Need New Tires - Suggestions?


Well-Known Member
Here's what Tire Rack has.

I have Michelins on the T/A, and they too are out of the business of producing tires in our size. From what I've read, that General G-Max is getting good reviews. I have Generals on my van, and have been very happy with them. So I'll probably be getting those when the time comes.

The only gripe I've read fairly consistantly about the BFGs is that they are noisier than some other choices. I've also read that many in the F-body and Corvette community are happy with the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500, which I believe is still available in our size.
Hi... I'm still researching options. I think the G-Max is just a summer tire and I am looking for an all-season. I had Firehawks about ten years ago and liked them, but had a hydroplaning problem and switched to the Goodyears (which are no longer available). My gripe with the BFGs is not so much noise as traction... I tried them and was not impressed. There's a cheap Federal SS-595. Drifters like them. But, it's soft and likely to get lower gas mileage and max out at 20-25,000 miles. Like I said, still looking. There has to be a good option, right? Maybe back to the Firehawks if they are still available in our size. I'll call tomorrow to see, but don't think so since Tire Rack and Cardid both don't show them when I searched.


Well-Known Member
Sadly, our O.E. tire size (245/50/16) was not a popular one in the marketplace. Not many other cars used that size. 30 years later, there just aren't a ton of choices in that size. There are no high end (Michelin, Goodyear) tires. There are some good performers, but none in the soft, sticky high performance class (200 tread wear or lower) IIRC. The options are narrower than they used to be.

That's why some are switching to the Hawks repros of our PW7 wheels in 17". There are more choices in 17s, but, they too have fewer options than just a few years ago, as that is also a date rims size (but not nearly as much as the 16). 17s also open up better brake options.

For me personally, I am somewhat turned off by the weight gain of the 17" wheels (the Hawks are cast, not forged like our originals). They are most likely made in China (and our O.E.s were made in Japan as far as I know...but I don't like sending MORE money overseas if I can avoid it), and in my case, they are not available in red. So I would have to spend a lot of extra money having brand new wheels repainted.

Not sure what I'll do when my Michelins are done for.

Mark T-TB

Car Crazy from birth
ouch. I've had trouble finding the 13's in the size that I like for my little green car,.. did not think that this would happen with these 16 inchers :(
Based on all of that, the choices will probably be even fewer when I need new ones.

FWIW, I have a set of the Federal SS 595 tires (13") now, been running them the last couple of years. I was NOT happy to buy from China, but the other choices were double the price and/or had further disadvantages. I only have a few miles on them... but all good so far and they held up well to a hot summer autocross day.

Mark T-TB

Car Crazy from birth
"I" would search and research high & low for something made in USA or at least USA-name brand before choosing the Federals... the tires seem good, but I'm not keen on their origins (that is just how I'm wired).
Which "model" BFGs are available [today] in the right size, and how do they stack up in the Tire Rack's testing / customer reviews?
Some research before answering about the BFGs... It's about comparing tires:

Found this.............................

Tires and Wheels Tech Specifications | Discount Online Tire and Wheel Store

Uniform Tire Quality Grading

The Uniform Tire Quality Grading rating is a quality rating system developed by the American Department of Transportation. It is designed to tell consumers the relative performance of passenger tires (but does not apply to winter tires).

Below is an example of a UTQG Rating:

150A B

The "150" indicates the treadwear rating
the "A" indicates traction
the "B" indicates temperature

The Treadwear rating is based on a wear test performed on a 400 mile government test course covering specified sections of public roads in Texas. A group of not more than 4 test vehicles travels the course in a convoy so that all tires experience the same conditions. Tread groove depths of the tires being tested are measured after each 800 miles. The same procedure is followed for a set of "control" or "course monitoring tires" Upon the completion of the 7200 mile test, the rating results of both tires are compared, and the tires being tested are assigned a treadwear rating according to government standards. This number can be used to compare between tires. In the above example, this tire rated 150 should last 1/2 as long as a tire rated 300. The relative performance of tires depends upon the actual conditions of their use and may be significantly different from the norm due to differences in road characteristics and climate.

