Question, tires for 94

jasipe

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Just took delivery of a 94 that has newer tires with 2010 SRT10 wheels. The original 3 spoke wheels on Michelin Pilot Sport tires also came with it. The Michelin’s are from around 2005 I was told with not even 500 miles on them. They look and feel absolutely perfect. My question is, would these tires be unsafe due to their age? Again, they show no signs of age, dry rot, cracking etc. if you didn’t know how old they were, you would think they were bought yesterday. Not that I plan to put them on, but maybe someday when the current ones go bad. Would love to get all your thoughts and opinions on this. They appear to be in such excellent shape, would be a-shame if they could never be used. I posted some pics.
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viperman4125

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Unless you plan on tracking your car, there are fine, for every day driving.
that my opinion, i know i will have opposition.
 

Richard S

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I have driven on and still have two front Michelin Pilots that old. You might want to avoid excessive high speeds until you've driven on them for awhile and have total confidence in them. I'd keep them aired up to 32psi, in a climate controlled environment away from any source of ozone (like electric motors on HVAC units), store them stacked on their sides, off the concrete floor on a pallet or table, with some thick cardboard between each tire. And keep them wrapped and covered in black plastic bags.

When you do put them back into service, drive easy for awhile.. letting them build up heat and completely cooling down several times before driving at progressively higher speeds. I think they'll be fine. Just my opinion.
 
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redtanrt10

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#1 reason Vipers get wrecked or totaled, driving wild or above their ability.

#2 reason, old tires

Your tires are as hard as a rock and have no traction left. If you can't afford new tires then only drive real slow till you can save up for good tires. And when someone says "hey hammer it" tell them your car is dangerous and your saving up for real tires.
 

Paul Choukourian

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I just bought a 2000 RT/10 with low miles/original tires. They are in perfect condition like yours. I drove it about 10 miles and it is like driving on ice. Old tires get hard and are very dangerous. I just replaced the original tires with Nitto 555R and it is like a new car. I kept the original tires for show, but I would not drive on them.
 

PittsburghRT

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Don't use them. They are dry now and not sticky. I tried 10 year old tires before and the car was night and day different with new fresh rubber.
 

MoparMap

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I know this is unpopular opinion, but a lot of it comes down to what you plan to do with the car and how you drive it. Tires that have been properly stored would worry me far less than tires that have been sitting outside and had lots of UV exposure and temperature cycles. I bought some used tires for my car because I'm one of the few that actually will wear out tires before aging them out since my car is a daily driver. I know and understand the limits of them though and would never use them on a track or push them hard. They are for my general commute where I drive the car like a regular car. I've driven in single digit temps and pouring rain with my Pilot Super Sports and have never had a problem with them, but I also know not to do anything stupid in either of those conditions. They work fine in the cold and I've never seen any cracks or anything like that on the rubber like so many people will claim can happen to high performance summer tires in the cold.

I think of it this way: yes, they can significantly reduce the performance capabilities of your car, but does it make your car perform any worse than an average sedan? If I can normally pull 1G on a skid pad but with old tires I can only pull 0.7G, is that a big deal if the average commuter can only pull 0.5G? It boils down to driving your car within both its limits and your own. If you know you like to wind it up and have fun, I would suggest always having newer rubber. If you're more about cruising and car shows, I don't see a problem with running something older and just being cautious and paying attention.
 

redtanrt10

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Hey Mopar, you can use your same logic to tell people not to wear seatbelts too.

"Just be cautious and pay attention."
 

steve e

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Yes there is a big difference with the age in tires, and also in how there kept, most Vipers are kept in a garage and not exposed to UV rays or extreme heat or cold so I would say they would last alot longer than normal, but if they are real old I would still use them, but drive easy, I changed the tires on my 99 GTS 4 years ago, the tires on the car at that time had 2500 miles on them and I sold them to a guy with a Viper that was his daily driver and he said they were fine, so the tires on my car have less then 400 miles and are 4 years old, these are the last tires for this car till I am dead and gone. But this is a garage Queen and not driven hard. Use good judgement with your tires and do whats best for you,not everyone dives the same, just know that the older the tires get the less grip they have.
 

