Monday, July 11, 2005

Gary gets new shoes!

The time has finally come to replace the runflats on Gary "The MINI" Cooper. I selected the 205/50/WR16 Kumho Ecsta ASX this time around. (I put the 205/55/WR16 ASX on the Jetta..) There are few tires in the OE 16" size, 195/55/R16. The 205/50's are about .3" shorter in diameter, 1.2" shorter in circumference. If the car wasn't lowered, I'd have selected the 215/50/WR16 (only .1" taller)....but the 215/45/WR17 the PO had on the car rubbed in a few places.

-vs Runflats-

Driving the car home without the It's /SO/ much softer! My teeth appreciate it so far. Handling? Initial turn-in isn't as sharp, and the car wallows just a bit. BUT, once you're past the wallow and turn-in , it holds on just fine. Haven't had a chance to push it to hard yet, though. I have pushed the Jetta Wagon on them though....and they do the trick, even in the wet.

-The Shop-

Tire City in Sanford, FL mounted and balanced them for me. (tires came from our friend Alex @ The Tire Rack). They did a fine job....almost. They nicked one wheel. About 3/8" long spot of white paint missing one one spoke, and a rub in the clear on another. Directly in-line with where the tire bar lays down when the dismounts the old tire. I had cleaned the faces of the wheels before I went in, and I know this wasn't there.

Stupidly, I FORGOT to inspect them before I drove off. And I'd fully intended on it! :( I took the car back, and the owner, John looked at it. His comment was the usual.."It couldn't have been us. The tire bar doesn't get layed on the wheel" or such. Obviously he hasn't watched his monkeys lately...I have.:( He offered to do nothing about it. Did say he'd "help me out on price" next time I come in....and I'll probably take him up on that this week..take the truck in to get a four-wheel alignment read just to make sure everything's in place. Adjust the toe while they're at it, since it's setup for bias plys still.

Now, why would I go back to this shop? The other's I've tried were /worse/....:( If anyone's found a /good/ AND /reliable/ shop in the Orlando, Daytona, Deland area, let me know! Experience says that even if you do find a good tech, he's not with the shop next time you need work done.

-Next time...-

NEXT time I get a set of tires mounted, I'm going to pull them off the car, clean them inside and out, and take them in without the car. I'm ALSO going to /cover/ the faces of the wheels with blue tape. Can't go all the way to the edge of the wheel, but should be able to do within 1/4-3/8 of an inch without it effecting the mounting process. That should help the stray-tool problem, at least.


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