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Old 02-19-2019, 04:42 PM   #1
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Tire suggestions for 2001 "S", light track use

Just picked up a stock 2001 manual trans S. Has the 18" wheels. Would love a tire recommendation. Did a search and don't know if I should switch to 17" wheels,square sizing,etc Other than a proper alignment, brake pads and fluid, it will be stock for now. Thanks
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:42 AM   #2
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Tires and oil are the 2 subjects that open up a can of worms and lots of discussion here.. With tires a lot has to do with when, where and how you drive. Do you need multi season traction? Do you drive a lot in the rain? Is performance more important than tread life? Do you drive on ultra smooth or rough roads?

Everyone has there favourite tire for what ever they do in their Boxster. Personally I chose to go with Goodyear F1 Asymmetric All Season on my 18" Carrera II Lights because tread life and varying road conditions are more important to me than straight out performance. Even with these tires my 03 S handles like a slot car and I don't get nervous in the rain or on less than pristine road surfaces.

My suggestion is to go the Tire Rack website and do research there. The do a lot of testing and rating of tires and you can compare various tires and their attributes. Any opinion voiced on the forum will be one persons opinion only and single opinions are always biased including mine.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:51 AM   #3
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are you looking to keep just the one set of wheels and get tires that work for track and street, or perhaps keep your current 18" for street and get a dedicated set of track tires?

if dual purpose, i had good luck with yoko ad08 - good in the wet, great on track. more of an autocross tire however; comes to temp quickly but looses its composure by the end of a 20 minute sprint.

if getting a track specific set, can't go wrong with toyo r888 or nitto nt01. if you want stickier then the hoosier r7 is a good tire i am told (no experience).
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:02 AM   #4
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Another good dual purpose tire street/track tire is the Hankook R-S4, and if you do decide to go with a set of staggered 17" OEM wheels, keep in mind that you can run 225/45/17 up front which greatly increases your choices of 17" tires. There are limited good track worthy tires in 205/50/17 which is the stock front size in 17" for the 986 Boxster.
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steved0x View Post
Another good dual purpose tire street/track tire is the Hankook R-S4, and if you do decide to go with a set of staggered 17" OEM wheels, keep in mind that you can run 225/45/17 up front which greatly increases your choices of 17" tires. There are limited good track worthy tires in 205/50/17 which is the stock front size in 17" for the 986 Boxster.
That is exactly what I am getting, R-S4's with 225/45-17 up front. I have an extra set of wheels I'll get them mounted on, so I can continue to use my BFG G-Force Sport Comp-2s for regular street use (although they work pretty decently on the track).
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:23 AM   #6
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I would suggest getting a set of 17's for track use. If for no other reason than tires cost less in 17" vs 18"

As far as what tires....

The "Go To" tire is Bridgestone RE-71R. It is marked as a 200 TW tire, but in reality is lower. They are what most people run for a "street" tire on the track and for AX. The downside is they wear relatively quickly and will start falling off in performance when they get really hot in extended sessions or if you run back to back sessions. If you don't cord them first, they will heat cycle out

The Hankook R-S4 is a great tire that wears like iron and performs just a little below the RE-71R. They take the heat really well and most likely will heat cycle out well before you cord them. From my experience with them they last at least double the RE-71R. I use them for my practice tires and switch to Re-71r for timed runs. I currently have on a set, 18 track days- approx 90 sessions - approx 450 laps and they have at least 1/3 tread left. They do feel like they are heat cycling out however.

That compared to Re-71's..... I have approx 20 sessions or 100 laps and they are almost done.

In speaking with some of my track rat buddies, I am trying Nitto Nt-01's this weekend. From what they say and what I have read, I expect similar performance to the Re-71's and about 2/3-3/4 the life of the R-S4's

YMMV

With 17's definitely go with 225/45-17 front and 255/40 -17 rear. They will fit on stock Boxster 17" wheels with no problem

For a pure street tire you can't go wrong with Michelin Pilot Super Sports. They are not cheap, but a great tire. For a really good lower cost street tire Sumitomo HTR ZIII is a faboo choice.

Also if you are going to track the car, get a proper "racing" alignment for a good shop, not a tire shop. The best would be a string alignment. They will cost your approx $300, but will make a world of difference

For brake pads until you get to a higher performance level, the factory pads should be fine. You definitely should flush the system every year and bleed before each track event. Lots of brake fluid choices. ATE-200 should be fine to start. Many track rats use Motul 600 or 660 as they are higher tem fluids. Look at DRY temps if you are flushing and bleeding regularly as it is unlikely you will get a lot of water in the system with that schedule

Welcome to a very slippery slope
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Last edited by JayG; 02-21-2019 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 03-05-2019, 07:40 PM   #7
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Thanks for the great suggestions! I don't care about wet performance and not too much about wear. I am open to purchasing a second set of 17s if that's the consensus. Are they better than 18s, all things being equal?
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