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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I opened my trunk to find totally empty spare tire a couple days ago. I tried to inflate it with a pay-fer pump (high CFM) and no joy. Then I inspected it more closely and found the side had burst just sitting in the trunk; steel cord is just hanging out and the rubber looks like somebody took a large knife to it.
:(

It's the original from '96, so I shouldn't be surprised. I'm lucky it didn't blow out on me when I had to use it back in 2009 coming home from Houston.. on I-10 and 610 overpasses, too! That would have been hell.

The original tire is a Firestone T125/90/r15 96M. Firestone doesn't sell spares. NTB doesn't sell spares. Discount tire doesn't have it. Seems nobody makes the things anymore. My local Ford dealer said they can't even special order it now, and suggested salvage yards.

Yeah, sure. A junkyard tire is likely going to be old and degraded, too, so no thank you very much.

I saw the wheel on fordparts.com but retail price on these is from $120 to over $600. They say it's the wheel, and the reference line points only to the wheel. Would this come with the tire for $120? And, how can I know when their "new" one was manufactured? ugh..

Is there a reasonably priced source left for the new tire alone, or a new wheel w/tire mounted if I must purchase a new wheel (my old wheel seems fine)?

I hope I don't have to use a normal size tire and leave the thing sticking out in my storage space. The trunk space is one reason I'm hanging onto this car -- it's just the right size that I can stuff it full and be done with my grocery shopping in a single trip.
Yeah, I know.. use the back seat. But with cars parked right up against me, it's a lot less convenient, to say the least.
 

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I've been told the smaller Taurus wheels will fit ( 205/65R15). If that doesn't fit in the hole could get the wheel and ask how narrow a tire you can but on it.
 

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Spare Tire

I opened my trunk to find totally empty spare tire a couple days ago. I tried to inflate it with a pay-fer pump (high CFM) and no joy. Then I inspected it more closely and found the side had burst just sitting in the trunk; steel cord is just hanging out and the rubber looks like somebody took a large knife to it.
:(

It's the original from '96, so I shouldn't be surprised. I'm lucky it didn't blow out on me when I had to use it back in 2009 coming home from Houston.. on I-10 and 610 overpasses, too! That would have been hell.

The original tire is a Firestone T125/90/r15 96M. Firestone doesn't sell spares. NTB doesn't sell spares. Discount tire doesn't have it. Seems nobody makes the things anymore. My local Ford dealer said they can't even special order it now, and suggested salvage yards.

Yeah, sure. A junkyard tire is likely going to be old and degraded, too, so no thank you very much.

I saw the wheel on fordparts.com but retail price on these is from $120 to over $600. They say it's the wheel, and the reference line points only to the wheel. Would this come with the tire for $120? And, how can I know when their "new" one was manufactured? ugh..

Is there a reasonably priced source left for the new tire alone, or a new wheel w/tire mounted if I must purchase a new wheel (my old wheel seems fine)?

I hope I don't have to use a normal size tire and leave the thing sticking out in my storage space. The trunk space is one reason I'm hanging onto this car -- it's just the right size that I can stuff it full and be done with my grocery shopping in a single trip.
Yeah, I know.. use the back seat. But with cars parked right up against me, it's a lot less convenient, to say the least.
The 1989-1997 MN12's came standard with a 15" x 4" Mini-spare (Steel) wheel on a 125/90/15 size tire..

There was an option for a full size spare tire from 1989-1995 as well..This was a 15" x 6" (Steel) wheel on a 205/70/15 size tire..

The Ford Part Number for the 15" x 4" Mini-spare (Steel) wheel is: (F3OY-1007-C) or (F3OY1007C)

The Ford Part Number for the 15" x 6" full-size spare (Steel) wheel is: (E9SZ-1007-A) or ( E9SZ1007A)

As you probably know, both of these spares have been discontinued for a long time.. :rolleyes:

One other thing to note is..The spare wheel and tire had to be purchased separately..So the Ford Part Numbers I provided are for the wheel only..

