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Do-It-Yourself High Performance Car Mods: Rule the Streets by Matt Cramer

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Tire Basics

Tires are an absolutely critical part of suspension tuning, providing the grip necessary to hold a car on a curve, transmitting bumps from the road to the suspension, and creating the reason behind oversteer and understeer. The width, sidewall height, tread pattern, and type of rubber used for the tread all affect the way a tire will behave.

One way to illustrate a tire’s traction is a graph called a friction circle. The tire has a limited amount of traction that can be used for accelerating, braking, cornering, or some combination of these. The friction circle is drawn by showing the amount of grip that a tire has in all directions. For example, a very sticky tire can apply 1,000 lb of force to accelerate with no cornering or 1,000 ...

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