Another Reason Not to Own - Tires


Well, I went shopping for tires last night for the first time in many years for one of my XJSes. I wanted to replace the (factory original?) Goodyear Eagle GTs on Superblue. Of course, apparently neither the Eagles are still made, and, as for Pirelli, they either no longer make passenger tires or very limited ones. The Pirelli P600s are something like $300+ apiece. :open_mouth:

Checking the discount tire chain’s website, it pulled up only two tires in the size needed for Superblue (P235/60R/15s) … Both of them, oddly enough, were raised white letter tires. One was the Cooper Cobra G/T, and the other the B.F. Goodrich Radial T/A, with the Coopers shown at under $100.00. :smile: Being instantly declined for their co. credit card (:angry:) for some odd reason, I decided I would buy them (the Coopers) one at a time, as my budget allowed. Also, the local store had to order it a couple days in advance. However, they never called to tell me this (though they claimed they did, which is another matter), so when I showed for my appt. this afternoon the tire was not there yet. The sales rep. asked if I really wanted the Coopers, as he said they (as well as the Goodriches) were supposedly made for “classic muscle trucks” and not passenger cars. I thought that a bit odd, as i had seen posters online that reported they had put them on their muscle cars. Also, the manufacturers’ own description in the co.'s listings state that they are for the “classic muscle car look”. The salesman rolled one out (a slightly different size than mine) I guess to show me for sure that I wanted it, possibly hoping I would think it would look funny on an XJS. I still thought they would look fine. :+1:

Anyway, what do ya’ll think? Would it look odd having the Cooper Cobras on an XJS? As to any other tires, the salesman told me that the problem with the XJS fitment is that it has 15" wheels, which very few cars on the road today apparently use, being instead 16" or even 17". If I changed wheels though, then I’d have to buy a full set of wheels AND tires at the same time. :-1: The salesman looked through the wheels they have for sale, and said another problem with changing diameter wheels on the XJS is that supposedly the front hubs are a bit on the large size, which would make fitment difficult. He claimed my other option would be to stick with the 15" diameter, but, if so, I would have to go with a different width and/or aspect ratio to find tires that would fit the XJS. Of course, this would mean my having to buy an entire set of tires at the same time, since you can’t mix sizes on a car. :confounded:

Is what this guy telling me true and makes sense, or is he just trying to “upsale” me? :confused: If tires are really that hard to come by for our XJSes now, maybe it’s time for me peddle Superblue. :frowning_face:

(Robert King) #2

I just replaced with Sumitomo 215/65R15 HTR A/S P02 from Tire Rack; about $100 each installed. They are even “H” rated. A little noisy cold, but smooth at any speed once warm. I have Sumitomo on another car and seem excellent quality.

(Robert King) #3

Speedo does read slightly high, maybe 2-3 mph at 70 indicated.

(RustfreeMike) #4

I have just installed those exact Cooper Cobras (235/60/15) on my Series 1 XJ6 and I even got them at my local Discount Tire. I personally think they look great - white letters in of course. They are definitely not truck tires. They are pretty much as wide as you can go on standard 6" wide wheels though - they have an old-school fat-tire look on the 6" wide wheels. Personally, if I was in the market for tires for my '84 XJS with standard Starfish wheels I’d get 'em but they are a lower profile than the 215/70/15’s that are on there now. Here’s a pic on my XJ6 so you can see how they look on standard wheels. I’ve only driven the car about 100 miles since the rebuild so I can’t really comment on wear or handling.

60 Mk2
72 XJ6 (x2)
73 XJ6
84 XJS
85 XJ6

(Greg) #5

It is true that high performance tires are harder to find in 15". Cooper is a decent tire.

You can get a slightly different size tire. As long as you don’t go too wide or too tall, it should fit. Can open the door up to more choices, and give the Jag a different look (lower profile tires?)

(Robert King) #6

Don’t know about those specific Coopers, but we used to sell Cooper tires at a dealership that I worked at, long wearing but noisy and would cup as they wore. For a occasional driven XJ os XJS, probably are fine.


