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 FAQ: Which tires work best?

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Eldo
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:03 am

Well, I guess that everyone has a different idea of "ride"... I simultaneously owned a '97 Riviera, on the G-platform, and a '92 LeSabre on the SHIT platform... After countless American coupes ranging from a '67 Riviera GS to a '96 Eldorado, I don't think that 'our' Rivieras can be considered " marshmallow"...

The only thing that I think the factory mis-judged is the rear springs/Level-Ride... I do believe that the rear springs are too high/stiff, negating the need for the Level-Ride system. If I really cared to level the car and make the spring-rates better, I'd torch the rear springs and adjust the Level-Ride actuator...
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:55 am

Eldo wrote:
Well, I guess that everyone has a different idea of "ride"... I simultaneously owned a '97 Riviera, on the G-platform, and a '92 LeSabre on the SHIT platform... After countless American coupes ranging from a '67 Riviera GS to a '96 Eldorado, I don't think that 'our' Rivieras can be considered " marshmallow"...

The only thing that I think the factory mis-judged is the rear springs/Level-Ride... I do believe that the rear springs are too high/stiff, negating the need for the Level-Ride system. If I really cared to level the car and make the spring-rates better, I'd torch the rear springs and adjust the Level-Ride actuator...
.

I'd consider having a set of prograssive springs wound to go with the level-ride.

You might think twice about the calibration of hte level-ride if you ever fill your Riv with 4-5 passengers and a trunk chock full of luggage. I remain impressed by how well it behaved when I've had to do that.

Albertj
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:07 am

See page 2 of this thread for my comments on Firehawk Wide Ovals with stock rims.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:26 am

When I coulden't find some Firehawk Wide Ovals on a short timelimit, I went with the Firehawk GT. I'm pretty happy with it, sticky tire.

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:23 pm

The Firehawk GT can be used in mud & snow, whereas Wide Oval it is not recommended (from experience, it can be done, but not much fun if the Ovals are worn much below new).

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:48 pm

sdconcepts wrote:
i am trying to make my 96 riv handle better than the marshmallow ride if came with from the factory. i would like to keep my stock wheels and go with a little more aggressive tire. is there something someone has used that has worked well? i'm looking at a 235/55/16 or a 245/50/16 although i think the 245 will be too wide for the 16*7 rim.
Does anyone have experience with changing the tires aspect ratio and keeping the same diameter on stock rims.
I'm in need of replacement tires and was also wondering about changing the "Size" on the stock 16 X 7" wheels as is "sdconcepts"
Would like a larger contact patch if possible for an all season tire.
Any input on that subject only. Don't need to get into brand's of tires, just size Thanks.

I will be buying 18" rim's for Summer only UHP tires soon..
Right now I need to replace the rubber that's on there. Have Goodyear Eagle LS's that have failed me with only 15K miles on them.
Vibrate terribly on the highway. Not a balance issue either.
Paid $150.00 each for them a couple of years ago and they are going in the dumpster.

Thanks for any input, or more specifically tire size's that you can recommend from experience.
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:47 pm

Bump,
Anyone have any input.
Thanks
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Thu Aug 20, 2009 2:52 pm

Rickw wrote:
sdconcepts wrote:
i am trying to make my 96 riv handle better than the marshmallow ride if came with from the factory. i would like to keep my stock wheels and go with a little more aggressive tire. is there something someone has used that has worked well? i'm looking at a 235/55/16 or a 245/50/16 although i think the 245 will be too wide for the 16*7 rim.
Does anyone have experience with changing the tires aspect ratio and keeping the same diameter on stock rims.
I'm in need of replacement tires and was also wondering about changing the "Size" on the stock 16 X 7" wheels as is "sdconcepts"
Would like a larger contact patch if possible for an all season tire.
Any input on that subject only. Don't need to get into brand's of tires, just size Thanks.

I will be buying 18" rim's for Summer only UHP tires soon..
Right now I need to replace the rubber that's on there. Have Goodyear Eagle LS's that have failed me with only 15K miles on them.
Vibrate terribly on the highway. Not a balance issue either.
Paid $150.00 each for them a couple of years ago and they are going in the dumpster.

Thanks for any input, or more specifically tire size's that you can recommend from experience.

From experience - get a look at the tires already mounted if at all possible. 2 different brand tires may well have different contact patches. the point is that sometires the shoulder is rounded, others it is kind of square. The rounded shoulder tire (like the old Michelin XZX) will tend to have a narrower contact patch than the squared shoulder tire - but the contact patch also will be longer front to back than on the square shoulder tire. . . Those kind of tires (round shoulders) are good for back roads. The squared shoulder tire will have a wider contact patch that will tend more to an oval shape, long axis parallel to the axle. That tire will be a better highway cruiser BUT also will tend more to hydroplane unless the tread is set up to evacuate water. If the tread is set to evacuate water (Goodyear Aquatred for instance) it will be amazing in the rain because it'll more reliably pump out the water.

As for the tire size (getting say a 215/70- instead of a 225/65 - I'd give that a "probably not" because it's not that likely you'll match the load or quality ratings.

