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Thread: Recommended Tyres for YT
Posted 11 August 2017 at 11:16:53 UK time
J P BIRKBECK, United Kingdom

We have just returned from Portugal and covered over 2000 miles over 17 days. Much of this was on high quality autoroutes which are well surfaced and very lightly trafficed. The YT ran well although the exhaust gasket blew on the penultimate day. Initially I thought it was the inlet/exhaust manifold gasket - which had blown but the culprit is the exhaust/down pipe gasket which we had. However we needed to get to Bilboa to catch the ferry so with a rorty sound we reached the docks and then arrived in Portsmouth for a 125 mile journey home . Leaving at 930 pm we arrived home at 12.15 am with a five minute stop for fuel.


The tyres are 525/15 Excelsiors.I fitted a new pair last year and have covered around 3000 miles on them. Pressures 23 front and 25 rear. I did increase the pressure about 500 miles ago to 28 (f) and 30 (r) but the.n put them back to the correct (as I understand it) 23/25. I checked the pressures fairly regularly but when we stopped on our final night I noted that the front offside tyre had wear in the central band but tge outer edged were ok. The nearside front tyre was okay and both were still at 23 psi. I think this is supposed to be due to over inflation... is that correct?

We were travelling at 60-70 on the autoroutes and the car performed really well with no pull to one side. Jo who drove about 70% of the journey in Spain and Portugal was far more spirited in her driving running between 60-75..I will forward a pic of both.tyres.. but is the problem due to incorrect alignment (I have them balanced when fitted). Any thoughts welcome.

I would add that I have not been impressed with Excelsiors and I understand that Blockley may be producing 525/16 tyres as they fit early Porches but that is some wayahead. What are you guys riding your Ys abd YTs on? YBs of course can use radials on their 525 x 15s Thoughts ideas and comments appreciated!


This part of Europe reached high temperatures between 34- 40 when we were travelling. Fuel consumption worked out to an average of 27mpg but oil consumption was high and there were a number of leaks. We averaged around 200-250 miles per pint. The engine was rebuilt 3.5 years ago and pulls really well..it has good compression ..perhaps rings?


Brilliant we joined up with the Swiss RV8 Register event in Estoril near Lisbon. Organised by Victor and Eveline Rodrigues (Y owners) both of whom we have known since the Y Register Brittany Trip 15 years ago. 29 cars mainly RV8s, MGB V8s but a.moderb TF and an MGA Coupe joined up.. Several had never seen a Y before let alone a YT so an education process. Gteat people and superbly organised. We then drove up to Porto for the MGEEOTY.. where we met up with Peter Wallace in his YT that he inported a couple of years ago from NZ following his brothers death. Far less cars about 125 and 220 folk we stayed in two hotels in the city. The venues and food were excellent but the communication and arrangements.to get to the various locatioms were not the best!
Overall a fantastic time.. no rain except for the final day.. and good fun. We look forward to catching up with a few of you on the Isle of Wight next month.

All the best

Posted 11 August 2017 at 22:33:09 UK time
R E Knight, Hampshire, United Kingdom


Well done great to hear you had good trip using your Y Type.

I run Crossply on my YT, and currently have radials on the YB, but will soon go back to Crossply on the YB, simply so my speedo will read more accurately and suits the car better too.


Posted 11 August 2017 at 23:33:19 UK time
J P BIRKBECK, United Kingdom

Thanks Richard

I am aware that Ys/YTs run on crossplies. If radials were available in 16" size I would use them. However as far as I am aware they arent available in the UK
I wondered as to fitting Avon Tourist tyres - does anyone have experience of their use or are there any tyres that they.use and have been happy with?


Posted 12 August 2017 at 03:18:46 UK time
Paul Barrow, Washington, USA

I run Cross ply on all my MGs except the MGB and the ZT-T. My Australian colleagues will disagree with me, as will plenty of other owners I am sure, but I love the way my car reacts with the cross ply/bias ply tyres/tires on them. Really makes you DRIVE the car rather than being driven and also recreates much of the original feel and joy of motoring the original owners experienced.


Posted 12 August 2017 at 09:20:16 UK time
J P BIRKBECK, United Kingdom

I understand that Paul and you may have access to better tyres in the US. The budget ones - Waymaster and Excelsior for example are just that.I have used them on the TA I used to own and the YT and their mileage was never that great

One of the problems, as far as I am aware, is that most tyre manufacturers continue to use their old moulds for limited production runs and with 100s of thousands of tyres run off them the quality has deteriorated. Whilst we should be happy that the tyres are still being manufactured.

