60 Caravelle tire size question
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Thread: 60 Caravelle tire size question

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default 60 Caravelle tire size question

    IMG_7908 resized.JPGI live in the US and have a 1960 Caravelle that I am restoring to as close to new condition as possible. My question is regarding the potential use of Michelin Stop Tread radials, the same tire that I had on my 61 Caravelle back in the late 60's. I can purchase new 155x15 Stop Tread Michelins, but the original 145x15 size in this tread design is not available. (I've tried to attach a photo, but I don't think it worked)

    Does anyone have experience with 155x15 size tires on a Caravelle/Floride?

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    Last edited by 60Caravelle; 26th July 2019 at 07:51 AM.

  2. #2
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    I run 145 x 15 Michelin ZX tyres - readily available from Michelin classic tyres here in OZ

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    Your wheels are 4" wide & 155/80-15 will fit. The major argument against doing so is that (although legal & technically safe), the sidewalls "belly" a bit & handling is sloppier in initial response than it would be with a narrower tyre whose sidewalls were more tautly tensioned by the rims. There's not much in it though & the 155 comparative sloppiness can be compensated for by increasing tyre pressures. My decision among the sizes would be made on the quality of the tyres availablein them. Given the dynamic qualities of rear engined Renaults, I'd prioritise wet grip above all, both laterally &, given the vehicles' propensity to lock front brakes, under braking. My second priority would be benign limit behaviour.

    Why are you wanting the X "arÍte" pattern? It's a poor wet tyre & snappy at the limit (the still woeful ZX is better & the XZX better again -but still poor). Were you to be determined to fit classic Michelins then I'd choose XZX 145/80-15.

    But why choose classic Michelins at all? There are other, better, classic patterns & there are some modern tyres which are vastly superior in the wet to any of the classic ones (although one has to move to 145/65-15 to get them).

    If you are willing to explore other options, then I'll expand but, in the meantime, a very good source of classic tyres is Longstones in the UK. To browse options, try:

    https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/

    cheers! Peter

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    Thanks Peter for the information about tires and vintage Michelins in particular. My selection is not near as sophisicated as you describe potential choices out there. I drove my 61 Caravelle 30,000+ miles on the 145x15 Michelin X stop tread tires back in the day with never an issue. I'm sure tire technology has come a long way but considering my little 40 HP engine and the type of driving I will do with this classic car I'm satisfied the Michelin X Stop tread tires will suit my needs.
    I'm really searching for someone's experience with 155x15 tires on a Floride/Caravelle. Primarily, do they rub anywhere when turning or with normal up and down movement.
    Thanks again, Allyn

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    I have experienced a Floride with 165 X 15 tyres. Forget them. Noticably slower acceleration and gear ratios were wrong. Lower engine RPM at 100 kph though. The owner took them back off after just a few trips. Never seen 155 X 15 so cannot coment on them.

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    Hi 60 Caravelle,
    I technically had no issues front or rear with 155 tyres, BUT they did not fit into spare wheel compartment, so it was a practical issue that shelved running a full set. I ran 145 at front with 155 at rear for many years, changing to 145 for long trips so didn't have to unload luggage to fit in 155 somewhere.
    Cheers
    Stew.

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    Two issues:

    Fint, as noted, there are no technical issues with 155/80-15. Clearance is fine & so forth. Overgearing is mild compared to 145 (3%). The size indeed won't fit in the spare wheel well, so a spare would have to be 145 or 135.

    This is not an issue for a flat at the front but if the flat is at the rear, then some fore/aft switching is advised so that, in the interest of diff. health, one has same circumference tyres at the rear. Of course the flat tyre would have to go somewhere other than the spare wheel well.

