine.

Meanwhile, the battle for the top positions in the SCCA’s Street Touring Roadster class are turning out to be intense, with just a few tenths of a second separating the trophy positions at most SCCA National level events this season. The Toledo ProSolo was no exception with the margin of victory for Project STR driver Chris Harvey coming in at a scant .087 seconds over runner-up Jason Wong in his well-prepped Honda S2000. Just .389 seconds back was David Corsaro, piloting his Honda S2000 CR to third place.
Project STR sits in post-race impound, allowing competitors to inspect the car--and wonder how it goes so fast.
Along with finding ways to make the car go faster, another fundamental part of this project is keeping the car streetable. To that end, our driver, Chris Harvey, drove 250 miles to and from the event on the same Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec tires and Kosei K1TS wheels he raced on—just like we did for the Peru National Tour two weeks earlier. No tire change at the event was needed. The rest of our gear for the weekend was packed into the car. Chris’s only complaint: what to do with all of his spare time at the event. Could going fast get any easier?

Suspension Products at Tire Rack

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 by Henry Carlson
Tire Rack not only sells tires, but has a large selection of suspension parts for your vehicles.

We carry Eibach Springs, H&R Springs, Bilstein Shocks and Koni Shock Absorbers just to mention a few.

Eibach lowering springs give your vehicle a great look and maintain good ride quality while enhancing cornering performance. So if you are looking to give your vehicle a more sporty look and at the same time improve its handling, you should consider Eibach.

Please check out all of our suspension products.

Mount up

Friday, July 2, 2010 by Jonas Paeplow

Mounts and bootsWorn chassis parts are often-overlooked ¬causes of tire wear, steering and handling problems, and even road noise. It may not always be apparent, but as your vehicle ages and your mileage increases, strut mounts will deteriorate.

When struts are being replaced (especially on high mileage vehicles), you should also replace the strut mounts to help restore the vehicle’s ride quality. In most cases, if the struts are worn out, the mounts will probably be worn out, too. In some cases, the mounts will actually come apart when the struts are removed!

KYB Strut Mounts are not just a simple mounting point for the top end of the strut. They act as a pivot for the steering mechanism to provide smooth steering response. Worn mounts can hurt ride control and safety as well as produce squeaks, rattles and vibration noise. Mount wear depends on the type of driving you do and the vehicle you drive.

The symptoms of a worn or damaged strut mount are:
• Noise when steering such as snapping, popping, creaking or groaning sounds.
• Suspension noise such as clunking or rattling on uneven roads.
• Increased steering effort brought on by binding in the mount bearing.
• Steering snaps back, caused by a frozen upper strut bearing assembly and spring wind up.
• Poor steering return where the car doesn’t straighten after ­turning due to binding in the upper mount.

Strut Boots:
As with strut mounts, it’s a good idea to replace strut boots whenever the struts are replaced. Strut boots protect the strut by keeping leak-causing dirt and debris away from polished strut shafts. In addition, the built-in travel-limiting bumper in the boot prevents the strut from bottoming out.

KYB Strut Boots
feature a "bellows" type boot that provides protection from dirt and moisture by covering the piston rod. They include an integral compression bumper that is bonded to the bellows to act as a "bump stop" that helps prevent metal-to-metal contact of the suspension during severe impacts.

New KYB Strut Boots and Bumpers are easy to install and provide a low cost insurance that protects the struts from dirt, moisture and severe impacts.