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Old 11-02-2017, 01:19 PM   #1
bumpdraft
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1998 SC2
1998 SW2
Default 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

Does any manufacturer make tires that match the tire parameters that were used when these cars were built.

Reading the door sticker “31 front, 28 rear”

Are there any tires meeting the original design parameters that are available for purchase new?

Commonly-available high-pressure Eco-tires suck.

Thank you

...
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Old 11-02-2017, 01:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

Each tire manufacturer have specs to meet or exceed vehicle manufacturers specs for tires so they work together to provide a safety margin for drivers in almost every situation in normal driving. Exceptions are racing, auto cross, track driving where extreme loads are presented well above normal driving. One well known site, https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiret...jsp?techid=196 gives info. Most tires are either rated for a maximum pressure of 35 or 44 psi (cold inflation).

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Old 11-02-2017, 05:16 PM   #3
bumpdraft
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

Thank you, but does any tire manufacturer make a tire for my 1998 SC2 that can be driven with a cold inflation pressure of 31 psi front and 28 psi rear?
It is my understanding that currently-manufactured tires no longer have any stiffness in the sidewalls and the real-world tire inflation pressure for the front must be higher than 31 psi cold.

I was looking for so-called “performance” tires that have the characteristics that match the tires that were on my 1998 SC2 when it left the Springhill factory in January of 1998.

I have purchased the last two sets of summer tires for my 1998 SC2 from tire rack. I was trying to match the 31 psi front and 28 psi rear cold inflation pressure of the original Firehawks that came from the Springhill factory in 1998. My last two sets of summer tires (8 tires total) were not to my liking in that they were not like the original equipment tires that came from Springhill.

The Summer tires that are on my car now were purchased from tire rack. I feel that they are undersized in the real-world sense, meaning that they require a higher cold inflation pressure than the original equipment tires or they look flat.

It would seem that I would be able to find a tire that would look like the original Firehawk tires did when they were inflated to 31 psi cold front and 28 psi cold rear.
.................................................. .
All the tires I ever purchased matched ^those^ numbers.
30 and 26 psi. Those were the days

...
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Last edited by bumpdraft; 11-02-2017 at 05:28 PM..

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Old 11-02-2017, 06:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

Are you aware of tires made differently from years ago? Bias ply tires were original hard sidewalls and are long gone. Soft sidewall tires in use by every passenger car are radial ply and are often mistaken as losing air. Firestone and all other tire manufacturers went to radial ply tires years ago for less heat when tires flex and longer life over bias ply tires. Every tire manufacturer has their tire ratings stamped on sidewalls. You should not have problems finding equivalent Firestone Firehawk tires (radial ply). I believe they retired that brand and tread pattern but many tires meet the same ratings and may be better with tread life. Using the pressures recommended by each model is always recommended first before changing to a higher or lower pressure as this affects ride, performance and overall life.

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Old 11-02-2017, 06:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
...Using the pressures recommended by each model is always recommended first before changing to a higher or lower pressure as this affects ride, performance and overall life.
Pleasy clarify. When you write ‘each model’, you’re referring to the model of automobile (1998 SC2) or the model of tire.
Meaning, you are referring to the SC2’s door sticker

Or do you mean there is information available from the tire manufacturer that would tell me how much air to put in the tire, ...even if that pressure made the tire look too low to me...?

Thank you for humoring me. By experimentation, these tires on my car look correct (to me) when the front tires have 38 psi cold of nice dry nitrogen in them. I am using moisture-free nitrogen so that they do not pump themselves up with water vapor partial pressure when they get hot.

...
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Last edited by bumpdraft; 11-02-2017 at 07:06 PM..

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Old 11-02-2017, 08:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

You cannot base a tires inflation level based on looking at it...unless it is completely flat. My question would be why is the look more important than the function?

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Old 11-02-2017, 08:32 PM   #7
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpdraft View Post
Does any manufacturer make tires that match the tire parameters that were used when these cars were built.

Reading the door sticker “31 front, 28 rear”

Are there any tires meeting the original design parameters that are available for purchase new?

Commonly-available high-pressure Eco-tires suck.

