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14" tire recommendation


Burl

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I currently have some ARE Libre 14" wheels with Michelin 195/70/14 tires that are now 8 years old.  I put about 1000 miles a year on the Z and was thinking about new tires.  Michelin stopped making the tires I have.   Two questions -- should I replace these 8 year old tires -- if so recommendations?   thanks.  

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1 hour ago, Patcon said:

Then, I would run them. Just my opinion...

Agreed - I wouldn't worry about them at all. I have ran 20 year old tires, that have been garage kept - showing no signs of side wall cracking - on Classic Cars driven only occasionally with no problems.  The one exception - 1991 Thunderbird Super Coupe, with 10K original miles. Original Tires Goodyear's V Rated... At 21 years old, took it out for a drive and felt the tread separation take place... wobbled my way home - and replace them all the next day. (kept the tires as proof of the mileage on the T-Bird when I sold it in 2002).

That said - I'm always keeping an eye open hoping to find any good 195/70R14's for my Z's.. (good looking/brand name/sports car style etc). 

FWiW,

Carl B.

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The biggest problem with garage kept old tryes is with aging comes hardening. Mine are always garage kept on blocks placed  under the suspension keeping the wheels 2 cm off the ground for most of the year.

I know they are hard and will not have good grip in the wet, but my zed never goes out in the rain. I would like to buy new tyres, but finding anything suitable for this period in 14" is hard.

If they are not showing any cracks, they should be ok for dry weather. They will under perform in the wet so be carefull in wet weather. Specially if your daily is a modern car, you can quickly forget the situation you are in amnd then it's too late.

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In Germany they say a 10 year old tire is not done.. i drove in the Netherlands with good 15-20 year old tires, no problem..   Of course you have to take into account the conditions  but that is using common sense..

My 280zx is at the moment on old tires with lots of thread.. has no cracks at all but these tires are a dissaster on wet roads, very slippery...  I like a bit of a slide haha..

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Allow me to be controversial - in my personal experience, tyre rubber really does start to go off it’s best around the 5 year mark. But then most of our cars are garaged / live indoors without UV and at a relatively constant temp. So shouldn’t the tyres last longer?

Well, I thought so, until I fell off the road in 2019!!

My 14” Michelins with 6.8mm tread on the rears were normally pretty OK. Then I got caught out in a rain shower after a dry spell and coming onto a dual carriageway, onto a long sweeping corner, in second @ 2.5k rpm, when I touched the throttle at no more than 30% there was that real WHOA moment when the rear lost traction and was fought back into line with three pendulums - but not before I went off the road onto a gravel drainage / trap on the side of the road!!

I then switched to Bridgestone Turanza T005 tyres and found I could put more than 80% of the power down in the wet!! Hit the same corner several times again in the wet and with more power to prove the point and no issues. I even went to Silverstone the following week and drove around the muddy / wet country roads for the 50th anniversary Retro Run and the track in the pee-ing rain; all with supreme confidence!

I guess it depends on how, where and in what conditions you drive. But that experience made me staunch in the belief that they do indeed go off. I just don’t want to go off with them!!

Not sure if they are still available on this size but I would highly recommend !




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5 hours ago, AK260 said:

My 14” Michelins with 6.8mm tread on the rears were normally pretty OK. Then I got caught out in a rain shower after a dry spell and coming onto a dual carriageway, onto a long sweeping corner, in second @ 2.5k rpm, when I touched the throttle at no more than 30% there was that real WHOA moment when the rear lost traction and was fought back into line with three pendulums - but not before I went off the road onto a gravel drainage / trap on the side of the road!!

I take it this happened in your z? I also take it you made it out alright? Which leads me to my main question - did the car survive? 

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I take it this happened in your z? I also take it you made it out alright? Which leads me to my main question - did the car survive? 


Yea indeed sir, I was in my car with my brother in law who was monitoring / writing down cruising AFRs for me at part throttle - so we weren’t even pressing on really. I have a typo above - we were at 3.5k rpm, just at the point where the engine comes on cam.

Thanks for asking - yes we were absolutely fine. But I’m pretty sure the driver behind needed a change of underwear, I was very lucky to have been able to hold it and avoid a spin into the barriers - oh and avoid hugging the trees to our left on the edge of the gravel area where we came to a stop.

There was some minor damage / scuffing under the car and to the cill on the passenger side where the chunky lumps of sharp gravel got kicked up - but it was easy to surface fill, sand back and re-spray. We got VERY lucky.

