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Best "performance" tire for a 70 240z

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HOWDY,

I currently have some old BFG Radial TA's on my 70 240z, that I am thinking of replacing. First of all, my car is a stock 240z with Nissan European Springs, MSA sway bars, KYB struts, on stock 280zx wheels ( see attached).

The current tires are 195/70-14, but I am not that happy with them. Any suggestions on some decent tires? What sizes are you all running?

Thanks in advance,

Bob

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Bob, the choices for true performance rubber in 14" sizes are becoming rather meager. Before I go any farther than that, knowing that you are in Central Oregon, my first question will be whether you shop at Schwab, or elsewhere?

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Thanks for the reply.

No, I actually like Les Scwabs service, but I have never actually bought tires for any of my sports cars there. Actually, I went to Goodyear today for tires for my Jeep, and started thinking of tires for the Z.

In the past, for my Fiats ( which also use a strange size 13" tire) , I have used Tire Rack and others.

By the way, THANKS SO MUCH for the lead on the exhaust system. It was new in the box and is now home with me! Maybe I will have a shop reproduce it if others are interested!!!!

Thanks,

Bob

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Thanks for the reply.

No, I actually like Les Scwabs service, but I have never actually bought tires for any of my sports cars there. Actually, I went to Goodyear today for tires for my Jeep, and started thinking of tires for the Z.

In the past, for my Fiats ( which also use a strange size 13" tire) , I have used Tire Rack and others.

OK. That being the case, to get true performance rubber in a size suitable for a 240Z with 14x6 wheels, you're going to want to go to a different size. There are no good performance options in 195/70-14 anymore. The most common sizes that others with 14" use these days are 205/60-14, with a few using 215/60-14. Both of these sizes are both shorter and wider than the size you now have - the 205 being the smaller of the two. The selection of tires will be greatest in the 205/60-14, even the 215/60 is becoming a rare size any more.

In the 205/60 you should be able to find tires by Kumho, Falken, Yokohama and more. Most any of those will do better than what you have now. If you do decide to shop for Z tires at Schwab, the ones they market under the Ohtsu Ziex label are the same as similar Falkens - Ohtsu is the parent company of Falken. Those are probably the only performance tires they will have available in a suitable size.

By the way, THANKS SO MUCH for the lead on the exhaust system. It was new in the box and is now home with me! Maybe I will have a shop reproduce it if others are interested!!!!

Thanks,

Bob

I know that there are at least one or two others here who are interested in cloning that system. ToXic for one. Check out his thread:

http://classiczcars.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32243

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If you go with a 195/60-14 size you have three great high performance summer tires to choose from: Hankook Ventus RS2, Bridgestone Potenza Pole Position 960, Yokohama AVS ES100.

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IMO (as a former tire/wheel professional), 195/60-14 is too small for a 240Z.

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I have 225/60-14 Yokohama A-509's on my 280Z. They're unfortunately NLA. They might actually be a bit large but I've had no issues with them.

Edited by sblake01

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IMO (as a former tire/wheel professional), 195/60-14 is too small for a 240Z.

As a tire/wheel amateur I did 4 hours on track at WSIR running a basically stock 240Z on 195/60-14 Kumho V700s. I was amazed at the control the car had and how tossable it was. Turn 1 was a hoot sideways at 75 mph! Probably the most fun I had on track with a 240Z.

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There are a few companies that make tires with some of these older sizes, if you'd like to stick with the 14" rim size and original size tires. I recently bought a very nice set of tires for my 1967 MGB made by a company called Vredestein. I think mine are the sprint classic. Here is the web site:

http://www.vredestein.com/Banden_Bandgroepen.asp?UsersessionID=25427973&BandgroepID=5

These are not really anything like the performance tires of today, but they would retain the original look/ride of your car.

I had to have mine shipped here from NJ. You might have a dealer in OR.

John

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As a tire/wheel amateur I did 4 hours on track at WSIR running a basically stock 240Z on 195/60-14 Kumho V700s. I was amazed at the control the car had and how tossable it was. Turn 1 was a hoot sideways at 75 mph! Probably the most fun I had on track with a 240Z.

I believe that in that size you can get a set of Falken RT-615's. What I like to call the best budget Autocross tires you can buy. They flat out stick and are very reasonably priced.

Check out

www.vulcantire.com

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A past member here whom I have not seen in forever, kmack, told me about Falken Azenis. Here's a link to them on the vulcantire site posted above: http://www.vulcantire.com/cgi-bin/tiresearch.cgi?stock=601&f=azenis_rt615_t.htm

"** RATED #1 AUTO-X TIRE BY GRASSROOTS MOTORSPORTS!! (May 2007 Issue) **"

These things look very aggressive! And at $66/ea they're very affordable for the performance they are supposed to provide.

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I used the Falkens for my last season of autocross in Houston in my Subaru WRX STI. They are very sticky tires. I plan on putting them on an extra set of rims for when I take the Z autocrossing. I cant wait!

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Bumping up to a 16" wheel will seriously increase your options when it comes to Performance tires. Manufacturers are trying to keep up with Now-a-days cars and they start at 15" wheels.

