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Almost without exception, all modern cars are today fitted with radial tread tyres and not the older cross ply tyres. This change over started in the mid 1960s and it is reasonable to say that TVRs prior to that date were fitted with cross ply tyres, and afterwards radials became the standard. For example Granturas were fitted with cross ply but the later 1800S and Vixens were fitted with radials. During this period there was a lot of interchange and therefore, as with most things TVR, it is possible to see both types fitted. Deciphering a tyre size When you go and buy a new tyre, you have to state the size such as 205/60ZR15, but what do all these numbers mean? 205 This is the width of the tyre in millimetres. 60 This is the aspect ratio of the tyre and allows the height to be calculated. By taking this number as a percentage and multiplying it by the tyre width, the height of the tyre can be determined. With the 205/60/ZR15 tyre, this means that the tyre height is 123 mm. This measurement technique does mean that it is easy to fit a lower profile tyre with the same circumference providing the tyre width is increased. This is a technique that TVR have occasionally used. Z This is a speed rating that defines the maximum speed that the tyre manufacture recommends. There are several designations for this: S Up to 113 mph. H Up to 130 mph. V Up to 149 mph. Z Over 149 mph. Please note that when choosing a tyre speed rating that it is common practice for cars with very good acceleration to choose a higher rated tyre than one chosen simply by the car's maximum speed. This is why the V6 powered S series cars use a V rated tyre despite the fact that their maximum speed is below this value. R This stands for radial.
While tyre performance is important, it is all too easy to forget that bad tyre maintenance or simply wear and tear can quickly degrade adhesion, often with catastrophic results. The most important tyre maintenance tool is your pair of eyes! Too often tyres are left alone and not inspected until there is a sudden experience of a lack of grip or the sight of a bald patch on the tyre. The most important thing to check is the tread depth. This should be at least 2 mm although the legal minimum is now 1.6 mm. Many company fleet car managers insists on tyre changes at 2.5 or 3 mm because of the rapid deterioration in braking distances and grip that low tread gives. Waiting until the tyre is down to the minimum legal depth can be a false economy. The adhesion is greatly reduced and therefore there is an increased chance of losing grip and bumping into something. The problem is that it can be difficult to gauge how much tread is present. Bridgestones, along with many other makes have little bars in the tread that indicate when the tyre is on this minimum depth. While these are fine, there is no indication of the actual depth they represent and how accurate it is. The best thing is to invest in a tread gauge. Mine lives in the glove compartment, ready for use. With low mileage cars, there is also the danger of the tyre wall degrading before the tread wears away. The first signs are usually small thin cracks in the tyre wall. If these are present, the tyre should be replaced irrespective the tread depth. It all depends... Tyre wear is dependent on driving style, the power of the car and the type of road surface. With large V8 powered TVRs, rear tyres can be worn down in as little as 4-5000 miles road use or they can last for 10,000 miles or more! However, if they are taken on track days... Without doubt, track days are probably the most fun you can legally have with your TVR except for maybe sprinting or racing... They do have an interesting effect on tyres however. The first thing is that it is recommended to increase the tyre pressures by about 10 to 15% before going out on the track. Remember to lower them afterwards. This should be done when the tyres are cold. This helps keep the tyre beads in place and helps reduce tyre wear.
It all depends...
Tyre wear is dependent on driving style, the power of the car and the type of road surface. With large V8 powered TVRs, rear tyres can be worn down in as little as 4-5000 miles road use or they can last for 10,000 miles or more! However, if they are taken on track days...
Without doubt, track days are probably the most fun you can legally have with your TVR except for maybe sprinting or racing... They do have an interesting effect on tyres however. The first thing is that it is recommended to increase the tyre pressures by about 10 to 15% before going out on the track. Remember to lower them afterwards. This should be done when the tyres are cold. This helps keep the tyre beads in place and helps reduce tyre wear.
The next problem is that expect to loose some tread especially with the V8 engine cars and especially with the 5 litre Griffs and Chimaeras. It is also highly dependent of driving style as well. With the rear tyres, 1 to 2 mm is quite common although the front nearside (left) tyre will often suffer similar or greater wear as it takes the brunt of cornering. The tread will often be sloughed off the tyre and create a bead that goes around the circumference of the tyre. The tyres can also get so hot that they pick up the rubber debris that covers the track -- the dreaded marbles -- and this can weld blobs of rubber onto the tyre and upset the balance. These need to be removed by carefully cutting away.
One final warning about track day tyre wear. If you car has 3 mm of tread at the start, and looses 2 mm during the day, the tyres will be illegal for the journey back home. Secondly, the ever reducing tread will degrade the adhesion as you are getting more confident and faster in driving the car. There is therefore an increased risk that the car will loose grip and spin so take care. If the car is driven hard, the tyre will overheat and the tyre will "go off" as they say during motor racing commentaries. The end result is a tyre with less grip and the car will feel wrong as it slides. It will often understeer and can cause an interesting moment or two! The moral is: if the tread is getting low, don't push it.
Most Dimensions and product Specifications are available on line under the heading of Specifications or in the product brochures. If the information you are looking for is not located there, please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to provide it.
DO NOT MEASURE RIM OR HUBCAP SIZE - A tape measure will give you the WRONG size! It will measure a little over an inch larger than the actual wheel size.
Rim size is the Diameter of the BEAD of the TIRE, which cannot be measured without removing the tire from the rim.
All tires have a "Size Series" printed on them that contains the wheel / rim size. This series of numbers usually begins with a P (for Passenger) or LT (for Light Truck)
Examples: P185/70/R15. LT225/80/R16.
In this designation the two digit number following the R denotes the Rim / wheel diameter is 15 inches. The R itself actually means it is a Radial tire.
A. Most wheel catalogs use these acronyms, FWD for Front Wheel Drive and RWD for Rear Wheel Drive, to sort out the wheels available for these two different types of vehicles.
A. Probably the single biggest mistake when cleaning wheels is to use super cleaners, which can contain harsh abrasives. Mild soap and warm water is sufficient for routine cleaning. After cleaning chrome-plated wheels, you can apply a non-abrasive wax or cream to prevent surface corrosion. If you have clear coated wheels, skip this step. Don't let tire cleaners come into contact with your wheels; and try not to spray cold water on hot wheels. If you go to the car wash, don't let them use steam cleaners or strong chemicals on your wheels. To brighten up your polished wheels (no clear coat) use a polishing cleaner provided by the manufacturer; this requires some real work. To sustain this great look, apply some wax to keep the weather out.
A. If you have a vibration or pulling symptom, chances are you may have damaged the wheel. Again, go to the tire dealer and let him inspect your wheels. He will place each assembly on the balancing machine and check for run-out (a hop or wobble). If you have a damaged wheel, get the unit repaired immediately to avoid further problems