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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thinking about new tires...

Hey folks,

I'm finally in the market for new tires for my 97 and after some research I've come pretty close to a decision. I'm looking at Firestone's Firehawk Indy 500 tires. I should be able to get a set of four for under $400 total, which fits my budget. I'm mostly worried about snow traction and road noise - I know they'll be fine on dry roads and in rain. Anything should be better than what's on the car now: a set of FR680s on the rear (worn to 3/32", no traction at all...) and (this is the kicker...) a Goodyear Integrity with a slow leak on the left front and a Dayton Quadra SE on the right front.

Anyone have any experience with these Indy 500s?
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 11:34 AM
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None here just my 2 cents BFGoodrich T/As on the bird and nothing but great reviews on the performance of the tires The Wife has BFG traction T/As great tires as well

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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I actually was considering the Traction T/As for a while but shied away (can't recall exactly what the reason was now...).
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 01:04 PM
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I was get the Firehawks and bought Cooper Cobras instead. So far they are getting me thru the winter. Of course I drive it like I want it to stay on the road.
Wet traction is definetely stepped up since I put them on.

Angela
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-04-2009, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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I'm being extra particular with this new set because the car slips and slides even in barely 1/8" of snow!

The rear tires are so bad that if I keep the throttle in the same position as I'm slowly accelerating (note, this is a very small percent, maybe 5-10% throttle... wherever I have it in order to start moving without generating wheelspin), they'll start to spin when the car shifts into second gear.

Going about 15 MPH and braking to 10 before a turn, the car starts to lose traction on the front tires and wants to spin out or go in its own direction when I go into any 90 degree turns (not sharp by any means - I take these turns at 20 or so MPH in dry weather).
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-08-2009, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, 'nother question. Anyone know if the Firestone tire shops (shares the website, firestonecompleteautocare.com) will match an online price? I found the Indy 500 for $70 in my size at highperformancetire.com, $19 less than the shop's price.
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2009, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by theterminator93 View Post
Okay, 'nother question. Anyone know if the Firestone tire shops (shares the website, firestonecompleteautocare.com) will match an online price? I found the Indy 500 for $70 in my size at highperformancetire.com, $19 less than the shop's price.
If I remember correctly when I was pricing tires with shops in town, I was in need so couldn't wait for online shopping... The Firestone shop here wanted a good deal more than I could find them for online. I didn't think about asking for price matching though. Not much help LOL, but FYI that my shop was more pricey. I did bring your thread back to the top though.

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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-09-2009, 03:42 PM
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Yea, I had a set on the car before I switched to the new rims and Sumo's They're great tires. I've actually run two sets of these (I liked the first so much when they wore out I bought another set). They run quiet have great traction and treadwear (500).

They were on the car when I made these runs.

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See a list of my real mods and pictures of my car HERE. The true performance of my car was made possible by the Carolinas Crew Chief, RobertP at Rob's Tire & Auto

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quite a few nice runs there, TM.

Apparently Firestone (or at least the shop I called) will price match any online competitor's quote for an identical set of tires with shipping.

Shop price for the Firehawk Indy 500s is $88.99 ($355.96 for four); I found them at roadwaywholesaletire.com for $67.83 a piece ($271.32 for four) plus $46.92 for shipping: total cost would be $318.24, a savings of $37.72 or 10.6%.

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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:25 PM
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If road noise is a big concern I'd avoid these. I went from Michelin X1's on my Tbird to Indy 500's. Definate increase of noise on cement roads.

Not the most impressive in the snow. With the blocky tread I was expecting better.

Rain and straight line dry traction was excellent. Especially for the price.

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 03:52 PM
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NICE there TM

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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If road noise is a big concern I'd avoid these. I went from Michelin X1's on my Tbird to Indy 500's. Definate increase of noise on cement roads.

Not the most impressive in the snow. With the blocky tread I was expecting better.

Rain and straight line dry traction was excellent. Especially for the price.
I should be okay with them. I'm coming up from practically bald FR680s on the rear and a Goodyear Integrity/Dayton Quadra SE on the front. Anything would be better than those.

Concrete roads around here are nearly non existent and noise isn't a big concern with me. Dry and wet traction are obviously the biggest factors. As for snow, like I said... anything's an improvement over nearly bald rear tires.

Besides, I couldn't really find anything comparably better for the price. $320 total for the tires, plus $60-$80 in installation/balancing + fees + tax. I'll know how they run in about a week; tire appointment's scheduled for next Wednesday.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 04:48 PM
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Had my Jag out the other day nice snow traction on the P6 Four Seasons by Pirelli

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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-20-2009, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....6+Four+Seasons

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires....ehawk+Indy+500

That's basically how I compared. I also looked up all TireRack's reporting T-Birds with the Indys and nearly all rated it 7+/10.

http://www.tirerack.com/survey/Surve...ents=Y&index=0
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Arrighty, I did indeed go with the Indy 500s. I had to call around to find a shop that had them in stock.

So far the improvement in snow traction is definite. I drove it around in a parking lot a little harder than I would've normally on the street in the snow to get a feel for their performance in that respect.

