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Tires ?

Posted by Kelly 
March 07, 2016 12:51PM
Hi All,

I hope that you are doing well!

Things with me are a bit better than in years past. you may recall that I've been in the middle of a tech industry building boom. It's been a challenge to manage the demands. Good news is that the boyfriend, from Ottawa, is quite awesome.

My main question is - what tires are you running these days? Do you know if your tires are available in the North America?

I have Michelin Harmonies - now 6 years old and around 36,000 miles. They're pretty great. I'm wondering if I should replace them ?

Should I buy new tires and keep them in the basement as a backup?


Hugs, Kelly :-)
March 08, 2016 09:16PM
Hi Kelly,
Good to hear from you. Unfortunately Michelin no longer makes a tire the correct size for the E-30 14 inch wheels. I have some that are a slight bit smaller height that work ok. I like the taller ones better but some think they look out of proportion for the car. The lower profile tires do look better. So it is likely 195-60/14 or the larger 195-70/14 are all you will find. The correct size is 195-65/14.

Bob in Everett
Attachments:
open | download - 195-60-14.jpg (95.8 KB)
March 09, 2016 03:38PM
Hi Bob,

Thanks for your answer. Very helpful. I ask some of these questions because I have a e30 owner friend who has tires (the manufacturer name starts with a U) that she truly hates. Clearly I don't want these. So I'm trying to understand what tires would be good replacement for the Michelin Harmonies.


Because I don't know these things:

Is there potential for mechanical damage or wear to the transmission, power train, etc. in using a slightly larger or smaller tire?

Why do you prefer the 195-70/14 size? ( I assume this is what you use. I could be wrong.) Smoother ride?

What model of Michelins do you have? Summer? All weather?

Do they perform well when braking? (Grip while braking is super important to me. We have lots of crazy drivers in my city.) I like a grippy tire. I live in San Francisco. It rains sometimes. We have many pot holes in the roads. Every drive is auto-cross event at slower speeds.

If anyone has thoughts, please let me know.

Thanks, Kelly :-)
March 09, 2016 09:33PM
I did a tire search now based on the 195/64-14 size from my online tire supplier in Germany, and the best tire available was the Continental PremiumContact 2. If I had a set of 14" E30 wheels, that is what I would have gone for. They are decent allround summer tires.
March 09, 2016 09:51PM
Kelly,
I like the larger diameter 195-70/14 tires because they are 3% larger diameter than stock and makes the speedometer read very close to the exact speed you are going. The only down side is that is you have brake pads that are a bit low friction (low dust compound) the anti lock system will not quite give you full braking no matter how hard you press the brake pedal. The larger radius of the tire is just enough to keep the tire from skidding. The anti lock system limits the pressure somehow and the wheels will not lock. The smaller 195-60 tires will give you the impression that you are going faster than you actually are by about 6% if you believe the speedometer. This could be an advantage if you have been getting speeding tickets. It is far enough off that I tend to compensate and it could be an expensive habit if changing cars and forgetting the fact that you are now going much closer to the speedometer reading.

The last Michelin tires I purchased are called "Defender" I think. They are more of a minivan tire than performance. I also have a set of 17" tires on some E-30 fitment Beyern wheels. They are 225-45/17 Michelin Pilot Super Sport and make the car handle like a go cart. Would not be good for potholes though, would likely bend the wheels.

For dealing with potholes, the 195-70/14 would be the most protection for your wheels. They are an all weather tire. There would are no issues with them rubbing on suspension or anything. Will not harm any part of your drive train. The only thing to be careful of is the brake pads need to be the standard or higher friction type to preserve the maximum braking capability.

Bob in Everett
March 10, 2016 04:52AM
I wnt through 3 sets of Continental Premiumcontact in my Benz, they work very well, the only "complain" I have is they wear out quickly.

I have a Mabor set in now, suppose those are not available in the US, is a Portuguese brand that was bought by Continental Group.

If your happy with the Michelin, I would say stick to it, unless they are utterly expensive or no longer available. I had Michelin in my 323i, in 14' wheels, and was very happy with it.

I like to use the OEM size, or close, but there is no big deal in moving a little up in size. As BOb said, it will affect the speed reading and braking.
Major size changes, beside being illegal here, can radically change the car handling and most times for worse.

:wavey:
March 10, 2016 06:39PM
Hi All,

Thanks for the awesome advice as always.

My current Harmony tires are showing many micro-cracks in the side walls, but there is still a lot of tread remaining. Do micro-cracks (about 2mm long as a rough estimate) mean that I should replace the old tires quickly?

If I were to buy new tires and store them in the basement (as a back up plan) will storage this affect their life? I'd hate to have to wait for an extended period for tires. (Long ago, I waited 6 weeks for the Harmonies. It was stressful.)

Thanks, Kelly :-)
March 10, 2016 06:51PM
Tires can be stored for years without problems if you keem them in a dark, dry and cool place.
March 18, 2016 04:45AM
Quote
Ove Kvam
Tires can be stored for years without problems if you keem them in a dark, dry and cool place.

They won't get any better after storage, though.
There is a Mercedes 770 Grosser (1938) in the museum with original tires on, and it runs once or twice per year.
tongue sticking out smiley

The mircro-cracks are probably due to the aging of the surface due to sunlight or weather, if the tire structure is sound it's no big deal.
I have tires like that in the Citroen, and will leave them wear, as they hold air and feel completely normal.

On the other hand, I am about to fit the 4th set of tires on the daily driver over 3 and half years and 108000km.
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