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      10-02-2012, 11:28 PM   #1
Pete_vB
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PSS- too sticky?

After a summer wearing (and wearing out) Hankook RS-3s on 18" M3 wheels, I swapped back to my "winter" wheels and tires, PSS in stock sizes on the stock 19" wheels.

After a week with them on I have to say I'm wondering if they are too sticky for the car.

As I mentioned in my initial review, I like the 18s/ Hankooks a lot largely because of the extra feedback and movement you get from the chassis... Of course movement means just that- the car is moving around and sliding more. I think I didn't realize how much more, however, until I put the PSS back on. In San Francisco, where "summer" generally means low 60s in the mornings and evenings, the hankooks are simply slippery. Half throttle around a 90 degree right means a nice slide with DSC off, often even when you're not trying. Half block long, opposite lock slides are available on demand. Not that that's common, mind you, but occasionally, and it's nice to know it's there.

Of course when the RS-3 really warms up, ie 3rd run at the autocross or a really hot day, it'll just about stick first gear, but that's the exception rather than the rule. Usually I'm looking at the temperature gauge on the dash trying to gauge exactly how big a slide I can expect when I roll into the throttle.

Fast forward to the Pilot Super Sports, and that stick that you get when the RS-3 warms up is essentially always there, even in the morning at 60 degrees when it's a little damp. Much respect for the PSS, obviously- grippy consistent, etc.

But I must admit I miss the RS-3s a bit. With the PSS I don't have enough gear to hold a half block slide- 40 feet and it's gripping so much you've run out of 1st, though it is much more comfortable sliding around in 2nd. The PSS limits are clearly higher, but am I safer on them? On my favorite back road I'm going less sideway, but I'm also going significantly faster.

I spent the weekend road testing three very old, near stock porsches for a friend of mine- a 356, a '69 912 and a '73 911T. He's dialing in an Ohlins shock setup on all three cars, but otherwise these had skinny little tires, near stock suspensions and between 80 and 140 hp. And they were an absolute blast to drive, because you could wring the crap out of them on these tight, curvy roads, get them sliding around and never be going fast enough to worry yourself or the occasional other traffic. Putting the 1M on the PSS is a step in the other direction. I love the predictability vs the RS-3, but I must say maybe the limit is a bit too high. I enjoy the 1M because it's fun at less insane speeds than say a 997 TT or an audi R8- I like a car that moves around some. The PSS almost makes it too good? I could always add power, but...

