Tire size for 13" wheels

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kendall
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Tire size for 13" wheels

Post by kendall » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:32 pm

Hello everyone,

I have a 75 124 with very old tires on it. The shop manual says that for 13" wheels the tire size is 165 SR-13, which is an outdated size to begin with. My old tires are 175/70R13. The handling is really awful because they are so worn. I really don't want to drive it because it's unsafe.

What are you guys using on your 13" wheels? Should I stick with 175/70 or would a different size be a better choice?

Thanks!
1975 Fiat 124 Spider
1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel
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18Fiatsandcounting
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Re: Tire size for 13" wheels

Post by 18Fiatsandcounting » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:39 pm

kendall wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:32 pm
Hello everyone,

I have a 75 124 with very old tires on it. The shop manual says that for 13" wheels the tire size is 165 SR-13, which is an outdated size to begin with. My old tires are 175/70R13. The handling is really awful because they are so worn. I really don't want to drive it because it's unsafe.

What are you guys using on your 13" wheels? Should I stick with 175/70 or would a different size be a better choice?

Thanks!
A couple thoughts:
1) If the handling is really awful, there may be other issues going on than just old tires.
2) At the risk of getting laughed off this forum, I have 185/70R-13s on my two spiders. Not easy to find these days, though.

Whoo-hoo! My 100th post!

-Bryan
Last edited by 18Fiatsandcounting on Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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kmead
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Re: Tire size for 13" wheels

Post by kmead » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:59 pm

165/80 13 and 185/70 13 are the same diameter. 175/70 is slightly shorter and of course narrower than the 185. With the right rims, 205/60 13 can be fitted but are hard to find.

185/60 13 are too short and are not the best choice for a 124 Spider. This size is appropriate for X1/9s and 850s.

If you end up with 14” rims you can go with 185/60 14 or even 195/60 14.


Old tires are likely the cause of a large part of the handling issue you are suffering, there can certainly be other issues but getting new tires and a proper alignment will make a huge improvement and will likely expose any other worn parts on your car (the guy doing the alignment will let you know).
1969 850 Sport Coupe
1970 124 Sport Coupe
1985 X1/9, ugly but fun to drive. Olive trees are hell on paint and interiors apparently. Who knew?
1987 X1/9 slowly coming back
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bartigue
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Re: Tire size for 13" wheels

Post by bartigue » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:34 pm

I use:

185/70R-13 KUMHO SOLUS TA11 SL

That's straight from my Tire Rack invoice. $72.00 each picked up from their warehouse.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Brad Artigue
1969, 1969, 1970, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1982 124 Spiders
1969, 1970 850 Spiders
77 X1/9
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miker
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Re: Tire size for 13" wheels

Post by miker » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:18 am

I have 185/70R-13s from Discount Tire/America's tire company. Made in E. Europe by a division of Continental. Barum Brillantis 2. $39 each including mount/balance. Crazy.

https://www.discounttire.com/buy-tires/ ... ad-reviews
MikeR (mirafiori.com since 1995)


1977 Fiat 124 Spider
Previously owned:
2012 Fiat 500 Prima Edizione #236 (now owned by my son David)
'86 Bertone X1/9
'81 Fiat Spider 2000 #236
'78 Fiat 131 four door
'76 Fiat 128 4 door
'74 Fiat 128 4 door
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San Jose Steve
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Re: Tire size for 13" wheels

Post by San Jose Steve » Tue Oct 01, 2019 4:50 pm

I wound up getting a set of Bridgestone Potenzas in 185-70-13 from Costco in Tijuana. My daughter in So.Cal picked them up and brought them across the border duty free. (I think $800 is the limit.) A set of 5 only cost me ~$350. They had Bridgestones and Michelin in that size as well.
-Steve

https://www.costco.com.mx/Ferreteria-y- ... e/p/589667
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jseabolt
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Re: Tire size for 13" wheels

Post by jseabolt » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:44 am

Just my 2 cents..

Coker tire is a good place to find oddball sized good quality tires.

Coker is the only place I could found find those 145SR13s for my Trabant. These also came on Yugos and many other small size cars back in the day but they have since been replaced with those crappy Chinese made P155/80R13. Close enough...

The ones I got from Coker were made by Vredestein.

It seems these local tire stores don't carry allot of name brand tires under 16" anymore. if you want something with a known brand name you just about have to have them specially order it. Or order it from a supplier then take them to a tire store to have installed.
kendall
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Re: Tire size for 13" wheels

Post by kendall » Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:41 pm

Thanks for the replies. Sounds like 185/70 R13 is the way to go. When looking at tire comparison websites it is very close in size to the original just wider.

For those concerned with the handling, I am still in the phases of getting the car ready to really drive. I'm replacing a cracked windshield this weekend and the new tires will soon follow. As other issues come up I can sort them as they come.
1975 Fiat 124 Spider
1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel
paulc
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Re: Tire size for 13" wheels

Post by paulc » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:01 pm

+1 for the Discount Tire tires.
Even though they're inexpensive they're rated pretty high for traction/stopping etc.
We got 4 and they perform very well for the type of driving we do (sunny afternoon jaunts around the area).
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jseabolt
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Re: Tire size for 13" wheels

Post by jseabolt » Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:18 pm

No doubt if the rubber is hard will effect handling. I was running 15 year old Nankang tires and if the road was dry was ok but the rear end got a bit squrilly on wet roads.

It's seems some brands dry out worse than others. Michelins seem to stay more pliable than other brands.
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