Lotus Elan

Tyres for S3 Elan

PostPost by: vintrace » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:33 am

I know there must be a thread for this somewhere but does anyone know of a good tire for the S3 Elan.... a 165 70 would be perfect..... currently have 165's but they are a bit small on the dia.... funny though my speedo is accurate...
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PostPost by: vintrace » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:41 am

Not sure if I got this right as first time I tried to load a picture

Image
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:16 am

vintrace wrote:I...currently have 165's but they are a bit small on the dia...funny though my speedo is accurate.
Really? If that is true, then you have a rare Elan indeed. The working speedometers in every Elan that I have had any experience with have been consistantly optimistic. That's not unusual for any car including modern ones. The reasons for the optimistic speedometers are twofold. First, the manufactures can produce a car with a top speed of say 100 m.p.h., and upon testing his new car, the owner will think it will do 105 m.p.h. A very satisfied customer indeed. The second reason is to keep the owner from acquiring a series of speeding tickets. If the speed limit is 70 m.p.h. and your speedometer indicates 75 m.p.h. at this speed, you are not likely to be pulled over even though you think you are getting away with 75 m.p.h.

If your tires were the standard 145/13 that came with the car and your speedometer was accurate, that would be an abnormality. If your 165/13 tires have a smaller overall diameter, they would have to roll even faster to maintain the same speed of the car which means that to maintain a given speed, they would spin the speedometer at an even higher rate then the normal tires would. That would be an even greater abnormality. And you say your speedometer is accurate with these smaller diameter tires? Did you change the speedometer drive gear at the transmission?

Ragardless, that's a beautiful Elan you have there.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:03 pm

vintrace wrote: a 165 70 would be perfect..... currently have 165's but they are a bit small on the dia....


I dont quite understand as a 165/70 would have a smaller rolling diameter then a 165 but you say you already have 165's fitted and they are "a bit small on dia" :? ......am I missing something here :?......and I agree its a nice looking car :)
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:55 pm

OK, so I don't know where you are looking to buy tires but I guess that tyres gives it away. A location may help you find someone to offer up a usefull suggestion as to what to buy. Anyhow Vredestein still makes tyres in sizes that will fit an Elan and if you were in the U.S. may be one of the few that offers a

145 x 13 tire.
http://www.tiresunlimited.com/ALL%20TIR ... sprint.htm

or a 165/70R13
http://www.tiresunlimited.com/ALL%20TIR ... t_trac.htm

This info is most likely useless for you but may help someone looking for tires (tyres) or round black things that roll on the ground.

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PostPost by: RedS4 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:19 pm

Love the wheels!!
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PostPost by: msd1107 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:20 pm

The Elan came with several tyre sizes. First 5.2-13, then 145-13 then 155-13 on S4. The +2 had 165-13. A 165/70-13 has virtually the same diameter as a 145-13.

Differential ratios ranged from 3.9 on early cars, 3.55 on SE, and eventually 3.77.

Early speedometers were 1000 TPM (turns per mile for odometer reading). S4 and +2 had 980 TPM.

There were three different gearbox speedometer drive gears, 23, 24, and 25 tooth.

There is a down loadable spreadsheet at http://bit.ly/b5xI64 (at the bottom) that allows the user to determine any one of these factors, given the other ones. And if the correct gearbox speedometer drive gear is not available (for instance an early speedometer with 3.55 differential and 165-13 tyres, you can determine the correct pair of gears in the odometer so that a shop that rebuilds Smiths speedometers can give you the correct odometer calibration.

After all that, the speedometer may not be calibrated correctly (hardly surprising after 40 years). The same shop that rebuilds the speedometer can get it calibrated properly.

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PostPost by: FOX5D » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:50 pm

Hi Everyone

Please excuse what may be a naive question. I have an S3 with 145-13s and an S4 with 155-13s. I understand from the various literature that the S4 had different wheel arches from previous Elans to allow the bigger tyres. How does that fit with 165s on an S3?

Jim
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PostPost by: vintrace » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:35 am

Thanks for all the feedback.

Currently my S3 has 165 x 65 x13 Potenza RE92 tires. These actualy measure 21" dia.
I have them fitted to the 5" wide alloys as in the picture.

