philipj

1938 Buick Century Tires...

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After only two rides in the car, my wife condemned the virtually low mileage bias ply tires... It was nothing but panic, tried to explain the difference between the old and new tires and she pretty much said, if you want me to ride the car, the old tires have to go! 

So I am looking at the new Diamond Back Classic Radials $$$ (Auburn Deluxe) I currently have 7.60X15 but will probably just go with the standard 700-15...

Any suggestions or ideas regarding sizes or other brands here? These range from $219 to $300 per tire which is crazy! 

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Copy and paste from my recent post about my 1938 Century...

 

I decided that I would go with blackwall tires for this car. This afternoon, I ordered a set of 5 blackwall bias ply tires. I found several different online retailers who sell the correct size 7 x 15 blackwall bias ply tires.  The tires that I ordered are Eldorado Power King Super Highway II 7.00/--15. They were slightly less than $84 each with free shipping.  

 

If you want to go with blackwall bias ply tires, this is the best deal I have found... 

 

https://simpletire.com/eldorado-7.0015-wld36-tires?stmodel=power-king-super-highway-ii&stcategory=other&sttype=commercial&gclid=Cj0KCQjw2pXXBRD5ARIsAIYoEbfDV6I6W6wGt5E5MMXQUI1AZymfPXktgYIrkzd-x24Ykk-FO67RwL0aAvozEALw_wcB

 

They were delivered in 2 days by Fedex and I am quite happy with them. If you want wide whitewall tires, you can expect to pay $227 each.

 

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Hello Mathew,

 

Thank you, I found the same tire and thought it had that nice vintage look, but won't it have the same handling problem since these are nylon cord construction as opposed to a radial tire? I cannot believe the price of a whitewall tire... To put it in one word, abusive!

Would a 225/75/15 be too short ugly and fat?

Edited by philipj (see edit history)

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If your bias ply tires are very old, it is possible that the tires don't ride that well due to their condition. With decent quality new bias ply tires, it will ride like it did when new. Some people will do their best to convince you that you should use radial tires. I personally disagree with that thought. I have only put a few miles on my 1938 Century but they ride fine. My 1937 Century also has bias ply tires, although those are an older set of the expensive wide white wall tires. It also drives fine with bias ply tires. I have driven it many miles. 

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Are you sure it is the tires that are causing the problem that is upsetting your wife? My 1930 Dodge rolls around a bit and that seems to contribute to the nervous passenger problem. I will be looking at the shock absorbers in due course.

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I'm sold on radials. Fewer choices than bias ply (more expensive), but I think they ride and handle better. I was looking at these when I was shopping for a Century:  https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Yokohama&tireModel=RY215&partnum=700R5215&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes If this link takes you to Walmart website, just go to tirerack's website and search for 7x15's.

I ended up buying a '37 LaSalle (7.00x16) and bought radial truck tires with whitewalls from Diamondback as I didn't want to wait for Auburns.

If you're OK with bias plys, then truck tires are definitely cheaper, and probably better quality, than the "Firestones" you see advertised.

Edited by suchan
bad link (see edit history)

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The tire companies all told me that the 8.20R15 was closer to the original 7.00x15 tire.  The 7.60R15 actually measures smaller than the 7.00x15.  So, I went with 8.20R15.  I wanted to buy some 6.50R16 Auburn tires but Diamondback doesn't have them available  yet.  I really hate to go radial, but here in Florida the roads are so rutted from trucks (sand based roads) that it's hard to keep the car on the road with bias tires.  They run from rut to rut.  That said, radial tires look awful on my 41 Buick Roadmaster because of that squat at the bottom.

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8 hours ago, Spinneyhill said:

Are you sure it is the tires that are causing the problem that is upsetting your wife? My 1930 Dodge rolls around a bit and that seems to contribute to the nervous passenger problem. I will be looking at the shock absorbers in due course.

 

You have a good point here... I have more roll thank I like. I am not sure if rear shocks go bad from age or just sitting, but the car sat more than it was driven since it was done in 1995... The front shocks were dry and I filled them with oil again. It is much better but the roll is still there. As for the tires, they do behave as predicted. If I am going to go on the cheaper side, I am inclined to go with the El Dorado Super King. They're 8 ply tires. Would that be a little stiffer than the current 4 ply?

 

Eldorado Power King Super Highway II 7.00/--15 WLD36Eldorado Power King Super Highway II 7.00/--15 WLD36

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Did you just refill the front shocks or did you pump the lever while filling to eliminate air pockets and make sure that the fluid actually got where it needed to go and the shock developed significant resistance to movement?

 

Replacement rear shocks are available from Cars, Inc. http://www.oldbuickparts.com/product_info.php?products_id=3854

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I filled them with oil and tried bouncing the car up and down as I did it... I did not see a lever. Interesting! I need to check this again as well as the type of shocks in the rear... I know the previous owner put something different in there...

 

Edited by philipj (see edit history)

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6 hours ago, Dynaflash8 said:

The tire companies all told me that the 8.20R15 was closer to the original 7.00x15 tire.  The 7.60R15 actually measures smaller than the 7.00x15.  So, I went with 8.20R15.  I wanted to buy some 6.50R16 Auburn tires but Diamondback doesn't have them available  yet.  I really hate to go radial, but here in Florida the roads are so rutted from trucks (sand based roads) that it's hard to keep the car on the road with bias tires.  They run from rut to rut.  That said, radial tires look awful on my 41 Buick Roadmaster because of that squat at the bottom.

 

 the tires that came on my '37 Century are also the 8.20-15. seems like there are a few available bias ply options for that size and was just going to replace with black walls when I got to the point of it being closer to being road worthy as the ones on there are pretty well dry rotted and cracked.

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One thing bias ply tires do that annoys me and probably upsets my wife is grab a change in pavement level, e.g. a seal edge. It makes the car lurch one way or the other. 3/4" free play in the steering wheel doesn't help - I have to be watching the road carefully. Such seal edges are often hidden under the white edge line.

 

These edges usually are on chip sealed roads, where there has been shoulder widening.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)

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My first thought was how old the tires are. I have been reading the biased/'radial debate for years and it still sifts out to "I took the 30 year old biased tires off my car and replaced them with radials. Wow! What a difference."

 

Chasing tar strips is usually a worn joint issue.

 

With lever shocks, I like to disconnect the link and feed fluid into the fill port while I work the lever with my hand. It feels good when they firm up.

 

A lot of restored cars are worn out cars that were disassembled, painted, and reassembled. Many don't start, steer, or stop. They get sold because the owner expected something different.

 

I am really fussy about my cars. If they didn't ride well they would not have biased tires on them. The ones that came with them do.

 

Perception is a big part of anything. My Wife used to cook dinner and set the plate in front of the kids. She would say "You might not like this." Bingo! She was right most of the time. I would fix dinner, set the plate down for them, and say "Eat."

 

The tire debate will continue forever. In my case, I like the biased tires and spend time keeping them bright and clean, sparing no effort.

hub1.jpg.e25e0bfb5e230ef77289785256c414a8.jpg

 

I could not even guess where to start looking for the marriage license to dust that off.

Bernie

 

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)

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The '41 Cadillac below wears 7.60-15 wide whitewall radials. They look right--maybe a touch small, but the next size up would have been too much. Not too fat and the design, which is intended to mimic the look of a bias-ply pie crust, is very convincing. The 8.20s, despite what the measurements might suggest, are much too fat on an earlier car and will look squat and fat and bulge. These are Cokers, and I don't love the brand, but the tires did look right and handled well, although I sold the car before I put 100 miles on the tires, so I can't speak to their longevity. I prefer Diamondback when I can get them, but I'll admit that until they have that Auburn radial (which is probably never--don't put off tires expecting them to have them, as they have been saying "in the spring" or "in the fall" for nearly six years now) the Cokers look better. But the Diamondback 7.00-15 or 7.60-15 radials would be a good second choice and will look fairly authentic. 

 

001.JPG.c60ee35042f639ecc41730313fb01af2.JPG IMG_20170418_190316712a.jpg.e7ab637d2e99eed6abda1ad63e21fc55.jpg IMG_20170418_190237559a.jpg.01869aee741fc18083ca30b61ed32073.jpg

 

I won't try to steer you into radials instead of bias-ply, only to suggest that you not just buy some off-the-shelf generic radials and throw them on. If you want wide whites, radials or bias-ply will cost about the same. Generic off-the-shelf radials, however, WILL look weird, either with the skinny whitewall or, if you do blackwalls, they'll likely be too fat-looking. If you need it to be tall, you'll be tempted by a 235/75/15 to get the height, but it will be very squat and bulging. Do a narrower tire like a 205/75/15 and you'll have a tire that looks undersized. This has all been tried and the people who chose the wrong tire just because of price are often disappointed by the look. If you don't care about the look, then buy whatever fits your budget, but it's going to look wrong and you'll feel a pang in your gut every time you look at it or pull into a show. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Everyone knows the difference, but we often pretend not to in order to satisfy the wallet. I have found that springing for good tires is never a waste of money and the right tires will not only ride and handle properly, but will look right, making a car that you can be proud of. 

