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Hi all,

I have a 1991 Esprit Turbo SE with original stock wheels, and am in need of a new set of tires. It's proving to be difficult/impossible to find a full set of matching tires that fit the wheels. It was suggested that if I had later model V8 wheels, it would be easier.

Does anyone have a set of Esprit V8 wheels for sale in or around southern California? Better yet, with tires on them?
 

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Hi all,

I have a 1991 Esprit Turbo SE with original stock wheels, and am in need of a new set of tires. It's proving to be difficult/impossible to find a full set of matching tires that fit the wheels. It was suggested that if I had later model V8 wheels, it would be easier.

Does anyone have a set of Esprit V8 wheels for sale in or around southern California? Better yet, with tires on them?
I just bought aftermarket wheels in V8 sizes and apparently did not do my homework !!! (Definitely did not do my homework...). If easy to find tires in matching sets is the goal, the stock V8 set is not your best bet. Do-able, but only slightly better than the SE sizing.

V8 sizes are 235/40/17 and 285/35/18 if you want to do a little of your own research!
 

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The original SE wheels have no good options.

The V8 do have a couple good options and several almost right options.

Best correct option for the V8 is the Nitto 05 which I love.

Sumitomo has an inexpensive option that I don't know.

Also several sets available if you change the rear to a 275-35-18 or go with a 285-30-18

I have a set of Saturn V8 wheels I am selling, bored for the SE with Goodyear F1 tires. The fronts are good, the rears are getting short and are 275-35-18. But I'm in Florida

BTW S4 wheels are another option, but same problems of front bore and minimal sets available.

Randy
 

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I am going through this/have just gone through it with my 1990 SE. Missed out on a correct set of 215/50/15 front and 245/50/16 BF Goodrich Sport Comp 2. It seems the fronts might have been the last available.

I was running 225/50/15 on the front and they work fine if run at a higher pressure. Otherwise the steering is really bad.

You can do the same with Toyo Proxes RA1 which are available in 225/50/15 and 255/50/16

There still are options with the S4 wheels including Dunlop Direzza which are great, unless it's cold
 

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You might also look at the Fallen 452's.

A low priced tire that has received excellent reviews for it's handling.
A few of us are using them on our Esprit's, and are very pleased.

Alan
 

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I have been using Falken 452's for a couple of years and I think for the price they are quite a good tire. I don't track the car but I do drive in a "spirited" fashion at times and I found the tires to be good handling, reasonable mileage life as well.
 

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some poor tire recommendations here guys. Falken 452's, nitto anything, bfgs, eagle f1's (the later 3 are ok just not really worth the money)? The dunlop direzzas are alright. the toyo's are the only ones listed that are actually worthy of being on a lotus. Dont cheap out on tires, unless you plan on daily driving the car and put a ton of miles on it. Tires are the best and most noticeable mod for any car. Im not going to look up your size but some other good tires.... michelin super sports, sport cups, pilot sports. bridgestone potenza re070 re11, continental sportcontact 2, 3, 5p. pirelli pzero anything are nice tires. sadly nexen n3000-9000 tires are damn good for the money, as are some sumitomo and hankooks. i love toyo r888 ofcourse there are others out there but dont cheap out on tires, dont worry about how long they last. even the r888's will last a good 5k miles, which most people dont put half of that one their lotus's a year. Im a professional mechanic and have experienced what ****ty tires do to a car, handling, braking, acceleration. They can turn a super car into a 70's muscle car.

whatever you do stay away at all costs from the falkens, yokohama, kumho. they get noisey as crap because non of them wear correctly regardless of alignment and dont handle for crap compared to any of the others.
 

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Some of your tire suggestions are terrible for the Esprit.

One of the worst tires I've ever run on a sports car,and I can furnish links to threads were others agree, is the Pirelli Zero anything,as you named them.I'd run anything before I'd ever put those on a sports car again
They have a very nasty habit of tram lining if you're entering a turn at speed and hit a bump.They lasted less then 2 weeks on my last 911.

In regards to Pilot sports,
Had those as fronts when I purchased my Esprit(they were new). Changing to 452's was a dramatic improvement in handling. They track better by a large margin.

Now, in regards to the 452's,
They are not quiet,nor are they a soft ride. 10 to 12 Thousand is about the most you can hope for. 8 is ,in my opinion. more likely. For me, that is about 3 years worth of driving in my Esprit.
Handling on the 452's, I'd be happy to point you to numerous threads(read in the 100's. One thread was 286 positive posts) regarding their handling. They are an incredible bargain for a great handling tire.

You stated you are a mechanic as your source of knowledge.In that case,I imagine I should state my background.

My father sent me to a drivers racing school at the age of eighteen. I am now 65.During the time between those ages, I have owned, and raced nothing but European sports cars
To name a few,numerous 911's, many Jags(XKE ,XK120),Lotus Europa,Ferrari 330GTC,The original Audi Quattro.I could go on and name others if you wish.
The number of tracks I've raced at is extensive to say the least.

So ,in conclusion, although you may have experience in the shop as to what wears well. My experience is, a life times worth of road and track use.


Alan
 

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Hi all, I'm new here, and new to Lotus in general.
On my SE (1990), I put on a set of V8 Wheels, namely the AWI's and a fresh set of Toyo Proxes T1-s in standard sizes .- 235/40-17 front and 285/35-18 rear. and they steer and grip nuch better than the standard se Wheels which had kumho something on.
No tramlining that I have noticed with the new Wheels and tires, but surely did on the standard Wheels. Geo is set up after the new Wheels.
I've run the Toyo T1-r and T1-s on my Corrado as well for a few sets, and while being a summer tire really, and not driving many miles per year, I'd say they are really quite good tires, and easy to get too around my waters.
I will also note, that I don't do track days, racing etc, but some relatively snappy back road driving in both cars. For track use I'd use another set of Wheels with track rubber compound for sure.

