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Classic Car And Off Road Tyre Saga Old Or New? Retread Or Not?

Classic Car And Off Road Tyre Saga Old Or New? Retread Or Not?


How Much To Spend On Your Tyres?

We have written about our experience with tyres that look perfectly ok, lots of tread and no colour degrading. These were on our Jaguar Mk2 and all was fine until it rained.

We could have been driving on black ice for all the grip the car had. Leaving every junction required us to be in at least 3rd gear or they would simply spin up.

New and healthy tyres on Jaguar Mk2

New and healthy tyres on Jaguar Mk2

So we changed them and it transformed the car. Noise, comfort and handling were improved immeasurably.

So we know old tyres, these were 11 years old but looked perfect will degrade within the rubber compound which is invisible to the naked eye but trust us it is there. What about remoulds or retreads as they are sometimes known?

There are millions of people out there using remould tyres. These consist of an old worn out tyre that has a new “Outer Skin” basically glued on. Obviously there is more to them than that but thats the basic outline.

We run a 98 Land Rover Discovery 1 with a slight lift kit and when we bought it earlier this year it was running 265 x 75 x 16 Insa Sahara Remoulds.

These are a basic remould off road tyre and the condition was good. The car has always had a horrible whine on the highway so we replaced the rear diff which we thought was suspect but the whine continued (the rear diff had its centre pin broken in 2 places when we inspected it!).

We were planning to change the front diff but having always been wary of remould tyres we had been waiting for the first rain of the winter which is always welcome down here in Southern Spain so we could try them in the wet on a quiet road.

Well it rained so we jump in the jeep to go test and…. well not as bad as we thought. It was only very light rain but we failed to make it slide or slip. Then we returned home and coming down a reasonably steep hill back to the coast the mass of the car and the downward motion were simply too much for the tyres and it locked up and slid every time even slight braking pressure was applied. Quite scary actually.

Given that we take the family in the Land Rover that was enough for us. If you read the forums looking for advice about remould tyres the verdicts are all over the place and it is impossible to get a solid conclusion.

Yes if you take the UK remoulded tyres have to conform to certain specs by law but here’s the rub, companies such as Michelin spend hundreds of millions not just on design and tyre patterns but on the actual compound of the rubber and this is where remoulded tyres fall short.

Personally I would think there to be a huge difference in the effectiveness of the actual rubber compound when compared to a top name giant who is investing millions.

If you then think back to our first tyre issues on our Jaguar, these remember looked brand new but failed horribly as the compound had deteriorated with age. Bad compound equals sliding down the road!

So given that we carry the family and also remembering a quote I read somewhere that went “3 things you don’t skimp on: 1) Parachutes 2) Lifeboats 3) Tyres” we pushed the boat out and bought a set of BFG All Terrain tyres.

BFG At's fitted to Discovery 1

BFG At’s fitted to Discovery 1

These were not cheap at over $200 each but with 2.5 tons of jeep carrying our family it is not too bad.

Tyres fitted and off we go for a test drive. Silence.

No whine at all. The whine that was there had been the old tyres and not the diff. It was strange as it didn’t sound anything like tyre noise you would expect. Every single person who heard it said it was the diff.

So $200 each but no diff change. Not a bad result and the Land Rover? Just like the Jag the high quality tyres have transformed the car.

Moral of the story?

3 things not to scrimp on: 1) Parachutes 2) Lifeboats 3) TYRES!

About Tim Johnson

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