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Re: New name/MGA tires

Subject: Re: New name/MGA tires
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 1996 04:57:35 -0500
In a message dated 96-12-14 18:42:55 EST, writes:

<< I stopped by Tire America to see about getting some Dunlop SP20 radials
for the MGA ..... did not have the size for the MGA in his little book.  What
size of radial fits the MGA? ..... In addition, I believe the wire wheels may
need to be trued as well, but I'm not sure.  Is there any way to check and
see if they need to be trued?  Can I do it myself? Should it be done before
of after the new tires are put on (and the old are taken off)? >>


The nearest metric size equivalent to the original 5.60-15 MGA tires is
155-SR-15.  It is very common to install the next size larger, 165-SR-15.
 I've been running 165s on my MGA for years, fits and works fine.  That size
is also easier to find, and is the correct diameter to make the speedometer
read correctly.  (I think the reason ther're so common is that they fit the
VW Beetle).  For sure go for a tire labeled "Traction A", settle for nothing

The Dunlop SP20 is a classic style tire, a little pudgy at the waistline, a
little narrow at the tread, and a simple zig-zag tread pattern.  It looks
great on my friends TD, but I wouldn't put them on my MGA, a little short on
grip IMHO because of the narrow tread.

Having gone through a few different sets of tires myself, I find I like the
Dunlop SP4.  These are just about $5 more than the cheapest tires, ride well,
handle great on the road, and will take you lots of miles before wearing out.
 Call around to find a tire distributor (as opposed to tire dealer).  Even a
distributor may have to order them from Kansas City, but the wait should be a
little shorter and you can save some $$$ as well.  I last bought mine from
Tire Tracks in Joliet, Illinois, $215.35 complete for four installed and

Good idea to check and/or true the wire wheels before having the new tires
installed.  It could save dismounting the tires again to change a spoke.
 Periodically you should inspect the wheels.  Pick at each spoke with your
finger like plucking a guitar string.  Every spoke should go "dink" and not
"thunk".  Any loose ones should be snugged up immediately.  The wheel should
also run straight when you spin it.  The sideways runout at the edge of the
rim should not be more than 1/8".  There's wire wheel truing information on
the web at, also a wire wheel
balancing diagram can be found at

Let us know what tires you end up with and how you like them.

Barney Gaylord
1958 MGA

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