Monday, February 14, 2011

Spun right round.

Today's project will be to find a local tire joint that has anything in stock in a 245/40-17. The right rear has a slow leak, and thanks to the Zed Drei's negative camber in the rear, the inside shoulders are getting worn down enough that it's not worth patching any leaks anymore, so it's time for new skins.

28 comments:

Bram said...

With my wife's krautmobile, I find it useful to look up the tire dealers who cooperate with Tirerack.com. They will often match the online price if the tire is in their stock.

genedunn said...

+1 what Bram said.

libertyman said...

Who knew there were so many choices for that car?! Why you could even get Hoosiers for it! I like Michelins, but you have many options, perhaps an "all-season" tire? Let us know what you chose.

Joseph said...

I suspect you'd find it difficult to find a shop with those size tires in stock. I looked real hard at these Continentals for my car before settling for Michelin X Radials (excellent tires BTW).

Continental ExtremeContact DWS

They get very good reviews and are listed as an ultra-high performance all season, whatever that really means.

Paul said...

X2 on the continental's. I had a FireBird that needed z rated radials. Good year had them at 200 a pop and good to the street. Conny had them at 106 mounted with road hazard. That was a no brainer and the car did not seem to care.

Your BMW might be a little more upscale, but I think you are a littel are sane enough it would work for you as well.

Good luck on the tires. If you want a real challenge find some 235/75/15's. Seems every car in the world likes that size.

Anonymous said...

Wifey's Baby Benz came with staggered tire/rim sizes....225/45 R17 front and 245/40 R17 rear.

I figured that would mean lousy tire life since you can't rotate. Instead, we finally replaced the rears at 44K (rwd); she's now at 49 and the fronts are getting due, but still have decent, even tread all the way across.

Don't know whether to credit the flat tracking/firm suspension layout on her Sport model, or those Michelin HX MXM4's...probably some of both. But those tires are definitely worth a look; pricey and the dealer has to order them in, but at least in our own experience, worth it both for the mileage and the outstanding handling/ride they deliver.

AT

Tam said...

The rear suspension on the Zed Drei has a couple degrees of negative camber. Combine that with performance tires, which prioritize grip over tread life, and you get 15-25k miles out of any set of tires I'd ever consider putting on my car.

Sure, there are tires out there that wear like RugRite carpet, but that's not really my priority; it's all a trade-off.

ViolentIndifference said...

You spin me right round, baby
Right round
Like a 245/40-17, baby
Right round
Round round

Anonymous said...

Our motor geek finds it's still
cheaper to order by mail, pay for
shipping and mounting and still
save money over what's available
locally in our 20K people town.
Anon, Don

theirritablearchitect said...

+1 on ViolentIndifference.

Tam,

Your history with expected tire life couldn't have anything to do with driving habits, could it? ;)

Standard Mischief said...

The softer the rubber, the better it grips and the faster it slows down.


I get all my tires on Tirerack.com now too, shipped from the state next door to my door tax free. Of course, I mount them myself too. Not everyone has a tire machine, but you can hump them yourself to a local garage (~$15 a wheel) or +1 on what Bram said.

amcljr said...

Surely you're on this already, but might the cost of one of the aftermarket toe and camber kits pay back in increased tire life? It looks like Ireland's rear camber and toe kits add up to the price of one rear tire (plus install and alignment).

CGHill said...

I've been buying from Tire Rack for several years; they ship from South Bend or Shreveport to the tire shop of my choice, and considerable hunky-doriness is achieved.

You mentioned a whole lotta rear camber. Semi-trailing arms back there?

Will said...

Tam,
would these be suitable?

http://indianapolis.craigslist.org/pts/2202965909.html

150 miles new car take-offs

Discobobby said...

I (heart) Tire Rack. Tell them your story and they'll almost certainly have good advice. The Conti "winter" tires on Mrs. Discobobby's 3-series are still "performance" enough to make launch kind of exciting in anything more than a dusting of snow, but it IS drivable.

The Raving Prophet said...

You're in Indianapolis, so it would essentially be a day trip up to South Bend and have Tire Rack T C of some B for you.

Still, I think the recommendation of the Continental ExtremeContact DWS is a good one. Another to look into is the Goodyear Eagle GT. My wife's Acura has the Eagle GT on it, and they're good tires, but she'll need new ones this year, and I'm likely to look at the Contis come replacement time.

Jim said...

