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8 & 10 cyl Bristol cars Type 407 onwards - restoration, repair, maintenance etc

411 Tires

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Old 16-01-13, 08:08 PM
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Default 411 Tires

Am looking for some advice on 411 tires, my main issue being availability of tires here in NZ.

Have been running BF Goodrich Lifesavers, which haven't been imported to NZ for some years. These both burst within a couple of hours of each other, somewhat inexplicably, on a tour of the South Island a few days ago.

Also have two Avon Turbospeeds in the garage here at home, but some hundreds of miles away from where the 411 languishes, waiting for me to sort out what I am fitting on it. The Turbospeeds are at least ten years old so are probably no good. I would also have to truck them some hundreds of miles to where garage where the 411 is.

The garage owner is suggesting I buy some cheaper tires, as he says it is crazy spending $500 per tire when I have only motored 10,000km in the last ten years. He says at that mileage the tires will perish before they wear out.

Any thoughts? Much appreciated.

Peter
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Old 18-01-13, 09:55 AM
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Default which model 411

the series 1 have narrower wheels i believe
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Old 18-01-13, 03:44 PM
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Default 411 Series 1

My Series 1 is fitted with Pirelli P4000 205/15 tyres which I find very satisfactory. Many 411's are so fitted - 185/15's were originally specified.
Regards,
Gavin
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Old 18-01-13, 06:23 PM
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Thanks Peter and Gavin. Yes, the 15" were the issue we were most concerned about and whether a wider tire might scrape the wheel bay when the wheel was fully turned? I will check out the Pirellis.
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Old 18-01-13, 10:34 PM
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My series one has series two wheels fitted 205 tyres -- if there is any fouling on the front inner wheel bay, a wheel spacer can be fitted from 3mm to 8mm depending on what you need up to 225 tyres with suitable wheels are possible !
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Old 23-01-13, 08:27 AM
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Thanks Greg

The Pirelli P4000 205/15 tyres are no longer made, according to a google search, and certainly haven't been available in NZ for 5 years, according to Pirelli.

They are recommending the P4 tyre, which is 15 inch but seems a much simpler (read cheaper) tyre.

Does anyone have experience of this, or an alternative?

Cheers

P
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Old 24-01-13, 11:42 PM
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Peter, Tyres should not really be bought on price alone....In Europe and US markets tyre manufacturers are obliged to give customers some other information to assist with the purchase choice. Inevitably a reasonably well supplied rapid fit will be able to get many more options in a day or two than they hold on the shelf..Initially you need to determine the diameter and then width you wish to use, and also aspect ratio as this affects gearing and hence your speedo accuracy. I suspect your car would have been on crossply originally? In which case normally a 85% aspect ratio radial ply tyre works best.....
In the EU the three indicators are 1) Rolling resistance - how much energy it takes to drive the wheel forward. This affects fuel economy. 2) Wet Grip, put simply how easy it is to lock a wheel in slippery conditions. 3) Drive by noise. This affects in car refinement. The US indicators are a little different a) Traction is similar to EU Wet Grip. b) Temp, or how the tyre copes with dissipation of the heat that occurs through distortion as it is rolled so you can look at that as a sort of Rolling Resistance indicator. c)Wear which is supposed to rank the tyres potential for longevity against others.
So, think about your usage and depending on the tyre market your choices come from you should be able to make a rational decision.
What would I do? Go to the scrap yard and buy a pair of suitable tyres for your trip home. You don't need much over legal tread, but not cut or cracked or blowing eggs and not too old-say 5 years. Yes there is a 4 digit code for that too WeekWeekYearYear. You will have bought time to think about options and do research, and maybe you will want to use the old Avons in the garage. If they have been kept in a black bag and kept cool they may be old but perfectly usable for a year or two. Oh, and just take it easy until you get nice new boots!
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Old 25-01-13, 04:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peasantslife View Post
I suspect your car would have been on crossply originally? In which case normally a 85% aspect ratio radial ply tyre works best.....
They wore radials originally, apparently with an 82% aspect ratio.

I don't see any great issue if the speedo reads a little higher than you are actually doing.

Re tire specs - what about load rating and speed rating? Surely these are more important than "Rolling resistance" and "Drive by noise" ?

Peter have you got the steel wheels or the Avon alloys? The Avon safety wheels are wider than the steel wheels.

I believe the axle width and wheel arch size are the same on your S3 as they are on my S5. I think I have 215/70 tires on my Avon alloys and there is no fouling. I'm not with the car at present but I will check and confirm the size tomorrow.
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Old 25-01-13, 08:51 AM
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Thanks both.

Yes, I may be guilty of worrying too much. I suppose the best bet is to try some and see. The Pirelli P4s might be fine.

Kevin, I thought I had the safety wheels and they do indeed have the inside band you describe in your earlier posting. The tyrefitters were most amused when I read it out, sitting on a box in the middle of rural Canterbury.

I will ask the tyrefitter to check the width of the wheels.

Would very much appreciate hearing what you have currently on yours.

