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13" tires. The selction isn't so great. What did you put on your car ?

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JohnW63 John Williamson
Apple Valley, CA, USA   USA
As we put together our project car, the question keeps looming. What shall we do for wheels and tires ? It's hard to find wheel that fit the stock bolt pattern, but I haven't found a machinist to plug and redrill the stock hubs to 4 X 100mm, yet. If we stick with the 13" size, the tire selection is poor, but I know a lot of you have stuck with that size. What have you found that works well ?



Home of the 1969 GT6+ MK II resurrection project
and a sorry looking 1968 GT6+ parts car trying to stay whole.

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spitlist Avatar
spitlist Joe Curry
Sahuarita, Sahuarita, AZ, USA   USA
15 inch TR8 Panasport wheels with Kuhmo Supra Ecsta 205-55R15 tires.


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Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
Sears.

Hey,....at least I put the whitewall IN.

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joppamoto Mark R
Crestwood, KY, USA   USA
Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, BC, Canada   CAN
I fitted 175-70-13 Optimo H724's from Discount tire.

I won't say they are bad tires, the handling is predictable but not outstanding, they are quite, smooth, wear well but it is easy to break traction in the dry as well as the wet.

Prior to these I had some off brand performance type tires, they stuck to the road like glue right up to the point where they would let go completely. In the wet they were totally hopeless, almost like driving on ice.

I see lots of brands in the above size out there, but few reviews. What reviews I have seen have been on U.K. tyre sites.

clshore Carter Shore
Beverly Hills, FL, USA   USA
Basically three approaches, in order of increasing approximate cost:
1) Find a set of 14/15/16 inch wheels you like that have the same 4 x 3.75" PCD pattern, they are not rare, just uncommon.
2) Fit a set of wheel adaptors, most common ones are 4x100mm PCD, and then fit a suitable 14/15/16 inch wheels.
The 4x100mm PCD wheel is probably the most common size out there, available in steel and alloy.
3) Fit alternate hubs/have your hubs machined for some alternate PCD

For any wheel, no matter the rim diameter or width, they must ensure they have offset that will fit without tire rubbing.

blackbayjonesy Avatar
blackbayjonesy BlackBay Jonesy
Grimsby, ON, Canada   CAN
1967 Triumph Spitfire MkIII "SOLD... So Smurple"
1969 Triumph GT6+ (MkII) "SOLD... Still Not Enough Room"
1973 Triumph GT6 MkIII "SOLD... Sadly Not Enough Space"
1976 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "SOLD... Not Mine Anymore"    & more
I’m using Uniroyal Tiger Paws 175/70r13 which are still available

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IanF Ian Furqueron
Croydon, PA, USA   USA
There has many debates about tires over the years.

There are a couple of fairly good 14" tire options available and a couple of companies offer 14" wheels, assuming you are OK with the 8 spoke Minilite/Panasport style. If you don't want this style, options are limited, although since the Spitfire wheel is typically a 22 offset, installing an adapter can actually help as it opens up wheel options to higher offset FWD wheels in the +40 range. Granted, adapters can change the loads placed on suspension components (which I'll expand on later).

Dunlop sold the Z1 Star Spec in 185/60-14 which is fairly close to the OE height and only slightly wider. This was a very good 200TW autocross street tire about 10 years ago. It's a little behind the curve today, but will still be more than enough grip for a Spitfire. It should be noted, TireRack no longer shows this tire, so it may take some digging to find one. There are a few all-season options as well as one 100TW street/race tire if you really want to get crazy.

Slightly older and less grippy is a 300TW Yokohama S.Drive in 185/55-14. Depending on the wheel offset, the slightly shorter size may fit some cars better.

Likewise, there are a few 15" tire options. Go on TireRack and do a size search for 195/50-15. Then look at the Specs tab and look at tires in the sub-23" diameter range. It's easy to spend (waste) hours doing this...

One last (and maybe most important) thing to consider is these cars were not really design for modern, high performance tires and the level of grip-forces these tires are capable of putting on the rather spindly Spitfire suspension components. These cars were designed when low-grip bias ply tires were still commonly installed on less expensive cars. As tempted as I have been to go crazy with installing sticky tires, this reality makes me lean towards rather mundane all-season tire options. On the plus side, these tires are dirt cheap and average around $50 each or less.



"Lisle" - '72 GT6 basically stock and original. For now... T-9 conversion pending.
"Winnie the Poo" - '79 Spitfire 1500. Rubber to chrome bumper conversion, otherwise stock at the moment.

clshore Carter Shore
Beverly Hills, FL, USA   USA
In reply to # 1507065 by IanF There has many debates about tires over the years.

