I have a 1974 BB Coupe, all original, 2nd owner and it is time to replace my
tires. Vehicle sat for many years and has only been back on the road for a
few now. Currently running Radial TA's, I have seen these on many other C3's
and they seem to fit well and look good but I would like to know if there
are any other options. I am in Canada, Vancouver, so I only drive it a few
months out of the year and primarily just to shows and cruises.
Any suggestions re Brand and Size would be appreciated.
I've always liked BFG TAs but they are not that great of a performance tire
as many others. However, most performance tires are not available in a 15
inch diameter in the sizes we need. What I most liked was that they were a
fabric belted radial and could sustain higher speeds than most steel radials
due to less mass of the belts. However, with speed ratings, you can safely
pick a high speed steel belted radial now. And BFG only rates them as 110
mph I think. I've had them MUCH higher and had no problems ever due to
speed. I have separated belts in others due to speed, and luckily never had
one come apart while driving.
The original size was a GR70-15 but that type of sizing is long gone. The
basic equivalent is 225/70R15. To get a more aggressive stance, and more
grip, a 60 series tire should be used. The 255/60R15 became an option in
1978, but the '78 had a rear body that was about an inch wider than '74-'77
and the factory trimmed the inner fender on cars receiving the 255/60 tire.
The best size in a 60 series is the 245/60R15, but not everyone makes that
size. The 235/60R15 is much more common.
Some 255/60R15s will rub on the emergency brake cable and cut the tire with
the steel Rally wheels. The aluminum factory wheels have a slight bit more
offset and will clear. The bracket moved about a 1/4 inch in either '78 or
'79. Aftermarket wheels need to be checked with tires.
Many tires will rub at the front. Usually they rub on the frame when at
full lock on turning. This doesn't affect anything, but some will rub the
inner fender or the back of the fender. This can crack fiberglass, so you
need to check.
Unfortunately, for a mass-produced car, nearly every one fits the chassis
differently and so some will fit while others won't. A BFG TA on a Rally may
fit on half of the cars fine and rub on the other half. So you really need
to mount a tire and wheel and try them on every corner.
When I first acquired my 75 coupe, it had 255/60R15 tires on
it. They rubbed the front fenders on a tight turn. I was
careful about turns until it became time to replace them and
then I put on Goodyear RSA 225/70R15. The RSA's are used a
lot on police cars because of their performance (but they
are somewhat expensive).
On my 1970 BB, I have BFG 255x60R15's all around and they dont rub at
all. Very pleased with the grip and quietness. I used to have the BFG
Radial T/A's but the T/A's are a harder rubber tire , makes more noise,
and makes the ride harsher .
just my 2 cents...
I just put new tires on my 79, and found that the BFG TA's were not
available around here...I Opted for the genereic brand ..the uniroyal tiger
paws, ( was assured they were the same patern and wear)..anyways, I have
255/70/15 on rear and 225/70/15 on front..No rub, and i was amazed at the
grip and the incerdible smooth ride..guess i dont need new shocks after
This is my daily rider and not a show car, but like i said..my 2 cents.
I appreciate everyone's replies, my biggest concern is the amount of space
between the tire and wheel well, I've seen many cars where the tire doesn't
'fill' the wheel well and it looks horrible. I do like the way the 225/70
fit now, but wonder if going to a 235 or maybe 245/60 would widen the stance
and still 'fill' the wheel well?
I have narrowed my two tire choices to either the T/A or the Yokohama Avid
S/T, does anyone have any feedback on the Yokohama?
Managed to find a /65 profile tire that looked good and chose that
one over a better handling /60. Probably hard to find a /65 suitable
for the loads and speed rating needed in a BB. I'd suggest mounting one
/60 then make the decision on appearance.
Yokohama: -- My C4 is on its second set of AVSs. Put them on the C5
last spring. We run Avid T4s on my wife's car. Quieter than most, good
dry cornering & traction, not great when wet. My main issue is that
AVSs and the T4s are slow to warm up. Winter mornings need 5-6 miles of
driving at 60-65 before they're warm enough to smoothly keep up with
traffic. Otherwise--nice tires at a mid-level price.
The Avid S/T ought not have this problem since it's a polyester carcass
without a sound-suppression belt.
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