Lotus Elan

Tyres for elan

PostPost by: ema7elan » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:25 pm

Seem to have stirred up a hornets nest here. The reason I asked in the first place is that my Dunlops have been on for 8 years and although there is plenty of tread left the fronts have suffered since I went on a track day to Oulton park a few months ago. There are two issues really. 1 is there an age limit to the tyres? Although 8 years old they don't seem to be showing their age in terms of cracks etc. and 2. What is the best replacement tyre for mixed use i.e. dry and wet road use and perhaps the odd exercise around a track (not racing, just occassional spirited use)?

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PostPost by: twincamman » Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:22 pm

no -- dont use them if the sidewalls are cracked- :shock: --ed
dont close your eyes --you will miss the crash
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PostPost by: steveww » Mon Feb 09, 2009 10:12 am

twincamman wrote:well maybe you know better up there in Northhamptonshire but at 0 miles an hour on the 401 at 5 o clock it wont matter how good a suspension or the potential of the car ---race stuff belongs on the track and the new set of 18 inch wheels and new suspension and street tire compound set ups beat the snot out of 13 inch stone age technology --sorry dude thats the way it is in the real world ----ed


I think that comment was a bit uncalled for. This is supposed to be a friendly helpful forum, not a flaming contest.
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PostPost by: twincamman » Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:40 pm

Sorry Steve --it wasn't meant as a slam just a comment that here tires don't mean SFA in a daily 2 hour Traffic jam and everyday driving is totally different from spirited driving . So all I said was keep the good tires for the track and the everyday ones for commuting to Morris dance class ------we North Americans sometimes come off as a little brisk --- :D Is Northhamptinshire in the real world???? :lol: :lol:[that was meant as a joke] -ed --------- I just googled it and there it is in the center of the world ----no traffic jams or drive by shootings there Ill bet
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PostPost by: jimbo » Mon Feb 09, 2009 1:33 pm

I recently changed all 4 tyres on mine as the PO confirmed to me that it had been on the same tyres since 2000 (Uniroyals). They were fine tread wise but I wasn't happy running about on tyres that old.

I had them fitted whilst the car was at Paul Matty's for some other work and they recommended sticking with the latest version of the Uniroyals. Handling wise they seem fine, although I had a TT suspension kit fitted at the same time so that made before and after comparisons tricky.

Thus far I've no complaints and I think I paid less than ?200 for all 5! Budget wasn't really an influencing factor on the choice - I was happy to take their advice and the price was a pleasant suprise. Especially as a full set for my daily commuter cost in excess of ?1000 for four!

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PostPost by: Bruce Crowthorne » Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:14 pm

I went the XAS route.
They handle well (for my limited driving skill) and I have only done a bit over 2000 miles on them so far so can't comment on longevity.
They are pricey! I just hope they are worth it!

One word of caution. They are quite high profile and I (stupidly) bought 5. Unfortunately the spare doesn't fit in my spare wheel space !!!

So buy 4
Actually I have spare - anyone need a single tyre?
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PostPost by: steveww » Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:45 pm

twincamman wrote:Sorry Steve --it wasn't meant as a slam just a comment that here tires don't mean SFA in a daily 2 hour Traffic jam and everyday driving is totally different from spirited driving .


Apology accepted. I only use me Elan as a weekend toy for back road blatting and track days. Agreed all cars have the same performance stuck in traffic. That is why I sold my Porsche 911 RS that I used as my daily driver and fun car, it was no fun in traffic. Now I have a MINI Cooper S for the boring stuff and the Elan for the fun stuff 8)

No drive by shootings but there are laser speed traps on the main roads to watch out for.
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PostPost by: twincamman » Mon Feb 09, 2009 7:56 pm

WELLLL over ere the speed gestapo have a new ploy ---- 20 km over the speed limit they confiscate your car== suspend your licence on the spot === charge you with racing and leave you and your family stranded on the high way and drive away 'have a nice day SIR' ----to serve and protect indeed -- :x --ed
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PostPost by: Barney » Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:00 pm

Speeding Fines and what you sign up to

Two years ago a guest of mine rented a car in Florida from an Internet source. Reasonably cheap and it seemed like a good deal - or so they thought.
They signed the rental agreement forms when they arrived in Orlando where it was stipulated that they would be responsible for any parking and speeding fines, common practice these days.
Imagine their horror when they checked the car back in to be told that the GPS tracking system (a marketing point in the rental company's advertisments) had logged the car breaking the speed limit over twenty different times in their two week holiday.
My guests never revealed to me how much the fines were - imposed by the rental company and not the authorities - but it left a sour taste for the end of their holiday.
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PostPost by: Jolly Jumper » Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:50 pm

I have Michelin XAS 155 on my Elans. I cannot confirm they wear out soon, not at all. What I can confirm though is that 8 year old tyres have no right to stay on an Elan and yes, the car is very sensitive to tyres.

