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View Full Version : Another tire thread: Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval


ausie
04-02-2006, 10:44 AM
My first impressions (after 1 tank of gas) :D SWEET.

I decided to go back to a stock wheel but did not care much for the 5 spoke so I settled with the 10th anniversary SVT wheel. The BBS wheels will be on reserve for drag duty since they weigh considerably less than the svt wheel.

I just wanted to experience the wide width tire up front so 275/40-17 are now on all 4 corners in the form of Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval tires. I have yet to do a hard launch with them so I may change my thoughts on them once I get to the track. As for the street, they hook very well to the point I was beginning to think there was something wrong with my motor (almost boggs down like it did when the track at Island Dragway was prepped properly and ran a 12.579 with the Toyo T1-R's on the rear). I cannot even get them to break loose. Huge difference with the wide ovals when compared to the Toyo T1-R and just about any tire I have had so far (have yet to experience drag radials but I can wait until the Toyo's wear out). They were a cheaper alternative to the BFG kdw tires ($20 lower). The tread pattern is similar to the BFG kdw tires (I really wanted the BFG kdwII's but they are not available in the 17 inch wheel size). Just for smiles and grins I will inspect the spark plugs and clean the MAF in case there is an issue but I doubt it. For a street tire they are impressive. :thumbsup: At least now I can rotate the fronts to the rear so I will get more life out of them. And those 10th aniv. wheels look killer on the silver 04 ( I think I like them better than the BBS wheels). If the tires begin to let me down I will more than likely make some comments on that.

Out of two vehicles: 2001 SVT Cobra; BFG Comp TA (6k miles) :) , Michilin Pilot Sport AS (could not wait to get them off the car) :( , Bridgestone Potenza Pole Position S-03 :D (excellent for lateral g's on the stock 17x8 inch wheel, had same installed on the BBS 8.5x18 and 10x18 15k miles on both), and the 2004 SVT; only 1 day with the Goodyear stock tires until I got my BBS wheels back from the dealer in the wheel swap (they seemed to eager to give up the rubber to the rear bumper cover), The remaining life of the S-03 (after the 15k miles, not very good since they were worn out) :rolleyes: , Toyo T1-s (17k on the front BBS, 6k on the rear ) :D (not bad at all), Toyo T1-R (rear only :D still in great shape even after 16 passes at the drag strip and will stay on the wheels until worn out), new wheels 17x9 SVT 10th aniv. and Firestone Firehawk W.O. :banana: (may be premature but so far best tire I have.)

ausie
04-03-2006, 07:54 AM
I take that it back, you can spin them but still better than most of the tires I have had so far.

RF Cobra
04-03-2006, 11:13 PM
My first impressions (after 1 tank of gas) :D SWEET.
So that would be about 60 miles...;)


How are the Firestone's as far as noise?
When I used Firestone tires back in the early 90s on the tbird the noise was awful so I switched to the Bridgestones which were much quieter. If the noise isn't bad and they are doing that well for you then they are definitely worth considering.

ausie
04-04-2006, 08:14 AM
So that would be about 60 miles...;)


How are the Firestone's as far as noise?
When I used Firestone tires back in the early 90s on the tbird the noise was awful so I switched to the Bridgestones which were much quieter. If the noise isn't bad and they are doing that well for you then they are definitely worth considering.
They are not as quiet as the Toyo T1-Rs which I can barely hear even when the wheels are spinning. But they do come close in noise level, however I can sort of hear something depending on what road surface I am on. Other than that I cannot say they are noisy. There is comparrison of the tires to BFG kdw, Avon (mtech?) and one other tire and they rated the Firestone Firehawk on the top list. I selected them over the BFG for the overall rating and the higher lateral G rating and they appeared to have the better traction (wet/dry). I will keep a good ear open today since I will be taking the cobra to work and will let you know if they seem noisy (so far they seem unnoticed and I have been evaluating them since I have gotten them.) I would like to see how well they perform at the track (drag strip), I do not have high expectations since they are a street tire but may be impressed since they are out performing the Toyo's on the street.

psycho43142
04-04-2006, 10:23 PM
I just put a set of Michelin PS2's on my 97 and they are amazing. Well worth the price of admission.


Chris

ausie
04-05-2006, 07:22 AM
I will admit that the tires can be heard with the windows open but are hard to differentiate from wind noise (it was windy out yesterday). In other words they are reasonable. Most of the time when coasting out of gear on the hills (one way to silence the exhaust) they were not very noticable at all. Not a bad street tire at all. Confident on the corners, good acceleration for a 17 x 9 wheel in the 275/40 size. The 18 inch wheels with the Toyo's may offer a bit harder ride feel but there does not seem to be much of a difference in the performance category. Actually the F.F. wide ovals have alot more grip and ride comfort. I have had Bridgestone Potenza S-03's on the 17x8 inch (01) wheels and liked them so much I ordered the 18 inch BBS wheels with them mounted. I would almost rate them as a similar tire but the S-03's had a tendancy to wander a bit at low speed where as the FFwide ovals do not.

psycho43142: As long as the PS2 are not the AS (all season) versions they should be great tires. The ones I had were the all seasons and the tire compound must have been different. They could not hold a turn without squeeling and letting loose and they did not hook very well. I am not giving the PS a bad rap, I just got a bad set of tires. Had them on for 6 k miles and they were barely worn (in the wear out category they would rate top list, but they suffered in the performance department). I should have special ordered the summer versions of that tire since that is what I wanted. I never returned to that tire dealer after that ordeal. replaced them with BS Potenza Pole Position S-03's.


