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Radial tires and Judging?


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I know this subject has been brought up 100 times already and I don't want to go into a big deal on it but I have heard a rumor and I am looking to see if it has any truth or if it is BS. I was at a local AACA region show a week ago and I overheard a club member talking to a gentleman about judging a vehicle at a national AACA show and comment about a proposed change in the judging rules on radial tires. I asked the gentlemen what they were talking about and one of them had told me that the national board was considering dropping any point deduction for a vehicle because it had radial tires and not the bias tires that it would have come with from the factory.

Again I am not trying to get into a huge deal with this I am just wondering if this is TRUE or BS.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Restorer32</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I for one hope it's BS. </div></div>

Me too. Bias tires get a bad reputation for road wonder however many that complain have other issues with their cars contributing to the wonder. If a vehicles suspension (kingpins, shocks, bushing, alignment, air pressures, etc) are in good condition I have found that a bias tire works fine.

Imagine what a rule change would do to Coker's sales.

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It's a slippery slope. If we allow radials for safety purposes then what's next, disc brakes? I have not seen any evidence that radials are any "safer" on older vehicles where they were not standard equip. An argument could be made that radials on older vehicles are actually less safe if they encourage the owner to drive faster. To put radials on an old car to change how the car handles defeats the purpose of driving an old car in my mind. Just my opinion of course and I'm often in the minority anyway.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Restorer32</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

I for one hope it's BS. </div></div>

Add Bill and I to that list.

Yes, our 1963 1/2 Falcon Sprint convertible currently has radials on it, it came that way from the previous owner. However, when it is ready for the AACA show field we will do what others don't want to do. We will spend the money for correct bias-ply tires. Well, as close as we can get since the correct tires are still not being produced. We will have to go through the process to get other bias-ply tires approved if they are still not available when the car is ready.

If someone really believes that radials are safer, then they can have a set of radials to drive to and from the show and a set of correct show tires. I have seen people with the cars that have the white rubber tires drive onto and off of the show field with black tires, jack the car up and put the white show tires on. Hey, it's only money. And you can't take it with you. grin.gifwink.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: ted sweet</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

as the bias tire market gets smaller they may be no such thing or cost $10000 for a set. </div></div>

Trust me, when that happens it will become "West Virginia Yard Art" and be up on blocks with flowers growing in it. cool.gifgrin.gif

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Shop Rat</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

I for one hope it's BS. </div></div>

If someone really believes that radials are safer, then they can have a set of radials to drive to and from the show and a set of correct show tires. I have seen people with the cars that have the white rubber tires drive onto and off of the show field with black tires, jack the car up and put the white show tires on.

But how practical is this??? If one drives the car to the show, presumably space is taken up with luggage and passengers. Where is there room for 5 additional tires and wheels?

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Shop Rat</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

I for one hope it's BS. </div></div>

If someone really believes that radials are safer, then they can have a set of radials to drive to and from the show and a set of correct show tires. I have seen people with the cars that have the white rubber tires drive onto and off of the show field with black tires, jack the car up and put the white show tires on.

But how practical is this??? If one drives the car to the show, presumably space is taken up with luggage and passengers. Where is there room for 5 additional tires and wheels?

The example above appears to be of driving from the trailer to the show field, not a 700 mile + round trip on the interstate.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: quadfins</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

But how practical is this??? If one drives the car to the show, presumably space is taken up with luggage and passengers. Where is there room for 5 additional tires and wheels?

The example above appears to be of driving from the trailer to the show field, not a 700 mile + round trip on the interstate.</div></div>

In our case that will be what happens. We have an enclosed trailer with a camper in the front so we will have somewhere to stay. We live too far from any show field to make it practical to drive the car to an AACA show. Plus, when this car is done we don't want to risk road damage when we first start showing it. Driving it for fun will come after showing it.

I'm not saying having two sets of tires is practical for everyone, just that I have seen it done. And there just is no valid arguement for radials being safer on a show car. If there was the AACA would have changed the rules by now. I am sure that many of the officers and others in the organization don't like to have to pay for correct tires anymore than others do. But if we are going to keep the cars as they came out of the factory, with the well known exceptions that are in the rule book, we can't keep asking for changes just so we don't have to spend money.

post-36313-143137941232_thumb.jpg

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Shop Rat</div><div class="ubbcode-body">And there just is no valid arguement for radials being safer on a show car. If there was the AACA would have changed the rules by now. </div></div>

The benefits in handling and braking with radial tires are well-documented. If you are depending on the AACA judging manual to dictate what is safe, then you are very naive. If by "show car," you mean a car that isn't driven, then maybe you are correct. But then again, those people who do not drive their cars most likely are not modifying them for safety anyway.