Richard S

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Totally agree with the comments about the tread getting hard and losing it's stickiness.. you can easily feel the difference between new tires and very old with your bare fingers. Not that anyone might actually go thru the effort and expense, if you can even find a nearby tire company that can still do this, but I wonder if shaving a little tread off would expose fresher/stickier rubber? Idk, just thinking out loud.

Removing a little tread from the rears would be pretty easy.. if ya know what I mean.
 
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kssssnake

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Rule is don't drive on anything over 5 years old. Period. End of discussion.
 

DJ'sviper

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I almost totaled my 93. Just bought it and the guy had put the original tires back on from 93. Not knowing any better with tires over 12 years old went to the 1/8th mile track. Lost control so fast hitting 2nd gear going sideways down the track. Was lucky to get it under control. After that new tires. Have tracked the car, always new tires. Bought new rims with tires. eBay. guy said they were new. Looked up date they were 4 years old. Investigated further and one of the tires ha a plug in it. **** Rims had rash. The guy was a scumbag from Florida.

Not worth taking the chance of wrecking your car. Good for individual that wants an original car for classic car investment or to show in a museum or tailored to show. I made a cool desk out of mine.
 

matt dillon

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I just bought a 2000 RT/10 with low miles/original tires. They are in perfect condition like yours. I drove it about 10 miles and it is like driving on ice. Old tires get hard and are very dangerous. I just replaced the original tires with Nitto 555R and it is like a new car. I kept the original tires for show, but I would not drive on them.

This is Exactly Correct, it's definitely like driving on ICE on Old tires, no matter the mileage on them! You won't understand until you put New ones one it & then you'll know it's like Night & Day (ask me How I know). GL & Drive Safe
 

Mollin

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When in doubt change them out,my 06 had the original tires with 1800 miles on them it is and has been a garage queen,but my regular tire guy who looks after all my vehicles ,company and personal recommended i change them out ,he said if by just sitting in one spot you see a dark imprint on the concrete which ***** the oil out of the tires ,at that age better change them than be sorry .I wonder if its better to have something between them and the floor,any suggestions? Glad i was able to put new tires on ,but whe i lived in the Caribbean where tires are very expensive we ran em till the threads were all gone regardless of age.LOL
 

jreece3556

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Just took delivery of a 94 that has newer tires with 2010 SRT10 wheels. The original 3 spoke wheels on Michelin Pilot Sport tires also came with it. The Michelin’s are from around 2005 I was told with not even 500 miles on them. They look and feel absolutely perfect. My question is, would these tires be unsafe due to their age? Again, they show no signs of age, dry rot, cracking etc. if you didn’t know how old they were, you would think they were bought yesterday. Not that I plan to put them on, but maybe someday when the current ones go bad. Would love to get all your thoughts and opinions on this. They appear to be in such excellent shape, would be a-shame if they could never be used. I posted some pics.
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I would use them, but I’m a rebel. I kinda like the uneasy feeling of raw horsepower breaking loose, but it’s totally up to you. I literally have the exact same tires on my ‘93. 13 years old, but my tires are great. There is no dry rot, and they still get hot and sticky.
 

Barry

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Old cold tires are killers. They are like driving on black ice. You have no idea until you need to stop and then all **** shows up. Trust me; I have experienced this. If you must drive these tires make sure you get them good and hot before you trust them to do what you expect and then don't trust them. Then be cautious when buying new tires that they aren't old; read the date code.
 

