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Thread: 505 STi tyres

  1. #1
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    505 STi tyres

    I recently bought a series I 505 exec and it will need new tyres shortly. Its got the lovely STi mags and currently Michelin TRX 190's (can't remember what profile). I am told that this is not the standard width, is this true?

    Also, is it true that TRX wheels only accept Michelin TRX tyres? This is what someone who had an 80's BMW with TRX's told me.

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    If not, is the TRX the best tyre for the 505 or are there better options out there? Its difficult for me to gauge the TRX's 'cos they're worn.

    Cheers, Paul

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    "Indecision is the key to flexibility" Anon.
    "Indecision is the key to flexibility" Anon.

  2. #2
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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Paul505Exec:
    I recently bought a series I 505 exec and it will need new tyres shortly. Its got the lovely STi mags and currently Michelin TRX 190's (can't remember what profile). I am told that this is not the standard width, is this true?

    Also, is it true that TRX wheels only accept Michelin TRX tyres? This is what someone who had an 80's BMW with TRX's told me.

    If not, is the TRX the best tyre for the 505 or are there better options out there? Its difficult for me to gauge the TRX's 'cos they're worn.
    Paul,

    Sounds like you have an exec similar to one I had for many years - mine was an '84 exec with mag wheels. I presume the mags you are referring to are the Michelin mags which have the silver imitation push-in centre nut complete with Pug lion motif.

    Initially I kept Michelin tyres on the car - finally getting cheesed off when Michelin kept changing the tyre types. I think the car came with Michelin Xs which were superseded by XR (?) or something and so it went on. I have always bought tyres from Tyre & Wheel (W Ryde) because they give a keen price. At the last tyre change I tried a set of Toyos (sacrilege) after talking to T&W - and I found them quite good.

    The rim size and recommended tyre size should be on a sticker inside the driver's door and also in the handbook.

    Generally with Michelin tyres, I have been prepared to move to another good quality brand tyre - now because of price and also because other good quality tyres IMO are just as good. I have changed a set of tyres on my current 405 and they are (at this stage) just as good as the original Michelins.

    One point about the 505 Exec wheels. My exec had a couple of small 'dents' in the rims which I finally had repaired. The repairer (located at 7 Hills) told me that the rims are actually a 15" rim (not metric) and he had the dies to bring the rims back into round.. also would remove any scratches/marks on the outer surface. The whole process was that he took the rims, removed the tyres repaired and repainted (if asked), then replaced the tyres (balance).

    The final result was incredible - the car rolled smoothly - not that previously there was anything noticeable. Fuel consumption was improved by about 10% so an amazing transformation. If you want the name of the repairer just ask.

    And I suppose round wheels are likely to make a difference to tyre wear too ..

    cheers

    Denis


  3. #3
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    Thanks Denis,

    I have discovered that Bob Jane Drummoyne sells the Michelin TRX for $239 ea.
    I rang Tyre and Wheel W Ryde, who were very helpful but were not able to locate an existing Toyo radial that would suit the TRX rim and were wondering when roughly you would have been in their shop with your 505. They quoted me $250 a pop for the TRX's.
    I am taking the car to Geoghegan's for its reg service on friday so I will ask the blokes there.

    Its a bit annoying as the 505 GR I had years ago took Michelin X which were only about $100 ea.

    As for your 405, is it the Mi16? My dad had one and I remember the Pilot SX being very expensive, and that he had one split on him once, which I think is quite unheard of with modern tyres. They did grip exceptionally well.

    I am interested in your impression of the 405 vs. 505. I had the option of taking his at a good price but I was a bit underwhelmed by the problems he had with it over the 7 years he owned it. Most of these related to the exhaust (catalytic converter). Compared to other 405Mi16's I have driven it never seemed as quick for some reason. It had alot of dings too.

    Obviously it is a much more modern car with much greater abilities than the 505, but it just never struck me as being a durable. Plus having RWD is alot of fun.

    Cheers, Paul
    "Indecision is the key to flexibility" Anon.

  4. #4
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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Paul505Exec:
    Thanks Denis,

    I have discovered that Bob Jane Drummoyne sells the Michelin TRX for $239 ea.
    I rang Tyre and Wheel W Ryde, who were very helpful but were not able to locate an existing Toyo radial that would suit the TRX rim and were wondering when roughly you would have been in their shop with your 505. They quoted me $250 a pop for the TRX's.
    I am taking the car to Geoghegan's for its reg service on friday so I will ask the blokes there.

