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Hello everyone,

I have been constantly disappointed by the traction of my 74 coupe. It is not a daily driver, but it is driven a few times a week, every other month a run at the strip. I am running about 375 – 400hp with a turbo 350 – 2200 stall convertor. Stock rear end, new bushings, 245/65/15 radial TA’s. It is almost impossible to take off from a stop light without spinning the tires and making a starting turn is impossible without spinning.
I have looked into sway bars, traction bars, bolt on 4 link suspension, etc. not really finding a good answer.

Today I called Caltracs and the technical help guy told me that Caltracs would not help until I got some street/strip tires with more traction. He said they would be a waste with low traction tires like I have.

I was hoping to find an answer that didn’t involve using such expensive, low mileage life tires.

Is there something to give me a better bite on the ground?

Does anyone have any other ideas? Even if there isn’t one fix that would do the job, maybe there would be the progression of parts installation to get the best out of the car?

Thanks for any help!
 

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They are right. BFG radial ta's absolutely stink in the traction dept. if you think dry is bad try them in the wet...

They are a good looking tire but thats all. Tire technology passed them up 25 years ago...
 

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Just bite the bullet and get soft tires.
My Lil 400 horse 383 with 700r4 will blow the bfg 255/60/15's off through first and second gear.
I didn't do anything but switch to 255/60/15 mt et street radials same size and it barely breaks the tires free. That's with no preload in the caltracs.
Completely different car now.
Sart with better tires. :yes:
 

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Cal Tracs and my 74

I always liked a softer Grip on my Tires. with over 500hp I could always Burn em up good. I went with Some Cal Tracs after I saw the difference in my Buddies 69 Camaro. It took me about 10 or 12 good Launches to get the Caltracs where I wanted them set But hold on....When your Car Grabs and your Neck Snaps Back and she comes bucking out of the shoot low and straight, flat and hard you will be grateful you chose caltracs.... A softer tire that gets hot and Gripping is what completes the install of the Caltracs. Toyo's or Federals are where its at.. I run the Federal Super steel 595's and they recently got tied up for copying a tread pattern and have cancelled the ss595 design... Bummer but you can find em all over the internet for about $60-$80 a tire and that is dirt cheap for a fantastic tire. I now have 3 sets of rears and 2 sets of fronts just because i love the tread pattern and the tire and I plan on loosing some rubber on the line and on the street even burnouts in some of the parades...
 

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Maybe you could try driving like an adult?
I used to drive my car everywhere on T/A's back in the 90's with no issues. It ran 11.70's on slicks at the time, and ran 12.50 on plain old T/A's.
That was using slapper bars which I have used to run 9's on nitrous with a 9" E.T. Street tire.
 

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Haha! Well part of the problem sounds like a possible case of leadfootitis! :)

But seriously, as the others have stated, the BFG radial T/A's SUCK big time for traction on a car with any kind of decent power. You need better tires.

I had the same problem on my car a couple years ago, no traction from a dead stop, and would spin the tires like mad while shifting into 2nd and 3rd gear at higher speeds which was scary and dangerous.

I took off the BFG's and put on some M/T ET Street Radials (255/60/R15's) and they are perfect! I can still spin them from a dead stop but if I heat them up they hook good and they always grip the road when I wind out the gears, never lose traction anymore shifting into 2nd or 3rd like I used to.

They won't last long compared to the BFG's but they'll be safer and provide great traction for you on DRY pavement. I wouldn't recommend using them on a daily driver that sees rain/wet pavement, etc.

There aren't any magical suspension parts that you can buy that will overcome the horrible traction your BFG tires have IMO. Get some M/T's or some sort of other softer compound tire and you should be set.
 

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Also, I notice you said you run your car at the strip every other month or so. What are your current 60ft times and ET's? I'm guessing your 60ft time must be 2.3 or worse with those tires. If you got some nice soft grippy tires on the back I bet you'd shave half a second or more off of your current ET.
 

