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Tire Replacement-Wow, there is a difference


Well-known member
Jul 3, 2001
Auburndale, Florida
1969 Killer Shark
Just some FYI here for those that care. I had blown the rear tires off the 90. Of interesting note. The tires I had on the rear were used when Nikki got the car back in 98. We replaced two of them late last year and put the new ones on the front.

Since the front tires were basically perfect, I went to replace the two rear. Come to fine out BF Goodrich no longer makes the ZR Comp T/A and there are non left in stock anywhere. So, I was faced with either having a set of mixed up rubber, or just getting a new set.

The local Firestone dealer had a set of Potenza S02 tires on old inventory (these are out of production as well). Original list on these tires was around $250 per tire. He sold me a whole set at around $160 per tire. Still a darn shame considering my fronts were perfect. I listed the old fronts on the market place if anybody is interested.

Anyway, the new tires are AA traction rated. The BFGs were A rated and I was having a devil of a time getting traction. Well, there is a difference. These new tires stick like a rock. I can punch the throttle and don't have the same wheel spin problems.

So, whatever was done to the rubber in these new tires is different and is better.

Here are some pics. They have a strange sidewall.
Here is a quick shot of the tread pattern.

I don't think I will race with these on Sunday. I have an old set of 1985 16" rims with some worn down BFGs. I need to make these new tires last a LONG time if I don't end up selling the car first.

Oh, they are very quiet on the highway and the steering response is tighter and smoother.
Ain't it amazing what these new compounds are like. When I did rubber around the 85 and 82 it was like driving a new car.:Twist
It's a shame they're discontinuing the S02's. I've heard nothing but good about them from Subaru WRX/RS owners and was hoping to get a set soon for my Vette. The S03's aren't supposed to be as good.

I need a set of 17" rims :(

You will learn to really like those WEIRD side walls. The rubber bead is a rim protector that really works well! I know others who have that type of side wall and really like them.

Bill C
Got my first full run on them to and from work and they are really great tires. Very quiet, smooth, and they are sticky. Nikki does not care for the sidewall look at all.

The tire store told me the microscopic weave of the rubber fibers is cross hatched instead of in a line and it makes them stronger or something like that.

The truth is, I just needed tires, and was prepared to stick almost anything on the car at the moment. My rear tires were so bad. The right rear was "melted" to the rim. I have never thought of myself as a person that abuses his cars. However, the tire installer came and got me to show me how the right rear had been "melted" to the rim and as a result they struggled to get that tire off. He said the rubber gets very hard like that and inside the tire was the remains of rubber that looked like you had heated it with a torch and then let it air dry. They had already struggled witht he left rear for some time before that. At one time there were three guys trying to get it to stretch over the bead!

I was hard on these rear tires at the last autocross. So maybe?

Anyway, so far I am thrilled with the deal I got and the performance. It is raining right now, and may all weekend. We are hoping for sunshine on Sunday so we can race. I plan on throwing my old stock 16" 85 rims on there letting them hang out and melt down:cool
New rubber

My new rubber is on a truck from Texas, thanks to Whitey. :w

I ordered up a set of Dunlop SP5000's. As I drive my vette every day, I needed an all season tire up here in Denver. They should be here middle of this week.

Shopping around helps. The Goodyear dealer's original quote on these things was $253 each. Discount tire two blocks away sold them for $160. When I told him that, he went back, and made some calls. Final price with coupons, about $158 each-out the door. (mounted, lifetime balance/rotation, new stems, free front end alignment, and tax)

Yeah, free front alignment. The Goodyear dealer here gives a complimentary front end alignment with the purchase of four tires.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch!!!!!

You need a 4 WHEEL ALIGNMENT not just a two wheel. Ask them how much more they will charge you for the extra two wheels! If they dont have the ability to do a 4 wheel or dont know how, I would pass it up and maybe ask them to discount the value of the 2 wheel alignment off the price of the tires.

Just making sure you get what you think your getting!

Bill C
They are going to check the rear as well. They will call if the rear is in need of adjustment. I know it probably will, especially since I am going to bring it up off the ground (too low, can't clear speed bumps and some driveways). I already checked, and they have the shims in the shop already.

