tyres for MGV8s
Replacement tyres for a classic sportscar like the MGBGTV8 and
MG RV8 has been a topic often discussed by V8 enthusiasts. This
note provides links to comments from several V8 Bulletin Board
threads on the topic. (26.6.09)
V8BB thread started by Matt Jones on 9.11.08
I recently replaced the original Michelins with a set of Goodyear
Excellence tyres in 205/65/15 94-V rated on my 1995 model RV8
with 25,000 miles. For a start they seemed good value at £55
each and to say they transformed the car wouldn't be an understatement.
I've never known a change of tyres have such an effect on a
Firstly, after 1,000 miles in all weathers one of the first
things I noticed was the noise, or lack of it. To be specific,
the booming noise I used to get when cruisng between 1800 and
2500rpm had completely gone, the car was now much, much quieter
at all speeds but expecially noticeable at 60-70mph on the motorways.
As noticeable and probably best of all was the improved traction.
The car used to have pretty poor grip levels and instant breakaway,
especially in the wet. In addition, it aquaplaned alarmingly
at fairly low speeds. All these problems have disappeared with
the new tyres. It now requires a decisive effort to break traction
and when the limit is exceeded the breakaway is quite progressive
and manageable. I recently drove it 200 miles up the motorway
in torrential rain, a prospect that would've terrified me with
the old tyres. However, these tyres really shifted water and
heavy standing water at 60-70mph caused no aquaplaning at all
and really inspired confidence.
The car is also considerably more comfortable. It used to crash
over any slight imperfection whereas now, although it still
doesn't feel like a limo, it absorbs most bumps with a thud
rather than a crash. If I had got this improvement from a new
set of shocks I'd be very happy, so to get it from just putting
new tyres on is amazing. Steering is noticeably lighter too
and although I haven't really checked the MPG it looks like
I'm getting between a 10%-15% better return.
All this just from changing tyres and a total outlay of £250
inc fitting! I kept the old Michelins, they have between 1-2mm
tread left above the wear indicators if anyone's interested
Rob Collier responded: I would go as far to say that
RV8s with original tyres and shock absorbers are a lethal combination
and £250 spent on tyres and £500 on Spax shocks
is the best investment you can make. My Continental Sport Contact
2s seem to suit the RV8 well.
Bryan Shacklady noted: If those tyres are really the
actual originals from 1995, send them to the tyre recycling
centre. Regardless of mileage, any tyre that is more than six
years old needs to be considered with a very careful view to
replacement - mileage is not the only ageing factor. My mother
recently had eight year old tyres on her Nissan Primera, and
eventually I put my foot down and insisted that they be replaced
even though they had four mm plus of tread, and the Nissan garage
insisted they did not need to be replaced. We've replaced them
with the current Dunlop equivalents. The noise in the car has
dropped dramatically. The bumpiness that had crept into the
car's ride has gone. Victor Smith has described the characteristics
of old tyres as being closer to wood rather than rubber, and
I would certainly agree.
Geoff King added: Both the Goodyear Excellence and the
Continental Sport Contact 2 receive good reviews in tyre tests.
The Goodyear will probably last longer and the Continental will
grip better although several users report that the performance
of the Contact 2 deteriorates rapidly as they wear.
please throw those old Michelins away; theyre 13 or 14
years old and well past the use by date. You wrote I recently
drove it 200 miles up the motorway in torrential rain, a prospect
that would've terrified me with the old tyres. Would you
sell (or give) them to someone knowing they are dangerous?
Rob Collier responded to Bryan Shacklady's posting: I
recently had my four year old Audi serviced at an Audi dealers
and was advised that the original tyres with 5 mm of tread should
be replaced. I hadn't previously noticed but upon close inspection
there were fine cracks starting to appear in the sidewalls.
Apparently this is normal wear and tear and I was told that
modern tyres are designed to be worn out at 4 years or 40,000
Peter Garton added: I eventually purchased new Continentals
a while ago although my Michelins "looked" to be in
perfect condition. After we got them off, I compared the side
wall fexibility with the new tyres
prior to getting them fitted. The Michelin side walls
were so stiff one could hardly bend them at all,in addition
there were fine hairline cracks in the rubber - not visible
when the tyre was inflated!! Last, but not least, the ride
is miles softer although it wasn't easy to balance the wheels,
Mike Taylor noted: I recently changed the tyres on the
MGB V8 Roadster from Michelins to Continentals. When they
arrived to be fitted I also noted how soft the side walls
were, and was advised that I would get a better ride. We drove
the car to the Swiss event and what a difference, no chattering
steering rack, no vibrations, smooth and accurate steering,
great cornering and positive grip in the wet. Money well spent.
Terry Starkey added: Another good debate on tyres and
so important! The best thing I ever did with my car was to
change the tyres even though they had only done 19,000 miles.
I had Michelin Primacy fitted and they are excellent in every
way: ride and roadholding were greatly improved. The Pilots
are a very hard tyre anyway and when they've aged a bit they
become extremely hard and uncomfortable to ride on. Old tyres
are dangerous. No question.
David Halliday added: After reading the comments here
I thought it a good idea to check the date on the tyres on
my 73 MGBGTV8 that I bought last year. The code reads AJA099
with out a triangle, this suggests that they were new in 1989.
Almost 20 years old! They are 175R 14 Avon Turbosteel. Does
anyone have a good suggestion for a replacement? I would have
thought it worth changing to a 185 70 14, but I am interested
Mike Taylor repeated his recommendation: Go for the
Continental tyres, you may well be delighted with the result.
Geoff King added a note of caution: What type of Continental?
Recommending a tyre brand without the type can be very misleading.
I can find Continental EcoContact 3 in 175x14 and 185/70x14
but that is a totally different tyre to a Continental Sport
Contact 2 and you may not be delighted with the result.
Mike Taylor replied: good point, the tyres on my MGBV8
are Continental Premium Contact 2 185/60 on 15" rims
running at front 26lb and rear at 24lb.
Victor Smith added: We have a replacement tyre survey
running on the V8 website with a very prominent link on the
lower RHS of the homepage. Just click the link to the report
and you will be able to see what 17 members have done by way
of replacement tyres for their MGBGTV8s together with some
reports. If your car is still running on the roads then I
am sure many fellow members will be horrified to hear your
tyres are 20 years old. Had you had an accident, it is very
likely an insurance assessor would have examined the possibility
of those tyres as a contributory factor. You are also likely
to be in breach of a condition of your insurance policy to
maintain the car adequately. Did you not see the article in
Safety Fast! and on the V8 website in recent months on tyre
David Halliday replied: I have seen the tyre review,
unfortunately, there is very little on actual model or type
of tyre for GTV8s. I notice that Michelin come out on top,
but there are many different types of Michelin available,
hence the question. Unfortunately,
I do not receive Safety Fast, I get Wheelspin the MG Car Club
of Victoria (Australia) magazine. I have heard the recent
publicity, hence checking the date, however, it is a little
ambiguous as to whether it is 1989 or 1999, but I do realise
that even 1999 is now 9 years ago and best changed. I will
be looking out for a set of 5 185 70 14s before I get it back
on the road, after sorting some rust issues and getting the
overdrive issue sorted.