There are a couple of fairly good 14" tire options available and a couple of companies offer 14" wheels, assuming you are OK with the 8 spoke Minilite/Panasport style. If you don't want this style, options are limited, although since the Spitfire wheel is typically a 22 offset, installing an adapter can actually help as it opens up wheel options to higher offset FWD wheels in the +40 range. Granted, adapters can change the loads placed on suspension components (which I'll expand on later).

Dunlop sold the Z1 Star Spec in 185/60-14 which is fairly close to the OE height and only slightly wider. This was a very good 200TW autocross street tire about 10 years ago. It's a little behind the curve today, but will still be more than enough grip for a Spitfire. It should be noted, TireRack no longer shows this tire, so it may take some digging to find one. There are a few all-season options as well as one 100TW street/race tire if you really want to get crazy.

Slightly older and less grippy is a 300TW Yokohama S.Drive in 185/55-14. Depending on the wheel offset, the slightly shorter size may fit some cars better.

Likewise, there are a few 15" tire options. Go on TireRack and do a size search for 195/50-15. Then look at the Specs tab and look at tires in the sub-23" diameter range. It's easy to spend (waste) hours doing this...

One last (and maybe most important) thing to consider is these cars were not really design for modern, high performance tires and the level of grip-forces these tires are capable of putting on the rather spindly Spitfire suspension components. These cars were designed when low-grip bias ply tires were still commonly installed on less expensive cars. As tempted as I have been to go crazy with installing sticky tires, this reality makes me lean towards rather mundane all-season tire options. On the plus side, these tires are dirt cheap and average around $50 each or less.

Actually, the loads imposed on bearings and suspension components depends on the 'effective offset'.
What matters is the placement of the wheel/tire centerline vs stock location.
So a 1" (25 mm) adaptor used with a FWD wheel having +45 offset yields an 'effective offset' of +20.
Changes are limited by the clearance envelope inside the fenders, unless you want to resort to fender flares.

As for overloading the suspension by fatter stickier tires, while it's true that the original skinny tires imposed lower loads, the Spitfire suspension has proven to be remarkably robust.
The Alvis-Alford front spindle has been the basis of many racing and sports cars, Lotus and others, even used in F1 cars.
It has proven itself in years of SCCA racing, I raced a Spitfire for years using big fat sticky racing tires, and have long used up to 225 sized tires on my street cars in daily driver service.

Obviously, scrupulous maintenance is suggested, but nothing beyond paying attention to how the car is behaving.

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69gt6stopp Avatar
69gt6stopp Paul Stopp
Richmond, BC, Canada   CAN
Hi, I purchased the 185/60R 13 80H Federal SS-595 All season tires that have a good look to them. The price was very reasonable at $220 for the set of 4.
Have not had a chance to try them on the road yet but how bad can they be?
Regards,
Paul


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1964Spitfire Avatar
1964Spitfire Tim P
Santa Clara, CA, USA   USA
I've heard of some people fitting late model MGF wheels, if you are interested in going to 15". Likely you'll have to import them as I don't believe the MGF was sold in the USA.

http://www.triumphexp.com/phorum/read.php?5,1494751

VancouverSpits Avatar
VancouverSpits Gold Member Tony Armitstead
Vancouver, BC, Canada   CAN
We went with 13” as not wanting any issues


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N5329K Avatar
N5329K Silver Member Robin White
Pacific Grove, CA, USA   USA
Michelin Defenders 175/70 R13's.
Robin

ArcticOne Avatar
ArcticOne Silver Member John Bulmer
Medicine Hat, AB, Canada   CAN
Stayed with the 13 inch size on my GT6. Michelin Harmony was preferred butt I do not think they are available any more, so the latest tires are the Michelin Defender.. 175-70R13

No issues with them.



John B
Alberta, Canada

DON'T DREAM IT .... BE IT!

In the Igloo:

1968 Triumph GT6 MK I
1968 Triumph GT6 MK I (FE O2)
1988 SaaB 900S

Paul D Smith Avatar
Paul D Smith Paul S
Aiken, SC, USA   USA
I stayed with 13" and went with economical brand Westlake 175/70 R13.
Have had them on for about a year. I don't do any real hard driving. I just like to cruise around and have been very pleased with them.

https://www.amazon.com/Westlake-RP18-Touring-Radial-Tire/dp/B00MZB4KP8

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