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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This weekend when installing the FD brake pads, I noticed that my rear tires were not showing a whole lot of tread remaining in the center of the tire....there is just ever slightly some tread left before the wear bars start showing. The inside and outside edges however, still look great. The front tires are still in great shape (dealer replaced them when I purchased).

My question is, should I replace the rears before I track the car at Pocono or, do it afterward? What do they look for during the tech inspection with respect to tire tread?

Thanks.
 

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I am no expert Vincenzo but I wouldn't want to go on a track with rear tires that are almost done.

It may actually be worth getting a set of racing tires if you plan to hit a few track events a year.
 

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You are fine at the wear bars on the tire for a track event...remember most auto x and track guys shave thier tires to 3/32 (which is the wearbar depth) for track usage anyway

secondly check your tire pressures a worn center with deep tread on both sides is a dead giveaway for overinflation
 

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If you take brand new full depth tires to the track they will wind up overheating and chunking (if you push it, which you will).

If you take worn tires, then (depending on where you live) you run the risk of hitting wet weather. I am fine taking worn tires to a track day if it is dry.

I usually wind up replacing my tires AFTER track days.
 

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Reduce your tire pressure if you're getting too much wear down the center. The tire is ballooning out in the middle.

Try 36psi ( although tire models are a bit different, this is a starting point ).

I would replace the tires if you're not real comfortable with the track and tracking your maserati. Having more grip is fun and safer. If you're real comfortable already, you may just use them up at the event but watch out on tight turns especially near walls!
 

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You are fine at the wear bars on the tire for a track event...remember most auto x and track guys shave thier tires to 3/32 (which is the wearbar depth) for track usage anyway

secondly check your tire pressures a worn center with deep tread on both sides is a dead giveaway for overinflation
Please remember that Pocono is a high speed track not a low speed autocross and the guys that shave their tires are doing it on dedicated track cars.
 

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As stated, a worn center means you have been running over-inflated.

If the track is dry your tires sound fine to me. Tread exists to funnel water away from the tire. In dry conditions you do not need tread, just enough rubber to make sure you don't get to the belts. Look at race tires, there is no tread. Even the best R compound, which technically are street tires have only a hint of tread (Hoosier R6, BFG R1 as examples) If you are above the wear bars you should be fine. On a wet track you will need new tires.

Also note that on a track you will be wearing the outside edges much more than the center, assuming you are running the same camber settings as you do on the street. Under high g-force turns the outside edge will take the brunt of the load while the contact patch in the center and inside edge may even loose contact with the racing surface. High degrees of negative camber in a race suspension prevent this from happening but street settings don't account for this.
 

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This is all true, a flat tire is no problem to run on... but I will say this:

The # of heat cycles are very important to traction. The state of the molecules in the tire actually change as the tire is heated and cooled. That's why new tires stick better in the dry, not because of the tread. Also the age of the tire is important as well. Fresh Rubber is Fresh Rubber and a Maserati should not end up in the wall, not good.

I really just don't want to be there if there's a problem. You can go either way, again it's all about experience. However if you're going fast, you'll be relying on the complete tire to function to it's full capacity.

I'm conservative on tires, because I know that I would push the car hard and be less conservative on the track. I've raced for quite a while and have learned to just spend the money instead of making a costly mistake. This works for me, others are more conservative in driving and still have fun on worn tires, that will work for them.

If they're newer tires (in age) and you're not trying to set a lap record, you should be fine... but just remember that when you're on the track ;)

Again, can't wait to see you all out there.

-- Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Guys - appreciate all the responses and your points of view. I hadn't even thought about a wet surface but, if it rains, I'll probably just bail out anyway. I had a harrowing experience in my 6-series at Summit Point a few years back in the pouring rain. To be safe, I'm going to go ahead and order a set and make my final decision over the next day or so while they're in shipment. I just hate to eat up a set of new tires at $300-$400 a pop.
 

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Street tires should not heat cycle out.

Optimum temperature for an R-compound track tire or a race tire is typically between 180-200 degrees. Some like to be hotter. Reaching those temps will cause the compound to change and lose grip over time, as you stated. The softer the compound, generally speaking, the more likely the performance will degrade with the addition of heat cycles.

However a street tire never gets near these temps in its daily life. Plus the compound is very different than tires designed for the track and do not break down as easy. The biggest issue you have with street tires is age and degradation due to exposure to UV rays and time. I would not put a street tire on the track that is over 5 years old. There is a date stamped on the side that tells you the born on date. Other than that, go for it!

You will actually get better grip (and keep you off the wall) with a worn street tire versus a new one. New tires have lots of tread = tread sqirm = less predictable feedback and higher temperatures = chunking and loss of grip.

Also keep in mind that it takes about 600 miles to break in a new street tire. They have to off gas and get scrubbed in. You will have less grip in turns and less traction in the braking zones until this happens. They even have warnings in your owners manual about this. Do you have time to break in a new set before the event?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Also keep in mind that it takes about 600 miles to break in a new street tire. They have to off gas and get scrubbed in. You will have less grip in turns and less traction in the braking zones until this happens. They even have warnings in your owners manual about this. Do you have time to break in a new set before the event?
I actually will have zero time to break in the tires before the event. I'm in a dilemma. I don't want to head up to the event having made the decision to go with the tires as is - only to have the tech inspection reject me! :confused:
 

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I actually will have zero time to break in the tires before the event. I'm in a dilemma. I don't want to head up to the event having made the decision to go with the tires as is - only to have the tech inspection reject me! :confused:
I would strongly advise against running brand new full depth tires at the track for the two reasons stated above (tread squirm/chunking and break-in/degassing). I had a P Zero (not on a Maserati) disintegrate at the track due to overheating because it was full depth.

Try and find out ahead of time what the tech criteria is and if your used tires meet it.
Providing you have some tread depth across >= 80% of the rear tire I would be ok with that, personally.
 

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I actually will have zero time to break in the tires before the event. I'm in a dilemma. I don't want to head up to the event having made the decision to go with the tires as is - only to have the tech inspection reject me! :confused:
Assuming you will be driving the car to the event, you'll have at least 250 miles on the tires when you arrive. Tech inspection will be done by Classic Coach/Ferrari Maserati of Central Florida/Lamborghini Bergen County.

908-352-3939
 
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