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Steeleco

Best Tires and Tire size for 1963 Riviera

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Steeleco    10

As the Rivowners website shows 7.1x15 tires being equal to 215 75 15, I would like to get some owners opinions as to what sizes and make or model tires they use, like, and suggest. Preferably sizes without rubbing issues etc.

Thanks,

Steele

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RivNut    1,014

What the data on the website doesn't show is that in '63 the opitonal "oversized tire" - code T4 - was a 7.60 x 15" tire. The 7.10 came on a 5.5" rim; the 7.60 came on a 6" rim. If you want to be true to your restoration, measure your wheel before you purchase tires.

My '63 came with the T4 coded option and I ran 225/75 x 15 tires on it for the 15+ years I drove it as a daily driver. Sure the tires run when you do a full lock, but unless you're parallel parking, you rarely turn you the wheels to that degree. I just had a shiny rivet head on the frame, it never did any damage to the tire. The last few years, I actually ran a 225/70 x 15 tire on the car. I liked the feel of the 70 series aspect ratio better than the 75 series. I still had a rub, but it never caused a safety issue for the tire or the chassis.

If you go back to the Riviera website and look at the stats for 1964, you'll see that it shows the metric eqivalent to the 7.60 is the 225/75x15 tire. I'd go with that size in a heart beat if that were the original size that came on your car when it was new. How accurate is your speedometer with each size tire. The website also has a Miata Tire Calculator on it. See how the two sizes compare for speedometer accuracy.

What are you running now? If you have a GPS device, compare your speedometer speed with the displayed speed on your GPS.

Personally I think the slighlty larger tire fills the wheel well that much better for a more proportioned look.

Opinion stated, thanks.

Ed

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60FlatTop    2,002

I have Coker 7.10 X 15's. The car sits right (has new springs and bushings) and the tires don't rub on the inner fenders. Sadly I didn't wear this set out and they are 11 years old. I will get a new set for next season. On the bright side, I did wear out the Coker 8.20 X 15's on my '60 Electra in 9 years and replaced them last year.

I run the cars 75 and 80 MPH on the expressways as well as on New York State patch strip widened roads with no handling issues.

012.jpg

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RivNut    1,014

Worth reading, especially if you think that just because your tire had tread on it it's safe.

This is an excerpt of one of many articles I read. Apparently the U.S. tire makers have a strong lobby in our government; they're not about to throw away a bunch of "resalable" tires. That would cut into the bottom line of their financails. I buy my tires from an independent dealer - Michelin, Pirelli, Hankook, Goodyear, Falken, you name it - and they won't sell a tire, new or used, that's over 6 years old. American tire manufactures are reluctant to follow suit with the rest of the world.

Copied and pasted:

Although tire and vehicle manufacturers have been aware of the age degradation problem for years, they continue to keep warnings hidden, leaving service shops, dealers, and consumers dangerously uninformed. German vehicle manufacturers (including Audi, Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes) and Toyota began adding warnings about tire age in their owner's manuals beginning in the early 1990s. They differed a bit, but the messages were consistent: Tires more than six years old present an increased risk.

For instance, a Volkswagen manual says: "WARNING: Old tires can fail in use, causing loss of vehicle control and personal injury. Replace tires after six years regardless of tread wear. Always reduce speed and drive cautiously if you must use an old tire in an emergency. Replace the tire as soon as possible." A Toyota warning reads: "Any tires which are over six years old must be checked by a qualified technician even if damage is not obvious. Tires deteriorate with age even if they have never or seldom been used. This also applies to the spare tire and tires stored for future use."

European manufacturers developed these warnings based on research results. For example, the German testing and scientific research firm DEKRA issued a "special topic" report in 1986 examining tire defects that resulted in crashes. The study found an increase in tread separations after two years and a continuous increase from the fifth through the eighth years, with a dramatic increase in tires more than six years old. These researchers concluded that consumers should not drive on tires that are six or more years old, regardless of tread depth, particularly tires stored or not driven on for an extended period of time. (Sound like anyone you know out there - take a look in the mirror. Especially if you're driving them 80 - 90 mph!)

The results of another German study concluded that failure frequency rose disproportionately with increasing tire age . It estimated that a breakdown of a nine year old tire was eight times as likely as a breakdown of a two year old tire. The author noted that one reason "over aged" tires were being sold was the "consumer unfriendly" way the date of manufacture was coded in the DOT number.

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Steeleco    10

Ok, I couldn't wait I got tires today. I got Cooper Trendsetter SE 215 75 15 whitewalls. They were pretty cheep and seem to work well. They drive in a straight line, are not noisy, feel smoth and look original. The old bias ply tires that were on it when I got it were all over the road so I figured my front end was in bad shape but it's actually tight. So I'm a happy boy.

Steele

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Rob J    11
Ok, I couldn't wait I got tires today. I got Cooper Trendsetter SE 215 75 15 whitewalls. They were pretty cheep and seem to work well. They drive in a straight line, are not noisy, feel smoth and look original. The old bias ply tires that were on it when I got it were all over the road so I figured my front end was in bad shape but it's actually tight. So I'm a happy boy.