    Its a bit annoying as the 505 GR I had years ago took Michelin X which were only about $100 ea.

    As for your 405, is it the Mi16? My dad had one and I remember the Pilot SX being very expensive, and that he had one split on him once, which I think is quite unheard of with modern tyres. They did grip exceptionally well.

    I am interested in your impression of the 405 vs. 505. I had the option of taking his at a good price but I was a bit underwhelmed by the problems he had with it over the 7 years he owned it. Most of these related to the exhaust (catalytic converter). Compared to other 405Mi16's I have driven it never seemed as quick for some reason. It had alot of dings too.

    Obviously it is a much more modern car with much greater abilities than the 505, but it just never struck me as being a durable. Plus having RWD is alot of fun.

    Cheers, Paul
    Paul,

    Computerised accounts can tell all with a few strokes. It was quite some time ago - 1993 to be precise that T&W supplied the Toyos. The Michellins were MXVs in those days and those TRXs at $239 sound about right... if you want to pay that much. That was the choice I faced last month when I came to put a set of new tyres on my 405 - and considering where I drive etc etc, I wasn't prepared to spend $1,000 for the exercise.

    My 405 is the STI (not the MI16) though I road tested an MI16 before getting the STI. It is quite different from the previous 505 Exec - with everything that opens and shuts - electric seats, cruise control and the Eurovox 10 CD Stacker, the car is very very smooth and comfortable. I like it.. probably the most comfortable of all the Pugs I have had (and there have been many - 403s from student days, 404, 504TI, 504 wagon, 604, 505 Executive, 505 wagon (2 litre carb auto), 505 GTI SII 5spd wagon). I've just replaced the catalytic converter (about 120,000km) - otherwise nothing else apart from tyres, disks, and battery change.

    cheers

    Denis

  5. #5
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    Arent there two different sizes of the one style of 505 GTi mag, one metric and one imperial?

    If so, I was told only the Michies in a metric size will fit , hence the $239 , and the 15" you have a range of available tyres only the metric fitted cars could dream of.

    Chip

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    I thought STi's were Metric and GTi's imperial. But I'm no expert on 505's.

    '92 205 Mi16
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  7. #7
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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Chipper:
    Aren't there two different sizes of the one style of 505 GTi mag, one metric and one imperial?

    If so, I was told only the Michies in a metric size will fit , hence the $239 , and the 15" you have a range of available tyres only the metric fitted cars could dream of.

    Chip
    That I don't know - the mags which were on my 505 exec were Michelin but were 15" (as they were repaired using 15" dies). If I think about this for another second - the only time I can remember 15" Michelin tyres being marked as 380 (mm) was eons ago when I had a 403 or perhaps 404..

    So what is the difference. 15" converts exactly to 381.00 mm, i.e. 1 mm more than the standard 380 size. As a percentage that's +0.26%.

    I would be more than surprised if any tyre manufacturer would make their tyres to that tolerance.

    So by my reckoning regardless of whether you have 380 mm or 15" rims on your car, you can put any 15" tyre on with no problems at all.

    BTW, the same calculation for 14" translates to 355.60 mm and you could use any 14" tyre on a 355 mm rim. The Michelin's on my wife's 306 are marked 14".

    I say go for a 15" tyre - naturally please yourself

    cheers Denis

  8. #8
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    The 505 STI/GTI wheels come in 2 different sizes 390mm (NOT 380 mm) or 15 inch. 15 inch tyres WILL NOT fit on the 390mm rims.

    For a while during the 1980s there was a move to promote ourely metric sizes, to replace imperial sizes. A number of cars (Renault Fuegos, some Saab 900s, some 505s, some Fairlanes, and some others) were fitted with metric rims which imperial sized tyres CANNOT fit. 390mm was one of the sizes which was promoted, but unfortunately the Michelin TRX and one or two other obscure mud/snow tyres were the only tyres ever made in this size.

    The 15" 505 mags are in high demand, because so many of the Australian 505s are fitted with 390mm tyres. I think that many of the 15" wheels produced for the 505 were sent to the US market, and all the other markets had to put up with those damn metirc rims. If you find some 15" 505 alloy rims, snap them up, because you might not find them again.

