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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, i'm going to put my tin hat on right off the bat for this thread......

I'm considering some new tires for my V8. I have the OZ Nova wheels and currently have a set of Sumitomo's on all around. These came with the car and wouldn't really be my choice. They've been ok, but are the cheap option
Fronts 235/40 ZR17 90W
Rears 285/35 ZR18 97W

I've searched through the previous threads on this subject, some of which are almost 10 years old and probably contain out of date info.

I'd prefer to keep the same brand on front and back, but options are obviously limited. What are the parameters of size tire I can use on these wheels?
What are you guys wearing on your Esprit's these days?
Any advice would be greatly received.

Cheers

Adam
 

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The 235 40 17 is the killer - there is like 3 companies that make that size.

I think you can run a 245/40/R17 on the front of the v8s (95 and later cars). That adds a lot of options as its a pretty common size. But I dont know for sure on the bigger tire.
 

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So I have OZ Futura on my 1997 V8 and just installed new tires last week. Went with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2, 255/40-17 in front and 285/35-18 in rear. Discount Tires could not find a matching set of Michelin in the original staggered widths. While you can definitely see the width difference on the wheel itself using 255, what really "bothers" me is how much more it sticks out past the front fender (not at the top of the wheel well). Just that much more air hitting the wheel has got to increase wind noise, etc. So now I'm looking for a front splitter that will direct the air around the wheel well, something like this Challenger splitter.
 

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CookieGuy, I am in the same position as you. Went to British Invasion in Stowe, Vermont this weekend, 1/2 way up, blew the back left tire on my 04 Esprit. Had to flat bed it home 75 miles, very sad.... :-( I have the same Sumitomo's that you have, may I ask what it is you do not like about the Sumitomos and what you are trying to capture with a different manufacturer? Looking for some insight as I am going to replace all 4 tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi MMaine, the Sumitomo's came with the car and are a couple of years old. I haven't had any particular issues with them, but I'm trying to do my homework in readiness for a change out. I definitely want the same brand on all 4 corners.
The cost bothers me. I'm a big believer in you 'get what you pay for' and in that respect, the Sumi's are 'cheap'. How old were your tires when you had a blow out? What was the cause?

I think I'll end up going with the Michelin Super Sports and size up slightly on the fronts. They seem to have some good reviews.
Anyone here running their V8 on them want to chime in on how they ride?
Thans
Adam
 

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I have been looking into replacing my tires, they are Yoko's and they are old. Tire Rack has a set of Summi's that are the correct sizes and the price is good, $550.94 for all 4 plus shipping. What happened to your rear tire and how old are they? Were you checking tire pressures? Summi is one of the few remaining manufacturers still making tires that will fit our cars front and rear but if they aren't any good I will have to keep looking.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Esprit 2004 Tires

I think I'll end up going with the Michelin Super Sports and size up slightly on the fronts. They seem to have some good reviews.
Anyone here running their V8 on them want to chime in on how they ride?
Thans
Adam[/quote]
Hello Adam and good evening.
I bought the car in 2018 and at that time, i believe the tires were 4-5 years old. I checked with 3 independent, reputable Lotus dealers, (Vancouver Lotus, RS Motorsports and recently, Lotus if Waltham, MA. All 3 independently inspected the tires and said the tread looked good and there were no signs if cracking or age releated wear on any of the tires. So i drove them for a year with no issues or pulling. The tire failure on the back rear left tire was not a puncture but looked like a split right down the right side of the wheel. I was only traveling about 50-60 mph when it happened and I felt it immediately and pulled over. Could have been lower than normal air pressure in the tire but I enjoyed my experience with them. I thought new tires would run me 1000-1200.00 dollars but like JT Realty, checked tire rack and his price is correct. While Sumitomo's may be cheap in price, I do not feel they are a cheap tire. I have driven my Esprit in dry weather, hot and very cold (welcome to Maine!!) and also got caught in an unexpected rain storm. No issues with handling, I have not been able to break the rear end loose and i like to take turns on 2 wheels. :)
I prefer to have the same manufacturer on all 4 wheels and am receptive to recommendations as long as they are backed up by experience with the tire in question; that being said I will probably replace the tires with Sumitomo's unless I hear a compelling reason to go with another manufacturer.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the info MMaine. I too have not had any issue with my Sumi's so far. They have been an ok tire.
However, if I'd had a rear tire split at 50mph for no apparent reason, I'd be extremely hesitant to purchase the same brand again.
Let me know hw the new Sumi's feel when you put them on. I'd be interested to hear a comparison between old and new ones.
Thanks
Adam
 

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if I'd had a rear tire split at 50mph for no apparent reason, I'd be extremely hesitant to purchase the same brand again.
In that case, you would not be able to buy ANY tires! :shrug:




Probably, the issue was age. 2004 - 2019 = 15 year old rubber! :surprise: Proves that you can't visually determine tire 'health'.


Just as a point of reference:

blowout_1_.jpg

This is a picture of a 30-series 2 year old tire. (Michelin, in case you have difficulty reading the sidewall, LOL) :nerd: It suddenly lost air on a highway (suspected road debris), and before the owner could navigate past the traffic to an off-ramp, THIS happened.:eek:

Point is, that low PSI (and increased flexing) can make rubber fail/give up catastrophically and rapidly, especially after years of age (and, untold heat cycles).