ViperEnvy99

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I've learned not to be an ***. I have also learned that awareness is a key to longevity in this world. The internet is filled with people (guys) in brand new cars with brand new rubber flying off and over the road into medians, woods, trees, ponds, trucks, cars, etc. It really has nothing do do with the tires. A person with awareness, curiosity, and understanding knows the limits of the vehicle (including tires, ABS, Traction Control) and their skill level. As Herb said, "The Viper has traction control, your left and right foot - learn how to use them." Blaming tires is an omission of lack of awareness of tire age, understanding of how tires degrade over time, or a lack of curiosity to look at the tires and research. I mean really, a person is all hot for a car and then crashes it blaming tires - seriously?!? People, go to a track and start with Karts and work your way up from 10 HP to .......
 

jreece3556

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I've learned not to be an ***. I have also learned that awareness is a key to longevity in this world. The internet is filled with people (guys) in brand new cars with brand new rubber flying off and over the road into medians, woods, trees, ponds, trucks, cars, etc. It really has nothing do do with the tires. A person with awareness, curiosity, and understanding knows the limits of the vehicle (including tires, ABS, Traction Control) and their skill level. As Herb said, "The Viper has traction control, your left and right foot - learn how to use them." Blaming tires is an omission of lack of awareness of tire age, understanding of how tires degrade over time, or a lack of curiosity to look at the tires and research. I mean really, a person is all hot for a car and then crashes it blaming tires - seriously?!? People, go to a track and start with Karts and work your way up from 10 HP to .......

Completly Agree!
 

Paul Choukourian

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ViperEnvy99. What you said makes sense until your driving chill and someone pulls out in front of you. Try stopping on those old tires. It is not just acceleration and handling. You guys have a 400 minimum horsepower Viper and you are debating over $1,300 tires to be safe. If you don’t want to buy the tires you should not have the car. My only exception to this is if you are just showing car, but I don’t see that as the common thing for Viper owners
 

Richard S

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Discount Tire will not repair tires over 10 years old. What does that tell you?

That they want to sell you new tires. Ha!

My local Dodge service dept. says they typically don't service/repair Dodge vehicles over a certain age, I believe he told me about 12 yrs old.. but they make case by case exceptions for "obviously well maintained" Dodge vehicles, and Vipers.
 
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Richard S

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I have a MazdaSpeed3 that had a nail in a tire right at the edge of where the tread meets the sidewall. No tire store would put an internal plug in it because of the puncture location.

So I plugged it from the outside myself. It took two plugs. Lasted about a year before it started a slow leak. Repaired it again and this time it took 4 plugs and three tries! But is holding air for over 4 months now.

This little Mazda hits 150 mph with no problem.
 

ViperEnvy99

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Rarely, rarely have I seen a comment of someone saying "I couldn't stop on my old tires when someone pulled out in front of me". Or Youtube videos of that. I am sure it happens. You have a valid point. But it is an exception. I would also state that awareness applies to knowing what's around you while driving. I have had plenty of people pull out, not once has tires been and issue or ABS coming on. I was "aware" at intersections or people turning. But I am the exception......
 

Camfab

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I've learned not to be an ***. I have also learned that awareness is a key to longevity in this world. The internet is filled with people (guys) in brand new cars with brand new rubber flying off and over the road into medians, woods, trees, ponds, trucks, cars, etc. It really has nothing do do with the tires. A person with awareness, curiosity, and understanding knows the limits of the vehicle (including tires, ABS, Traction Control) and their skill level. As Herb said, "The Viper has traction control, your left and right foot - learn how to use them." Blaming tires is an omission of lack of awareness of tire age, understanding of how tires degrade over time, or a lack of curiosity to look at the tires and research. I mean really, a person is all hot for a car and then crashes it blaming tires - seriously?!? People, go to a track and start with Karts and work your way up from 10 HP to .......
 

kssssnake

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I believe the gen 1 owner's manual actually says to cut one foot squares of plywood, cover them with carpeting and park on them in storage.
 

Camfab

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Stupidity has nothing to do with tires, that is true. Believing that old tires on a Performance car is a good idea or acceptable is beyond foolish. Tires are the single most important item on a car (particularly the Viper), if that is a difficult concept to grasp, what’s the point of owning a performance car.
 

Richard S

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ViperEnvy99. What you said makes sense until your driving chill and someone pulls out in front of you. Try stopping on those old tires. It is not just acceleration and handling. You guys have a 400 minimum horsepower Viper and you are debating over $1,300 tires to be safe. If you don’t want to buy the tires you should not have the car. My only exception to this is if you are just showing car, but I don’t see that as the common thing for Viper owners

On our Gen 1,2 Vipers with 17" wheels.. (Michelins, which can be and often are unavailable for years - especially the rears) are currently available for about $400 ea for the rears, $360 ea for the front.

