Lotus Elan

Old tyres

PostPost by: Hawksfield » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:13 pm

Hi
My +2s 130 elan is fitted with Michelin Classic tyres 165/80/13 with very little wear
I had them fitted in 1999 !
Can anyone suggest an alternative to the above ie 175/80/13 or similar as the breaking and grip is awful

:( :(
Regards

John

+2s130 1971
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PostPost by: triumphelan » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:18 am

Just some info ,tyres have a date code on them .The code in in a elongated circle it will be ie 3099 this meens the tyre was produced in the 30th week of 1999.I have heard that on the MOT inspection they will be looking at the age of the tyres and in the future old tyres could be a fail
Regards John 1969S4DHC
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PostPost by: peterako » Tue Jan 06, 2009 8:39 am

Hi Hawksfield,

Happy New Year!

I changed my old tyres to Vedestein Sprint+ T82 165 R15 (regular profile) last year.

I have found their grip excellent in the dry.
In the wet they are not quite as good, but are very predictable, thus can still be driven safely and quickly.

Their speed rating is onlyu 112mph(?), but as my car is a road daily driver this is not an issue for me (i.e. I'll never be at 120+ mph :) on the road).

Relatively cheap too.

Take care,
Peter
I is an Inginear....please excuse my speeling!
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:09 am

Peter,
I assume it's a typo and you mean 165 R13.

Hawksfield
In the UK, you need tyres that have a speed rating to match the car for the MOT so you will need tyres rated to 120mph.

This shouldn't be a problem but in times past, there have been shortages of suitable tyres because tyres that are narrow by modern standards were not available in higher speed ratings.

Mike
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PostPost by: SADLOTUS » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:06 pm

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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Tue Jan 06, 2009 9:13 pm

Hi

An update to my post, checked the date code three tyres are 1995 one 1996

the code is three figure + triangle for nineties tyres that means mine are 12 to 13 years old.
no wonder handling is awful

I have Falken 452 on my Jag S type and are proving better than Pirelli
P Zeros, 30K miles to date and I should get another 6K, that is as good as the Pirelli's and around ?50 each cheaper.
So thats for Falkens coming.

For the elan I am looking for a softer tyre that I will wear out over two to three years, any suggestions
Regards

John

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PostPost by: lotusanglia1965 » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:08 pm

try yokohama.
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PostPost by: Roy Gillett » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:59 am

Hi Hawksfield,

I have some Falken 07U 175/70 13" s I use on my +2 and the lack of grip is ludicrous.

Most of the year I run Yokohamas on my 14" Minilites (which are brilliant), but for the 3 Castles Classic Trial each year I have to put my standard 13" steel wheels back on. These have the Falkens on and they are truly dreadful. For the first few miles after their winter'rest' each year, it is genuinely difficult to apply the brakes without a lock up (really) and even locked up they don't slow down. And they squeal backing out of the drive (honestly). They do improve slightly with use (anyone know why that is?) until it rains. Then they are even worse. If you want these tyres to try you can come and collect them for free. I am certainly not putting them back on next year. There is stacks of tread left (almost no wear in 5000+ miles) and they are 2002 tyres. (One year old according to the wall marking when I bought them new, but just as appalling from the start). My tyre man suggest that the car isn't heavy enough to get the Falkens to work properly but then he does have to find an excuse for selling them to me. I admit they were cheap. Might explain why they work on your Jaguar!

If cost is no object then my brother runs really soft Michelein XAS FF (the FF stands for 'Formula France') on his +2. They are really sticky and give the car lovely feel (which degrades with wider tyres in my experience - however well they grip) but are reputed to do only 3 or 4,000 miles and cost about ?120 per corner. Ouch. Sadly Yokohamas don't do the A539s in the satndard 13" sizes.

Hope that helps.

Roy
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:19 am

Roy,
2002 is old for tyres, they really are at the end of their life. The rubber in the tyres goes hard and this greatly reduces their performance as well as increasing the likelihood of tyre failures.

Lack of use (e.g. off car storage) also reduces tyre life; spares and caravan tyres typically last less well than tyres in regular use.

Mike
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PostPost by: Roy Gillett » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:38 am

Thanks Mike,

Believe me they were no better when they were fresh! I am curious as to why storage (especially in the dark, as mine are) should cause faster degradation. I know UV light is bad for tyres and a dark-stored tyre is spared that. My 14" Yokos are much the same age and believe me the difference is chalk and cheese. At least the Yokos are wearing down.

Roy
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PostPost by: SADLOTUS » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:07 pm

My Falken ZE912's are fine, maybe it's the age and tread pattern? The Yokos are a softer more performance tyre.

A few years ago as a daily driver I used to put whatever cheapest Eco tyre was going and would wear them out before grip became an issue... there again, any new tyre seemed amazing compared to what I had before. In the wet I drove as if on ice!
My new (wide, ahem) Falkens seem pretty good and pretty softish, i like them.

I'm not advocating Falkens as THE tyre to use, there are so many different tyres for different uses out there. Research for what you want, in the size you want - if you can find it.
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PostPost by: Roy Gillett » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:24 pm

I certainly wouldn't want to bad-mouth all Falkens on the basis of my experience with one set of one design. Come what may, my elderly Falkens are not going back on and I should be glad to have advice on any reasonable alternative. They can be as soft as you like as they will only do about 1500 miles a year, so will probably 'go off' before they wear out. I am looking for grip (wet and dry) rather than good mileage.

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PostPost by: peterako » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:33 pm

mikealdren wrote:Peter,
I assume it's a typo and you mean 165 R13.



Thanks Mike,

Yes 165 R13.

Wasn't aware of the (UK) MOT rule. Thanks for that too.

None of my business, but seems a strange rule given the speed limits.....

Take care,
Peter
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:45 pm

Roy,

I got the comments on storage from the ROSPA website. Maybe regular flexing keeps the rubber supple?!?

Tyre manufacturers usually recommend not fitting tyres over 6 years old or using those over 10. And of course, our high performance cars put more demands on the tyres.

Peter,
When I've asked about the speed rating, the only convincing answer I have had was that the speed rating covers overall performance, not just absolute top speed, and higher performance tyres handle power and cornering loads better. I'll believe that there is some truth in this and I wouldn't use van tyres on a Lotus but I'm not really convinced!

Mike
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PostPost by: peterako » Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:05 pm

mikealdren wrote:When I've asked about the speed rating, the only convincing answer I have had was that the speed rating covers overall performance, not just absolute top speed, and higher performance tyres handle power and cornering loads better. I'll believe that there is some truth in this and I wouldn't use van tyres on a Lotus but I'm not really convinced!

Mike


:D

Would you believe that my Lotus came with Van tyres on the back when I got it from the PO!! (175 R13...)

'Was amazed at their lack of wear....but not their handling :shock:

Peter
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