Here is a purchase link for both of these wheels-->>MN12 Full-Size Spare

-->>MN12 Mini-Spare

This is what the full-size spare looks like tucked in the trunk spare tire well:
1992 Ford Thunderbird LX (5.0) ~Spare Tire~.jpg
:thumbsup:






Rayo..
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
that is what my focus took.
Thanks for steering me to the Focus. A visiting relative happened to rent a 2014 Focus at the airport, so I was able to check that spare and it's a perfect fit! I mounted it on my Bird to confirm. The Focus tire is T125/80/R16.

According to an online tire calculator, the difference in diameter between that and my original T125/90/R15 is only 0.01" and difference in revs/mile is -0.56, so they're pretty much the same.

The problem now is, I can't find a dealer that stocks even a 2014 Focus spare. You'd think this year's model would be supported, but nope.
One dealer told me they might be able to special order the wheel, but said I'm on my own in finding a tire for it.
The 2014 Focus spare tire is Maxxis brand and I discovered they still make the tire -- $144 shipped! The steel wheel alone is $175!
Clearly, automobile manufacturers don't wish to be bothered about a spare tire issue once the original has been used.

I haven't found any salvage yards with a 2014 spare, either. Earlier Focus years use a 4-bolt hub, though I've seen 2013 wheels that are 5-bolt and even 6-bolt, so I'm not sure when Ford changed to the 5-bolt.
Even if I find a recent one, there's no way to be certain whether it was ever used and if so, how many miles were put on it and how fast it was driven.

One other thing to note is..The spare wheel and tire had to be purchased separately..So the Ford Part Numbers I provided are for the wheel only..
Thanks for the info.

I found the Ford part number for the T125/90/R15 tire on a BMW forum, of all places. It's 9OO459970 and retails for $43.95.
The two USA dealers that I found listing it on their sites (discounted) told me they don't stock it. One vendor said they might be able to special order it (10-20 days) but couldn't tell me the tire's date of manufacture.
I don't know when the tire companies stopped making this size, but I'm not interested in wasting time and money only to discover that a "brand new" tire is 10 years old (for example).

It's beginning to look like if I can't find a new, late model Focus spare for a reasonable price, I might be better off just getting a used alloy wheel and normal, new tire. It would cost less and I wouldn't have to concern myself with speed or mileage limitations. The only problem is I'd have to modify the spare cover or build a new one from scratch.

It's hard to tell from your pic, but it seems as though I might have to elevate the cover even with the optional 6" spare. (?)
Is there room for the jack and lug wrench to be stored with the optional 6" spare, or must it be inverted as pictured?
If I'm going to have to put the jack & wrench in a box and somehow secure it elsewhere in the trunk (or keep it behind a bucket seat), I may as well go with a normal wheel/tire -- unless the cover in fact sits flush over the optional spare like it does with the space-saver spare and I can find a good deal on the optional spare wheel/tire.

Out of curiosity, I weighed the wheel/tire combos:

stock 15" alloy wheel/tire: 41 lbs. 12.4 oz. (balance weight, slight debris in treads, heavy brake dust, road grime included)
stock 4" spare (no air, obviously): 26 lbs. 11.8 oz.
2014 Focus 4" spare: 27 lbs. 11.0 oz.

Keeping a permanent load in the trunk of about 14 lbs. over design specs shouldn't cause problems.
However, according to the tire calculator, the 215/70/R15 is 2.99" larger diameter than the 125/90/R15. I think the spare well will accommodate the 215, but it will ride up on the sides, in turn making it further encroach on available trunk space.
 