 

I put radials on my personal cars as long as they look right. I would never put a short, fat modern radial on any old car and would do bias-ply instead. The difference between the two construction types is significant, the driving experience is different although there's no real way to say which is better. I prefer radials because they do ride and handle more confidently and they appear to be more durable. My '41 Limited limousine burned through two brand new bias-ply Firestones (Coker repops) in less than 500 miles but I have nearly 3000 tour miles on my 7.60-16 Diamondbacks and they're still like new. And when I did the swap, half the bumps and half the noise disappeared and the car tracks like a cruise missile at 60 MPH. But that's just me. Your mileage may vary. The one thing I do like about Diamondback is that you get fresh tires. Coker tires are notorious for being several years old before they even arrive at your doorstep, and that's something to keep in mind.

 

876523876_IMG_20160731_153604109_HDR1.jpg.5a5c62438134968b260d7c3eff15a65b.jpg 109382736_IMG_20160731_1826436211.jpg.3c5fd761488e574b97ac9e857a838f49.jpg IMG_20160817_155026350a.jpg.f8f79d10316412a29c547d6193cfd1c3.jpg 563782983_IMG_20160818_1932097481a.jpg.0998822e7fc104c2e27b4afb7ea4f254.jpg

 

Pick what you like, but do it right. Don't just settle for cheap for cheap's sake. You'll regret it every time you drive the car and you'll be stuck with them and wrong tires just look wrong:

 

1941-conv.jpg 41-Buick-2.jpg

 

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Hello Matt,

 

You bring a very good point... I may just save my pennies and buy the best (Diamondback)  but why would I be better off with the 7.60-15

as opposed to the stock 700-15?

Edited by philipj (see edit history)

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Be sure to check your clearance of the tire to your tierod ends. I had a wider aspect ratio tire on my 47 Super prior to the 7:00-15 Diamondbacks I have now, and the old ones were so close to the tierod  ends, that they would polish the inside sidewalls of the tire. Make sure there is adequate 'flex' room.  The 7:00-15 Diamondbacks have plenty of clearance. Just my 2 cents.

 

Jack

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9 hours ago, Stooge said:

 

 the tires that came on my '37 Century are also the 8.20-15. seems like there are a few available bias ply options for that size and was just going to replace with black walls when I got to the point of it being closer to being road worthy as the ones on there are pretty well dry rotted and cracked.

The bias ply correct 7.00x15 are available from various dealers.

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11 hours ago, philipj said:

I filled them with oil and tried bouncing the car up and down as I did it... I did not see a lever. Interesting! I need to check this again as well as the type of shocks in the rear... I know the previous owner put something different in there...

 

 

You may still have air pockets in the front shocks if you did not pump the shocks up and down until the fluid worked in and filled the shock so that the shocks built up resistance. If you did not notice a difference in the operation of the front shocks after they were "full", there may still be a problem with them. The rear shocks on the 1938 Buick were tube style shocks essentially like modern shocks.    

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2 hours ago, Jack56C said:

Be sure to check your clearance of the tire to your tierod ends. I had a wider aspect ratio tire on my 47 Super prior to the 7:00-15 Diamondbacks I have now, and the old ones were so close to the tierod  ends, that they would polish the inside sidewalls of the tire. Make sure there is adequate 'flex' room.  The 7:00-15 Diamondbacks have plenty of clearance. Just my 2 cents.

 

Jack

 

The correct 7 x 15 bias ply tires that I bought have about 1/2 inch of clearance with the tie rods. I did find that an incorrect size wheel (6 x 15 instead of 5.5 x 15) will make them rub the tie rod, so it is important to have the correct size wheels on the front. The rear has more room. 

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All very good points here, including changing wives..;)  but I am afraid that would cost more than $1,500! I will check again the front shocks for possible air pockets and not make any hasty decisions about the tires...

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