Best Tyres Revisited

Cross-Ply Tyres for my Morris Minor 1000-First Models Were fitted with Xply TYRES

Cross-Ply Tyres

Cross-Ply Tyres

 Cross-Ply tyres Back to the sixties with the x ply tyres?

Must be remembered that most people are confused about tyres. After all, tyres look the same, so what could the differences be ? Well when the Minor 1000 was first built there was only one type of tyre, I know ! 

because unfortunately I was a beginner tyre fitter in those early days. Consequently,the only tyre about then was the Cross-Ply Tyres  and a few early radials.

Of course, the basic tyre is made of rubber on the outside and there are a number of layers of textile (man-made) fabrics inside. So, the rubber is there to give the tyres strength. With this in mind, some tyres even have a layer of steel belt. Of course, to increase strength still further (the steel was not in cross-plies though). Textile belts are woven sheets . Running  from bead to bead before the rubber tread is vulcanised on the carcass.

In a perfect world, the “tread” on the outside would stay flat to the road in all circumstances. Unfortunately, roads that are driven on are not perfect and the old Xply tyres gave a very bumpy ride, this also applied to cornering, early tyres used to fight the corners and as many Morris 1000 drivers know, in the early days you had to take care when driving on a bumpy road and cornering.

We then started using a more modern tyre called a “Radial “.

I remember what we called the “radial tyre”new “tyre revolution”. Of course radial tyres were to improve the cars handling by as much as 100%. As a result, the radial tyres have a completely different construction. Revolutionizing the tyre industry. Including the comfort of driving. Radial tyres became available in the 1960s. Outperforming the Cross-Ply Tyres in every way.

Minor 1000 owners say that the car was designed for the Xply. This is true, but only because there was nothing else! The car was also designed for the simple style of motoring, but things improved when the radial tyre came out.

It is now very rare to find x plies these days but if you have them fitted do not mix them with radial tyres on the same axle. It is only safe and legal to fit two x plies tyres at the front and two radials at the rear. In my opinion, your are far better fitting a set of modern day radial tyres, If you can afford it. The driving results are astounding. Especially in the wet. If you are a traditionalist you could stick to x ply tyres, but these may not be the cheapest car tyres on sale at the moment.

As always you get what you pay for.

There are some poor quality tyres from eastern Europe about today, that are best avoided, also, please avoid part worn second-hand tyres. Because tyre prices have risen so much and the minor 1000 tyres are now very rare (145×14) Firestone tyres are available for around £60 fitted and have worked well for me over the years,

Cross-Ply Tyres

Morris Minor 1000’s were fitted with 520×14 Cross-Ply Tyres and later were fitted with 145×14 radial ply tyres.

these and Dunlop tyres were one of the first companies to fit radial tyres on to the minor 1000. Many of our leading tyre companies no longer make these sizes, but a few imported makes are available. A few better quality imported makes are available from General and Bridgestone, if any minor 1000 owners wanted a price for these makes we will happily quote a price from Halifax.

The radial ply tyre is a huge improvement on the Cross-Ply Tyres

It has much better grip, better ride quality and lasts much longer, but the tyres are now mainly imported. As I have previously stated it is relatively rare to find Cross-Ply Tyres these days, but they are still available through tyre specialists, such as Pellon tyres in Halifax. But once again if you have a set of Cross-Ply Tyres do not mix radials with them. 145×14 or 155×14 radials are the largest you should fit the normal rims. If you go beyond this you will cause yourself problems with the tyre bellying out over the wheel, your car will be all over the road and is not recommended or indeed safe to do this.

About Eric Roberts

Hi, I would like to introduce myself. I have worked in the Garage and tyre and Battery  industry now for 40 years.