1958buick

Bias or Radials?

27 posts in this topic

Hello All,

 

I am replacing the tires on my 58 Buick Special this year.  Mostly due to age (2004).  Anyway, I have reached the Grand National level with AACA and will be going the Preservation route moving forward.  I am thinking about replacing my 7.10 x 15 Bias ply's (Universal Tire) with the Pie Crust style radial look-a-likes but have heard pros and cons in each direction. MOST tell me it was the best decision they made switching to radials and others say that the suspension on these cars were not made for radials and your ride will worsen?  Any thoughts on either side of that would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks,  Les 

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Without any suspension modifications, radials vastly improved my 56.

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My observations:

bias ply last 15,000 miles or 12 years (the white wall will look bad before 12 years)

radials will last 50,000+ miles or 5 years.

to me the white walls on the bias look radials are too wide.

the best and freshest radials come from Diamonback, but are p-metric sized and would not work for you if wanting the original size.

Universal tires are owned by Coker and the same tread is in their Coker classic line and are cheapest from Summit Racing (no tax or shipping)

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Les

How many miles a year do you put  on your car?

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 For show, probably the bias.  I don't show mine, so radials. Off the shelf, not "collector car " dealers. White walls are difficult to find in off the shelf modern tires though.  For about $100.00 per tire, try a modern tire.  I have not been sorry.

  Shurtrac , an off shore tire, comes in a ww up to 225/75-15, I believe. I think 1 2/5 inch ww.

 

  And I second what JohnD said.

 

  Ben

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Thanks for the comments.  I have had the car since 2003 and have put on about 14,000 miles.  So my Public School arithmetic puts that at 1000 miles a year.  Glad I have two feet for all that counting. HA.  I would like to keep the "Pie Crust" look as I do not like the traditional wrap-a-round tread as seen from the side. The pictures are what I currently have (Bias) and what I have been looking at for replacement.  A friend of mine put these radials on his 1960 Corvette and loves them.  The edging is a bit different, but I think I can get to like them.

acr-bias-look-radial-670r15-ww-10in_3.png

sample_uvt_760-15_2.jpg

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A lot of people have said that the bias-ply tires that are being made now are show quality only. Unless they are officially DOT certified and have a printed date code, I wouldn't use them unless the car is being trailered.

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HI Les , the other factor , being that you are both a show and a go guy , is : How many times a year do you show/submit for judging ? Depending on this , I may have a "have your cake and eat it too" answer for you. Fair warning , though : I have a tendency to throw money at things , and think a bit out of the box at times. Also : what type of miles do you put on your car ? Any open road trips at any speed under varying conditions?

 

And one more question (a bit Colomboesque since I am quizzically turning around , more than 1/2 way out the door here). How easy would it be to get a second set of wheels ?          Here's hoping we all get to wear out many more tires ,  - Cadillac Carl

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Thanks for the reply Carl. As previously mentioned in this post, I put on about a thousand miles a year.  City Streets and freeway miles. I have driven the Buick to a few AACA  events in other states with the longest being about a 5 hour drive. I have thought about the second set of wheels option, but I'm not too interested in that at this time.  I plan on being at the ACAA meet in Bettendorf, Iowa in August. That's about the only judged event this year. I plan on just taking the hit for the radials for the preservation.

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Hi All-

What if you keep the old tires and use them for shows  and get radials and wheels (rims) for driving.

Just a thought.

Al Storrs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hi

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Cooper Tire used to have a "Trendsetter SE" line that had the correct look for the middle 1960s bias ply tires, but were radials.  With the correct ww width for the middle-60s, too.  But, when I found them about 13 years ago, they had a size for the 14" tires I was looking for, but as time progressed, their sizes decreased in number.

 

The "classic" issue with radials used to be low speed impact harshness, which more recent P-metric designs seem to have lessened somewhat.  On the highway, they ride better than bias ply, but this can be variable as to brand.

