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**Tire compounds-sauce/prep**

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**Tire compounds-sauce/prep**

Old 10-24-2018, 09:12 PM
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Default **Tire compounds-sauce/prep**

Hi guys, Iíve got what might seem like a basic question. Iíve been (and still am) involved in several different types of dirt racing, from RC cars to go karts to dirt late models for many years, but Iím still struggling to find a definitive answer to this question. Why do we prep/sauce/dope/etc... tires to make them softer rather than just use a softer compound tire? An example of what Iím talking about would be a track where the preferred compound is a clay compound, which we all know is a ďharderĒ tire than say a super soft, but then the ďfast guysĒ prep these tires with the sauce and method of their choice for the purpose of softening the tire. So why not just use a softer compound to begin with? From kart racing I understand that certain types of prep are designed to just increase bite, without necessarily softening or lowering the durometer reading of the tire. I get that, but Iím talking about burning in an aggressive prep/sauce for the sole purpose of softening the tire. The only thing that I can possibly come up with is the fact that youíre softening mainly the tread and not so much the sidewall, which of course affects how the tire behaves obviously, but then I go back to kart racing where itís very common to prep the inside of the tire, which softens the sidewall as well as the tread patch. Anyway, just some thoughts Iíve had and wanted to get some other opinions. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:28 PM
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One thing that just comes to the top of my head it that clay compound for example is made with different additives than super soft. For example, the same tread in clay compound could be faster in clay than in super soft even though it is harder. Tire sauce would possibly allow you to keep the superior characteristics of the more appropriate compound while increasing grip. That's just my .02 though so do what you will with it.
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Old 10-25-2018, 05:41 AM
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This is just what was explained to me by a local team driver at the track, the key is getting your tires to warm up, in similar fashion to why drag racers will do a burnout just before the start of every drag race. In addition to tire sauce, you may notice that some of the faster drivers are using tire warmers, which get the rubber up to optimal temperature the moment you take your first lap. Most clubs give you a couple of minutes to "warm up", this is literally warming up your tires to optimal race conditions. When you add tire sauce, this creates a chemical reaction which heats up your tires faster... the stronger the chemical reaction, the hotter the tire gets and better traction you get along with faster tire wear. You need a harder clay compound tire to withstand the heat... a softer compound tire will not react as well on a hard clay track, there comes a point of diminishing return with having too soft of a compound for a given track surface and ambient temp. More aggressive sauces are typically needed on cold weather days, etc.

Also notice the importance of timing when to apply sauce, if you add sauce too soon before a race, then you might miss the optimal window of the chemical reaction which generates the heat you need. If you don't apply the sauce soon enough, then the positive effect of saucing may not reach the max potential until later in the race. It takes trial and error for various sauces to see which ones provide the best chemical reaction for the length of race you need, how much sauce to apply, where to apply the sauce on front tires, some folks only put sauce on the inside walls of the front tires to prevent traction rolling, etc.

In contrast, the club in our area switched to turf a couple years ago which offers extremely high traction. The harder the compound, and longer the spike/pin, the better the traction you get as the spikes/pins dig deep into the turf. There is no need to sauce tires on turf, in fact you have the opposite problem where most folks have the need to tune out the traction which is why you typically see drastically lower ride height setups on turf when compared to clay or dirt.

Last edited by billdelong; 10-25-2018 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 10-25-2018, 05:46 PM
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Clay compounds are different from the typical soft, medium, etc. They contain more natural rubber. I don't know anything about the science, but in this case, there's more to it than hardness. Typically tracks where clay tires work are awful with traditional compounds, if they'll work at all. There have been a couple of attempts at a softer version of clay compounds but none have gained popularity.

The way solvents react with clay compounds make them tacky, not just softer. The casing maintains firmness, which it needs to work on the higher grip surface. Once they get too soft (slicks), they get really weird and unpredictable.
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:48 PM
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All of this definitely makes sense. Thanks for the responses guys!
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Old 10-26-2018, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Davidka View Post
Clay compounds are different from the typical soft, medium, etc. They contain more natural rubber. I don't know anything about the science, but in this case, there's more to it than hardness. Typically tracks where clay tires work are awful with traditional compounds, if they'll work at all. There have been a couple of attempts at a softer version of clay compounds but none have gained popularity.

The way solvents react with clay compounds make them tacky, not just softer. The casing maintains firmness, which it needs to work on the higher grip surface. Once they get too soft (slicks), they get really weird and unpredictable.
Do clay compound tires only work when sauced, or can you run without (on a clay track)?
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Old 10-26-2018, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Jumbo_Jaque View Post
Do clay compound tires only work when sauced, or can you run without (on a clay track)?
Several years ago when the local track in my area was running a clay track, it was located inside a large dome shape tent structure and in the summer months we needed very little sauce, in fact if you used too aggressive of a sauce then folks would run into traction roll issues. It was not uncommon to sauce your tires once during the first round and not worry about saucing the tires the rest of the day when ambient temps were 100įF+

I don't think I ever had a time where I didn't have to sauce the tires at least once per race day to get the best results, but every track is different and ambient temps can change which may require different techniques based on where you race. If you travel to a new track, I would ask the locals how they are prepping their tires for their given track.
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Old 10-27-2018, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Jumbo_Jaque View Post
Do clay compound tires only work when sauced, or can you run without (on a clay track)?
Yes. The highest traction conditions Iíve ever run in was a moist packed topsoil/clay, 10 years ago. We ran nearly slick Losi pink taper pins and sanded down ribs without any additives. At itís highest grip, you could not induce any wheel spin with a 2wd modified car. Slipper clutch was for transmission protection and wheelie control.
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Old 03-06-2021, 08:03 AM
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Experimenting with tire warmer settings and burning in some sauce
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Old 03-07-2021, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by billdelong View Post
Experimenting with tire warmer settings and burning in some sauce
IAQ/Indoor Air Quality looks like it's taking a nose dive!
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Old 03-07-2021, 08:51 AM
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I really wish this wasn’t a big part of racing as it is. It’s not a straight process that gets the same results each time.
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Old 03-07-2021, 11:18 AM
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Iíve ran mc compound slicks on our local high bite track and itís too aggressive. Even without sauce itís hard to drive. You would think more traction is better but sometimes not. Tried lower ride height, stiffer springs etc but then it hurts you in jumps and bumps. The hot setup is s3 slicks sauced and tire warmers. Bridges the gap between too much and not enough. Iíve tried s3 without prep and they were really bad. But do it right and itís money. Which IMO kinda sucks. Itís already a lot of work to keep 4 cars going for my son and I. Throw tire warmers into that and itís almost undoable.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:01 PM
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I will resist using tire warmers as long as possible. I think they should be banned or only permitted at the highest levels.
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Old 03-08-2021, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by frdtrkguy View Post
I will resist using tire warmers as long as possible. I think they should be banned or only permitted at the highest levels.
why is that?
just curious
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by ray4624 View Post
why is that?
just curious
I'm not the one you asked but I share the same sentiment.

I believe it's not good for the hobby, the bar of entry already looks so damn high and that just kicks it up a few notches. Any beginner looking at the pit area of someone who's been in the hobby for a year or two already feels inadequate even at the lowest levels of club racing, heck even on training days. There's no point in raising the bar of entry at lower levels of competition. It's been creeping higher and higher and higher over the years, it's time to stop.
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