I would think Rick your best bet would be to call a sales rep at Tire Rack. That has to be one of the only retailer that has its own test track and where the sales people actually drive test cars with the various tires. I'd ask them. On a slow day they even can tell you what tires they have sold in the past for what model car and such.

Albertj


Last edited by albertj on Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:45 pm

Thanks Albert,
As usual, good advice. I'll try Tire Rack and see what they say.
Rick
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TonySmooth89
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:49 am

Rickw wrote:
sdconcepts wrote:
i am trying to make my 96 riv handle better than the marshmallow ride if came with from the factory. i would like to keep my stock wheels and go with a little more aggressive tire. is there something someone has used that has worked well? i'm looking at a 235/55/16 or a 245/50/16 although i think the 245 will be too wide for the 16*7 rim.
Does anyone have experience with changing the tires aspect ratio and keeping the same diameter on stock rims.
I'm in need of replacement tires and was also wondering about changing the "Size" on the stock 16 X 7" wheels as is "sdconcepts"
Would like a larger contact patch if possible for an all season tire.
Any input on that subject only. Don't need to get into brand's of tires, just size Thanks.

I will be buying 18" rim's for Summer only UHP tires soon..
Right now I need to replace the rubber that's on there. Have Goodyear Eagle LS's that have failed me with only 15K miles on them.
Vibrate terribly on the highway. Not a balance issue either.
Paid $150.00 each for them a couple of years ago and they are going in the dumpster.

Thanks for any input, or more specifically tire size's that you can recommend from experience.


My choice of tire for the new rims was General Exclaim UHP summer tires , and I LOVE these tires. I don't plan on ever getting another tire for this car. They hook well , handle well , ride well , are quiet , seem to be wearing well a few thousand miles in and were very affordable. I strongly recommend this tire as do others who have used them. It ranks very highly in tireracks surveys.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:18 pm

AA wrote:
The Firehawk GT can be used in mud & snow, whereas Wide Oval it is not recommended (from experience, it can be done, but not much fun if the Ovals are worn much below new).
AA, What tires do you use for the winter?
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:31 pm

I do run the Wide Ovals all year long, but I always move the better two to the rear and get a fresh pair for the front, just before it snows. Ohio gets plenty of snow, but the central part is milder, with about 3 good snow days per year on average. When that happens, I rely on the skills I've picked up driving big, heavy, RWD cars for 15 years.

I don't suggest anyone do what I do, but it works for me. Unlike most max perf summer tires, the Firehawks use a silica rubber material that stays more flexible in freezing cold. No cracks on my tires, ever.

Hope this helps; PLEASE DO NOT get caught in snow with worn summer performance tires!! You need all the tread these tires have to even stand a chance.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
Rickw
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:52 pm

Thanks for the info,
I really would like to try the Wide Ovals but will be coming into winter soon enough. So I'm torn on making the decision between the WO's and the GT's.
I do usually have a 4wd POS available to me for bad snow days (when its running).
Also I read a very good technical article recently on why if your going to only replace two tires on a FWD car you want to put them on the rear.
At first it seemed contrary to everything I was taught but after finishing the article it made sense.
I will try and find it and post it here for reference.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:13 pm

I bought a set of factory silver alloys from Wilbert's Buick (a recycler in Victor, NY - http://www.wilbertsgmparts.com/), repainted them myself, then put Goodyear UltraGrip Ice tires on. I change to winter wheels around Thanksgiving, and to sunmmers around Easter. Bought the tires 12/2004 to replace Michelin Arctic Alpins that had worn more than I thought in 3 winters. They have 2 sets of wear bars, one the DOT-mandated safety limit and the other (higher off the carcass) indexed to the depth of the special snow tread rubber. They still have snow tread left on them but this is the 5th season , and I think this is the last season I will use them if only due to age.

Albertj

PS - as for the 'mount new tires on the rear' the article's logic is incomplete, does not factor in the dramatically faster wear of front tire on FWD cars. For my purposes, I put the new rubber on the front. But if the best 2 tires are worn about 1/2 way or more to the wear bars, I'd "man up" and replace all 4 because the shallower tread would tend to skitter if you're running in a heavy rain.
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:44 pm

Quote :
the article's logic is incomplete, does not factor in the dramatically faster wear of front tire on FWD cars.
Exactly. By putting the new rubber on front, you are going to better arm your FWD car for snow (steering, braking, etc.). The rears aren't going to be "bad" tires, just moderately used. Over the next few thousand miles, your fronts will wear down to "catch up" with the rears, after which you can rotate the tires normally to get a more even set.

If you just put the new rubber on the rear, the fronts will continue to wear down until you rotate, which means you get more of an imbalance front to rear. The "safety first" rule shouldn't apply to cars like ours that make so much torque up front (not most FWD cars).