 

Old-Tank has had good luck with his Diamondbacks.  I'm not sure about the "build guts" of the repro tires, as to cord diameter and rubber compounds compared to the originals. Nor have I seem any statements that the repros are at least as good as the originals.  Be that as it may.  As for "guts", I'd like to see a breakdown of the bias ply look radials to see what was what.  Including how wide the radial belts are.

 

In any event, you can run the bias ply tires at higher inflation pressures and get better performance and durability from them.

 

NTX5467

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I bought my '60 Electra in 2002 and have put about the same mileage on it. The first set of Coker  biased tires were worn enough to replace at 12,000 miles and I bought the same thing again and they have about 2,000 miles on those so far. I hope to buy another set of the same in ten years.

 

I have no issues with the way it handles. It is a 1960. It drives like it should. The only time I drive like I have a screw loose is straight line accelerating and my speed buzzer is set at 80. It doesn't buzz hard but it clicks and burps once in a while.

 

The summer before last there was an event in Utica that I left for early one Saturday morning. I am near Rochester. That is a 150 mile ride. I was driving through Rochester and still had not decided on using the NYS Thruway or RT 31, a secondary highway. That's how casual the decision was, I hit the Thruway and a couple hours later John D was able to see my dirty biased whitewalls. I came back the leisurely way and ended up with around 350 miles that day. 75 or 50, no big deal.

 

Personally, I don't care for the look or the aspect ratio of radials and they don't fill the wheel wells or provide the stance I know I will get with the biased. Maybe the newer ones look different. I do know that every time I approach my car or walk away from it I like looking at it. If I took a chance and bought something different because of issue I haven't perceived yet or to save money, I know that every tine I looked at the car I would notice it was equipped with my second choice. And THAT ain't gonna happen.

 

My Mother and my Grandmother liked their black Buicks. I remember a conversation about an Aunt who left her lights on and had a dead battery. My Mother said my aunt had a crappy looking car and if she had a nice one she would have looked back to admire it. Then she would have noticed the lights were on. There's a little insight on how I got the way I am.

 

I run biased tires strictly for the endorphins.

Bernie

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Endorphins or adrenaline?  Stance and everything looking "correct" are important to me, too.  I usually tend to "over-shop" so that when I spend money, no regrets, usually.  Or at least that's how I used to do things.  In any event, an "efficient" decision.  I had an extra "gulp" when I put Michelins on my '05 Impala, but all of the Michelin options were all within about $5/tire of each other, from Symmetry to the better level.  But they put that "radial feel" into the mix and all is well.  Be that as it may.  Unit cost/mile will be down, though.

 

NTX5467

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2 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

My Mother said my aunt had a crappy looking car and if she had a nice one she would have looked back to admire it.

 

LOL...  Now THOSE are words of wisdom...

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I think the biggest endorphin rush is to stop at the end of each day and say "It is good." Try that for six days and then rest one. It's an old Irish tradition.

 

Oh, this is endorphins:

Batavia1.thumb.JPG.827d8d607660b79673d023589c11d498.JPG

 

This is adrenaline:

Dust-4.jpg.1524ec9b870715714ce388af5b6695a5.jpg

 

But it is all on a bias to stay with the topic.

Bernie

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10 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

My Mother said my aunt had a crappy looking car and if she had a nice one she would have looked back to admire it.

 

What does it mean if someone averts their eyes when approaching their car in the parking lot?  Is that Tryptophan...?  :unsure:

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On 09/03/2017 at 11:07 AM, 1958buick said:

Hello All,

 

I am replacing the tires on my 58 Buick Special this year.  

MOST tell me it was the best decision they made switching to radials and others say that the suspension on these cars were not made for radials and your ride will worsen?  Any thoughts on either side of that would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks,  Les 

 

Les,

I can speak from both sides of this issue since having started out with correct size bias ply tires (two sets) and then going to radials the ride is indeed better with the radials. I'm sure it also helped greatly that I put on new upper and lower ball joints and tie rod ends with an alignment with the new tires. 

I don't think I would return to bias ply unless restoring my car for show and judging.

As you can see she will not qualify for preservation awards so just planning to enjoy the ride.

Doug

58c4d14581366_Wambo2005pic1.thumb.JPG.dfb8d27918e5ce6304e6f15a89d2e3d8.JPG

 

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I was getting at the idea that what I do is what makes me happy. That's the goal. If I wasn't happy with my car I would change what it took to make me smile. I don't need radials.

 

If you want to swing across the border and try my 8.20's on your Buick this summer, you have a open invitation. Just to test it with the ball joints and alignment. I put a mid-rise lift in the garage last fall, should only take 20 minutes. I'm 60 miles east of Buffalo.

 

For Elm Tree, the kind of person who would avert their  eyes from their car as they approach, from my personal experience, would be one of three:

1. A person who demanded a minimum of three competitive bids on a specification or suitable alternate. (we know where they come from)

2. A professional corporate purchasing agent.

3. A true bargain hunter.

 

Bernie

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Doug,   looks like a very nice Buick to me. Thanks for the comments. I only have about a couple thousand miles on a new front end. I installed new ball joints, bushings,  tie rod ends and a rebuilt center link. I also installed  a new steering gear this past summer to replace the sloppy one  after I took the motor out this past summer and found it loosing lube from the worn shaft.   So I think my mind is set on the classic style radials. Thanks to everyone for your input and opinions. The attached photo was my summer project last year.

20160627_082755.jpg

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38 minutes ago, 1958buick said:

Doug,   looks like a very nice Buick to me. Thanks for the comments. I only have about a couple thousand miles on a new front end. I installed new ball joints, bushings,  tie rod ends and a rebuilt center link. I also installed  a new steering gear this past summer to replace the sloppy one  after I took the motor out this past summer and found it loosing lube from the worn shaft.   So I think my mind is set on the classic style radials. Thanks to everyone for your input and opinions. The attached photo was my summer project last year.

20160627_082755.jpg

Let us know how they work out.  Maybe take some detailed pictures of the car with the tires...before and after.  Since radials are a perishable product, check the date code...I reject any that are over 6 months old (there were attempts in the past to sell me old-old tires).

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2 hours ago, 1958buick said:

. The attached photo was my summer project last year.

20160627_082755.jpg

 

Don't take this wrong, but here's hoping you can get it dirty this summer.

 

 

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4 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

I was getting at the idea that what I do is what makes me happy. That's the goal. If I wasn't happy with my car I would change what it took to make me smile. I don't need radials.

 

Agree with you on this 100% Bernie! :):):)

 

4 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

If you want to swing across the border and try my 8.20's on your Buick this summer, you have a open invitation. Just to test it with the ball joints and alignment. I put a mid-rise lift in the garage last fall, should only take 20 minutes. I'm 60 miles east of Buffalo.

 

Actually, I have a set of L78 15's (bias ply) that likely will end up on Limited when (at some point :rolleyes:) it goes on the road. They are used so will only be used cautiously around town and not on the expressway till it becomes necessary. However, would love to take you up on the invite as an excuse to exercise the Special once I get those brakes finished......

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, 1958buick said:

Doug,   looks like a very nice Buick to me. Thanks for the comments. I only have about a couple thousand miles on a new front end. I installed new ball joints, bushings,  tie rod ends and a rebuilt center link. I also installed  a new steering gear this past summer to replace the sloppy one  after I took the motor out this past summer and found it loosing lube from the worn shaft.   So I think my mind is set on the classic style radials. Thanks to everyone for your input and opinions. The attached photo was my summer project last year.

 

Gary, Thanks for your like of my car.

We all know pictures can hide sins and she has them but as Bernie says, I do for my car what makes me happy and that sparks a few discussions.

 

Great detail work under the hood!

 

Now, in keeping with the start of this thread on bias ply vs radials, how about a full side shot of yours with those bias ply's?

(especially since we share the same red paint and white tops :D)

Doug

Edited by dei (see edit history)

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Beautiful Gary!:)

I love that a post car (sedan) can with that trim treatment, look every bit as good as a hard top (pillarless) model.

Any chance you will be taking in the National this year?

Doug

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