Wheels: Everything You Need To Know
Tires: Everything You Need To Know
Radial Tire Information
Tire-Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) is the U.S. governmental body authorized by the U.S. Congress to establish and regulate transportation safety in the United States of America.
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is a U.S. government body within the Department of Transportation tasked with regulating automotive safety in the United States.
The Uniform Tire Quality Grading System (UTQG), is a system for comparing the performance of tires, established by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration according to the Code of Federal Regulations 49 CFR 575.104. The UTQG regulation requires labeling of tires for tread wear, traction, and temperature.
The Tire and Rim Association (T&RA) is a voluntary U.S. standards organization to promote the interchangeability of tires and rim and allied parts. Of particular interest, they published key tire dimension standards, key rim contour dimension standards, key tire valve dimension standards, and load / inflation standards.
The European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization (ETRTO) is the European standards organization "to establish engineering dimensions, load/pressure characteristics and operating guidelines" for tires, rims and valves. It is analogous to T&RA.
The Japanese Automobile Tire Manufacturers Association (JATMA) is the Japanese standards organization for tires, rims anbd valves. It is analogous to T&RA and ETRTO.
The Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act (TREAD Act) is a United States federal law that sets standards for testing and the reporting of information related to products involved with transportation such as cars and tires.
MICKEY THOMPSON FAQ
M/T Tire and Wheel Warranty
Mickey Thompson Standard Limited Warranty
Important Tire Safety And Fitment Information
Mickey Thompson: Racing Legend
General Tech Bulletins
Understanding The Service Life Of Your M/T Tires
Understanding DOT Tire Inflation Pressures and Load Capacity
Tire Size Calculator
Tire Inflation - Nitrogen
Tires and Tubes Affected By Flood Waters
Safety Warning – Speed Rated Tires
Passenger and Light Truck Used Tires
Street & Strip Tech Bulletins
Mickey Thompson Drag Slick Compound and Burnout Specification Sheet
Mickey Thompson ET Drag and ET Street Extended Storage or Winter Storage
Backspacing and Offset
Mickey Thompson Tire Use on DYNO
Truck & Off-Road Tech Bulletins
Tire-Wheel Match Mounting for Optimum Uniformity
The Importance of Proper Front End Alignment
Maintaining M/T Classic II and Classic Lock Wheels
Tire Inflation Pressures
Replacing Less Than Four Tires
Are drag tires street legal?
No! Even if you cut your own grooves they are not street legal.
What is the largest drag tire I can put under my car?
There is no guideline. However, some racing classes have rules limiting tire size. You will have to use a tire size that can best utilize the space that is available without interfering with the sheet metal, suspension components, etc.
What is the approved rim range for Mickey Thompson slicks?
The approved rim range for race tires is the tread width plus or minus 1.
Note: The sidewall measurement will change with rim width. The rule of thumb is 4/10ths of an inch, over all, for each 1change in rim width.
How much will a Mickey Thompson drag slick grow?
Over all diameter will affect the amount of growth that you will have. There are many variables that contribute to tire growth as well. Unless otherwise noted, Mickey Thompson drag slicks are considered a low growth tire. Mickey Thompson slicks will grow approximately 1 to 1 1/2 @ 150mph (Note: Radial slicks do not grow).
Please phone Mickey Thompson and they can help you in determining tire growth for your specific application.)
How do I measure a drag tire for proper fitment?
Measure diameter and section width to ensure proper clearance with sheet metal, suspension components, etc. Remember to leave room for tire growth, at least twice the growth factor. A good rule of thumb for side clearance is to leave yourself at least 1/2 to 1 from side to side.
Does Mickey Thompson offer slicks in different compounds?
Like all racing tire manufacturers, Mickey Thompson offers different compounds. In most cases, M/T do not offer choices, compounds are specific to size and application.
What is the advantage to running a stiff sidewall tire? If there is no stiff sidewall slick in my size what can I do to stiffen the sidewall of my slick?
The advantage of a stiff sidewall is less tire wrap or sidewall distortion, thus reacting better at launch. Note: This is good for heavy cars, or cars with a suspension, that can absorb the initial launch. If you are running a fixed suspension car like a dragster or an altered, you would need the tire to absorb the launch, thus a softer sidewall. There are two ways to stiffen the sidewall. 1. Run tubes to help support the sidewall. 2. Matching the tread width with the wheel width, or going 1 wider on the wheel width, will stiffen the sidewall.
Do I have to run tubes in my slicks?
You should run tubes in any tube type tire, some M/T race tires are tubeless. Tube type tires will leak air through the sidewalls. As pressure drops, heat increases and the chance of tire damage or failure is increased. Tubes will also aid in absorbing some of this heat.
What size hole do I need in my wheel to accommodate Mickey Thompson racing tubes?
Most racing wheels come with the proper hole size. If your wheel won't accept the valve stem, you must drill the wheel to 5/8. Be sure to debur the hole and clean the wheel before mounting the tire and tube.
I have a soft spot on the sidewall of my drag tire, and I have tubes, what is causing this?
Two possible causes of this are wrong tube size, or faulty tube installation.
Should my Mickey Thompson slicks be balanced?
Yes. M/T suggests static or Bubble balancing. Dynamic or Spin balancing, a bias ply slick will work best only if the slick does not deform. In racing the tire goes through many changes in shape. Launching, the tire wrinkles and squats. As the car goes towards the top end, the tire begins to egg shape. A static balance assures the tire is balanced around the circumference as it deforms.
What kind of burnout is recommended with Mickey Thompson slicks?
1. Automatic transmissions: 1st pass or two, do a fairly hard burnout. After that a light burnout should be sufficient.
2. Standard transmissions: -Stockers- No burnout or short, dry burnout is sufficient. Super Stock or Comp cars- light burnout, haze tires and stage immediately. Generally, tires work better with a light burnout, rather than a hard burnout. This also increases tire life.
Note: ET Street tires may require a fairly hard burnout on the 1st and 2nd pass to break in.
Are Mickey Thompson drag slicks directional?
Mickey Thompson bias ply drag slicks are non directional. New tires that require running directional will have rotation arrows to signify this. Radial tires are directional.
Should Mickey Thompson slicks be rotated side to side?
This should only be needed if you are getting excessive furring, shredding or tearing of the tread rubber. Mickey Thompson suggests that you rotate every 25-30 passes if needed. Larger tires and high horsepower cars may need to rotate more often.
How do I get maximum performance out of my Mickey Thompson slicks?
Check air pressure every pass. Do not overheat in burnout. Rotate as needed. Replace tires if weather checking appears.
Should I use traction compound (VHT) on Mickey Thompson slicks?
No. Mickey Thompson drag slicks are specially compounded. If you feel you need an additive to hook up you may need new tires.
How long will my Mickey Thompson drag slicks last?
This will vary from car to car. Inconsistent 60' and 330' times caused by tread wear or carcass break down will be your signals to change the tires. Your tires have wear indicators in the tread to give you an idea of how much rubber is left on the tire. Cars that launch hard can cause the carcass material to break down. You should inspect your tires every 30 passes. More frequently in high horsepower cars.
Are Mickey Thompson front drag tires tubeless?
All Mickey Thompson front drag tires are tubeless.(Effective 1/1/99)
What kind of warranty is offered on Mickey Thompson drag tires?
There is no warranty offered on any tires used for racing.
What are the differences between a radial and a bias belted tire?
The body plies are perpendicular to the bead on radial tires. On bias and bias belted tires, they are at an angle (bias) to the bead, which greatly increases sidewall strength and durability. The belt on a bias belted or radial tires improves tread stability and helps reduce rolling resistance which is the radial tires main feature. M/T's construction sandwiches the belts between the body plies, which improves ride and virtually eliminates belt and ply separations. Sandwiched belt construction is unique to M/T tires only.
What are some benefits of using a radial tire?
Radial tires offer two primary benefits:
1. Reduced rolling resistance for better mileage and tread life.
2. Weak sidewall to absorb road feel.
How large of a tire will fit on my vehicle with no modifications?
This is a question that has no real specific answer, as there are too many variables. Mickey Thompson has compiled a fitment guide that may help you make a decision. Note: You will have to keep in mind that overall diameter of a tire will affect ABS brake systems, speedometer readings and final gear ratios. You will also have to measure side to side clearance to keep the tire away from inner fenders and other sheet metal.
Why would I choose to use a wide tire? Why would I choose a narrow tire?
