Tyre recommendations for the R12
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Thread: Tyre recommendations for the R12

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Tyre recommendations for the R12

    Hey all,
    There's a few brands out there selling the 155s ranging from Hifly to Michelin, and a spread of prices from $90 to $155 a corner.
    Does anyone have any experience or recommendations with replacement rubber? Leaning towards Hifly at the moment for want of anything better ...
    Cheers, one.four

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  2. #2
    COL
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    I am using Dunlop LeMans LM701. In the size of 175/70R13 on a 5 inch rim. From memory the price was about $100 a corner.

    If you are still using a 4.5 inch rim I would use a 165/75R13

    The brand of tyre depends on your budget and other qualities you seek from a tyre.

    I find the LM701's a good all round tyre, other people may prefer other brands of tyres.
    Regards Col

    1973 Renault R12 Station Wagon
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  3. #3
    Tadpole
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    That's good, because it's given me more options! Have settled on Dunlop SP Touring in 165/75 R13 as I have the 4.5-inch rims.

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    I disagree with Col about the size.

    First, 175/70 is fine on 4-5 rims & a mild pressure upgrade tautens the sidewall structure nicely. 165/75 is obsolescent & tyre choice reflects this. If you wished this size, then Hankook's K715 is a better wet option.

    Second, assuming that your decision is not merely prioritising price but, as I'd advise, prioritising wet performance, choosing 175/70 allows access to better tyre types. The pick of the bunch is Continental's EcoContact3. For a while this was not available in 175/70-13 but for some reason it now is again; good news for R12-family tyre buyers. There are other acceptable tyres in 175/70 but none has tested as well as the EC3 as a wet tyre. Jax lists the EC3 at $109.

    The LM701 is no more & the LM704 tests comparatively badly in the wet. So does the Michelin XM2.

    Cheaper than the EC3 & still a good wet tyre is Bridgestone's Ecopia EP150 ($89).

    Down a level in tested wet performance is B.F. Goodrich's new T/A Drive. However it's not total rubbish & has the merit of having a listed price of $89 & a current "4 for the price of 3" deal according according to the Jax site. It would, I surmise, be the cheapest way of getting a half-way decent tyre.

    Personally, I'd get the EC3 in a flash (& did when I had R12 wagons) but then I prioritise wet grip above other considerations.

    YMMV

    cheers! Peter
    Last edited by 4cvg; 10th February 2018 at 12:32 AM.

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    I bought the EC3"s for my 12 and have found them excellent as Peter has stated. My other 12 just needed tyres to hold it up and I got Silverstones (seriously) for 72 a corner, a bit rounder profile to look abit OEM, not as good in the wet, but not bad and nearly as good in the dry. There's a poser for you
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    COL
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    I disagree with Col about the size.

    First, 175/70 is fine on 4-5 rims & a mild pressure upgrade tautens the sidewall structure nicely. 165/75 is obsolescent & tyre choice reflects this. If you wished this size, then Hankook's K715 is a better wet option.

    Second, assuming that your decision is not merely prioritising price but, as I'd advise, prioritising wet performance, choosing 175/70 allows access to better tyre types. The pick of the bunch is Continental's EcoContact3. For a while this was not available in 175/70-13 but for some reason it now is again; good news for R12-family tyre buyers. There are other acceptable tyres in 175/20 but none has tested as well as the EC3 as a wet tyre. Jax lists the EC3 at $109.

    The LM701 is no more & the LM704 tests comparatively badly in the wet. So does the Michelin XM2.

    Cheaper than the EC3 & still a good wet tyre is Bridgestone's Ecopia EP150 ($89).

    Down a level in tested wet performance is B.F. Goodrich's new T/A Drive. However it's not total rubbish & has the merit of having a listed price of $89 & a current "4 for the price of 3" deal according according to the Jax site. It would, I surmise, be the cheapest way of getting a half-way decent tyre.

    Personally, I'd get the EC3 in a flash (& did when I had R12 wagons) but then I prioritise wet grip above other considerations.

    YMMV

    cheers! Peter
    Here is a link to ideal tyre size for rim width.

    Tyre Size for Rim Size/Width Calculator - What's the best tyre size for my rim?

    Yes you can run a 175/70R13 tyre on a 4.5 inch rim but it is not ideal, I have driven on this size tyre on 4.5 inch rims and find it does effect the handling of the car in a negative way.

