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snowphun Profile
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Re: Towel City Retreading


I like Phil's idea regarding a tractionizer, that (or a local tire dealer who is willing to work with us) is about the only way to make this possible. I think the next concern is how well do tracionized (or Towel City) tires wear? If performance drops off after a couple races only the wealthy will be fast.

A quick search of the interwebs shows very few manufacturers of these devices. In fact most seem to be home made. Here's one with a video to help those who haven't seen it before: http://www.uniwerks.ca/sac/sactionizer2.htm

I have to think these will wear quickly but I have no first hand experience. Interesting that they claim you can do this to any old tire and get good results.

---
Paul Norman
SL4 #81
2/25/2010, 5:45 pm Link to this post Send Email to snowphun   Send PM to snowphun
 
phil 17sl Profile
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Re: Towel City Retreading


Thanks Paul for your interest and for searching the web for more information.

When AMEC exhibited at the Parts Peddler show in Syracuse, a number of us who were there saw a tractionizer of new design being demonstrated.

It was a self powered unit. You mount your tire on it and lower an arm with a needle wheel on it. In fact this tractionizer was called the "needler!"

Why should we bother to tractionize tires in street legal?

More traction makes your car more fun to drive especially when the ice gets polished off. It gives you more control during the last half of your race.

Our fellow ice racers in Canada run tractionized Blizzaks. Who should know more about what works best for rubber to ice than our northern neighbors?

Regarding tire wear: Tractionized tires shouldn't be used on the street because they will be very soft and will likely wear out or even chunk on your ride home!

In addition to improved traction there are other benefits to tractionizing:

a) your older and now harder WS50's can be tractionized (think of softened) so you can use them another season. This will stretch your budget.

b) tractionizing is less expensive than having to buy new tires.

c) Last month Bridgestone released a WS70! Being able to run on tractionized tires would remove the need to update and give us all a bit more control just when we need it. That would certainly add to the fun factor.

So that begs the following questions:

Is there interest in tractionized tires?

If so, should AMEC purchase a "needler" ($1000-1400) to allow us to make tractionized tires.

Note: this particular tractionizer was being marketed to dirt track and karting racers. If for any reason it didn't work out for us, there is a ready market for the unit.

And if so, should tractionized tires in SL be an expermental class for their first year?

What do you think?

Phil


3/3/2010, 1:21 am Link to this post Send Email to phil 17sl   Send PM to phil 17sl
 
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Re: Towel City Retreading


This opens up a whole can of worms.
First AMEC is and never has been in the tire modification business.
A charge would have to be made to recoup the cost.
Is someone going to do this or is the machine to be rented ?
Which brings up the availability of the machine.
What are the options for a newcomer who would possibly be at a disadvantage.
What affect would this have on the Bridgestone sponsorship ? I'm sure they would much rather have cars running on the latest tire than on some chewed up 4yr old tire that they no longer make.
A typical racing thing; if some one painted their tires green and won, next week would see a lot of green painted tires.
Tractionizing/needling a modern soft tire is not the same as it was 40 yrs ago.
I am a born skeptic. I would like to see proof that there is an advantage. Just because everyone does it, is not proof.
I could go on but I guess I have dug enough worms.

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Richard C. "Dick" Vedder
AMEC Chief Steward
3/3/2010, 10:32 am Link to this post Send Email to zx2 2000   Send PM to zx2 2000
 
Dave 48 Profile
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Re: Towel City Retreading


I am all for traction but I sort of agree with Dick that this will hurt the SL class which should be an easy class to enter and maintain for the club. On the other hand if we made an improved or prepared SL class that might be interesting then we could have our cake and eat it too. The really serious SL racers could tractionize and the newbie’s or people that don't want the extra expense could just run plain Blizzaks. That may be a nice compromise for all and keep Bridgestone happy too. It is another class to keep track of though and that would not make the scorers or points guy happy!
Dave Burnham
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3/3/2010, 1:14 pm Link to this post Send Email to Dave 48   Send PM to Dave 48
 
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Re: Towel City Retreading


That's an interesting idea. We saw a few cars show up this season in SL with enough modifications that I'd consider them "prepared."

That said, it probably wasn't enough to form a separate class.