    Regards,
    Dave
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    i had a set of metrics on my 604 and the only tyres made to fit them were the 380x190x60
    they are pretty pricey and i was never really impressed with them
    the normal 15" tyres won't go on them and i was told that the wheels didn't have enough in them to machine down which i though was strange as i was going to do it myself then i was told it was illegal to do so and if in an accident it was found you are then liable. my opinion is to find some 15" wheels and put on the car. at least that way you have a choice of tyres and prices.as a comparison the tyres on mine which aren't too bad are around $220-$250 each
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  10. #10
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    Dear All,

    Thanks for your replies. I am now resolved that I will just have to go and buy overpriced tyres, as it seems a bit unnecessary to go buy new wheels for a car I am unlikely to keep for more than a year or two.

    BTW,I am very impressed at the response I got from my query. I will definitely keep an eye on this website.

    If you wish to see the car in question it is posted in the members gallery. It is an ex-Leo Geoghegan car which Leo himself drove for about 8 months (or so he says), so I can blame him for not getting wheel alignments!

    In all other respects it is the nicest series 1 505 I have seen, which is a good thing.

    Paul
    "Indecision is the key to flexibility" Anon.

  11. #11
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    505 tyres update for those still interested:

    My car (series 1 505 exec 5 speed) definitely has the metric 390 rims, so I think you all agree that a 390 metric will not accept a 15" tyre.

    While the Toyo alternative has disappeared from the market, a place in Randwick can get me Avons to fit, but they are only slightly cheaper. If anyone has an opinion on Avons vs Michies I'd love to hear it, but since that place did not have much detail on them I am unlikely to go for them.

    I'm not sure why my 505 has these size rims and not the 380's. I guess I'm just lucky!

    Paul
    "Indecision is the key to flexibility" Anon.

  12. #12
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    Without knowing the ins and outs, AVON seem to have a good reputation......oh, your talking tyres and not perfume

    Do a www.google.com search and you should get some info.

    Chip.

  13. #13
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    The Michelin TRX was a very special tyre (Tension Repartee) and needed a special rim profile to work properly. This is the reason why they were 390 mm, to prevent them from being fitted on the wrong type of rim. The Goodyear NCT followed a similar principle but made do with standard rims. TRXs are absolutely brilliant on dirt and mud. I ran a set on a standard 504Ti in a wet autocross and managed to get fastest time in a 100 car field of hot shot cars. Considering their performance they are not a particulary expensive tyre. The 84 and later cars used 190*65*390.

    Graham Wallis

  14. #14
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    Frogs,

    I've got hold of a 15 inch set after 3 years of looking. High demand is an understatement! Bought 3 in Sydneyone Saturday morning and knew of one nearby where I live, at Canberra Continental. They have no more!

    The TRX rims should be melted down and made into Hyundais due to the Michelin tyre price. 505 and 604 steel wheels are another option. The 604 steelies can look good if you can find them.
    Alpine Motors in Canberra has a container full of TRX's because no one wants them. They regularly have recycling runs to get rid of them.

    Still it's a shame to see nice Exec 505's getting around on old 14 inch 504 rims just because the tyres are cheaper(not a good look). Makes me feel guilty driving by with 15 inch Exec mags on a 504.

    Ian

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    Epilogue to TRX tyre tirade:

    Got the new TRX's today. They cost a bomb but they seem pretty good. On the positive side they have deeper grooves than a Barry White album, so they should have a career almost as long.
    "Indecision is the key to flexibility" Anon.

  16. #16
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    Epilogue to the epilogue:

    TRX's are great in the wet. Lots of grip and very progressive when they let go as I found this morning as I did a 4 wheel drift through the intersection of Victoria Road (Balmain) and the road from the Anzac bridge at about 7.45 this morning. I think a truck must have dumped its oil. Yeehaa!
    "Indecision is the key to flexibility" Anon.

  17. #17
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    A colleague early this year bought his second 1985 505 STI (sold his first
    after five years, his wife cried and he never thought he would find another
    good one, but -- itís one-owner, 150,000 km. He says all STI models came
    with metric (390mm, not 380) rims and low-profile Michelin TRX. The rims
    take either 190 or 200 width, the latter at $225 (Egan Tyrepower Melbourne)
    is cheaper than in 1995 because of GST change and Michelin taking back
    Aussie distribution. Most Executives, GTIs and all steel-rim 505s are
    15-inch. To the point he makes: why pay thousand dollars minimum to switch
    to 15-inch alloy rims?. He says the saving per tyre of equal
    quality/performance to TRX is about $80, and the TRX will last 60,000km and
    gives super handling and wet roadholding. So he would like to hear from
    anyone knowing of cheap, sound 390mm rims or even part-used TRX tyres, in
    Victoria or interstate. As for the discussions about early 505
    non-electronic fuel injection coupled with 3-speed auto, well yes, he says
    it is a bit sluggish, but remember it's a low-rev, heavy-metal car and a
    recent Kiss with a road sign proved the value. His advice is, hold the auto
    in 2nd in city traffic up to 50kph -- much improved performance and fuel
    economy.

