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Old 06-23-2013, 01:06 PM   #1
Cuda7050
 
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18 and 20 inch Drag Radials Pros and Cons

Okay, I am tired of the inconsistency of street tires at the strip and getting close to pulling the trigger on DOT drag radials. I need help from those of you that have experience with 18 and 20 inch wheel set ups.

Presently, I have an M6 with Solo high flow cats, Haltech CAI w/ADM scoop, Pedders street 1 bushings and chromoly trailing arms. Future mods will be gears in the short term with headers and cam a year or two from now.

I like the sleeper look and think 20 inch drag radials on widened stock wheels would be cool. But I have heard the 20 inch radials can lead to parts breakage and may not hook all that well. Are 20 inch drag radials a waste of money that won't get me consistent 60 foot times?

Getting a Weld or Bogart 18 inch DOT drag radial set up would allow me to change the look of the car from time to time. It seems that this is what I will ultimately need when I get gears, cam and headers. Its definitely a more expensive route, but if I can get good consistent 60 foot times with less strain on the drivetrain, I will probably go this route.

Sacramento Raceway generally has great air with poor traction. I only go a few times per year due to the track being 2 1/2 hour drive away, so perfecting my launch technique has been tough. With so few times at the track, I don't want to go home frustrated anymore. My car is a daily driver, the set up I go with would be used to drive to and from the track only. Help me make the right choice.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:19 PM   #2
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IMO, 2-1/2 hours away is quite a far drive on DR's. In your situation, I would just try putting some Nitto NT555R's (275's) on your stock wheels and see how you like them. They are a fairly decent drag radial that will still allow daily driving without wearing out too fast. Or you could widen your wheels (or just buy some wider aftermarket wheels) and put 305 NT555R's on them. Beyond that, the other "more serious" drag radials are softer and that 5 hours of driving to and from the track will take a toll on them. If you really wanted to, you could downsize all the way to 17's with the right wheels and suspension parts without changing your brake set-up. But again, that is for a fairly dedicated drag set-up. Personally, I would try out the NT555R's and see how you like them, they should be a pretty good improvement over street tires.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:57 PM   #3
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I have read the 555's don't hook up all that well, but sometimes these comments come from guys with 600 rwhp. Do you have experience with them on a bolt on car at the track?
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:13 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Cuda7050 View Post
I have read the 555's don't hook up all that well, but sometimes these comments come from guys with 600 rwhp. Do you have experience with them on a bolt on car at the track?
I have the Nitto 555R drag radials in 275/40R20 on my 2011 L99. Mods are LT headers, HF cats, cat back exhaust and JRE email tune. I've only had one day and one run out of a dozen days and 70 runs that the tires dead hooked, and that was at Valdosta on a cold December saturday. Every other run (at both Valdosta and Silver Dollar) I experienced wheel spin. I will admit I'm a novice, but I'm getting rid of those tires ASAP.
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Old 06-23-2013, 04:23 PM   #5
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I've run a set of 275/40R20 NT555R's on my bolt-on L99 and went 1.85 with them last year. They are a definite improvement over stock tires, best I could go on stocks was 12.7 on a 1.92 and best I went on the 555R's was 1.85 as mentioned.

All 20" DR's are a little pricey, so also check around locally on CL and on www.tbssowners.com (Trailblazer SS) sometimes good deals on there. I've DD on mine in rain and they were like stock.

I'm now also running a set of 305/18 NT555R's on 18's, not stealthy, went 1.66 on them I have a converter now. I would only DD if you have a short commute like me, mine is 5 miles one way.

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12.06@113 1.70 | + CD 3200 + 18" NT05R + RCR Intake + NE OTR + GPI Tune
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:54 PM   #6
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I drive around on a daily basis with stock tires. But for the track i run the same setup as PSJ. 18 inch C6 zo6 wheels with Nitto NT05R 305/45/18 drag radials.

