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tire / suspension variances

(@mrsponz)
Reputable Member

The posting is long and and convoluted. I apologize if you have to read it twice to understand my questions and the reasoning behind them.

I wish I knew more about suspensions and how they are tweaked for different purposes. But I don't, and based on my driving style I don't need to. But this topic has been floating around in my head for the longest time. I've been very hesitant to post this as it sounds like a Troll trying to stir up and argument.

Here goes: I've read more than once, both here and on the old SC, that there is an obvious difference in feel and handling between the 185/55R15 and the 195/50R15 for the front tires of our Spyder. But are we really comparing the same apples here? Are we comparing Red Delicious to Red Delicious or Red Delicious to Gala?? That may be a bad example, but forgive me for now. It seems to me everyone is comparing the two sizes in different brands and performance levels. I've also always read that the Toyota MR2 Designers setup and tweaked the Spyder suspension for a specific size tire (and at that time a specific brand - the Yokohama A022). Since we can't compare a new Yokohama A022 or a new Bridgestone Potenza 040 in different sizes, I'd like to see this, a comparison of the Yokohama Fleva in the following sizes:

                         Diameter     width     tread      weight

A - 185/55R15       23"           7.7"       6.3"       16.9 lbs

B - 195/50R15       22.7"        7.9"       6.6"       17.0 lbs

C - 195/55R15       23.4"        7.9"       6.5"       17.6 lbs

The testing should be done "blind" with the driver not knowing the tires they are testing, Yes, on the same Spyder with OEM 15 x 6 wheels. Stock suspension, OEM quality factory springs/struts with standard alignment setup.

How many Spider owners would be able to feel the differences between the three? What do you consider the most important difference between the three: the diameter, the overall width, the tread width or the weight ( don't cheat and say "all the above") ? Should (or can) the front suspension be tweaked for the various differences?

I hope to get some interesting responses to this post. Please don't call me a troll 😀 .

 

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Topic starter Posted : June 14, 2023 2:39 pm
LordTakuban reacted
dev_r6@hotmail.com
(@dev)
Just a member.

To answer your question having had 2 sets of A followed by 2 sets of B my opinion is the width is the difference in feel. The 185 was not about stagger for understeer it was about having the car feel like a shopping cart in the quickness of the turns. I loved Uturns the best. I could easily dial out the understeer with camber and sway bars. 
What I found is the most important above all of this is having stiff tires. 

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Posted : June 14, 2023 7:33 pm
(@mrsponz)
Reputable Member

@dev - Thanks Dev - I figured you would respond ! - However, if you look at what is actually available today - there are only two tires that can meet the criterion, the Yokohama Fleva in 185/55R15 + 195/50R15, and the Kumho Ecsta PS31 in the same sizes. How do we really recommend one size over the other? Are both models the same "stiffness" ? This is what I meant by apples to apples. I can taste the difference between a Cabernet from Napa and one from Australia. I say which one I prefer, but which one is the best if I never had one from France? Is it really just a matter of taste - I like Picasso and you like Matisse, or I like Mozart and you like Beethoven?? I feel bad that we can't measure the differences like we can between UTQG 200 tires and 300 tires. No disrespect as I like to hear you opinion.

Can you answer my question - would you be able to discern the difference in a  'blind test" based on the the criterion above ?? If yes, I congratulate you, that is I awesome and I respect that. Thanks.

 

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Topic starter Posted : June 14, 2023 10:04 pm
dev_r6@hotmail.com
(@dev)
Just a member.

Posted by: @mrsponz

@dev - Thanks Dev - I figured you would respond ! - However, if you look at what is actually available today - there are only two tires that can meet the criterion, the Yokohama Fleva in 185/55R15 + 195/50R15, and the Kumho Ecsta PS31 in the same sizes. How do we really recommend one size over the other? Are both models the same "stiffness" ? This is what I meant by apples to apples. I can taste the difference between a Cabernet from Napa and one from Australia. I say which one I prefer, but which one is the best if I never had one from France? Is it really just a matter of taste - I like Picasso and you like Matisse, or I like Mozart and you like Beethoven?? I feel bad that we can't measure the differences like we can between UTQG 200 tires and 300 tires. No disrespect as I like to hear you opinion.

Can you answer my question - would you be able to discern the difference in a  'blind test" based on the the criterion above ?? If yes, I congratulate you, that is I awesome and I respect that. Thanks.

 

I am going to get a little passionate with my opinions so I hope you don't mind. When I get this way it's nothing personal, its just an opinion on the product from my perspective which is often taken these days as being rude for reasons I cant understand except maybe if someone thinks the world of something they like and someone dumps all over it, it gets people upset. I think it should be followed by reasons why which is what I have always done but it still gets me into trouble. I have already upset a few on the other two sites when it came to my tire opinion but I did not hold back because I know there is someone that feels the same way I do and wants the same thing or someone might realize in time they are married to the wrong set of tires and will be able to make a better choice next time once they get over themselves.  

 I never did any kind of blind test to see the difference between a 185 and 195 but I have unwittingly found myself in a situations going in blind driving a number of other owners cars over the years without knowing anything about the suspension and tires before driving it.  

Those cars which had 185s were of two makes. Toyo Proxes and the S.Drives.  In both situations I could tell they had the same kind of crisp quick turn in like the OEM Yokohama tires I had. I come to learn after the fact or during the drive when I asked about the tires, sizes and inflation pressures.  It was followed by the comment of how much I like the stock sizes particularly the 185 up front.  The 185s makes the slow speed handling feel like a stunt car where I am in control of the front wheels and I would do this trick where I would drive in reverse and turn the car around facing the other direction which felt like a shopping cart. 

