Tyre pressures XK140

I have Blockley 185 16 radials on my XK140. Does anyone have recommendations for tyre pressure for these? The Longstone website suggests 30psi front and 36psi rear for Pirelli Cinturato radials - would this work, or maybe start with 32f 34r?

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I don’t know why Longstone would have such a big difference…ask them. On my 120…almost no matter which modern radial tires. I like 32F, and 34 Rear…cold ( ambient air temp about 70F). Driving feel seems about right.
Old style “drifting” on modern radial tires is almost impossible and damn scary…back then on hard bias tires it was doable and the cars seemed to oversteer a bit anyway…so tire pressure was same front and rear. Now…slightly lower front gives a less harsh feeling to front end.

Hi Roger…good question as i have a set of the same tyres sitting here waiting to fit…something is telling me that Blockleys like a lower pressure…i could well be wrong. …a call to Blockley would be best…Steve

Just rang Blockley, who said that on the 185VR16 they recommend around 30psi all round. I suspect a bit more on the back might be a good idea given what the other suggestions are, so once it’s running I think I will start with Nick’s suggestion of 32/34 and see how it goes from there.
I have Blockleys on the front of the Mustang, and they do seem to give heavier steering (390 lump up front with no p/s and a ‘high ratio’ steering box doesn’t exactly help) than the previous Firestones. The problem with that car is its wide stance, which causes it to follow the ‘truck ruts’ all over British roads these days. If the Jag is heavy on steering I’ll see if pressure changes help. I’m only prepared to fit the same power steering system as Jaguar offered as an option.

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I have had Blockley tyres on my 140 for 9 years and about 10,000 miles. Last year I experienced a vibration at 50mph which I could drive through. Car was in the garage over winter and recently took the fronts to be balanced. The fitter pointed out they were both out of shape due to wire banding protruding through the sidewalls.
I attempted to contact Blockley for advice via email - no response. I called them to establish if this is normal and was asked to resend the email - no response.
I have subsequently checked the rear tyres to find the same problem. The car is not raced, rallied or rolled. I now have to change 4 tyres and suspect I will not be using Blockley.
Check your Blockley tyres carefully!

Oh, that’s a bit worrying!

KEY words…NINE YEARS…that is the outer outer limit of age. Little to do with tread, or sidewall cracks or not, or how stored or weather. The internal bonding agents and vulcanizing DRIES OUT…think of old masking tape that has sat for 9 years…pretty much not sticky…just dusty powder…LUCKY you felt the bump when driving.: .instead of tire tread coming off or blow out…that will usually happen at SPEED…with bad results. Don’t blame Blockley…blame not changing tires at 6 to 8 years. (some places have laws about tire age–6-8 year max, most shops will not work on them at all. ALSO–don’t drive “through” a vibration–it might just be the only quick warning one gets before half the tread rips off–half still attached…at 50-60 mph.


Nick, thanks for that. I am not really blaming the tyres but would just have liked an explanation from the manufacturer. I didn’t request any form of rebate from Blockley when I tried to make contact and I find it disappointing they couldn’t be bothered to respond.
After many years in business my mantra has always been that it is easier to keep a customer than to find a new one.
Roger - sorry if I’ve hijacked your post!


Not a problem - all useful info. I agree, some response would have been welcome. Structural failure of tyres at just nine years old is not good enough. Ideal situations aside, there is no law in the UK regarding tyre age, just advice that tyres should be replaced at ten years old. Whether that is sensible or not, it is the guideline, so people will, at best, follow it.

Edit - just checked the UK regs and was reminded of the five-year rule - a UK tyre supplier can sell you tyres that are up to 5 yrs old if they have been stored according to guidelines.

I had Michelin X Course on my 140 for 22 years the tread had 50% remaining but I noticed while cleaning my wheels there was an area on one where the tread transitions into the sidewall that was beginning to separate, no vibration while driving to raise suspicion but I am certainly glad I noticed it. I was pushing it with the age of the tires which were radials so I began researching what was out there for replacement. I got Avon TurboSteel 650R16, yes I know wrong size but If you are familiar with the old cross ply such as Dunlop Roadspeeds the O/D on those were ~28+” (~712mm) which is what the Avons are. They are H rated and are considerably better than the Michelins for lateral stability on cornering without having a harsh ride, plus they have a vintage look and are made in England so appropriate for the car. They balanced out with minimal weight (two required weights only on one side) and they were perfectly true, no hop or lateral runout and the road force variation was in single digits. I heard rumors that Goodyear? is buying out Avon so I got 5 so I have a matching wheel/tire in the boot in the event Goodyear decides to drop speciality tires due to profit margins. XK owners and others need to get these tires so they will continue to produce them.

Avon tyres is now owned by Cooper Tire (sic) Co - think Cooper Cobra. I don’t think any car tyres are made in Melksham any more, just motorcycle fitments, and those are moving to mainland Europe imminently.
I’ve no idea what the quality is like now, but I’m not a fan of Cooper Cobras.

Edit - yes, I’m afraid it’s too late - according to the website, Avon car and SUV tyre production moved to ‘mainland Europe’* in 2018.

  • for which read, eastern Europe.

Thanks for that information. I guess time will tell if they are any good. Date code of 49 22. Perhaps some Eastern European country has a city named England.

Well, I have Avons on my wife’s DD and they’re fine. I’d guess yours are ‘E’ marked so will conform to European requirements.
It may be that the ‘classic’ sizes are indeed still produced at Melksham as work there hasn’t stopped yet, but it’s hard to find detailed information. However I suspect that ‘Made in England’ may not necessarily mean physically manufactured here!

“Made in” in these times is who knows what…some thingys say…Made in (wherever) from materials and parts sourced from other places…

‘Made in’ can even mean ‘Imported from anywhere and stuck in a box in’, I suspect!

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