250 PF tires giving me tired head

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Greg Brendel
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250 PF tires giving me tired head

Post by Greg Brendel » Mon May 05, 2003 6:19 pm

I am getting a little nervous about driving around on my 16 year old tires and thought I better start shopping. The tires on the car now are 175 X 400 and the rims are 5 1/2. I contacted Coker and Tire Rack and both said they do not have anything that would fit. I read Tom's "tiring issues" of 2/26/02 but it looks like his are larger than what came with the '60 PF Coupe. Any suggestions? Anyone know what it came with from the factory? Will any modern tires work? Thanks. Greg Brendel

Greg Brendel
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Post by Greg Brendel » Mon May 05, 2003 6:20 pm

The other number on the rim is 5 1/2 X400.

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lukek
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re: tires

Post by lukek » Mon May 05, 2003 6:52 pm

There is a company in the UK...They were recently profiled in the C&SC car magazine, and they specialize in Vintage Tires.
I forget the URL, but here is (this one, or perhaps another one) I found on the web:

http://www.vintagetyres.com

thx
luke
Ex 1963 Ferrari 250 GTE, 99 Modena 360, 11 Maserati QPorte S, 08 merc gl550, 67 Cadillac Coupe DeVille Convertible, 2008 Ducati Hypermotard S, 2006 MV Agusta Brutale S, 1991 Ducati 907i.e.

Ruedi
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Post by Ruedi » Tue May 06, 2003 4:24 am

Hi Greg,

Both Coker and Vintage have R-rated 185x400 Michelin tires (see http://www.vintagetyres.com/bibendium.htm and http://www.cokertire.com/prodviewer.asp ... =185/65-15). These tires should fit your rim. I assume Coker told you they have no tires that fit your car because the speed rating of these tires is only "R" instead of "HS". Obviously, potential legal liabilities prevent dealers from recommending tires that are not fully compliant with the car makers specs. But then again, you may ask yourself "how often do I drive more than 100 mph?" and still be comfortable with this type of tire.

I was told that Michelin has stopped production of all formats wider than 165 mm and currently has no plans to do occasional runs for collector cars. The main reason why 165 mm wide tires are still made are that they fit several Citroen models (from Traction Avant to DS-21, I believe). 165x400 Michelin tires are readily available in new production from Coker (USA), Vintage tire (UK) and CTA in the Netherlands (http://www.ctaservice.nl). However, 165 mm wide tires are a bit thin for 5-1/2 inch wide rims and someone else (more knowledgeable than I) may explain what effect this has on the sidewalls and inner tubing.

FYI: The 400 mm rim format was introduced by Michelin for their "Bibendum" tires. These tires were available as Michelin X and XAS tires in 165, 175 and 185 mm width that were fitted on 4-1/2, 5 and 5-1/2 inch wide rims, respectively. Pirelli also made 400 mm tires in 165 and 175 mm as part of their "Cinturato" line. I understand Pirelli stopped making millimetric tires altogether a while ago.

In a nutshell, the outlook for 400 mm tires is grim. If you're looking for alternatives, keep in mind that the width used as part of the tire dimension is not the thread width but the section diameter were the tire is widest.

Best regards,

Ruedi

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John Vardanian
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Post by John Vardanian » Tue May 06, 2003 10:49 am

Greg,

I presume we are talking about the 16 inch rim, if so, Avon makes a very nice (185-16) radial. They are usually used for the Jaguar XK-120.

I have these tires on my 250. They are designated as 185HR16 Avon TurboSteel. They are looking rather old and I wished I could replace them with either (Michelin) Englbert or Michelin Pilote X Course tires. These were being produced in France but, unfortunately, their production ceased just recently. I am now considering replacing the tires with Avon again or going with Dunlop R5 tires. Alternately, I can wait to see if either Michelin tire will return to production. I talked with Vintage Tyres in UK a few weeks ago and they told me the Pilote X Course is likely to return next year, but the Englebert's future is dismal. Keep in mind, in French next year could mean sometime next decade.

Incidentally, the Dunlop R5 is a really good looking tire and if I run out of patience I just might go for the R5.

john

Chris Coios

Post by Chris Coios » Tue May 06, 2003 12:08 pm

Greg,

I am not certain if a 16-inch tire will fit a 400 rim, as 400 mm (I assume) translates to less slightly less than 16 inches (15 3/4). You may wish to consider changing over to RW 3264 wheels typical of inside-plug/drum brake Coupes or RW 3526 used on Coupes with disc brakes, not knowing whether your car is an early or late example. These types are both noted as size 16 X 5 1/2, but the offsets probably differ, as the hub listings are not the same. Reproduction Pirelli Cintuarto 185 X 16 are advertised by Re-Originals, but very expensive. Dunlop racing tires are a good alternative as noted, with the understanding that they will drive like a racing tire. Avons are a good road option, however not typical of Ferraris. The Michelins, Pilote or Englebert would be ideal if they make them again. Looking through period data sheets, I note that after Englebert phased out, many cars of the period originally had Continental tires transitioning then to Pirellis Cintuartos. George M. Carrick's book on the Spyder California has some good comparison data in this regard on a series of LWB and SWB cars over a range of serial numbers, inside plug to outside plug.

