MGC Forum

A small steering success, and yet another tyre question.

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Twoplus John B
Auckland, North Island, New Zealand   NZL
That steering coloumn top bearing is important, I've done this before but my C wasn't quite feeling like it should do recently , so yesterday I pulled off the indicator cover and shot some aerosol lanacote in there. What a difference. Suddenly from truck to nimble. Really noticeable.
I'm sure others do the same or similar , I've heard of tipping oil down there before. In this sort of situation where gravity is your enemy and the stuff can just run out I've heard of motorcycle chain lube too.What product are others using?

And a second related steering feel question , when I bought my car it was on skinnys. They were Hancook 165-80-15 and looked Ok , looked skinny. But it really was heavy and they were mushy in the corners unless at high 30 or 40lbs. When they were at high pressures like that they also were really unforgiving and hard on the wheels and suspension.
Basically they were the wrong tyre for the car.
I just happened to have a set of Bridgestone ecopia in 185 forget 15's so I put them on. At the time I reseached it the rolling diameter wasn't far off standard so forgive my memory.
Ecopias are an inexpensive 'green' ,' low rolling resistance' tyre. Thats how they're marketed anyway. So lo, I fitted these things thinking that the low rolling resistance hype might mean a different shape contact patch and that they might just suit these cars.
Answer = yes, by far improved , they can be run at 38 lbs , have little sidewall movement on the car and are still 'soft' hitting speed bumps etc.
Because the change from skinny to fat(ter) was so successful even though counter intuitive, I was able to put a smaller motolita wheel on in place of the OEM and still be far better off.

So because Avons or Vreds or Pirellis are the sort of tyre you take out a mortgage for here in NZ, I'm very tempted to take a risk and put the newer version of the ecopias on.
Any experience with those out there?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018-04-08 08:23 PM by Twoplus.

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mgbtf Avatar
mgbtf Silver Member Dave Kalp
Fort Wayne, IN, USA   USA
1969 MG MGC GT
1980 MG MGB

Could you please explain what/where the steering "indicator cover" is located?


Ken Plumstead Avatar
Smithers, BC, Canada   CAN
1965 MG MGB
1968 MG MGC GT
I'm thinking he is referring to the steering column cowl.


MG: Transforming gasoline into Fun!!!

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PETE W Sussex Peter H
Ansty, West Sussex, UK   GBR
On the tyres - I know nothing about ecopias but I took the 2nd Mortgage route on a set of Pirellis CN36 185/70. Not tried them yet, will probably live to regret it!

lewmac Avatar
lewmac Silver Member Lew McAllan
Hawthorn Woods, Chicago, IL, USA   USA
1958 Austin-Healey 100-Six "Biggy" ~ For Sale ! ~
1960 Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite "Buggy"
1968 Austin-Healey Sprite "Bluey"
1969 MG MGC "Greeny"
Hi John,

If the Ecopias work for you, do it ! Bridgestone is one of the big manufactures so can't be too bad.

I have an MGC with worn / old fat Falken Ziex ZE329 215/65's on it which results in pretty heavy truck like steering, but being new to the "C" I don't know how 185's would feel. However, this car has factory minilites which I measure at 6.5 inch, so best fit tire would actually be a 205. I have been looking at Falken Ziex ZE 950's which are rated as 96H or 99W "high performance" but are relatively affordable at $70 per tyre. I can get a set of 5x for just $350 which will make you sick ! I am from Australia, so understand that tyres downunder can cost a bomb. Falken are made by Sumitomo, same parent company as Dunlop and Yokohama, so I am very comfortable with the quality of the tires.

So, once I have the wheels back from a repair to one rim and new powder coating for all, Falkens will be the ticket.


kirks-auto Platinum Member Robert Kirk
Davenport, IA, USA   USA
In reply to # 3713512 by mgbtf John,

Could you please explain what/where the steering "indicator cover" is located?


NA and UK spec are wholly different steering column and dash. As for lube, petrol based will attact dirt. Graphite is an easy to use alternative and only thing to use inside cables or locks be they on a house or in a car. No doubt there are other alternatives but WD40, etc are petrol base and will cause the inevitibale cloge on such lubricants. Graphite is stable dry lube and lasts a long time without attracting dirt once its carrier, usually alcohol, fully evaporates. Lock Ease is available in the USA.

Robert Kirk
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Twoplus John B
Auckland, North Island, New Zealand   NZL
Thanks for the replies, and thanks Robert, you put your finger right on the steering lube dilemma . Whether there is petroleum in that particular blend of lanacote , I don't know , but as a sailor I'm well used to a similar issue with sail tracks, whether to grease, whether to use a dry lube.
Anyway , that's what I did and its worked rather well for now.

Regarding the tyres, I suppose whats underlying my question is how these 'green' low rolling resistance tyres work. There's all the sales material about compounds and I'm sure there is some justification there, But it also seems to me that a more likely of greater percentage of result will be from how they engineer the contact patch, what shape it is and how that affects how nimble the tyre manifests as. . And thats what is driving my curiosity and leaving me thinking the type might be right for these cars.
I'll investigate the others and cost for them here, I'm happy to sacrifice a percentage of ultimate traction for a more nimble tyre.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018-04-15 06:41 PM by Twoplus.

