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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Tire recomendations

The tire sticky's are pretty old. I've had my 96 Cougar for going on 2 years now. The PO had a good set of BF Goodrich T/A radials on it, but they are 60 series, so about 1" diameter smaller. Those T/As are getting to the end of their tread life and I need to look at some new tires. T/As don't come in the factory size. they are offered in P225/70R15 which is the same stock diameter.

This Cougar is stock, my daily driver and I'm in North Carolina. I need some wet traction, but no need for snow traction. Any recommendations on the tires on the market now? Thanks.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 07:54 PM
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We need bigger wheels.

All the good tires are no longer made for 15".

In 16" I can get BFG COMP-2 225-55-16, and those are sticky as fuck.

They suck at cold temps, but they say that.


I'd love to find something as good for 15".

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-28-2018, 08:16 PM
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I agree, not many "good" tire choices in 15" anymore. I'd highly recommend upgrading to 17 or even better, 18" wheels which opens up tire choices dramatically.

For a great performing all season in a Z rated tire, I love my General GMax AS 03's. They are no longer made, but I read very good reviews on the new AS 05's they now offer. I've had the AS 03's on both my current 97 Thunderbird, and my former 99 Mustang GT. Excellent all around performance, but not a "sticky, track style" tire. Much better traction than stock sized offerings though.

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2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 12:25 AM
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My car came with a set of new Cooper Cobras in the stock 215 size. I was surprised how well they handled. They also ride well on bad roads. They are pretty quiet but squeal on smooth pavement. They are good in the wet and they are technically an all season tire. They make a lot of noise before they lose traction on curves. Traction in the rear is limited by the tread width, but I have both traction assist and traction loc to help. The Cooper Cobra is a good tire for stock size. Cooper is shifting to a new plant in Mexico to manufacture these tires. The Mexican made tires are an improved tire. The American made Coopers are good too. They are also less than $100 each.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 08:40 AM Thread Starter
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I saw those Coopers on tire rack. I've ran coopers before and was pleased. I've liked the fact that they were still made in USA too. Can't beat that price either.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 09:15 AM
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Are you looking for 15's on stock rims?

See if you can find some SC 16's and go from there.

I used to run Firestone's but yea, Coopers are good tires too.

Try 235/60/15

Cooper Cobra Radials: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...omCompare1=yes

These don't appear to be directional so you can mount them with the white letters in and the black walls out.

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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 #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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I'm trying to stick with stock rims. I need tires, I don't want the added cost of rims too. Plus, I really like the rims on this car.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 10:28 AM
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Stay away from Pirelli traction on these things is crap, On the pony here takes nothing for them to break loose. Going with some better ones soon.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boston-Bull View Post
Stay away from Pirelli traction on these things is crap, On the pony here takes nothing for them to break loose. Going with some better ones soon.
Agreed. I have P Zeros on the Cougar right now and they break traction through every gear up to fourth flat out. I can’t believe these tires are standard equipment on cars with 100+ more horsepower than mine.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Kidd-7 View Post
I'm trying to stick with stock rims. I need tires, I don't want the added cost of rims too. Plus, I really like the rims on this car.
Then get the Cooper's in 235/60/15 - It's a no brainer.



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Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boston-Bull View Post
Stay away from Pirelli traction on these things is crap, On the pony here takes nothing for them to break loose. Going with some better ones soon.
Agreed. I have P Zeros on the Cougar right now and they break traction through every gear up to fourth flat out. I can’t believe these tires are standard equipment on cars with 100+ more horsepower than mine.
Speaking of other brands ... I LOVE my NITTO's!

Great tire company. I also put a set of them on our Explorer. We've got three different types of NITTO tires at the house. I'm happy with them all.

NT421Q's on the Explorer and NT555G2's, and NT05R's on the Tbird.

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. Fusion® 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

Last edited by Trunk Monkey; 06-29-2018 at 05:45 PM.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 02:25 PM
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I'm going to be the stodgy guy and recommend the Michelin Defender, 215/70-15. You're not going to find a smoother riding tire for hwy cruising. A lot of times Discount tire gives you a $70 Visa cars for buying 4. 80k mile warranty.

