What type & size of tires to use / what fits? / "best" tire?

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Edwin Ek
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Re: Tires

#361 Post by Edwin Ek » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:15 pm

Pirelli is making the CN36 tire again, in our size of 165-78. VR-rated. Pretty much the best choice if you aren't sensitive to price. Vredestein Sprint Classics are probably the most popular choice these days. They are HR-rated.

Obviously both speed ratings are more than enough for our little 4-bangers.
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Re: Tires

#362 Post by David Jones » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:49 pm

Avon in the UK make excellent tires and sell their ZT5 in a 165/15/65 at a reasonable price over there. Here in the states the choice is very limited unless one is willing to pay around $150 for a 165 size tire.
Go to 175 and there is a large choice and 185 even more choices. the 185 however is a squeeze in some spare tire spaces though fits well in a T6 trunk.
If I had known I would live this long I would have pushed the envelope a little harder.
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Peter Burger
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Re: Tires

#363 Post by Peter Burger » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:01 pm

Thanks for all the input.
I am somewhat surprised, that 185 tires, or even 195 tires, fit to the car without rubbing especially in the front. I disregard difficulties to fit the spare into the trunk – since a 165 size tire could be used as a spare.
Wider tire seems to equal more traction when cornering, or is there no real advantage on the street to go from a 165 to a let’s say 185 – on 4 ½ “ rims.

Regards
Peter
'64 356C Coupe
'50 NSU Fox 98 Motorcycle
'51 Maico M126 Motorcycle
'51 Horex Regina 350 Motorcycle

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Re: Tires

#364 Post by Erik Thomas » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:44 pm

Peter:
A lot of people like the look of a wider tire. It is a pretty rare person who can take advantage of any extra traction afforded by a bigger contact patch. And a wider tire does not have to be very wide before it rubs on the front, on full steering lock, or is hard to remove from the rear. The rear suspension design being swing axles does not help matters and a very wide tire starts to do all sorts of odd dynamics when cornering on less than a pool table flat road. Then, the spare has to be different. When all 5 are the same, easy to replace a tire with say, a plug in it, or some other small defect.

Spending one day at a local track actually driving the car fast around corners is going to make the driver much quicker and safer than any wide tire ever will. I also enjoy being able to get the tail out in a predictable way, perhaps not the ultimate lap times, but more fun driving and less on the very edge. Some modern radials have a vary narrow slip angle, go beyond say, 10 degrees, and the car snaps into unrecoverable oversteer. Dunlop racing tires, for example, can go to about 30 Degrees.

Personally, being a cross between a luddite and a heretic, I prefer 165x15's as tall as the original tires. This looks better to my eyes, and the speedometer is spot on.

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Re: Tires

#365 Post by Edwin Ek » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:41 pm

356 cars are tail-happy, so oversteer is always nearby, even at relatively low speeds.

I have posted this a few times before, and here it is again:

One thing I am doing on my car which may be of interest to you is to run 4.5" rims with 165-78 tires on the front and 5.5" rims with 185-70 tires on the rear. There are several attractive aspects to this approach:

Cuts down on oversteer, and Porsche itself started doing the same thing itself a few years later when it figured out what was going on.

Doesn't screw up the delightful light mechanical steering feel, which is one of the best characteristics of a 356.

Reduces the on-stilts look at the rear.

Is a subtle modification which can be reversed in a few minutes.

Of course the accuracy of the speedometer and odometer is unaffected.

Half the time the 165 spare will be the right size for use and can be rotated with the front tires.

