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I'd like to replace the tires (E70 x 14 originally) on my 1968 XR-7 with new white sidewall tires. What are the recommended replacement tires? Can the car wear steel-belted radials with no problems?

Thanks,

DCL
 

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Radial tires were an option from the factory and many people run radial tires on old cars including Cougars. Last summer I replaced the tires on my 67 standard with 215/7014 Cooper Lifeliner GLS whitewall tires. Not many companies make whitewall tires these days so the choices are very limited. There not the best tires but the price was right. Coker Tire has a few options but they want an arm and a leg for them. I looked at these BFG's before getting the Coopers. http://www.cokertire.com/tire-sizes/p215-70r14-bf-goodrich-3-8-pin-whitewall.html

BTW my cat was ordered with the optional F70-14 tires so I run 215/7014's. A 205/7014 may be closer in size to the E70-14's that came on your car. Tire size charts seem to fail as 70 series tires are not listed, aka E70/F70. I would most likely go with the 215/7014's though as they have more rubber on the road. May need to recal the speedo though. I checked my speedo at 60 mph over a 10 miles odometer check and the speedo is showing 2.5 mph slow. I did a quick test at 100 mph (don't tell anyone) and speedo shows about 3.5 mph slow. If I remember correctly speedo driven gears are were available in 3 mph increments?
So I could get closer if I could find the right driven gear.

Bill
 

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Here's a handy conversion chart:

http://www.classictire.nl/index2.php?page=ot&lang=EN

Also, if using radial tires its a good idea to up the caster setting to about 2.5 degrees positive. Radials are not "self-aligning" like conventional tires, and will tend to cause front end wander at the factory recommended 0 degree caster.
 

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Just last fall I put 205/70R14 Uniroyal Tiger Paw white sidewalls on my '68 standard. They are pretty decent tires for the money. I tried to get a set of Firestone white sidewalls in the same size, but they don't make them any longer.

I wish Michelin still made whitewalls...I replaced a 15-year old set just because the rubber compound had gotten hard, which made the car ride roughly and bounce a bit over bumps. I have Michelins on all of my other cars and they are the BEST!

And, lastly, cj750 states, as long as your front end is aligned properly, you will definitely enjoy the ride.
 

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Just last fall I put 205/70R14 Uniroyal Tiger Paw white sidewalls on my '68 standard. They are pretty decent tires for the money. I tried to get a set of Firestone white sidewalls in the same size, but they don't make them any longer.

I wish Michelin still made whitewalls...I replaced a 15-year old set just because the rubber compound had gotten hard, which made the car ride roughly and bounce a bit over bumps. I have Michelins on all of my other cars and they are the BEST!

And, lastly, cj750 states, as long as your front end is aligned properly, you will definitely enjoy the ride.
Yup Michelin tires are higher quality than most other brands. Does matter where they were produced aka what country though. The US and UK ones were very good. As you say Michelin tires seen to harden up long before you can wear them out. They also work poorly in winter climates not that our cats get driven in the winter. I also wanted white wall Michelin's but they are no more. One thing I have noticed with radial tires is they do not like sitting for a long time as they will end up like eggs. Old bias ply tires would go back to round after being driven. Sure your not supposed to leave the tires on the ground when storing your car but up north where I live the end of the season is too unpredictable.

Bill
 
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