Al

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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I'm glad you chimed in T6, since we're neighbors I wanted to know what you were running.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 03:24 PM
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The Michelin Defender is probably the best street tire you can buy in that size. If blackwall is ok they are probably worth the $20 more. Another good cheap tire is General Altimax. I've put these on several cars. They have been good on smaller cars, especially in the snow. I put some on my Moms 92 Riviera and wasn't impressed with the handling, but that's probably the cars fault. They did ride hugely quieter though. The Buick uses the same 215/15/70 which is why I was expecting the Coopers to perform poorly. At $80, the General Altimax is a good buy.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-29-2018, 05:22 PM
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I'm going to be the stodgy guy and recommend the Michelin Defender, 215/70-15. You're not going to find a smoother riding tire for hwy cruising. A lot of times Discount tire gives you a $70 Visa cars for buying 4. 80k mile warranty.

Al
Keep them treated.

I got three years and about 50% tread wear before they dryrotted on me. On a car that doesn't just sit (about 35,000 miles during that period.)

RwP

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 09:51 AM
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Are you looking for white letters? Are these any good? https://www.firestonecompleteautocar...l/ps860/114504

I had good luck with their Firehawk Indy 500, but have not tried the linked ones. I have BFG T/A's on my ride right now, and I'm pretty disappointed to learn they don't make them in my size anymore.

If you don't care about lettering, there are still performance options, such as https://www.yokohamatire.com/tires/tornante

Last edited by Torque; 06-30-2018 at 09:56 AM.
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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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I like the look of white letters, but just want a good tire. I like the BFGs but that smaller diameter is a little too low.
Side bar, what's the deal with big rims and thin wall tires? It seems every vehicle now is going to that.
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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 12:21 PM
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I don't know if they offer them in 15", since Ruby Jean is shod in 16" wheels, but there's always the TigerPaws from Uniroyal.

(Don't know how they ride or handle, but they seem to be the ideal tire to fit a Cougar to me ... )

RwP

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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 12:56 PM
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Keep them treated.

I got three years and about 50% tread wear before they dryrotted on me. On a car that doesn't just sit (about 35,000 miles during that period.)

RwP
It's funny you mention dry rot; I started to just give someone a rear tire I had hanging up, for a cycle I've had forever, and realized it was completely dryrotted and was almost 20 years old, lol. Never been mounted; I bought a different bike.


You used to never know when the tires you got were made; now it's a mandatory cast-in marking.

If your tires are 5 years older than the "born on" date, replace them.

If you bump a curb and the sidewall falls out, that's dryrot, lol.


.
I've found that tires from deep discount places like sams and costco sell 3rd rate tires; you're lucky if they can be balanced.

I've gotten great tires from Summit and Tire rack; they're always fresh, and always balance with minimal weight.

Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.


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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Kidd-7 View Post
I like the look of white letters, but just want a good tire. I like the BFGs but that smaller diameter is a little too low.
Side bar, what's the deal with big rims and thin wall tires? It seems every vehicle now is going to that.
Partially for looks, partially to save on raw materials for the tire companies. Overall, I like the look better than the old tires that had massive sidewalls. There's probably a performance gain to be had too but ride comfort is sacrificed. Like anything, it's a trade off.

So we've been talking about this for a few days now. Have you decided on something yet?

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. Fusion® 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 #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 04:15 PM
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Allowing the fitment of larger disc brakes and less sidewall deflection under hard cornering. Looks, meh. I think every old Muscle car looks better with 14-15” wheels than with the 17”+ pro-touring look personally, these cars are both modern enough and old looking enough where it can look good either way, depends on the wheel design more than the diameter IMO.
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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 06-30-2018, 06:28 PM
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Partially for looks, partially to save on raw materials for the tire companies. Overall, I like the look better than the old tires that had massive sidewalls. There's probably a performance gain to be had too but ride comfort is sacrificed. Like anything, it's a trade off.

So we've been talking about this for a few days now. Have you decided on something yet?
I can't say I noticed any difference in ride quality going from 255/50/16 down to 255/40/18.