However from what I have seen available - Avon Tourist 525x16 as sold by Vintage Tyres might be worth considering but at nearly 150 each they arent cheap. Thats 750a set of five.

So what I need to know is the experience folk have had of running their Ys on different tyres please.

Thanks Jerry

Posted 12 August 2017 at 10:41:12 UK time
R E Knight, Hampshire, United Kingdom


When I have time to take a look at the cross ply's on my YT I'll let you know the make I'm currently running.

The problem I have recently encountered is I want to refit original cross ply on my YB, however Vintage Tyres and Longstone tyres do not keep in stock the Excelsior's which are now made in Vietnam. I've ordered a set as they are the only supplier for the YB which exactly match the correct size. You can get another tyre which is close enough to fit but it is not the exact matching size as specified by the work shop manual.

I know there is a debate around the safety of cross ply over the benefits of Radials, but I concur with Paul's view of originality and the fact that if you drive the car with care, and follow simple principles of car control as per the Road Craft manual, you will not go far wrong.

As per many debates about having to uprate brakes, etc, where does one stop? If you want the so called safety of a modern car go for modern car. The simple fact of the matter is most accidents are down to the driver of the car not tyres, brakes or lights. If driver is stupid enought to take a Y type on fast flowing motorway at night then expect good chance of accident, if driver slams on brakes at last second thinking it will stop like modern car, then they are asking for problems, I do not personally see why you would want to fit MGB brakes to Y Type drive to the ability of the car. (Jerry sorry if it's gone slightly off topic but it's all related and I don't mean to offend those who have fitted MGB brakes but I just don't see the point in it)

As Tyres are such an issue and I agree there is limited choice and in terms of sales it is small bespoke market, but could the FBHVC, MG Car Club's, MG Octagon Car Clubs, plus other clubs not work in collaboration with likes of a tyre company to come up with a cost effective solution to this problem. If the rule is brought in about tyres date stamps having an expiry for purpose of MOT's then classic car tyres will be lone expirying before the tread is worn, and the 150 per typre cost per miles is going to only be more expensive. My radials look fine but are now coming up to 10 years old, look fine drive fine, but if you follow what car industry and government safety advice, it is past their use by date, and that I should look to replace.

Posted 12 August 2017 at 11:13:54 UK time
A L SLATTERY, Queensland, Australia

I was going to refrain, but in defence of Dunkin - Paul !.....!

The only available 525-16 in Australia for many years is the Excelsior. After experiencing Excelsior's with uneven wear (both flat spots and soft centres) and dreadfully out of balance on GOOD rims, I went to radials.

I can buy 2 radials for the price of one cross-ply and sometimes three if there is a deal going. This usually occurs when stock is near 6 years old, and they are "dumped" through eBay at cost price or lower. I have paid as low as $82AUD each for radial - including fitting !. I understand that tyres older than 6 years cannot be sold in any way to the public & must be destroyed.

The downside to 175/80(or 75)R16 tyres is that you need a 4 and a 1/2" rim to be legal in Australia, so you need to fit wider rims to the Y-centres. Depending on the rim you use. this can be an expensive exercise, but usually recouped with your first tyre set.

The recommended age for tyres is 10 years in USE - that is exposed to sunlight & UV. With limited mileage & garaging you could easily get 20 years from a set of radials. And yes, I used to sell tyres for a living !.

Both my YA & YT have a set of radials & a set of cross plies. The cross plies stay in the dark and are rarely used but they are there for the occasional "adventure drive" - but never on the highway !.

I probably drive my cars a trifle harder than most - probably my motor sport history at play - so I like the firm and progressive feel of radials - even in the wet.

It's your car & your driving experience - use whatever tyre you choose. Safety Fast !.


Tony Slattery
Down Under Y-Thrasher

Posted 12 August 2017 at 17:56:00 UK time
P M Grafham, Hereford and Worcester, United Kingdom

I have found that radials can be fitted to YA and YT.

The size is 175R16C. I have Michelins. They are the same size a black taxi tyres. You need to have an extra 5psi pressure to aid handling.