JMA Avatar
JMA John Anderson
Donvale, Victoria, Australia   AUS
I am always interested in tyres for our cars, but I've always leaned toward grip over wear as my tyres always go hard due to age before they wear out.

I know of several people here how have used Avon CR6ZZ which are really soft and grip like little else and look great on older cars, but will wear out in about 5000 miles. But at well over AU$500 per tyre they cost more than the wheels.


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PFT-000 Bruce Ibbotson
Brisbane, Australia   AUS
1968 MG MGC GT "The Truck"
1968 MG MGC GT "The Truck"
Hi all,

Long ago after several types of tyre on my car I tried a set of 185/65R15 Michelin MVX3A's.

The dreadful, as supplied from Abingdon, Dunlop SP41's (all 5 of them) were completely bald after 11,000 miles including running in and an interstate cruise to Melbourne, no tyres lasted on my car, Pirellis were better than the Dunlops but wore out unevenly around the tyre and were as usual for Pirelli's very noisy.

These suited my car perfectly and the outlasted all other brands by at least twice the mileage. Great handling wet & dry relatively quiet (compared with Pirelli's) and an ideal road tyre.

These were discontinued [down here] in the 15" size so I went over to XM1's Green Energy tyres, very quiet good grip wet & dry and again long lasting.

On my 1994 BMW 325i Coupe the tyres were 225/55R15's and the cost per tyre was about $500 each, too much for a road car. Later cars in this series used 205/60R15 tyres at less than half the cost.

I fitted a set of Michelin 206/60R15 XM1+ tyres and on the road they were just as good as the bloody expensive Pilot Super Sport tyres at $500 each.

These tyres were still on the car when I sold it in 2016. With both the 'C' and the 325i on XM1+ tyres they were perfect to drive 'on the road' in all conditions.

My 'C' tyres are 8 years old now and after 23,000 miles still have about 35% tread depth. My car has very little body roll with the 7/8" front roll bar and even less with the Hoyle IRS, which requires no roll bar to my amazement.

I will replace them with the current XM2's as on my car they have turned out to be the best tyres the poor old 'C' has ever had fitted on it. Currently these are about $185/$ 200 each, good value.

I fully agree with lubricating the felt bushes in the steering column, some aftermarket felts are too thick and will bind on the shaft if dry.

My EZ column has German needle roller bearings fitted top and bottom.


PFT-000 Bruce Ibbotson
Brisbane, Australia   AUS
1968 MG MGC GT "The Truck"
1968 MG MGC GT "The Truck"
Hi all,

I remember that I replaced the top & bottom felt bushes in my car (decades ago) and when I wrapped the new felts around the column they were too long.

I cut the ends back to achieve a full closed circle then soaked the felts overnight in engine oil and allowed them to drain before drying with paper towels to remove excess oil. These felt bushes are still in the now discarded steering column.


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Twoplus John B
Auckland, North Island, New Zealand   NZL
Hi John ,
yes I tend to go for a softer compound and replace my everyday car tyres more often myself but without going silly on it , I would accept some compromise on grip if that meant a more reactive tyre for steering. Thats in the context of a modern tyre though, which I fully believe are far advanced on what we used to expect a few decades ago.
The Australians and Kiwis here would all remember the scandal of the GTHO Falcon from the '70's and how dangerous they were . They became the target of a campaign which actually resulted in the last iteration/ model being withdrawn by Government intervention ( IIRC). Those cars are just a large-ish saloon with beefed suspension , Cleveland V8's and 4 speeds.
By todays standards the horsepower is almost pedestrian , yet we don't get the insurance council up in arms over their modern counterparts running off the road every weekend . Put modern tyres on one of those old cars and they become positively docile. Obviously there's a lot more to it but motor bikes are the same , massive advances in the connection to the road.

So its an interesting topic to me and after reading Bruce's comments about the green Michelin it makes me think there might be something in it.
On first glance the Michelin XM2 seems to be in the same market as the Ecopia which piqued my interest. IE a near base, 'green', low rolling resistance passenger tyre. Not expensive.
My first thought on the bridgestone was actually ' it must be harder' to roll further, but the Bridgestone guy swore it was not that and was about the compound. Then I decided it must have a smaller contact patch for less resistance, or is it a different shape , perhaps wider and shorter rather than longer and narrower?
Don't know The answer to that , but it is interesting that the XM2 blurb talks about longevity , which I always associate with a harder compound, and would fit with my limited understanding as to what makes a tyre have less rolling resistance.
Anyway , that gives me another tyre to investigate, and as a passenger tyre its pretty economic I think ( without yet finding out the availablity of the best profile)

PFT-000 Bruce Ibbotson
Brisbane, Australia   AUS
1968 MG MGC GT "The Truck"
1968 MG MGC GT "The Truck"
From what I read on the Michelin website it is all about how the tyre is constructed as well as the compounds used.

The XM1+ tyres are very quiet with excellent wet weather performance, good dry grip and braking. I will stick with these for the long term future as they suit my car well.


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