How to Soften Tiresby Gretchen Ivey
Tires can be hard and dry, decreasing their ability to grip the road or track. Car racers at times look for ways to soften the tires to help them grip the track. There are several products on the market but they can be expensive. In this article we provide some practical ways to soften tires.
How to Soften Tires
One way to soften tires is to use kerosene. It is best to do this two to three days before a race. Soak the tires in water first. Next take the rags soaked in kerosene and wrap them around the tires. Wrap the tires in foil until before the race. This will soften the rubber to create the effect you need. If you use this method it must be repeated each week or the rubber will get hard.
Mix one part paint thinner and one part diesel fuel together. Using a paint roller, apply the mixture to the tire as if you were painting a wall. Let the mixture dry on the tire and then add a second coat. Be careful not to oversoak the tire with this mixture. This could ruin the tire.
With the 36-inch grinding disk, rough up the surface of the tire. This will allow the solution to seep in. Mix the toluene, acetone and mineral spirits together. Apply to the tires two days before the race.
Take a gallon of WD40 and soak the tires directly in this. This can be done the day the tires are needed. It will only soften them slightly but does help the tires retain the grip on the track.
Mix equal parts xylene and toluene and mix together. Soak the tires in the solution for 10 minutes and remove. This can be done at the track and brings about the quickest results.
- Many of these chemicals are toxic and can be dangerous if not handled properly. Wear gloves and work in a well-ventilated area. Always keep these chemical out of reach of children and follow the manufacturer's guidelines for disposal.
- Treated tires will wear down faster.
Items you will need
- Diesel fuel
- Paint thinner
- Paint roller
- 36-inch grinding disk
- 1 quart toluene
- 1 quart acetone
- ½ quart mineral spirits