Lotus Elan

will 155R13 tyres fit a standard S3?

PostPost by: skelteanema » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:22 am

Hi all,

I am in New Zealand. I got a nail into one of my tyres and they won't repair it because they are too old. I currently have 145SR13 Dunlop SP radials on standard lotus stell bolt on rims. I will replace all tyres. I was offered some Bridgestone 155R13s but want to make sure they fit without modification. Bucklands book suggests 145's for the S1 to S3, and 155's for S4 and Sprint. Will 155's fit a stock S3 without modification, or hammering spring perches etc? Does it have to be lower profile for the 155's to foit, and if so what profile?

Thanks.

Skittle
Skittle. 1967 Elan S3 DHC
skelteanema
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 158
Joined: 11 Dec 2003
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

PostPost by: oldchieft » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:22 am

If it is a good tyre and they are only trying to sell you new ones I would spring for a can of tyre sealer.

It might give you a few years of use if your mileage is low.

Jon the Chief
oldchieft
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 397
Joined: 17 Sep 2013
Location: Near Wolverhampton

PostPost by: Keith Scarfe » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:38 am

Yes mine is a completely standard S3 and I run 155's with no rubbing issues. It is damn close but just OK.
I recently bought a set of vredestein sprint tyres and recommend them. They are fab. Standard 80 profile.
Keith Scarfe
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 234
Joined: 10 May 2004
Location: Suffolk, UK

PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:35 pm

Any tyre ten years old or older should never be used on a car that is driven! There are a number of documented cases of internal failure due to age and in some cases the driver didn't survive to tell the tale. It's recommended to replace tyres older than six years but definitely before ten. The major car manufacturers suggest not running tyures more than six years old. :shock:
Oh yeah, by the way, I have 155 R13 tyres on my S3 and no issues. In fact it had 175 R13 on the rear when I bought it but thast was on 5.5 inch +2 rims and with R26 rear wings. The front, though is standard S3 and came with 155 R13 on 4.5 inch steel rims. As a previous poster said, it's snug but works ok. I now have Uniroyal Rain Experts front and rear and am very happy with them!
Mechanical Engineer, happily retired!

'67 S3 SE FHC

See Facebook page: W J Barry Photography

Put your money where your mouse is, click on "Support LotusElan.net" below.
User avatar
Galwaylotus
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1356
Joined: 01 May 2006
Location: Galway, Ireland

PostPost by: UAB807F » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:20 am

Another "yes" here. I've used 155/80 on my S3 with standard k/o wheels ever since I bought it in the 70s. They are close at the rear spring platform but there is enough clearance. No problems front or rear on the bodywork.

If the tyres are old then I'd just replace the lot, 155/80x13's are cheap enough and the benefits of having fresh rubber on the car will soon make the wallet-bashing forgotten !

Brian
User avatar
UAB807F
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 624
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Location: Lincolnshire

PostPost by: reb53 » Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:01 am

Hi Skittle,
Being in NZ I have the same tyre problem also though I do run a Sprint, not a S3.
I've just spent literally days on the computer, and on the phone ringing around the country to try and find something even half suitable.
The economy tyres I've tried over the last few years have been very disappointing.
I've fitted some 165s, which is the point of this reply. They were very close to the lower spring perch, and possibly could have been OK. However, a few smacks with a large hammer made plenty of room, and didn't distort/upset the spring.
If you look up from the back you can just see how much, or how little, the clearance is.
I haven't mentioned what the tyres are because I've yet to get the car back on the road for the summer and so haven't tried them out yet.
All will be revealed in about a month.
Cheers
Ralph.
reb53
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 749
Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Location: Napier New Zealand.

PostPost by: skelteanema » Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:13 am

Thanks for all the replies. I bought a pair of 155/80R13 for the front. Boy it is a tight squeeze on full lock. When jacked up the tyre contacted the ant-roll bar, but when lowered there was about 1cm (or less) of clearance. This should be OK because you rarely use full lock anyway. I will try them on the rear and check for clearance, and if OK, will get a second pair. Thanks agin for all whi indicated that they would fit.

Unfortunately not much choice of tyres here in new Zealand, I went for some Bridgestones over Hankooks or another asin brand that I cannot recall. Hankooks are apparently OK for the Lotus Elan. or so I was told.

Thanks,

Skittle
Skittle. 1967 Elan S3 DHC
skelteanema
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 158
Joined: 11 Dec 2003
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

PostPost by: skelteanema » Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:45 am

Hi all,

how much space between spring perch and tyre is enough? I have put the 155/80R13's on the rear, and there is about 5mm space between the perch and the tyre. Is this a safe distance when tyre flexes?