Upside is that they are much cheaper than the cross ply sold through you know who ( Set of 4 around 45 each)

Down side is that they wont fit in the spare wheel compartment. I have overcome this by using an Astra spacesaver tyre fitted to the Y rim. Smaller than the others but will get you to a tyre centre or garage.

Posted 12 August 2017 at 21:45:15 UK time
B Mellem, South Glamorgan, United Kingdom

My YA is fitted with Avon tyres which although not quite as directionally positive as radials give a softer ride. I believe that radials are very heavy on steering at low speed. On the subject of originality the geometry of the car was never designed for radials so perhaps one should be aware that radials my not give a controlled break away near to the cornering limit with perhaps sudden under or over steer.
Coming back to drum brakes, in the old days you could opt for a wide range of lining compounds maybe Ferodo Fibrex etc and so select the type best suited to ones driving, now however its Hobsons choice so you get what is available.
My Scott motorcycle was fitted with hard anti fade compound on the front twin brakes and required massive hand strength to apply. Now I no longer do 90 or a ton they are lined with a softer compound so they really stop the bike at low speed with tyre squeal and bottoming the forks. What I am saying is that we all could have a different impression of our cars braking ability. Bryan

Posted 12 August 2017 at 22:56:57 UK time
J P BIRKBECK, United Kingdom

Thanks guys some very interesting comments especially regarding Excelsiors and Tony's comments and my experiences are consistent with his. I would like to consider radials and Pauls observations are worth considering. Brian adds a note of caution and uses Avons though these are round about 750 a set of five.

Richard's views on driving Ys on motorways are sensible especially with regard to braking. However, I prefer to run the YT at around 60-65 and where necessary we do use motorways. It was a joy to use the excellent autoroutes in much of Spain and Portugal as not only were they well surfaced they were very lightly used so speeds of 65+ were easily reached and maintained. On our return from Portsmouth to home about 125 miles we left the Port at 930 and were home by 0.15 am using the M27, M3 A34 and M40 with a diversion for roadworks and stop for fuel.
I am amazed how many classic car owners run their cars on tyres well over 10 years old.


Posted 12 August 2017 at 23:09:31 UK time
J P BIRKBECK, United Kingdom

In response to Richards suggestion about pooling resources and approaching a tyre manufacturer. I spoke to Julian who owns Blockley Tyres .. he is thinking about supplying 525 x 16s as they.fit Porche 356s so there is a market for them beyond Ys. He did point out the costs of producing moulds and he has his made in.Germany and the tyres are manufactured in Indonesia.

Ill have a chat with him at the Classic Car Show at the NEC in

Off to bed!


Posted 13 August 2017 at 02:17:57 UK time
R Taylor, United Kingdom

Following the purchase of my YB and having neither the nous nor tools to maintain it myself, I had a local MG specialist take care of it.

Running the slide rule over it he found a number of issues, not least the unworn tyres needed replacing. They had simply perished over the years. Looking into the tread, you could see that there were splits forming in the rubber. Richard Grey, the garage proprietor, explained about the rim sizes and that the YB could be fitted with radials, and that's what I bought. The spare has to be deflated to around 12psi in order to fit.

The tyres are Vredestein Sprint Classic 155 R15 82S they cost 71:86 and are free of delivery charge. Here's their website: https://www.tyres-guru.co.uk/cgi-bin/rshop.pl?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIstLCsYDT1QIVQ7XtCh2wSg3IEAQYASABEgIbT_D_BwE&dsco=320&typ=D-100610&partner=1&Country=GUK&ID=sea_rdg_uk_Froogle_Shopping&s_kwcid=AL!766!3!198733503307!!!!!&ef_id=WUi9KQAABQ366Wph:20170813005727:s

Only once has the car endured a puncture and I had the most amazing chivalrous knight help me out. He was a young, sharply dressed, very suave, Ferrari driver. He used my hydraulic jack to raise the car, (I don't trust the Jackall,) while I retrieved the spare. He inflated the spare with my foot pump and put the spare on as I put the punctured tyre back into it's carrier. What a gent he was.

