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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am in the process of acquiring new tires for my 1972 GTV, and I am not entirely sure which route to go. This is my first GTV and I have none whatsoever experience on tires. On my 1966 porsche 912 I have sumitomo HTR200 185/65R14 and I love the handling of my car.

Should the sumitomo HTR200 tire perform the same on the Alfa? I am looking at the 195/60R14 sumitomo as the replacement for the 205/60R14 Yokohama currently in the car. Is this a wise decision? I love the look of the 205 and the handling, but they are quite heavy to move when parking. Could it be because the tires are old? Or should I replace it with this new Yokohama AVS ES100 205/60R/14

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...HR4ES100&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes


Thanks for you answers in advance.

cheers
:)
 

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Since last year I have been running 195/60R15 HTR200s on Alfaholics 15" Superleggera wheels on my '72 GTV and am very happy with the grip and handling. I would not go wider than 195 on the GTV, and if anything, the 195 HTR200s are maybe just a little too grippy. Do a search and you will find a few good threads on here with a whole lot of useful opinions on different tire size/brand/wheel combinations.

Remember that these cars were originally designed for a narrower tire and the wider you go, the further away you get from the original character of the car.

Also, the Burman steering boxes on these cars are a little on the fragile side, and sawing away at the wheel with wider tires at parking lot speeds will really put quite a strain on the box and your forearms.
 

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If you want the same "love the handling" experience with you GTV as you are accustomed to with your 912 then stick with 185/70/14 on the GTV. Or if you feel the need to upsize slightly then a 195/65/14 would be better than 195/60/14.

TONS of threads on this... just do an advanced search within the GT forum.

BTW... not only will 205's make parking difficult but you will put lots of stress on your steering box. You will love the handling with the 185s or 195s I recommended (I would push toward the 185s though... sometimes "less is more" ;)).
 

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The original tires for the 105 chassis were 155/80-15's on 4 1/2 by 15 steel rims. Alfa moved to the 14 inch steel wheels after 1969, and used 185/70-14 tires. Even these were a bit heavier to steer than the original "skinny" ones.

I've driven 205/60/14 Yoko A008A's for years; they are great for AX but as you mentioned are a bear for parking. The 195's will help a bit, but need at least 6 inch wide rims.

Also, look closely at the steering box. The aluminum castings of the Burman boxes used in many Alfa's is not so strong, and have cracked and even broken into bits. Threads on theBB if you search. ALso, the sheet metal where the box and the idler on the other side bolts thru can tear or crack. It's easier to do if you are a bit heavy handed on the wheel at slow speeds.

Another problem often occurs: the oil seal on the bottom of the steering box dries out and all the oil leaks out. It can be that way for years. Pull the rubber plug out of the top of the box and peer in with a flashlight. Put in some appropriate lube ASAP. Plan on rebuilding the box.

Here's a reinforced box that was done by one of the BBer's:
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I guess the 205's are out of the question, and I would like to try the 185's. I was checking at the gear box and I do see some oil leaking. Is there a place where I can buy the seal? Sumitomo does not make 185/70-14 only 185/65-14. I guess I can give those a try they are close to the specification. Unless I go pirelli 4 seasons 185/70-14 but I am just so sold on the sumitomos they are sticky like glue and I have no experience with Pirellis. Not sure what to do...

Thanks for the quick answers, you are all awesome.

cheers
 

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I have 195/65 Falken Ziex on my Spider and the steering is not too heavy - my wife drives it. The tires are not too wide to be fun. It is easy to get the rear to slide a bit to balance the initial understeer. I have also run 205/60's but the slow speed steering is definitely heavier. I have 6J rims.
 

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I guess the 205's are out of the question, and I would like to try the 185's. I was checking at the gear box and I do see some oil leaking. Is there a place where I can buy the seal? Sumitomo does not make 185/70-14 only 185/65-14. I guess I can give those a try they are close to the specification. Unless I go pirelli 4 seasons 185/70-14 but I am just so sold on the sumitomos they are sticky like glue and I have no experience with Pirellis. Not sure what to do...

Thanks for the quick answers, you are all awesome.

cheers
The Pirelli P4 185/70/14s are great all season tires (I just got a set). They vary in price on Tirerack.com from $53-70/tire from week to week.

My 195/65/14s were Yokohama Avid H4. But I think they are NLA. Go with the 185/70/14s anyway.

Regarding the leaking steering box... I had the same issue and filled the box with Penrite Steering Box Lube (google it to find a supplier). It's not oil and its not grease (as some here use and recommend) but it is thick enough to not leak (or leak substantially less) yet not channel around the gears (preventing proper lubrication). Hope that helps. If not... time to replace all the seals/gaskets.
 

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FWIW... you will have a more accurate speedometer with the 185/70/14 than the 195/65/14s or 205s.
 