Steele

No pics, it didn't happen.:D

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lrlforfun    49

OK Ed: The tire info you posted is so true. I have had at least a dozen excellent tread tires explode on me from sitting. A steadfast rule i have is swap meet tires are for either cars not driven or to keep a parts car a roller. Always use newer tires especially on the freeway. Mitch

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RivNut    1,014

The information in the previous posts is for all 1st generation Rivieras - 1963, 1964, and 1965. Any of the sizes mentioned will work. It will probalby boil down to availability of the correct whitewall width and what tires you can find in your area. In other words, "there is no definative answer." If you're into BCA judgind any radial tire will be points deducted.

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)

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60FlatTop    2,002

I don't think they deduct for radial tires. It's the polished inner fenders that take points away. They are supposed to be satin black.

Bernie

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On 7/28/2012 at 11:36 AM, RivNut said:

What the data on the website doesn't show is that in '63 the opitonal "oversized tire" - code T4 - was a 7.60 x 15" tire. The 7.10 came on a 5.5" rim; the 7.60 came on a 6" rim. If you want to be true to your restoration, measure your wheel before you purchase tires.

My '63 came with the T4 coded option and I ran 225/75 x 15 tires on it for the 15+ years I drove it as a daily driver. Sure the tires run when you do a full lock, but unless you're parallel parking, you rarely turn you the wheels to that degree. I just had a shiny rivet head on the frame, it never did any damage to the tire. The last few years, I actually ran a 225/70 x 15 tire on the car. I liked the feel of the 70 series aspect ratio better than the 75 series. I still had a rub, but it never caused a safety issue for the tire or the chassis.

If you go back to the Riviera website and look at the stats for 1964, you'll see that it shows the metric eqivalent to the 7.60 is the 225/75x15 tire. I'd go with that size in a heart beat if that were the original size that came on your car when it was new. How accurate is your speedometer with each size tire. The website also has a Miata Tire Calculator on it. See how the two sizes compare for speedometer accuracy.

What are you running now? If you have a GPS device, compare your speedometer speed with the displayed speed on your GPS.

Personally I think the slighlty larger tire fills the wheel well that much better for a more proportioned look.

Opinion stated, thanks.

Ed

Thanks again. I'm getting new tires for my Red Riviera 63 and found your thread regarding the T4 code as optional on the 63.

if any changes I make on the 63 from original will always be reverible to original equip. Spec.without physical modification. I believe is smart way to go.

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RIVNIK    29

Greetings!  I run Firestone FR380s on my '65 and although they rub a little at full lock they are awesome, especially at speed. They are P225/75R15s, made especially for pickups but recommended by Firestone for older full size cars. They also have the perfect 3/4" whitewall. Love the Firestones!     Drew

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RIVNIK    29

BTW:  the aforementioned Firestone FR380 will not fit on the ledge as a spare. It takes up most of the trunk floor.    Clarks Corvair makes a nice trunk carpet set for the Riv w a tire cover that fits like a glove.

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JanZverina    11

I bought five new Mastercraft P235R/75R15 whitewall radial tires from Summit Racing for about $70 each, a LOT less than the new breed of "vintage" tire companies. They're quiet and track well, even with my semi-worn front end that's on my to-do list. The whitewall band is a bit thinner than what was stock for '63, but I like the look a lot better as my Riv originally came with the base-level wheel covers, which to me are a perfect match for Teal Mist w/white leather interior. Yes, the whitewalls look a bit yellow in the pix but one shot of Westley's 'Bleche White' and they're snow white again. I drive this Riv pretty often!  

Riv 3_30_14 11.JPG

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flh73    13

What do you think of the 215/80 15 bias Ply? I have a lead on a set of continentals with 3"white wall.  A chart shows this size very close to the 225/75.

 I have no problem with bias ply. Yes they flat spot from sitting but so do radials. I actually think bias will true up better when driven than radials. No real data on this except seat of the pants. 

IMG_0670.PNG

Edited by flh73 (see edit history)

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steelman    32

Here are some examples of the 3" whitewall on a first gen Riviera. While not factory correct for this model, some of these look better than others. Depends on the wheel choice. I do not like these with the wire hubcap, but this is just my opinion. Thought these might help.

 

5YBN3.jpg

63 Riv 236.JPG

4995.jpg

zps632b3464.jpg

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flh73    13

Wow thanks for the pictures.  I've restored my wire wheel cover so I will be using them.  Most of the car is and will have the original look. Me personally I think they look sweet!  The old tires on it now have about. 2" band and I like the look. I though 3" was pushing it but now have change my mind. 

IMG_0673.PNG

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9 hours ago, flh73 said:

Wow thanks for the pictures.  I've restored my wire wheel cover so I will be using them.  Most of the car is and will have the original look. Me personally I think they look sweet!  The old tires on it now have about. 2" band and I like the look. I though 3" was pushing it but now have change my mind. 

IMG_0673.PNG

 

Hi Gary,

I think you have great taste in your Riviera. I also like the wider whitewall and chose a 235/75 15 on mine. Sure they rub, but that just lets you know they are still turning when you park. Otherwise they are fine. The 235 looks about right, otherwise a car this size can sometimes look a bit funny with skinny tyres. "Under tyred" is what I call it.

 

Just my two bobs worth.

 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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