Firebird Nation banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,465 Posts
Time has come for a new set of tires. Not sure what's out there that's good anymore.

I used to run a Cooper Xeon 2XS, very good tire. I could pull a nice hole-shot in the rain with those. they would even *squeel* on wet roads. Excellent tire, excellent grip wet or dry. Last set, I "saved" $20 per tire. I got Cooper Xeon ZPT's. *Junk*.

I want something like that Xeon 2XS. It was not a mileage rated tire, that much I remember.

What is out there? I see these RS3 a & s tires. I've heard some good things about them on "car shows" on TV, but, who is paid to say what? ...plus, *traction ccontrol*. My only drivers-aid is a non-functioning ABS system. Anyone running these? What's the A & S? All season & summer?

I'm tired of driving on egg shells. Those 2XS tires allowed me to be agressive wet or dry, I want that back. They were very confidence inspiring. I cringe taking some corners at posted speeds or below in the rain with these 2XS's .

What other choices are there? I would rather have a tire that hooks and tears my rear end up than one that spins willy-nilly.

Whatcha runnin'? Happy with it?

Know what I'm looking for? What is it?
 

·
Administrator
1994 Firebird Formula 381ci LT1 / TH400+GV O/D
Joined
·
14,403 Posts
What size are you looking for - 235/55-16 or 245/50-16?

I searched and found a Cooper Zeon RS3-A. It is rated "M+S" = all season tire rated for mud and snow.

Then there's a RS3-S, which is a "summer" tire.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,465 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What size are you looking for - 235/55-16 or 245/50-16?

I searched and found a Cooper Zeon RS3-A. It is rated "M+S" = all season tire rated for mud and snow.

Then there's a RS3-S, which is a "summer" tire.
Biggest tire I can fit on the factory wheels. Price is not an object, but, the factory wheels stay. I think I have 245/50/16 all around. Let me go look... Yup. The RS3s is a front runner then. I live in Florida and drive a Trans Am. No need for mud & snow capabilities. Dry & wet is all I care about, namely wet though. Anything shy of that Cooper Xeon 2XS is a "drift" tire on my car and scary as hell in the wet. *any* throttle input at all off the line and I'm 90 degrees to the left on the spot. Fortunately, the LT1 has no issue going full lock at idle.

Do you think I could squeeze a 235/55 on the rear? The front end feels heavy enough in turns with the rubber it has now, I certainly wouldn't want to increase that. The rears could use beefing up. As one "reviewer"* said about the T/A, "the tires are fat, but, *not* fat enough." I know you have some pretty sick tires on the rear of your 'Bird. I'd love to have that much meat back there, it looks pretty damn bad-ass too. I just don't want to modify anything. Predator hood and ram-air kit aside, my vehicle is "bone-stock".

*the "review" (and one of my favorite videos on youtube) -
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I always like Tire Rack and since you're in FL I would love to go with summer tires on my DD. I don't have that option here in NJ with 17 inches of snow. Anyhow there were only two options in your size.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/TireSearchResults.jsp?width=245%2F&ratio=50&diameter=16&rearWidth=255%2F&rearRatio=40&rearDiameter=17&zip-code=

Also, the 235/55/16 will not give you beefier tire, they will be roughly the same diameter, just narrower. I wouldn't go that route unless you find a tire that you like more.
 

·
Administrator
1994 Firebird Formula 381ci LT1 / TH400+GV O/D
Joined
·
14,403 Posts
Stock tires on the V8 models were 235/55-16 (26.1") and 245/50-16 (25.7") with the RPO "QLC" Z-rated tire option. Generally a good idea to keep the same diameter that was on the car originally, to avoid the small speedometer/odometer error. Or get the PCM reprogrammed, at least in a street car. 245/50-16 seems like it is getting very hard to find.

The Cooper 2XS is still being made, but not in those sizes that I can find. The Cooper website shows the RS3-S is only available in 17" and larger. Want to stay "sort of" stock on the wheels.... get a set of WS6 wheels, 17"X9" and put a set of 275/40-17's on them. "Stock" wheels, stock tire size.

Cooper bought Mickey Thompson tires a few years back, and they offer what appears to be a relabeled version of the RS3-S, called "Street Comp", but they too are only available in 17" and larger.

I also like the Tire Rack database. And the BF Goodrich G-Force Sport Comp-2 looks good based on owner feedback - good wet and dry traction, good resistance to hydroplaning. Problem is Tire Rack does not sell Cooper, Nitto and many others.
 

