Lotus Elan

Tyres for S3 Elan

PostPost by: summerinmaine » Sat Sep 04, 2010 2:17 am

niceolcars wrote:nota optime : For the experienced racers among us of course the opposite is true (10sec/lap @ Spa) :P



IOW horses for courses, right Niels? :D
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PostPost by: SprinTango » Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:02 am

When I bought my wheels I was told the tyres were fitted on them "about 5 years ago" but I will now check for for a date code as shown in Jim's photo. Thanks.
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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Sat Sep 04, 2010 5:54 pm

SprinTango wrote:When I bought my wheels I was told the tyres were fitted on them "about 5 years ago" but I will now check for for a date code as shown in Jim's photo. Thanks.



Good idea, because there's no assurance that the tires were fresh when they were purchased. Some tire discounters sell tires that are 2-3 years old (i.e. they get they from other resellers who have more stringent "sell by" dates).

Over here, Tire Rack has always been very good about selling only fresh tires, at least in my experience.

And if your Elan doesn't get too many miles per year, this is an important issue, as the tire can look like new with plenty of tread, but still be dangerous.
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PostPost by: [email protected] » Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:37 pm

I've dealt with OEM steel knock on wheels and Panasport alloys versions for years and never have seen a problem with drive pegs unless a loose wheel forces them out. Loose wheels used to be fairly common when someone use new knock off spinners and were loath to smash them with any sort of metal like hammer. What usually transpired was folks trying to tighten their new, expensive spinners with a plastic "dead blow" or shot fillet mallet. With the current available tools that prevent damage and/or a real bronze/lead hammer it really shouldn't be a problem unless, as noted, threads are over lubricated or crusty dry. I like the idea of longer pegs and don't know much about some of the other alloy wheels ( I do remember some Revolution knock ons with no issues) but if the wheel gets loose longer pegs will get rocked out the hub anyway. Whatever pegs are used the danger of a loose wheel rocking those pegs out is the possible damage to the peg holes in the hub. If that occurs then a replacement hub or some careful machining and custom pegs are in order.
Jeff - in Southern California where we generally spell the black rubber things on our wheels "tire" except for a notable exception that pelss it "tyre" :)
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PostPost by: vintrace » Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:19 pm

Well I assume that the scolding from Mr Anderson is all part of the Newbie induction to the Elan forum. Pleased you got it out of your system..better than a heart attack.
You may want to consider the suggestion from types26/36/74 and post your somewhat rude rants on the front page of the ?garyeanderson Elan forum? so everyone can read it before committing any heresy.
Not surprised you are down to only 20 people regularly contributing if this is how you go at new people.
It is only normal that new to Elan ownership will bring about the same questions over and over.. Dredging through archives can be tedious?. great if you find what you want quickly but after 15 to 20 minutes people will invariably just go for the new topic button.
For my Sins I have worked through the site and added locations to my profile.
As for my tire/ tyre question, I did say UK or US recommendations is fine as I live in both locations.
And Thank You again for all the good information?
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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:48 pm

Since the OP seems to have gotten his info, I'm curious to know what others have fitted to 5" Panasports. As mentioned above, I have 195/60s on my Tii, but I'm thinking I should go a bit narrower on the tires for the Elan. Also, my Tii guy says that 195/60s are the widest tire he would recommend for a 5" rim.

Clearances don't seem to be a problem, particularly with the Spyder RSC. Anyone have any experience with 175/60 or 185/60 tire sections? Or should I be looking to increase my sidewall?
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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:00 am

vintrace wrote:Well I assume that the scolding from Mr Anderson is all part of the Newbie induction to the Elan forum.



Don't take it personally, but please do take it to heart. Gary is one of the most generous and selfless members with his time and knowledge on this or virtually any other forum that I have frequented. And with three different collector marque cars and seven different collector marque motorcycles currently in my stable, I feel that I'm in a position to back that statement up.

I think all Gary wants is for new posts (notice I didn't say n00b posts) to contain a bit of forethought on how much information should be supplied at the outset in order that the responses can quickly focus on the relevant and avoid too much back-and-forth. Your location is relevant, to the extent that the responders are willing to take the extra time to provide recommendations as to sources, instead of just the narrow scope of info you appeared to seek.

Also, as you might see from another thread, the lack of location info by members (of ALL forums I frequent) is one of my personal pet peeves. And BTW the actual location of your CAR might indeed be relevant, unless you want to take t(i/y)res with you on the plane next time you cross the pond.

At any event, welcome aboard and remember that this is probably one of the least ego-driven of any marque specialty forums. And the archives DO contain a great wealth of info; albeit sometimes a bit difficult to ferret out.
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PostPost by: vintrace » Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:11 am

Hi Jim,
Thanks for the reply? I have a fairly thick skin so not too offended? just thought the post a bit rude and over the top. I do like to sift through the archives time permitting? this time however I knew the narrow tires were an issue for the Elan so just got straight to it.
Regarding you question about tire widths for 5? wheels? it has always been rule of thumb that the best size is a 185 on a 5-1/2? rim. So working back I would say a 165 on a 5?.. perhaps a 175. I say this because all the race Elans we used to run would be on 185?s as that was the best tire available. The more you stretch a tire onto the rim the more instant the feedback will generally be. A 195 on a 5? rim is really pushing your luck I would have said, and will probably feel very mushy and could well bit you on the limit. All this of course is less relevant on a street cars as you don?t really work them as hard on the rims..a track day however may find a problem with oversize tires.
Cheers, Tony
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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:03 am

vintrace wrote:Hi Jim,
Thanks for the reply? I have a fairly thick skin so not too offended? just thought the post a bit rude and over the top. I do like to sift through the archives time permitting? this time however I knew the narrow tires were an issue for the Elan so just got straight to it.
Regarding you question about tire widths for 5? wheels? it has always been rule of thumb that the best size is a 185 on a 5-1/2? rim. So working back I would say a 165 on a 5?.. perhaps a 175. I say this because all the race Elans we used to run would be on 185?s as that was the best tire available. The more you stretch a tire onto the rim the more instant the feedback will generally be. A 195 on a 5? rim is really pushing your luck I would have said, and will probably feel very mushy and could well bit you on the limit. All this of course is less relevant on a street cars as you don?t really work them as hard on the rims..a track day however may find a problem with oversize tires.
Cheers, Tony



Thanks Tony!

