tyre options for R8
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  1. #1
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    Default tyre options for R8

    hey all - what's the go with R8 tyres - 145x15s right? Same as a GS? (expensive and in limited supply)

    Can one happily fit alternative sizes??

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    The options for 15” rims on an R8/10 are limited mainly to 135/80x15 or 145/80x15 because of the tyres rubbing on the inner wings with 155/80x15’s which are the more common size. Apparently in France there is a 175/70x 15 which is fitted to certain Smart cars which can be fitted to the 4.5” rims which will clear the frilly bits under the car.

    Other alternatives are 14” or 13” rims on 12 or 16 centres (note that the offset is wrong on stock 12 and 16 rims), or the fairly rare Cosmic alloys in 13” .

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    Graham
    I spoke to the guy from Antique tyres last week. 135x15 Michi's were around $140 freighted to Brisbane. Apparently you can get them form any Michilen supplier and it should be less than that. Then you'd have to get them fitted/balanced.
    Alternativly, Performance do a 15'x6' Superlite style wheel, 3 on 150mm PCD for around $190+ each, then you have to get 195/50x15 tyres. Alan Moore has this combination on his 4CV and they look good.
    Either way, New tyres wheels for an R8 isn't going to be cheap. I know, I have been trying to find a way out myself for the R10.
    Chris

    The Smart Car option is interesting. Are these tyres fitted to Aus spec Smarts?
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    thanks guys

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    Quote Originally Posted by HONG KONG PUGGY
    The Smart Car option is interesting. Are these tyres fitted to Aus spec Smarts?
    I know Smarts have 3-stud wheels, but I'm not sure what wheel options are available...
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    Im looking in to the smart car tyre option at the moment for my R10. They seem to be either 175/55 or 175/65. The only two tyres i can find for that size is Hankook k102 (i think) and Continental ecocompacts. Any one heard any coments on these tyres?

    185/55 would be much easier to get and 195/50 the easiest and cheapest but i was thinkin these might be too wide for the car even on wide 15's. Alan what are the 195's like on the 750?

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    I know its not standard but the 15/145 is a better tyre than the 15/135.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    I know its not standard but the 15/145 is a better tyre than the 15/135.
    Well guys, it depends what you are trying to achieve. I reckon, worn record here, that most French cars work best with the tyre size they were designed for, and get more truck-like (and heavier in the non-power steering) as you widen them.

    Generally, R8/R10 tyre wear is pretty light, especially with a bit of rotation to even the rear camber-related wear.

    Personally, for what it's worth, I stick with the standard size 135-15 but bump up the pressures a bit.

    Cheers

    JohnW

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    The ZX 135 tyre is rubbish and compared to a modern tyre dangerous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    The ZX 135 tyre is rubbish and compared to a modern tyre dangerous.
    So how is the 145x15 tyre so much better?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    The ZX 135 tyre is rubbish and compared to a modern tyre dangerous.
    Well, again I'd say that it depends on what you are trying to achieve.

    The best R8/R10 you could find is still a 40-year old design (and much of it is quite a bit older than that). These cars are extremely dangerous by modern crash test standards - imagine the effects of a side-on collision for example, as there is little strength in the doors and door pillar. So if you are going to use them on the roads at all, you need to drive accordingly or accept a much higher risk of personal injury if you hit anything. Did you ever see the photo sequence of the rallycross R8 Gordini having its big accident?

    Personally, and it is a personal judgement, I'm quite comfortable to drive mine accordingly. Similarly, I'm happy to use 135-15 Michelins and, again, drive it according to the tyre performance. My pleasure is in having an original R8 in which anyone can experience what the 1963 Wheels Car of the Year was really like.

    Now if you want much better tyre performance, fine. But don't forget what the body shell will do to you if you have your accident whilst cornering significantly faster or braking much harder than original tyres would have allowed.

    I guess we all do these things differently, which is fair enough.

    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon
    So how is the 145x15 tyre so much better?
    Firestone make a modern compound 145. The x and later zx were great in their day but times move on. The 135 zx still had eneough grip to allow a 10/8 to be easily "popped up' onto two wheels for a bit of fun but the braking is ordinary compared to a modern tyre.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW
    Well, again I'd say that it depends on what you are trying to achieve.

    The best R8/R10 you could find is still a 40-year old design (and much of it is quite a bit older than that). These cars are extremely dangerous by modern crash test standards - imagine the effects of a side-on collision for example, as there is little strength in the doors and door pillar. So if you are going to use them on the roads at all, you need to drive accordingly or accept a much higher risk of personal injury if you hit anything. Did you ever see the photo sequence of the rallycross R8 Gordini having its big accident?