Chris

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tyang
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Post by tyang » Tue May 06, 2003 12:45 pm

Just Lurking on this thread...

Is it possible to have the hubs re-laced with a 16inch rim with the same amount of holes as the hub? There are companies that are reproducing spoked rims that might save you some money than buying complete wheels.

Tom

Greg Brendel
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Post by Greg Brendel » Tue May 06, 2003 6:05 pm

Thanks to everyone for the responses, lots of good info. I had not considered changing wheels but now would be the time to consider it as I do plan on getting mine refurbished/rechromed. BTW, my coupe is an outside plug with disc brakes and a build date of June 1960 (serial #1977GT).

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Bryan P
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Post by Bryan P » Wed May 07, 2003 9:51 am

Greg - I think I received photos and the appraisal for this car when it was for sale by the late owner's estate in Ohio. Is this the same car? metallic gray w/ black interior? If so, you got a very nice example. Send pics to Tom's Owner's Gallery!

Greg Brendel
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Post by Greg Brendel » Wed May 07, 2003 10:37 am

Bryan-Yes, this is the car from the Ohio estate. The previous owner had only driven it about 10 miles a year the past 25 years so I was concerned about what might happen once I started driving it but it has been great. Changed all the fluids/belts and went 120 miles the first day until a radiater hose came loose.

I will get some pics for the owners gallery soon. Its not a concourse car by any means but just a good original car that seems to have had an easy life. Other than refurbishing the wheels, I just plan on fixing things as they pop up and I try to exercise it at least every week.

Ruedi
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Post by Ruedi » Wed May 07, 2003 7:57 pm

Hi all,

Some more comments on tire/wheel selection:

1. 16 inch tires on 400 mm wheels: I agree with Chris that this is not a good idea. First of all, I think it would be difficult to center the wheels with roughly 1/4 inch play -- and keep them that way. Second, and more importantly, I think it's outright dangerous. The tire is held on the rim indirectly through the pressure of the inner tire. It may come off the rim in curves or slip on the rim during acceleration and braking.

2. RW 3264 and RW 3526: Although I do not have exact technical information on these wheels, I believe the difference is the type of lacing, not offset. In the drum brake aera, wire wheels were often center laced so that the rim was exactly centered over the splined hub. The groove where the spokes attached to the rim was typically in the middle of the rim. For disk brakes, this pattern changed to outside laced (where the spokes and the groove were moved to the outside of the wheel) to make room for the disk brake calipers. However, the rim was still centered over the splined hub -- so, no change in offset. To everybody's surprise, outside laced wheels also seemed to have a better driving behavior and stability. Obviously, the lacing affects how the wheels (and therefore the car) looks.

3. Changing the rim to 16 inch: While possible, I think that would be too expensive (I'd expect $800 - 1,200 per wheel). It also destroys the value of the original wheels. Remember, the Borrani marking is on the rim, not the hub.

4. Changing to a different Borrani wheel: If changing the wheel is an option, I'd go in the direction of 15" rather than 16" and use relatively modern Pirelli P4000 Supertouring P205/70ZR15 tires (as used on Jaguar XKE). Wheels that come to mind are RW 3591 (15 x 5½K) and RW 3690 (15 x 6L) as used on 250/GT 2+2. Disclaimer: I have no idea whether these wheels actually fit your car (offset and wheel well clearances may be an issue). Suggestion: Check with Ted Waibel of http://www.tawvehicle.com. If you want to go that route, be prepared to spend about $1,000 per wheel.

5. Something more radical: When driving fun, easy maintenance and costs matter, consider fitting sealed Dayton wire wheels (the sealed rims allow to use tubeless tires) at a cost of probably about $200-250 per wheel. I’d bet that most people won’t notice the difference because they look at the knock-offs, not the rim. That way, you can use the Daytons for driving and the Borranis for show and to satisfy the purists who consider flaming me for suggesting this.

Cheers,

Ruedi

Maeter
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Vintage Tires

Post by Maeter » Thu May 08, 2003 3:56 am

There is another UK company specializing in hard to find/get tires. They have recently been appointed by Michelin as their second classic tire distributor. Their web site is http://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/

Give them a try.

Pascal

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John Vardanian
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Post by John Vardanian » Thu May 08, 2003 4:41 pm

Greg,

I have a good number of photos from your car. If you give me your email I will send them to you.

john

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