Lotus Elan

the good olde tyre question

PostPost by: Chemtails » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:52 pm

Heya there guys,

So in preperation for the next season i'm looking for elan tyres for our 69 S4.
The elan has been a project between my dad and i for the last 20 years, and me having been into racing newer cars the last few years, i've gotten used to a vast amount of options when it comes to sticky rubber, now i'm looking at the options for the elan and i'm a bit worried i wont find anything that suits our needs.
the car will have the tony thompson smaller springs, so i think the widest tyre that'll fit is a 165, is there any way to make that larger?

I'm looking for three different types of tyres,

A set for road use, the car does not see a great deal of time on the road so the stickyer the better, these will also double as track tyres so the stickier the better, think something along the lines of the R888 or Toyo R1R

Set of off-road gravel tyres for regularity rallyes and that kind of thing.

Set of snow tyres for the monte carlo, no idea what tyres are legal yet but it looks like the snow-ice sweeden michelin tyre will fit, unsure if this would be too agressive on the not so snowy parts of the course.

thank you for any and all input.
-Simon
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:53 pm

Hello Simon

If your S4 has a standard bodyshell, my understanding is that 165/70/13 tyres are probably the widest fit unless you have a wider "26R" type body. Historic racers use the Avon CR6 ZZ 185/70/13 tyres. These are excellent on tarmac conditions (except snow / gravel).

For snow tyres, many competitors in the Historic Monte Carlo use Nokian tyres without studs for the most of the rally and with studs for the tricky higher altitude areas. I think the model you need is the WR D3, but you should do the research as I have not tried these.

The Historic Monte is a good event - plenty of practice and local knowledge will help !

Hope this helps!

Andrew
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:46 pm

I have a 69 S4 with standard body (no flares) with 185/60 r13 Toyo R888R tires on 5 inch 26R wheels and narrow rear springs. Also, rack limiters in the front to avoid fouling the ARB.

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No question a tight fit but it can just be done without changing the S4 body.

It should be mentioned that these sticky, wide tires have been installed on an Elan that has had a lot of other modifications to engine, drive train, and suspension. I am sure some might feel that this is too much tire for a stock Elan. These tires work great for my car but maybe not be suited for all.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:41 am

I use 175/60 x 13 Yokohama A050R on 5.5 inch wheels and standard S4 body work. The 185/60 x 13 equivalent does not fit on my car which may be due to the wider wheels (or my desire for a little more clearance to allow for racing deflection). A wider wheel with a slightly narrower tyre will give better handling in any case IMHO

cheers
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:39 pm

Agree about the general rule of a narrower tire on a given rim size (within limits) giving better handling. My 185/60's are on 5" rims which is the minimum rim size recommended. With the very stiff sidewall of the Toyo R888R's (DOT approved track tire) I don't think there is much "ballooning" of the sidewall in my situation. Given the very tight clearance of the 185's the extra 1/4 inch (each side) for a 5.5 inch vs 5 inch rim might be just enough to cause tire rubbing on the stock rear arches. No problem with clearance to the TTR narrow rear springs though.

I debated about getting 5.5 inch instead of 5 inch rims but calculated that the 185 tires would not clear the rear arches with the 5.5 inch rims. This seems borne out by the already very tight clearance on my current 5 inch setup.

My car is a road car, so it is possible I am giving up a bit of handling performance with 5 inch rims, but not at the limits that I typically drive. I was more concerned about getting the most rubber I could on the road to handle my horsepower and torque (181 hp, 143 lb-ft). I find with the sticky tires and the Quaife ATB that I don't experience much wheel spin under hard acceleration. Just hooks up and goes. Good that the rest of the setup is also beefed up or I would probably risk breaking things.
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PostPost by: Chemtails » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:49 pm

The AD050R would be perfect for me aside from the fact that i's not legal in the EU(need to be E marked, not DOT like it is stateside)

i was always under the impression 165 was about as wide as you could go.

Frogelan, i was thinking about going for a set of nokian hakka 3 but i was wondering if it would be worth it to buy a set of rally snow tyres if i could find a legal set, as they wont be used for anything outside of that.

cheers for all the hep guys,

also, 69elan, i am very impressed with you fitting thouse R888s under the S4, i bought a set and didnt open them as i though they would be way too wide!
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