504 Wheel and Tyre Options and Recommendations?
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Thread: 504 Wheel and Tyre Options and Recommendations?

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! FedGrapes's Avatar
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    Default 504 Wheel and Tyre Options and Recommendations?

    Hi all!

    I'm getting next to no traction in my 504 when the roads are wet. I've got bob-jane all rounders (185/75R14) on my 504 LTI that are two years old, and done about 5000km. Heaps of tread left, and most of that time has been in a garage, so not much exposure to the elements. I'm running them at the suggested 504 pressures. The dry grip is okay; I've never lost traction, but they do make a bit of noise.

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    What options do I have to improve my wet grip?

    The S16 is riding on Michelin PS3, and it's fantastic in the wet or dry. Ideally, that's the level of grip I want. I currently have 14 inch steel rims, and some 390TRX rims with old tyres. Should I find some 15 inch rims? What type of tyres are good in that size?

    The solution I'm leaning towards is getting the TRX rims converted into 16 inch rims, and then getting 205/55R16 Michelin PS3s.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
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    I have no idea about tyre selection but I always had tyres at 32 lbs rather than 20 something as per handbook.
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    Fellow Frogger! FedGrapes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Chisholm View Post
    I have no idea about tyre selection but I always had tyres at 32 lbs rather than 20 something as per handbook.
    When I first got the tyres, they were inflated at 38-40 PSI by the garage. This is something I should have checked, but I was new to cars in general. I had no grip wet or dry with that set up!

    I just went to check the recommended pressures again inside the glove box; 24 front and 29 rear. I run 28 front, and 32 rear. It seemed a good compromise between the higher pressures recommended by the garage, and that by the manufacturer (granted, 30-40 years ago with different tyre technology). I had forgotten that what I fill to was a compromise.

    How do you find 32 PSI front and rear?

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    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
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    I found 32 front and rear just fine. I just reckon that 24 on the front is far too low.
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    1000+ Posts BIGRR's Avatar
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    28psi all around (only for the last 41 years though!) Did use 40psi all around at a couple of track days, yonks ago.


    Never had problems with wheel spin in the Ti!
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    Present fleet:-
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    "Be reasonable do it my way!"


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    Over 30 years ago I had a 504 with 5 1/2X14 Dunlop alloys and found that the best size by far was 185/70 X 14. This size is recommended in some 505 handbooks. I initially had 175X14 Michelin XZX's and could turn from The Northern Rd at Luddenham into Elizabeth Drive at 36 mph without drifting across the centre line. Next, I tried a set of upmarket Michelin XVS's but could go no faster.
    When these expired I replaced them with 185/70 X 14 Pirelli P5's. What a revelation; I could now corner at 40 mph which is an improvement of about 11%. Later i tried P5's in 195/70 X 14 but they were not quite as fast or precise.
    Pressures with all tyres were 28 / 30.
    If you don't want to outlay a lot just get a set of 604 steelies and a set of 185/70's.
    15X6 steelies or alloys from a 505 shod with 195/60X15 will be even better.

    Norm
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  7. #7
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    I have always run about 34 [f] and 30 [r] in my 504s to cut down the understeer BUT whatever the pressure or tyre brand I have always found the front too willing to let go in the wet when pressing on. Mine currently has 185/60 on 6" alloy rims. This is way to small with respect to the gearing- at an indicated 100 kph I am doing less than 92 actual. They were on it when I bought it and are too good to replace but if I was I would be going to 195/70 or 185/80 [hard to get as it is an old size].
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    Fellow Frogger! Rally's Avatar
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    Bob Jane All Rounders were not a good tyre even when new .
    Tyres do go off with age even in a garage.
    Any new good quality tyre is going to be much better then a old poor quality tyre. Good tyres use high silicia rubber for wet road grip, cheapies do not.
    Look at the Traction rating on the tyres , it give a guide to the grip and wear.
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    I have never had a problem with wheelspin on a 504 [TI GL or Turbo]. Always had 32 psi all round .I think those All Rounders are the culprits .
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  10. #10
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    To clarify, this loss of traction occurs during braking (What I would call moderate braking locks the wheels), cornering (roundabouts taken any faster than ~15km/h), and accelerating (granted, foot down hard. Bloody auto!).

    It sounds like 28/32 is ball park for what everyone else runs, so I guess these all rounders are due for the bin.

    Are there any particular brands or makes of tyres I can go looking to buy?

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
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    Just wondering how old your tyres actually are. The date of manuafacture should be on the side wall of the tyre.

    Whether used or unused, out of the elements or not, tyre compound goes off over time and goes hard. Although you might've bought them 2 years ago they may have been in stock for a while. I think (others may be able to confirm) that once they're more than 5 years old they're past their use by date. It's worth a look.

    If that isn't the problem they are probably just lousy tyres. That's assuming that the front end is aligned correctly and in good nick.

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger! FedGrapes's Avatar
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    Date of manufacture is April 2012 (0412). I'd hoped they'd last longer than two years!

    I thought maybe they had been sitting in the shop for more than a few years when I started noticing the traction loss. I've read enough horror stories hear about tyres more than five years old that I'm the preacher to my friends "Tread depth isn't enough, the rubber ages."

    It scares me how many cars are being sold with "good" tyres, just because there is tread left, and the tyres are obviously quite old. Case in point; my parts 504 has 15 year old tyres with great tread. They aren't going anywhere near a car that I'm taking on the road.

    As far as I know the front end is aligned well. Wear patterns are even on the tyres, no steering shudder, and no pulling left or right (under normal driving, braking, or a skid).

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