    Personally, and it is a personal judgement, I'm quite comfortable to drive mine accordingly. Similarly, I'm happy to use 135-15 Michelins and, again, drive it according to the tyre performance. My pleasure is in having an original R8 in which anyone can experience what the 1963 Wheels Car of the Year was really like.

    Now if you want much better tyre performance, fine. But don't forget what the body shell will do to you if you have your accident whilst cornering significantly faster or braking much harder than original tyres would have allowed.

    I guess we all do these things differently, which is fair enough.

    JohnW

    I agree whole heartedly. "It depends on what you are trying to achieve".

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    One of the nasty things about these cars is the swing axle rear end. Very simple and good at what it does under normal driving, but I have heard they are prone to pulling a 135 tyre off the rim enough during very hard cornering to allow the rim to dig into the road - INSTANT rollover.

    I also enjoyed driving my R10s, but I used 13 inch rims with baggier tyre (13 by 5.5 with 175/75 13 on the back, and 13 by 5 rims and 175/70 13 tyres on the front). This made it handle a whole lot better and safer.

    It was the safety thing that stopped me driving it in the end - a close call at a red light that someone ran got me thinking hard about the side impact protection they offer, not to mention that steering rack right out front and the non collapsible steering column....

    The rims are dead easy to get made up, using the original centres (although I had to shave a bit off the front calipers), by any reputable wheel repairer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon
    One of the nasty things about these cars is the swing axle rear end. Very simple and good at what it does under normal driving, but I have heard they are prone to pulling a 135 tyre off the rim enough during very hard cornering to allow the rim to dig into the road - INSTANT rollover.

    I also enjoyed driving my R10s, but I used 13 inch rims with baggier tyre (13 by 5.5 with 175/75 13 on the back, and 13 by 5 rims and 175/70 13 tyres on the front). This made it handle a whole lot better and safer.

    It was the safety thing that stopped me driving it in the end - a close call at a red light that someone ran got me thinking hard about the side impact protection they offer, not to mention that steering rack right out front and the non collapsible steering column....

    The rims are dead easy to get made up, using the original centres (although I had to shave a bit off the front calipers), by any reputable wheel repairer.
    All of the 8/10 rims (except for really late ones) are not safety rims so if run at the absurdly low pressures recommended by Renault they could easily roll on the rim and allow the air to escape when cornered hard. This in turn causes the rim to dig into the road surface and hey presto roll over. It has been done. The increase rim/tyre width IMHO opinion is a myth, I did it and whilst there was an improvement in the dry in the wet they were deadly.

  16. #16
    1000+ Posts Wildebeest's Avatar
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    Default Tyre options for R8

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    All of the 8/10 rims (except for really late ones) are not safety rims so if run at the absurdly low pressures recommended by Renault they could easily roll on the rim and allow the air to escape when cornered hard. This in turn causes the rim to dig into the road surface and hey presto roll over. It has been done. The increase rim/tyre width IMHO opinion is a myth, I did it and whilst there was an improvement in the dry in the wet they were deadly.
    Sherman, your comment on the tyre rolling off the rim allowing air to escape.

    I wouldn't have thought that the R8 rim was designed for "avec chambre" or tubeless tyres? A special rolled rim required for keeping the tyre bead in place.
    A glance through a factory manual may detail this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildebeest
    Sherman, your comment on the tyre rolling off the rim allowing air to escape.

    I wouldn't have thought that the R8 rim was designed for "avec chambre" or tubeless tyres? A special rolled rim required for keeping the tyre bead in place.
    A glance through a factory manual may detail this.
    Good point wildebeest. I am going to go check the sidewall info on my OLD R10 tyres. Just for interest.
    Graham, I also remember that I phoned a wheel repair shop at Sinnamon Park that will widen the standard rims, or put 15'' rims on R16 centres. I think the price was around $100 a rim(do not quote that though.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildebeest
    Sherman, your comment on the tyre rolling off the rim allowing air to escape.

    I wouldn't have thought that the R8 rim was designed for "avec chambre" or tubeless tyres? A special rolled rim required for keeping the tyre bead in place.
    A glance through a factory manual may detail this.
    That's right. Only Australian rims fitted on later R10s had a safety profile.

    Theoretically, all that's been said about the rims and tyres above is probably right. In practice, it's all been done too with dire effects. It's even worse if the lower swing axle movement limiting straps have been dispensed with or not repaired. However, this is for pretty serious cornering, not exactly what you'd do on the road in such a flimsy structure - for track work, I'd agree with everything that's been said. But on the roads????

    My real issue with the ZX is wet road braking. Now that is an issue!

    JohnW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildebeest
    Sherman, your comment on the tyre rolling off the rim allowing air to escape.

