Top fuel dragsters can accelerate from 0 to 335 mph in 3.6 seconds. While sheer horsepower is part of the equation, their massive rear tires are just as critical. Driver61 explains why dragster tires are designed the way they are and the physics that help them grip like mad and launch cars down the drag strip like a rocket.
THE BEST Tires
Being able to change a car tire is an essential skill that everyone should learn. Stunt driver Terry Grant has figured out how to change a car tire while the car is still in motion. Back in 2010, he set a Guinness World Record for the fastest wheel change on a spinning car, a feat he managed to achieve in 3 minutes, 10 seconds.
A house in Pataskala, Ohio is minding its own business when an unexpected visitor arrives at its front door. But this isn’t just some annoying door-to-door salesman, it’s an errant car tire which has separated from a vehicle and comes flying at the house at roughly 65 mph. At least it has the courtesy to use the doorbell.
Ever wondered what it would be like inside of a car tire as it rolled down the road? We now have the answer, thanks to Warped Perception, who mounted a GoPro and lights inside a wheel before mounting a tire on it. Since the camera can’t see the outside world, all we see is the rubber deforming as it rolls over bumps.
Everyday car tires are made mostly by machine, but the high-end tires used for racing are made by hand. In this clip from Street FX Motorsport TV, they take us inside Michelin Motorsport’s HQ in France for a look at the tire-making process, building up layer by layer of rubber, textiles, steel, and adhesive on spinning drums.
Artist Blake McFarland shows off a pair of sculptures he built for the 2019 Cotton Bowl. He created versions of Penn State’s Nittany Lion and the University of Memphis Tiger out of Goodyear tires, wrapped around a foam and fiberglass structure. The sculptures weigh about 200 lb each, and used pieces from 400 tires combined.
Just like a real 4×4, if you’re going to take your R/C vehicle off-road, it needs proper tires. Traxxas is showing off their extreme new Sledgehammer tires. Designed for their badass Rustler 4×4 VXL, the oversize tires increase ground clearance, and have an open-block pattern for traction and mud-clearing on the most rugged terrain.
Science Channel’s How It’s Made takes us inside of the Kenda tire factory for a look at the fascinating and complex process of transforming various rubber compounds into knobby, rugged mountain bike tires. The machine that applies the texture really is like a giant waffle iron.
While tires are generally meant to be disposed of once they’ve lost their tread, some kinds of industrial tires are so expensive that it’s worth giving them a second life via retreading. Pete’s Tire Barns shows how they refurbish worn out airless tires. Original video here.
We learned from Mythbusters just how versatile duct tape can be. But here’s one use we never thought of – making a spare tire out of the sticky stuff. Life OD tried just that with surprisingly usable results. Unfortunately, it cost more to make than buying a cheap rubber tire.
We recently spent a day with the fine folks from Michelin and TireRack.com to see why winter tires are critical in colder climates. Those all-seasons your car came are okay down to about 44º F, but below that, you’ll be much safer and better controlled with true winter tires.
After you wolf down your requisite dose of fried dough and sugar today, sit back and enjoy some donuts of the automotive variety, courtesy of pro driver RJ Anderson, as he spins circles on his BFGoodrich® Tires. As Anderson proves, the best donuts are the ones you make yourself.
Based on a similar, but simpler design to their airless car tire concept, Bridgestone is showing off a bike wheel and tire combo which use a series of flexible thermoplastic spokes to absorb shocks and can never go flat. They hope to put them into production by 2019.
A far-future tire design for autonomous vehicles. The Eagle 360 would offer cars much greater maneuverability, thanks to their spherical shape, a larger contact area, and unique tread design. Their mag-lev attachment system is like having four BB-8s driving your car.