After three years of a staggered setup and four years of a square setup, I've decided to go back to staggered. Coming down from our local mountains a few weeks ago (yes, Los Angeles has mountains - HA), I didn't like the way the car felt. When I got home I checked the pressure again, it was fine. However, the front hid a little of Lincoln's head, and the rear showed Lincoln's head. More importantly, I was seeing some early signs of dry rot in the rear (the older tires). California smog and ozone ages tires prematurely. Today FedEx delivered my new tires. Hankook R-S4 195/50R15 front and 205/45R16 rear. TireRack does not carry these sizes. I spent a lot of time looking for them before I found them. Why these tires you may ask. I wanted to go back to staggered and have oem wheels. As much as I like my Sport Comp-2 tires, I wanted to experience something slightly better. As we all know, the pickings for Summer tires in our FL spyders are slim. My research showed me that if I want these sizes that I really only had five choices:
Kumho PS31 - a step down
BF Goodrich Sport Comp-2 - wanted a step up
Yokohama Fleva - just a lateral move, not a step up
Bridgestone RE-71 - great grip/traction, but more expensive, low tread life, and being discontinued
Hankook R-S4 - very good grip/traction, still expensive but reasonable tread life.
I don't track or autocross, but I love my mountain driving and just wanted something better than my BF Goodrich tires.
Oh, and I am also getting new KYB struts installed.
Any suggestions for tire pressure with these tires, or just normal Toyota recommended?
Also, any tips on alignment settings with the new tires and struts?
Thanks and keep on permagrinning.
If you don't put too many miles on your car, the Nitto NT-05's are pretty nice. But they don't last long. I've had good results with Hankook R-S2 and R-S3 in the past. I haven't had a set of the R-S4s though so not sure. When I bought tires for my FR-S (before grenading the motor), I bought some firestone/bridgestone tires that were super cheap, but were really nice and grippy. I can't remember the name of the tire, but if I do, I'll post it.
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I really like my Firestone Indy 500s which are rebranded Bridgestone RE003 that are not available in our market. I don't like tire reviews because they can be misleading but with these they were nearly unanimous for being extraordinarily good at its price point they gained cult status. What I like about them is they have very stiff sidewalls like the OEM tires giving way to a very responsive ride.
Anyway as far as tire pressures go I made an article on how to set tire pressures using the load chart. It works really well for a starting point.
So I used to drive many more miles than I do now and I had RE11's which were fantastic tire (discontinued in usable sizes). I now have the Yokos and I have to say for daily use I really notice no difference and I really, really like having 185's up front again as the experience is more visceral (responsive if you will). I am all for getting great tires the question is what are your driving needs and do you want to spend more $$ than that need gives you. I agree with dev, that most tire reviews are rubbish mostly because the car the tires are supporting is different and impacts performance perceptions.
I love Bridgestone and these are my first Yokos and they are better than the Toyos I had years back. You will likely not do badly with any tire on that list or suggested.
Thanks for the comments guys. The Hankook's arrived and look great. Can't wait to have them installed. Need the KYB struts first however. Gonna cool the mountain driving for a while. If I didn't want to go back to (near) OEM staggered sizes I was looking at the Indy 500's, but the Indy's and the Nitto's have the same issue - can't stagger them in the (near) OEM sizes. The R-S4 are XL and have a load index of 86 front and 87 rear, so I guess I'll have to play with the tire pressures and keep monitoring it. Start out with 28psi and 34psi and go down from there ??
No specific recommendations on alignment ?
I just checked the chart for you.
Because both tires are XL it has to be read from the XL table.
Your tire pressure should be 26psi F and 36 psi rear.
As far as alignment goes you can only adjust toe. I would try to get 0 toe for the front for more responsive handling and very slight positive toe in the rear for high speed stability.
Thanks Dev. Not too many Spyders run with the R-S4. Maybe too old school (2017), that and I know they are not as fast as a lot of other popular 200 tires but I like the grip and endurance potential. These tires are not old stock and have a DOT of 2021. Can't wait to get my new struts and tires installed !!
I no longer care about the latest tires. It becomes a crap shoot when something new comes on the market.
I just want tires that are well known to be good because they have been on the market for a good amount of time to gain some kind of cult status like the Indy 500s.
If I wear out the tires I would buy the same set. There is no point in looking at some kind of graph showing a slight improvement in track times. The best tire I remember was the OEMs. I have a suspicion the reason why there are so many soft side walled tires is for plus sizing so you don't bend a wheel or have an uncomfortable ride and that is why we get short changed.