    I wouldn't have thought that the R8 rim was designed for "avec chambre" or tubeless tyres? A special rolled rim required for keeping the tyre bead in place.
    A glance through a factory manual may detail this.
    Absolutely correct they were not meant to have tubeless tyres but many did. The last of the 10 rims had a safety rim. The recommended tyre pressures were too low and the tyre could move off the rim lip (inwards of course). Makes changing a tyre in remote areas easy 'thou as a wheel on the car can be dropped onto a tyre and the tyre pushed off the rim, this is near impossible with a safety rim.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman
    Absolutely correct they were not meant to have tubeless tyres but many did. The last of the 10 rims had a safety rim. The recommended tyre pressures were too low and the tyre could move off the rim lip (inwards of course). Makes changing a tyre in remote areas easy 'thou as a wheel on the car can be dropped onto a tyre and the tyre pushed off the rim, this is near impossible with a safety rim.
    To your first sentence: aargghhhhh!!!! Not suggesting you do this but I'd be sure you are right that it's happened. If the tyre fitter got it to seal on the bead they'd let it go I imagine, as one tried it on me a few years back - this is seriously dangerous as we all know. Don't we... I hadn't thought that people would do this, but being a pollyanna has always been a problem of mine.

    To the rest. I quite agree. In fact I've nearly always changed my own tyres on the R8 - you can break the bead just walking around it with boots on and bouncing a bit. I've always run them at about 5-10 psi above spec, whilst maintaining the front-rear pressure differential.

    Nangkang do a 135-15 incidentally, but I've not tried them. They have a better tread for water drainage, but whether they have the grip I'm not sure.

    Cheers

    JohnW

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    Antique tyres have the range of Michilen on the website, X, ZX and XZX, in 135 and 145 sizes. There are different rolling diameters for each though. http://www.antiquetyres.com.au/michelin.html
    Does anyone have a web address for Nangkang? What do they cost?

    Pity the tyres on my 10 are so old, I have at least one of each tread pattern at the Antique website. I could take it for a drive and see which corner lets go first. Not
    Last edited by HONG KONG PUGGY; 9th April 2005 at 01:15 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HONG KONG PUGGY
    Antique tyres have the range of Michilen on the website, X, ZX and XZX, in 135 and 145 sizes. There are different rolling diameters for each though. http://www.antiquetyres.com.au/michelin.html
    Does anyone have a web address for Nangkang? What do they cost?

    Pity the tyres on my 10 are so old, I have at least one of each tread pattern at the Antique website. I could take it for a drive and see which corner lets go first. Not
    The source of Nangkang tyres I was given is State Wholesale Tyres in Melbourne, phone 03 9798 5917. They're not uncommon tyres (although our sizes are!) but you can at least get your local dealer to get them in if you can tell him where to obtain them. I have them on the 16 (Michelin no longer available in the correct size) and they seem excellent. They're under $100 too.

    JohnW

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    1000+ Posts HONG KONG PUGGY's Avatar
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    Thanks John. Graham will be pleased too I am sure.
    I think that a tyre of our required size made from todays materials would be streets ahead of what was originally available anyhow.
    I would like to keep the original look of the car if possible, may-be get radical one day and have wide 15'' rims and low profile tyres. The only problem there would be then I'd have to beef up the suspension to match the performnace of the tyres. It's a never ending circle.
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    R18 GTS wagon x 2
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    Quote Originally Posted by HONG KONG PUGGY
    Thanks John. Graham will be pleased too I am sure.
    I think that a tyre of our required size made from todays materials would be streets ahead of what was originally available anyhow.
    I would like to keep the original look of the car if possible, may-be get radical one day and have wide 15'' rims and low profile tyres. The only problem there would be then I'd have to beef up the suspension to match the performnace of the tyres. It's a never ending circle.
    You'll need to beef up the biceps too!

    I'll be very interested to hear how anyone gets on with Nangkangs on an R8/R10. I'll need some tyres in about 10 years.

    Cheers

    JohnW

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    Just to add my 2 cents worth as someone who had a 10 as a daily driver until recently, getting wider rims is definitely the way to go. I had my wheels cut down to 14" with 5' wide rims put on. They were reasonably offset which helped to widen the narrow track yet they did not scrub at all. I had 175/60 tyres on the front and 185/65 tyres on the rear. The stability was fantastic and the grip, wet and dry, was superb. I had a smaler diameter steering wheel also. The steering was barely heavier and much more direct. If you are driving in modern traffic, you need to be able to get out of the way of the modern opposition - they aren't going to give you a wide berth just because of your antique status. When I sold my 10 I put the original wheels etc. back on. It felt horrible. Should I get another, I will definitely be putting my wheels and steering wheel back on.

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