We'll see, I've only had them on a week, maybe I'll get comfortable using more throttle and warm up to them, but I'm surprised so far. The best street tires I've ever owned are maybe too good...
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      10-02-2012, 11:49 PM   #2
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Interesting way of looking at it. I actually quite like my sticky PSS tyres at the moment. .
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      10-02-2012, 11:53 PM   #3
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I think the chassis movement you are describing is what some people think makes the BRZ twins so satisfying...
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      10-03-2012, 08:20 AM   #4
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I can relate. Add power.
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      10-03-2012, 08:26 AM   #5
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I said somewhere before that as long as we stay with stock power levels I find the stock size PSS more than enough, safe with great traction and therefore no need for going bigger sizes even at the rear. It was another way of saying the same thing that you posted here. They are too sticky. More tire in PSS shape will just mean a dramatic change in the road holding behaviour of the car, not necessarily a very good thing unless we want it to be an Audi. For now, I am totally happy with my stock size PSS set, but I probably not push and dance with the car like you do most of the time, not on track anyway.
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      10-03-2012, 08:50 AM   #6
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This is the very reason I'll be swapping to PSS as I want something more sticky. Sliding about is fun, but not something I'm comfortable doing on the public roads (where my car spends 99% of it's time).
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      10-03-2012, 10:43 AM   #7
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I agree with Pete, but it is obviously a matter of personal preference. I run 18in M3 wheels on mine, wearing PS3 in 255/40/18 in the back. So yes, I've got less grip, but on the road I set the DSC in intermediate mode, so I'm staying safe. And when on track with DSC off, it will slide in a friendly and predictible way. Mind you, I don't put it sideways in 4th gear turns, at least not on purpose !! Of course, your not going to beat any time records that way... Other benefits of those tires: they are less expensive and more comfortable, so what's not to like ?
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      10-03-2012, 11:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusBoy View Post
I agree with Pete, but it is obviously a matter of personal preference. I run 18in M3 wheels on mine, wearing PS3 in 255/40/18 in the back. So yes, I've got less grip, but on the road I set the DSC in intermediate mode, so I'm staying safe. And when on track with DSC off, it will slide in a friendly and predictible way. Mind you, I don't put it sideways in 4th gear turns, at least not on purpose !! Of course, your not going to beat any time records that way... Other benefits of those tires: they are less expensive and more comfortable, so what's not to like ?
Just a short reminder that PS3 and PSS are quite different tires. There has been so much confusion about these two at the time so just want to remind that. The PSS is the new generation PS2 and PS3 is in fact a new tire for another category. Not even sure that in US they have the PS3 available. I used them both, PS3 on a different car for two years and PSS still on my 1M. PS3 is not really designed for cars like 1M but more like GTI category hatches, small sporty cars and sedans. It is a totally road performance tire with lots of comfort. It is even more smoother and quieter than the PSS but does not have the same ultimate grip levels and handling characteristics of the PSS. They can be used with the 1M too, of course, for the very reasons that you just mentioned. Just not the same tires at all. Later when and if you put PSS on your 1M you will see what I mean which may effect the way you drive your 1M on the road. I think you just can leave a (stock) 1M with PSS tires with MDM on or even DSC off all the time, other than extreme weather conditions, and you will be fairly safe.
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      10-03-2012, 03:00 PM   #9
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You're totally right, the PSS is much more grippy than the PS3. And that's what is making more fun in my view. The limits are lower, so you can play with the car's balance at safer speeds. And when you get out of grip, the breakaway will be more gradual... It's the eternal debate between "racers" and "drifters". I suppose that Pete and I belong to the second category !! I don't know for sure, but I believe that grip levels of PS2 and PS3 are roughly similar. The main difference is that the latter will last a little longer, as it's rubber compound is different. The treadwear index is 220 on my 19in PS2's, and 320 on my 18in PS3's, reflecting a greater durability. If I remember PSS are also 300 or 320 ...
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      10-03-2012, 03:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LotusBoy View Post
You're totally right, the PSS is much more grippy than the PS3. And that's what is making more fun in my view. The limits are lower, so you can play with the car's balance at safer speeds. And when you get out of grip, the breakaway will be more gradual... It's the eternal debate between "racers" and "drifters". I suppose that Pete and I belong to the second category !! I don't know for sure, but I believe that grip levels of PS2 and PS3 are roughly similar. The main difference is that the latter will last a little longer, as it's rubber compound is different. The treadwear index is 220 on my 19in PS2's, and 320 on my 18in PS3's, reflecting a greater durability. If I remember PSS are also 300 or 320 ...
PSS are 300. So like you said before it's all about personal choice here. They are too sticky, the PSS, but for me it is just fine due to how and where I use the car. And I stick with stock sizes at least
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      10-03-2012, 03:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozinaldo View Post
Just a short reminder that PS3 and PSS are quite different tires. There has been so much confusion about these two at the time so just want to remind that. The PSS is the new generation PS2 and PS3 is in fact a new tire for another category. Not even sure that in US they have the PS3 available. I used them both, PS3 on a different car for two years and PSS still on my 1M. PS3 is not really designed for cars like 1M but more like GTI category hatches, small sporty cars and sedans. It is a totally road performance tire with lots of comfort. It is even more smoother and quieter than the PSS but does not have the same ultimate grip levels and handling characteristics of the PSS. They can be used with the 1M too, of course, for the very reasons that you just mentioned. Just not the same tires at all. Later when and if you put PSS on your 1M you will see what I mean which may effect the way you drive your 1M on the road. I think you just can leave a (stock) 1M with PSS tires with MDM on or even DSC off all the time, other than extreme weather conditions, and you will be fairly safe.
What about sidewall stiffness between the PSS and PS3? I find that tires with a stiffer sidewall feel a bit more quick reacting, something I value more than ultimate grip on the street.
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      10-03-2012, 05:24 PM   #12
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What about sidewall stiffness between the PSS and PS3? I find that tires with a stiffer sidewall feel a bit more quick reacting, something I value more than ultimate grip on the street.
Definitely PSS are stiffer. PS3 are very soft in comparison.
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      10-05-2012, 08:48 AM   #13
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I thought I had read on here someone thought the PSSs had a softer sidewall? Maybe not.

