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Sorry, but I have to ask about TIRES

LT4CE

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Feb 6, 2010
Messages
168
Location
Northern California
Corvette
1996 LT4 CE
Further research has revealed a possibly greater selection than when I originally posted my question. For example, I went to the Pep Boys web site and searched by tire size. They had some Bridgestone Potenzas in the front wheel size, but not the rear wheel size, which left me with the Nitto NT555.

They're even less expensive than the Continentals, coming in around $600 for the set (unless otherwise stated, none of the prices I mention are out the door prices...)

I don't know anything about Nitto tires, so I turned to my old buddy, the introweb. I found this page with reviews of the Nitto NT555 tires: Nitto NT555 Tire Reviews (32 Reviews)

Pretty mixed reviews, but the general consensus seemed to be that handling on dry roads was good (4.3 / 5) overall handling good (4.3 / 5) comfort, noise and treadwear came in between 3.5 and 3.7 out of 5. I wouldn't drive in the snow, so the 1.5 rating for that is no worry. Wet roads? It could happen. The 3.0 / 5 rating is a bit low.

Amazon customer ratings for them are quite good: Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Nitto NT555 EXT High Performance Tire - 275/40R17 98Z

Anyway, I'm going to do some more thorough research in the next day or so and see if I can find other brands. If not, I'll more than likely go with the GY's, which will be about $1500 out the door.

Has anyone had any experience with these tires? Thanks again!
 

LT4CE

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
168
Location
Northern California
Corvette
1996 LT4 CE
I can even go with Bridgestone Expedia S-01, available locally at Wheelworks. They look like they'd be just under $1450 out the door.

front: Tire Results | Tires Plus=
rear: Tire Results | Tires Plus=

These are not Z rated, they're R rated. The GY's are Z rated. How fast do I need to go? Do you think that would matter?

It's got Potenza's on it now, but they're old and one of them split on the sidewall. Tread was still good, but age has caught up with them. These are the same tires it had on them when I bought it in January of 2010, and the previous owner didn't put new tires, so they go back at least 7.5 to 8 years. I'm sure they were at least a year old when purchased, so I'm dealing with possibly 9+ years old tires. No wonder they're falling apart!

The good news is, I guess those of us with C4's may not be as limited as I thought initially.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Messages
3,668
Location
Mustang, OK
Corvette
'13 427 60th vert - '21 Silver Flare Coupe - CTS V Wagon(4-door Vette)
These are not Z rated, they're R rated. The GY's are Z rated. How fast do I need to go? Do you think that would matter?

R rated means the tire is rated only to 106 MPH.
Z rating means over 149 MPH but it is subdivided into W, Y and (Y).

Your Corvette is capable of 150 or more and can easily top 106. Do you plan to put a restrictor on your throttle to keep your Vette below 106 all the time?

If you rarely go faster than 106 and are willing to accept the risk of a tire failing above that speed when you do find yourself there, it's your call.
Don't expect the tire company to throw money at you if one fails and your and/or the car needs repair.
 

LT4CE

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
168
Location
Northern California
Corvette
1996 LT4 CE
R rated means the tire is rated only to 106 MPH.
Z rating means over 149 MPH but it is subdivided into W, Y and (Y).

Your Corvette is capable of 150 or more and can easily top 106. Do you plan to put a restrictor on your throttle to keep your Vette below 106 all the time?

If you rarely go faster than 106 and are willing to accept the risk of a tire failing above that speed when you do find yourself there, it's your call.
Don't expect the tire company to throw money at you if one fails and your and/or the car needs repair.

That's good info, thanks. I don't think I would expect something like that from the tire company. When something bad happens to me, I don't immediately look elsewhere to place blame and receive compensation.

I've only taken her over 100 twice, and I don't really plan to again... but I didn't plan to in either instance before. I'm more into the handling/acceleration aspect of Vette driving than top end speed.

My reaction to the idea of a restrictor on the throttle... is most negative. It just seems wrong to do that to a Vette! So while safety would dictate doing that with a lower rated tire, I'd rather just skip the lower rated tire.

Further research shows the Continentals to be W rated, which is 168 mph. I think that's right around the LT4's top speed, so the restrictor on the throttle would be out, which is good. And I don't imagine I'd ever approach that velocity.

I'm actually getting a bit tired (pun intended) of all this introweb research. So, I'll make a decision today between the GY's and the Continentals. I hope to have the new tires on her in time to enjoy some weekend driving.
 

LT4CE

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Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
168
Location
Northern California
Corvette
1996 LT4 CE
So, I decide to go with the Eagle F1 GS-D3's, and I call up my local Goodyear shop. I've dealt with them before, so I have a reasonable comfort level. I explain that I want to get new tires for my '96 and he immediately pushes the Nitto's on me. So I ask about the Eagles and he says he an get them, but GY no longer manufactures them, and he'd be getting them from a 3rd party warehouse. I ask how old they might be, and he says they could be 2 or 3 years old.