    I did not realise that 165 tyres were no longer available as I have not bought this size for about 25 years. I have been running 5 inch rims with 175/70R13 tyres on all my R12's for the past 25 years or so and find this is the ideal size without having to do body modifications on the rear guards. I have even had 175 tyres rub when the car is pushed hard on rough roads.

    It sounds like your best option then may be to upgrade to 5 inch rims which is easy to do if you can find a set of R18 rims, then you will be able to run 175/70R13 tyres and have proper handling.
    Regards Col

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    Yes, a 5" rim will pre-tauten the sidewalls more than 4.5 & thus give crisper response if other things are left equal. But other things reed not be left equal. By increasing pressures one can achieve the same effect without overly adversely affecting ride. Things also vary as to tyre type; not all tyres' structures are equally taut in response.

    I have used 155/80, 165/75 & 175/70 on 2 R12s over twenty one years. At one stage, when trying to even handling balance, I ran 175/70 fronts & 165/75 rears. This involved the same type type (MXT) thus eliminating a variable but different sizes. Despite the fronts not being as pre-tensioned as the rears, this worked well in lessening default understeer. (I surmise that this is a result of different contact patch shapes.) When 165/75 ceased to be available in as good a tyre type as 175/70, I switched to 175/70 all round & achieved the same result by increasing front pressures relative to the rear.

    In short, whatever sidewall tension advantages one gets from 5" (& I agree that they exist) are reproducible on 4.5 by means of tyre pressure tuning &, in any event, the chosen 175/70 tyre might be naturally tauter than available 165/75 alternatives. (The EC3 is not a particularly taut structure but it responds well to increased pressures.)

    I'd stick with 4.5 (unless 5" fall into one's lap) & spend the money on R17 anti roll bars if handling improvements are desired.

    cheers! Peter

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    COL
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    The only disadvantage with increasing tyre pressure is that it will balloon the contact patch if an excessive amount of air is put into the tyre. This will then wear the centre of the tyre more than the shoulders.

    The ideal tyre pressure is the one that keeps the contact patch even across the tyre to optimise traction and wear.

    As the OP is getting new tyres he has the opportunity to get the ideal size for the rims and if not available maybe get some rims that are suitable for the tyres available and then run the ideal tyre pressures.

    For the record i'm running 33 PSI front and 30 PSI rear.

    The weight distribution of my R12 is 55% front 45% rear.

    After checking my tyres with tyre depth gauge and find that they are wear pretty evenly, one would think these pressures are fairly correct.
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    Regards Col

    1973 Renault R12 Station Wagon
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    To respond, Col:

    Of course one can over-inflate.

    My point was one about relative front/rear pressures but I'd also advocate an absolute increase. As for what pressures should be, the wear pattern is not the only operative criterion. We were talking of handling & that is first a matter of taste as to where that balance should lie. I'm "hard-wired" for a neutral to oversteer balance & like the tail to be mobile. I also like crisp "slop free" turn in. I'd have the fronts relatively higher than you choose for your taste but just what the pressures would be would vary with tyre type. In some scenarios I have worked outside edges in tyres & in others I have worn the centre more. The driving consideration is getting the handling balance one wants. I think that you would allow that I fang cars &, in my view, the 175/70 EC3 was able to give very sweet responsive handling on 4.5" although a quantum leap occurred when fitting RI7TL anti-roll bars with a relatively stiffer rear.

    My point is simply that one can get about any balance one wants with 175/70 EC3 tyres on 4.5" rims by playing with pressures. I allow that the same result could be achieved with mildly lower pressures by increasing rim width by .5". If one has 5" rims or can get them cheaply, do it. It not, don't fuss as there is a tyre-pressure solution keeping 4.5".

    I can't think how to put these points better so that's it from me.

    cheers! Peter
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by One.four View Post
    Hey all,
    There's a few brands out there selling the 155s ranging from Hifly to Michelin, and a spread of prices from $90 to $155 a corner.
    Does anyone have any experience or recommendations with replacement rubber? Leaning towards Hifly at the moment for want of anything better ...
    Cheers, one.four
    When you finally fit something or other & have settled the structure over, say, 500 km & have had a play in the wet, do please return & post your impressions.

    cheers! Peter

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