2005 tire replacement recommendations

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Lakeview
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Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Thunderbird Year
2005
I plan to replace four Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 radial tires (P325/50 R17) on my 2005 Thunderbird. Are there any recommendations for a quality tire replacement with an optimal mix of three things. These are a good: (1) Tread warranty (relatively speaking); (2) Balance of dry and wet grip, handling, and hydroplaning resistance; and (3) Ride comfort.
 

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I had these installed this past summer at Walmart.

Pirelli P7 All Season Plus 3 All Season 235/55R17 99H

The extra sidewall height provides a softer ride.

So far I like them.
 
Many more quality tires offer 55 aspect ratio (235/55R17) than offer 50 AR (235/50R17 on my current tires).

However, two questions for you:

First, did your slightly taller Pirelli sidewalls create a clearance issue with your Tbird due to limited wheel well space?

Second, I'd certainly like the softer ride and (I assume) better shock absorption from the taller sidewalls, but did it noticeably affect the responsiveness and cornering ability of your vehicle?

Thanks so much for your help and insights.
 
Also John your larger tire diameter will result in a slightly slower rotation of your wheels. Your vehicle, therefore, might show a slightly lower speed than you're actually traveling.
 
Many more quality tires offer 55 aspect ratio (235/55R17) than offer 50 AR (235/50R17 on my current tires).

However, two questions for you:

First, did your slightly taller Pirelli sidewalls create a clearance issue with your Tbird due to limited wheel well space?

Second, I'd certainly like the softer ride and (I assume) better shock absorption from the taller sidewalls, but did it noticeably affect the responsiveness and cornering ability of your vehicle?

Thanks so much for your help and insights.
No rubbing. Plenty of clearance in the wheel wells.

I measured the speedo with a GPS app. I saw plus or minus 1 mph on the interstate.

Also, I don't drive it in the snow. I run the same tires on my Lincoln MKS. Good grip in rain and snow. My top requirement is low noise. These tires are quiet.
 
The Presa PSA S1 235/50r/17 has performed well for me. It holds the road well. I don't experience the fishtailing that I had with my old Bridgestones.
 
I too need a set of tires for my 2005. Seems like a lot of people put 55s on these. Pirelli P7 sounds good but a bit pricey. I am wondering about other options. Mostly interested in soft ride and quiet. I'm no road racer.

Mine has 55s and no rubbing.
 
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I have been a satisfied user of Continental tires for many years. They have low road noise and long tread life. I installed the True Contact Tour tires on my 2004, 235/55 R17 size.
Continental frequently offers a $110 rebate on the purchase of 4 tires. If you do not need to replace your current tires immediately, visit their website in the next few months to inquire about the rebates available.
 
I'm a Goodyear Man and have had very good results over the years. Oh and now I hear about /55s, I'll have to wear out a new set before I can try them.
Just a note Pirelli is now Chinese.
 
I love the Michelin CrossClimate 2 on my wife's 2013 Infiniti G37x. I'm running the Continental Extreme Contact right now on my Bird, which are great, too, but when they wear-out I'm switching to the Michelins. When I bought the Michelins at Costco, they had a $100 rebate on 4, which brought the price down to the Continentals range. It was a no brainer. But I did have to fight with Costco to let me go up a size, which was already on the Infiniti when I bought it used, because Costco has a rule about changing sizes (I think it has to be within 3% of the original equipment size). I eventually had to contact Michelin to prove that was an approved size for the Infiniti. I say this because if you buy at Costco and want to go up a size, they may give you a hard time. It just depends on the percentage difference. Going up a size on the Bird was not an issue, and it helped bring the speedometer closer to true speed on both cars. Either way, watch for those rebates if you can wait.
 
I plan to replace four Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 radial tires (P325/50 R17) on my 2005 Thunderbird. Are there any recommendations for a quality tire replacement with an optimal mix of three things. These are a good: (1) Tread warranty (relatively speaking); (2) Balance of dry and wet grip, handling, and hydroplaning resistance; and (3) Ride comfort.
Two months ago, I replaced Michelins on my 05 with the MXM4s to which you refer but in size 245/50 R17s which was the size on the car when I purchased mine. I live in south FL and have driven it in heavy rain and find it handles well. I am also pleased with the ride. I've not heard of using "325s" and wonder if that is a typo for "235s." Tartan
 
I ended up swapping out my four Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 radial tires (P325/50 R17) for four Michelin CrossClimate2 235/50HR17 for $907.96 installed at Tire Kingdom + 99.99 for a wheel alignment. This size matches the OEM tire size, drives beautifully year-round, and is designed also to limit hydroplaning, which Tbirds are want to do. Thanks for all the great advice. I appreciate you all.
 
