Hellcat Life Changer - Nitto 555R 305/35R20 On Stock Rims

Discussion in 'Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat' started by Robo21, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. Robo21

    Robo21 Gold Member

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    Yesterday, I spoke to my trusted tire guy I've known for 15 years, John Boynerian the general manager of the American Tire Depot nearby in Hollywood, CA. He has a good deal of track experience himself and caters to the high performance crowds that include both drag racing and road course enthusiasts. I have always found his recommendations to be right on target.

    He recommended the Nitto 555R in 305/35R20 on mystock Hellcat wheels. I strenuously objected to these tires being too large for the 9.5" wide stock wheels based on what I had read here and elsewhere. But John reassured me that they would fit just fine and not to worry. He said the Nitto 305's are unusually small for 305's and would fit both the wheel and the wheel well just fine, and hook and look great. Plus he was so confident that he said to try them and if I didn't like them I could bring them back so I pulled the trigger.

    We installed them last evening, and I immediately began testing over some huge freeway dips I could take at 70 MPH on the Glendale Freeway. Also, I took some cloverleaf 270* freeway transitions with dips, various bumps and turns that I know are severe and would be good tests of the fitment.

    He is right, no matter what I threw at these tires I couldn't get them to rub or scrub. Then when I tried some straight line launching I found out what Booky and others have been raving about! The launching capabilities are astonishing.
    This was a transformational experience, My big assed burnout machine has been transformed! I am very happy and my wife is delighted. She loves the way the car hooks up now - and she doesn't even drive it.

    Booky, your statement "you will not believe how much faster the car will feel" with drag radials is a huge understatement. I am blown away. So far I haven't found the limits in hard turns out of an abundance of caution, but I pushed hard and they handle turns well enough given the newly acquired launch traction. If there is a loss in cornering, I haven't found it yet but I am being reasonably cautious but still passing every other car in the turns.

    I am surprised that I didn't have to go up in wheel size, I figured I could always do that if necessary in the unlikely event John was mistaken. So far so great! And it's like driving a new car. No more embarrassing launches, just outright fun!

    Some are complaining about the cost of running drag radials or other sticky tires on the street. I will say this, given the transformative powers these tires have they are worth every penny and then some. To split hairs the tires run about $680 out the door. If they are good for 15,000 street miles then the cost is $0.045/mile. If you drive 10,000 miles a year then for the cost of a couple of cups of Starbucks a week you can transform your car into a much more tractable beast. I only drive about 5,000 miles a year so for me it’s a no brainer.

    Sorry for the long post but I couldn't suppress my gratitude and enthusiasm. I was so frustrated with my Hellcat until now. Would I like more traction still? You bet. But at least I have what I think amounts to at least a 75% improvement. Like I said,+ I have a new car.

    And like Booky says "They do not suck, they just hook!" Right on Booky! Thank you Booky for pointing me in the right direction... And thanks to John at American Tire Depot for getting the best drag radial for my application. Once again John has nailed the right tire for my car and at an excellent price.
    20161215_150337.jpg 20161215_150634.jpg 20161215_150748_002.jpg 20161215_150807_002.jpg 20161215_150949.jpg 20161215_151143.jpg
     
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  2. moparnutt

    moparnutt Silver Member

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    I have nitto 552 gen 2 on my yellow jacket i like them also i may have to look into this for my cat! Thanks for the info They are a street tire correct?
     
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  3. BD2DBONE

    BD2DBONE Gold Member

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    Thanks for posting! I've been reading for 18 months about tires and your description may have convinced me this is the way to go.
     
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  4. Robo21

    Robo21 Gold Member

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    They are DOT legal yes. Allegedly they are good for 15,000 street miles depending on how you drive.
     
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  5. moparjim

    moparjim SRT Hellcat Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Thank you Robo21 I appreciate you taking the time to take and post the pics. Today was the last day by law that u could run without snow tires here. So my tire guy should have time for me tomorrow. I have about 4 months till I can take her out so I better hurry. Thanks again.
    Jim
     
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  6. B5 MOPAR

    B5 MOPAR VIP Hellcat Member

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    Did you upgrade your driveshaft yet?
     
  7. B5 MOPAR

    B5 MOPAR VIP Hellcat Member

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    That's good to know, this mod is making more sense to do when a driveshaft replacement for the street is not necessary.
     
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  8. Robo21

    Robo21 Gold Member

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    I know exactly what you mean, I was reading and reading and going back and forth as to how to deal with the absence of traction. Asking myself, "Why did I buy this monster machine?" "Why did the engineers at Dodge not equip the car with a better tire/wheel/driveshaft combination?" "The Dodge engineers can't be stupid so what was their ulterior motive in not building the car with traction?"

    All these questions and more rattled around my brain. Finally, something about Booky's post pushed me over the edge. Then John, my tire guy gave me the reassurance that traction was readily available at a reasonable price without changing to a heavy wheel and without requiring a driveshaft upgrade.

    Bingo! It's like driving a different car now, a more valuable car, a car that isn't just for big smoky burnouts. Which by the way, I have never enjoyed. I don't have to worry about pulling up to a stoplight and being afraid to play for fear of having all my horsepower going up in smoke. And all for the cost of a cup of gourmet coffee per week!

    It makes sense, after all I bought a beautiful, comfortable, hi-tech, fun car, why not get the most out of that incredible Hellcat engine?
     
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  9. Blackbeast

    Blackbeast VIP Hellcat Member

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    Glad you made the thread! We both were seeking a solution and it appears you found it ! Which makes it easy on me...:D

    Question:
    Ride Quality: Hellcat is not the easiest car to get tires that balance and typically around 80MPH you can get vibration. I spent the last 2 months and multiple road force balances trying to correct this and I finally found peace. Also two different brand of tires can sometimes make the ride a bit abnormal.....

    Bottom line: Are you experiencing any vibration around 75 -80 mph and how is the ride quality before and after with two different tire brands with different tread patterns?
     
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  10. Robo21

    Robo21 Gold Member

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    My pleasure Booky, and thank you for the enlightening post about drag radials. Apparently we have several common interests, giant breed dogs, '03 Cobra history and now Hellcats with traction! :cool:
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
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  11. Robo21

    Robo21 Gold Member

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    Ride quality is virtually the same. My wife insisted we take a run up the Pasadena Freeway last night which is known for it's non-banked twisty turns and a couple of the grooved concrete lanes are somewhat bumpy. The cat took the freeway equally smoothly before and after. Same on the Glendale Freeway. Speeds up to 90 MPH and no discernible difference in ride quality. We love the ride before and after. By they way, on the Pasadena Fwy we had the suspension set to track so that would have revealed any issues if there were any.
     
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  12. B5HellGato

    B5HellGato SRT Hellcat Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    Love a wide tire like that.

    My only thing is that I dont like the look of a different tire tread on the back and front.

    So I wonder what the biggest tire I could go all around?
     
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  13. Blackbeast

    Blackbeast VIP Hellcat Member

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    Thanks for the reply ...no reason not to do it now.! ...Plus, I just noticed we both have the exact same hellcat badge on our rear spoiler in the exact same area...so might as well have the same tires too! :D

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Robo21

    Robo21 Gold Member

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    LOL - Can't argue with that reasoning! Perfect placement on the Hellcat badge. Nicely balanced.

    It's a good feeling to be able to accelerate without the constant concern of breaking loose. Be sure to report back with your experience. ;)
     
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  15. MoparRules

    MoparRules Silver Member

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    Great write up! Your front tires look different. What size and brand are those front robo21? Also, do you know or does your friend know if the 555G2 has a 305/35/20 that would fit the stock wheel?
     
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