When I owned cars of the 60s, I only would drive on radials. The difference they made to my '63 Buick and my Corvair were amazing. If radials are ever made to fit my Franklin, I will be the first to try a set. I just checked with Coker, and 650-19 in a white wall are up to $210 a piece! And on 1930s technology I only get about 10k miles out of them.

Tires are the most important piece of safety equipment on any car.

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I'll reluctantly dip a toe in this controversial pool. It seems this hinges at least in part on "how it left the factory" vs. "how it left the dealer." So pull out that chromed Chevy tissue dispenser, right? Strictly speaking, the former excludes any dealer-added accessories. For vehicles from the mid fifties on, radial tires were available to buy, but not used for a long time as factory fitment. Car dealers were normally glad to exchange tires (sometimes for a fee) to close a deal.

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Quote; "The benefits in handling and braking with radial tires are well-documented."

From my own experiences with various vehicles and trailers very well documented.

I put radials on a small import car that was designed for bias and found out that the inside of the tire was being rubbed by the shock. Luckily I found this out in time before a blowout at speed occurred. Seems that the chassis to body design tolerances was so close the radial sidewall which is less stiff then a bias allowed more side to side movement on the rim, thus the occasional rubbing. I made spacers to correct this problem.

I have old cars with both radial and bias tires and in my opnion if the chassis parts are in excellent condition the bias handle fine. To each there own.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Ron Green</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I have old cars with both radial and bias tires and in my opnion if the chassis parts are in excellent condition the bias handle fine. To each there own. </div></div>

Of course they handle fine, but with radials they would handle better.

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Of course they handle fine, but with radials they would handle better.

Not if they kill you. confused.gif

From my near catastrophe of installing radials on a car that made it unsafe, I learned that the radial characteristics vary from car to car, both good and bad.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bkazmer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

It seems this hinges at least in part on "how it left the factory" vs. "how it left the dealer."</div></div>

The rules are very clear. It must be as it left the factory for the very reasons that you stated.

Dealers were more than happy to install after-market add-ons to make the sale. Dealers today will do the very same thing. People want to roll all the charges into the loan so they have the dealer pay for it up front and the buyer makes monthly payments.

Just for information sake. Does anyone have any documentation of people coming or going to an AACA show where bais-ply tires on their show car caused them to be involved in a wreck?

Please keep in mind, we have five perfectly good radials for our car. But we still believe that the car should have bias-ply tires on it when it is shown. And it will. And trust me, we are not rich people. We just believe in what the AACA stands for and what it's mission is.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Ron Green</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Of course they handle fine, but with radials they would handle better. </div></div>

Not if they kill you. confused.gif

From my near catastrophe of installing radials on a car that made it unsafe, I learned that the radial characteristics vary from car to car, both good and bad.

It wasn't the fact that the tires were radials that caused your problem, it was the fast that the tires you bought were too wide. Of course if you put tires on a car that don't fit, you are going to have problems. In my youthful ignorance I once installed a pair of radials on the rear of my Corvair while leaving bias-plys on the front. That was an interesting ride.

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The tires were the exact same size. In fact the radials were probably a 1/2" smaller then what came on the car from the factory. The spare is original as the car only had a little over 5K miles since built.

After re-reading my post I am unsure as to how you assumed that I would be stupid enough to put the wrong size tires on this vehicle?

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Shop Rat</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: bkazmer</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

It seems this hinges at least in part on "how it left the factory" vs. "how it left the dealer."</div></div>

The rules are very clear. It must be as it left the factory for the very reasons that you stated.

Dealers were more than happy to install after-market add-ons to make the sale. Dealers today will do the very same thing. People want to roll all the charges into the loan so they have the dealer pay for it up front and the buyer makes monthly payments.

Just for information sake. Does anyone have any documentation of people coming or going to an AACA show where bais-ply tires on their show car caused them to be involved in a wreck?

Please keep in mind, we have five perfectly good radials for our car. But we still believe that the car should have bias-ply tires on it when it is shown. And it will. And trust me, we are not rich people. We just believe in what the AACA stands for and what it's mission is. </div></div>

Do you really believe in what AACA stands for, or do you believe in trophys? According to the club's web site "The aim of the AACA is the perpetuation of the pioneer days of automobiling by furthering the interest in and preserving of antique automobiles, and the promotion of sportsmanship and of good fellowship among all AACA members."