If I was taking a turn and started to slip then let off the throttle in my old tires, the car would keep sliding with NO traction whatsoever until the car slowed down a few MPH. The Indys will start biting and pulling my nose to the side (whichever way I'm turning) the instant I let off the gas. I'm very impressed with that. There is also at least 75-100% more startup traction. Braking traction is exceptional. I didn't get any lockups or slippage in my "faster than normal dry road" 30-0 stop braking.

I haven't had much time on dry or wet roads so far. However from what experience I have had, they're glued to the road when it's dry. I took a turn at speeds that my other tires would've been squealing at; not a chirp from the new set.

The only category where I've downgraded is road noise. Before I wasn't able to distinguish any discernable tire/tread noise (if only because they were practically bald ), now I am able to hear a slight beehive sound if I listen for it starting around 30 MPH. It's not audible if I have the radio on though.

I'll try to get a couple pics up tomorrow AM.

-Brandon
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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 09:00 PM
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Arrighty, I did indeed go with the Indy 500s. I had to call around to find a shop that had them in stock.

So far the improvement in snow traction is definite. I drove it around in a parking lot a little harder than I would've normally on the street in the snow to get a feel for their performance in that respect.

If I was taking a turn and started to slip then let off the throttle in my old tires, the car would keep sliding with NO traction whatsoever until the car slowed down a few MPH. The Indys will start biting and pulling my nose to the side (whichever way I'm turning) the instant I let off the gas. I'm very impressed with that. There is also at least 75-100% more startup traction. Braking traction is exceptional. I didn't get any lockups or slippage in my "faster than normal dry road" 30-0 stop braking.

I haven't had much time on dry or wet roads so far. However from what experience I have had, they're glued to the road when it's dry. I took a turn at speeds that my other tires would've been squealing at; not a chirp from the new set.

The only category where I've downgraded is road noise. Before I wasn't able to distinguish any discernable tire/tread noise (if only because they were practically bald ), now I am able to hear a slight beehive sound if I listen for it starting around 30 MPH. It's not audible if I have the radio on though.

I'll try to get a couple pics up tomorrow AM.
So you have the white lettered stuff showing, right? I think that look is amazing on our cars.

Your choice was mine also til my car friend/ seller of mah Bird talked me into the Cooper Cobras. Glad to hear they perform well for you. Mine are doing the job nicely, too. We've had some pretty rotten weather, snow is the norm, along with a day of bad black ice, and so far so good. I have remarked to others how much better this Bird does in the bad weather than my 95 did. Should be similar but this time it's better, must be the good tires with a couple of sand bag mods in the trunk.

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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Most definitely. We didn't get any ice up here in NE Ohio, so I can't say how the ice traction is at the moment.

Ya know, I was too anxious to wait, so I snapped a pic. She's not too perdy looking all salted up and dirty right now, but she's had worse days. If you look you can still sorta' see some blue tint left on the letters!


-Brandon
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 09:34 PM
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Nice. Glad you like them. Be careful, new tires aren't magic bullets against snow, ice and rain.

Mods? Yea, I got mods ...
Air silencer delete, warp drive, dilithium crystals, flux capacitor, Slingshot Rubber band power adder, Moonshine & Gas, Leaf Blower Supercharger, Hamster Wheel & Hamster, Energizer Bunny generating 1.21 gigawatts, Mr. FusionŽ Home Energy Reactor, hover conversion and a sextant celestial navigation system (The original GPS)
Best 1/4: 1,320 nanoseconds @ 670,616,629.2 miles per hour

"There isn't that much difference anymore between spacecraft, aircraft and modern automobiles..." - Keith Henry, NASA's Langley Research Center
See a list of my real mods and pictures of my car HERE. The true performance of my car was made possible by the Carolinas Crew Chief, RobertP at Rob's Tire & Auto
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Nice. Glad you like them. Be careful, new tires aren't magic bullets against snow, ice and rain.
Oh, I know. I don't intend on driving any differently than I did when I had the mega crap tires, but I think it's always good to know the limits of what's holding you to the street.

-Brandon
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 09:47 PM
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Oh, I know. I don't intend on driving any differently than I did when I had the mega crap tires, but I think it's always good to know the limits of what's holding you to the street.
Agreed. I still drive it like I want to save it. But with usual caution in the bad weather the tires are seeing me through. That advice is good, I think too many people get overly confident in the crappy weather (mmm, SUV drivers for one example!) Just be smart and hopefully the tires help you.

And don't don't feel bad about the salty ride. Ugh. You should see mine. It went through the car wash yesterday but that was one day, you can't even tell now. I notice my hood and front look sharp but the sides of the car look like every other dirty car. Looking forward to seeing yours and my Bird back in their full glory.

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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Amen, brother.

When the temps were up in the lower 40s here late last week I filled up a bucket and scrubbed the salt off it. It lasted about two days, but you gotta take all you can get in this weather.

Let me see here, the picture I took of it late last year after I cleaned it real nice... aha! The one I used as my AV.