Hey, we change our timing belts on a TIME basis to prevent these failures. Tires can fail the same way.:no:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
'Probably, the issue was age. 2004 - 2019 = 15 year old rubber! :surprise: Proves that you can't visually determine tire 'health'.'

The poster had noted that he had bought his car in 2018 and the tires were 4-5 years old. Worse case scenario, that would make them 6 years old.

I guess it'll always be a matter of personal opinion as to which brands are good and bad.
'Buy nice, or buy twice' works well for me, so I would really have to think hard about putting Sumi's on mine again.
 

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At this point I will wait till Spring to replace my tires, I don't use the car over the winter. Unless anyone has a horror story about the Sumi's I will probably get them (if they are still available!). Yes, that tire is shredded and the rim is damaged but it could have been much worse. If it happens to the front left tire on a 2 lane road it can cause a head-on collision. In that case a blown tire is the least of your problems! For everyone still running on old rubber (and even newer tires), at least check the air pressure once a month. This time of year is especially dangerous because as the temperatures go down you lose pressure. The rule-of-thumb is every 10 degrees drops the tire pressure 1 lb. You can also estimate you lose about 1 lb every month. You can see in just a few cold months you can lose a lot of pressure. Driving on a tire with low pressure, if flexes a LOT more as it turns and that causes heat and that can weaken the tire to the point of failure. The other problem with low pressure is when you turn the tire tries to "roll" or tuck under and if the pressure is low enough it can come off the bead and suddenly lose ALL of the air. Don't forget, at high speeds you are supposed to go with higher pressures just because of this.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 255/40-18

Do you have a photo of your V8 showing how your new tires look flopshot?
Sorry, was traveling for work and couldn't take photos. Here is the front tire 255/40-18 on the OZ Futura wheel.

BTW, my speedometer was already slow by 8-10mph (when traveling at 70mph, it reads as 60mph) so have no real idea how much impact the larger diameter tire is having on the speedometer.
 

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'Probably, the issue was age. 2004 - 2019 = 15 year old rubber! :surprise: Proves that you can't visually determine tire 'health'.'

The poster had noted that he had bought his car in 2018 and the tires were 4-5 years old. Worse case scenario, that would make them 6 years old.

I guess it'll always be a matter of personal opinion as to which brands are good and bad.
'Buy nice, or buy twice' works well for me, so I would really have to think hard about putting Sumi's on mine again.
While it is true that you cannot visually determine tire health due to possible unseen defects, I do believe that a qualified person or dealer with enough experience in tires for these types of cars can draw an educated conclusion (not guess) as to the health of a tire. It is important to note that I did not ask 3 random strangers about the condition of my tires but 3 independent Lotus dealers in different parts of the country (including one in another country) who specifically and are intimately familair with Esprits. In addition to their opinions, I am the person that will ultimately drive the car and if it doesn't look or smell right, I would not drive it. Short of X-Raying the tire or bringing it back to the factory for evaluation, any number of possibilities could have happened to cause the failure. All of this being said, I think it was a combination of age and possibly (but not sure) low tire pressure. The car did not demonstrate any of the effects of low tire pressure when I was driving it but nevertheless, my gut says this may have played a role but not the whole role.

OK, now that I have beaten that dead horse, I think you have to find the tire that fits your driving style. If you ultimately end up with something different than the Sumitomo's, please let me know as I like to hear different experiences. Lotus of Waltham, MA is installing the tires on my car as we speak, I will have a solid 150 miles of driving to test the new tires out on I-95 and the backroads of New Hampshire and Maine. I look forward to breaking them in.

I am wondering if there are any alternate TPMS sensors that I can install as the one that came with the car is way past its useful life expectancy.
JT, I will send you a reply when I get the new tires and let you know how they feel.

Best regards,
Mark (MMAINE)

PS, next year is the 30th anniversary of British Invasion in Stowe, Vermont. Only British cars are allowed in the show, mine was to be the only Esprit until a flat tire derailed my plans. So close, yet so far..... :-( If anyone is near New England in September of next year, a very fun way to speand the weekend. You can Google "British Invasion, Stowe VT" for details.
 

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try a set of Toyo Proxes T1-s. They come in 235/40-17 and 285/35-18. I'm on my third set now. They steer, brake and stick well.
Kind regards,
Redfox.
 

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The health of an old tire cannot be determined by a visual examination. It can look fine, have plenty of tread, no cracking or "dry rot" yet still be no good. As tires age the rubber gets less flexible. That means it will give a harsher ride and not grip as well. Because the rubber won't flex easily it will still flex but with the stiffer flexing it generates more heat. More heat means less load capacity. Go to the tire manufacturer's website and see what they recommend. You will see that most say that when the tread is worn to the wear bar OR 7 years after the date code imprinted into the tire. As to changing tire sizes and messing with the accuracy of the speedometer and odometer, on the later Esprits with the electronic speedometer, you can change the # of pulses per mile so you can get the speedo and odo very accurate.
 
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