If I get 3 year old tires as opposed to 1 year old tires, I'm potentially losing 2 years of use, depending on how well they were stored, because I don't drive it enough to wear the tread out before they will just deteriorate due to age, like the ones on it now.

So I go to the GY website and start a chat session. I'm told they're still manufactured, but in very low quantity; usually a special order. He can't help me with a special order, so I'm only able to go through a dealer. He explains they would still be "fresh" even if they were 3 years old, because GY maintains them in a temperature controlled warehouse, etc.

So the GY shop I've gone to before can get them, but they won't be from a GY warehouse, and potentially not "fresh." I can't decide if I should try another GY shop, which is pretty close to my home, or roll the dice and take a chance on the possibly 3 year old Eagles, or suck it up and get the Nitto or Continentals.

The Nitto and Continentals are W rated, which is 168 mph. They're certainly less expensive, although their UTQG ratings are comparable or better than the GY's. Price isn't really an issue for me, within reason. I want the best tires I can get, that are reasonably NEW, and W or Y rated. I was hoping for tires no older than a year. Maybe I'm being naïve with that hope.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2003
Messages
3,668
Location
Mustang, OK
Corvette
'13 427 60th vert - '21 Silver Flare Coupe - CTS V Wagon(4-door Vette)
The F1 D3 is produced in Europe and imported in low quantities as mentioned.
Check with Tirerack for availability. If Tirerack has them, they will be recently shipped to them and not 2-3 years old as the GY dealer mentioned.

Then find a tire shop to mount and balance them - probably not the GY dealer.

I think your GY dealer just doesn't want to sell you D3's.
 

Robertwav1

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
821
Location
Ocala, Florida
Corvette
1993 Blue
Further research has revealed a possibly greater selection than when I originally posted my question. For example, I went to the Pep Boys web site and searched by tire size. They had some Bridgestone Potenzas in the front wheel size, but not the rear wheel size, which left me with the Nitto NT555.

They're even less expensive than the Continentals, coming in around $600 for the set (unless otherwise stated, none of the prices I mention are out the door prices...)

I don't know anything about Nitto tires, so I turned to my old buddy, the introweb. I found this page with reviews of the Nitto NT555 tires: Nitto NT555 Tire Reviews (32 Reviews)

Pretty mixed reviews, but the general consensus seemed to be that handling on dry roads was good (4.3 / 5) overall handling good (4.3 / 5) comfort, noise and treadwear came in between 3.5 and 3.7 out of 5. I wouldn't drive in the snow, so the 1.5 rating for that is no worry. Wet roads? It could happen. The 3.0 / 5 rating is a bit low.

Amazon customer ratings for them are quite good: Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Nitto NT555 EXT High Performance Tire - 275/40R17 98Z

Anyway, I'm going to do some more thorough research in the next day or so and see if I can find other brands. If not, I'll more than likely go with the GY's, which will be about $1500 out the door.

Has anyone had any experience with these tires? Thanks again!

Nitto's seem like a good tire. Just put on my car $800.00 OTD but haven't even ridden on them yet except coming home from the shop. My Daughter just had them put on her Lexus as well as she was a service advisor for Toyota and people there were always happy with them so I went with her suggestion. Time will tell I guess.
 

LT4CE

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
168
Location
Northern California
Corvette
1996 LT4 CE
Well, after some additional research here and another forum, which shall remain nameless, I decided to go with the Nitto's. There were plenty of comments about them, almost all positive. I know that's anecdotal, but I don't think most of these posts were from anyone with an agenda, so I give them some credence.

I took the new Nitto's for an extended drive and they're definitely softer than the old Potenza's I was riding on before. My first reaction is that the steering is not quite as crisp as before, but those were hard tires, and in aggressive turns I felt like I was about to cut loose. I didn't really get a chance for anything aggressive with the Nitto's, but I imagine the grip will be far superior. So far so good...
 

Robertwav1

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Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
821
Location
Ocala, Florida
Corvette
1993 Blue
Enjoy the new kicks! It's my second time going to a softer ride from the rock hard GoodYears. Not disappointed so far....gotta get her on the highway for some exercise so hopefully my performance expectations will be met. Cheers!
 

LT4CE

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
168
Location
Northern California
Corvette
1996 LT4 CE
FWIW, I've had the Nitto's on for almost two weeks now, and I'm quite pleased. I've driven the Vette every day since putting them on, so I could get a good feel for the new rubber. I drive fairly aggressively on the street, nothing crazy though. After all, I am a law abiding citizen... The disclaimer is that I haven't really pushed them hard. I took them out on the highway to break them in a bit, and they handled well. Since then, they've gotten a decent workout, but nothing serious like an AutoX or anything like that. Overall though, the grip is noticeably good, and the handling is outstanding. When I accelerate hard, I can really feel them grabbing the road. Two thumbs up! :thumb :thumb
 

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