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6 cyl Bristol cars Type 400 to 406 - restoration, repair, maintenance etc

16" tyres

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 25-09-23, 07:41 AM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 5
Default 16" tyres


Just to let you know; We have these on the shelf

they are the best tyres for the majority of 6 cylinder Bristol cars. (we also have the 550HR16 Michelin X as well)

There is more fitment detail on here
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 25-09-23, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK
Posts: 246
Default 16 inch tyres.

I have run my Bristol for a few years now on Michelin Xs which transformed the comfort on my 407 and grip, but made parking an horrendous job with no Power Steering. The Avon Turbo speeds were fine but tramlined and a bit hard.
I fitted electric power steering, reversible of course, and now have a lovely long distance tourer. Xs were available in 1962 but not offered as an alternative by Bristol Cars.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 25-09-23, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 401

Looking through your website and recommendations for various Bristol cars I offer the following comments.

Do you know that the Bristol 400 has 16 inch rims that are only 3.5 inch wide.
I'm not a tyre expert but would have thought that the best tyre in your range for a 400 would be an Avon 165/80x 16

The 401 - 406 have 16 x 4.5 rims and I assume a 550 x 16 Michelin or 175/80x 16 would be best suited to those rims . Most 185/80x 16 certainly look too big on the 4.5 inch rim, but probably work OK

The 407, 408 & 409 all have 16x 5inch rims and the 185/80 x 16 could be suitable for them.

You comments would be appreciated.

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Old 26-09-23, 07:19 PM
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 38
Default cross ply versus radial

Hi guys this maybe an comment been talked about before

iu have a 406 which currently has 16" taxi tyres which gives a very hard ride

so what's the best route cross ply or radial

if radial which sizes fit


Last edited by Mike406; 27-09-23 at 07:10 AM.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 26-09-23, 09:30 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 401

Mike ,
What brand Taxi tyres are currently fitted ?
What shock absorbers are currently fitted ?
What tyre pressure do you use?

Over many years I have used the following tyres on my 400 fitted with 4.5 inch wide 401 wheels (the same width as standard 406 wheels)
Pirelli 185/80 x 16 (really too wide for a 4.5 inch rim)
Michelin 175/80 x 16 XC (commercial probably 8 ply)
Bridgestone 175/80x 16
Falken 175x 80 x 16 ( probably 4 ply , very soft and needed high air pressure)
Austone 175/80 x 16 Taxi 6 ply

I have not noticed any difference in the ride/harshness when I changed tyres.
My pick of the above list is the current Austone Taxi , the cheapest , they handle well , quiet , I assume will wear slowly and the 6 ply makes the car stable in strong cross winds.

I would not choose a cross ply tyre for one of my cars ,unless it was destined to sit in a Museum .

My GUESS is that your problems with 406 harsh ride is not the tyres unless they are very old and hard . If so they will need replacement .

I suggest you check the shock absorbers .
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 27-09-23, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 38

hi Geoff

the current tyres are
Joyroad 185/175R16C steel belted radials

tyre pressures are 28 lbs/SQ "

tyres a probably 7-8 years old with very little usage

the rear shocks are new Koni and maybe I have them set too hard

the front were on the car when I bought it, so the may be 20-30 years old or in fact original from 1959

so if I go for new tyres radial should they be 175 0r 185
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 29-09-23, 02:45 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 401

Mike ,

A test you can easily do to check the shockers (but not an accurate test , only an indication).
Bounce the car by pressing down in the bumper bars at each corner of the car .
If the body goes down a few inches and comes up quickly and bounces uncontrollably the shock absorbers probably need replacing .

The rear shocks being Koni should be adjustable . I you press down on the LH & RH side of the rear bumper bar you should not get much more movement than about an inch . Anything between 1/2 an inch to none , points to the Koni are set too hard.

I have Koni on one of my 400 and they are set quite soft .
The front shockers need to be set quite soft as the leaf spring is quite hard.
The rears should be set a little harder as the torsion bars are quite soft .

My GUESS is that the rear Koni could be adjusted way too hard.

I don't know the Joyroad tyres that are fitted but you should check and adjust the shock absorbers before you consider buying tyres.
I don't think your tyres are the cause of hard riding especially at 28psi

I inflate my 175/80 Austone Taxi tyres to about 35psi and the 400s ride smoothly.

Check with a tyre retailer for a recommendation of tyre size for the 406 with 4.5 wide rim.
As I mentioned in my earlier post the 175 is the ideal size and 185 will work OK but they are a little to wide .
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