The video below shows the same corner in the dry (but gunning it). I love this corner and have been doing silly things on it in all weathers and cars for 30+ years! So I was shocked when the car suddenly and without warning lost traction.



At the 13/14 seconds mark you can see the gravel on the left where we had all 4 wheels off the road - it ain’t very wide before you fall and hug the trees.
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14 hours ago, AK260 said:

Then I got caught out in a rain shower after a dry spell

Sometimes our weatherman does warn for that, after a long period of drought there is alot of rubber on the road and with the first rain it's a slippery slide..

It does not matter if you have new or used or very old tires you will have to be careful..

I always anticipate alot.. you have to with toyo tires from 2005-08 or so haha..

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Sometimes our weatherman does warn for that, after a long period of drought there is alot of rubber on the road and with the first rain it's a slippery slide..
It does not matter if you have new or used or very old tires you will have to be careful..
I always anticipate alot.. you have to with toyo tires from 2005-08 or so haha..


I totally get that and it’s very true. However even in the dry they had started to wheel spin out of junctions and feel vague. No other car in front or behind me travelling at the same gentle pace let go / understeered etc at that time.


Either way tyres do go off over time and frankly they (and brakes) are keeping you safe and on the road. Relative to how much money we spend on our cars to keep them shiny, I just look at it as a cheap insurance policy not worth skimping on.

They basically oxidise over time and go hard.

Here’s a good article ...

https://www.thetelegram.com/wheels/have-your-tires-reached-their-expiration-date-255224/
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19 hours ago, AK260 said:

Allow me to be controversial - in my personal experience, tyre rubber really does start to go off it’s best around the 5 year mark. But then most of our cars are garaged / live indoors without UV and at a relatively constant temp. So shouldn’t the tyres last longer?

Well, I thought so, until I fell off the road in 2019!!

My 14” Michelins with 6.8mm tread on the rears were normally pretty OK. Then I got caught out in a rain shower after a dry spell and coming onto a dual carriageway, onto a long sweeping corner, in second @ 2.5k rpm, when I touched the throttle at no more than 30% there was that real WHOA moment when the rear lost traction and was fought back into line with three pendulums - but not before I went off the road onto a gravel drainage / trap on the side of the road!!

I then switched to Bridgestone Turanza T005 tyres and found I could put more than 80% of the power down in the wet!! Hit the same corner several times again in the wet and with more power to prove the point and no issues. I even went to Silverstone the following week and drove around the muddy / wet country roads for the 50th anniversary Retro Run and the track in the pee-ing rain; all with supreme confidence!

I guess it depends on how, where and in what conditions you drive. But that experience made me staunch in the belief that they do indeed go off. I just don’t want to go off with them!!

Not sure if they are still available on this size but I would highly recommend !



 

I don't think you're being controversial at all, the general consensus among tire manufacturers for age out is 6 years.  Sure you can say that the manufacturers use that number out of an abundance of caution and the desire to make more tire sales and that may be true to a certain extent.

I'm as stingy as the next guy but I don't cheap out on tires because those 4 little patches of rubber are the only thing that keep you on the road.  Brakes don't stop the car, tires do.  Traction control, ABS all the rest of those helpers are worthless without 4 fresh contact patches.

I can't remember where I saw it but about 15 yrs ago I read an report on how many collisions and fatalities are tire related, worn out, under inflated and old, it was a large percentage.  That's when I became a bit of a zealot and don't even get me started on 4 season tires.

Edited by grannyknot
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19 hours ago, AK260 said:

Thanks for asking - yes we were absolutely fine. But I’m pretty sure the driver behind needed a change of underwear, I was very lucky to have been able to hold it and avoid a spin into the barriers - oh and avoid hugging the trees to our left on the edge of the gravel area where we came to a stop.

There was some minor damage / scuffing under the car and to the cill on the passenger side where the chunky lumps of sharp gravel got kicked up - but it was easy to surface fill, sand back and re-spray. We got VERY lucky.

 

Glad to hear everything went the way it did. Coulda turned out a lot worse for you, the car, or both. I can see why that corner is so fun - it's just begging you to corner it hard, and go flat out on the straight. Car sounds great by the way!

Looking back on it, I had a higher tendency to lose traction when I first got my z - I'm not sure how old the tires were then, though. Never anything crazy, they'd just screech a little if I was pinning it and shifting gears. I'd imagine the same thing would have happened to me that happened to you in similar circumstances. Take my anecdote with a grain of salt though - I was unfamiliar with the car and it's finnicky gas pedal at the time so it might have been poor driving rather than poor tires. 

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