·
Ramblin' Wreck
Joined
·
5,080 Posts
Fred, you had a small typo in a thread above that states 245/50-15. Should be 16. I have that size memorized, because I also have been searching for them with diminishing availability ;-) Original Goodyear Eagle GT and Michelin Pilot Sports are no longer available in that size :(
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,465 Posts
The Cooper 2XS is still being made, but not in those sizes that I can find. The Cooper website shows the RS3-S is only available in 17" and larger. Want to stay "sort of" stock on the wheels.... get a set of WS6 wheels, 17"X9" and put a set of 275/40-17's on them. "Stock" wheels, stock tire size.
Do they make that 17x9 "painted", or would I need to get them stripped and powder coated? Seems like an option, but, *chrome*. Don't like to see chrome on modern cars.

Also, going up an inch in wheel diameter, I can only assume if you're saying "Stock wheels, stock tire size" I'm losing a 1/2" of sidewall? I'd have to think about that and how it would affect the ride.

Looked at Tire Rack, and yup, it looks like the Cooper RS3s and BFG G-Force Sport Comp 2's do sound good. Had to dig through a bunch of reviews from 4-cyl owners. (does a Miata or Mini-Cooper *need* these tires?) ..but the RWD / V8 owners don't have anything bad to say about them. I'll look into both now, Thanks!

Correction: I did NOT see the RS3s at Tire Rack. Scratch that.
 

·
Administrator
1994 Firebird Formula 381ci LT1 / TH400+GV O/D
Joined
·
14,403 Posts
They made WS6 wheels for many years. I don't remember if they were available "polished" or chrome, or both. The 5-spoke versions were very similar to the later base 5-spoke wheels - not the "pinwheels" used in 93-95. The 17"x9" w/ 275/40-17 were stock on the WS6 coupes 96-02. A 275/40-17 is 25.7" diameter. Same as the 245/50-16. I ran 275/40-17 Goodyear GS-C on my 94 for 4 years and did not notice any worsening of ride quality. The 275 width will increase tramlining. The GS-C was a great performance tire, originally designed for the Corvette (hence the "C").

I don't think I ever heard a WS6 owner complain about poor ride quality.
Fred, you had a small typo in a thread above that states 245/50-15. Should be 16. I have that size memorized, because I also have been searching for them with diminishing availability ;-) Original Goodyear Eagle GT and Michelin Pilot Sports are no longer available in that size :(
Thanks for the heads up. Corrected.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
You wouldn't lose any diameter, they would be about the same. The 40 means 40% of the 275 while 245/50 means 50% of the 245 for the side walls. This way your speedo will remain accurate as Injuneer stated earier. While the vehicle weight and tire size would be different, mini and Miata owners need great tires as these cars are often used at auto cross and sometimes track days.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,465 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You wouldn't lose any diameter, they would be about the same. The 40 means 40% of the 275 while 245/50 means 50% of the 245 for the side walls. This way your speedo will remain accurate as Injuneer stated earier. While the vehicle weight and tire size would be different, mini and Miata owners need great tires as these cars are often used at auto cross and sometimes track days.
*sidewall* If I go up and inch in wheel size, but the wheel tire package is equal in diameter to my 16" setup, I am indeed losing 1/2" of *side-wall*. But Fred says that doesn't affect the ride, I'll accept his experience. Didn't consider auto-cross. OF COURSE YOU WOULD!!! :) Good luck this year BTW.

I don't remember if they were available "polished" or chrome, or both. The 5-spoke versions were very similar to the later base 5-spoke wheels - not the "pinwheels" used in 93-95.
I have the silver 5 spokes. I thought all WS6 wheels were chrome/polished. I like the "muted" silver paint.

What is tramlining? ...never heard that one.
 

·
Administrator
1994 Firebird Formula 381ci LT1 / TH400+GV O/D
Joined
·
14,403 Posts
The wide tires will start to wander side-to-side as the edges of the tires ride up and down the grooves in the (usually asphalt) pavement worn by heavy trucks. When I nail the throttle with the 315's in the back, on a worn road like that, the back end is all over the road. No problems on a smooth road or drag strip, but nasty on bad roads.

Of course the nice new asphalt surface we (Earle Asphalt Company) put on Englishtown/Raceway Park just before the Summer Nationals would never cause problems like that..... :D
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
2,465 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OK, I have that problem now, and it's not just ruts, If I get too close to the solid painted line, it'll grab me and pull me over it. ...no need to exaggerate that issue for sure. Thanks for the explanation. It sounds like it is time to upgrade to 17" wheels, if only to have better a choice in tires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
475 Posts
Sumitoma HTR's 245-50-16 They are pretty amazing
 

·
Trans Am Enthusiast
Joined
·
55 Posts
For every day driving I bought Firestone Firehawk tires 245/50/R16's. I had them put on my 95 TA back in May and I instantly noticed a difference lot smoother ride and they gripped nicely. They cost me somewhere around 400 shipped to my house.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top