Buffing or sanding a tire can improve the tire's ability to grip the track surface. It is common for top teams to grind a new tire before its initial use. Buffing helps remove the mold release from the tire's surface and exposes fresh rubber. Repeat the process after each run. Grinding will remove the work-hardened layer, reveal a new layer of rubber, and sharpen the tire's edges.
This process can help stretch out the tire's life and is a great practice when applied to used tires.
- Start by removing any mud and rocks from the tread surface, as this can clock up the sanding disc.
- On a used tire, find the wear pattern. Finding the wear pattern is important because you want to buff in the opposite direction to sharpen the working edge.
- Mount the tire and wheel on a buffing stand. If a buffing stand is unavailable, you can leave it mounted on the car. The RF hub is a good option in a pinch.
- Buff using a variable-speed tire sander and a 36 Grit sanding disc on a soft backing pad. Low RPM setting and light pressure. If you see smoke, you need to reduce pressure and RPM.
- After buffing, resipe the tire if necessary.
- Reset air pressure, recheck rollout, and note on the sidewall with a paint marker or tire chalk.