Where does it say in there that the club's aim is to ensure that the cars are exactly as they left the factory? It doesn't. That may be the requirement for winning an AACA award, but show awards are only a part of what this club is all about. I don't show my cars much, but I drive my cars... a lot.

Asking ridiculous questions like, "Does anyone have any documentation of people coming or going to an AACA show where bais-ply tires on their show car caused them to be involved in a wreck?" does nothing to support safety. Certain modifications in the name of safety are allowed by AACA judging, and for good reason. Of course we can go overboard with disc brakes and 5mph bumper too, but radial tires are a non-invasive modification, if you will. They are easily replaced, and they are a wear item.

If you want to drive on bias-ply tires, do so. But encouraging AACA to enforce rules that detract from safety is selfish. AACA's judged shows put each car against the point system, not against each other, so if someone want to run radials, it doesn't reduce anyone else's chance for a trophy.

As I restore my cars, if better, more modern materials are available that don't detract from the car's appearance or authenticity I will use them. Today we have better bearings, better brake linings, better lubricants, etc..

I don't know what the rules say, but you should be able to use halogen headlights in cars originally equipped with sealed beams. Or is somebody going to argue that incandescents are just as bright?

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Ron Green</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The tires were the exact same size. In fact the radials were probably a 1/2" smaller then what came on the car from the factory. The spare is original as the car only had a little over 5K miles since built.

After re-reading my post I am unsure as to how you assumed that I would be stupid enough to put the wrong size tires on this vehicle? </div></div>

Ron,

I never implied that you were stupid, or that you put the wrong size tires on your car. However, if the tire rubbed, whether due to being too big or due to sidewall flex, then it didn't fit. In most cases of cars prior to the mid 70s, radials are a modification. Radials and bias-ply tires are different, and they behave differently. I still think that your argument that radials aren't necessarily safe because of your experience is weak.

I've also seen where different manufacturer's versions of the same size tire were actually considerable different in actual size. I replaced the Dunlops on my BMW with BF Goodrich tires of the same size, and the BFs were at least an inch wider.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: sdbraverman</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Where does it say in there that the club's aim is to ensure that the cars are exactly as they left the factory? It doesn't. </div></div>

As it regards the regular class judging of AACA vehicles, it does. Of course the rules for the DPC class are different.

Section 1 of the Offical Judging Manual, item C, first paragraph.

"The objective of AACA judging is to evaluate an antique vehicle which has been restored to the same state as when the dealer received the vehicle from the factory."

Asking ridiculous questions like, "Does anyone have any documentation of people coming or going to an AACA show where bais-ply tires on their show car caused them to be involved in a wreck?" does nothing to support safety.</div></div>

It is not a ridiculous question. You are stating that radials are safer and therefore the rules should be changed. I am simply asking if anyone knows of a documented instance where bias-ply tires were found to have contributed to a wreck involving an AACA car going or coming from an event.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">But encouraging AACA to enforce rules that detract from safety is selfish.</div></div>

Where is supporting the rules of the AACA selfish on my part? As I said, we have to shell out for new tires when the time comes because the car came with radials. If I was selfish I would be fighting to have them allow radials.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">As I restore my cars, if better, more modern materials are available that don't detract from the car's appearance or authenticity I will use them.</div></div>

Then be prepared to take the hit on points on any materials that you use that are non-authentic and unapproved.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I don't know what the rules say, but you should be able to use halogen headlights in cars originally equipped with sealed beams.</div></div>

No matter if you have one Halogen or up to four, the mandatory point deduction is 10. Before they changed the rules people with four Halogens lost 20 points. We know a guy with a car just like ours that brought the car to Hershey with four Halogens in it. He still got Preservation because the car is perfect in every other way, he could afford to take the hit. He had taken the correct headlights out of it and put them in his new restoration that was going for it's First Junior.

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Let's face it, 9 times out of 10 it boils down to an issue of cost rather than safety as a set of radials for later model cars is roughly half the price. I've had bias on several late 60's/early 70's muscle cars and don't really feel that my life is being placed in grave danger everytime I take the car out. I'll admit that radials do provide a more comfy ride as I have had radials on cars when my budget did not permit the purchase of the "correct" tire but for goodness sakes, running a set of Good Year Ployglas tires is not like bolting up a set of wooden donuts like they had on the Flinstones cars. laugh.gif

Rod

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[qoute]I don't know what the rules say, but you should be able to use halogen headlights in cars originally equipped with sealed beams. Or is somebody going to argue that incandescents are just as bright? [/qoute]

I presume then that halogen bulbs would be premissable in a Model T too??