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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http://www.cardomain.com/ride/657082/4
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:23 pm

For winter driving, I prefer to have dedicated snow tires, and keep the dedicated summer tires for summer. Partly due to being up here in Canada, but also because it really doen't cost me anything. The way I figgure it, is its like buying two brand new pairs of shoes and use them each for half the year. Same mileage overall, just more cash upfront, that lasts twice as long. So i'm spending the same money, but have a tire that is designed for the weather conditions that I'm driving in. Now I understand that not everyone can afford to "finance" the two sets of tires, but with a bit of financial planning you end up not spending any more to have the right tool for the job.

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:46 pm

I think the key part in the above scenario is owning an extra set of wheels (which does add significant cost to the big picture). If you have the extra 4 rims, it makes sense to run Blizzaks part of the year, ultra-summer the other. If not, you mush remount and balance twice per year, and store extra the tires, which can be a pain for some.

Also, when you get a 2nd set of wheels, it's very tempting to size up to 18" for summer, which increases cost of rubber. Just more $$ in the end. But I agree, in a perfect world, I would do exactly what you're suggesting.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:58 pm

AA wrote:
I think the key part in the above scenario is owning an extra set of wheels (which does add significant cost to the big picture). If you have the extra 4 rims, it makes sense to run Blizzaks part of the year, ultra-summer the other. If not, you mush remount and balance twice per year, and store extra the tires, which can be a pain for some.

Also, when you get a 2nd set of wheels, it's very tempting to size up to 18" for summer, which increases cost of rubber. Just more $$ in the end. But I agree, in a perfect world, I would do exactly what you're suggesting.

If I remember right the alloys cost me around 50 or 75 each - they were good but cosmetically not so good with scratches and corrosion. The guys at Wilberts told me where I could paint versus could not and such. Getting the wheels home, I found out the corrosion was not deep, and there were good instructions on how to paint aluminum on the Internet - and it turned out that one of the spray on wheel cleaners contains the chemical needed to prep the bare aluminum alloy for painting. I forget the brand, it's the one in black and red spray bottles.

So I stack the mounted snows in the basement in the off season.

I have a set of aftermarket Z Racing alloys, that need painted but would work and fit the Riv that I would sell for cheap if interested - PM me.

Albertj
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PostSubject: What Tire Does Everyone Run?   Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:14 pm

I'm debating on what I should get for my next tires. I need something that is extremely good in the snow, and NOT Goodyear made. I was just curious what everybody else runs on their Riviera. I'm currently looking at some Firestone Winterforce tires. They're supposed to be Winter tires, but I'm thinking of running them all year. What is your opinion, and what do you have for tires currently?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:30 pm

My experience with running Winter Tires all year round is that they will wear out very quick.
Winter tires by design have a softer tread compound so that they remain flexible and stick good in snow and ice situations.
But if you get lazy, like I did, and don't swap them out in the warmer weather they will wear out very quickly. I had them installed on my GF's SUV.
So. I would highly recommend a "Winter Only" tire but definitely swap them out with a either a performance summer only tire or an all-season tire come the spring.


Last edited by Rickw on Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:37 pm

Rickw wrote:
My experience with running Winter Tires all year round is that they will wear out very quick.
Winter tires by design have a softer tread compound so that they remain flexible and stick good in snow and ice situations.
But if you get lazy, like I did, and don't swap them out in the warmer weather they will wear out very quickly.
So. I would highly recommend a "Winter Only" tire but definitely swap them out with a either a performance summer only tire or an all-season tire come the spring.

I've heard that, but what's the difference between running winter tires in the winter when the road is bare and running them in the summer? I suppose I could pick up a set of tires early next year for spring when money is better. So what do you use for winter and/or summer tires?
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:43 pm

GMFreak8 wrote:

I've heard that, but what's the difference between running winter tires in the winter when the road is bare and running them in the summer?

My guess is, the winter compound designed to be soft at winter temperatures becomes waaaaay too soft at summer temperatures.

But I could be wrong, as driving makes tires so hot you can barely touch them anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:55 pm

the tread is a big difference. the blocks channel more snow and ice through them than summer tires.also the blocks are higher. and more of them.safety dictates that there is little or no compromise whether you run them while there is snow on the ground or if there has been a thaw. the tires need to perform when the snow and rain come back.running winter tires in summer will cost you at the pump. because of the softer rubber and the bigger tread blocks. the friction penalties go way up. summer tires in the winter will work if you are ever so careful when driving. not worth the hassle. its expensive to buy 2 sets of wheels,1 for summer performance driving,1 for winter. but in the long run having a summer tire, that handles rain too, will pay for it's self.and you"ll have alot more fun in the twisties. and a super set of winter tires will impress the friends when the shit really starts to fall.
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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:06 pm

I need tires bad ... and live in NY . im thinking about a set of General Altimax HP . A set of dedicated snows would be better , just hope these dont suck , they are supposed to be all season ...

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PostSubject: Re: FAQ: Which tires work best?   Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:10 pm

I always go to Tirerack.com and look up the reviews on any specific tire.
Otherwise asking about tire specifics or how someone likes one tire over another is difficult on the boards because your going to get a bunch of differing opinions.
Tire Rack helps me make up my mind regarding tires based on thousands of results and hopefully unbiased opinions.
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