Thank you
Yes, if you can find a real tire shop that has knowledgeable employees, not Tire Rack or any other discount mass tire seller. The 31-28 values are going to be ballpark close for any tire with the same size, type of cord, and belt construction as that old OEM tire. Now if you stuff a set of 10 ply rated 8 ply tires on the car you will have to adjust the pressures a bit.

The roads here are not as trashed as the roads you run on so with 185/65 tires I run 34-30 which works. The fresh graveled road is to be avoided however as it will be very rough at those pressures. I run about 3 miles of gravel every day and can select between 2 different routs to avoid excessive washboards and new rock.

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Old 11-02-2017, 09:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpdraft View Post
Pleasy clarify. When you write ‘each model’, you’re referring to the model of automobile (1998 SC2) or the model of tire.
Meaning, you are referring to the SC2’s door sticker

Or do you mean there is information available from the tire manufacturer that would tell me how much air to put in the tire, ...even if that pressure made the tire look too low to me...?

Thank you for humoring me. By experimentation, these tires on my car look correct (to me) when the front tires have 38 psi cold of nice dry nitrogen in them. I am using moisture-free nitrogen so that they do not pump themselves up with water vapor partial pressure when they get hot.
1-Each car model like yours with a door sticker was determined by GM and tire manufacturers the recommended tire pressure. It doesn't matter what tire you buy, Firestone, Goodyear, Michelin, etc. The tire size and pressure labeled in stickers for every vehicle are the recommended pressures. Do not assume "I inflated the tires so it looks right" - you would be grossly wrong with this assumption. As mentioned previously, passenger car tires are made using radial ply technology that means a softer 'looking' sidewall that does not mean weaker. The radial plies in sidewalls allows better flexing in side loads as in cornering while still providing the flattest tread contact to the road for best traction. Previous bias ply tires didn't allow sidewall flexing and prevented a firm footprint compared to radial ply tires. It bears repeating - do not inflate tires just because you don't like the sidewall sag. Its normal, period.

Buy whatever set of tires you want and simply inflate fronts to 31 psi, rears to 28 psi. It doesn't get any simpler.

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Old 11-02-2017, 09:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

OK, I needed to hear that. Thank you all.
I will start with 32 front. A few PSI make a noticeable difference.

The air temperature came up a little.
Here is the tire at 39 PSI Cold:



Upside down



Max Load

...
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

Original tires on most of the Saturn S Series were S or T rated, 35 psi max.

Today's tires are "H" or "V" rated, and 44 or 51 psi max.

Put the OEM recommended pressure in, they drive terrible.

First. look on the side of the tire for "max inflation"

It is either 35 psi (250 KPA), 44 psi (300 KPA), or 51 psi (350 KPA)

Two of mine are 44, i put 37 in,
Two are 51, I put 44 in...

Two tires I have had luck with are Hercules Ironman Tour 4.0.
Mounts with a specific side out..
https://www.herculestire.com/tire-de...r%204.0%20Plus

Another is the General RT43, I have the older HP version.
https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...2&autoModClar=

...
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205/60R15 "H" rated tires, 5mm spacers rear...
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
The roads here are not as trashed as the roads you run on...
The highways are looking good. Some secondary roads can be a challenge, to put it mildly.

...
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Old 11-03-2017, 05:40 AM   #12
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

I have to confess I have not been reading my tire sidewalls. I've just been airing them up to 32 psi for everything in the stable. Seems ok. I would regard the max PSI as a limit, not a requirement. Or am I wrong? I am not smart about tires.

...
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Old 11-03-2017, 07:27 AM   #13
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

The max cold pressure is a limit. Tires should be inflated to the point that there is complete even tread contact across the contact patch. What pressure is required is determined by tire design/size and total sprung and unsprung weight on the tire. The OEM will likely under inflate the tire to improve the baby buggy ride characteristic. Think the Firestone rollover issue of several years ago.

Just about any of the car magazines has published a detailed article on how to come up with the proper tire pressure.

Yes something like 32 in front and 28-30 in the rear works good with the S-Series for the vast majority of the available tires.