Vredestein and Pirelli make tires in both sizes.
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Jim Liberty
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Re: Tires

#366 Post by Jim Liberty » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:57 pm

185s fit easily. Vrederstein makes one and I use them on my street cars. Not too big, not too skinny. Looks and feels just right. ................Jim.
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Re: Tires

#367 Post by David Jones » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:36 pm

The 185 x 65 have a ratio that it turns out make the tire close to the same diameter as a 165 x 78 so the speedo if calibrated for a 165 is close to correct on the 185's. About 10 revs per mile difference. Keep in mind that the only time the front tires will rub is at slow speed when parking. If they ever rub at high speed when turning you are already in deep doo doo and rubbing tires is the least of your worries.
If I had known I would live this long I would have pushed the envelope a little harder.
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Re: Tires

#368 Post by Mike Kieley » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:37 am

I have been using the 165 Vredesteins on various 356s for the past 15 years and have been very happy with them. One point that I'm not sure has been covered before is the age of replacement tires. A friend of mine bought "new" tires from a well-known US "vintage" tire specialist - they were new, but produced 6 years ago! Now I ask for the dates before I order any tires.

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Re: Tires

#369 Post by Dave Wildrick » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:14 pm

Norm Miller wrote:Old subject but I'll add;

Currently running General R43, 195/65X1n. I know, what?
My tire man suggested them as he had good feedback from customers.
Ok I tried them and they stick wet or dry and are surprisingly good in snow.
I have run 195's on A's & C's with 4.5" rims amd as long as you use proper air pressure they are fine.

Ex SCCA racer and over 100,000 356 miles of aggressive driving.

Norm
When I got my 65C in 2000, it came with 205x55 tires on 4.5" rims on it. Those suckers had a heavy feel to them and didn't look right.

Since then, I've used inexpensive 165 x 78s when available, and 185 x 65s when they were not--like right now.
Currently have 185 x 65 Michelin Defenders on both C coupes.
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Jon Schmid
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Re: Tires

#370 Post by Jon Schmid » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:24 pm

Hi Dave, I had the identical situation when I got my 64C couple in 2004. 205 tires on 4.5 inch rims. I had to replace them just a few months later because even though they were still fairly new, the sidewalls started cracking from bulging so much. I ran Kumho 165's for years and now that they are discontinued I have the Nexens.

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Re: What type & size of tires to use / what fits? / "best" t

#371 Post by Marco Thiele » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:17 pm

Hello Forum,

I need to replace the tires on my 1960 356B and have been told to go with Michelin XZX, which seem to run approximately $126/tire on http://www.cokertire.com. I've also been quoted US$900 for the full job, which seems on the high end (note that I live in S. Francisco, so everything is more expensive here, but nevertheless...). My question: are Michelin XZX the way to go and is $900 excessive for the whole job (incl. tires)?

Thanks, -Marco

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Re: What type & size of tires to use / what fits? / "best" t

#372 Post by Jon Schmid » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:16 pm

Marco, I just had 4 new Nexen tires mounted and balanced for less than $400.00. Face it, you're not likely going to put the mileage on the Michelins or drive in such a way that the Nexens will fail you. Unless you plan on drifting your car is the $600 extra worth it?

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Re: What type & size of tires to use / what fits? / "best" t

#373 Post by Edwin Ek » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:56 pm

Marco, another favorite is Vredestein Sprint Classics. They are cheaper than XZX's and HR-rated instead of SR-rated. The top speed of a standard 356 doesn't necessitate a higher speed rating, but a higher-rated tire runs cooler at all speeds, which is a good thing. Heat destroys tires.
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Vredstein Sprint Classic 185/70/15 on 5.5 wheel - any pics?

#374 Post by M Penta » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:34 pm

Wondering if anyone has pictures of 185/70/15 on a 5.5 steel wheel, installed on a 356.

I searched multiple tire threads and could not find a pic.

Also, is it true these tires can not be stored on the car in cold temperatures? Tire distributors do not seem to mention it, but Vredstein does.

If it is made out of modern materials, I do not see why they would differ from any other tire.

I have Toyo's on it now, and since my VW jetta needs tires and takes the same tire size, this could be a good excuse to install some Vredstein's.

Thanks,

Mark
Last edited by M Penta on Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Vredstein Sprint Classic 185/70/15 on 5.5 wheel - any pi

#375 Post by Brad Ripley » Thu Mar 29, 2018 6:06 pm

There is no "Sprint" , just Classic in that size See https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/185-70 ... assic.html

Any of these tires will work on a 5.5" rim. https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/classi ... e/356.html

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