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marlin65

tire question

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OK I need some opinions. I have an original unrestored 1960 Corvair. Right now it has very old A-78X13 wide whitewall tires on it. I simply do not trust them for any driving even around town. I know the big tire vendors have the correct radial size,185X80RX13 but they only have white walls. I do not want white walls only black walls.

What are guys doing that have early 60's compacts that took 13's?Surely there are lots of these cars on the road. Other Corvair people are switching to larger wheels or aftermarket ones.I don't want to do this. I've been told mount the whitewall inside and paint it black,sounds crazy to me,but might be my only option.

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Try these links:

Details: Greenball Transmaster ST185/80 R13 6PR - tires-easy.com (some sites call these trailer tires, some don't)

Details: Akuret ST Radial ST185/80 R13 6PR - tires-easy.com

That size is getting pretty tough to find, even in whitewall. I know my brother's Pep Boy's store can't even order 13 inch tires in a 78 or 80 series size any more.

I did find this thread on the CorvairCenter.com forum that has a number of leads for 13" tires on it: New 185/80R13 tires

Good luck!

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There seems to be lots of online sellers of ST185/80R13 6PR tires. These are for trailers, ST, and have a light truck/trailer load rating of C or 6 ply rating (C=3 x2). I can't find anything that converts this load rating to maximum pounds of load at maximum inflation pressure (50 psi for 185/80R13). Only statement that C is lighter than standard load, whatever standard is. So depends on what is is.

Before buying an ST tire for your Corvair or other compact car I would want to see the actual tire and read the maximum load rating on the sidwall. I suspect it is less than that for a P185/80R13 (passenger) and may be marginal for safety.

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Easy fix, buy the whitewall, spray paint the whitewall black and flip it around.

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To all of my responders,yes you can see the whitewall on the inside of the tire,looks weird. No ,trailer tires will not work.Yes Coker is pricey and they all are WW,and yes I suppose I can paint the inside of the tire. Thanks to all.

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Sounds like there might be a market for a black port-a-wall..................Bob

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Actually thought the original equivalent would be a 165x80x13 (165R13), same as the base Citation/Phoenix/Fiero tire.

Do not think I ever had a Corvair with stock wheels (well, maybe the Corvan)

post-31022-143138742523_thumb.jpg

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There IS a black tire paint which many tire stores use to coat tires they have on display, for a more consistent look.

Only thing about flipping tires so that the normal inside sidewall is now exposed to the light of day . . . is that it generally is not as clean looking as the side designed to be "out". More things like serial numbers and other castings which are not on the normal outside sidewall.

I concur on the trailer tire issue! Trailer tires are internally-designed to not be on wheels which steer. The rubber compound is probably different too. Their main goal is to reliably support a trailer and roll smooothly down the road.

I suspect that any tires you might find in a 13" size will generallly be in the lower-levels of the manufacturer's listings. But they'll probably be much better than what was on the car when it was new, in many respects. It would be nice to find a normal-production tire for a normal drive-around car than to have to resort to repro tires at higher prices.

Actually, 6.50-13 tire size equates to 165-13 base metric size.

Digging around in TireRack.com, I finally found tires for a '83 Chevette 155/80R-13 Kumho Solus KR21 BLACKWALL Rated load is 959lbs/tire with a max inflation of 44psi section width spec of 6.2" on a 4.5" rim

They also spec a 175/70R-13 blackwall Rated load is 1036lbs/tire w/max inflation of 44psi section width spec of 7.0" on a 5.0" rim. Same revs/mile as the 155/80R-13

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NTX5467: I have found 175X70RX13 and they do not "fill" the tire well,they are not high enough. I had a buddy put a set on his 62 Corvair wagon and the first thing he and other people said was they look wrong. Ed

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To all of my responders,yes you can see the whitewall on the inside of the tire,looks weird. No ,trailer tires will not work.Yes Coker is pricey and they all are WW,and yes I suppose I can paint the inside of the tire. Thanks to all.

There has got to be some manufacturer out there that has the particular tire you need without buying a WWW tire. Don't forget your paying for that WWW!!