Only thing is if I should provide them with other than stock alignment specs. Ideas?

mileage on the S02

One of my cars (Honda S200) came with these and we only got about 10,000-12,000 on them. The dealer said this is normal for these tires. I replaced them with the S03s. They do hold the road very well though.
Just had to put a new mustang back in the corral. Nikki was helping me tweak the puter as we are going to race it on Saturday. We left the light. I heard a faint sound of tires, and assume it was coming from the stang. Nikki said it was my tires spinning. It was all I could do to hold on to the wheel and watch for traffic (I know, stupid, stupid, stupid--).

Anyway, so now I just don't know about these tires for sure. They really seem to stick better than the BFG, but who knows?
I don't have long term experience, but over the last two months I have been very happy with my Dunlop SP 5000's. They stick well, don't spin, get good wet traction, but seem pretty soft.

Chris N

PS They are not run flats and I have the delete spare option. Should I get a plug kit and a 12v compressor? I would replace them before they were totally worn out of course.
Chris N said:
I don't have long term experience, but over the last two months I have been very happy with my Dunlop SP 5000's. They stick well, don't spin, get good wet traction, but seem pretty soft.

Chris N

PS They are not run flats and I have the delete spare option. Should I get a plug kit and a 12v compressor? I would replace them before they were totally worn out of course.

Hey Chris N, you are not going to believe this. Years ago I bought a set of Dunlap D40 M2 tires for my 85 (like in 89). I was in college and had to finance the tires from the local store. The credit card they offered only went up to $600, so they had to issue me two. I was making double payments at 20 something percent interest and getting nowhere paying them off.

Then, while jacking up and down on the car because the transmission had blown and I was the one changing it, I noticed that my tires were made in JAPAN and said so in bold type on each tire. For some reason I freaked out about that and had them replaced as soon as I got the transmission back in there. I actually gave them away to a friend for his mom's 86 Corvette.

As I have become older (not wiser) I realize half that car came from Japan, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Brazil, etc. etc. The worst part is I still owed money on those tires!

Oh, they were excellent though in traction, treadwear, and noise.

Got anything else you want to give away????? :eyerole Heeee Heeee!

Those were EXCELLENT tires back in those days!! Sorry you had to learn the hard way!!

I replaced the RUN-CRAPS on the 98 with Michelin,, Pilot Sports!! Man what a difference that made. Now it REALLY feels like a sports car!!!:upthumbs Alot of the road noise went away also!

I would recommend a 12 volt pump if you go with that mod.

I want to find a "RIM",, any rim will do ,,that will take the width and diameter tire on the 98 and mount a trash tire on it. If I'm out "locally" and the tire gets damaged bad enough that it wont hold air, I can get some one to fetch me the "GET HOME TIRE" and I wont need to call a wrecker! ;)

Bill C
Bill, there was a 1988 at the Autocross event on Saturday with 18" centerline wheels and Michelin Pilot Sports. He stuck like glue. I worked the track while he was running and was very impressed with the sticking capability of that car. Not to mention, it was his first event and he beat me by almost 2 seconds.

I have to agree with you. I will be looking at the Michelin for the 69 project.

The SO2's did not do a bad job at all yesterday. They got hot, and I did not have as much of an understeer problem as before.
Try a little" track bite" on the tires and they will get R E A L stickey!!! ;) You WON"T have to worry about traction then!!!

I've got AVON's on my 85 and ther work REAL good for the price that I paid for them. I got them at Town Fair for $170 each. I sware they are as good as tires that cost $200-$300 each. Sometimes you have to wonder who REALLY makes these off brand things!

Its like Wall Mart oil,,, I bet it's made by Mobile, Havalin or Castrol! It does a GREAT gob in my Volvo and my truck! I bet their Full Synthetic is just as good as Mobile-1,,,,, BUT,,,,,,,,,, I dont have the nads to try it in the 98!

Bill C
I use Potanza s02s.........and I turn 1.98 to 2.01 60 foot times with a very short burnout, and they do great in the rain. 285/40/ZR17s
Trance_LT4 said:
I use Potanza s02s.........and I turn 1.98 to 2.01 60 foot times with a very short burnout, and they do great in the rain. 285/40/ZR17s

Wow, that is quick. Is that with or without traction control activated?
Avon Tyres

Avon are a big Brand Name in Europe with several top manufactures fitting them as original, the most notable at one time was RR/Bently ans at one time Jaguar. They are good quality tyres and I had a set on a 79 T/A a while ago as the sold a 235/70 which was just right for the T/A`s 8" rims and the correct size of American tyres were hard to come by.