I was skeptical when moving into the Toyo brand since I wanted a different tire but was told they were a better choice. Heard that story before (why I settled for the PSAS doughnuts). The place that mounted the Toyo's made an agreement with me that if I was not happy with the Toyo's they would replace them. Actually I was happy all the way down to the threads(almost). I chose the Firestone out of convienence since they would come mounted with the wheels. My first choice would have been the BFG KDW2's but that tread is not available in the 17 inch tire size. Took a hard look into the KD's and the KDW's then widened my research on other brands in that category. I am pleased for the time being with the Firestone wide ovals. Once the clutch gets replaced and the TOB and guide tube are fixed (this week) I may end up changing my mind once I can plant all the power to the rear. I do not think I will be dissapointed.

ausie
04-05-2006, 07:52 AM
One more point: I would not buy a tire just based on one person's response with the product. By all means do some digging and with a little luck you will get a product that fits your driving style. I would classify my driving as aggressive (within reason, safety first by all means ) depends where I am on the road and how much view I get of the surroundings. It will take a bit of time to get used to the new tire before pushing it to its limits. So far it is performing well under my usual driving habbits where other tires may break loose these have yet to do so. Since the tires are new and not many miles on them I may end up changing my remarks. So far I have not found any weakness yet which is promissing. I sure hope that once these tires reach their half life I will still be happy with them. I know I was with the Toyo tire. I would definately recommend the Toyo's since I have driven through two sets T1-R are much better than the T1-S. Based on what I am experiencing with the Firestone wide ovals I am impressed and believe that I made a good decision. However since I have not driven on them long enough not sure if I would recomend them or scrap them. So far, with the lower cost and the performance to date I would recommend them. Is there a better tire out there? would be the question to ask. Perhaps there is but to find a comprehensive tire review has not been an easy find (without bias).

ausie
04-06-2006, 07:01 AM
Dry and wet: tire spin, As I noted previously that I found it difficult to break the grip loose I was able to do so with a firm push on the throttle in first gear. Not the stomp and pop of the gas and clutch which will easliy ripp off the rubber of just about any tire. I have been able to break loose just about any tire I have had on the Cobra with the throttle mash in first gear although it did take a little coaxing for these tires to rub a groove in the asphault plus it helps if the tires are cold along with a poor road surface (it did not take much to regain the grip after a little spin). In most cases the tires held up their end of the bargan and stayed firmly planted. That is about it for the dry part. I have to at least try them out at the local track and see what a good launch will do.

Wet: :thumbsup: WOW these tires are still amazing even in the rain. It does not take much effort to spin in the wet though but is typical with most tires. A little shudder and hop may occur on the wet cold street especially in places where it is usually slippery to start with. To top it off, my wet day travel turned into a snow squal which was not supposed to coat the roads but in some areas it did. Surprisingly I had no issues at all in the wet snow but I was not going to risk it so I kept my speed way below the limit. Once I got out of the snowy areas I was able to see how good these tires are in the rain (wet snow and rain in this case). Except for the spin if too much throttle is used to start off, I could not tell the difference if the road was wet or dry. I usually do not drive the same way on wet as I do on dry pavement. Considering the tread pattern, I did not expect a good response in the wet conditions as I have with the Toyo's (T1-S, T1-R). Surprise, they turned out to be just as good if not better. I really like the Toyo's alot but the Firestone Firehawk wide ovals have now hit the top of my list.

In comparison, the Toyo tires 245/40-18F, 285/35-18 R on BBS wheels, Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval 275/40-17 on all 4 corners mounted on 10th anniversary SVT wheels. The thinner sidewall of the tires mounted on the 18 inch wheels will provide good performance but a hard ride when compared to the taller tire on the 17 inch wheel. However I did not find the performance to be compromised with the stock sized tires on the smaller diameter wheel. The wider front tire helps on the street but may offer more rolling resistance than the narrow tire when at the drag strip along with a slight unsprung weight reduction. IF the Firestone tires perform as good on the track as they do on the street, I will be getting another set for the BBS wheels. I was considering the BFG KDW2 for the BBS wheels but may just stick with the Firestone tires once I wear down the Toyo's. Why not just get drag radials? I have been contemplating that for some time now and may just do that.

RF Cobra
04-07-2006, 12:52 AM
Thanks for the replies and great info. Sounds like they have put the technology into the Firestone's that they were once holding out and using only on the Bridgestones. Sounds like a good tire for the money.

So far I've been happy with the all season Kumho Ecsta ASX. I have not driven a lot on them yet (just a few hundred miles) as I've been driving the Taurus more to keep from running up commuting mileage on the Cobra. But, at this point I actually like them better than the Ecsta summer tires they replaced. I'll know for sure when we do the Dragon Run later this year. If the performance stays good, and they get decent mileage (Kumho claims they can go 30k even though the compound doesn't seem that much different) these could be a good daily/general use tire.