I drive to the track on my normal tires and load my track setup in the car with a small jack. One in the trunk, one in the back seat with a tarp.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:17 PM   #7
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you can look up my threads,, I drive on my m/ts stoxk size 305 35 20, car is 4240#s with completely stock suspension.. car makes about 700 wheel...

it is a 2013 zl1... car has went as fast as 1.51 and goes a 1.60 spinning... no excuse to have 17s on a auto car in my o.p... my buddys car (I cant remember his screen name on here is a auto ss with whipple ect... car goes 1.5s on nittos, but his car is not near as consistant as mine and he has a few susp mods..
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:20 PM   #8
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you can look up my threads,, I drive on my m/ts stoxk size 305 35 20, car is 4240#s with completely stock suspension.. car makes about 700 wheel...

it is a 2013 zl1... car has went as fast as 1.51 and goes a 1.60 spinning... no excuse to have 17s on a auto car in my o.p... my buddys car (I cant remember his screen name on here is a auto ss with whipple ect... car goes 1.5s on nittos, but his car is not near as consistant as mine and he has a few susp mods..
Eventually that 20" dr will hold you back. And you aren't to far from that point.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:03 PM   #9
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Eventually that 20" dr will hold you back. And you aren't to far from that point.
At what point do you think 20 inch drag radials become a significant limiting factor? Is it 12.0's, 11.0's or some other factor such as simply not giving a great 60 foot time no matter the overall ET?
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:10 PM   #10
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At what point do you think 20 inch drag radials become a significant limiting factor? Is it 12.0's, 11.0's or some other factor such as simply not giving a great 60 foot time no matter the overall ET?
Just about where Baron is. 700 rwhp and low 10's. You could prob drop 10k on a full drag suspension and go a little deeper but it would be smarter to change the tire/wheel set up. At 700 rwhp I would expect much better than a 1.5x 60'. Something in the mid 1.4's is possible with a better tire. So B could prob go much faster with a different tire but he wants to max this setup out first. Time will tell what that point is.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:23 AM   #11
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My 275/40R20 NT555R's will hook at the track but ONLY if I leave off idle or roll into it. If I try to stall it up and leave hard on the converter like its suppose to I will get massive wheel spin. Its a auto car with a converter 440rwhp and stock rear gears. Since you are adding gears later on I would recommend the 18's with a 305/45R18. Cheap wheels for those would be C6 ZO6 front replica wheels or TSW Nurbergrig's. I thought the 20inchers would do the trick but found out otherwise. I'm sure a 315 or 305 20 would do better but still wont be as good as the 18's. I wish I had got 18's to begin with before spending over 700 on the 20's. The only advantage of the 20inch DR over the 18 is that it will look better for daily driving.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:24 AM   #12
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I spoke with the Mickey Thompson Tech and he recommended the 26x11 R17 ET Streets. Its a bias ply tire that is not appropriate for longer street drives due to the heat building up. He said they don't recommend Drag radials for manual transmission cars. This really complicates things. I guess if the drag radials are not optimum for us M6 guys, the question is how satisfied are you with drag radials on your manual transmission car at the track? Are you getting good consistent 60 foot times?
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:39 AM   #13
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Lol 26s are way shorter than stock. Our stock tires are 28.5 or so.
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Camaro Now: Mods for the Masses Part I | Part II
13.15@106 1.95 | 100% Stock
12.37@112 1.85 | + Kooks Headers/Cats + 20" 555R + CAI + BW TB + UDP + Tune
12.06@113 1.70 | + CD 3200 + 18" NT05R + RCR Intake + NE OTR + GPI Tune
11.84@115 1.59 | + 3.91s + Race Star 17x7 Fronts
10.90@125 1.47 | + GPI VVT Cam + BW Ported Heads + CD 3800
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:59 AM   #14
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Lol 26s are way shorter than stock. Our stock tires are 28.5 or so.

Yea, I know. My Michellin Super Sports are 27.6, with 26 inch tire, fender gap would be an issue, but on the plus side it would have the benefit of a slight gear change.
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