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Drag Slicks

24 February 2000
Valhalla, New York
The only reasonable size drag slicks for my 98 NSX are Mickey Thompson 26x10.5x16. I know I can use 16x10 rear wheels, however, I would also like to put the Mickey Thompson 24x4.5x15 Drag Fronts for light weight (11 pounds each) and mimimum aerodynamic drag. Does anyone know if I 15" front wheels will fit on a 98?
Is the Comp T/A drag radial available in a size you can use? I have a lot of friends that drag Vipers and C5s and they like them a lot. I am also using them on my car and I am pretty happy with them. Any car running 11s or higher should be able to run about as fast with them as with a full non-DOT drag tire.

Are the MTs you are looking at radial? If not, expect the handling to get pretty squirrely at the end of your run. Bias rear/radial front tire combinations can get a bit exciting at high speeds.

Also, are the MTs low pressure krinkle-wall tires? If so, you should be careful if you have a high hp modified motor, as they will REALLY hook up and you can break drivetrain pieces on a hard launch. I have seen several cars break half-shafts with tires like that.

Just my 2 cents.
I don't have any time slips here in front of me, but everybody I know running above 11 sec. is using them now, except a couple of guys using Hoosier road racing tires. Two of Supras and one of the Vipers I know that run in the 10s use the full-on, non-DOT krinkle wall really low psi MTs because the T/As were slipping on the 1-2 and 2-3 gear shifts for them. Short of the 800+ hp cars and the sub-10 sec. civics though, everyone seems to like the Comp T/As.

Check them out at http://www.tirerack.com/tires/types/tiretype.htm
David, I’m running a normally aspirated 98 with Comptech Intake, Headers, Exhaust, and Street/Strip Clutch. I’m also running Pirelli P-Zero-C (these are equivalent to Comp T/A R1’s) 225x45x16 Front and 255x40x17 rear. My best 60’, 330’ and ¼ times with these mods was 1.97, 5.50. and 12.97 @ 107.2mph, respectively. Believe it or not, my best times prior to these mods, bone stock including Yokahama A022’s were 1.90, 5.38, and 12.87 @ 104.5mph. My theory is that I can turn the extra 3 mph top end provided by the Comptech mods into 0.2 seconds if I can launch the car better. In a conversation at the NIRA Spring Nationals at Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey a few weeks ago with Peter Farrell of PF Supercars, he strongly suggested I use bias ply slicks. He claims that drag radials can cause rear end tramping and possibly cause damage. He feels that the softer side walls of bias ply slicks provide a degree of protection. In any case I won Comp 6 (normally aspirated 6 cylinder) and would like to continue winning. Do you have any comparative experience with the Comp T/A Drag Radials versus bias ply slicks? Size wise they are about the same, both are roughly 26” diameter and 10” wide. I am also concerned about this increased size. It may be necessary to install the Type R 4.23 or even the Comptech 4.55 differential. I probably need to do that anyway since I’m crossing the ¼ mile at only 6600 rpm in 4th. In addition, if I can use 15” Volk Racing TE37 with the MT Drag fronts, I can save almost 50 lbs. In the front tires alone! Do you know if 15" wheels will fit? I know it can get squirrely at the end of the ¼ but I’ve been drag racing for a long time and have learned to be extremely careful through the traps. Thanks for the warning. By the way, what are you running?
Peter knows a what he is talking about (I used to have one of his RX-7s), so his advice is probably good. If you are not worried about the handling problems, you should go with the bias ply slicks,as they will definately hook up a little better than even the best DOT approved drag radial. I'm sorry, but I don't have back-to-back comparisons on the same car with slicks vs drag radials. I do know that one of my friends with a very high hp Supra cut several tenths off of his time switching to slicks, but as I stated in the earlier post, he was losing traction on launch, the1-2 shift and the 2-3 shift, so there was a lot of room for improvement.

I honestly don't know off hand if 15" rims will fit over your brakes. I would suggest you measure the clearence you have now between the outside of the calipers and the inside of your current rims. My guess is that it won't quite work, but it's only a guess.

I haven't had my car at the track in its latest configuration, as we have spent four weeks chasing an unbelievably pesky electrical glitch in the Motec M48 harness, but I think we isolated it this afternoon. I am also working with Aerodyne to modify my turbos to provide more boost, and if they can do it, that will cause another short delay. Bob Norwood is doing the tuning. According to the math, it should be putting 440-460 hp to the wheels before the NOS shot. MecTech has a slighlty less modified car that is making those numbers, so I am pretty confident we will hit them. As soon as I can get it tuned and through the quarter mile, I will post the times.

In its previous iteration, with 340 hp at the wheels and street tires, I was running low 12s, but had really bad 60 ft. times. The car floated all over the place on hard launches. Now that if have 18x12s on the back and 100 more hp, I expect that to improve considerably.
dswartz, mine is a silver 91 with the comptech widebody kit. Simmons modular wheels with 17x8 in front and 18x12 in back. Also have the Dali two-scoop hood. It is a great looking car. Will post photos in a couple of weeks, after I get the car back and sorted out.
Andrie Hartanto – The top is black on all coupes. Targa models are single color. This happens to be the only Yellow coupe ever produced.

nsxtasy – Thanks for the lead. However, I looked in the FAQ and it says “you can NOT use the 5-spoke wheels on a '97+ because the larger front calipers will not fit under the wheel”. Does this mean due to the diameter or the depth of the wheel?

David – Looking forward to the photos.