Just my 2p,
Jacques.
 

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I agree that tires are extremely important.
I think that generalizations about tire brands don't work well. There are clearly some quality differences in tires, but they are not strictly by brand.

For pure handling one must differentiate between the street, the wet and the track. Clearly most track tires are stickier, and poor in the rain. Most street tires can handle a little rain, but when you go to an all season tire you lose grip in the dry.

Most Esprits are driven in mostly dry, above freezing conditions. So I lean toward so called summer high performance tires.

Then tread life becomes a bit of an issue, as clearly softer tires tend to handle better, but wear faster.

So my personal experience driving several Esprits back to back, and swapping wheels and tires on the same car convinced me that the handling changes a lot with different tires that are adequate on paper. The Toyo Proxes in V8 size are good. The Goodyear F1 are not as good, the Nitto 05 is very good. Bridgestones were ok. In other sizes the Michelin Pilots are nice, the Yokohama SDrive is adequate. Continental DWS is Good.

For me I would buy the Nitto 05 again for the v8 size. And I have tracked that tire and been happy with it. It is also a great dry street tire with no tram lining and a fair price. Tread life is a little short.

Randy
 

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Some of your tire suggestions are terrible for the Esprit.

One of the worst tires I've ever run on a sports car,and I can furnish links to threads were others agree, is the Pirelli Zero anything,as you named them.I'd run anything before I'd ever put those on a sports car again
They have a very nasty habit of tram lining if you're entering a turn at speed and hit a bump.They lasted less then 2 weeks on my last 911.

In regards to Pilot sports,
Had those as fronts when I purchased my Esprit(they were new). Changing to 452's was a dramatic improvement in handling. They track better by a large margin.

Now, in regards to the 452's,
They are not quiet,nor are they a soft ride. 10 to 12 Thousand is about the most you can hope for. 8 is ,in my opinion. more likely. For me, that is about 3 years worth of driving in my Esprit.
Handling on the 452's, I'd be happy to point you to numerous threads(read in the 100's. One thread was 286 positive posts) regarding their handling. They are an incredible bargain for a great handling tire.

You stated you are a mechanic as your source of knowledge.In that case,I imagine I should state my background.

My father sent me to a drivers racing school at the age of eighteen. I am now 65.During the time between those ages, I have owned, and raced nothing but European sports cars
To name a few,numerous 911's, many Jags(XKE ,XK120),Lotus Europa,Ferrari 330GTC,The original Audi Quattro.I could go on and name others if you wish.
The number of tracks I've raced at is extensive to say the least.

So ,in conclusion, although you may have experience in the shop as to what wears well. My experience is, a life times worth of road and track use.


Alan
ya cant say i have track experience with most of those tires. Most of these cars wont ever see track use either and noisey ass tires can ruin the driving experience to the point of people thinking they have bad wheel bearings or other worn out parts. Im pretty shocked you'd prefer 452's over pilot sports but i've never had either on the track. Personally after running r-comps on my other cars on the street i'd never bother going to a roadcourse again with out them. 8k miles is almost 4yrs on most esprits which is about the time the rubber starts going to crap in the south. I've never seen abnormal driving or wear problems with pirelli's. Pirellis dont last for **** i'll give them that, but they are quiet and ride nice. The pilot sport a/s plus are total **** and tram line like no other. These conti contact dws's are almost as bad.
 

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Again, I'm 65, so my reaction time and driving ability are far from what they once were.

With that being said, some of the local Esprit guys will tell you , I can still keep the pace up on our mountain runs :)

Back to tires,

I did find the Pilot Sports to be decent tires. Not exceptional, but decent.

With the Pilots on front, and F1's on the rear, I found the handling to be lacking. The F1's in particular ,were extremely easy to break their road grip.

After spending way to

many hours researching tires, I ordered the 452's from a neighbor who owns a tire shop.

What I found was, increased tire noise. A rougher ride, but vastly improved handling. Improved enough

that it seemed like a different car.

I am sure that there are other tires out there, that handle as well.The Nitto 05 from what others have

posted as an example,but , Without experience with those tires, I



Have no opinion to offer.

Alan
 

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Ok, the OP's original question was looking for cheap V8 wheels hopefully with tires, but otherwise something that fits the original rims. The problem with most of the obvious suggestions is that you cannot get them in the correct sizes. This was the OP's first point.

Given that, the BF Goodrich work, but fronts no longer available, The Falken 452 work, and the Toyo Proxes RA1 work with front tire pressures bumped up due to 225 width. It is less about how good these are compared to pilots, Nitto etc. and more that they actually fit.

Talking about handling and steering feel etc. Pretty easy to ruin your experience with awful heavy steering that's completely out of character for a Lotus by running too wide a tire on the front IMO.

If there are other tires out there in the correct 215/50/15 and 245/50/16 sizes that are NOT just all season crap, I'd love to hear about them.


Cheers


Rob
 

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Sorry, but I don't know any, and I've been looking for 10 months to get a fresh set for my standard SE Wheels. Instead I finally gave up, and bought a set of v8 Wheels. Easy peasy to get good tires. And the car steer so great with the, absolutely no problems here. Still lovely Lotus steering, feeling and full feedback. A tiny bit harder on my rather fresh suspension and bushes.

Cheers,
Redfox.
 
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