Regard to the OP, I agree sometimes 'too capable' is no fun. Having to hit triple digits before the car gets lose isn't what you necessarily want to do. That's a big part of what made the e30m3 so much fun. Same goes for the old Porsches you refer too. I recommend adding power to solve your tire 'issues' ;-) Its so easy to add power to this car and the chassis handles it well.
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      10-05-2012, 08:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I thought I had read on here someone thought the PSSs had a softer sidewall? Maybe not.

Regard to the OP, I agree sometimes 'too capable' is no fun. Having to hit triple digits before the car gets lose isn't what you necessarily want to do. That's a big part of what made the e30m3 so much fun. Same goes for the old Porsches you refer too. I recommend adding power to solve your tire 'issues' ;-) Its so easy to add power to this car and the chassis handles it well.
They are softer than the PS2, our stock tires. They are not softer (not that I feel) than the PS3 tires.
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      10-05-2012, 08:58 AM   #15
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what op is experiencing is simply his car being able to outperform what he can personally handle & feel comfortable with.

With training he'll get better & more comfortable with the new limits. Everyone has a limit, and when your skills far exceeds a car's handling limit you can have a shit load of fun in it (think go-kart, etc).
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      10-05-2012, 09:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertm View Post
I thought I had read on here someone thought the PSSs had a softer sidewall? Maybe not.

Regard to the OP, I agree sometimes 'too capable' is no fun. Having to hit triple digits before the car gets lose isn't what you necessarily want to do. That's a big part of what made the e30m3 so much fun. Same goes for the old Porsches you refer too. I recommend adding power to solve your tire 'issues' ;-) Its so easy to add power to this car and the chassis handles it well.
The PSS has a softer rubber compound, hence more grip, but stiffer sidewalls, hence less comfort. But otherwise, I don't think that adding power is the right answer. It's cheap to obtain indeed, but it'll just increase risk. What you wanna do is decrease grip, and then learn to drive into these new grip limits. So IMO, the answer for experienced drivers is: less grip, so less tire and more slip.
Have you ever driven on a wet track, or a dusty road ? Less grip = more fun !
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      10-05-2012, 11:20 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simsims View Post
what op is experiencing is simply his car being able to outperform what he can personally handle & feel comfortable with.

With training he'll get better & more comfortable with the new limits. Everyone has a limit, and when your skills far exceeds a car's handling limit you can have a shit load of fun in it (think go-kart, etc).
Unless I'm missing some subtlety in your post,... you're wrong.

OP does not have a skill deficiency. In fact I would argue his skills exceed the average bears. Substantially. Imagine building, and driving w/out wrecking at any speed a '60's 911 w/ what 400hp.

The OP is expressing the fact that he has fun while sliding around. The key difference I'd imagine is that when you first feel your car's back end stepping out you panic and hit the brakes, or suddenly let off the gas. Then, if you are not snuggled up next to a guardrail, change your underwear.

Where as the OP would instead keep a steady throttle, add a little opposite lock and manage the slide. Then when done, try to wipe the stupid grin off is face, turn down the music and remind himself he's on a public roads. And, that its a good thing he is driving around having the fun at overall lowers speeds on his cold R-comps than if he were to have just had the same fun while riding on his PSS's.
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      10-05-2012, 11:30 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simsims View Post
what op is experiencing is simply his car being able to outperform what he can personally handle & feel comfortable with.

With training he'll get better & more comfortable with the new limits. Everyone has a limit, and when your skills far exceeds a car's handling limit you can have a shit load of fun in it (think go-kart, etc).
Sorry, you completely missed the point.

Re skill, without sounding like too much of an ass, I instruct in cars far more powerful, difficult to drive and with far higher limits than my 1M has. From that perspective I find the 1M relatively easy to drive on and over the limit. However it's certainly more of a challenge to play over the limits on the RS-3s vs PSS because the slip angles are so much greater. So even if you're often going slower the RS-3s take more skill to use. However that's also part of the reason I enjoy them.

