Lotus Elan

Elan S1 tires

PostPost by: elwood625 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:55 pm

Here in the USA in 2017 165/65/13 tires are getting very hard to find. I currently have Bridgestone RE92 165/65/13 tires fitted, however, they are now 15 years old and no longer available.

I looked in the archives for suggestions, the posts are from 1999 - 2011, and when searching for tires suggested back then, NLA again and again.

Anyone have any suggestions...

Bill H.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:35 pm

Bill, I see these for sale on ebay-they are NOS, five years old but never mounted so should not have any UV wear-ten years newer than what you are running now!:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-New-165-65-13 ... BI&vxp=mtr

There are other sets of tires by Nexen, Achilles etc on ebay.
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PostPost by: elwood625 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:50 am

Thank you, I bought them and may use them or store them for the next time. This car has always been garaged and never out more than 10 hrs at a time. I wonder if there is a way of determining tire degradation from time and UV?

Anyone know a way besides Purchase date?
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PostPost by: gherlt » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:57 am

DOT Number indicates month & year of manufacturing, mandatory on every tire (at least in EU and US)


3 number indicate manufacturing before 2000, DOT MYY means month M of year 19YY
4 number indicate manufacturing since 2000, DOT MMYY means month MM of year 20YY
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PostPost by: SpeedModel » Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:52 pm

Coker Tire has the correct size / vintage style 145R13 Vredestein Sprint Plus radial tires in stock for the Elan. I recently bought a set for my S2. They are priced at $85 each. https://www.cokertire.com/vredestein-sprint-plus.html

Has anyone had success mounting tires on the original early steel wheel without using inner tubes? Coker sells tubes for radial tires but I would prefer to go tubeless if feasible.
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PostPost by: elwood625 » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:37 pm

The Bridgestone tires on my S1 are mounted on the original rims with no tubes. Never had a problem.
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PostPost by: lotusS2guy » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:02 pm

Same here. Never had a problem with tubeless tires on the original rims. I have Yokohama 175/70-13 on there now. They have lots of tread, but they're hard as a rock. I will need to get a new set soon. I can't find anything H rated, though. Any suggestions other than those uber-expensive Michelin XAS?
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PostPost by: tesprit » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:54 pm

[Has anyone had success mounting tires on the original early steel wheel without using inner tubes? Coker sells tubes for radial tires but I would prefer to go tubeless if feasible.[/quote]

A modern tubeless radial tire and a standard rubber valve stem can be fitted to an early steel Elan wheel without a tube and it will hold air just fine, but it could be potentially dangerous because tubeless tires on tube type tire rims can sustain sudden air loss during high speed cornering. The early Elan steel wheels do not have modern safety bumps (bead humps) on the rim so the beads of a tire with no tube can easily lift off the bead area of the rim causing the tire to suddenly lose all its air, collapse and then shred and come off the wheel which can easily result in total loss of control of the car before it can come to a stop. Modern wheel rims have the required bead humps for tubeless tires so the tire beads stay on the bead seats of the rim so even if the tire has a catastrophic blow out this will allow the driver to bring the car safely to a stop. In essence, you can run a modern tubeless tire on a any suitably sized wheel, but it should have a tube in it if the rim does not have safety bead humps.

Here is a drawing showing cross sections of vintage V.W. tube type (like early Elan) and tubeless type rims showing and describing the differences between the designs:

tubeless.jpg and


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PostPost by: nomad » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:55 am

Very good point, Dan. I guess I'll continue to run tubes even though the quality of those is pretty poor now days. Wasn't sure I could get away with being tubeless on riveted rims anyway.

I've always gauged tire condition by how much cracking is visible on the tire wall where it flexes. Should be none through to the carcass. Of course that doesn't address the tire compounds becoming hard and less able to grip.

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PostPost by: SpeedModel » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:52 am

Thanks for the explanation and illustrations. I went ahead and ordered a set of radial tubes for my Elan today.

It's probably worth mentioning that the Vredestein Sport 145R13 tires are about the same diameter and width of the tires that were originally fitted to the early Elans.
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:15 am

I have Yokohama Radial 379, P165/70R13 789 Radial tires on my S1, which aren't available in the US. They are excellent tires for my car. Has anyone had tires shipped from Europe?
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:29 pm

The "J" stamped into the wheel is an indicator of a British Standard tubeless wheel rim. They do not have the bumps as the USA standard spec wheels do, but the Elan wheels w/ the "J" spec are made to accept tubeless tires.

Inside the rim, normally covered by the tire will be stamped "4.50J-13"

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PostPost by: zog » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:57 pm

You can still get 165X65X13 in the US at Tires easy:

https://www.tires-easy.com/165-65-13/ac ... 1377-TV000
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PostPost by: LI-599 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:03 am

Hi all, In acknowledging all that has been said regarding the use of tubeless tyres(tires) on early Lotus rims, it is worth reminding ourselves of the difference between tubeless and tubes when you run over a very thin pointy object such as a tack, particularly at the rear, the tube goes "bang" and you are very busy bringing the car to a standstill hopefully still on the road if lucky BUT the tubeless tire just deflates slowly and if you check your tires regularly you will see it and get it fixed. I just checked my spare rim and it is marked 4.50J 13 ( off my '69 S4)
Cheers
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Mon Jan 30, 2017 5:30 pm

Another available option is the application of bead sealer, which effectively "glues the tire's ID to the rim at the "bead". This material is generally intended to reduce the possibility of leakage on a corroded rim. I am not suggesting this is good practice, and I run tubes in my own tires, but in a pinch, or in some situations, folks may decide to add bead sealer to make a poor situation better. If you have ever tried to remove a tire with bead sealer under it you will know that it is MUCH harder to break the bead and get the tire off the rim after it is glued on with bead sealer.
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