Cooper-Avon Tyres Limited of Melksham, Wiltshire, owned by the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company of Findlay, Ohio, U.S.A. has more than a century’s experience at the leading edge of tyre technology.

Avon has long been a pioneer in tyre production. Messrs. E. G. Browne and J. C. Margetson started the company in 1885 and the first rubber products were made in a former cloth mill at Limpley Stoke. Business flourished; the premises were outgrown and five years later production was moved eight miles to the banks of the River Avon in Melksham. The company had a workforce of twenty men and four women, who worked shifts of 12 and 11 hours respectively.

At first only solid tyres were manufactured, but in March 1897 the directors discussed developing pneumatic tyres. This showed considerable foresight, for at that time there were fewer than 50 cars of British manufacture on the road. A pneumatic tyre shop was built in 1901.

The company expanded steadily. In 1902, three new rubber compound mixers were acquired and nearly three acres of adjacent land acquired for expansion. In 1903, the first set of 29 beaded edge motor tyre moulds was acquired, and in 1906 Avon tyres were advertised for the first time in Autocar.

Business continued to boom, with cycle tyres selling particularly well and the number of employees rising to 300. In 1908, the company adopted the Trilithon (Stonehenge) trademark with the phrase "Symbols of Endurance" to emphasise the durability of Avon products.

At the outbreak of the First World War, Avon had 1,000 employees. Throughout the conflict, its products were used on almost every type of military vehicle.

Avon was among the first companies to manufacture a popular cord motor tyre, which helped it weather the post-war slump in the 1920’s. It was a consistent innovator in many aspects of tyre manufacture.

In 1933, Avon shares were issued on the London Stock Exchange – the same year as its tyres were first chosen as original equipment on Rolls-Royce cars – a relationship, which continues to this day.

The company was again at full stretch throughout the Second World War employing, by 1941, a total of 2,500 in Melksham in all its enterprises. Post-war rapid growth and, in 1953, a tyre remoulding factory was opened at Nairobi, Kenya and later extended to take in the production of cycle tyres and footwear components.

In 1956, the company undertook what was then the largest project in its history – a complete modernisation and expansion of tyre manufacturing. This was carried out over five years and productivity increased 50%.

In 1957, Avon bought Henley Tyre & Rubber Company of Gravesend, Kent and the manufacture of Henley tyres was transferred to Melksham. Meanwhile, entry into the world of motorcycle and motorcycle racing brought rich rewards. From 1958-1963, every world solo motorcycle champion chose Avon tyres.

By 1961, the Melksham plant was producing 1.5 million tyres annually and wide acclaim was won by the development of a cling rubber tread compound for car and motorcycle tyres which provided greatly improved wet road grip.

By acquiring the Normeir Tyre Company in 1963, Avon became involved in distribution for the first time. This chain, strengthened by future acquisitions, was to form the basis of the Motorway Tyres and Accessories network, which was later sold to Sumitomo.

In August 1966 the future of the company was threatened by a large fire, which became known as the "Great Fire of Melksham". The fire raged for hours, destroying the finished goods store and threatening the whole factory, yet production was resumed in 24 hours.

In the 1970’s Avon was at the fore of radial tyre development which, with their much greater durability, first complemented then superseded their crossply predecessors. The early 1980’s saw a period of rationalisation and efficiency in the business as Avon sought to combat the international recession.

In 1991, a major review of tyre manufacturing resulted in the creation of key businesses. Four separate focused factories were created, with Avon Racing and Avon Technical Services – which handles overseas tyre technology sales – also run as separate businesses.

Throughout this period of change the company has maintained its position at the cutting edge of technical innovation, offering its accumulated expertise to developing countries as they seek to establish their own tyre and rubber industrial infrastructures. In 1994, Avon Technical Services (now Cooper-Avon International Development Limited) received an award from the Worldaware organisation to mark its long-term commitment to the Third World.

In 1997, Avon Tyres Limited was acquired by Cooper Tire & Rubber Company of Findlay, Ohio. The introduction of the new company name and logo marked the beginning of a new era for what was now Cooper-Avon Tyres Limited.