My Tii was set up especially to take 195s, but otherwise I agree. So much has been done to the car to rally prep it, but keep it tractable and stealthy for the street, where it actually spends all its time. It has probably had over $25K of running gear mods in recent memory.

I'm in no hurry to put rubber on the Panasports, so I'll take my time. Availability of a choice of tires will definitely be an important consideration, as I probably don't want rubber quite as soft as on my Tii. I like to throw the Elan around a bit more.
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PostPost by: vintrace » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:26 am

Its amazing how times change, 20 years ago a Tii was a donor car for a Chevron B8? that Tii motor was always the one to get if you wanted a great 230hp BMW motor in your B8? And before that the Anglia was always a donor for a Ginetta G4? but now are both great classics in their own right. The Anglia it seems is now giving the Lotus Cortina?s a hard time in FIA racing in Europe, and the Tii gives the Cortina a bit of a spanking more often than not.
So tell me are you running 195?s on 5? rims on your Tii?? ?
Will your Elan be a street car, track day or vintage race car? ?

Cheers, Tony
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PostPost by: niceolcars » Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:41 am

spot on Jim :wink:

I am not a friend of sticky tyires on old machinery. We had a large discussion over here when the Yoko's where allowed on the Cat. G [1966-71] cars by FIA. Everyone had to reinforce the old metal, because it just broke under these new G forces.

That was the point when i got very happy with my other '65 car, as the Dunlop CR 65 are sticky enuff when new and on dry track.

Imho as long as one is not tracking his tub, one should be quite fast with even the original small size. For trackdays i agree those abovementioned solutions to be the compromise of choice.

Furthermore i'd like to support Gary's move: it woke me up after years of sleeping on this forum elanum.
And i can not support enough what you said Jim: this is one of the least neurotic forums i ever came across.

Cheers lads
(pouring-a-glass-of-spirit smiley missing)
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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:04 pm

vintrace wrote:Its amazing how times change, 20 years ago a Tii was a donor car for a Chevron B8? that Tii motor was always the one to get if you wanted a great 230hp BMW motor in your B8? And before that the Anglia was always a donor for a Ginetta G4? but now are both great classics in their own right. The Anglia it seems is now giving the Lotus Cortina?s a hard time in FIA racing in Europe, and the Tii gives the Cortina a bit of a spanking more often than not.
So tell me are you running 195?s on 5? rims on your Tii?? ?
Will your Elan be a street car, track day or vintage race car? ?

Cheers, Tony



Hey Tony!

Well, I've had my 73 Tii since 1984, and was never tempted to donate the motor! :D

I do run the 5" original alloy rims. With the sole exception of a larger exhaust pipe exiting from the center rear, it has no obvious exterior changes that suggest the power that lurks within. Until it fires up, of course. And the exterior shows a great deal of "patina" hard won over the 400K or so miles on the car (most with my butt firmly planted in the Recaro). Most of this is in an attempt (largely successful) to avoid attracting unwanted (but not unwarranted) attention.

Oh, and the personalized plate provides a clue. But that reference is too obscure for most of the last few generations to decipher it seems.

The Elan will be strictly a road car. And unfortunately, it seems that short of giving it a "stealth" paint job, there seems to be no way of avoiding having the Elan draw attention. :D

BTW not to get too far afield, but the Elan currently resides on jackstands next to my motorcycle lift, which is occupied by my 1959 Velocette Venom. A lot of diagnostic work ahead to try and diagnose its ills.
Last edited by summerinmaine on Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPost by: summerinmaine » Sun Sep 05, 2010 12:05 pm

niceolcars wrote:spot on Jim :wink:

I am not a friend of sticky tyires on old machinery. We had a large discussion over here when the Yoko's where allowed on the Cat. G [1966-71] cars by FIA. Everyone had to reinforce the old metal, because it just broke under these new G forces.

That was the point when i got very happy with my other '65 car, as the Dunlop CR 65 are sticky enuff when new and on dry track.

Imho as long as one is not tracking his tub, one should be quite fast with even the original small size. For trackdays i agree those abovementioned solutions to be the compromise of choice.

Furthermore i'd like to support Gary's move: it woke me up after years of sleeping on this forum elanum.
And i can not support enough what you said Jim: this is one of the least neurotic forums i ever came across.

Cheers lads
(pouring-a-glass-of-spirit smiley missing)


Thanks Niels.
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PostPost by: m750rider » Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:05 pm

I use Sumitomo HTR 200 in 175/70-13 on my 1969 S4 with Panasports. Just fits in the wheel arch and required a little modification to the spring perch, nothing major. They are nice tires and fit the car nicely, I'd recommend them for the S4.
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PostPost by: RedS4 » Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:36 am

I am running Bridgestone S248 165/75/13's on standard S4 steelies. They look the part and provide excellent feel on the road. I have tracked them once (a few laps at Eastern Creek in Sydney's west) and they felt good, with gradual and nicely progressive slippage (drift?). The speedo is accurate as there's a 4.something diff ex an Escort van thanks to a previous owner and the combo just worked out! :)
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