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Old 11-03-2017, 07:55 AM   #14
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattwithcats View Post
Original tires on most of the Saturn S Series were S or T rated, 35 psi max.

Today's tires are "H" or "V" rated, and 44 or 51 psi max.

Put the OEM recommended pressure in, they drive terrible.

First. look on the side of the tire for "max inflation"

It is either 35 psi (250 KPA), 44 psi (300 KPA), or 51 psi (350 KPA)

Two of mine are 44, i put 37 in,
...
And therein lies the rub.— Put the OEM recommended pressure in, they drive terrible.
The tires that were on the car when it left Springhill were perfect at 31psi cold and they wore well at that pressure.

If I want similar tires to OE, then I need to find tires with a max inflation of 35 psi cold. ...and they are probably not currently manufactured anywhere.

...
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Old 11-03-2017, 08:10 AM   #15
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

BF Goodrich Radial T/A 195/60R15 35psi max

TireRack doesn't stock the other S-Series size's of that tire, just 195/60R15 but possibly other sites do.

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Old 11-03-2017, 08:12 AM   #16
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

I have ALWAYS stuck with OEM recommended pressures no matter what the sidewall says. Remember the sidewall is only giving you the MAXIMUM limits which mean nothing in day to day driving unless you're on the Autobahn driving at max speed and with a full load in the car.
I have never varied from factory (except for maybe about 2 psi over) have NEVER had a tire issue, ALWAYS gotten perfect wear (totally flat wear pattern), never had a failure.
I have found on many of my cars most recently for example on my 2006 Toyota Highlander. Factory rec is 30 PSI all around. I recently had new Pirelli Scorpion tires put on it and just last week had them rotated and balanced at Discount Tire. Not sure why they insist on putting 35 psi in them. I could tell instantly when I drove out. It was very hard riding, tiny bumps made it skittish it was not the pleasant drive it normally is. Got home dropped it to 30 PSI and it handled better rode more quietly, and more steady.
IMO all this BS of over inflation is just that BS.
Same experience with my Saturns (when I had them) Door sticker was 30F 26R. Max I ran was 32/28. Anything over that the car was a handful. Skittish, bounced all over the road. To the point the rear on a long curve would feel like it wanted to "go out". Factory specs are there for a reason. THEY WORK

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Old 11-03-2017, 08:34 AM   #17
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

I've always gone by the recommended OEM tire pressures on the door jamb. When buying new tires I bought the OEM size and rating also indicated on the door jamb.

I've always understood the sidewall tire pressure marking to be a "do not exceed or bad things could happen; it's not safe".

If you look as the sidewall photo you posted it indicates max load at max pressure. In this case it is 1235 lbs and 44 psi. This translates to 88 within the tire manufactures load index.

Because the load on the front tires is different than the rear I imagine there is a calculation that was used to figure out the optimum PSI number to make sure the tire patch is optimum. I assume heavier load would require more PSI.

...
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Old 11-03-2017, 11:19 AM   #18
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
BF Goodrich Radial T/A 195/60R15 35psi max

TireRack doesn't stock the other S-Series size's of that tire, just 195/60R15 but possibly other sites do.
If those tires are well-made then that is what I need. The tread type looks like OE.
You know you're driving a classic when they make TAs for it!

...
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Old 11-03-2017, 02:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpdraft View Post
And therein lies the rub.— Put the OEM recommended pressure in, they drive terrible.
The tires that were on the car when it left Springhill were perfect at 31psi cold and they wore well at that pressure.

If I want similar tires to OE, then I need to find tires with a max inflation of 35 psi cold. ...and they are probably not currently manufactured anywhere.
They are still manufactured and available in all of the OEM S-Series sizes. Tire Rack does not carry them though. Several different brands available. Find any of the other multi-brand sellers and search by tire size and then filter by brand. You will have to go to manufacturers site to find the sidewall info.

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Old 11-03-2017, 02:48 PM   #20
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Default Re: 31 psi FRONT, 28 psi REAR

The 98 SC2 was specked for a H rated tire and the SW2 was specked for a T rated tire.

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