Firestone Firehawk Indy 500's finally broke loose

Discussion in 'Wheels & Tires' started by Emt1581, May 28, 2018.

  1. Emt1581

    Emt1581 Well-Known Member

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    I'll start by saying I (still) LOVE these tires!! They are exponentially better than the PZero's my car came with.

    Today it was around 57 out with a very cloudy sky and while it was not raining, the roads were still damp and even wet in some spots from a little rain overnight. I was driving spirited for about 15 mins prior to the experience of the tires breaking loose on the road because the roads were back/country roads and were absolutely dead. Not a single other car anywhere.

    Here's what happened. After a bunch of long stretches and pulls on these roads I came to a stop I've come to hundreds if not thousands of times. Essentially I am entering the two lane road from the left but at a 45deg angle toward the right lane (if that makes sense). The entrance is also at a slight incline. The road to the right is a blind hill that drops off about 25 feet from where I'm sitting/entering. To the left I can see oncoming traffic just fine for hundreds of yards. It's a point where you need to go from a complete stop to a pretty brisk start to avoid being rear ended by a vehicle you have no way of seeing coming (in the day time). So it's not uncommon to give it a little gas from a start just to get up to speed.

    While I wasn't sitting in a puddle, the spot was moist. I looked to make sure the road was clear, and then hit the accelerator. I didn't floor it. Not even close. I actually started out only slightly faster than I would have on a normal warm/dry pavement day and never got above 20mph. But as soon as I got onto the road it was fishtailing and ended up in the oncoming lane. Even though there was no one else on the road I quickly recovered and got back in the right lane. Since it never happened before I was worried I had a flat so I pulled over to check out the wheels. Nope, no flat. The sidewalls were dry but the treads were moist.

    Personally, I never drive on anything but warm/dry pavement. However, since I plan to wash my car this week, I didn't mind some wetness. Plus I wanted to see how the tires would do when not totally dry. And now I know. They handle great when in motion but from a stop, it did not take much at all to get them to totally break loose. It actually felt like hydroplaning in the back but as soon as I hit the brakes, the front locked up just fine.

    Just wanted to share my experience and paint as detailed of a picture as possible for others using them to learn from. :)

    EDIT: I thought this would be a good way to show the exact intersection. The entrance is where Maple St. intersects with Levans Rd. You just can't see the drop off from the aerial photo. https://www.google.com/maps/place/L...8f70c7a2d77bbaf4!8m2!3d40.65894!4d-75.5801763
     
  2. BmacIL

    BmacIL Enginerd

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    Big, powerful, RWD car with no chassis/suspension mods to help it be more predictable. It happens :). They're great tires but almost anything in the damp and cool will exhibit similar behavior. It's part of learning the car.
     
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  3. OP
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    Emt1581

    Emt1581 Well-Known Member

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    Oh absolutely and I'm glad I learned that lesson today with respect to starting from a stop and turning on moist roads with them.
     
  4. Paul@PKAUTODESIGN

    [email protected] The Wheel guy
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  5. OP
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    Emt1581

    Emt1581 Well-Known Member

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    More of an "oh shit!" moment than anything else. Mostly because it wasn't raining but the car felt like it was hydroplaning. Just not something I've ever experienced before.
     
  6. millhouse

    millhouse Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I can get on it pretty aggressively when the pavement is wet without breaking loose. My guess is your experience had more to do with the residual oils that haven't run off the road yet...and possibly getting on it while turning than the water itself.

    I'm now at ~15k-16k miles and expect these tires (on the rear) to last a full 20k. At this point with the Pirellies, they were flat out dangerous in the wet.
     
  7. OP
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    Emt1581

    Emt1581 Well-Known Member

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    I thought the same thing about the oils and it does make sense. No way to verify it now though.

    And yes, the Pirellies were absolute basket cases in any wetness!
     
  8. Bluemustang

    Bluemustang Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. And you have to respect a car with this much power. Ask me how I know lol :doh:

    Be safe and have fun!:headbang:
     
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    Emt1581

    Emt1581 Well-Known Member

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    But that's the odd part. I've taken that same turn hundreds of times in my 02 Forester and have gunned it with zero issues. With this incident I wasn't going fast and didn't accelerate fast at all. Just a little quicker than normal.

    At the end of the day I do think it had more to do with the moisture and the oils at the surface than pure driver error.

    Needing to respect the power definitely can't be overstated!
     
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  10. MSMStannyl

    MSMStannyl Well-Known Member

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    What drive mode were you in? I typically drive in Sport+ or Track when it's warm, dry and sunny out but if it's wet out, it's always in Normal (if it's pouring, it'll be in Rain/Snow).

    I'm asking because I can't fathom the car spinning out on you like that if you were in Normal mode, so just wondering.
     
  11. OP
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    Emt1581

    Emt1581 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have modes but traction was on and steering was in Sport. I think I can switch traction to rain/snow...I have to play with it and see. That might be an idea for the future.

    Thanks!
     
  12. VinnAY

    VinnAY Well-Known Member

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    That and 435 with a 3:73 will break loose just about any tire without trying to hard anyway. Im back on my 500s as of two weeks again and really missed this tire but if you want it to break loose you can do it very easily in a GT/PP....this isn't something miraculous as good as the tire really is.
     
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  13. Braski

    Braski Well-Known Member

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    I only have a couple hundred miles on them but these tires are incredible! Today was my 1st real summer day on them and I put them through the paces. I'm driving a 15 gt pp with a pp2 tune, full bmr suspension and a McLeod rst clutch. Also I'm running 275\35-20 on 20x10 sqaure. These tires will break loose on a roll in 1st gear but quickly gain traction without lifting. I tried to get them to break loose in second but hooked up every time. Very solid tire both straight line and through the twisties! I'm ready for more HP!
     
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  14. Timeless

    Timeless Well-Known Member

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    So you are comparing a car with AWD and 300 less horsepower and expecting similar results on wet greasy roads?
     
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