These tires are no longer available, however I would like a slightly taller tire to give me a bit more ground clearance, and possibly improve the ride as these are a bit crashy.

I don't mind having to buy from the UK as my family is there and I visit quite often.

Regarding S3 v's S4 Yes the S4 has more room for tire due to the squared off wheel arches... I have had tires as big as 185 x 70 on an S4 with a bit of fiddling.

I do agree it's unusual to be able to squeeze the 165's on an S3... I am just lucky I guess as the usual problem is you can get 165's on three corners but never on the left rear I think it is due to the body mould.

Regarding my speedo... I go through two radar devices most days..the ones that just stand there and tell you your speed..well my speedo is always spot on to what the radar tells me. Not sure what the gearbox drive gear is.. but almost sure I have a 3.9 axle ratio .. i get right on 16mph per 1000rpm in top.

Anyway if anyone has a good tire they like I would appreciate it....
Thanks again, Tony.
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PostPost by: paddy » Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:16 am

I think the short answer is that there's not really much available. I have the same issue, 165/70 Goodyear GT2 are on at the moment and I want to replace them with something the same size.

I spent some time yesterday looking for what tyres have been specifically recommended here, and there's not a lot still available in 165/70. You get more choice if you go to 175/70 (I guess these will be hard for you to squeeze in) or 165/60 (but I don't like the look of a lower profile tyre on the Elan, and it will make the already-poor gearing even worse).

The tyre that's almost universally recommended is the Michelin XAS but that's not available in 70 section. It's also quite expensive.

The "historic" tyres like the Avon CR6 ZZ also aren't available in 165. None of the "track day" tyres like the Toyo 888 and Yoko A032 seem to be available in 165/70.

I looked around on some of the other classic car sites (eg for Midget) and didn't find any widely supported recommendations either.

My main complaint with what I have at the moment is that the grip falls off a cliff when it's wet (anything more than damp), especially when it's cold.

So, if anyone has specific recommendations then I'd also welcome it.

Paddy
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PostPost by: SADLOTUS » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:12 am

lot of choice on here:

http://www.blackcircles.com/order/tyres/search

155/70s and 165/70s but mostly 'T' rated.

ps. I'm happy with my Falkens
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:35 am

Not sure where you are located but I looked at your other photos and it would seem you are U.S. based. You can look all you want but in the end the availability of TIRES that fit will be quite limited.
I did some looking and searched on tirerack.com 165 13 and got two hits. the first is the Bridgestone RE92 165/65 x 13
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp ... =665R3RE92

the next is Sumitomo HTR T4 165/70 x 13
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp ... 67TR3HTRT4

I didn't know that they had any of the Bridgestones RE92 left in the U.S. If I were you I would call them when you read this and get the tires that fit, Those are what I put on the Elan S3 coupe that is in my avatar. Anyway don't wait too long as my S2 has the tires I put on 13 years ago and I should buy a set before I drive to the LOG next month. Not sure how many the tirerack has in stock but it may not be many. I hope this helps, if not you then I am sure that someone else that reads this will jump on them as there isn't much else around that fits.

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PostPost by: paddy » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:39 am

Has anyone here tried the Sumitomo HTR T4?

There are a few recommendations for the HTR200 which is the "summer" tyre, but it's not available in 165/70.

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PostPost by: Coupe » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:42 pm

I have 175 x 60 Yokohama A539 fitted on minilites on my S3 - tight fit but OK
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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Wed Sep 01, 2010 4:47 pm

paddy wrote:Has anyone here tried the Sumitomo HTR T4?

There are a few recommendations for the HTR200 which is the "summer" tyre, but it's not available in 165/70.

Paddy



I have the Sumitomo HTR200 on my 2002Tii, another hard-to-fit set-up with the 5x13 original alloy wheels. I find that they're the ONLY tire available to me in 195/60 13s.

I like the tires quite a bit; they are soft summer tires but work fine in the occasional wet we have. Since it's mostly summer here 24/7/365, they are my year-round tire, but due to the softness (and perhaps my driving) I'm lucky to get 15K miles out of a set. But they're only @ $180 for a set of four (plus all the usual add-on costs).
Jim

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