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

Austone Taxi Tyres

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Old 18-12-23, 03:43 PM
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Default Austone Taxi Tyres

I know several 2 Litre owners who have been long term users of Michelin Taxi tyres and that was what I am considering putting on one of my 401's.
At the moment its on the tyres fitted by the previous owner and they have hardly any road use and appear to be in perfect condition, however they are a brand I had never heard of Marangoni they are 175/75 r16 so in that respect they are ok but they are marked up as M100LT, obviously LT = light truck and the tyres are anything but they are very heavy compared to the Vredestein's on my other 401, probably very stiff side walls. The other issue two of the tubes seem to have moved, there is no sign of collars on the valves so they are going to have to come off to sort that out anyway.
I have seen at least one car fitted with Austone Taxi radials, the type from adverts on the internet is an Austone CSR 81, again a 175 16 but an 80 profile so I would need a full set as I would with the Michelins. The Austone's have a price advantage which makes them tempting.
I am hoping someone has tried them on a two litre and car give me some feed back .
Geoff.
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Old 18-12-23, 08:24 PM
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GeoffK,

I have Austone Taxi Tyres (175/80x16 ) fitted to both of my 400's that use 4.5 inch wide wheels ex 401 .(Note all 401 - 406 have 4.5 x 16 wheels as standard.)
They were fitted back in about 2019 and so far they have been very good .
Smooth ride , good handling , quiet , period looking (not an aggressive off road tread), excellent value for money. I can not comment on how many miles I can travel on a set but I'm pretty sure I will never wear them out .
These Austone are steel belted 6 ply construction and are probably stiffer in the sidewalls than a Michelin "X" 550 x 16 (175/80x16)

A friend fitted a set of Marangoni 175/75x16 Light Truck tyres to a 400 with original 3.5 in wide wheels . These were a major improvement on the worn cross ply tyres previously fitted. I remember they were a little heavy at parking speed .

Many 401 - 406 owners in Australia have fitted 185/80 x 16 Light Truck tyres of various brands (some even have fitted 195/75x16 ) . These tyres make the steering very heavy especially at parking speed.
Others have expensive 185/80 x16 brands fitted like Michelin, Avon , Vredestein, Blockley or Pirelli which are mostly a high speed passenger tyres, but the recommend rim size by the tyre manufacturers are mostly 5.5 - 6.5 inch rims . So too large for the size of the rims. Many tyre retailers if asked will recommend a tyre and size of the ones they have in stock , just to make a sale.

The ideal size for the 4.5 x 16 inch rim is 175/80 x 16 and
for the 400 3.5 x 16 inch rim is 165/80 x 16 (Avon have one of this size available) .

Austone are not readily available in Australia as there are very few London taxi's here , but I know of about ten 6 cylinder Bristols with them fitted and have never heard a bad word about them.

Note I am note a tyre expert and would be interested to hear of other owners experiences with oversize and inappropriate tyres fitted to Bristols.

GeoffD
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Old 18-12-23, 10:09 PM
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Marangoni is a reputeable brand. Because the radials grip better they are heavier at parking speeds.

I fitted Michelin taxi tyres and they are OK (a revelation after the India cross plies!). They grip the road well but have a tendancy to lock quite easily (I have discs on the front). Rest assured they will never wear out!

The ride is probably harder than Michelin X but about a quarter the price.

I have no experience of Austone Taxi radials but another post preferred them over Michelin.
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Old 19-12-23, 12:01 AM
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GeoffD
That is really helpful you may have seen the reply's I got on the BOC forum but so far no comment from anyone on these, several on line suppliers in the UK are offering them at very good prices even compared to the Michelin Taxi Tyres but I will have a word with a local garage as the last time I needed a set of Avons for another car their supplier was able to beat the online price.

Peter,
Thanks for the comment re the Marangoni Tyres I could not find much information on line about the M100LT variant but one thing I have found about them is they lock up far too easily, I first thought this was down to the 3:1 ratio servo fitted which although recommended for the Bristol 2 Litre was a bit too fierce or was it down to a heavy right foot as I drive a Land Rover Defender almost every day, I am going to have to do something about the tubes but the one thing I don't like about the Marangoni's is that on a few occasions they only show side wall deflection when the pressure is down to around 10 psi which makes me think the side walls are far too heavy for a car as opposed to a van or light truck.

GeoffK
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Old 19-12-23, 10:57 AM
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GeoffK,

I have never had any experience with other Taxi tyres, like Michelin, but the Austone work well for general use up to about 80mph which is about the maximum speed I travel at, although they are rated at a constant 100mph.

My guess is that the locking of the brakes with the Marangoni tyres is a brake issue not the tyres. Are the front or rear wheels locking under heavy braking ?
Did you have smaller diameter rear wheel cylinders fitted when the front discs were fitted ?

GeoffD
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Old 19-12-23, 12:47 PM
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GeoffD,
It is probably brake related we were working with the cylinders that were on the car which apparently had been renewed years previously, It was a stalled project, but with the precaution of new seals. During the course of the work I was able to obtain a decent quality 3:1 ratio servo from a former owner of a 401 or 403 who had sold the car before it had been used, I must admit I had been inclined to fit a 2:1 or 2.1:1 unit but the 3:1 was at a very good price and the paper work that came with it specified Bristol 401 & 403 in the application list. I must admit I have not tried a high speed a high speed application but the wheels have locked up turning into a layby, turning into my lane and in front of my workshop, the approach to which is compacted shale, a sharp prod of the pedal locks up all four wheels so calls for a light foot!, I am going at some stage to get a Servo fitted on the other 401 but I am thinking now of a unit with a lower boost ratio, do you think I am on the right lines or am I missing something? Its Drum brakes all the way round by the way.
GeoffK
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Old 05-01-24, 03:21 PM
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, I am going to have to do something about the tubes

GeoffK[/quote]

I run my Michelins tubeless and apart from one tyre that looses a little over the year they maintain their pressure from year to year.
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Old 28-01-24, 07:14 PM
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I have run the Michelin Taxi tyres for a number on years on my 400. I keep as the spare the 3.5" x16 dunlop rim as it fits inside the rear cover with an old Michelin x on it.
If I am honest the Taxi style tyres for me take away part of the ride smoothness & flexibility that the old 5.5"(on 3.5" rims) Michelin x had, but were a lot cheaper but very "stiff" and noisy.
I had to buy a set of 4.5" rims from Brian May(or was it 4"?-I cant recall but they are 401 rims) to accommodate the Michelin taxi tyres.

I still have the 4 remaining 3.5" rims and have contemplated switching back to the Michelin X but cost has prevented me.
The other day I saw this 400 on car and classic sporting 5.5" Blockeys not cheap but good tyres
https://www.carandclassic.com/car/C1666765
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