They look great on your Series I, Mike. btw, I didn’t know tires could be “flipped” like that. I guess that’s an option for Superblue, too, although I specifically wanted to go with the white letter look, if possible. I guess I could have him mount them with the letters outside, and if I didn’t like that look have him re-mount them with the letters inside. :bulb:

And yes, one thing I was concerned about were some old reviews I saw of the Cobras online. The only complaints seem to be that they didn’t wear too well (although IIRC these come with a 40K mile warranty) and poor traction on wet conditions. Hopefully if that is true Cooper corrected those problems by the time their white-letter version came along. :crossed_fingers:

(BobPhx) #8

FWIW: I have those Coopers, from Discount. I cannot tell the difference between them and the Michelin’s they replaced, which frankly shocked me. I am not a Pirelli fan so they were not an option for me.

(Kirbert - author of the Book, former owner of an '83 XJ-S H.E.) #9

Back in the day, white raised letter tires only had the white raised letters on one side. If you didn’t like the look, just install the tires the other way around so the plain blackwalls showed. They don’t still do that?

(AndyB) #10

Unless someone changed the factory wheels on your 94 car, they should be 16” & NOT 15”

(scrimbo) #11

Some tires are directional …meaning that for highway use they are meant to role in one direction. …puting white side in may not work …just check with your tire dealer…If you can get a thin white wall striped tire it might look good on outside…

(Greg) #12

even if you mounted them white letters out, and then later decided to do white letters in, you simply remount them that way, and put the left tires on the right side and the right tires on the left side. Direction will be the same.

(Carl Hutchins, Jr. ) #13


A few years ago, I reshod my XJwuzza six with Goodrich rubber. I was offered, white in or out. I chose in. Indeed, my car sports XJS lattice wheels.
They look, handle and ride well. T rated so I can’t fly along at 125 !!! Gee.

And just a few months ago, I treated my jeep to real Jeep rubber. Goodyear Wranglers as it came out with. Off with the Yokohama touring rubber. Again, asked, White in or out. I opted in.

Decades ago, my 4 x4 s sported whites out!!!

I’ve changed…


(WayneC) #14

I went with Kumho Ecsta LX Platinum KU27 in size 225/60R15, from TireRack (V-rated). They’ve been fine.
Calculations say speed will be 58.9mph when speedo reads 60mph (1.8% error compared to original 235/60R15 tires)

(Kirbert - author of the Book, former owner of an '83 XJ-S H.E.) #15

Back in the day I owned a white 1966 Mustang Fastback with pony interior. I put white raised letter tires on it. It looked GOOD. Unfortunately, those tires were garbage, so when they went I replaced them with some of those newfangled “radial” tires. Those tires were much better but they didn’t have the white raised letters, darn it.

(scrimbo) #16

that’s correct but I would still
make sure the direction is correct…do some have lettering on both sides…I don’t know …mine still has Pirelli tires and fortunately I have two more brand new spares(Perelli) and hope I don’t have to do anything for another year or two.


Same here with my '71 Opel GT back in those days, Kirby. I remember Sumitomo was the “new” tire co. on the block in the U.S. and I put on a set of their white letter radials. Looked nice and I have to admit they rode and lasted well. Wish Sumitomo still made them (but in 15"). :slightly_frowning_face:


That’s what Mike did on his Series I in the pic. :smile:


I’ll double check what’s on her and in the owner’s manual and door plate as well, just to be sure now. I used the “find my tire size” function on the tire co.'s website, and that’s the size it showed. The tech even looked it up again on his computer when I was there and told me I did indeed pick the correct size for that model & year. Same thing for another chain of local tire shop’s online finder. However, when I looked it up on one co.'s online tire finder, it showed !5" and two different 16" tire sizes for a '94 4.0 coupe. :confused:

(Steve) #20

Andy (bigpigpants) is usually right, but in this case he didn’t realize that the 6-bangers retained the 15 inch wheels, while the V12s in 1994 had the factory 16. Straight from the manual: