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I Guess The Puncture Foam Won't Be Much Good? - Lotus / Motoring / Cars Chat - The Lotus Forums Jump to content


I Guess The Puncture Foam Won't Be Much Good?


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Had an a interesting ‘moment’ on Friday. Out for a spin in the Esprit, just as I was about to put my foot down from about 35mph, the front nearside let go big time. Managed to slow it down and pull into a layby. Flat as a pancake but no visible damage or puncture that I could see – until I reached round to the inside tyre wall. Found a gaping hole I could get several fingers into. Removed the wheel and found the face of the tyre (and a about a year’s worth of tread!!!) had pulled away from the wall about 50% round the circumference. Good job it didn’t happen when I would have been ‘pressing on’ on one of my favourite roads a few minutes later.

The fronts are Dunlop SP9000's, probably less than 2 years old. This isn't even a tread 'de-lamination'. The face of the tyre has completely disconnected from the wall. Anyone else had this happen?

IMAG0156.jpg

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Appreciate the sentiment Ian, but if you read the second part of the post, I put the tyres on less than 2 years ago. I've averaged about 7k-8k miles a year since I bought this Esprit back in early 200

no i remember hitting something on the way back from work in the fast lane of the m18 (turned out to be the foot off a crane) got the car on the hard shoulder and jumped out with the tyre weld only to see the wheel had fell apart so not much use.

It's Oogies turn to boogie

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I'd be inclined to have a word with Dunlops Quality Control department....by mail, recorded delivery...not that I think you'll get anything out of them, but there would be proof that they had been told about it if anyone else comes to grief. I think I'd tell them that, too!! Tyres really shouldn't do that sort of thing; looks very much like a manufacturing fault.

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Not sure of there's a join there to fail?

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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I've only ever had one tyre look like this - in fact identical to that. I was told that it was due to driving with low tyre presure (un-noticed by me) over a period of time. It is also harder to see/spot this without checking tyre presures with low profile tyres.

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk - that will teach us to keep mouth shut!

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I doubt that's happened here Ian. I've always been on top of routine maintenance and my last puncture was donkeys years ago, I can't remember when. I check oil, water and tyres religiously every weekend. The pressures were spot on as of the previous weekend and the steering felt absolutely fine right up to the point it let go. I've emailed Dunlop to see what they have to say about it.

The upside is this is only the second time I've been stranded in over 7 years of Esprit ownership and I can't blame this one on the car itself.

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The weird thing is with mine Mark, that it looked identical to yours but even weirder, mine hadn't actually punctured. - I could get 4 fingers right inside the hole in the tyre but it hadn't deflated. I wish I could find the picture - I also posted it on here about 3 years ago. Mine was a Pirelli tyre and that was what I was told (re presure) when I went after more info re why this happened. I hadn't checked my pressures for a month in my case. Be interesting to see what Dunlop say though. Good luck and keep us posted.

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk - that will teach us to keep mouth shut!

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Will do Ian. Regarding the photo, that's just one section - the 'tear' for want of a better word went half way round the tyre to the right. But the crease which I assume was a precursor to the fail, as it were, went all the way round, as you can see to the left of the hole. I think if I hadn't stopped as soon as I had, the tear may have gone all the way round. Odd.

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What caused the crease? There's nothing interfering with the tyre in the arch is there?

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Very disappointing response from Dunlop. A canned legalistic diatribe about the limitations of their liability, how they may examine the tyre at their discretion, they would need to know where it was bought and want proof of purchase, any compensation would only be given as a discount against new tyres bought from the same place with a reduction based on tyre wear, their decision would be final not subject to appeal etc etc blah blah blah.

I simply told them what had happened, the car and mileage details etc. and sent them a photo. At no point did lay any blame or ask for compensation. I just wanted their opinion as to how it might have happened, which I didn't get.

I guess in these litigious times that's all they are interested in. Useless.

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Just back from having the new tyres fitted (Goodyear Eagle F1's, both sides). The fitter suggested the failure was down to cracking in the sidewall due to ageing - on checking the DOT number turns out they were manufactured in 2007 so they are over 5 years old and as far as he was concerned at the end of their useful life, even though I've done less than 10k miles on them.