---
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Check out Autoblog's Intro to Ice Racing!
http://www.autoblog.com/tag/introductiontoiceracing
3/3/2010, 3:42 pm Link to this post Send Email to Tim Stevens   Send PM to Tim Stevens
 
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Re: Towel City Retreading


Tell us what those modifications were.
Then we can investigate.

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Richard C. "Dick" Vedder
AMEC Chief Steward
3/3/2010, 6:09 pm Link to this post Send Email to zx2 2000   Send PM to zx2 2000
 
snowphun Profile
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Re: Towel City Retreading


quote:

Dave 48 wrote:

I am all for traction but I sort of agree with Dick that this will hurt the SL class which should be an easy class to enter and maintain for the club. On the other hand if we made an improved or prepared SL class that might be interesting then we could have our cake and eat it too. The really serious SL racers could tractionize and the newbie’s or people that don't want the extra expense could just run plain Blizzaks.



Right, it shouldn't be unreasonable to think these tires could run at the same time as SL. If they are around the same performance as the Towel City tires then there won't be an outrageous speed difference.

I suppose we need someone to make a set and test them the same way we did Towel City. However, if tractionized tires are not faster, why has AMEC explicitly banned the practice for SL?


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Paul Norman
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3/3/2010, 6:19 pm Link to this post Send Email to snowphun   Send PM to snowphun
 
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Re: Towel City Retreading


Paul, to answer your last paragraph.
In the old days when snow tires were hard as a rock, tractionizing was found to improve traction on ice.
With the introduction of the modern snow/ice tire traction was greatly improved, approaching and sometimes better than a street studded tire.
It was felt that tractionizing would be uneccessary and a additional expense and not available to all.
How ever, if someone wanted to try a set,a test would be allowed.


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Richard C. "Dick" Vedder
AMEC Chief Steward
3/4/2010, 9:31 am Link to this post Send Email to zx2 2000   Send PM to zx2 2000
 
phil 17sl Profile
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Re: Towel City Retreading


Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond.

This discussion is really about how to solve the no traction problem we all experience when the ice gets polished.

We know the fun is there until the traction goes away. When the traction goes away so does the fun.

What can we do to restore the fun factor for the last half of our races? It's the missing piece in what is the best in all of grassroots racing.

In short, how to we add a little more traction but not too much, to help us when the track gets slick?

The Towel City tires are certainly an answer. They are plenty soft. I don't know how long they'd last. But after starting at the very back, I finished 4th in my first race on them.

They don't look like much but the soft compound seems to be exactly what works when everything gets polished.

The other way to get to soft, is by tractionizing. It's what the Canadian clubs do to their Bridgestones. Richard, Bridgestone apparently sponsors their rubber to ice series, too.

The advantage to the latter is that you can tractionize any tire and it's less expensive than buying new, softer, tires.

The disadvantage is that a tractionizer has to be purchased and it's a sizable chunk of change. But it can also be used by the club's dirt track and karting guys.

Saying that SL should be an easy to enter class implies that having to get tires tractionized might be a greater obstacle to participation than having to buy new tires like Towels or Bridgestones.

On the other hand, being able to tractionize existing tires might be a lesser obstacle to participation.

But that's a sidebar to the traction problem we are trying to solve. If we can settle on a solution that improves control in the last half of our races, we will not have to worry about participation. You know, if you build it (right) they will come!

That's why I brought up the notion of tractionizing because it's a solution to what ails us. So are TC's and perhaps other tires, as well.

More traction equals more control which equals more fun!

How do we get from here to there?

Spring for a tractionizer and experiment for another season or just go for the TC's and be done with it?

Phil
3/4/2010, 9:33 pm Link to this post Send Email to phil 17sl   Send PM to phil 17sl
 
03 Cobra Profile
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Re: Towel City Retreading


 Haven't we always had to deal with polished ice at the end of the race? Throughout the race the traction is steadily decreasing. For me this means slowing down a bit and if need be, changing my line to find better traction. I think it's part of the strategy in SL.

 If we go with the Towel City tires, we will lose the Bridgestone sponsorship.

 I think tractionizing might help traction, but at what cost. Not only will there be the cost of a tractionizer, but also the added cost of buying more tires. I believe tractionizing tires will greatly reduce there life expectancy, even if only run on ice.

Jon Bronk #12 SL
SL tech
3/4/2010, 11:29 pm Link to this post Send Email to 03 Cobra   Send PM to 03 Cobra
 


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