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Thread: Tire choices for Bugeyes

Discuss the Austin Healey Sprite and the MG Midget. Two different but similar cars sometimes referred to collectively as the Spridget.

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    Tire choices for Bugeyes

    My 1960 Bugeye had 155/80R13 tires when I bought it (in 1979). I replaced them with the P155/80R13 size. The factory Workshop Manual says the car was "fitted with 5.20-13" bias ply tires. Some sources now recommend buying 145x13 bias ply tires. Some say 155R13 or 165R13 tires (or 185) are OK. The height recommendations seem to be 70, 75 or 80 without a strong consensus. Has anyone had any problems with running P155/80R13 tires? Does anyone have a strong preference for one of the tire sizes for on-the-street? Thanks.

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    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    That's what I run on Ms Triss - works out fine - I actually shopped by price on these as well as size - I know that in Canada at least you can get this size supe cheap (like $30 a tire) at Walmart - not performance I know but neither is the car.
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    Handyman (04-08-2018)

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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    I ran 155/80R13 radials on my last Bugeye, will do the same on my current one. I don't worry that much about the performance rating on the tires, as any modern radial is likely better than the 1950s bias ply they came with originally. It's personal preference, but I'm also not a fan of going wider on these cars -- I'm not looking for more grip. Even with the extra power I'll have (with a 1275), these are not fast cars in the modern sense. For me it's more about the light flickability.
    Drew Frink
    '59 RHD Frogeye Sprite - "Penny" sleeping for now
    '66 RHD Morris Minor - "Maggie" awaiting a non-cracked transmission
    '70 RHD MGB - awaiting a donor engine
    '19 Triumph Bonneville T100 - good to have one that runs

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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    Thanks to JPSmit and drooartz for sharing your experiences with Spridget tires. The drooartz reply raises the issue of "light flickability" which is new term for me. Does that term refer to stoplights at intersections, or some other driving issue?

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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Handyman View Post
    Thanks to JPSmit and drooartz for sharing your experiences with Spridget tires. The drooartz reply raises the issue of "light flickability" which is new term for me. Does that term refer to stoplights at intersections, or some other driving issue?
    Ya gotta forgive Drew, he's always using those highly technical terms like "light flickability". I think he means how quickly the car handles.

    I also use 155/80R13 size tires on my sprites. It seems to be a good size.

    Keith
    Keith
    '59 Bugeye (recently restored)
    '62 BT7 (recently restored)
    '65 Sprite (restored 30 yrs ago)

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    Jedi Warrior Nelson's Avatar
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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    I am glad the 155/80R13 tires are a good size. Friday I ordered a set of Kumhos from Tire Rack. They will be delivered to my local installer tomorrow. Now I would like some proper Spring weather so I can begin breaking the tires in.
    Nelson
    Original owner '62 Mk 2 Sprite aka Little Mo

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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    Pirelli P400 Touring - 175/70R13 for me.

    I think the originals would be more like 145/80-13 (in radial equivalent that is).
    Last edited by Boink; 04-08-2018 at 09:58 PM.
    - Mark

    Former 1956 Austin Healey 100-4 (BN2)
    Former 1962 Mk1 Austin Mini (850)
    Former 1973 Austin Mini (really a 1980s Cooperized Mini)
    Present 1959 Austin Healey "Bugeye" Sprite (with 1275, 5 speed, discs, etc)

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    Freshman Member RickF's Avatar
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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    Bought a set of Toyo Proxes R888R 185/60R13's for my Bugeye yesterday.

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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    Just6 don't drive below 50 degrees with those tires but I would like to experience super stick performance tires on a BE just once .
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith_M View Post
    Ya gotta forgive Drew, he's always using those highly technical terms like "light flickability". I think he means how quickly the car handles.
    Thanks for the translation, Keith.

    A Bugeye is a little gokart and I feel that on the road the narrower tires suit it well. I'm not looking to raise the car's limits on the road, I like that I can drive it flat out and still not be going all that fast (safer for the driver's license). A little sliding at lower speeds is kinda fun.
    Drew Frink
    '59 RHD Frogeye Sprite - "Penny" sleeping for now
    '66 RHD Morris Minor - "Maggie" awaiting a non-cracked transmission
    '70 RHD MGB - awaiting a donor engine
    '19 Triumph Bonneville T100 - good to have one that runs

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    Dang! Here I thought 'light flickability' meant being able to flash your high beams to get all the dang M-Benz and Audis out of your way as your're hammering down the autobahn in your BE. Doug
    PS: saw a great licence plate yesterday and a pretty new Audi: "DAS UFO"
    1959 pristine 948 cc Bug-Eye; DCOE, 5 speed; bought 1971
    1960 BE bought 1971 & stored since; body tub restored and reassembling (1275; etc.)
    1962 AH 3000 BJ7; 3rd owner (1982?); in shop Oct. 2015 for paint job - home soon!
    1962 VW Meyers Manx clone dune buggy; stripped last winter and being reassembled
    1969 Kawasaki 500 H1 Triple, orig. owner; stored since 1973, but runs again! 1999 Buell S3

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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    Quote Originally Posted by twas_brillig View Post
    Dang! Here I thought 'light flickability' meant being able to flash your high beams to get all the dang M-Benz and Audis out of your way as your're hammering down the autobahn in your BE. Doug
    PS: saw a great licence plate yesterday and a pretty new Audi: "DAS UFO"
    And I thought it had to do with your response to being cut off by distracted drivers.
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim_Gruber View Post
    Just6 don't drive below 50 degrees with those tires but I would like to experience super stick performance tires on a BE just once .
    Why not drive below 50 degrees with those tires? Did you mean the 155/80r13 radials or the bias ply?

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    Yoda Trevor Jessie's Avatar
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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    I think Jim was referring to the Toyo's that Rick purchased.
    _____________________
    1970/2 MG Midget
    Datsun 5-speed
    Future Fuel Injection Turbo Project
    _________________
    1958/9 Sprite AN5L/1499
    1275 SuperCharged
    Datsun 5-speed
    _________________

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    Re: Tire choices for Bugeyes

    Yes the R888’s. IIRC those are rated as Summer only above 50 degrees.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

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