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It's hard to tell from your pic, but it seems as though I might have to elevate the cover even with the optional 6" spare. (?)
Is there room for the jack and lug wrench to be stored with the optional 6" spare, or must it be inverted as pictured?
If I'm going to have to put the jack & wrench in a box and somehow secure it elsewhere in the trunk (or keep it behind a bucket seat), I may as well go with a normal wheel/tire -- unless the cover in fact sits flush over the optional spare like it does with the space-saver spare and I can find a good deal on the optional spare wheel/tire.
When using the full-size spare the jack and lug wrench are not stored underneath the spare tire like it is with the mini-spare..

If you try to store the jack and lug wrench under the full-size spare it will push the full-size spare up too far..Then the spare tire cover won't sit flat..

As long as you don't use a tire larger than 205/70/15..You should be able to place the jack and lug wrench in the position like what I have pictured..
Then still be able to put your spare tire cover over it..

One more thing to keep in mind is..

If you plan on going with bigger brake calipers you may have to run a 17" spare tire..So choose your spare tire size accordingly..

The Focus wheels have a very high offset, and may require spacers to clear bigger than stock brake calipers..

Good Luck..I hope that helps.. :)




Rayo..
 

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From what I just looked up a 195/60R15 will fit the stock wheel and should be easy to get out of a yard, and prices starting under $70 you could get a "full" size spare for about $120-$150.

195 is as narrow as a stock wheel will be able to accept.

If it were me I either get a MN-12 wheel for a steel Taurus wheel and throw a cheap new tire on it. Big deal if its different size than the other tires it will be better than the Dount was when new and be light-years ahead of twenty year old one now.

As far as brakes, I'd say leave the rears alone and that way can put the spare on the back. Honestly if you up grade the rear brakes IMO you can justify roadside assistance, caring a real tire or are racing and its not an issue then.
 

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The OEM temp spare in my 89 Cougar is still in great shape, as are any that have spent there entire lives in the trunk, except short runs mounted (never left on for more than a day, or 50 miles).

They don't seem to have the same properties as normal use tires, and any amount of time in the sun they rot quickly. I left the temp spare on my 97 Cougar, and within a few months it no longer holds air.

I bought a 17 inch Volvo spare hoping it would clear Cobra brakes (it won't), it works just fine with the Sport brakes and GT/V6 PBR calipers.
 

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I have a 125-90/15 mini spare from my 96 cougar I'll sell you.
never been on the ground.
PM if interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I had time to experiment with this today.

I've been doing my running around with a 24oz. bottle of Slime filler behind the passenger seat and a small compressor in the trunk.
I know I know... But a lot of new cars are supplied with nothing more than those, and this stuff will seal a 1/4" hole long enough for me to get to a tire shop, so I'll just pray I don't experience sidewall damage.

I tucked one of my stock wheels (215/70/15 tire) in the trunk as best I could and it does ride way up the sides. The cover is lifted 5.25" at front and 4" on the sides. The wheel/tire rested about an inch above the jack's highest points.

That is not going to work for me. According to the tire calculator, the difference in diameter between a 215/70/15 and a 205/70/15 is 0.55", which won't be enough to matter.

@Rayo:
I don't know how your 205/70/15 sits that far down in your well for a flush-fit cover, but there's no way it'll drop that far in mine at a half inch smaller diameter than the 215 I just tested in there.
It seems it would have to be no larger than a 205/60/15, which is 0.83" larger diameter than the 4" spare.
A 205/55/15 is super close at just 0.02" larger diameter than the original 4". Unfortunately, these are harder to find and cost much more than the 205/60/15.

Good point about the brake upgrades. However, there are a number of repairs needed on my Bird, so brake upgrades are not a consideration in the foreseeable future. I may even part with the car before I get into that. 8-/

@bowez:
I think 195/60/15 is too narrow for peace of mind on the stock alloy wheel. I'm not sure I'd trust it. The cost is about the same as the 205/60, though, so I suppose it could be an option.

@Bangster:
My original spare was on the road for a grand total of about 35 miles in 2009, at night. I used it once. It was never in daylight. It does get hot here in the summers, so the spare wasn't kept cool continuously. My Bird was garage kept since purchased in '96, except for a total time of about 24 months on the driveway. Evidently, age plus heat killed this spare.

As I was test fitting a stock wheel this afternoon, I took a closer look at my blown spare and discovered that what I initially thought was sharp pieces of rubber sticking out was actually the steel belts (with rubber coating them). The steel lines literally popped in two across a large section of the tire and then of course the flimsy rubber went. Very nasty. Very dangerous.

@r429460:
I appreciate the offer, but it sounds like that's an original tire from '96.
Based on my experience with what age did to mine, and what I've read about the subject, I won't be comfortable relying on an older tire for backup.

My goal is to have the cover seat flush over a late production tire and keep the jack/wrench in there with it. It's beginning to look like I might not achieve that, but I'm working on it.
 

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I always thought the spare was supposed to match the stock tire height exactly. What good is it peglegging along with a tire that's over 2" shorter than the other 3?

This is how I ended up with a full size spare for the CVPI. I found a mini spare in the junkyard, but thought it was the wrong one since it was so small. I have used spares in the past on other cars, and they appeared to be the exact diameter as the stockers.\

To the OP: I would have no qualms about buying a used spare. Your's going bad is not the norm.

Al
 

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I'm surprised nobody mentioned this yet, but what about buying any newer 15" temporary spare from the junkyard, and swapping the tire onto your temporary spare rim?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm surprised nobody mentioned this yet, but what about buying any newer 15" temporary spare from the junkyard, and swapping the tire onto your temporary spare rim?
If you're referring to my space-saver spare, the junk tire would need to be 125/90/15. AFAICT, all of those are rather old -- I don't know when the manufacturers stopped making that size, though.

These tempa spares are flimsy to begin with. I wouldn't trust one from a junkyard, even if it were only a few years old. Maybe what happened to my spare tire is highly unusual and maybe it isn't, but it's scared me away from old tires.
I looked for a 2014 Focus spare, but nobody has them; I might trust a 2014 if it looked unused.
The prices aren't generally that low on junk spares around here, either, from what I've seen (other models, years). I can get a used normal wheel and matching brand new tire for what some of those old spares are going for.

Unless I find a good deal on a late production Focus (or other) spare, I'll put a brand new, late production tire on some kind of wheel other than the original 4" space-saver one. The only thing I haven't decided on is exactly what wheel that will be -- as alluded to above, used wheel in good shape is fine with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I always thought the spare was supposed to match the stock tire height exactly. What good is it peglegging along with a tire that's over 2" shorter than the other 3?
Manufacturers impose speed and distance limits on these small spares because the smaller diameter stresses differentials, and the flimsy construction of the tires -- e.g., half the number of plies as a normal tire -- makes them far less durable than a normal tire.
They're meant to be driven only far enough to get you to a tire shop -- there's at least some value in that. They made 'em small to save space and weight.
Fewer and fewer new cars are being supplied with a spare tire at all, including pricey luxury vehicles.
 

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The 1989-1997 MN12's came standard with a 15" x 4" Mini-spare (Steel) wheel on a 125/90/15 size tire..

There was an option for a full size spare tire from 1989-1995 as well..This was a 15" x 6" (Steel) wheel on a 205/70/15 size tire..
Not trying to disagree... But what did the sport models use? I thought that they couldn't fit anything smaller then a 16" wheel because of the front brakes. Or are the compact spares measured different? Mine has a space saver, I'll check it out and see what size it is.

I'd like to get a full size spare so this thread has been helpful!
 

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Not trying to disagree... But what did the sport models use? I thought that they couldn't fit anything smaller then a 16" wheel because of the front brakes. Or are the compact spares measured different? Mine has a space saver, I'll check it out and see what size it is.

I'd like to get a full size spare so this thread has been helpful!
Sport models, and Lincoln MarkVIII's, got a 16" temporary spare.
 
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