MGB & GT Forum

Age of tires

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Gary E Avatar
Gary E Silver Member Gary Edwards
Kernersville, ,N.C., USA   USA
I recently bought a 1967 MGBGT from Peter Cosmides at Mororcar Garage in Maple Shade NJ. I bought it after a ebay ad had ended and we came to a deal. I checked the car over and all seemed good. when I looked at the invoices that came with the car I found an invoice where he had stated that the tires were old and unevenly worn and should be replaced ..
but in the ad he said
"The wire wheels have just been cleaned up and repainted, and the 185/70-14 tires are in good shape. (and) This is a wonderful GT that needs nothing to fully enjoy, turn key ready."

I decided to check the date code on the tires and it is 2903.. The 29th week of 2003, 14 years ago..

I emailed Pete and he said " it is a road worthy proven car"

Should I trusted this MG shop owner and drive the car on these tires??


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-08-11 02:03 PM by Gary E.

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Centerpunch Avatar
Centerpunch Paul A
OH and, NC, USA   USA
14 year old tires are not safe.

rocannon Avatar
rocannon Platinum Member Frank L
Inconveniently located in the wilderness, OK, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB GT "GT From Hell"
1980 MG MGB "Restored By Photoshop Inc."
time for new tires.



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RAY 67 TOURER Avatar
RAY 67 TOURER Ray Marloff
Fort Bragg, CA, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB "My Girl"
In California, any tire over ten years old is illegal for mounting. There's a reason for that. Like everything else in life, tires get old and fail. RAY

Emil Wojcik Avatar
Metuchen, NJ, USA   USA
The tires definitely need to be replaced before driving. But look on the bright side, new tires will hold the road much better than hard, aged tires. More fun to drive that way (and safer for you, your passengers and everyone on the road around you).

OldDuffer Avatar
OldDuffer Silver Member John S
Eugene, OR, USA   USA
1970 MG MGB "Ella B"
1979 MG MGB "Mae B *SOLD*"
Ask the owner if he would feel comfortable driving a loved one around at highway speeds for any length of time on those tires and have him look you in the eye when he answers. The car may be roadworthy but it would have to be a short road. They need to go.

I was addicted to the hokey pokey but I turned myself around.

Donthuis Avatar
Donthuis Don van Riet
Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands   NLD
I used my Michelin XAS 165R14 for 26! years because they did not develop cracks in the sidewalls. But the rubber hardened so much, roadholding suffered and braking distances became ever larger. Fortunately I only used the B for short urban distances. After having new Michelin Energy Savers 175/70R 14 mounted I afterwards regretted waiting for so long. Softer rubber really makes a difference. A 7 year renewal period is the rule, waiting double this value or even longer is asking for trouble...thumbs down

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ClayJ Avatar
ClayJ Silver Member Clay Johnston
Mt. Olive, MS, USA   USA
1972 MG MGB
4-5 years ago Charlie and I disintegrated a tire at 45-55mph on the rear of a GT after running less than five miles on a test run. If I remember correctly the tires were a good 10 years old but didn't look bad.

My brother's tires on the GT that had been stored inside a heated/cooled basement, looked perfect. Both rears disintegrated at interstate speed with a few miles of each other, not fun. These were good quality tires with no cracking.

Follow the tire manufacturer's recommendation.

I do the tire shopping/replacement ritual at 7 years.

You can tell a tire is bad by looking for cracking and hardness BUT you cannot tell a tire is good by inspection.

ReggieB Avatar
ReggieB Gold Member Reg Beckett
Carstairs, AB, Canada   CAN
1974 MG MGB "GGB"
Mine came with a beautiful set of Pirellis drove for a bit, then checked date code. They were 10 years old. They only had 5000 miles on them but I replaced them. By far the nicest looking set of tires I ever threw out.

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nickj Avatar
nickj Gold Member Nick Jenkins
Novato, Marin Co, CA, USA   USA
1970 MG MGB GT
1972 MG MGB
The Michelins on the GT I got last June had a date code of 217. Either 1997 or 1987. They looked great but rode like rocks. The car rides and handles a lot better now with new tires.

sger Avatar
sger Silver Member Stuart Greenblatt
Evanston, IL, USA   USA
1973 MG MGB
Gary -- buyer beware is the credo. Not worth haggling with the seller, or you might have wanted to discuss tire age before completing the deal.

Get yourself a new set from Tire Rack; have them sent to the seller and ask that he install them at his cost. We'll assume he knows how to mount and balance tires on wire wheels since he's in the business.

The tires are too old.

Edit: My suggestion above won't work for're in NC and the seller is in NJ. Nevertheless, replace the tires pronto.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-08-11 03:54 PM by sger.

dipstick Avatar
dipstick Kenny Snyder
La Center, WA, USA   USA
1941 Ford N-Series
1958 MG MGA 1500 Coupe "Rosie"
1970 MG MGB GT "Pat's GT"
1971 MG MGB "Gifted To Me"    & more
My 1971 MGB had sat still in a garage for 13+ years with a newer set of Sear’s RoadHandler good looking tires. The tires were flat on the bottom from sitting on the concrete, and the car lumped along like Fred Flintstone’s. I replaced them with 185-70-14 Michelin Defenders, high mileage & all season, on Rostyles. The Michelins are perfect for my normal type of driving.
There are advantages to new tires:
1. There is the safety concern that the elderly tires have been delaminating for years, even though they look nice.
2. Modern rubber compounds are much improved.
3. The wet & dry cornering grip is much improved with modern rubber compounds, even with high mileage versions.
4. The wet & dry braking distance is reduced with modern tread design and rubber compounds.
5. The newer tire can be repaired by a tire shop; many shops will not repair old tires.

Be safe out there.

Defender405 Avatar
Defender405 Silver Member Chris B.
Des Moines, IA, USA   USA
1975 MG MGB
I agree with Don, for in town under 40 MPH driving they are probably adequate but I wouldn't take tires that old on the interstate. I had an old set (15+ years) of BFGs on my 924 when I got it. Same deal as yours in that they looked good and the tread was perfectly fine. The car was very rarely driven at high speeds so I just kind of lived with them for a year or so. They got replaced last year after I had the wheels refinished and the old tires couldn't be balanced, apparently they weren't exactly round anymore. I do have to admit that the new tires made a huge difference in the ride and handling, there is something to the "tires have an expiration date" theory.

Chris AKA "Defender405"
1975 MGB
1979 Porsche 924
1999 Porsche 996
1987 Nissan 300ZX

Emil Wojcik Avatar
Metuchen, NJ, USA   USA
In reply to # 3571135 by Defender405 I agree with Don, for in town under 40 MPH driving they are probably adequate but I wouldn't take tires that old on the interstate. ...

A blow out at 40 mph, or even 30, can do far more damage than you'd think. Even if you're able to keep control of the car, you risk the shredded tire doing serious damage to the car's body. Not worth the risk.

We're not talking about a blow out with a new tire. This is a deteriorated, hard piece of rubber that even at very low speeds can fail catastrophically, sending pieces of tread flying.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-08-11 05:22 PM by Emil Wojcik.

Simon Austin Avatar
Should I trusted this MG shop owner and drive the car on these tires??

No. The tires you currently have installed will make nice flower beds....

"Speed fast you want to spend?"

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