Tuesday: 13.June.2006

New Tires & Brakes on the Rad-mobile

Put new tires & brakes on the rear wheels of the Rad-mobile today. Been meaning to do that for some time now.

Since the engine on a Porsche 911 sits in the back, the rear tires wear twice as fast as the front ones, cuz that's where all the weight is, and also cuz the car is rear-wheel driven.

The back tires therefore last only 20-25K miles, whereas the front ones don't need changing until 40 or 50K miles. Tires and brakes are one thing I try to watch closely.

And the engines produces a lot of heat, which helps the rear brakes wear faster, too .. or at least that's what the brake guy told me (crusty ol' geezer).

He said heat was the thing that kills brakes, claiming that's why you now see cars with slotted discs: for better ventilation& cooling. (My discs have no slots.) He also mentioned the Japanese make the best brakes.

continued

The brake guy wanted to change my rotors too (the discs themselves), to avoid squeaks, but rotors cost a lot more than pads, so I told him, "Just replace the pads." Heck, for $400 less, I can live with a few squeaks. But after he replaced the pads, I heard no squeaks.

Got my tires at Tirerack. Excellent prices (and no California tax). Been ordering my tires from them for years. They ship surprisingly fast.

Normally I like Bridgestone tires, but this year I let the guy talk me into a set of Goodyears, their F-1 model, cuz they were a lot cheaper than the Bridgestones. Really odd tread pattern, tho.

These are uni-directional tires, which means they're designed to rotate/spin one way only, and are therefore not interchangeable with the other tire on the other side .. so they're not rotated like tires on most cars. (The front tires are a different size from the rear ones.)

The Porsche 911 comes in three different body styles: 1.) the coupe, which is your standard hard top (sometimes comes with a sunroof), 2.) the Targa (which I have), and 3.) the convertible, sometimes called a cabriolet, or rag-top.

I feel the targa top offers all the advantages of the rag-top/convertible (can drive around sunny SoCal with sky over your head, working on your tan), without its disadvantages (more noise, easy to cut and break into, cold in winter climes). The targa also comes with a roll-bar (for added safety).

Of the 3 models, the cabriolet cost most, cuz they need added support in the body to compensate for the missing hardtop, then the targa, which doesn't need as much lower-body support. The coupe is least expensive .. all things being equal, of course.

I've had the Rad-mobile 20 years now. Bought it in Pennsylvania (for $30K) when it was two years old. ("Only driven to church on Sunday by little old lady," they told me. Yeah, right.)

Heck, it's nearly a classic now. The little guy (Rad Jr) always gets excited when I remove the targa top. He likes to toodle around town with the top off, and feel the wind in his hair.

For more info along these lines, here is a Google search, pre-configured for the query-string: tires brakes porsche 911





Posted by Rad at June 13, 2006 10:59 AM

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