That's $1520 plus the ridiculous cost of mounting them which can run up to $100 per tire (but shop around I've found a place that's $25/tire).

You're potentially looking at $1800 to $2000.. a nice chunk of change. Especially when you're looking at what appear to be perfectly fine older tires with tons of tread left.

There was a period of time where the 17" rears were unavailable for many, many years! Recently Michelin put out a batch of rears that are still currently available. THANK YOU MICHELIN!! If you want the original 17" Michelins you better stock up now.. BUT, any that you buy now and store in your garage are also "aging" just sitting on the shelf. Arrrghhhhhh.

So it's not just a question of whether you should discard older tires because they are "technically old", but, as has been the case, whether you want to park the car until Michelin (or anyone else - PLEASE) will make available a batch of 17" tires again, or should you buy a second set of four 19" rims and tires so that those tire sizes will hopefully be "more readily" available in that unique size - in the future.

This is going to become more and more a problem going forward, finding "new" 17 and 18 inch tires in the huge/unique sizes for our "original Vipers".. and shunning older tires.. on a car that is meant to be driven hard and fast.

The older cars are moving into the collector car realm soon and people will want original wheels and tires that fit them. There are going to be a lot of early Vipers with aging, hard and even impossible to find tires. This is one of the prices (pun intended) we will pay for long term ownership (collectors) of extremely low production number cars like the Viper, with their huge/extremely unique tire sizes.

It's going to become more and more a catch 22.
 
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steve e

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My car sits on a lift tires off the ground, was sitting in it the other day, while it was about 2 feet off the ground, made some engine sounds and pretended I was driving blowing passed Corvettes, the tires were flawless. But thats me.:D Old tires can be dangerous same as old people but both still can work.
 

Richard S

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Rarely, rarely have I seen a comment of someone saying "I couldn't stop on my old tires when someone pulled out in front of me". Or Youtube videos of that. I am sure it happens. You have a valid point. But it is an exception. I would also state that awareness applies to knowing what's around you while driving. I have had plenty of people pull out, not once has tires been and issue or ABS coming on. I was "aware" at intersections or people turning. But I am the exception......

I have a 96 and a 98... both with no ABS. If I had just one complaint over the years, it was that. NO ABS! It's easy and you're likely to encounter emergency braking situations in a car as fast and tempting as our Vipers.

I've gone thru a couple sets of 17" Michelins on both cars. And in the past 10 years have driven on pretty old, hard tires at times. Tires even older than 10 years.

Here are my brief observations of old Michelins:

Panic/emergency braking: HORRIBLE - always locks up left front tire first and then both fronts .. usually resulting in a flat spot that takes months to wear away.

Normal and very aggressive braking: (but not emergency) .. the old tires do very well. In fact, "new" tires on non-ABS Vipers lock up the left front almost as easily as the old, but again, only under really hard braking. I stay aware of this and modulate. But even the best of us can panic and nail the brakes with no modulation.

Cornering: In really hard driving on slower, tight twisty roads, the old dry Michelins still corner really well but noticeably less traction than brand new sticky tires.. definitely not as good as new tires but no where near the "black ice" feeling.. nowhere near.

Cornering at higher speeds: The old Michelins actually still inspire confidence. I've never had an issue at higher speeds cornering. But stay aware and use common sense.

Very High speeds (up to - fill in the blank - mph):
No issues. Typically don't corner hard at speeds over 90 mph anyway other than maybe hwy on-ramps and longer sweepers.

All these personal observations are for "old" Michelins that still have tread left. The more tread, the better they were. I do always run my tires down to the wear bars. In fact, some of the most fun can be had on old, balding rear tires... when we can act like an 18 year old in a stolen Viper.

Ahh, the smell of burning rubber and the thick white smoke. It's an experience not to be missed. (just be sure ya have another set of rears ready to install).
 
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