Lotus Elan

Minilite wheels and tire size availability in U.S.

PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:31 pm

Dan, your idea is a good one, but my S1 has bolt on wheels and the S4 has knock offs.

Your right that adjustable suspension will solve most of the issues. My rear suspension does fit inside the minilite wheels (the PO had already done the grinding of bolt heads).

Unless someone local has the exact wheel and tire size I can try on, I think I'm going to have to buy a tire, mount it and try it out.
Glen
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Mon Nov 02, 2015 1:04 pm

I've spent the last couple of months doing a fairly exhaustive search for tire/wheel combinations for my Elan S1 and have come to the following conclusions:

1) What you can fit in your wheel wells is dependent on whether or not you have adjustable coil over suspension.
2) The rear lower controls arms need to have the bolts shaved for non-stock wheels
3) Performance tires that are 13 inch are almost not available in the US
4) Your choices are low speed rating tires that are inexpensive or high speed grippy performance tires that are very expensive. Michelin stands out with an extremely expensive tire for general use.

My car currently has OEM steel wheels with chrome hub caps and Yokohama P165/70R13 789 radial tires on it. I like these tires. They are grippy enough on the street, have a very good tread pattern for all weather use, the car handles extremely well with them and they have minimal road noise. Unfortunately, they are unavailable in the US. I will use this tire and wheel combo for cars shows where the period look is more appealing.

Elan S1 Tries on car profile.JPG and
Elan S1 side profile of tire height - Yokohama 165/70R13

Elan S1 Tires on car.JPG and
Elan S1 with Yoko tires


I have already purchased new bolt on 13 x 5 inch Minilite wheels from the UK (via RD Entertprises) and have decided to acquire Toyo R888 185/60R13 tires for my run around use. These are DOT approved track tires and I know from my track days a number of Lotus Exige cars used them to great success.

The difference is size between my current tires on my Elan S1 and the Toyo's are as follows:

--------- 165/70/13 ------ 185/60/13 ------- Difference
Sidewall Height 4.55 ------ 4.37 ------ -0.18
Section Width 6.5 ------ 7.28 ------ 0.78
Overall Diameter 22.09 ------ 21.74 ------ -0.35
Circumference 69.41 ------ 68.3 ------- -1.11
Revs per mile 912.81 ------ 927.69 ------- 14.88

If your speedometer reads 65 MPH with the 70 series tires, the 60 series tires will show 63.96 MPH.

My friend Bruce has 185/60/13 tires on his S2 with a 5 1/2 inch wheel and has no problems

Elan S2 and Elan S1 chassis.JPG and
Elan S2 and Elan S1 26R Chassis


Anyone else have 185/60/13 tires on their car and have any comments?
Glen
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
06 Elise - Track pack
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:09 pm

I bought the last 6 Toyo RA1 185/60-R13s before they were discontinued a couple of years ago. They fit and perform great on the S4. I use the Michelin 175/70's as daily drivers and the Toyos for autocross. There is an app that you can download to you phone called speedometer. You can use that to check the S1's speedometer accuracy with the current tires and the new tires to understand the true difference. Dan
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:34 am

Dan, funny you brought up checking the speed accuracy of my S1 with an app. I did just that this past weekend. My friend Chris and I were comparing RPM's in 4th gear and mph readings (he has an S4) and Chris had me download the Speed Box app so we could have accurate readings from both cars. Found out my speedo is within 1 mph under 60 mph, but after that it's accuracy is not very good with variations of up to 5 mph in the 65 to 80 mph range. Not sure why, but it could just be a warn mechanical speedometer.

By the way, I wish the Toyo RA1's where still available. I would much prefer those vs the R888.
Glen
05 Elise - Back where I started
65 Elan S2 - 26/4055
72 Europa - 74/2358R
69 Elan S4 - 45/7941
64 Elan S1 - 26/0379
12 Colin 30 - Lotus Racing Kart
07 Exige S - Wicked Road/Track Car
07 Exige S - Fast Road/Track Car
06 Elise - Track pack
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