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Nitto 555R drag radials last much longer than the ET streets and BFG DR's. I got about 20k on my last set of tires and they still have some tread life left. Car is currently back in restoration mode so I don't know how long they would have lasted.

Kev
 

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I drive my car around on the street on Radial TAs its perfectly fine. Take your foot off the loud petal a little bit on your take off and your problem will be solves.

I even had 4.10 and the TAs for 3 years.

Mind you I have 255/70/15 on the rear so they are 29.1" tall also. but if i get my foot in the petal too far yes they go up in smoke.......its all in how you drive your car.

on the drag strip NO they won't work worth a damn.....I have Hoosier Slicks and Hoosier Quicktime Pros for that.

I always go on the street use a street tire......on the track use a track tire as thats what they were designed for.........
 

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Its no fun having a street tire on your car and stepping into it and breaking loose at 40-50 mph though, its actually dangerous. That's why I got a stickier tire on the back.

You pretty much have to either take it easy on the BFG's and not step into it too much on the street or get a stickier tire that will grip better but not last as long.

The Nitto's sound like a nice compromise if they last that long. I think the M/T ET Street Radials are only good for about 5,000-6,000 miles and thats if you dont make a ton of passes with them.
 

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I'm sorry but if never got in to my car hard enough on the street to break my tires loose at 60mph. Actually I know it can't do it the ta's are fine just drive responsibly. I had my et street radials and in the rain scariest ride of my life I may as well been on slicks...... Because they had no traction not even in 3rd where the regular ta's work just fine in the rain..
 

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I'm sorry but if never got in to my car hard enough on the street to break my tires loose at 60mph. Actually I know it can't do it the ta's are fine just drive responsibly. I had my et street radials and in the rain scariest ride of my life I may as well been on slicks...... Because they had no traction not even in 3rd where the regular ta's work just fine in the rain..
Thats odd, my 235 MT radials had plenty of traction in the rain, I was actually blown away at how well the stuck in the rain...
 

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I agree, you can use the BFG's if you drive it easy and dont floor it. But if you want better traction and the ability to step into it on the street without changing lanes then stickier tires are in order. Either way is a solution, just have to determine which one better fits your driving style. Based on your first post, I would say you might want to look into sticky tires haha!

I've never driven my Nova in the rain yet on the M/T's, so I can't say for sure. I know some guys say they're okay while others say they're horrible. My cousin got stuck in the rain driving home from the track one time with M/T slicks. He had to limp home at about 25 mph the whole way haha!
 

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Respectfully speaking, if you want better street traction just get better tires.
Yes...of course, you can drive more sensibly. I drive very safely when in traffic but you can't tell what kind of power you have with those bfg's when u want to.
Some respected nova gurus have chimed in and people may agree to disagree here but I believe this is more inline with what the original poster asked.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you to all of you wannabe driving instructors

My original post was, I was wondering how I could get more traction. I'm sorry if all of you have had nightmares about me burning off tires in your neighborhood. And bowtie0069 I am sure you are impressed by the "compensation" numbers you quoted.

Thank you to the first few replies that actually had some pertinent information to pass along. The rest of you might want to look into a new career. www.imbetterthanyoudrivingschool.com

Doug
 

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And bowtie0069 I am sure you are impressed by the "compensation" numbers you quoted.
Not as impressive as someone who can't seem to get down the street with as little power as you have.
My old heap makes a little over 600, and I can drive anywhere on regular T/A's without incident. Bring your car out on slicks or whatever tire you can find, and I'll run you on 255/60/15 T/A's for any amount of money you'd care to lose.:devil:
 

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Besides putting on better rubber. I'm just assuming that your car is a one-wheel-wonder. So a limited-slip/posi unit would help greatly. Additionally, if you don't have a vacuum secondary carb, get one. With a leaf spring car, the addition of traction bars/caltracs is primarily for wheel hop. The new BFG Rivals are pretty nice tires for street use, wet weather, and playing on the weekend.
 
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