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21/08/2005 19:02:06   Dave   I've just finished restoring one of my three 1971 99's. I was wondering whether any of you 96 owners just happen to have any of those chrome wheel arch trims in the back of your garage? They are like hen's teeth! but must be unbroken and in good condition.

I'm also looking for some of the original michelin 155 r15 tyres and for interior door panels (blue and, also, tan) for a two door 99. All help appreciated.


22/08/2005 12:48:56   Richard   I run 175/65 Bridgestones on my modified v4, but if you are using the car on the road you will find the ratios two low, I get about 50mph at just over 3000rpm in top with a spec 1/2 and std c&p. I find Colway EMJO historic rally tyres ok for normal use 165/70. They have a larger diameter than normal road tyres and seem to grip ok for a gravel tread pattern. Otherwise you are into the budget tyres on 155 and 165 15", Ian Meakin swears by Firestone 155's. I found 165 Vredstiens to let go and were poor in the rain. XZX too soft in the side wall and hard on the tread. I can get by on Camac 165, but like most of the 165 tyres they are 80 profile and you loose some feel to the steering.
The Bridgestones are probably the best tyres I have had on the car. They are narrower than most 175's, more like 165 and have stiff side walls which gives better feel and control at speed.  
22/08/2005 17:11:51   Gus   Thanks Richard...some useful advice , much appreciated. I had thought of trying a slimmer Vredstein, but perhaps not now! I know you can also get the Firestones in a 165, so perhaps these...though I like the sound of your Bridgestones...if I had a bit more cash and time (usual story!) I'd haul the transmission back out and fit a sonnet c&p and then the lower profiles would be fine for the road. I'll also check out the Colways.  
23/08/2005 07:58:49   Richard   I think Ian uses 155 Firestone, but thats on a stroker he uses on road rallies.  
23/08/2005 23:45:15   Alistair   Re: original point - Early 99s had 155s as standard on 4.5J rims, later 165s. EMS & 3-dr Turbo on 5 & 5.5J rims had 175/70s, hard to find now so 175/65s best compromise. If you're using standard rims then don't go past a 175/65. If you use later 99 rims or alloys then you could go up to 185/65s or 195/60s. My 99 (other endof the scale - 83 model) had 6J rims and 185/65s and these filled the arches nicely, without it being over-tyred.

For V4s, the gearing drop with 175/65 is only minimal, Richard's gearing is more to do with the box than tyres. I've said before I hate std profile 165s on a V4, ruins the handling, too much sidewall flex & little extra grip. Plus the car sits up too high. Stick with 155s and learn to drift the car a bit, or go properly wide with 175 or 185 low profiles. I liked Firestone F560 155s on mine...  
24/08/2005 08:04:31   Richard   Al, Gus's car has a spec 1 box, so he would find the same problem.  
25/08/2005 00:04:14   Alistair   Doh, should read the text more closely...  

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