I went from 14" slotted mags (you all know the kind) and moved up to a 16"X7" then loaded them with 205/40R16's but the ride was too harsh. So I went with a 225/50ZR16 and the ride is very comfortable yet agressive. The tires are Riken Raptors and the price is awesome. I only paid $75 each at Discount Tire. They fill the wheel well beautifully and don't rub, even with the car being lowered 1.5"s all the way around.

Dave.

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If you move up to a bigger wheel size, consider the added weight of the rim and tire. More unsprung weight is bad for handling. There are not an unlimited list of choices for 14" tires, but enough to keep you happy. Remember, the tire technology currently available far outstrips the technology from 30 years ago, so almost any good to above average summer performance tire will do (the S30 is not a performance dynamo in stock configuration.)

I concur with what Mr Coffey said. 195/60 R14s for track. Good performance, good grip, less expensive, lighter, and dropping your AR to 60 will effectively improve your final drive ratio for some extra pep off the line.

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Dave Zs-ondabrain,

I also have the 70's type Appliance slotted mags and am thinking of upgrading.

Your 16" x 7" rims look awesome.

Can you share what they are, where you bought them, cost, polished aluminum?

P.S. - your headlight and parking lite harnesses are still working great in my 240Z.

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I had R - spec Avons 205X55X14 when I was Autocrossing - very small wheel/tire combo but my car is lowered so it didn't look too silly. Stuck like glue.

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Dave Zs-ondabrain,

I also have the 70's type Appliance slotted mags and am thinking of upgrading.

Your 16" x 7" rims look awesome.

Can you share what they are, where you bought them, cost, polished aluminum?

P.S. - your headlight and parking lite harnesses are still working great in my 240Z.

Good to hear about the harness's.

The wheels are polished aluminum (American) Eagle Alloys 16"x7" wheels w/ a 0.0 offset. I checked with the manufacturer and they are NLA in 16". Only 15" I think. The tires are 225/50ZR16 Riken Raptors ($75 each when on sale) They're now $92 each

http://aewheel.com/eagle_alloy_wheels.cfm?id=10 The wheel

http://aewheel.com/wheels_detail_specs.cfm?id=10 The specs

Mine were bought a few years ago and they have the dual size holes under the cap (holes for datsun and 1 size up. 8 holes)

http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/searchTiresBySize.do?r=WASINT%7Cpc%7C98270&cs=225&ar=50&rd=16

Riken Raptor ZR

Size 225/50ZR16 92W BSW

UTQG 300AA

Speed Rating Z

High-performance, great looks at an affordable price. Z-speed rated.

$92.00 each

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Is there any info or chart available that addresses what these different size combinations do to your speedometer and odometer readings. What size combo is closest to the stock diameter?

Mike

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The stock size for a 240Z was 175-14. Any of the following sizes are close enough in rolling radius to that size as to have no noticeable affect on the speedometer (less than 2% difference, typically). Note that some of these sizes may not be available any longer, and some have never been available in performance models.

185/75-14

197/70-14 (stock on 280Zs)

205/65-14

225/60-14

195/65-15

205/60-15

225/55-15

205/55-16

225/50-16

245/45-16

205/50-17

225/45-17

235/40-17

245/40-17

225/40-18

The key to speedo calibration is revs per mile, which is most accurately determined from the loaded rolling radius of the tire. To maintain your speedo accuracy, you want a tire with 825-840 revs per mile.

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Is there any info or chart available that addresses what these different size combinations do to your speedometer and odometer readings. What size combo is closest to the stock diameter?

Mike

Here's an excellent tire size to speed/rpm calculator.

Tire Size Calculator

Very useful.

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I currently switched to Yokohama AVS ES100 205/60R14 and have found them to be fantastic a great step up from the previous tyres with lots of predictable grip and so far good wear. They are also reasonable value at about $90-95 each. I can not speak to the other tires mentioned so far as I have not used them personally, but I have read nothing but good on these tyres from other Z users.

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The stock size for a 240Z was 175-14

Was that a 70 or 75 profile tire?

Neither. In today's terminology it would be a 175/80-14.

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Hi everyone,

According to some searches I have done the OEM tires for S30s in the USA were:

Brand Model Width Ratio Rim Sidewall Diameter Circumference Revs/Mile Difference
OEM 240z 175 82 14 5.65 25.30 79.48 797.18 0.00%
OEM 280z 197 70 14 5.43 24.86 78.09 811.32 -1.77%

I see above that Arne recommended around 825-840  revolutions per mile to keep the speedo accurate, but that doesn't match the math I have above, so either those aren't the right OEM tire sizes or those aren't the right RPM figures. I wonder if Arne's numbers come from pairing them with a different or a-typical transmission speedometer gear.

I am putting together a spreadsheet of available tire sizes for 14 and 15" wheels and what to get this correct first. If you know of better threads with more or more accurate information, please reply,y with the link so that we can connect all of this and ensure that people don't go down the wrong path. I know this is a long dead thread, but in an effort to make sure that people are finding the best information possible, I wanted to push on some things said and verify what I have been finding in other places.

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