Posted 13 August 2017 at 09:56:03 UK time
J Foster, Humberside, United Kingdom

My YA came with Avon Tourist tyres all round and the first time out in the rain I thought cornering and roundabouts would be "interesting", but I was surprised that the handling and grip remained good and I had to make very few compromises. Driving a classic car after a modern car with all their electronic aids requires a step back in time in using skill and observation to anticipate problems rather than rely on the car to sort them out. I drive the YA because I enjoy using these skills and have never found myself wanting to make the car different,

John Y4895

Posted 13 August 2017 at 20:20:33 UK time
Willem van der Veer, Y5888, Netherlands

For best handling on crossplies take the Dunlop 5.00/5.25.

For the best looking crossply take the Avon, but please don't drive the car after fitting them.... The handling is horrible.

The Michelin X radial in 5.25x16 handles very good from what I hear and are verry high on my wish list, even if I think they look a bit Gallic

Posted 14 August 2017 at 10:10:04 UK time
D P Jones, Dyfed, United Kingdom

Hi Jerry,
Well done on your exploits in Portugal glad you had a very good time
I have Avon Tourists on my YA. They replaced Waymaster tyres which only lasted about 3000 miles and the handling was horrible with them.

The fronts were Avons and have been on for over 5k the rear Waymasters for less than that when I replaced them last week. (when needed Avons were not available thats why Waymaster were fitted).
The wear pattern was similar to your description with high wear in the centre, also Waymasters don't go in the spare wheel compartment without deflating the tyre.

The tyre fitter noticed straight away the difference, Waymasters had a much softer side wall and were wider across the wall.

The Avon setup now gives a comfortable ride, and more positive handling.

The tyre fitter was amazed when he came to the car and found it proudly sitting on its rear jacks awaiting his attention!


Posted 17 August 2017 at 00:00:48 UK time
J P BIRKBECK, United Kingdom

Thanks for all your thoughts and tempted as I am to fit radials,I have decided to be pragmatic and fit a pair of Avon Tourist tyres on the front and retain the Excelsiors on the rear axle and as a spare.

Interesting Richard that you have ordered a set of 15" Excelsiors for your YB to replace the radials. I wondered if having read the experience of others especially Tony Slattery whether this has changed your mind?

Cheers Jerry

Posted 17 August 2017 at 07:19:14 UK time
R Ades, Victoria, Australia

Joining this thread rather late, I run 16" Toyo radials on my YT, albeit on modified Ford wheels that have the same stud pattern as the Y. I just needed to reduce the wheel width from 7" to 5". Offset was perfect. Original chrome garnished fitted straight on.

That was 10 years ago. Like Tony, I drive my YT in a spirited fashion (no thrashing) and the radial tyres on the 5" wide rims make a big difference. I couldn't go back to crossply's (other than the original "space saver" spare in the back).

Robert Ades

Posted 17 August 2017 at 07:26:57 UK time
J P BIRKBECK, United Kingdom

Perhaps you could post a photo Robert please. It is certainly something I could be interested in through an upgrade next year perhaps.

If it's possible would you be able to forward a pic of the tyre on the wheel and its appearance on the car with perhaps a view from the side ad from the rear, please?

Many thanks

Posted 17 August 2017 at 09:30:34 UK time
A L SLATTERY, Queensland, Australia

Here is a photo that Robert sent to me many years ago of the installed wheel and tyre.


Posted 17 August 2017 at 11:32:09 UK time
A L SLATTERY, Queensland, Australia

That image was not of Rob's car, but another. There is a detailed report from Rob on the wheel rim thread.

Thanks Rob

Posted 17 August 2017 at 17:08:41 UK time
J P BIRKBECK, United Kingdom

Thanks Tony
Having picked up on the most recent posts regarding wheels. I noticed the difference - more like late TD wheels!

Posted 17 August 2017 at 19:51:29 UK time
R E Knight, Hampshire, United Kingdom


The Excelsiors arrived today at VT. I have been told they have Camac tyres in similar size to fit the YB 15" wheels, I will need to take look and make decision.


Posted 18 August 2017 at 23:37:44 UK time
J P BIRKBECK, United Kingdom

Interesting Richard. Have you looked at the Carmac website - there are some user reactions. I have not heard of the tyre. Slightly disturbed by one comment where the contributor mentioned that he would retain hia Avon Counties as he 'had them for years'.. err I wonder how long that is!

On a different matter as you live in that area you may come across a large number of T Types touring East Sussex and Hampshire this weekend 19/21 August - part of John James' Totally T Type 2 annual jolly.. about 40 cars!

Dont tyre yourself out!!


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