  18. #18
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    Price aside, Michelin TRXs are great tires. I have the TRX wheels on my '84. The stock size was 190/65HR390. Now the only sizes I can find are 200/60VR390 and 220/55VR390. I've seen the 220s on an '83 505 recently and it look like there was no sign of them rubbing the strut... Next time I'll give them a try.

    I'm impressed with the grip the TRXs provide. They also let go in a very progressive manner. They are absolutely horrible in snow though...

    Also the sidewall is remarkably stiff--giving very quick steering response. I can't seem to get more than about 30k miles out of a set, but it's a great 30k miles!

    -Joe

  19. #19
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    Hi Guys,

    you sure your talking TRX's?? The ones fitted to every fuego I've ever driven handled OK(but no better than a standard tyre) on dry road, but bloody terribly if there was a bit of water on it, sure they'd be better than slicks on a wet road (but not that much more)...

    The CX turbo had these fitted as standard, apparantly good tyres under this car (I never got to drive it on these tyres), but the wet weather handling wasn't great...

    I'd pay extra to get rid of the bloody things, not to hang onto them. (says someone who just shelled out $275 bucks each for a set of old michelin 165 X tyres !!).

    seeya,
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  20. #20
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    Paul,

    There's a set of 7 TRX rims for sale in the latest NSW Pug Club mag, for $20 each (although I think they might be even cheaper at Alpine motors in Canberra, where they are often given to the aluminium recycler).

    The contact details for the 7 rims is:
    Ern Elliot
    Ph: 9878 2176

    He also has 2 390mm tyres which he wants $75 each for.

    Regards,
    Dave
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  21. #21
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    hi guys.trx tyres sure start topic going.i bought my 1984 sti when it was only 11,000 km old.it had metric rims.i live in the hills and every winter the rain on the freeway would pool across the road,i would aquaplane through the puddles,bloody scary at 110 kph.the inside edges went off due to the high neg camber the sti run and the car tram tracked in grooves on the road.i hated them.bought 15 inch rims off a gti and mxv michy tyres.heaven on a stick.it transformed the car and they were cheaper.since then had progresed up to mvx3a green tyres and are still great.still have the car and done all sorts of driving,the 15 inch rims and mxv are the way to go.tyre type choices are big too.amway were available,i tried these on my customers cars and the went all lumpy in tread surface and noisy on the road,that was a few years ago,they may have fixed it.exec with trx were usually changed by the previose owner,ive had few who owned a sti and gti and swapped rims when they sold one or the other to keep the best rims.see ya

  22. #22
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    Charles,
    I agree with you about TRX's, they're OK but nothing special and cost a fortune. The turn-in and grip is very good on them but I have driven plenty of 505's with other tyres which seemed just a good.

    Question I now have for froggy forum is about tyre pressures. The fitters recommended I run them at 32 psi all round but this seems to hard for my liking. Pug recommended pressures are 28 front 32 rear. Any suggestions?

    Paul
    "Indecision is the key to flexibility" Anon.

  23. #23
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    morning guys.if you are running trx tyres use 32 psi all round.a bit hard but you will get more life out of them.i was told a rule of thumb is,set the pressure to say 32 psi,go for a one hour run and measure the pressure again,if it has gone up by more than 4 psi then they were too low to start with.the sidewall movement has heated up the air inside and raised the pressures.if they are within 4 psi youre ok.this should work for any loading.the one hour drive should be more or less constant.seems to work.ps dont trust servo gauges.buy a snap on gauge or the likes.

  24. #24
    Tadpole
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    I have a full set of sti wheels and tyres. tyres are nearly new. They came out with 3 different whidths also - 180, 190, and 200. what do you need?? Tyres $140 each. Wheels $70 each.

    regards Grant

  25. #25
    Tadpole
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    u still got those 390 tyres??? for my 505 sti??? my phone number is 0421371133

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