02in
02in

Tires for OEM13" Rims

Caveat - I have no association with the tire business whatsoever, just sharing what I found with fellow 02ers.

I looked around all the tire shops locally and spent a good amount of time on the internet as well.

For those of you wanting to stay with a 13'' X 5" OEM steel wheel you'll soon find that tire choices are a bit limited.

They're out there, but the 185-70r-13 is extremely limited. However, I did find a Toyo 185-70-13 which appeared to be a decent tire and was available at one of the tire stores. Bottom-line on the 185-70-13 is this, unless you're looking for a snow or winter tire, good luck as they all seem to be discontinued. Now, if you go with a 175-70-13 (just less than half inch width of the 185, it opens up a whole new list of tires available, but still limited.

I decided on the Michelin Defender XT 175/70/13. Available from "Tire-rack" for around $83-85 each, but I'm a COSTCO member and picked them up there for $85, and they did the mounting etc.

My logic for purchase flows like this: 1. I've been running the Michelins on my wife's Jetta and have really liked them, they handle well and are quiet, so basically I had a positive history experience. 2. I was looking for a firm sidewall to compensate for the 70 aspect ratio, I didn't want a soft tire with much side roll and this one seemed to meet that criteria. So, once Becky is back on the road, I'll give a read-out on how they perform, as I do considerable mountain driving. A few pics attached, wanted to show you the rubber mounted and the contact measurement with ruler.



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I also found few choices of 13" tires when needing some last year.  Ended up finding some made by Sumitomo.  Very happy with them.

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Tire Rack has the Kumho Solus 185 70 13 for $62.00 each ...I think I read last year that this was a consumer reports top pick.....

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You can still find decent alternatives to the original 13" tires at various shops, with Costco and Tire Rack among the shops offering the best prices. If you want modern versions of a 185/70 VR 13 Michelin, you can source them through vintage tire specialty stores such as Coker Tires, but you will pay the same for one tire as you would for a set of 4 alternative brands.

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Toyo makes the r888 proxies in 185/60/13 (6% smaller than stock rolling diameter) and 205/60/13 (~3% smaller but be weary of wheel clearance and offset, and suspension as may rub). Both are street legal compititian tires, do likley too aggressive (and $$$) for a daily car.

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I too have been searching for some 185/70s to replace the nearly worn-out Yoko AVIDs (NLA in that size) on my '73. There's a brand called Achilles that makes a tire in that size that's H-rated for $38 each.  Downside is that I can't find much information on the company.  They have a website but so far have not answered any e-mails I've sent inquiring about warranty, distributors other than in California etc.  The tires are made in Indonesia and are after all speed rated, but that doesn't take construction quality into account.  

 

There are other "mystery" brands out there in that size and some from well-known makers lilke Cooper, but have seen no board comments on them.  Several people have bought Federals in that size and seem to be happy with 'em.  

 

More comments from board members who have experience with some of these lesser know brands would be most helpful...

 

cheers

mike

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The issue withe Michelins is that they dry out and crack badly after about 2 years.  You'll see the cracking on the sidewalls and on the base of the tread blocks as well as the tread cap.  They also have extremely thin inner linings.  

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I just got a set of Falken Sincera SN828s, if you go to Tire Rack or Discount Tires Direct you will still find a number of 185/70s available, most of them run of the mill all season radials including Nankang and Kumho Solus, I have had pretty good luck with Kumho tires in the past.  But there are certainly not the ton of choices in the size that there were 20 or 30 years ago.  Anyway, I haven't had a chance to drive on them much, but like them better than the hard old "Brigadier" brand that were on the car before.

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I found my 185-75-13 set at Sears of all places. They said they weren't available then I happened to see them over the guys shoulder on their inventory screen, they ordered them but seemed pretty hacked off, typical Sears. ($30 and some change per tire, doubt if they made money on these). I didn't get a fancy schmancy tire warranty with these but I got a super sweet deal.

Sears Seattle SODO on 1'st south of Safeco.

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Time for me to chime in.  

 

I tried the Vredestein 165 SR 13's on my tii and hated them.  Squealed in even moderate cornering, leaving me with zero confidence.  Sold them with very little mileage on them...

 

The replacement tires have been fantastic--at a price.  I bought Michelin 185/70VR-13's.  Viva la difference.  With poor front end alignment, the first set melted in no time.  With careful alignment, they are wearing at a reasonable rate (meaning plenty of tread after 15,000 additional miles).  The grip is fantastic.  I have hit the limit only on the track doing "parade laps" at Laguna Seca and Buttonwillow.  Fast parade.  They squeal their grip warning, but I haven't pushed them hard enough to break loose.  No perceptible "roll over" of the sidewall in hard cornering (my mechanic's concern after installing beefed up ST sway bars front and rear).

 

The Michelin 165's are much cheaper, but I have not experience with them.  I remember thinking the 185/70's were "so wide" on my 1973 Ford Capri 2.6L...how times change.

 

You can buy from Coker in the US, or from the UK distributor, Longstone Tyres, who sells with free shipping to the US (!).  My last order, to replace Russian tires on my Turbo, were unobtainable in the US; the UK distributor said they'd been on backorder quite a while from Michelin Classics.  Shipping reasonably quick.

 

Pricing as of 1 February 2017:

http://www.longstonetyres.co.uk

185/70VR13 $343.75 each, including freight

165HR13 $195.00 each, including freight

 

https://www.cokertire.com

185/70VR13 $344.75 each, PLUS TAX, free freight

165HR13 $197 each, PLUS TAX, free freight

 

And for comparison, the Vredestein's (Dutch):

165SR13 $85.00 each, PLUS TAX, free freight

 

You pay your money and you make your choice...

Edited by Lengrep

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Pirelli is making the CN-36 again, with more modern rubber, in 185/70VR13 and other sizes. About $160 plus tax from Longstone Tyres in the UK, and $155 from Performance Plus tires in the US.

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