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Discussion Starter #1
The tire sticky's are pretty old. I've had my 96 Cougar for going on 2 years now. The PO had a good set of BF Goodrich T/A radials on it, but they are 60 series, so about 1" diameter smaller. Those T/As are getting to the end of their tread life and I need to look at some new tires. T/As don't come in the factory size. they are offered in P225/70R15 which is the same stock diameter.

This Cougar is stock, my daily driver and I'm in North Carolina. I need some wet traction, but no need for snow traction. Any recommendations on the tires on the market now? Thanks.
 

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We need bigger wheels.

All the good tires are no longer made for 15".

In 16" I can get BFG COMP-2 225-55-16, and those are sticky as ****. :)

They suck at cold temps, but they say that. :)


I'd love to find something as good for 15".
 

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I agree, not many "good" tire choices in 15" anymore. I'd highly recommend upgrading to 17 or even better, 18" wheels which opens up tire choices dramatically.

For a great performing all season in a Z rated tire, I love my General GMax AS 03's. They are no longer made, but I read very good reviews on the new AS 05's they now offer. I've had the AS 03's on both my current 97 Thunderbird, and my former 99 Mustang GT. Excellent all around performance, but not a "sticky, track style" tire. Much better traction than stock sized offerings though.
 

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My car came with a set of new Cooper Cobras in the stock 215 size. I was surprised how well they handled. They also ride well on bad roads. They are pretty quiet but squeal on smooth pavement. They are good in the wet and they are technically an all season tire. They make a lot of noise before they lose traction on curves. Traction in the rear is limited by the tread width, but I have both traction assist and traction loc to help. The Cooper Cobra is a good tire for stock size. Cooper is shifting to a new plant in Mexico to manufacture these tires. The Mexican made tires are an improved tire. The American made Coopers are good too. They are also less than $100 each.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I saw those Coopers on tire rack. I've ran coopers before and was pleased. I've liked the fact that they were still made in USA too. Can't beat that price either.
 

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I'm trying to stick with stock rims. I need tires, I don't want the added cost of rims too. Plus, I really like the rims on this car.
 

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Stay away from Pirelli traction on these things is crap, On the pony here takes nothing for them to break loose. Going with some better ones soon.
 

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Stay away from Pirelli traction on these things is crap, On the pony here takes nothing for them to break loose. Going with some better ones soon.
Agreed. I have P Zeros on the Cougar right now and they break traction through every gear up to fourth flat out. I can’t believe these tires are standard equipment on cars with 100+ more horsepower than mine.
 

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I'm trying to stick with stock rims. I need tires, I don't want the added cost of rims too. Plus, I really like the rims on this car.
Then get the Cooper's in 235/60/15 - It's a no brainer.



Stay away from Pirelli traction on these things is crap, On the pony here takes nothing for them to break loose. Going with some better ones soon.
Agreed. I have P Zeros on the Cougar right now and they break traction through every gear up to fourth flat out. I can’t believe these tires are standard equipment on cars with 100+ more horsepower than mine.
Speaking of other brands ... I LOVE my NITTO's!

Great tire company. I also put a set of them on our Explorer. We've got three different types of NITTO tires at the house. I'm happy with them all.

NT421Q's on the Explorer and NT555G2's, and NT05R's on the Tbird.
 

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I'm going to be the stodgy guy and recommend the Michelin Defender, 215/70-15. You're not going to find a smoother riding tire for hwy cruising. A lot of times Discount tire gives you a $70 Visa cars for buying 4. 80k mile warranty.

Al
 

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The Michelin Defender is probably the best street tire you can buy in that size. If blackwall is ok they are probably worth the $20 more. Another good cheap tire is General Altimax. I've put these on several cars. They have been good on smaller cars, especially in the snow. I put some on my Moms 92 Riviera and wasn't impressed with the handling, but that's probably the cars fault. They did ride hugely quieter though. The Buick uses the same 215/15/70 which is why I was expecting the Coopers to perform poorly. At $80, the General Altimax is a good buy.
 

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I'm going to be the stodgy guy and recommend the Michelin Defender, 215/70-15. You're not going to find a smoother riding tire for hwy cruising. A lot of times Discount tire gives you a $70 Visa cars for buying 4. 80k mile warranty.

Al
Keep them treated.

I got three years and about 50% tread wear before they dryrotted on me. On a car that doesn't just sit (about 35,000 miles during that period.)

RwP
 

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I like the look of white letters, but just want a good tire. I like the BFGs but that smaller diameter is a little too low.
Side bar, what's the deal with big rims and thin wall tires? It seems every vehicle now is going to that.
 

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I don't know if they offer them in 15", since Ruby Jean is shod in 16" wheels, but there's always the TigerPaws from Uniroyal.

(Don't know how they ride or handle, but they seem to be the ideal tire to fit a Cougar to me ... :diablo: )

RwP
 

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Keep them treated.

I got three years and about 50% tread wear before they dryrotted on me. On a car that doesn't just sit (about 35,000 miles during that period.)

RwP
It's funny you mention dry rot; I started to just give someone a rear tire I had hanging up, for a cycle I've had forever, and realized it was completely dryrotted and was almost 20 years old, lol. Never been mounted; I bought a different bike.


You used to never know when the tires you got were made; now it's a mandatory cast-in marking.

If your tires are 5 years older than the "born on" date, replace them. :)

If you bump a curb and the sidewall falls out, that's dryrot, lol.


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I've found that tires from deep discount places like sams and costco sell 3rd rate tires; you're lucky if they can be balanced. :surprise:

I've gotten great tires from Summit and Tire rack; they're always fresh, and always balance with minimal weight.
 

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I like the look of white letters, but just want a good tire. I like the BFGs but that smaller diameter is a little too low.
Side bar, what's the deal with big rims and thin wall tires? It seems every vehicle now is going to that.
Partially for looks, partially to save on raw materials for the tire companies. Overall, I like the look better than the old tires that had massive sidewalls. There's probably a performance gain to be had too but ride comfort is sacrificed. Like anything, it's a trade off.

So we've been talking about this for a few days now. Have you decided on something yet?
 

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Allowing the fitment of larger disc brakes and less sidewall deflection under hard cornering. Looks, meh. I think every old Muscle car looks better with 14-15” wheels than with the 17”+ pro-touring look personally, these cars are both modern enough and old looking enough where it can look good either way, depends on the wheel design more than the diameter IMO.
 
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