Firestone Tyre Sets
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Firestone Tyre Sets; Could this be a Firestone Tyres revival attempt?
Firestone tyres have been in the doldrums since a catastrophic era when many f their tyres failed.
I now sell the Firestone product and they are an excellent tyre, now owned by the Bridgestone corporation now, they appear to have turned the corner and are once again starting to show their face, by supporting race events with their tyre products, as is the story behind this article.
Firestone Firehawk is one of the best recognised tyre names
In all my working days in the tyres industry. Then the Firestone brand is the one that sticks in my mind. Because of both for good and for bad reasons.
The bad reasons are because of the problems that Firestone has had over the years. With various tyre recalls. Therefore, recalls have taken place of a long period time.hence, at different stages of the tyre company’s history. The first ones I can remember were here in the UK. Firestone manufactured tyres at Brentford, in the south of England. Unfortunately, the factory was shut down in 1980, when 1’500 workers and white collar workers lost their jobs.
This could have been something to do with the terrible problems that Firestone were having. Nence, with their tyres in the USA. It was in the 1960’s, when I first became a tyre fitter. I will always remember the problems that Firestone were having in America.Consequently, with their “500” radial tyre. News in those days traveled slowly, but we heard on the tyre grapevine that in order to compete with the new radial tyres, (that were giving far better mileage and road holding), then they had to come up with a new radial tyre pretty quickly?
Firestone Tyre Sets
They tried to get round this by using bias belted tyre molds to produce the radial tyres in. Although the tyres looked fine and showed no sign of problems, they soon started to fall apart when used at high speed. The problem was a problem that haunted some tyre companies for years, “tread separation”. This is when the tread of the tyre comes off and is caused by a few reasons, but in Firestone’s case it was thought to be the molds and the bonding solution.
The bonding solution (cement) is what sticks the tread to the tyre casing. It is thought that this allowed water to penetrate into the steel belt, which in turn rusted causing the tread to lift off, when the tyres built up any heat, when used on the roads.
In 1978 investigators came to the conclusion that it must have been a design fault, that caused the problem and millions of the Firestone 500 tyres were withdrawn, giving the giant tyre company a very bad name.
The giant tyre company gradually clawed their way back, until further problems, nearer our times, in 2001 with the Wilderness AT/ATX and the ATX 11 tyres, which once again all received a mandatory recall and more bad publicity for the beleaguered tyre company.
Firestone Tyre Sets; Firestone tyres better days
In my opinion the better days started when they were taken over by the giant Bridgestone tyre corporation from Japan. They also continued their efforts with motorsport participation. This included the world famous, Indianapolis 500 mile race, which they have won for the past forty years.
The modern day Indy cars can reach speeds of 220 MPH, and have performed perfectly well on the new high-performance Firehawk. These tyres use competition compounds and are available for track cars as well as street legal cars, and are also recommended for the likes of for Beach Buggies and for Lotus Elan 2s. Lotus 7s. Escort RS I600s and other such
cars. The road handling is said to be superb giving the driver, competitive balance between speed, cornering, and durability.
The tyres come out in three distinct types; this information is taken from the Firestone web site
- Primary Black-
The primary Firehawk racing tyres offer a competitive balance between speed, cornering, and durability. Firehawk primary tires are used on all three types of track.
- Alternate Red-
Visually differentiated by red sidewalls, Firehawk alternate tires have a softer compound than primary tires, allowing for faster speeds and better cornering, but quicker wear. Firehawk alternate tires are used on road and street tracks only.
- Rain Grey-
These Firehawk tires were developed for wet conditions and have a grooved tread pattern that improves grip, control, and helps prevent hydroplaning. Rain tires are used on road and street tracks only, as oval races don’t run if conditions are.
For this reason, the Firestone Tyres product is now highly regarded with its past problems way behind.