The Michelin have one major advantage: They have the "H" speed rating, which is very important - at least here in Germany.

I once had Dunlop SP on the car, they felt very good, but speed rating was too low and the german MOT did not like them as a result....
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PostPost by: lotusfan » Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:56 pm

Maybe someone on here can confirm that in the UK they are going to be looking at the date stamp on tyres during the MOT?
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PostPost by: 512BB » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:01 pm

I have never heard such nonsense with regard to age and tires, and i know that a few on here are in my corner.
I restored one of my cars about 18 years ago now, and fitted Dunlop SP6s. They are still on the car and have covered about 10,000 miles. They drive beautiful, admittedly only in the dry, but the rubber is still very supple. Sure, i look them over when carrying out servicing, nothing wrong with them. This idea that tyres will disintegrate or explode as soon as they get to 5 years old is such crap.
I will replace them only when the tread wears down to legal limits, when i see that the rubber is deteriorating, or when any MOT dictats dictate!

Anyone want a lift? :lol:

Is that the game starting? COME ON ENGLAND
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PostPost by: twincamman » Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:51 pm

welll as I stated previously I have been through the tire wars ---I also have seen the technology improve through the years ----NOW CHILDERN PAY ATTENTION ---in the days of MG TDs and TR 3 s and other antique cars ---- [ JUST BEFORE THE DAWN OF TIME ]---there was a thing we called 'screech ---when the tires did that there was time to back off and gather things up in the direction of travel hopefully ---BUT NOW with super sticky tires its like a race slick ---WHEN YOU HEAR THE SQUEEK ITS ALL GONE TO THE BROWN STUFF-- so hang on ---secondly at the track there is help -a doctor --marshals-- track medical facilities -tow trucks and an ambulance to transport what is left to the hospital --Now on east Traverstock road you can lie in the ditch until the local Herder happens by in a day or week or two -----all this talk of heroics on the back roads of East Trollipsville makes me slightly nervous for your safety and the dude in his morris minor going to aunt Minni es for tea ----I'm not a prude nor a lover of law enforcement BUT lets leave the steely eyed racing drive act for controlled driving area like race tracks [so we don't get a 'sorry hes dead ' answer on the web site ] -- -AND ---you needn't go fast to practice the proper line ---shut off point-- turn in point - apex and balance point or accelerate on line -can all be done at 30 mph as effectively as at 100 mph --in short the things we did when we were 16 emulating Hawthorn and Clark on the public roads are or should be behind us now --AND I have heard it said 'the fast Lotus driver is completely devoid of any engineering knowledge -- :) ED
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PostPost by: Jolly Jumper » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:13 am

512BB wrote:I have never heard such nonsense with regard to age and tires, and i know that a few on here are in my corner.
I restored one of my cars about 18 years ago now, and fitted Dunlop SP6s. They are still on the car and have covered about 10,000 miles. They drive beautiful, admittedly only in the dry, but the rubber is still very supple. Sure, i look them over when carrying out servicing, nothing wrong with them. This idea that tyres will disintegrate or explode as soon as they get to 5 years old is such crap.
I will replace them only when the tread wears down to legal limits, when i see that the rubber is deteriorating, or when any MOT dictats dictate!

Anyone want a lift? :lol:

Is that the game starting? COME ON ENGLAND



Well, each to their own. However, I did not say old tyres will explode or disintegrate. What I think, and have experienced myself, is that tyres loose their edge. This is a slow process and you will only feel it if you step out of a car with old tyres and into the same car with new tyres. The car will feel different. With old tyres you either you loose steering feel or grip or the tyres will feel "hard". I repeat, it is a slow and long process and you will only feel once you have tried the same car with a new set of tyres.
This applies to all countries :lol:

@Twincamman: You don't need to go fast to enjoy a tyre well matched to the car. Especially in an Elan. :)
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:02 am

I've had experience of a tyre falling apart at speed, and it had done about 500 miles and looked brand new...or at least, the other 3 did!

I had fitted 4 top of the range 'R' rated Michelin tyres to my XJS, which was little used, and they were just over 9 years old when the tyre exploded...at about 100mph on a cool day.

The tyre guys examined it, and thought that the walls had de-laminated over time, with some perishing on the inside of the tyre. They cut open one of the other 'good' tyres, and found the same. Another of the tyres was sent back to Michelin and they confirmed that the tyre was starting to perish due to age.

I don't think that there's a cut-off date when tyres have to be thrown away, but there certainly seems to be a lot of evidence that tyres will 'go off' after a period of time. Tyres are designed for cars that are regularly used, and that usually means that they will be used up within 3 years or so. Doubling that to 6 years due to light use seems OK, but it seems that even if you store them in a cool, dark place, flat and with no weight, they will start to deteriorate anyway.

I would certainly advocate others driving on 15 year old tyres though, as the potential for an accident must increase, which in turn will yield more spares for the rest of us.

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