Lotus Elan

Tires again

PostPost by: johnstice » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:47 am

Attempting to launch 6453 S3 SE FHC after what I can tell is a 20Y nap and am in need of new tires to install on new TT 13x5 Minilites. If I understand correctly my only options in the US look to be purchasing 165/70-r13 tires 1) cheap Chinese tires (Achilles, Thunderer, Ironman, etc.) or 2) Michelin XAS through Longstone Tyre in the UK at 4x the price? Are there any alternatives or recommendations? Does this forum conduct group buys like the Europa boys do? Do any of the usual suppliers stock tires?
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:33 am

Coker are listing the Vredestein Sprint 145r13, if you like.
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PostPost by: theelanman » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:53 am

is the rim not too wide for some of these tyres?
not sure about fitting a 145 to a 5" rim???
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PostPost by: theelanman » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:56 am

I found a guide that says....

Tyre widths you can fit
to the rim width: 5"

Minimum
tyre width 155
Ideal
tyre width 165,
175
Maximum
tyre width 185
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:47 pm

theelanman wrote:is the rim not too wide for some of these tyres?
not sure about fitting a 145 to a 5" rim???

Sorry, I should have read the post more carefully.
JEGS, however, list the 155R13. Unless the body is modified, that's about the limit for an S3 isn't it?
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PostPost by: LI-599 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:45 pm

We Lotus owners are handicapped with choice of tires due to the 13" rims as no manufacturers cater for sporty driving with this small size. As I mentioned in earlier threads, I paid Au$150 each for XM1 Michelins thinking I was getting a good set of rubber, but have had a terrible few years reading all the stories about "the best handling car on the road" and yet struggling to keep up with the modern cheap cars all due to my choice of rubber. Thanks to rear suspension mods by Elantrickbits adding some negative camber and a bit of toe-in I am now enjoying the spirited driving I believe most Elan drivers do except for some rear weight transfer on the soft wall tires. I cannot justify the exorbitant price they ask for XAS tires so will probably be forced to buy some other brand and will be watching this thread to see what most people are happy with.
Cheers from Australia.
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PostPost by: Ross Robbins » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:07 pm

In the USA the big chain tire stores can always get the Kumho Solus 155 X 13 tire that I have been using on my Elan for the last 15,000 miles, I'm now on my second set and I love them. I got mine from Discount Tire for about $50 per corner mounted and balanced. Now I know the purists will claim that these basic tires for econoboxes are not worthy of use on our precious Elans but I beg to differ.

First, tire technology has improved so much over 50 years that these cheapo tires are better designed and manufactured that the Dunlop SP41 that came on our cars when new and were considered state of the art.

Second, the purists say we need an "H" rated tire and these cheapo tires ore only "T" rated. Well, a "T" rating is good for a sustained 118 MPH instead of the 130 for an "H" but how many of us drive at sustained speeds of over 118MPH? I drove several laps at Talledega at LOG 29 at 110 MPH on my Kumho's and they never wavered.

Third, they come in the right size with the right aspect ratio for our cars. A 165/70 X 13 has too much width and to little sidewall to give that perfect ride/handling balance. When I raced my Elan S2 with 185/60 X13 Hoosier slicks, we had to change springs, dampers and roll bars to adapt the suspension to the tires increased width and stickiness.

Just go to your local tire store and have them fit some 155 X 13 Kumho Solus tires and you"ll be rolling in clover. IF they can't get them, there is always Tire Rack who will ship direct to you and the local shop can install them.
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PostPost by: YellowS4DHC » Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:22 pm

Another vote for kumho solus in the standard size 155 x 13; they fit right, look right, work well, and are affordable. I was skeptical at first, but I was very happy with them.

Last yr replaced them (they were 10 yrs old) with Vredesteins, but I hear the latter are no longer being made, at least in the 155 x 13 size.

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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:16 pm

I completely agree with you about those Michelin XM1's. I have a 2015 Honda City manual as an everyday car and these tyres were an OEM fitment. Terrible tyre. Squishy feeling and squealed like a banshee on any corner taken at moderate speed. Fortunately this car does around 76,000 km per year so they wore out pretty quickly and had to be replaced. It is just an econo-box (although still a moderately enjoyable drive). Lease car so I had no choice in tyre replacement but they were replaced with a set Dunlop Sp31's. Still cheap tyres but they transformed the car compared to the Michelins. I was surprised given the reputation Michelin has in the market.

For the (dare I say it - Escort) I'm going to try a set of Dunlop LM704's. I checked but unfortunately they don't seem to have a 155 section width available. The Escort runs a 175/70R13 size which is more commonly available.

I must admit I always scour the wreckers yards before buying new. late 90's to 2000 model Mitsubishi Lancers, Holden Barinas, Hyundai Excel's etc. had 13" rims. I scored 4 Dunlop LM704 tyres off a Mitsubishi Lancer with 90%+ tread for a grand total of $80. It's usually pretty easy to tell with a visual inspection whether tyres are any good or not. One buys used cars fitted with used tyres without a problem so for me at least there's no issue with used tyres if there are bargains to be had and you know what you are looking for!
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PostPost by: rady32md » Mon May 29, 2017 2:53 am

Another +1 on Kumho solus. They are not the quietest tires that I have ever owned but dry and wet traction are really good. Cornering ability is good also. Had no problems with them, though I would love to have a set of high-performance tires like the Proxes RA1 but unfortunately, these toyo tires are not available anymore. Only the Proxes R888 is available in the size I want.
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PostPost by: AHM » Mon May 29, 2017 6:59 am

155/13 is an 82% aspect ratio
155/70/13 is a 70% aspect ratio

What sidewall heigh do you want?

155/70/13 is a popular size all the major manufacturers have at least one tyre in that size over here.

For reference see camskill.co.uk they provide a nice simple list rather than dropdowns so you can see what is available ... Click away
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PostPost by: LI-599 » Tue May 30, 2017 3:07 am

Update on my S4 DHC tires. After 5 years and 9,400mls (15,000km) of putting up with the sensitive handling with the XM1's, I replaced them with Yokohama Blue Earth 165-70-13 which are only slightly different in tread pattern and still have soft walls, but with a few extra psi all round I find the handling much better than the Michies. I prefer the look of the 175-60-13 Yokahamas mentiooned in the S1 restoration but was a bit nervous putting that width on standard narrow 4.5" rims.It is worth noting that the new tires are half the price of the hopeless XM1's. I did write to Michelin Australia and suggested they list their tires as being suitable for half full wheelbarrow, they were not happy that I used the word bl---y in my email.
Happy motoring
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