I bought them as new (still had the stickers on) privately a couple of years ago and had them fitted. Initially I was a bit miffed as they both had plenty of tread left; in fact I was going to advertise the good one on here. But given their age they are both now junked. You live and learn.

Edited by hedgerley
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And the morale on that last post Mark (10k in 5 years) is - get the Esprit out more!!!! ;)

Just kidding :) but do agree re poor response from the manufacturer.

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk - that will teach us to keep mouth shut!

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And the morale on that last post Mark (10k in 5 years) is - get the Esprit out more!!!! ;)

Just kidding :) but do agree re poor response from the manufacturer.

Appreciate the sentiment Ian, but if you read the second part of the post, I put the tyres on less than 2 years ago. I've averaged about 7k-8k miles a year since I bought this Esprit back in early 2008, hence my estimate of 10k miles use on these tyres.

The morale of the story is, don't assume the tyres you are putting on are actually new, even if they still have the manufacturers stickers on. They were in fact 3 years old when I fitted them!

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They were in fact 3 years old when I fitted them!

That's actually a very good point that I bet so few of us check. I had 2 fronts put on mine last week - not new but 9mm of tread (never even thought of when they were manufactured) and I'm booked in to get two on the wife's car tomorrow. Guess what I'll be checking.

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk - that will teach us to keep mouth shut!

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I know a lot of tyre places don't have a particularly good reputation but when I took the Lotus to the local ATS to get the tyres changed onto a new set of wheels - the guy doing it pointed out to me that the rears would need changing in a couple of years due to their age. He pointed out the manufacture date on the tyre to me.

Dave - 2000 Sport 350
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So, the new tyres are on and I've just given them a good workout. Quite a revelation. I've always looked after my cars and always keep an eye on consumables like tyres, but to be quite honest I am embarrassed to admit that I ran the SP9000's for far to long without realising how old they were. They had obviously 'gone off' some time ago and were way past their best.

Far from having what I thought might have been a steering geometry or suspension problem (very squirrily under heavy breaking, massive knocks through the steering wheel going over rough surfaces and through potholes and a general vagueness at speed) was obviously the knackered tyres, despite the deep tread pattern.

The car is now extremely smooth, much quieter at the front end and the Goodyears are obviously making their contribution to the suspension - the ride quality is much improved. My feeling is that the sidewalls have a lot more give and are soaking up the bumps and lumps, in conjunction with the suspension, as of course they should. The steering is much lighter at slow speeds, turn in a lot crisper and it progressively weights up as I get faster, with a lot more feel than before and is very linear. Chalk and cheese.

After many years of owning performance cars and 8 years of Esprit ownership I am feeling somewhat sheepish :huh: that I let this happen. But its a lesson learned and I hope good advice to other owners - check your tyre age if you haven't already!

Edited by hedgerley
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The point with checking the date stamp on tyres is very important. I bought a ''brand new'' pair of Michelin Pilots for the front of my Esprit from an online trye retailer. The came with original stickers on them but on checking IRC the date code they tyres were 8 or 9 years old ! I rang the supplier & they agreed to collect them & refund me but I'm sure they would probably just end up back into stock to be sold to some other unsuspecting customer. Who knows what they would have been like had I fitted them but the felt more like plastic than rubber they were so hard.

I always check tyre age when I buy a second hand car as well, tyres are one thing you do not need to over look or scrimp on :-)

Phil.

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I will be checking the tyres on all our cars tomorrow morning - scary stuff!

This book is guaranteed to NOT change your life…but it does mention a Lotus Esprit...

To enjoy this masterpiece, download Martin now. Simples!!!

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Mark, havent you read the DOT numbers ? .. if you doo this noone can tell you something is 'new' ..if it isn't

..and for the use of those failed -and the opposite one ..fill them up with construction foam ..and have some fun with spinning the wheels fittet to the rear axle :D

(just joking, know what I mean ?)

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