The perch has not been hammered so I could do that (but prefer not to). What is the best method of hammering, and is there any risk of damage to other parts such as the hub carrier below? Any photos of a modified perch?

Thanks,

Skittle
Skittle. 1967 Elan S3 DHC
skelteanema
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 158
Joined: 11 Dec 2003
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

PostPost by: reb53 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:59 am

Hi Skittle,
I'm not sure how much is enough but I have about 10mm.
Last year I spent a lot of time tracking down a "swish swish " sound from the rear of the car. I never figured it out and as I had the usual size tyre on, though new, I never suspected them.
When putting some 165s on last week I noticed the spring perch had lost it's paint and the metal was polished.
That's when the penny finally dropped.
Looking at the tyres that had come off I found rub marks on them.
So, if you do have rubbing you should hear it.
As for smacking the perch, I used a club hammer and was surprised at how easily, and neatly, I was able to move it in about 15mm without upsetting the spring, or making a horrible looking mess. It's not at all obvious, just looks like a flat edge.
Didn't have to hit it so hard I was concerned about damaging anything else, like bearings etc.

Ralph.
reb53
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 749
Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Location: Napier New Zealand.

PostPost by: skelteanema » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:00 pm

Thanks Ralph,

When hammering the spring perch, did you need to support it from behind in any way, or you just whack it with the hammer at the lip on the lower perch? Did you protect it with a lump of metal/wood or just whack it directly?

Knowing my luck I will probably damage the alloy bearing housing and have to fix that! I only just got the car back from a (light) rear end collision ( I stopped at a give way, but the car behind didn't). Luckily not too much damage, but it did take 4 months to get it sorted again, and it was a consequence of that where I punctured when I pulled over to the curb and ran over a screw.

Skittle
Skittle. 1967 Elan S3 DHC
skelteanema
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 158
Joined: 11 Dec 2003
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

PostPost by: reb53 » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:07 pm

I didn't interpose anything between hammer and perch.
Used a small club hammer that has a face about 50mm square so the entire face contacted the perch each hit.
Didn't have anything supporting behind either and was surprised how easily it flattened back.
Less trauma and strain for the strut than going over a decent bump.
And I immediately went for a drive around the block and came back with all 4 wheels still attached....

Ralph.
reb53
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 749
Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Location: Napier New Zealand.

PostPost by: skelteanema » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:25 am

OK I will give it a go. If i can gain 10 to 15 mm, that should give plenty of space as that is about the clearance I had with the 145/80R13 tyres.
Skittle. 1967 Elan S3 DHC
skelteanema
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 158
Joined: 11 Dec 2003
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

PostPost by: skelteanema » Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:50 am

Well took the club hammer and adjusted the spring perches in the recognized manner. One side gave a clearance of about 15mm which should be plenty, the other was less (got to about 8-10mm), and I couldn't seem to coax much more out of it. I think this should be enough as the clearance I have achieved is similar to that of the original tyres, and there was no evidence of rubbing. I have given it a coat of underseal spray, and will check for rubbing after a bit of driving (once the weather warms up a tad more). Need to go back to the tyre shop to see if they can fit a thinner balance weight as the one they put on does not allow me to refit the rim embelisher. The balance weight is not original equipment either as it is made of zinc, not lead!

Finally have the car in a state that I am happy with since I was rear-ended about six months ago.
:shock:, sorry I meant the "car" was rear ended, not me personally! Looking forward to the summer months to take it out for a decent spin. :D
Skittle. 1967 Elan S3 DHC
skelteanema
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 158
Joined: 11 Dec 2003
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

PostPost by: reb53 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:29 am

Excellent timing Skittle, just as Summer arrives!

The rubbing on my car only left small marks, there was no way it was going to wear through in a hurry.
It did make itself very noticeable audibly though, driving alongside a wall, or fence, with the window down you could hear a "swish, swish " sound.
Or quietly coasting down a hill whilst leaning out a little with the door ajar.

A mate got rear ended in his Élan also many years ago.
I now have a high level stop light on the roll bar.

Ralph.
reb53
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 749
Joined: 09 Apr 2005
Location: Napier New Zealand.

PostPost by: davidj » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:29 pm

Good Evening,

Could someone please do me a big favour and post a picture of the spring perches "modified" for 155 tyres. The struts are off my S3 at the moment, so now is the ideal time to modify them.

Thanks in advance.

David
davidj
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 283
Joined: 09 Apr 2008
Next

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests