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Super Moderator
1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks,

I'm finally in the market for new tires for my 97 and after some research I've come pretty close to a decision. I'm looking at Firestone's Firehawk Indy 500 tires. I should be able to get a set of four for under $400 total, which fits my budget. I'm mostly worried about snow traction and road noise - I know they'll be fine on dry roads and in rain. Anything should be better than what's on the car now: a set of FR680s on the rear (worn to 3/32", no traction at all...) and (this is the kicker...) a Goodyear Integrity with a slow leak on the left front and a Dayton Quadra SE on the right front.

Anyone have any experience with these Indy 500s?
 

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None here just my 2 cents BFGoodrich T/As on the bird and nothing but great reviews on the performance of the tires The Wife has BFG traction T/As great tires as well :)
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #3
I actually was considering the Traction T/As for a while but shied away (can't recall exactly what the reason was now...).
 

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I was get the Firehawks and bought Cooper Cobras instead. So far they are getting me thru the winter. Of course I drive it like I want it to stay on the road. ;)
Wet traction is definetely stepped up since I put them on.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #5
I'm being extra particular with this new set because the car slips and slides even in barely 1/8" of snow!

The rear tires are so bad that if I keep the throttle in the same position as I'm slowly accelerating (note, this is a very small percent, maybe 5-10% throttle... wherever I have it in order to start moving without generating wheelspin), they'll start to spin when the car shifts into second gear.

Going about 15 MPH and braking to 10 before a turn, the car starts to lose traction on the front tires and wants to spin out or go in its own direction when I go into any 90 degree turns (not sharp by any means - I take these turns at 20 or so MPH in dry weather).
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #6
Okay, 'nother question. Anyone know if the Firestone tire shops (shares the website, firestonecompleteautocare.com) will match an online price? I found the Indy 500 for $70 in my size at highperformancetire.com, $19 less than the shop's price.
 

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Okay, 'nother question. Anyone know if the Firestone tire shops (shares the website, firestonecompleteautocare.com) will match an online price? I found the Indy 500 for $70 in my size at highperformancetire.com, $19 less than the shop's price.
If I remember correctly when I was pricing tires with shops in town, I was in need so couldn't wait for online shopping... The Firestone shop here wanted a good deal more than I could find them for online. I didn't think about asking for price matching though.:confused: Not much help LOL, but FYI that my shop was more pricey. I did bring your thread back to the top though.:D
 

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Yea, I had a set on the car before I switched to the new rims and Sumo's They're great tires. I've actually run two sets of these (I liked the first so much when they wore out I bought another set). They run quiet have great traction and treadwear (500).

They were on the car when I made these runs.

Beat a Dodge

<embed width="448" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" src="http://i138.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid138.photobucket.com/albums/q253/Rigmeister89/BeataDodge.flv">


Run against a Toyota Supra - I beat him to 60' he had turbo lag lol.
<embed width="448" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" src="http://i138.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid138.photobucket.com/albums/q253/Rigmeister89/314PM-MyrunagainstToyotaSupraHeRedL.flv">

Run Against a Trans AM - I beat him to 60' too.
<embed width="448" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" src="http://i138.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid138.photobucket.com/albums/q253/Rigmeister89/334PM-RunagainstTransAM-1.flv">


My best run of the day - Dashboard View
<embed width="448" height="361" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" src="http://i138.photobucket.com/player.swf?file=http://vid138.photobucket.com/albums/q253/Rigmeister89/508PM-MyRunagainstNina.flv">
 

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Super Moderator
1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Quite a few nice runs there, TM.

Apparently Firestone (or at least the shop I called) will price match any online competitor's quote for an identical set of tires with shipping.

Shop price for the Firehawk Indy 500s is $88.99 ($355.96 for four); I found them at roadwaywholesaletire.com for $67.83 a piece ($271.32 for four) plus $46.92 for shipping: total cost would be $318.24, a savings of $37.72 or 10.6%.
 

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If road noise is a big concern I'd avoid these. I went from Michelin X1's on my Tbird to Indy 500's. Definate increase of noise on cement roads.

Not the most impressive in the snow. With the blocky tread I was expecting better.

Rain and straight line dry traction was excellent. Especially for the price.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #12
If road noise is a big concern I'd avoid these. I went from Michelin X1's on my Tbird to Indy 500's. Definate increase of noise on cement roads.

Not the most impressive in the snow. With the blocky tread I was expecting better.

Rain and straight line dry traction was excellent. Especially for the price.
I should be okay with them. I'm coming up from practically bald FR680s on the rear and a Goodyear Integrity/Dayton Quadra SE on the front. Anything would be better than those.

