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Radial tires to replace 6.50-16 tube type


Joseph P. Indusi
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Guest De Soto Frank

An 85 series tire is going to be closer to the profile / aspect ratio of the original bias-plys.

70 or 75-series tires will probably look "short".

Take a look at Coker's "antique radial" tires - they are specially designed to be very close to the OEM bias-ply tires in sidewall height and tread-width... they aren't cheap, but many guys who tour really like them.

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Guest Jim_Edwards
I want to replace the 6.50 by 16 tires on my 48 Buick Special with radial tires. Does anyone know if a 205/75R16 or 205/70R16 will fit and allow the front wheels to turn completely. There seems to be plenty of room in the front wheelhouses.

Any experience with 215/75R16 to replace the 6.50 by 16?

Joe, BCA 33493

A 215/75R16 would probably be the best choice in terms of load rating. However you will probably be making the ride a quite a bit more harsh with any 16" radial because they are of much lower profile than their 15" counterpart as well as in comparison to a bias ply tire. Will you get into a problem with fender rub? Probably not with either 205 or 215 75s, though it is possible you might run into minor frame rubbing problems on full lock turns.

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I went through this 18 months ago with 700x16 tires on my '35 Auburn. I contacted Coker and bought the equivalent size in wide whitewall radials. Don't remember what size it was, and the car is not here at home for me to check. The profile on the tire is obviously different from the old bias ply, but the ride and steering are superb. I am happy with the radials.

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Guest Bob Call

Joe

The nominal size of the 6.50 X 16 is 6.5 inch width, 80% height aspect ratio or 5.2 inches and diameter of 26.4 inches. The radial metric equivalent is 165/80R16. The metric converts to 6.49 inch width, 5.19 inch height and diameter of 26.39 inches. It's kinda hard to find 80 aspect ratio radials. If you have to go to 75 aspect ratio you need to go to 175/75R16 to keep the diameter which is 26.33 inches on the 175 but the width increases to 6.88 inches. So a radial is not going to look like the 6.50 X 16 bias on the car. The other choice is the repoduction 6.50 X 16 from Coker or Universial which can be pricy.

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Thanks to all for the replies and advice. This is a nice car but I don't plan to judge it at a national. I also do not want to pay for wide whitewall radials. In addition, I think the black sidewalls will look more period correct. So I am planning to obtain some standard radial tires in either 205/75R16 or maybe 215/75R16. I assume that I will not need tubes. My rims are in good shape. I will post back after I get them on the car and thanks again.

Joe, BCA 33493

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  • 6 years later...

Hi Jo,

am looking at the same issue with my ‘38 Buick with identical 6.50 x 16 inch tyres. I can get a 225/60 R16 with an ok size whitewall but it measures only 676mm diameter. This is too small for a Buick with already a diff ratio that is too low.

 

can you let me know what you ended up with and how they performed. Like you I do not wish to spend a Kings Ransom on wide whitewall tyres, even though they look the part.

 

Rodney ????

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  • 1 year later...

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