Skip to main content
Topic: Bird back on the road. (Read 1179 times) previous topic - next topic

Bird back on the road.

There's been word that the local dragstrip, 75&80, is reopening and it's lit a fire under me to get the bird working again. It's been sitting a close to 2 years, I had to drain the gas and fixed the brake issues which was the reason I parked it originally. Turns out the booster was bad, but I still had partial assist that kept me going in circles trying to figure out what was wrong..

Now I need tires, pretty badly. I got these used and that was 10 years. I was contemplating going with a wider 275 tire, but those only come in 26" and 28" tall sizes. I have 27" tall 255/60R15's on there now and after looking at it today, I got to say, I really like the stance with the 27's. I may go with drag radials for added traction instead of changing sizes.

Anyway, here are some pic's just after a quick wash.
1988 Thunderbird sport
2004 Ford F150 Lariat
2008  Chevrolet Cobalt Sport
2007 Suzuki DR-Z400S dual sport/Supermoto
1988 Thunderbird LX - sold
1988 Mercury Cougar XR-7 with GST kit - gone

Re: Bird back on the road.

Reply #1
I remember that car!

I would run it down the track and see what gear and RPM you pass through the traps at. You could then use the tire size to get you to a more optimal RPM through the traps if you need to.

I was digging into tire sizes, and it looks like no one makes a good tire in 27" anymore.
It's Gumby's fault.

Re: Bird back on the road.

Reply #2
That's a good idea but the tires are so bad that I'm really not comfortable racing with them. It has 3.55's in it now, so I think a wider tire in 28" would kill what little gearing I have. A wider 26" probably makes the most sense between making them fit, adding traction, and helping final drive ratio, but I really don't want to go down to a 26 for cosmetic reasons.

It's a shame because if someone made a 27" tall 275 width tire, I'd be all over it. As I said, I may got with M/T ET Street S/S radials to get the max traction out of a 255/60R15 size. I only put 200-300 miles a year on it, so I'm not really worried about tire life, but boy they are way more expensive than standard summer tires.
1988 Thunderbird sport
2004 Ford F150 Lariat
2008  Chevrolet Cobalt Sport
2007 Suzuki DR-Z400S dual sport/Supermoto
1988 Thunderbird LX - sold
1988 Mercury Cougar XR-7 with GST kit - gone

Re: Bird back on the road.

Reply #3
That's a good idea but the tires are so bad that I'm really not comfortable racing with them. It has 3.55's in it now, so I think a wider tire in 28" would kill what little gearing I have. A wider 26" probably makes the most sense between making them fit, adding traction, and helping final drive ratio, but I really don't want to go down to a 26 for cosmetic reasons.

It's a shame because if someone made a 27" tall 275 width tire, I'd be all over it. As I said, I may got with M/T ET Street S/S radials to get the max traction out of a 255/60R15 size. I only put 200-300 miles a year on it, so I'm not really worried about tire life, but boy they are way more expensive than standard summer tires.

If you haven't already, take a look at the technical specs of some of the 26" tires for the actual inflated diameter. As I'm sure you're aware, just because a tire is advertised at a calculated size, doesn't necessarily mean it meets those mathematical measurements. A Nitto 215/45r17 will often be taller than a Sumitomo in the same size when inflated for various reasons, to do with tread depth, sidewall stiffness, etc...

You may find a 26" tire that when aired up to normal driving pressures is closer to that 27" ideal you're looking for.
'88 Turbocoupe 5 speed.

Re: Bird back on the road.

Reply #4
I do not think you will notice 0.5" of height change in the rear of the car with a 28" tall tire.  The added benefit of the taller side wall launching the car helps and with it at around 20 psi they hook amazingly well on my Coupe.  I am running the 275/40 R17's but to go taller in the 17's I have to go wider and I cannot do it with the panhard bar.

83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle


93 331 Mustang Coupe - 368 rwhp