The Traction ratings are AA, A, B, and C, from highest to lowest. This measurement indicates a tires ability to stop in a straight line on wet pavement. The rating is based on a 40mph test where the brakes are "locked up" on wet asphalt and wet concrete surfaces. It's important to remember that this rating does not indicate the tires ability to resists hydroplaning, and do not apply to cornering traction.

Temperature ratings are determined by running tires on an indoor roadwheel test under specified conditions. Successive 30 minute runs are made in 5mph increments starting at 75mph and continuing until the tires fails. Tires with an A rating must withstand at least 114mph, B at least 99mph, and C at least 85mph. These measurements indicate the tire's ability to sustain high temperatures which often cause tires to wear away quickly or in extreme conditions lead to sudden tire failure.
The BFGs are the best rated 245 50R16: G-Force Comp 2 A/S (W rated) and ONLY $135 each (unmounted in a box, of course). On the scale I just posted, they are 400 AA A. I have seen nothing better in our size.

Mark T-TB

Car Crazy from birth
Seems like the BFG G-Force Comp 2s would be a good choice?
Did you do a search on here and see if there were other comments? Seems like different folks picked different tires based on varying factors, and the G-Forces have been around for a while... somebody on here is likely using them. When I got mine (2014), the Firestone Firehawk Wide Oval Indy 500s were available (summer tire).
I "thought" that I had read elsewhere that the treadwear rating # is only comparable within the same manufacturer... that is, a 400 tire from General does not necessarily equal the same miles of tread life as a 400 from Firestone(?).
Also, fwiw, the facebook group seems more active than this forum at this point in time, you might ask the same questions on there? (1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am 20th Anniversary)
Good luck figuring it all out.


Well-Known Member
The BFGs are the best rated 245 50R16: G-Force Comp 2 A/S (W rated) and ONLY $135 each (unmounted in a box, of course). On the scale I just posted, they are 400 AA A. I have seen nothing better in our size.
"Better" is relative. The 3rd gen was a pretty high performing machine in it's day, and the TTA the best of them. Handling was particularly praised in these cars when new. And while tire performance has continuously improved (just like that of automobiles), I personally would error in favor of best handling performance. But that's me.

One indicator of that grip/performance (though far from conclusive) is tread compound, or durometer. And the only sidewall indicator we have of that is the treadwear number. And indeed, 400 is a good number for a performance tire, IMO.

For me, my Michelins still look largely like new, and are dying of old age. I will come no where near wearing them out before I must replace them due to craccking. So a high treadwear number is not all that important to me. Also, a lower treadwear is likely a "softer" compound, and likely a little more sticky. Personally, I'm leaning toward that.

On Tire Racks site, the Cooper Zeon RS3-G1 is a 500 treadwear. And, with Goodyear not an option from Tire Rack, they are the only American company with a tire on the list. I've had good luck with Coopers on several of my daily drivers, so if that tires specs appealed to me, I wouldn't hesitate to give them a try. It's also W speed rated, AA and A rated like the BFG.

The General I referenced in post 5 is "softer" at 360 treadwear, W speed and AA and A, but is also a summer tire. That won't work for everyone, and summer tires have a lot of restrictions about cooler fall-like temps, and even storage in colder weather. So study carefully.

There are several others with sub-400 treadwear, and in summer only. You can compare them all here.

245/50/16 at Tire Rack

I "thought" that I had read elsewhere that the treadwear rating # is only comparable within the same manufacturer... that is, a 400 tire from General does not necessarily equal the same miles of tread life as a 400 from Firestone(?).
Some basis for that, but still a good indicator.

Tire Rack

"While certain performance standards are held standard, such as Traction Grades and Temperature Resistance, UTQG treadwear numbers are published by the manufacturer based upon their test findings of a tire's life expectancy. It's important to note that not all manufacturer's standards are equal and similar ratings may lead to different real world results between similar product types.

On a large basis, however, most manufacturer's figures are surprisingly accurate. To gain a better understanding of the process, take a look at a few of our popular performance categories beginning with soft compounds and working our way up."


Active Member
I need to look... but i think my '98 with 16" wheels is also the same size. My '99 has 17" wheels.

Age is also going to be my problem... not wear.

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