Answer to the lack of a spare tire. - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Answer to the lack of a spare tire.

A major problem I have with my Elise is the lack of a proper emergency spare tire. The can of Fix-a-Flat in the trunk as supplied by Lotus leaves a lot to be desired especially if you are far away from home or a repair shop and you end up with a blown and shredded tire. After much time and research, help from a fellow LTer (thanks Cegan09), and chasing parts down, I finally have a viable spare wheel/tire in the trunk of my Elise.

The photos below show the marriage of a collapsible spare tire from a Porsche mated to a front base Lotus Elise/Exige wheel. As you can see from this first photo, in the collapsed state it fits perfectly in the trunk of my Elise even with the Sector 111 bootie and all the carpet and padding back there.

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Here is a side view showing how much extra room is available around the wheel and if the spare is installed upside down, you can store things inside of it.

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Here are photos of a collapsed spare next to an inflated one. You can see how much they grow when you inflate them as well as how strange they look.

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The only drawbacks I can see are the loss of some trunk space, and the need to carry a small 12V plug in compressor as well as a small jack and a wrench to deal with the lug bolts. Also if you are weight conscious, this assembly weighs 31 lbs. These drawbacks pale considerably in my book compared to being out on the road miles from anywhere with a shredded tire and hoping to find a towing service that won't damage the car. At least with this set up you can change the tire and drive the car to the nearest repair shop. The top speed for these tires is 50 mph, but I read of a guy driving his 911 over 2,000 miles on his spare at 65 mph over the course of a week before he got his tire replaced. I wouldn't recommend doing that, but just being able to drive to a repair shop or back home after a catastrophic tire failure works for me.
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post #2 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 04:36 PM
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Wouldn't they rub inflated?

2005 Elise, Storm Ti
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post #3 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 04:47 PM
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That's pretty cool. Does the deflatable have a tube, or is it somehow sealed to the rim? How much did the tire itself cost?

Thanks

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post #4 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 04:55 PM
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I've actually never seen that tire inflated, kinda cool. I recently learned that some NSX's had that style tire as well. Glad the combination worked out for you.
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post #5 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 05:10 PM
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But......if you have a passenger.........what do you do with the flat tire

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post #6 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 05:14 PM
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That depends on what or who you would rather leave at the scene... the tire or passenger.

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post #7 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 05:19 PM
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Selling a 6" LSS wheel here:

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f95/...hipping-70545/

2006 Elise, Ardent Red, Black Pack, LSS wheels, shocks and springs.
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post #8 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Wouldn't they rub inflated?
Nope, they are only a little taller than the stock tire. Inflated they are 165/70-16 tires.
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post #9 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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But......if you have a passenger.........what do you do with the flat tire
The flat goes in a garbage bag and the passenger gets to hold it on their lap.
Hey, it's about time the passenger did something except just sit there and enjoy the ride!
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post #10 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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That's pretty cool. Does the deflatable have a tube, or is it somehow sealed to the rim? How much did the tire itself cost?

Thanks
The deflatable does not have a tube and it has standard beads to seal to the rim. Where it all gets weird is when the sidewalls fold inward and the whole tire collapses like an accordion. The tires are generally not sold separate of the Porsche wheel, but there are couple of Porsche guys here in the US that know how to remove them from the original spare wheel. The tires were the hardest to get, but I finally found these two. A 16" alloy Porsche spare wheel with a collapsible tire usually goes for about $150 and up. PM me if you are interested in a tire and I can see what I can do for you on a price now that I have some contacts in the Porsche world.
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post #11 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 06:07 PM
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That is an amazing solution - congratulations!

On the other hand though - when was the last time you had a flat tyre and would have needed this solution?

Last edited by Aedo; 03-30-2009 at 06:16 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #12 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 06:12 PM
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That is an amazing solution - congratulations!

On the other hand though - when was the last time you had a flat tyre and would have needed this solution?
Carrying one and never using it would make carrying it worthwhile.

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post #13 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tesprit View Post
The deflatable does not have a tube and it has standard beads to seal to the rim. Where it all gets weird is when the sidewalls fold inward and the whole tire collapses like an accordion. The tires are generally not sold separate of the Porsche wheel, but there are couple of Porsche guys here in the US that know how to remove them from the original spare wheel. The tires were the hardest to get, but I finally found these two. A 16" alloy Porsche spare wheel with a collapsible tire usually goes for about $150 and up. PM me if you are interested in a tire and I can see what I can do for you on a price now that I have some contacts in the Porsche world.
Thanks for the offer, but I was mainly just curious. So is it partially inflated when collapsed? I'd assume it needs some pressure to keep the bead sealed.

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post #14 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the offer, but I was mainly just curious. So is it partially inflated when collapsed? I'd assume it needs some pressure to keep the bead sealed.
Here is the really interesting thing about these strange tires: there is absolutely no air pressure at all when the tire is collapsed and the inward folding of the sidewalls keeps outward pressure on the beads to keep them on the rim and sealed for the next inflation.
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post #15 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 06:35 PM
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Dan,

Is that spare secured in the boot at all (other than by the bootie)? I'm thinking about projectile motion into the clam for anyone without a bootie . It's not quite as heavy, IIRC, as the stock battery but seems like it could be a source of star cracks or worse if it was loose.
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post #16 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 06:40 PM
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I know at least when i was test fitting, it had very little room to move, and it didn't seem to want to, though amazing things happen at high speeds. I wonder if a simple bracket couldn't be mocked up to mount on the battery mount points to hold it.
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post #17 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 06:42 PM
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Why not just put a real tire on it?
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post #18 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cegan09 View Post
I know at least when i was test fitting, it had very little room to move, and it didn't seem to want to, though amazing things happen at high speeds. I wonder if a simple bracket couldn't be mocked up to mount on the battery mount points to hold it.
Or a couple of nutserts and a backing plate to attach the bracket .
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post #19 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 06:43 PM
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Why not just put a real tire on it?
good luck getting that in your boot I would think it nearly impossible, although I have never tried...
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post #20 of 95 (permalink) Old 03-30-2009, 06:45 PM
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Right. I guess a tire that won't actually rotate under the cars weight is better?
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