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What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: rnch ()
Date: October 07, 2018 07:10AM

Looking to put narrower front tires on Skyler the DropTop AirVair, to decrease steering effort.

What would be the narrowest 14 inch tire to look for?

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Re: What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: October 07, 2018 07:26AM

195/70's imo or 205/65's





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Re: What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: JerryM ()
Date: October 07, 2018 07:28AM

rnch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Looking to put narrower front tires on Skyler the
> DropTop AirVair, to decrease steering effort.
>
> What would be the narrowest 14 inch tire to look
> for?

What's your rim width?

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Re: What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: rnch ()
Date: October 07, 2018 09:16AM

I have 195R/65 X 14 Falken brand tires on it now.

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Re: What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: October 07, 2018 09:17AM

I run a 205/70X14 and except when the car is at a standstill the steering is easy (standard box). Also gives the correct speedo ratio.

BTW - An incorrect alignment can cause an increase in steering effort. The farther I turned the wheel the higher the effort on one of my cars. It was because the "expert" alignment guy didn't adjust the caster and I found it was way off.

I know setting caster on an old front end can be a challenge, but mine was rebuilt and clean.

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Re: What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: rnch ()
Date: October 07, 2018 09:25AM

I've been offered two 185/75 X 14, hardly used tires, date code from last year.

Too small/too narrow?

I'm not after optimal cornering power/handling at this point in my life; just easiest steering possible. I'm developing arthur-itis in my wrists and knuckles.

The price is right.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/07/2018 09:26AM by rnch.

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Re: What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: rnch ()
Date: October 07, 2018 09:27AM

66vairman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I run a 205/70X14 and except when the car is at a
> standstill the steering is easy (standard box).
> Also gives the correct speedo ratio.
>
> BTW - An incorrect alignment can cause an increase
> in steering effort. The farther I turned the wheel
> the higher the effort on one of my cars. It was
> because the "expert" alignment guy didn't adjust
> the caster and I found it was way off.
>
> I know setting caster on an old front end can be a
> challenge, but mine was rebuilt and clean.


Excellent point!

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Re: What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: October 08, 2018 05:53AM

I don't think 185/75/14 are too narrow. I'm not in the wider is always better camp.
I'd be concerned about installing a taller tire on the front than on the rear. It's easy for Corvairs to get a drag-ass look.

I worked on a 63 last week where the steering gearbox lash adjustment was too tight. It's a shame that it's so easy to get to. Too tight is hard on the internals.

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com

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Re: What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: rnch ()
Date: October 08, 2018 09:10AM

Good point, Jim.

I detest the "DA" look also.

I'll be sure to measure the height of any replacement tire I consider.

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Re: What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: 67 airvair ()
Date: October 08, 2018 09:20AM

I once ran a rather wide 14" tire on several Corvairs and found that, in truth, they were simply too wide. The car felt "over-tired". I was not impressed with the handling, and got just as much if not better road feel and traction from narrower tires. So I'd recommend something around either a 205/70 or a 195/60-14 size.

I also have to say that brand and model of tire has a lot to do with it. I've had good experience with Goodrich Comp T/A tires, but find the Goodyear Eagle GT not as good.


I feel the same way with larger diameter rims. If you get beyond about 15 inches, the car looks terrible, no matter how nice the wheel itself looks. There's something about huge diameter rims that are just soooooo wrong on vintage cars like the Corvair (same goes for tri-five Chevies, and more.) I feel that using larger rims is an effort to make up for lousy styling. And the Corvair is not lacking in that department.

-Mark

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Re: What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: steve c goodman ()
Date: October 08, 2018 09:36AM

What is air pressure in front? Low makes effort
harder.

I also see drivers who are used to power steering
try to turn the wheels while parked. That simply
won't work easily and is very hard on steering
components. Make the car roll while turning the
steering wheel no matter what size and air pressure
you have.

best wishes, Steve
Rear Engine Spec. Inc. Golden, Colo.

1962 spyder 3.0L turbo---1965 Crown V8
1967 monza 110/4---1968 monza 110/4
1971 amante gt 110/4
CORSA/RMC/PPCC

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Re: What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: October 09, 2018 05:12AM

I read an interesting opinion type article regarding tires. His contention was that a tall and narrow tire has an elongated contact patch that just wants to go down the road straight.

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com

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Re: What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: Phil Dally ()
Date: October 09, 2018 06:38AM

rnch...you might consider power steering.

It has already been done by V8 guy Paul Beck.


[corvaircenter.com]

This is the company that supplied the parts kit.

[epowersteering.com]

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Re: What's the narrowest acceptable 14 inch tire size for a LM?
Posted by: TerribleTed ()
Date: October 09, 2018 07:44AM

rnch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've been offered two 185/75 X 14, hardly used
> tires, date code from last year.
>
> Too small/too narrow?
>
> I'm not after optimal cornering power/handling at
> this point in my life; just easiest steering
> possible. I'm developing arthur-itis in my wrists
> and knuckles.
>
> The price is right.

This tire size is almost exactly like the stock replacement size 185/80r 13. The 185/75 14 tires are 24.9" overall diameter the 13's are 24.7" so only .8% taller. The width is 7.3" and the 13's are also 7.3"

The 195/65r 14's you have are 2.8% short and .4" wider than the "stock" size. I would say that these are a bit shorter than I would like, but, I doubt the .4" in width will make much difference in steering effort. Tread compound would make more difference. If the Falkens are a very sticky tread compound that would make for more effort over a stiffer standard mileage oriented tread compound. First I would look at the steering for binding as others have mentioned.


Here is a link to a tire size comparison website I have found to be quite useful [tiresize.com] plug in the stock size (185/80r 13 in this case) and then the size in question and you can see what the differences will be including the effect on speedo accuracy. Keep in mind that if you go significantly larger or smaller in diameter the cars performance will be changed due to the engine rpm being higher or lower at a given speed. Changing tire overall diameter essentially changes the overall gear ratio of the car.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Avid Corvair hobbiest since 1984.
I have personally performed ground up restoration on over 20 Corvairs.
I currently work full time at restoring and repairing Corvairs.
Located in the Atlanta Georgia area.
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/09/2018 07:48AM by TerribleTed.

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