185 (OEM) Series vs 205 Series Tire?


(69 FHC ) #21

If we are referencing the “P” before the section width it refers to tires that are primarily designed for passenger car use.

From Tire Rack’s web site:

P225/50R16 91S

P = When a tire size begins with a “P,” it signifies the tire is a “P-metric” size that was designed to be fitted on vehicles that are primarily used as passenger vehicles. This includes cars, minivans, sport utility vehicles and light duty pickup trucks (typically 1/4- and 1/2-ton load capacity). The use of P-metric sizes began in the late 1970s and they are the most frequently used type of tire size today.

225/50R16 92S

If there isn’t a letter preceding the three-digit numeric portion of a tire size, it signifies the tire is a “Metric” size (also called “Euro-metric” because these sizes originated in Europe). While Metric tire sizes are primarily used on European cars, they are also used on vans and sport utility vehicles. Euro-metric sizes are dimensionally equivalent to P-metric sizes, but typically differ subtly in load carrying capabilities.

The full discussion can be found here: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=46

If, on the other hand, we are talking about the “P” after the XVS" in Michelin tires that “P” means the tire has a protective area built in to the tire to protect the rim from curb rash.


(Pete Ingraham) #22

https://www.cokertire.com/185hr15-michelin-xvs-p-curb-guard.html It depends where the P is…for the XVS it means PROTECTION.


(Pete Ingraham) #23

Coker also shows a 185/70 15 XWX - looks to be 1/2" wider than the XVS - which may be a compromise?


(Longstone) #24

It is the XVS-P that is being discussed

This link shows all the good 185R15 tyres that you would consider for an XKE. https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/tyres/185-15.html If you click on a tyre then it will give you all sorts of extra details about the tyre. such as heighth and width.

This link shows the 185/70VR15 tyres https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/tyres/185-70-15.html
in theory the width of a 185/70R15 should be about the same as a 185VR15 (give or take a little. you will also notice differences between brands of tyre),
but the heighth will be approximately 10% of 185mm smaller in radius. also as you start getting lower like this then the tread is often a little wider in relation to the section width. But that is not such a great issue, if you stick with period tyres, but as you get more modern and lower it becomes more of an issue.
However 185/70R15 is totally wrong for an e-type. I know some of my competitors recomend it, but they are wrong.

205/70VR15 this page shows all the tyres we would sell in this size. https://www.longstonetyres.co.uk/tyres/205-70-15.html again click on a tyre it will show you the distention, which again vary from brand to brand. However 70% of 205mm is 143.5mm is about the same as 80% of 185mm = 148mm (ie not 70% of 185mm). which amounts to about the same diameter of tyre as the original 64.0_15 Dunlop RS5 which was 683mm when Dunlop still made it.

On this film it shows you all the tyres that we recomend https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cioJAe2t8F4&list=PLORxf0xWk2NAz0J53D0dlFGi8rWwUOHYj&index=3 you can see the differences in tread width, and see the tyres in tthe flesh. But if you want to get yoour hands on them come and see us or arrange t o meet us at a VSCC race meeting.

205/70 tyres are over tyreing the car, which is why they didn’t fit them to the e-type in 1968 when it came out but waited until they fitted powersteering. there is a phenomena now where people are keen to fit a 205/65 or a 215/65 tyre or something of that ilk, because it is cheaper. The feeling that it is better is understandable, because of the perception that a modern tyre is better, which in some ways is true, but not for an e-type. a modern tyre suits different geometry. People then buy a new set of wheels, because you need a wider wheel to fit the lower profile tyre, which does cost less but will spoil your handling.

Of course because you are fitting a low profile tyre, you cannot use an inner tube. so you need a tubeless wire wheel. All cars that fitted wire wheels need inner tubes. I have seen too many failed tubeless wire wheels to trust them. Any tyre a discerning driver would want to fit to these cars would not be less than 70% profile.

It is a misguided rout to go down. Yes they are not cheap, but there are some great tyres in the right size for these cars. what you don’t want is to set yourself off down the rout of modifying you car to suit a modification that you did to make amends for another modification you did etc. etc…


(Bob Curran) #25

This is obviously a matter of opinion and one that I struggled with, but eventually I opted for the the original 185 tires and I have never regretted it. The car handles wonderfully and has a light responsive feel while cornering and at speed. There is really nothing that has to be improved upon, either in terms of performance or appearance, if you are not racing the car. And as someone who was taught to drive without power steering, it was common knowledge that it was much easier to turn the wheel, and better for the tires, suspension, steering gear etc. if the car was rolling while the wheel was turned.


(Pete Ingraham) #26

Thanks for the informative videos and discussion. I have just ordered the Pirelli Cinturato CA67 in the 185VR15 based on your discussions and recommendations from my local shop. They were pretty dear, but good tires (tyres) are insurance you collect on.


(Longstone) #27

I bet You love them.

i’d love to see some pictures