Eventually I hope to join in on the fun at our on track events. When that time comes I have an extra set of the stock wheels for the front and wider 10.5" aftermarket ones for the rear. For those I'll probably spend more to get better traction and performance. But for everyday driving I don't see the need to spend that much money on tires every 9-10k miles.

ausie
04-07-2006, 07:45 AM
Keep this in mind, since I have not logged many miles on them. Usually when new the tire may have the performance you desire but once you put on 5k miles or less they tend to change their characteristics. And to top it all off, I got a call from the Ford dealer who was servicing the Cobra for a TOB and retainer sleeve. When they inspected the clutch and flywheel they had to notify me the bad news. Turns out the clutch was basically worn to the rivets and the flywheel was in bad shape. Ouch. I knew there was something going on there but there was only one way to find out.

As for the cost of tire replacement, that has been a never ending story. Once a year replace the rears and every two years replace the fronts. That is the typical routine for having staggard fitments. I decided to go back to a factory wheel and at least have a means to extend tire life to some degree (can't rotate staggard wheel sizes). Tire life is a victim of driving habits. When it comes to tires, I expect the full program and not just a demo model. I hope these will provide many miles of enjoyment all the way to baldness. Due to the center ribs in the tread pattern I expeded a bit of wandering (was excessive with the Pilot sports AS and the Bridgestone S-03s's) but surprisingly they are neutral even on poor road surfaces (there may be some tracking of the grooves if excessive which is typical of any tire). I would guess that is termed road feel.

I may end up changing my impressions once I get my car back from service. Based on the tire characteristics I do not expect my opinion to change.

If any one here has had some experience with these tires it would be interesting to see if they support my opinion or contradict it. Actually if one had a bad experiece with the same tire I would like to know ahead of time what to expect in the near future.

ausie
04-11-2006, 08:06 AM
Finnaly it is getting warmer out. I started hearing some noise and at first I thought it was comming from the SUV behind me until they turned off the road and the noise stayed with me. :( Almost like the song of the high floatation ballon tires found on most Jeeps. :rolleyes: Not quite as loud (barely noticable) but perhaps the tires do make some noise. I can live with what I am hearing now but sure hope it does not get any louder as the temperature climbs up.

RF Cobra
04-12-2006, 01:12 AM
I hope they don't get any louder on you. The engine and supercharger are fun to hear, but not the tires.

I'll get to try these Ecsta ASXs out on the twisty mountain backroads of NC and TN on Thursday and see how they compare to when I did it with the summer Ecstas. I'm looking forward to see how they do...purely for scientific research purposes of course. ;)

ausie
04-12-2006, 07:24 AM
I found out there was a bit of noise when I was not moving. Part due to the new clutch being transfered through the transmission as it is spinning the input shaft. But what I was hearing was not that but the power steering pump. Turned out to be low on fluid in the resivior. I will have to inspect for leaks. May end up back at the Ford service department again if there are any issues with that. :( After filling it back up to max level when cold the noise is now gone so it was not the tires I heard. Funny part is I have yet needed the traction control turned off as I have yet to break it loose sideways. Definately an improvement over some of the other tires I have had in the past. So far they make for really good street tires.

Those Ecsta's look like really good tires as well. I like the MX versions since they seem to have more rubber than water channels. The bigger the blocks the better I would assume. Not quite sure what I will be putting on the BBS wheels. I do like the firestone but not available in the sizes I need for the larger wheels. At this point I will probably get some BFG KDW2's for them.

ausie
05-29-2006, 01:09 PM
The firehawks do make some noise afterall especially on concrete road surfaces :( , sorry if I miss lead anyone. I could not hear them until I changed the cat-back to the factory exhaust. I can live with it since it is not all that loud and they hook up great in the heat since it has been in the high 80's for the past several days now. I may be going to the local drag strip this comming Friday (weather permitting) and if I run I will more than likely report back on how well or poor they do on the strip. Hopefully the differential cover will hold up. :rolleyes:

FactoryFreak197
05-29-2006, 09:00 PM
So that would be about 60 miles...;)


How are the Firestone's as far as noise?
When I used Firestone tires back in the early 90s on the tbird the noise was awful so I switched to the Bridgestones which were much quieter. If the noise isn't bad and they are doing that well for you then they are definitely worth considering.
thats no joke just wait until your runnin dual ford Gt pumps and 60lb injectors, its even worse lol

ausie
08-06-2006, 12:09 PM
Went to the track this past Friday and conditions were poor. All of those running street tires could not hook up including me. Air temperature was dropping to a nice cool 70 F near the end of the track time (was closer to 88F when I left for the track). This was the first time I ran a stock wheel and 275/40-17's on the car. Most of the night I was running low 13's but my trap speeds were much higher than that when I was running mid to high 12's last year. The hook was much better at 34 psi than it was after dropping pressure to 22 - 24psi until the traffic in the staging lanes died down.