Cooper-Avon Tyres Limited remains a producer of high quality niche tyres. Avon tyres are fitted as original equipment to many of the world’s finest cars including Rolls Royce, Caterham, Morgan, Westfield, Bristol and Land Rover.

The company has also been to the fore in developing and implementing such innovatory concepts as Total Quality Management and National Vocational Qualifications. The company was the first tyre manufacturer to attain both the British Standards BS5750 and the International ISO 9001 accreditations for its products and working methods.

An ongoing programme of capital investment in the tyre factory emphasises a commitment to world-class quality, efficiency and continuous improvement. Following the success of phase one, phase two of expansion is nearly complete. Cooper-Avon Tyres now has nine additional hydraulic presses and two new VMI tyre-building machines, capable of handling both Z-rated car tyres and the largest 4x4 tyres. These have been backed up with other machines to allow record weekly outputs of car and motorcycle tyres.

Despite international competition, exports have rapidly increased. Avon sells its tyres in more than 70 countries. In 1995 it penetrated the Latin American market for the first time, also establishing a foothold in the Czech Republic and Hungary. Almost half of Avon tyres produced are now sold abroad. As part of its international expansion, the company has established a specialist sales and distribution company, Cooper-Avon Pneumatiques at Compiègne near Paris. This is in addition to existing subsidiaries, Cooper-Avon Reifen in Germany and Cooper-Avon Suisse in Switzerland.

Cooper-Avon’s flourishing Racing Division continues to win important new business throughout the world of international motorsport and remains exclusive supplier of race tyres to F.I.A. Formula 3000 and the main supplier to Formula Ford series around the world. The Formula 3000 championship, second only in importance to Formula One in single-seater racing, has been running on Avon tyres since 1986.

In the UK, tyre supply agreements exist with British F3, Formula Palmer Audi, Formula Ford, Formula Vauxhall, Ford Fiesta, Caterham, National Hot Rods and Stockcar Racing. Leading positions are held by Avon drivers in many European single-seater, saloon, rallycross and oval circuit classes.

The popularity and reputation of Avon racing tyres continues to grow as more than 100 overall Championship winners are regularly recorded each year. Tyres are supplied throughout Europe and Worldwide. The company has developed over 200 sizes of competition tyres, including 60 radial and 105 crossply racing slick sizes. The choice of types of competition tyres is even greater, the current range extending to over 1000 specifications to cover a myriad of racing cars and motorsport activity.

Cooper-Avon Tyres Limited is the main contracted tyre supplier to the majority of national Formula Ford championships throughout the world. All Formula Ford contenders run on Avon-shod cars in Australia, Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eire, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Formula Ford remains the most popular racing car series for young professional drivers embarking on their single-seater road racing career, with the ultimate goal of becoming a Formula 1 or Champ Car driver within 4 years.

Avon Tyres Racing also remains as exclusive supplier to the Formula Vauxhall Championship.

Cooper-Avon’s continuing capacity for innovation in motorcycle tyres is exemplified by the Azaro range of Z-rated tyres, designed to meet the needs of riders of supersport / sport and sport touring machines. These tyres give unprecedented levels of grip and performance through Cooper-Avon’s unique Variable Belt Density technology.

An industry first is the introduction in the UK and Republic of Ireland of a Road Hazard Warranty, which offers a replacement tyre, free of charge, in the event that a new Azaro is punctured, or irreparably damaged in the early part of its life.

The company’s reputation as a producer of top quality Original Equipment motorcycle tyres has been confirmed Triumph motorcycles, who selected Avon radial tyres for fitment to their Thunderbird Sport motorcycle. The machine earned praise for its handling and power-delivery and the tyres were chosen by Triumph engineers after an intensive development programme, involving Avon’s technical and racing experts.
That is without the traction control on. I always turn it off for drag racing, cause it bogs you down. I do about a 4 second burnout to clean off the tires, and quickly get up to the staging lights. Once staged, I bring the revs up to about 3000 rpms. When I'm ready to go (about the 3rd amber light) I dump the clutch and ease into the rest of the throttle. Wheel spin is ok, as long as it comes after that initial jump forward. Zero wheelspin is best, but you have to be on the verge of spinning.

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