NEW WHEELS AND TYRES
After sorting the mechanicals Steve has started to pimp his ride
The Ninety project has picked up momentum in the last couple of weeks, but the poor old girl sat redundant for a few months prior to that. We recently moved into a house after spending nearly four years living on a narrowboat. Living on a boat was fantastic – I would recommended it to anyone – but if your main interest is cars and bikes, living without your own driveway or garage can be restrictive. My commute has increased significantly now though from a round trip of just 28 miles a day to 108. Yes, it’s a long way to travel each day but luckily I love my job!
The Ninety, fitted with its naturallyaspirated engine, isn’t my first choice in transport. Once I leave my village, the commute is mainly A roads, including the A1. I did the journey once, and once only. Getting taken out by an artic lorry because I’m too slow isn’t my idea of fun. Sure, I can reach 55-60 mph but it is working hard, my foot uncomfortably planted on the loud pedal and I can’t hear myself think. Using the Ninety around the Lincolnshire countryside is far better suited – at least until I get round to fitting a 300Tdi engine into it.
The first major job was to fit new tyres. If you recall, I mentioned how bad the original tyres were. They were badly perished Colway remoulds. I don’t think Colway have been remoulding tyres for many years so they were definitely a good age. I thought it best to change them swiftly. I opted for Goodyear Wrangler AT/ SA tyres which I also ran on my old Discovery. I travelled over 50k miles on those before selling the vehicle on – the tyres still having loads of tread left. With that kind of mileage potential they should last a fair while on the Ninety. I visited my local tyre fitters to have them fitted to the original steel wheels but there was a problem. The new tyres were tubeless but the rims were the early riveted type, not the newer welded type. The former would need to run tubes as they were not allowed to fit them without.
Unfortunately they didn’t have the tubes in stock so I headed home. Instead of buying tubes, I bought new steel wheels instead. I opted for new Wolf rims which are some of the strongest on the market. I will have them painted eventually to what should be the original colour of Ivory white (not Limestone as I previously thought). These wheels need to be fitted with longer wheel studs, too, which I must admit I’ve not done yet. However, I will.
I have drilled out the rivets which held on all the chequer plate. I know it probably looks scruffier without but I really want to take it back to a standard look. I probably won’t get the Ninety painted this year but it will be taken back to the original Stratos Blue. Also, the front bumper had been painted black and as it was flaking off it looked really unsightly so I stripped the rest with Nitromors. The original galvanised finish looks perfect now. The other five-minute job was to replace the front grille. It’s starting to look good now. You’d have plenty of time to admire it if you saw it on the road!