Any car is a balance between the motor, chassis and mechanical grip. Too much grip is easy to drive but it isn't fun- if you had an F1 car with the 1M's power to weight ratio (so about 130 hp) it'd be boring to drive as you'd never get the tires unstuck, while a model T with the same power to weight would be sideways instantly and scare the crap out of you.

While I'm able to exceed the tires grip with either tire, but the motor simply can't overcome the PSS grip as often, as much or for as long. So the PSS is sticky enough to upset the balance between grip and power that the engineers designed in. For competition that's great, give me all the grip I can get (hoosiers, etc). For having fun, however? Maybe too much of a good thing.

Of course you can add power and get some of the balance back, but then the chassis starts to lag (suspension too soft, then brakes too weak, etc) so it's a bit of a slippery slope.
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      10-05-2012, 11:51 AM   #19
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For having fun, however? Maybe too much of a good thing.

Of course you can add power and get some of the balance back, but then the chassis starts to lag (suspension too soft, then brakes too weak, etc) so it's a bit of a slippery slope.
You are totally right. If I would have lots of time on a decent track with 1M and would have better at-the-limit driving skills I would probably not upgrade to PSS early on and just stay with the stock PS2 tires. But it's me and mostly city driving plus highway so the PSS work better in my case.
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      10-05-2012, 11:53 AM   #20
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I'm curious about your opinion regarding the sweet spot for tire/rim combo on the street?

On the street I can't safely exceed the limits of the stock PS2s, but I found that at the track and in particular on an autocross circuit the limits were relatively predictable and easy to control with DSC off. I'm just trying to assess how PSS's would affect this balance.

Quote:
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Sorry, you completely missed the point.

Re skill, without sounding like too much of an ass, I instruct in cars far more powerful, difficult to drive and with far higher limits than my 1M has. From that perspective I find the 1M relatively easy to drive on and over the limit. However it's certainly more of a challenge to play over the limits on the RS-3s vs PSS because the slip angles are so much greater. So even if you're often going slower the RS-3s take more skill to use. However that's also part of the reason I enjoy them.

Any car is a balance between the motor, chassis and mechanical grip. Too much grip is easy to drive but it isn't fun- if you had an F1 car with the 1M's power to weight ratio (so about 130 hp) it'd be boring to drive as you'd never get the tires unstuck, while a model T with the same power to weight would be sideways instantly and scare the crap out of you.

While I'm able to exceed the tires grip with either tire, but the motor simply can't overcome the PSS grip as often, as much or for as long. So the PSS is sticky enough to upset the balance between grip and power that the engineers designed in. For competition that's great, give me all the grip I can get (hoosiers, etc). For having fun, however? Maybe too much of a good thing.

Of course you can add power and get some of the balance back, but then the chassis starts to lag (suspension too soft, then brakes too weak, etc) so it's a bit of a slippery slope.
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      10-05-2012, 01:03 PM   #21
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I'm curious about your opinion regarding the sweet spot for tire/rim combo on the street?

On the street I can't safely exceed the limits of the stock PS2s, but I found that at the track and in particular on an autocross circuit the limits were relatively predictable and easy to control with DSC off. I'm just trying to assess how PSS's would affect this balance.
As the tire gets wider but the rim stays the same a few things happen:
  1. grip goes up
  2. slip angle is reduced
  3. tire response gets slower
  4. hydroplaning resistance goes down

Now #2, slip angle being reduced, basically means the breakaway is more abrupt and also that you can't drive the car quite as sideways. #3 means turn-in is slower, and feedback from the tire is reduced. So one could generalize that wider tires are faster, but more difficult to get the most out of and arguably less fun due to the slower response and less sideway action.

The PSS is in my experience more progressive a breakaway than the PS2 despite the fact that it's grippier, so I'd say it's easier to drive overall, but the turn-in is already slower. Going wide as well will make it even gripper and slower turn-in. Either way, I think your choice is largely between more ultimate grip and feel/ feedback.

I've gone with the stock sizes on both sets of my wheels, so you know which way I voted on the street. For the track I'd go wider (ideally on wider rims) and use different tires again.
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      10-05-2012, 04:19 PM   #22
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Hey Pete ! Thanks for sharing all that with us. To me, one of the best combo for the 1M would be 18 inch wheels with 235/40 in front and 255/40 in the back. I'll perhaps be the only one to go narrower than standard, but I don't mind !!
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