Wide tires offer a unique look which many people desire. Beyond looks, wide tires are used where flotation and stability is desired. Narrow tires are used where traction, primarily in muddy conditions, is desired.
The Sidebiter sidewall on the Mickey Thompson Baja tires are unique in their appearance. What functions do they serve?
1. Protect the sidewall from damage by rocks, branches, twigs, curbs, etc.
2. Aid flotation and traction when in soft terrain.
3. Increase gripping tread by up to 50% in off road applications.
What is the load range on a specific tire?
All tires have a maximum load and inflation stated on the sidewall. Mickey Thompson does have a load range chart available on request.
What is the maximum weight it should take to balance my tire?
The industry standard is approx. 2% of the tire weight. M/T standard is approx. 1% of the tire weight. Tires with excessive balance weight can be replaced under our adjustment policy within the first 10% of tread wear.
Why do some tires wear so fast and unevenly?
Many things can cause this. To mention a few:
1. Improper air pressure.
2. Wrong rim size.
3. Improper alignment.
4. Weak or worn suspension components. Note: Some stock front suspension components cannot handle the abuse of wheel and tire combos that are much larger than the o.e.m.
5. Over load.
6. Improper balance. Note: It is a good practice to have the tire and wheel assembly balanced each time you rotate your tires.
What is the best way to maintain maximum performance from my tires?
Use proper rim size. Maintain proper air pressure. Rotate the tires every 3000-5000 miles (if possible). Maintain proper alignment and replace worn front suspension components.
How often should Mickey Thompson tires be rotated?
At least every 3000-5000 miles. Note: It is also suggested that you have the tires balance checked at this time as well, even if you just static balance them.
What is the best rotation pattern?
Cross non-drive tires to drive axle. Move drive axle tires straight to non-drive axle.
Note: On a 4x4 vehicle consider the rear axle the drive axle.
Truck Wheels Questions
Why are the bolts on the Classic Lock wheel different?
Each Classic Lock wheels have 22 bolts. Fourteen of the bolts have the M/T stamped on the heads and the other eight are plain. The bolts with the M/T stamp are cosmetic and are fastened to the ring itself. The other eight plain bolts are used to bolt the ring on the wheel. By identifying the plain bolts, helps to quicken the removal process.
What are Mickey Thompson wheels load rated at?
Most Mickey Thompson wheels are rated between 2,000 to 3,600 pounds each. Please consult the Mickey Thompson spec sheet for specifics on your application.
What size wheels fit on a specific sized tire?
There are so many tire and wheel sizes that you should consult your tire manufacturer for their suggested rim width. Note: Mickey Thompson has listed rim widths for all our tires in our current product sheets
Will Mickey Thompson 16 wheels work on a vehicle that originally came with 16.5 wheels?
Yes, in most cases. Fit checking is recommended before mounting tires on wheels. You may have to watch for tie rod end, upper or lower control arms, and brake caliper clearance.
How do I measure the width of a wheel?
Measure the distance from the inside of one bead to the inside of the other bead.
Note: You can consult Mickey Thompson Tech Dept. for more information.
What is wheel backspace?
Backspace is the distance from the back edge of the rim to the mounting surface on the hub.
What is wheel offset?
Offset is the distance from the wheel centerline to the mounting surface. Positive offset is when the mounting surface is outside the centerline. Negative offset is when the mounting surface is inside the centerline.
Can I order a custom backspace and bolt circle on a Mickey Thompson wheel?
No. Due to the multiple dies, expense and precise nature of our forging process, custom wheels cannot be ordered.
What type of lug nuts should be used with Mickey Thompson wheels? What (ft. lbs.) do I torque my Mickey Thompson wheels to?
Top quality lug nuts with a 60 deg. conical bulge seat area should be used. (Gorilla and McGard are two popular name brands.) Once you have selected your lug nut of choice, we suggest that you torque them to the factory recommendation (OE). Consult your owner's manual for proper torque. Mickey Thompson also requires you to re-torque M/T wheels after 100 miles.
What is the best way to clean and maintain the polished finish on Mickey Thompson wheels?
Follow the directions on any wheel cleaner and polish approved for non-coated wheels. Always wipe the wheels off; never allow the wheels to air dry. This can cause spotting.