    Second, I think that it in an error to tolerate poor tyres on the grounds that one will not be driving fast. However cautiously one drives, events can catch one out & were one to have to initiate an emergency brake &/or swerve in the wet, then arÍte pattern X tyres would not be part of the solution but part of the problem. I counsel reconsideration of tyre choice.

    cheers! Peter
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    Hi,
    Without wishing to start the 'Third World War', I don't have the same low opinion of Michelin ZX as 4CVG does.
    My assessment is that with new ZX (as against 10 or 20 year old examples still found on some cars), wet and dry grip are both acceptable and 'in character' with RERs. Also, ZX visually suit 1950s and 1960s RERs.
    On the issue of size, I agree that there is little if any performance advantage gained by using a size larger than 135, particularly if the original 4" rims are retained. Even the R1135 R8 Gordinis with 4.5" rims were fitted with 135 section tyres by the factory.
    All this may be different for cars with highly modified suspensions, but ultimately, swing axles are a limiting factor.
    So overall, my thoughts are that if you don't want to highly modify your car and want it to 'look right', then ZXs are worthy of consideration. However, if you do want to highly modify your car, then another choice of rim diameter, width, tyre size, profile, compounds etc would be appropriate.
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  9. #9
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    Hmm. The advantage of going to 145 is that it gives access to the XZX - hardly a good tyre (though better than it was when released -not just in compounding but in structure) but better in every way than the ZX. I would have thought that it would look sufficiently "right" to satisfy that criterion.

    As for performance, even a Nankang CX 668 will feel fine in wet & dry at ordinary restrained speeds (I've driven a mate's R8 with them) but that is beside the point of how tyres might behave when more is demanded of them.

    Personally, I'd worry less about how they look than how they'd behave under more than ordinary stresses (not caused by fanging modified cars but by unexpected events).

    YMMV

    cheers! Peter

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    Hmm. That's the last time I'll try the iPhone for forums! Anyway, I meant Longstones….

    Tyre discussions are always interesting and it does depend a bit on what you are likely to do with the car. I do agree with Peter re wet grip and am suitably careful in the wet with my 135-15 Michelin ZX tyres. Slow motion drifts in the wet are fun perhaps but it might be better if the tyres wouldn't let me do it!

    Quite a few Caravelles in France seen recently were using a 165-15 vintage tyre of some sort - a European brand - but I'm embarrassed to say I can't find a photo of what they are and what the profile was. I was surprised at the large size but they were common. Maybe a Vredestein, but I'm thinking something else. If I find the answer to my own question, I'll post.
    Last edited by JohnW; 31st July 2019 at 12:58 AM. Reason: Wrong name!
    JohnW

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  11. #11
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    Tempe Tyres in Sydney have 4 Nankang CX668 135/15 tyres in stock $110 ea
    cheers
    Brian
    2008 ford Mondeo 2ltr turbo diesel + 6 speed alsin g/box
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  12. #12
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    As noted, there are superior alternatives to any classic tyre but even if one doesn't mind having a tyre be part of the problem rather than part of the solution in an emergency brake &/or swerve in the wet, then one still ought to be very interested in the manufacturing date of what is to be bought.

    As a rough rule of thumb, a tyre will have noticeably reduced grip in the wet at five years of age, even if not being subjected to usage heat cycles but simply sitting in a warehouse, - compounds change for the worse with time.

    So, one criterion of choice of retailer is the age of the stock they are selling. I surmise that Longstones would have greater sales turnover than any Australian or American classic tyre supplier & thus younger stock.

    In any event, a question to be asked before committing to purchase is the maximum manufacturing date age of the tyres being offered. I would insist on nothing older than 18 months.

    I wouldn't buy the Nankang but note that, as it is an unusual size, the manufacturing date issue applies here too as the chances of an unscrupulous retailer selling old stock are high.

    cheers! Peter
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  13. #13
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    The F560 is available in 145 but not 135. The saving is about 20% over an XZX. Not recommended but . . ..

  14. #14
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    I'd agree entirely with Peter's point about manufacturing date. If you are somewhere 'odd' for these tyres, and I guess the USA qualifies, a retailer with lots of turnover makes a lot of sense to me. Remember tyres have an age code on the sidewall.

    Are the Firestone 135-15 tyres available in USA? You see them in France too.

    Cheers
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    JohnW

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