Concrete roads around here are nearly non existent and noise isn't a big concern with me. Dry and wet traction are obviously the biggest factors. As for snow, like I said... anything's an improvement over nearly bald rear tires.

Besides, I couldn't really find anything comparably better for the price. $320 total for the tires, plus $60-$80 in installation/balancing + fees + tax. I'll know how they run in about a week; tire appointment's scheduled for next Wednesday.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #14

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #15
Arrighty, I did indeed go with the Indy 500s. I had to call around to find a shop that had them in stock.

So far the improvement in snow traction is definite. I drove it around in a parking lot a little harder than I would've normally on the street in the snow to get a feel for their performance in that respect.

If I was taking a turn and started to slip then let off the throttle in my old tires, the car would keep sliding with NO traction whatsoever until the car slowed down a few MPH. The Indys will start biting and pulling my nose to the side (whichever way I'm turning) the instant I let off the gas. I'm very impressed with that. There is also at least 75-100% more startup traction. Braking traction is exceptional. I didn't get any lockups or slippage in my "faster than normal dry road" 30-0 stop braking.

I haven't had much time on dry or wet roads so far. However from what experience I have had, they're glued to the road when it's dry. I took a turn at speeds that my other tires would've been squealing at; not a chirp from the new set.

The only category where I've downgraded is road noise. Before I wasn't able to distinguish any discernable tire/tread noise (if only because they were practically bald :D), now I am able to hear a slight beehive sound if I listen for it starting around 30 MPH. It's not audible if I have the radio on though.

I'll try to get a couple pics up tomorrow AM.
 

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Arrighty, I did indeed go with the Indy 500s. I had to call around to find a shop that had them in stock.

So far the improvement in snow traction is definite. I drove it around in a parking lot a little harder than I would've normally on the street in the snow to get a feel for their performance in that respect.

If I was taking a turn and started to slip then let off the throttle in my old tires, the car would keep sliding with NO traction whatsoever until the car slowed down a few MPH. The Indys will start biting and pulling my nose to the side (whichever way I'm turning) the instant I let off the gas. I'm very impressed with that. There is also at least 75-100% more startup traction. Braking traction is exceptional. I didn't get any lockups or slippage in my "faster than normal dry road" 30-0 stop braking.

I haven't had much time on dry or wet roads so far. However from what experience I have had, they're glued to the road when it's dry. I took a turn at speeds that my other tires would've been squealing at; not a chirp from the new set.

The only category where I've downgraded is road noise. Before I wasn't able to distinguish any discernable tire/tread noise (if only because they were practically bald :D), now I am able to hear a slight beehive sound if I listen for it starting around 30 MPH. It's not audible if I have the radio on though.

I'll try to get a couple pics up tomorrow AM.
So you have the white lettered stuff showing, right? I think that look is amazing on our cars.:D

Your choice was mine also til my car friend/ seller of mah Bird talked me into the Cooper Cobras. Glad to hear they perform well for you. Mine are doing the job nicely, too. We've had some pretty rotten weather, snow is the norm, along with a day of bad black ice, and so far so good. I have remarked to others how much better this Bird does in the bad weather than my 95 did. Should be similar but this time it's better, must be the good tires with a couple of sand bag mods in the trunk.:tongue:
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #17
Most definitely. We didn't get any ice up here in NE Ohio, so I can't say how the ice traction is at the moment.

Ya know, I was too anxious to wait, so I snapped a pic. She's not too perdy looking all salted up and dirty right now, but she's had worse days. If you look you can still sorta' see some blue tint left on the letters!

 

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Nice. Glad you like them. Be careful, new tires aren't magic bullets against snow, ice and rain.
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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Discussion Starter #19
Nice. Glad you like them. Be careful, new tires aren't magic bullets against snow, ice and rain.
Oh, I know. :) I don't intend on driving any differently than I did when I had the mega crap tires, but I think it's always good to know the limits of what's holding you to the street.
 

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Oh, I know. :) I don't intend on driving any differently than I did when I had the mega crap tires, but I think it's always good to know the limits of what's holding you to the street.
Agreed. I still drive it like I want to save it. But with usual caution in the bad weather the tires are seeing me through. That advice is good, I think too many people get overly confident in the crappy weather (mmm, SUV drivers for one example!:mad:) Just be smart and hopefully the tires help you.

And don't don't feel bad about the salty ride. Ugh. You should see mine. It went through the car wash yesterday but that was one day, you can't even tell now. I notice my hood and front look sharp but the sides of the car look like every other dirty car.:( Looking forward to seeing yours and my Bird back in their full glory.:D:zbeer:
 
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