Eagles are great, the radial ridges in the sidewalls aside; They make shining the hides far more work than is necessary.

Jim

Mike W. said...

I'd buy a set of Dunlop Direzza Z1Star Specs, or Hankook RS-2's if you can find em. I think the RS2 has been discontinued.

DirtCrashr said...

We got the 5-series rubbered-up with Michelins at Costco. They do quality work and I like the nitrogen-mix they use to fill 'em.

Douglas Hester said...

I had to reshoe my '70 Nova just last week at $139 per. The hard part, according to my local mechanic, was finding someone local who still stocks 15-inch tires these days. Apparently the two extremes of the 13 and 14-inch wheels for specks and the 17-inch and up kind for sports cars and SUVs are dominating the market.

Anonymous said...

While you're writing the check for the new tires, remember to ask them if they have any used, clip-on wheel weights they need to unload. -- Lyle

Jim said...

Dirtcrashr - "nitrogen-mix"? Nitrogen mixed with what?

Jim

Data Viking said...

Sure, come on up to South Bend. I work within two miles of Tire Rack and live within five miles of it. If you wish I'll even make any telephone calls you might need.

Anonymous said...

"...it's all a trade-off."

Not as much as I expected. Wife's car is the bottom of the line Benz, a C300 Sport with a little AMG package that's mostly just a body kit but also beefs the suspension and ups the hp a bit.

It's no roadster, but it's almost exactly the same lb/hp ratio as your early Z3, so I slip it out from time to time, disable the autopilot, and steer it through the flat 90's on the local parkway with my right foot. It performs decently for a sedan, and the grip factor of the Michelins seems pretty well matched to the comparably firm suspension. Which is why I was surprised by the tread life.

I've noticed the splayed rears on some Z3's, kind of like an old Bug, but for different reasons. I note from your twit to dustbury that your tires are the same sizes as wifey's car. It would be interesting to see what the difference in wear would be due to that camber and other factors; you might find that those sticky compound low life tires ain't worth the trade-off after all.

Unless you're a tire snob or something.

AT

Will said...

I laugh when I see the Import cars (mostly Honda/Acura)with the big muffler and the cambered tires. Means they heated or cut the springs to lower the car, and exceeded the ability of the stock suspension geometry to keep the tires flat on the road. Too cheap to buy the aftermarket parts to restore the axle angles. So, they pay in increased tire costs, handling limitations, towing problems, and snickers from knowledgeable spectators in public.

Why a car maker would saddle a factory stock car with this sort of legacy is puzzling. There is no performance advantage to the angle, unless they needed it for tire/wheel well clearance, which is a design/marketing decision.

Tam said...

The negative camber at the rear in a lightweight RWD car is an easy way to bias the handling toward mild understeer in a car that might otherwise tend toward tail-happiness. It comes at the expense of tire life, but most people who buy sports cars with soft-compound tires won't notice, much. (Although if you drive it at all hard, you can cord the inside shoulders while the outside tread wear indicator bars still show hunky-dory.)

The camber isn't adjustable, either, because while most of the underpinnings are from the E36 3-series, the rear suspension is the old semi-trailing arm setup from the preceding E30 because it took up less space.

Having had the car as long as I have, I've had the chance to try several different rear tires, and the lowest mileage I got out of a set were from the Michelin Pilot Sports that were on it when I bought it (and had been dealer-installed) and went away less than 15k miles later. But those were 15k very fun miles. These Falkens have made it 18k so far and could probably last a few thousand more, but road-trip season is coming up and I'd rather hit the highway with fresh skins in the back...

Exodus said...

Tam, I have a 2000 528iT and I also have the negative camber in the rear, with the same wear problems. You can't adjust it completely out with the stock hardware.

Bavarian Autosport online does have a kit for my car to adjust the camber out to zero, and honestly between the DSC onboard and having been a club racer for a while there, I'm not worried about breaking the rear loose willy-nilly if I pull the negative camber out. I'd really like to have a set of tires with even wear patterns, if its all the same.

BTW I'm sure you've noticed that every BMW on the damned road has that negative camber built in.

roland said...

My car requires the same rear tire size. So far I've tried the pilot sports, bridgestone potenzas, and the continental extreme contacts. The potenzas lasted the longest and, predictably, gripped the worst. The continentals and michelins went about the same distance, slight edge to the contis. The contis seem to trigger the funkiller, um traction control, less often. And hell, they're about a buck a corner cheaper.