• David Bracey
    14 September 2013 at 07:37 #50401

    Hi. I know that tyre choice is a very personal thing but I would be grateful to hear anyone’s thoughts and opinions before I plump for something that others know to be a poor choice.
    I have decided to replace the standard 3″ wide wheels with 4″ ones to give more road contact. I have been advised against Blockley’s because of the noise they make and someone has suggested Firestones with a zigzag tread. Other than that I am receptive to any suggestions.
    Thanks in advance. David

    14 September 2013 at 09:59 #50402

    My Riley RMB is nearing the end of its restoration, and I recently needed to decide on tyres for it. I liked the idea of radials, but not the modern tread patterns or dimensions; usually smaller rolling radius and too wide.
    I discovered Excelsior Stahls; they are radials with acceptable tread patterns (I believe copies of the now extinct Englebert Racing type), and dimensions of the 6.00 x 16 crossply as originally fitted. I was surprised to see they also do 18″ versions.
    I haven’t driven the car of course, but I did do a lot of research, which gave a lot of recent positive feedback. Apparently there were out-of-round & balance issues when they were first introduced, but all resolved now.
    The only UK supplier appears to be Northants Tyres; they confirmed that in any event they would replace substandard tyres.
    If they prove good on my Riley, I’ll certainly fit them to my V12 & LG6.

    15 September 2013 at 16:53 #50407

    Hi David
    I would not be put off Blockleys without investigating further. I have them on two cars – 18inch and 16 inch on a 1950s car. They are brilliant ! There is certainly some noise on certain road surfaces but I do not find it unpleasant. I bought my last set about 4-5 years ago and I thought that they had now addressed the noise issue ?
    Usual disclaimers except as a happy customer. I will certainly buy another set.

    David Bracey
    19 September 2013 at 06:38 #50420

    Dear Bill and Laurence,
    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I fear that if I had 30 replies I would get 30 different suggestions! Your help has given me a good starting point though so I am grateful.
    Best wishes,

    19 September 2013 at 09:24 #50421

    Hi David,
    You’re welcome. I must admit my second choice for the Riley would have been Blockleys, but I felt the 5-block tread pattern (it’s 3-block for “prewar” sizes was too anachronistic for a 1951 car. That said, I understand they’re popular with Jaguar XK owners.
    Another issue to consider is the radius…and therefore circumference…of different tyres….these can vary quite surprisingly. The significance is that that will have a bearing on your engine rpm/mile so affects performance & speedo readings. The tyres on my LG6 special are Michelins; they are amongst those with the highest radius, but the tread area is rounded, not flat, which I don’t think helps with roadholding or tread wear. So many things to consider! Longstone Tyres and other sites give useful tyre dimensions. You could do worse than chat with Dougal at Longstone Tyres, he is very helpful; with the proviso that he doesn’t stock Blockley tyres…there is some unfathomable rift….he is prominent in the VSCC & Blockley tyres are made by a VSCC member. Despite what Dougal says, the feedback for, & popularity, not to mention competition success, with Blockleys, can’t be denied! He also doesn’t stock Excelsior, more understandably because of quality issues, but my understanding is that those are very much past history.
    Good luck with whatever you choose

    David Bracey
    29 May 2015 at 17:40 #51279

    has anyone any recommendations for tyre pressures with an LG45 saloon?

    Bill Inglis
    30 May 2015 at 03:46 #51280

    tyres for LG45, and thermostat

    Hi David
    When we bought our LG45 (also a SB1 saloon, chassis 12059) it had been fitted with a set of new 6.00 x 18 Lucas tyres, but they didn?t last long. After 4500 miles they were nearly worn out. They had a 4 ply rating, and maybe that?s not enough for the weight of a LG45. We replaced them with Excelsior 6.00-6.50 x 18, 6 ply rating, and have since done another 5000 miles. They seem to be lasting much better, their average tread depth now is still about 5 mm.
    I haven?t had experience of radials of this size and would welcome further comment about this on this excellent Forum.
    Also, ours has lost its radiator shutter thermostat, before we got the car. In the meantime I have discreetly fitted a manual control which can be operated from the driver?s seat, but the correct replacement would be preferable. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    30 May 2015 at 07:15 #51281


    Tyre pressure. According to the Club 4.5 litre handbook reprint, 35psi front and back. Doesn’t quote for different body types. Hope that helps.

