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205/50ZR15 RE010 + Integra TypeR -> trouble?

20 October 2000
Hello everyone,

Yes, it is NSX tire related

I've been trying to solve a strange steering problem in my 1998 Integra TypeR. I put on a set of 205/50ZR15 RE010s (the same tires that came in the fronts of the early NSXs). Stock tires were 195/55VR15 RE010s.

Alignment is in spec, front toe is 0.

The steering doesn't have the same firm, on-center feel as new. It feels almost overboosted and vague. There is almost no steering feel *near the center*. For the longest time I thought it was my power steering that had gone bad, especially since the rack was replaced under warranty @4000 miles.

However, the NSX Tire FAQ talks about how these tires have some radial pull built into the tire, and that there is a 1.75mm "toe-out" every revolution. Could this be the source of my problem? I then looked up the NSX front toe specs and lo and behold it's -3(+/-1)mm. So it seems like the suspension designers compensated for this by requiring a bit of toe-in.

The TypeR has a 0(+/-2)mm toe spec. It certainly does feel like my toe is out, even though it is set to 0. Could it be that I could compensate by trying -2 or -3mm on the fronts? Is the numbness and vague on-center feel consistent with this? The car responds very well to steering input, there is no slack, turn-in is almost instantaneous. Just no feel. In fact, I'd say turn-in is even better than with the OE size tires. Again, this seems to back up what the FAQ says about why the tires have this ply steer.

BTW, whoever did the Tire and Alignment section of your FAQ did a masterful job. Learned alot in 10 minutes of reading.
The 205/50-15 Yokohama A022H and Bridgestone RE010 tires were designed for the NSX. In particular, they were designed to be used on the FRONT of the car, and on a specific corner of the car. You can buy a right front tire or a left front tire. The engineers were able to design them in a way that they would do what would make the car handle well when used in that position.

I would not use these tires on another car (e.g. Integra Type R), because you would wind up putting tires on the rear of the car that were never designed to be used on the rear of ANY car.

If you want to use the Yokohama A022 or Bridgestone RE010 tires on the Integra, stick with the stock 195/55-15 size, which are designed to be used at any corner of cars such as the Type R.

[This message has been edited by nsxtasy (edited 26 October 2000).]
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, I didn't look into this before I bought the tires. I've already had one track event with these, and they certainly were strange, especially under braking.

The rear end wanted to step out while braking in a straight line. This and the steering vagueness was the first clue that perhaps I should look into the tires. In anycase, I'm stuck with them unless I can sell it used to an early NSX owner.

Thanks again for the reply.