I plan to replace four Michelin Pilot HX MXM4 radial tires (P325/50 R17) on my 2005 Thunderbird. Are there any recommendations for a quality tire replacement with an optimal mix of three things. These are a good: (1) Tread warranty (relatively speaking); (2) Balance of dry and wet grip, handling, and hydroplaning resistance; and (3) Ride comfort.
In 2022 I installed a set of General GMAX AS 05. 235 /50 ZR17. Just checked and they’re about $90 per tire at tire rack. Grip, ride and noise are great. I don’t drive in snow. I’m completely satisfied with them. 50,000 mile warranty.
 
This feedback is for a 2002 year model, but I think it carries weight across all years. Last month I too was looking at tire options for my bird. I wanted to strike a blend between performance and comfort but wanted to see a different exterior appearance as well. When I bought the car a year ago, it had a mixed set of Michelins up front and Bridgestones in the rear - plenty of tread, but you can imagine how it felt on the road. I was running the stock OEM tires size of 235-50-R17 but with the space present in the wheel wells it looked off to me. After a lot (and I do mean a lot...) of research and the valuable information from this forum, I selected a set of Continental ExtremeContact DWS 06 Plus up one size to 245-50-R17.

What a difference that made. At 245-50-R17, there is no rub or interference. They look like the tires were made for this car. The wider stance and sidewall thickness give a performance feel and by not changing the 50 sidewall aspect I maintained a comfortable ride. With the top up there is negligible road noise and the steering is responsive but not overly quick. There are Michelins in this tire size, but the sidewall appearance is different and look thinner even though they are not. I did stop by the local dealership and they updated the BCM for the new tire's RPM metric. As I was ordering a replacement battery, they did it gratis and it only took fifteen minutes - could have been quicker, but many of the techs had not seen a bird in a long while.

So far I have been on back roads and yesterday the interstate and I am pleased with how the car handles. Given my prior mixed bag of tires, a new set of similar tires would always feel better, but I have enjoyed the ride quality, grip and comfort.

Now to the nitty gritty as tire size options come up often here. I started with tiresize.com as it is a great resource for information and applicability of alternate sizes. Also great feedback on individual tires as well. Cost wise, moving from 235-50-R17 to 245-50-R17 you can expect to pay $45 to $75 more per tire. With the Continentals I ended up at $235 a tire which is $55 more than the 235-50-R17 size for the same tire. Purchased online at Discount Tire and had their local store do the install.

Again, tire size, brand and tire model are individual selections only you as the owner can make. For me, I am very happy with my new tires on how the look, ride and respond. Hope this information helps.
 
Need to get some new tires. Lot of choices out there anybody have a recommendation for a good replacement tire for the Retro T-birds?
No winter driving just summer.
 
Just put these on. Very nice ride. Handle excellent but never drive in the rain or snow. Have used Nitto tires on other cars with excellent results.
Screenshot_20240421_130906_Edge.jpg
 
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I put a set of "Michelin CrossClimate 2" tires (went up to /55s) on my '03 a couple of months ago. The tires are quiet and there are zero clearance issues. I haven't noticed any difference in the height of the car, the MPG, or how it "sets". What I have noticed is the car rides better, handling is much better on both dry and wet roads, and improved cornering/traction. The only downside is, although the tire looks great in the TBird from the side, the tread is weird. I live in PA and haven't driven in snow with them, but my mechanic said I'm in for a pleasant surprise.
 
I just put a set of Goodyear Assurance ComfortDrive on, 235/55 R17. It was based on good general reviews for all season touring tires, especially comfort. I have only driven it 30 freeway miles home. They feel good, are quiet with the hard top on. The look a little bulky in the wheel well to me, despite the old tires also being one size taller than stock. Those had a worn out whitewall that made the side walls look short. Anyway I am debating asking Discount Tire if they would exchange for some 50s. Most people here who put 55s on retrobirds like the improved ride. Being a bit easier to get in and out of the car is a bonus.

Goodyear has a $100/set rebate on this model this month. Also I got a Memorial Day sale price. They might do this again around Independence Day.
 
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