    Bill LG45
    31 May 2015 at 13:17 #51282

    Dear all,
    My contribution:
    The build sheet for my LG45 shows 6X18 Dunlop Fort to have been fitted which is now superseded by Dunlop B5 600/650 – 18 and according to Vintage Tyres the spec is as follows:
    Rolling dia 781mm; Section width 160; weight 14kg: Load capacity 762 kg speed limit 95mph
    By comparison other 600/650-18:
    Firestone is much smaller in actual size ( only 753 dia by 151 section width). Whilst Lester tyres are similar dimensions to the Dunlop B5 (775 dia by 160 section) both these makes only have a load capacity of 545 kg compared to the 762 kg for a Dunlop B5 and no speed rating quoted. I would rule both Firestone and Lester out on load rating alone as an LG45 weighs close to 2 tons, hence you would be very close to or exceeding the maximum load capacity with either of these makes.
    (NB: I have had this type of Firestone before on a Thirties Austin and found that the relatively flexible sidewalls gave a softer ride but the treads wore out very quickly. This practical experience stacks up with the low load capacity.)
    When I bought my LG45 it had been fitted with Michelin 600/650-18 DR which have a rolling dia of 798mm and section width 178mm (larger than Dunlop) and a speed rating of 93mph (close) . With a max load capacity of 799kg the Michelin exceeds the Dunlop B5 for that.
    The Michelin tyres were worn on my car but pretty evenly and had been on there for many miles so in that sense a good report for the Michelin, HOWEVER there was evidence of the front tyres rubbing against the support brackets under the front wings so, with that in mind, and previous good experience of Dunlop B5 or similar on other cars, I bought Dunlop B5 (despite the loss of increased final drive ratio you would get with the Michelin).
    Dunlop B5 is temporarily out of stock so the Michelin DR would be my choice if I needed them right now …. But I would first check that there is enough clearance on the front wing supports, suggest consider with the axle at maximum upward travel / hitting bump stops…
    NB: My front springs needed re-setting which has now been done so there might be enough clearance for Michelins on your car as it is but you might need to modify the support brackets to be safe.
    I looked at Blockley Tyres when selecting my tyres but they only make a 550-18 not 600/650 which sounds a bit small to me but I did not get as far as checking actual dimensions. I was put off them by a drive in a car with Blockleys fitted which I thought spoilt the handling and appearance …..but that is only an opinion and I belive they have recently added an alternative tread pattern.

    Hope the above helps,

    31 May 2015 at 15:40 #51283

    As the question was about tyre pressures….
    I think that the recommendation in the handbook is for over 32 psi or more. I use Dunlops on my Lagonda but find that anything over 30psi or near to that gives an extremely hard ride. I current use about 24psi which gives very nice ride and handling. I know that this is not recommended and I check the tyres and the position of the inner tube valves very regularly (to make certain that the valve is not being pulled).
    The wear on the tyres ,if anything, indicates that the tyre pressure is too high as there is a bit more wear in the centre of the tyre tread (ie not on the outside of the tread). I am satisfied that my pressure gauge(s) are accurate.
    I also use a pressure of 22 psi on another car fitted with Blockleys (they recommend 30+ psi) for the same reasons.
    Both cars are “tourers” and the bodies on both cars are relatively light in weight.
    Any comments on the rights or wrongs of all this appreciated.
    Maybe there are differences in the quality of construction of modern “old” tyres and pre war tyres ?

    David Bracey
    7 June 2015 at 20:57 #51290

    I am running Michelins.

    The reason I asked about pressures is that I tried them at 35psi and they rolled about the road constantly. I dropped them to 27psi and it was still a job to keep in a straight line on lanes but motorways were a lot better.

    I was loathe to reduce further but since receiving Bill’s comments I dropped the pressures to 23psi and the test ride I had was much improved. I will test further but so far so good.


    9 June 2015 at 18:18 #51296

    I would like to know what the experts say about my suggestion for tyre pressures ?
    Like David I have found a lower pressure was much nicer but obviously I have (I hope) been quite careful because of the safety aspect.
    Theoretically the sidewalls will be softer with a lower pressure but maybe pre war tyres had soft sidewalls anyway so that they needed the higher pressures – at the expense of a good ride (However the roads were better in those days I think ??).
    Are there any experts out there who could comment please as it would be interesting ??

    21 July 2015 at 08:42 #51352

    David, any chance of an update on your tyre pressure testing ?

    David Bracey
    21 July 2015 at 17:52 #51353

    Lower pressure has certainly seemed to help sort out the ‘wandering’ but it hasn’t made any difference to the ‘shimmy’. I’ve popped the fronts up to 30psi and will try that. I’m heading down to Paris in a couple of weeks so will get a decent run to test things out.

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