They also have manufacturing dates molded in so you can know the true date the tire was made. An inexpensive durometer tester will give you a good picture of the condition of the rubber. The manufacturers will tell you what compound will read to which spec for their tires.
I'm less sure how to judge sidewalls as even the drag radials I run are pretty much useless at the end of a decent season. I gues I'd look for the size you need off light weight low powered bracket cars or NHRA class cars that replace the tires three times a season.
Drag Week 2012 - Winner Street Race Big Block Naturally Aspirated - Big hat no horses Drag Week 2013 - Watching the live feed Drag Week 2014 - Maybe I'll go faster with a 1000 fewer pounds?
We buy used roadrace slicks all the time and rate them by the durometer reading. Each tire is different so talk to a knowledgeable retailer or the manuracturer abou the outside hardness range for the tire. You can purchase various softening compounds to extend the life of the tire, but its a bandaid.
Last edited by Bob Holmes; April 15th, 2012, 10:47 AM.
Reason: buy-by, meh
I have a durometer, my semi trucks tires test at a 75, my used slicks test at a 70...my truck tires are a 70....When I found that thing I went around and plunked that in every tire I found....Maybe that guage is old and inaccurate, but I found it pretty much useless. It seemed to work like our rockwell tester....New $700 Goodyears were bearly under 70.
I've ran in one lapers for top fuel teams, and I've had some used ones...
It really depends on how they were used....I mount them, put no more than 10 psi and squirt them with simple green, if it bubbles on the side walls they are pretty much broken....
On my camaro, I get all the used ones I can get. I get them at the track and I find, even though the tread looks good the side wall is gone. A high powerd car will destroy the side wall before the tread shows any signs of wear.
My camaro with it's 1.70 60ft really doesn't care, but an a/fueler trying for a .930 really feels it. One of the benifits of my job I guess is I will always have rear tires for my car, I'd ship you some but the cost wouldn't be worth it. If you raced serriously, you'd just buy new ones.
Bottom line, side wall is as important as tread wear, used slicks can be had for free...
buying... durometer? ummm, while I'm sure that's a useful device it leads me to the question I should have asked first - what slick to run on the Buick, then what to look for in used slicks...
my 71 monte runs a 30x9 m/t et drag radial slick and i have yet to run them (local track isnt open til the 29th) but the previous owner of the car did send me a picture of it pulling the front tires of the ground with those tires on it, and x2 on what CDMbill said. my monte has 4.10s, a 3500 stall converter in a th350 and weighs around 4000lbs if that helps you any
I have been running a 10x29 Goodyear with no rubbing issues and no trimming of fender lips. 15x8.5" Centerline with 4 7/8" backspacing... and it seems to like between 11 and 12 psi to get a nice flat footprint. The more common size, a 15x8" with 4.5" backspacing will work just fine, too.
My durometer is my fingernail... sink it into the rubber on the tread... the new slicks will be much softer than a street tire or a worn out, hardened old slick.
Look at how much hole is left in the "tread", and is it evenly worn across the tire? Look at the sidewalls; how wrinkled are they? Are they cracked or dry rotted? Are there holes in the beads from rim screws?
If they looked good, I would give perhaps $50 for a pair of used slicks.