Tire shake, also known as wheel hop or axle hop, is a common issue faced by drag racers. It occurs when a vehicle’s tires lose traction and cause the car to shake, rattle, and roll. This can be caused by a number of factors, including a worn suspension, improper tire pressure, and excessive wheel spin. If left unchecked, tire shake can lead to costly repairs and even DNFs (Did Not Finish). Fortunately, there are a few steps that can be taken to help reduce or even eliminate tire shake.
The first step in addressing tire shake is to check the suspension. Over time, worn suspension components can cause the vehicle to lose grip and “skip” across the surface of the track. This can be especially problematic for drag racers, as the explosive acceleration of drag racing often puts extra stress on the suspension system. It is important to inspect the suspension components regularly and replace any worn or damaged parts as soon as possible.
The second step in addressing tire shake is to check the tire pressure. Too much or too little tire pressure can cause the tires to lose traction and cause the car to shake. It is important to use the recommended tire pressure for the type of racing being done. It is also important to check the tire pressure regularly and adjust as needed.
The third step in addressing tire shake is to reduce wheel spin. Wheel spin can cause the tires to lose traction, resulting in tire shake. This can be addressed by changing the gear ratios or using a limited slip differential to help reduce wheel spin. It is also important to adjust the vehicle’s launch RPMs to the appropriate level to reduce wheel spin.
Finally, it is important to check the alignment of the vehicle. Incorrect alignment can cause the car to pull to one side, which can cause tire shake. It is important to have the wheels aligned regularly to ensure the vehicle is running straight and true.
These steps can help reduce or eliminate tire shake and help keep a drag racer running at its best. It is important to remember that tire shake can be caused by a number of factors, so it is important to take the time to inspect the vehicle and make any necessary adjustments or repairs to ensure the vehicle is running properly. Taking the time to address tire shake now can help save time, money, and frustration down the road.