Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Case of the Growling Left Front Corner

In its time (2001) the average Daihatsu YRV TURBO buyer Was a young man looking for an affordable street racing platform.  

As soon as they got their hands on the cars, they started customizing it to help push its 1000kg package as fast as possible.  

Part of the quest for speed was the necessity to alter the balance of the car, mostly by changing its center of gravity, which means changing the suspension of the car.  Typically this change took two forms:

1) Stabilize the platform by putting racing tires on it.

2) Lower the center of gravity of the platform by lowering the suspension.  This implies changing the stock suspension to one capable of being tuned.

This was the exact fate suffered by the LRP at some time in the indeterminate past.  Some enterprising young speed freak put:

A)  "high performance, high-end" Japanese shocks all around, and then used them to crank the front end of the car as low as possible in an effort to lower its center of gravity.

B) "Racing Tires" on the Daihatsu YRV 2001 TURBO

The Tires

As it turned out, the car probably has the wrong tires on it.  

Here's a quick shot of the tire itself.  It's a Falken ZIEX ze-912.  

So, the tires that our young racer put on the car are NOT stock...

The tire is a 195/55R15 35V.  

Let's decode this a little, with many thanks to Discount Tire for the following information...

Tire Class - "P"
The first character(s) in a tire size designate the tire's class. In this example, "P" indicates that the tire is a passenger car tire. An "LT" before the tire size designates a light truck tire, and no letter before the size indicates that it is a European metric tire.
Section Width - "205"
A metric tire's section width is measured in millimeters. This measurement is taken from sidewall to sidewall. In this example, the section width of the tire is 205mm.
Aspect Ratio - "65"
This number refers to the height of the sidewall. It is a percentage of the section width. In this example, 65 percent of the section width of 205mm equals 133.25.
Tire Construction - "R"
The "R" in this example indicates radial tire construction.
Wheel Diameter - "16"
This indicates the wheel diameter in inches.
Load Index - "92"
The load index indicates the maximum amount of weight a tire can safely carry. Load index ranges from 0 to 279 and corresponds with the load-carrying capacity of a tire. Passenger car tire load indices typically range from 75 to 105. It is very important to maintain the proper load index for your vehicle when replacing your tires.

So using the information from above OK, lets decode this tire a little bit...

No Letter Prefix - This is a metric sized tire


This is a 195mm wide tire


The car sidewall is 55% of the width


This is a radial tire


This the wheel diameter in inches


This is the load bearing capacity of the tire in pounds


This is the speed rating in miles per hour

  • V - Up to 149 mph

So the tire is wide, low profile, reasonably load bearing (but not exceptionally so) and capable of handling pretty high speeds - much higher than the top speed of the car, as a matter of fact.

But the clearance of the tire from the fender just doesn't seem to be that great:

As you can clearly see in this photo, there are tire particles adhering to the fender, especially around the fender mounting screw, which is likely what is coming in contact with the tire.

Here's the other side of the car.  NO tire particles at all...

Here's some information on the tire from the manufacturer:

created for optimized block rigidity for superior all-season handling.

effectively evacuate water and significantly enhance hydroplaning resistance for enhanced wet handling.

breaks up tire pattern noise and leads to a quiet ride inside your vehicle.

assist in identifying uneven wear and proper rotation timing.

65,000 mi / 104,000 km


40,000 mi / 64,000 km

Here's some shots of the tire tread from the manufacturer:

Here's some details of the construction of the tire:

Here's what the sidewall of the right front tire looks like, nice and clean.

Here's a side view of the car.  

Note the amount of tire clearance the rear tires have vs. the clearance on the front...

Where we got our shocks adjusted...

The sign of our "tire guy"...

In Vego goes, to talk to the "tire guy"

Another shot of Vego engaging with the "tire guy", Mr. Hong.

The "tire guy" has a rig inside his store for "truing" aluminum rims.  There's a LOT of aluminum dust in his store - I wonder if he's heard about the link between aluminum and Parkinsons...

With the rims removed, here's what we saw, a typical McPherson strut...

The entire adjustment took under 10 minutes to raise both sides up by 1 inch.


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