I got new tires!
New Bridgestone Potenza RE040. They are no longer manufactured so finding them was hard, and there was only 3 left in stock from the ebay listing I found. These new tires were built in 2016, so they aren’t too old.
The RE040 was the tire that came with the Copen from factory, so its nice to be able to experience the car exactly as it should’ve been when new. It feels great!
In Europe there aren’t many choices for tire in this size and importing from Japan (they have plenty of choice in this size) would be difficult and expensive (and potentially opens up a legal grey area)
So my choices in Europe were:
Ling longs (sounds perfectly safe, Sarcasm obviously)
Nankang NS2R (semi slick. Would be great buuut, it rains every other day in England, so no to those tires too)
And various budget tires from Achilies (had one, it sucked) and other random brands that I have never heard of.
So the RE040 was the only reasonable/safe choice.
I haven’t done much driving since I had them fitted, but first impressions are very good. He can take corners faster than before, but the most notable improvement was steering response. The time taken from turning the wheel to him actually turning is much shorter. It actually almost caught me out when I left the garage and went around an empty mini roundabout quickly. I almost ran over it instead of going round it as intended. (this mini roundabout was raised slightly)
If you look at the old tires, they look deflated, but they are actually at the correct pressure of 35PSI. and they are the same dimension too. The old tires were also very soft and squishy. There was lots of sidewall flex. In fact I could even hear them rubbing and flexing as I corner, and in the wet there was 0 grip. I could do burnouts all day if I wanted (I only have 67hp) idk if they were broken inside or something. Ether way, they were just bad tires.
In terms of steering feel, the new tires feel lighter and easier to turn. Probably due to the new ones not flexing and causing excessive resistance in the steering. The steering feels more smooth and consistent as well as weighting up more gradually rather than quickly getting heavier.
Another thing I noticed is it sounds different under braking. I did an emergency stop at 30mph to test if it felt or stopped any faster. I didn’t take any before and after measurements and I can’t say for sure if it stopped any faster, but it definitely sounded different.
The old tires would make a sort of rumb rum rub sort of sound. The new ones make a skrt skrt skrt sound. Over all, they seem to be more prone to making squealing sounds then the old tires, which would just make a sort of rubbing sound.
Ride quality is also better. The front end definitely feels stiffer than before, but its more, how do I put it. It feels more constant to what the rear is doing I guess. There’s less of an imbalance. I prefer it this way.
Sachihiro’s alignment was out. His front wheels were toeing out. (This probably added to the weighty feel from before)
His front alignment is basically perfect but the rear left wheel has too much toe angle. Also there is no way to adjust toe on a torsion beam, so I don’t really know what I can do about it other than replace the whole thing. He still drives mostly straight so its not too bad. (just pulls to the left ever so slightly)
I have seen some sort of spacer that goes behind the drum brake to add some toe in the other direction to make it straight again, but I’d need to do more research on this to know if they are safe or not.
Could the suspension bushing(s) also cause it perhaps?