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With all due respect, when I looked at the Kumho KR21s and their 915 revs/mile spec, then plugged it into the calculator, that yields a tire/wheel diameter for the P155/80R-13 and P175/70R-13 of 22.07". Plugging in the 892 revs/mile figure from the General Altmiax RT, that yields a diameter of 22.6". So, "Brand" does matter in some cases.

In researching the pictures of first-gen Corvairs at -GM PhotoStore, the wheel/tires on those cars (and other GM compacts which also used the 6.50x13 tire size), the tires do look pretty tall. But it also appears that on the front, there is some space between the top of the tire and the bottom of the wheel opening at it's very top. There is another general architectural relationship on almost every car in that era, and prior. There is generally "a line" from the bottom of the door that, when extended, will usually intersect the wheel cover's center emblem at or just above its center . . . front and rear.

One other item about radial tires replacing bias ply or bias-belted tires, with respect to the stated diameter of the tire mounted on its wheel. At normal inflation pressure, the diameter of the bias ply tire will not change very much as the weight of the car is put upon it. In contrast, the same diameter of radial tire will compress the flex the sidewall outward, by design. This results in the general ride height of the car with the radial tire being about .5" lower than with the same diameter bias ply tire. But how the wheel openning is "filled" remains the same. In order to maintain the same ride height, it's sometimes necessary to go up one size with the radial, from my own experiences.

Almost every GM compact used the 6.50x13 tire size in the early 1960s. Seeing a '61 Buick Special with tires on it, the tires look tiny, even too small in diameter. But 6.50" = 165mm and 7.00" = 177.8mm. Taking the 22.6" diameter and working backward, that yields a tire sidewall height dimension of 4.8" with the Generals and 4.53" for the Kumhos. How do these dimensions compare to your existing A78x13s? Do the A78x13s have the "wheel openning filling" aspect you are seeking to maintain? How wide and tall are the A78s? Just curious.

The reason I ask about the A78s is that by my recollections in how tire sizes relate between the "letter" and "metric" designations, A78x13 should equate to a 145 or 155 section width tire. In this case, the difference between the aspect ratios of 78 and 80 should not be enough to worry about. Therefore, with all due respect, it appears the possible options are closer to the original tires than might be suspected . . . until I see data to state otherwise. I know that we've gotten used to seeing full wheel opennings on more modern vehicles, but what we've gotten used to looking at is not necessarily how things were in the earlier 1960s.

If you go into Cooper Tire & Rubber Company - Home and click to look at their Trendsetter SE radials, you'll also find the two referenced tire sizes in their spec list. The section widths will be about .1" narrower than the Kumhos or Generals, but then look at the tread widths . . . 3.9" and 4.9". Now THAT (the 3.9" width) is correct for what the 6.50x13 most probably had on it, back then. In real life, that tread width would look completely tiny in comparison to your A78x13s. But when I discovered these Coopers, it was on a '66 Chrysler Newport at Mopar Nationals one year. That particular car had P225/75R-14 Trendsetter SEs on it. Narrow tread width and all, BUT that narrow tread width is very close to what the Goodyear Super Power Cushion 8.55x14 tire in the trunk of our '66 Chrysler, the original spare tire is. Diameter was right, section width was right, the tread width was correct for the car, and it all looked extremely accurate for when the car was new. Certainly not what we came to consider "right" in later years with wider tires just a few model years later, but correct for the car.

Respectfully,

NTX5467

Edited by NTX5467 (see edit history)

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Here in Florida, Kaufman Tires sells a 186x70x13 blackwall radial under the name MasterCraft. It's not an expensive tire, but may meet your requirements.

Available only in the blackwall. I've seen them on cars and they look and perform fine. Not as pictured below (Happens to radial tires over 6 years old)

Hope this helps,

post-32318-14313874416_thumb.jpg

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not what you want to hear, but I like the look of the correct original size wide white on the 1960 Corvair, just like the (possibly) original tires you have on there now...

your choice, of course, but that is how it was delivered

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Marty,yes I to like the WW that are on there now BUT I have the original window sticker for this car and it came with blackwalls when new. The Corvair is the "500" model,plain as a brown paper bag with only two extra cost options,door edge guards and wheel trim rings.It is documented as the oldest surviving Canadian built Corvair in existence.

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