With the 195s there was more grip and less understeer but the steering response was dulled down. On a positive note the car felt more stable but less lively. However if I were to add camber to the 185s whatever understeer I had could be dialed out.  Braking on the 195s was better if you had to add camber but on the whole it feels more like other cars and not as special. 

Reading stiffness I strongly feel that is number one for me.  I am willing to compromise on size which I have for a stiff responsive tire. For me that is everything because grip has been over fulfilled. If a group of tires are tested and the tire that is on the bottom of the list for grip but gives the stiffest response that is the tire I want. I would even get a tire that is one or two generations behind as long as it's stiff and has good response regardless of the tire size compromise so yes I would take a 195 or even a 205 that is stiff over a 185 which is soft.  

 I have heard elsewhere that the successor to the S.drives being the Fleva are soft. I also found this link below interesting because even by Yokohama standards they are not what they categorize as superior handling. I want tires that offer superior handling as that is important to me especially with the modifications I have on my car. I do not need extreme performance just ultra performance or max summer with great handling characteristics.  

    https://www.yokohama.com.au/our-range/tyres?cat=Advan%20Tyres

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted : June 15, 2023 10:09 am
(@mrsponz)
Reputable Member

Dev, thanks for the response. I love passionate people, and I don't have to agree with them for them to be my friends. I have several that I "discuss" politics and sports with in sometimes rather loud tones, but we're still OK. I've read your comments here and on the SC for years and enjoyed them. I also enjoy the passion for lightness as expressed by Petrus and Node. 

As for tires, unfortunately, I drive a 2003 with OEM wheels on a strictly stock suspension and am stuck with those tires as listed above if I wanted to go back to 185/55R15. Most likely in my case I would not detect the .762 mm difference. I will say that while I was driving to work on the So Cal. freeways every day I did notice the 205/45R16 on the front. I thought the firmness and stability felt great. And city driving still felt sporty but less so. Now that I have my Hankook R-S4 tires with 195/50R15 on the front, I definitely notice the difference between the two, but we're talking more diameter, width and weight. I did not have my Bridgestone 040 on the front very long so never really got spoiled by them.

I hope more people eventually chip in here to express their experiences and opinions.

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Topic starter Posted : June 15, 2023 4:01 pm
dev_r6@hotmail.com
(@dev)
Just a member.

What is really funny is I always advocated for the 185 tire size when more people were in the square camp or wider is better.  I gave my reasons and fought a one or two man battle with Spyder enthusiasts for years and I stayed true to my convictions even though I don't run those sizes. I was in the minority of opinion and now look at what has happened where the majority of opinion has now shifted towards staggered and stock sizes for the most fun. 

 I was in the minority of opinion when some people wanted to mix tires or use all season tires to be cheap. I was the fool that advocated don't mix tires and to use the tires in the same performance category the car came with to match the suspension and I got crapped on. I sited many resources and all kinds of literature but I still had arrogant people that decided to make me a pariah and some decided to throw ad hominem personal attacks my way.  

Now I am the "stiff tire guy" and I am certain people will adopt that way of thinking about tires for this car once enough time goes by.  When you have a soft tire it is the worst feeling in the world for this car but there are some people I imagine that wouldn't know the difference because the let the tires drive them and not drive the tires, thats ok because some people have no basis of comparison except the feel of new tires compared to the old ones at their worst. 

 

 

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Posted : June 15, 2023 6:13 pm
(@marsrock7)
Honorable Member

No apples to apples here... Most recent experience is with PS31 (185/55, 205/50) and 595RS-RR (205/50, 225/45). 

Having mixed and matched quite a bit, I can say the 595s are definitely stickier than PS31s but the latter was not a terrible choice for a DD Spyder. I did not enjoy either 205 tire in the front... Although the 205 595 in front was quite sticky it just took away so much road feel. If I was racing competitively I'd use them, but for street fun I've been wearing the 185 PS31 in front and swapping between 205 rear (summer) and 225 rear (winter-ish). I do now own a set of 595 RS-R (not quite as sticky as the RS-RR) in 195/50 (came with the aw11) but I haven't tried them on the front of the toy yet. 

The 185 up front (on the 6.5in wide wheel) definitely costs me some speed when entering a corner (will understeer) but input response is just sooo much better with the narrower front. I hope the 195s up front feel similar, at least enough to consider it a worthy compromise. 

 

I do not advocate mixing and matching tires the way I have been doing. The only reason I've been doing so is because my 185 PS31s were barely worn at all by the time I'd burnt up the rears, I experimented with everything I had in my possession and decided to take the crisp turn in over more front grip. As we all know options are slim for offsets in 15" wheels. 

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Posted : June 24, 2023 3:34 pm
dev_r6@hotmail.com
(@dev)
Just a member.

I was able to take my tires safely around a few tight low speed 90 degree corners on a meet we had over the weekend.  I pushed my tires hard and got them to show me how they behave as they have so much feel in and out traction.  It reminds me of how controllable the MX-5 is compared to our car when the rear starts to step out of line.  One thing I did notice is the 200 wear tires like I had before have a higher level of grip but you don't have as much feel, I would rather have feel because its a bit ridiculous how much grip these extreme tires have for the street. Like horse power with these newer cars its getting to be a bit ridiculous and that is why If I get another 200 wear tire I want to go less wide. 

 

 

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Posted : June 27, 2023 10:30 am
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