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The little light weight Alfa is at it's original best with a not-so-modern-and-not-so-sticky tire. The 185/65-14 will throw your speedo off compared to the 185/70's. Check on the revs-per-mile spec, which is available from most tire suppliers. They differ a bit from brand to brand, but more so from size differences.

I know how good the Sumitomo's are - I have them on my 2005 BMW, in a 225/45-17's. But every tire is really stickier than you should drive in anything short of a rain storm (and you shouldn't be driving at all then!).

You have conflicting desires. A quick, nimble little 60's vintage car (go for the 185/70's) with modern sticky ultra high performance tires....

Choose one.

:)
Robert
 

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My 205/60-14's are almost exactly the same as the Duetto's original 155/80-15's, as were the 185/70-14's (a few percentage low).

Robert
My 195/65/14s made my speedo about 8 MPH higher than actual speed. The 185/70/14s are much closer to actual speed.
 

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[Should the sumitomo HTR200 tire perform the same on the Alfa? I am looking at the 195/60R14 sumitomo as the replacement for the 205/60R14 Yokohama currently in the car. Is this a wise decision? I love the look of the 205 and the handling, but they are quite heavy to move when parking. Could it be because the tires are old? Or should I replace it with this new Yokohama AVS ES100 205/60R/14
To be sure, this is a prienial question but it's a good one. You should keep in mind that Alfa's original tire for the first series of your car was a skinny 155x15. I can tell you from experience that they worked wonderfully well in just about anything other than racing conditions. They were also about 24,7in tall which should be your target dia. for any tire you consider. Thus, a 185x70x14 is appx., 24.4 while a 165x14 is about 24.5in. All of these diameters will work well.

The smaller diameter/low profile tires (195x60x14) are in use but, IMHO, they cause unacceptable compromises (like those mentioned here) as far as I'm concerned. Larger cross section, low profile are also in use in 105 cars but they impose similiar compromises that can take away from the driving dymanics. At the outside if it were me I wouldn't go larger than a 195x65x14or a 195x60x15, although going to this size will most likely change the way your car drives.

I don't know where you are located but if you're near an Alfa club it might be a good idea to drive some cars with different tire sizes and see for yourself what the differences are.
 

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Sumitomo DOES make the HTR200 in 185/70-14. I just bought a set in that size from Tirerack although they don't seem to be offering it now. Just Google it and you'll find some.
 

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Last summer I bought Toyo Versado LX - 185/70/14. They seem good so far but I haven't placed a lot of mileage on them yet.
 

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Steering box lower seal

Palito,

In response to your question as to a source for the lower seal for a Burman streering box, the only place that I have found them is at Classic Alfa (Classic Alfa Romeo Parts & Spares Worldwide - Bertone, Spider & More) in the UK, for 13 pounds, or about $20.

There is a very good thread on this board which provides step by step instructions for changing this seal with the box in situ.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks everyone for all your quick and insightful answers. This forum is awesome in helping out. I will keep you all posted on the tires and replacing the seal for the Burman Steering. This is my first Alfa and I am loving it.

Cheers
 

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In response to your question as to a source for the lower seal for a Burman streering box, the only place that I have found them is at Classic Alfa (Classic Alfa Romeo Parts & Spares Worldwide - Bertone, Spider & More) in the UK, for 13 pounds, or about $20.
I disagree with Con Gusto on this one. The seal used at the base of the Burman steering box is just a standard lip seal. Take your old one to your local industrial supply house, and they will be able to match it up. I don't recall the dimensions offhand, but its a normal seal with metric dimensions.

Classic Alfa is a wonderful company - not trying to take business away from them. But paying international postage on something that is available down the street doesn't make sense.

Caveat: some Burman boxes use an O ring in a carrier to seal the shaft. Not sure if that O ring is a standard dimension.
 

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Thanks, Jay. Next time I need one I'll save myself a few bucks!

I'm so used to Alfas having all sorts of oddball parts that my instincts are not usually to look at what is commonly available from the general parts suppliers.
 

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I have 205/60/14's on my 72 GTV and I love the handling and the feel of the steering. Some of the top Alfa gurus in the bay area also run
205's on their GT's. I have run 195/60/15's on my 86 Spider Quadrifoglio (standard size from the factory) for 23 years and 200,000+ miles with no steering issues. The key to parking a vehicle with no power steering is to only turn the wheel if the car is moving. If you think an Alfa is hard to park, you should try my late Dad's 71 Ford F250 with no power steering.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Here is the verdict for the tires.

I purchased the P4 Pirelli 185/70/14 and I am very pleased with the results of the tire. The ride is much soft and smooth in comparison with the Yoko 205/60/14. Turning the wheel is bit better but still a bit of some muscle to move it. I felt the previous tires 205/60/14 the card had were a bit too much for the car. I can handle the car better for some reason. Maybe the previous YOKO tires were too old and hard. Is just too bad I couldn't get the sumitomo's as they don't make them anymore 185/70/14.

Thanks again with all your help, I am very please with the results.

cheers
 
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