Cheers

P
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Old 25-01-13, 09:48 PM
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Kevin, thank you for the post, what I had hoped to do was illustrate there is much more to tyre purchase than just a brand name and price. In the two major world markets manufacturers are now obliged to proffer more information. You raise good questions regarding the speedo running perhaps a tad out. Well to use an extreme example going from 82% to say 40% aspect (without upping rim diameter) would have a dramatic impact on speedo accuracy and would contravene regulation in europe for sure with regard to required speed indicator accuracy. And then the Insurance companies jump in and say 'modified but not declared' and decline claims. You are correct load and speed ratings are vital for safe sustained operation, luckily the modal cars using the tyre sizes in discussion have progressively put on weight so it s now very hard to find tyres which do not have the cars of the 60's/70's and even 80's already within their performance limits, but yes most important to check, even if you never do go over the speed limit, as Insurance companies will again use this as a lever to avoid a claim. If I may make a few more comments for Peter though, In europe a 'new' tyre when supplied must not be unreasonably old. Here we are within our rights to reject a tyre offered with a date code showing it has been on the shelf for too long. Depending on manufacturer they suggest from 4 years old you should be replacing tyres regardless of apparent condition. Be wary, there are many new tyres out there which are very old. We buy huge numbers of tyres annually and now specify no more than 6 months old at our first usage - that may be a bit harsh for a retail expectation, but illustrates the point. And finally, the major 'quality' brands generally give the best holistic price verses consistent performance and longevity. Best of luck with your selection.
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Old 25-01-13, 11:12 PM
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Driven on loads of new and old tyres without incident ! I don't think I'm just lucky but I do think there are a lot of scaremongers around about tyres ! I think using common sense about how much you use them and how you drive should direct you to what you need -- and Taxi tyres are great :-))
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Old 26-01-13, 04:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Grace View Post
Would very much appreciate hearing what you have currently on yours.
Peter, mine are 215/70R15, Avon Turbospeeds for what it's worth, God knows how old they are! The Avon Safety wheels are 7" wide.

My 411 was fitted with 205/75R15 on the 6" steel rims when I bought it. I acquired the Avon wheels secondhand from Bristol and they came wearing the 215/70R15 Turbospeeds

When our cars were new, standard tyres were 205R15 tyres (82% profile), on the 6" steel rims. Not sure what tires Bristol used if the customer "optioned up" to the Avon wheels?

The aspect ratio of the 215/70R15 is approximately 10% less than the original tires, so your speedo would read a bit more than the speed you are actually doing.

Avon appear to still make the 215/70R15 Turbospeed (CR28), maybe you could import some from the US or UK.

Interestingly the Avon Turbosteel CR28 is exempt from the EU tyre labelling regulation, because the tyre is designed to be fitted only to vehicles registered for the first time before 1 October 1990.

215/75R15 may be better if you can get them.
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Old 27-01-13, 05:12 AM
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Thanks Kevin, Greg and Peasantlife

Surprising what your learn when you get around to it. Prompted by your idea of importing the Turbospeeds I went to the Avon site (yes, I should have done that much earlier) and have found a NZ stockist. While he doesn't have the Turbospeeds listed on his own website I am asking him the question.

That would be ideal as I still have the two older Turbospeeds in the garage, never used, and possibly good as back up tyres.

Thanks again for all your help. Fingers crossed it is solved.

Peter
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Old 27-01-13, 05:41 AM
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Peter, before you commit to buy Avons through their NZ "agent" I would contact some of the Avon retailers in the US (or in the UK) and see how much they are to buy there because there is some evidence that us colonial dwellers often pay through the nose for products which cost a lot less in the UK or USA.

Just an example, I recently bought a diagnostic tool for my Landrover Discovery 3 from a UK Britpart agent, couriered to my door for $450. The local Australian Britpart agent quoted me $770, and they had to order it from the UK anyway.

I could tell you some stories about Mercedes parts pricing in Australia which beggar belief!

Just one other thing - a 215/75R15 could be an even better fit than a 215/70R15(closer to the original fitted tire height). I discovered this is a common tire size because a lot of smaller SUV/4WD vehicles use them. The challenge of course is to find one that has a reasonable looking tread as many of them are quite chunky.
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Old 27-01-13, 09:32 AM
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Ah, interesting you mention Tire Height - implication - you have a tendency or at least understand US nomenclature. In europe we talk of Rolling Radius which is of course a function of inflation pressures and load...
Just in case it helps Avon -of Melksham- was certainly where Turbospeeds and Turbosteels were made in the 60-80's. But the company was bought by Cooper Tires (a US firm ) many years ago and I really have no idea where they come from now, but may be a route to Avon supply even if not proclaimed, if that is your chosen path.
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Old 28-01-13, 09:37 AM
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I have had a response from Avon Uk, referring me to vintagetyres.com, which may be of interest as their website specifically includes Bristols.

Vintage Tyres: For all Vintage & Classic Tires +44 (0)1590 612261



Thank you for your email.

These tyres are only available via Vintage Tyres based in Beaulieu, you can find their contact details here Vintage Tyre Supplies | Avon Motorsport

Kind regards

Christopher Askew
Technical Sales Engineer
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Old 28-01-13, 10:33 AM
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Not true ! the other tyre specialist that stocks Avon tyres are Longstone Tyres Bristol 411 Both are expensive ! I would prefer to find a close modern tyre size.
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Old 29-01-13, 09:26 AM
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Avon Safety Wheels. Instructions

Avon Tyres Nostalgia - Safety Wheel promo - YouTube
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Old 01-02-13, 08:04 PM
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On a related note, does anyone here have any experience of Blockley radial tyres on a V8 Bristol? (I don't mean the cross-ply tyres that Blockley are famous for, but their recently introduced small range of radials.) My 410 currently wears too-wide 215/70s, but I am thinking of changing them for either the correct full profile 185 or possibly a 205/70. Blockley radials tyres are not the cheapest option, though they are far from the most expensive, but finding much real-world experience of them is hard.
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