Where does it say in there that the club's aim is to ensure that the cars are exactly as they left the factory? It doesn't. That may be the requirement for winning an AACA award, but show awards are only a part of what this club is all about. I don't show my cars much, but I drive my cars... a lot. [/qutoe]

It's not stated as been pointed out in the general mission statement, <span style="font-family: 'Arial Black'"> but </span> it stated again as point outed out in the Offical Judging Manual. Obviously by your statement, you like I, like driving the old cars. Then it is up to you to decide which is more important, comfort or points. I have a gentleman in my local region that has attended 2 national meets and has taken home 2 2nd place awards with his vehicle. This vehicle is capable of winning a 1st junoir except he doen't want to give up the comfort of radial tires and Halogen headlights. which leads into my point, which is we have gotten where we want the best of all worlds availble to or vehicles. Our old cars were used safely with bias-ply tires and regular headlamps for <span style="font-family: 'Arial Black'">years </span> with ave highway speeds being 45-55 MPH. Now that we have become "soft" with halogen lamps (because we can see father and therefore safer at higher speeds) and with radial tire (which handle better) for today's ave highway sppeds of 60-75 MHP, we expect those same comforts of our modern cars to be the same handling charteristic of our old cars. I suppose in a couple of years everyone will be begging AACA to allow ON-Star as a saftey feature too because we've forgotten how to read a map and we might get lost.

As for turn signals being a saftey item, I was following my friends in thier Mora (right hand drive) and realized how much of a saftey feature they are. Steve needed to make a right hand turn and Pam stuck her arm out the left side of the car making the right turn hand signal. At first I couldn't figure out what was going on. crazy.gif It took a second for me to realize it was a turning hand signal and not Pam waving at someone. Then I thought Steve should be doing this as the driver, then it hit me, he is on the wrong side of the car for me to see the hand signal. Ask an average teenager what the hand signals are. They probaly couldn't tell you other than the one with the longest digit fully extened. blush.gif

As for the radial being safter, I'll as of you the question I've asked others. Will you please show me goverment/insurance/etc. statics proving they are safer?

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  • 1 month later...

confused.gif When radial ply tires were first available, they had narrower whitewalls and did not have the appearance of the older wide whitewall tires. In the past few years, this has changed and several companies are currently making radial tires in the same size and with the exact same appearance as the original bias tires.

At the time of the purchase of my car (1939 LaSalle), the car had bias tires and the steering was very difficult, especially at lower speeds. Last fall I tore a rotator cuff in my shoulder and found it almost impossible to drive the car, so purchased a new set of radial whitewalls from Diamondback. The size is exact and the whitewall width is identical. The word "radial" does not appear on the outside of the tire, but can be seen if one crawls under the car. The difference in ride, steering and handling is amazing. I had these tires installed without tubes and am using metal valve stem covers.

Sooner or later, I am in hopes that judging should accept such a tire if the appearance and size is the same. I am basing this on "safety" even though I am not certain of this. Regardless of government/insurance statistics, etc., I recall in my lifetime that when running bias tires, flat tires and blowouts were a lot more frequent than at present with today's radial tires. I have many friends in the hobby who feel the same way that I do and I also have friends who prefer the bias tires.

I vote for accepting radial tires without deducting points, provided they are the same size, same whitewall width and same appearance. Most smaller shows do not worry about this, but I assume that AACA and other larger events would charge for the radials. Any chance of an upcoming change?

Fred Zwicker

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: MR_TIP</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> confused.gif

I vote for accepting radial tires without deducting points, provided they are the same size, same whitewall width and same appearance. </div></div>

My 1932-33 cars take 7.50-17 tires. The new polyester tires offered are made from old truck tire molds, they are bigger than the original size and are too big for metal Federal tire covers. Some guys run 7.00-17 in the sidemount tire fenders to avoid an interference fit. Correct size radials would be great!

Maybe a compromise is in order.

If an "of the era" air compressor uses source air from a third world country or a domestic source such as a dairy barn, so that the compressed air might match the quality of the bygone era, then radials so pumped would pass. wink.gif

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