I did notice a marked improvement in cornering response due to less flex.

Long story short, I think the primary reason that more companies are reducing the number of 15 and 16" "performance" tires is lack of demand, especially in such small contact patches as we have with 215 and 225 series tires.

There are enough tires out there for replacement for older cars, especially in a very common passenger car size like 225/60/16, but not many "performance" types in that size. For Muscle Cars, you have the specialty aftermarket repops like Coker, but as we well know, if you want to upgrade the performance on your 1960's or 1970's muscle/pony car, more modern sized (larger diameter, wider series, lower profile) improves cornering, traction, and acceleration dramatically.
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-01-2018, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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I'm probably going with the coopers. I'll see what my local shop can do for me and then plan on getting then mounted in the next few weeks. Thanks guys.
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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-01-2018, 11:00 AM
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275/60-15 Cooper cobras on my street cat.

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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-01-2018, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Is you're street cat lowered at all? Are you pleased with the handling?
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-02-2018, 07:08 AM
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Stock. Some rubbing on large bumps.

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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-02-2018, 02:51 PM
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Cooper Cobras on my tbird have made a few people smile. They are an inch shorter than stock was and worse in the snow mostly because they are wider than stock.

The white letters give a sporty muscle car look without high cost.

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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-05-2018, 04:46 PM
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I wouldn't put anything on that's a smaller diameter than stock. The 26.6" tires have a tough enough time filling in the wheelwell, anything smaller looks like a big car with tiny tires!

Al
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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018, 09:05 AM
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I wouldn't put anything on that's a smaller diameter than stock. The 26.6" tires have a tough enough time filling in the wheelwell, anything smaller looks like a big car with tiny tires!

Al
Not to mention probs with speedo/odo calibration.

Hopefully, I will never have to see a car like my Tbird made into a low-rider with teensy wheels and tricked out jumping suspension. If I didn't think these gang-bangers would shoot (or stab) me in my face for it, I'd laugh in theirs.

The opposite is true, too. I think most cars with giant 22-24" wheels and 1" sidewalls look just as ridiculous as those sporting lawn mower size wheels.
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018, 11:19 AM
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Not to mention probs with speedo/odo calibration.

Hopefully, I will never have to see a car like my Tbird made into a low-rider with teensy wheels and tricked out jumping suspension. If I didn't think these gang-bangers would shoot (or stab) me in my face for it, I'd laugh in theirs.

The opposite is true, too. I think most cars with giant 22-24" wheels and 1" sidewalls look just as ridiculous as those sporting lawn mower size wheels.
I think these cars look great with 26-27" tires on 18" diameter wheels, 9" wide, and 1.5" lowering springs to "fill in" the wheel wells. Not a low rider, not on crazy small tires, not using a ton of sidewall to "fill" the wells, and getting you a nice, wide contact patch at the same time.

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2003 Explorer WAP block with Modular Head Shop "street ported" heads and Stage 2 PI NA cams, 75mm Accufab throttle body, C&L upper intake plenum, Kooks 1.75" primary/3" collector headers, 2.5" full exhaust with mid mount Magnaflow dual in/out muffler, 24lb/hr injectors, 80mm MAF, Tuning from Don @ www.lasotaracing.com, CAI that feeds from fenderwell. Jmod, 3.73:1 TL in Mark VIII carrier, Mark VIII aluminum LCAs, 93 Mark VIII driveshaft, PBR brakes (soon to be Cobras), 18x9 wheels with 35mm offset, 255/40/ZR18 Tires, Front and Rear strut/shock bracing, GR-2 shocks, Eibach 1.5" springs, 1989 SC front and rear sway bars.
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-06-2018, 01:09 PM
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Lowest I’d go(and have gone) is 26”. It works better visually if you have wide tires/wheels with an offset that puts them flush with the fenders, and also 1.75-2” drop lowering springs - from a purely aesthetic standpoint I still believe 17x9 wheels with just shy of 26” tires(usually Mustang sized 245/45 or 275/40) and a 2” drop is the sleekest looking an MN12 can get, IF you can live with scraping everywhere and being on the edge of alignment range.

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