It has a few chips in the paint on the hood that I intend on addressing after it warms up and a slight dent at the extreme front of the left front fender (dunno how it got there) but aside from that there's not a single blemish on it.

I can imagine how it'll look this spring; since that pic I've changed the tires (duh), polished a bit of the fogginess out of the headlamp lenses, and by the time I shine up up real nice I'll have fixed the chips in the hood.


Say (trying to keep the thread somewhat on topic-ish), any opinions on the rims? I know they're not stock but that's all I really know about them. The centercap says "SC".

-Brandon
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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 10:00 PM
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Amen, brother.

...

lol. March n Bird is our sister!

Amen Sister!

Mods? Yea, I got mods ...
Air silencer delete, warp drive, dilithium crystals, flux capacitor, Slingshot Rubber band power adder, Moonshine & Gas, Leaf Blower Supercharger, Hamster Wheel & Hamster, Energizer Bunny generating 1.21 gigawatts, Mr. FusionŽ Home Energy Reactor, hover conversion and a sextant celestial navigation system (The original GPS)
Best 1/4: 1,320 nanoseconds @ 670,616,629.2 miles per hour

"There isn't that much difference anymore between spacecraft, aircraft and modern automobiles..." - Keith Henry, NASA's Langley Research Center
See a list of my real mods and pictures of my car HERE. The true performance of my car was made possible by the Carolinas Crew Chief, RobertP at Rob's Tire & Auto
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.......

Noob-ness bites in the butt again!

Sorry 'bout that...

Learn by doing!

-Brandon
97 Laser Red Thunderbird LX 162k, Stage 2 4.6L 2v N/A | 300 BHP (255 RWHP, 290 RWTQ) | 13.95 @ 97.58 | Build details | Pics at the Lorain Assembly plant
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Gone but not forgotten: 96 Mark VIII, 94 Cougar XR7, 93 Mark VIII

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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 10:08 PM
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lol. March n Bird is our sister!

Amen Sister!
Haha, yes, I am one of those very rare car nuts that doesn't have pair. But hey. I figure I have a pair now, 2 cool cars. I can be in the boys' club now?

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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 10:52 PM
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Haha, yes, I am one of those very rare car nuts that doesn't have pair. But hey. I figure I have a pair now, 2 cool cars. I can be in the boys' club now?


lol, Yes, you have a "pair" of your own, they just sit a little higher than ours do.

And yes, you're more than welcome in the boys' club. It's a pleasure to count you among the TBird/Ford faithful here.


Mods? Yea, I got mods ...
Air silencer delete, warp drive, dilithium crystals, flux capacitor, Slingshot Rubber band power adder, Moonshine & Gas, Leaf Blower Supercharger, Hamster Wheel & Hamster, Energizer Bunny generating 1.21 gigawatts, Mr. FusionŽ Home Energy Reactor, hover conversion and a sextant celestial navigation system (The original GPS)
Best 1/4: 1,320 nanoseconds @ 670,616,629.2 miles per hour

"There isn't that much difference anymore between spacecraft, aircraft and modern automobiles..." - Keith Henry, NASA's Langley Research Center
See a list of my real mods and pictures of my car HERE. The true performance of my car was made possible by the Carolinas Crew Chief, RobertP at Rob's Tire & Auto
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post #26 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 10:54 PM
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I've got 4 new Goodyear Eagle GT's on the Contour (winter driver). I had it out there other day on snow and ice and was amazed at how much better they are than my old Yoko's.

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post #27 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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I always kind of figured the performance of any particular tire on a car is because of the combo of the tire and the car. Like a tire that performs amazingly on one car could possibly be the worst ever tire on another car. If you know what I mean.

-Brandon
97 Laser Red Thunderbird LX 162k, Stage 2 4.6L 2v N/A | 300 BHP (255 RWHP, 290 RWTQ) | 13.95 @ 97.58 | Build details | Pics at the Lorain Assembly plant
98 Black Mark VIII 160k, stock daily driver
07 Redfire Fusion V6 SEL 178k, for the wife
Gone but not forgotten: 96 Mark VIII, 94 Cougar XR7, 93 Mark VIII

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post #28 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 11:07 PM
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lol, Yes, you have a "pair" of your own, they just sit a little higher than ours do.

And yes, you're more than welcome in the boys' club. It's a pleasure to count you among the TBird/Ford faithful here.

Are you mocking me, or Maching me b/c I haven't lowered my pair?!

4X4

Ford 4x4 FTW!

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post #29 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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I think my car looks fine just the way it is. .... Aside from the road grime and salt etc. Objections? Anyone?

-Brandon
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post #30 of 34 (permalink) Old 01-30-2009, 11:18 PM
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Location: Champaign, IL
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Originally Posted by theterminator93 View Post
I think my car looks fine just the way it is. .... Aside from the road grime and salt etc. Objections? Anyone?
I think it's a sweet looking Bird and I'd be glad to own it.
Road grime, salt, these things are just temporary obstacles. We'll be back in the game this Spring. Yeah! Better than ever!

Angela
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1990 Mustang LX, Vert 5.0, '7-Up Special'
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