53 Roady

Tires for the 53 Roady

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I bubble balance and triangulate the weight placement on my old cars. I can't remember a bad one. Watch out for that technology that might outsmart the user.

 

If you are working on an old car sometimes old technologies may be appropriate. Kind of reminds me of how I watched TV with and antenna for 50 years and never had the screen freeze or skip and jerk until I got the high definition cable.

Bernie

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The Roady came with 4 225-75-15 tires from 1989, one of which has given up.  The spare is an old Goodyear bias 8.00 15.  I understand that the beautiful black convert above has 235-75-15s.  The Buick Facts For Salesmen book says 8.00-15.

Some references equate 225 -15s with 800-15s while others equate the 235s.  This is probably because it matters whether you look at fatness or diameter.  800-15s are about 29.5 inches in diameter while the 235 radials are 29 but the 225s are 1.4 inches less at  only 28.1.

Edited by 53 Roady (see edit history)

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What is the range of whitewall widths appropriate for the 53 Roady? Tim's 3and 1/2s above look right but vulnerable on a driver.  Will 3s look right as well?

Thanks

Pat

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My opinion:  3 1/2 if bias ply; 3 if radial equivalent.  Keeps the proportions and 'look' similar.

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If you're aiming for originality, the OEM tire size and whitewall width is a 8.00 x 15" bias ply tire with a whitewall 2.5" to 2.75" wide. You need to look at original Buick Factory and Showroom photos (I have quite a few) or OEM tire manufacturer's catalogs...not pictures of 'restored' Buicks with Coker or Diamond Back tires...to confirm what I'm saying. The 3.0"-plus whitewall widths were pre-1953 and as the cars got newer, the whitewall widths began getting narrower, down to 2.5" max in 1959, then the 1"-wide, followed by today's black-wall look.

 

Buick literature indicates that Firestone, Goodrich, and U.S. Royal were the major tire suppliers for Buick Motor Division during the 1953 era. Whitewall widths varied with the manufacturers. That is why the latest and greatest 2005 BCA JUDGING HANDBOOK states that a non-authentic tire size includes an obviously incorrect (more than 1/2-inch variation from factory) whitewall width.  

 

If you're not concerned with the OEM look, your opinion is the answer. 

 

 

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

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Here is a handy conversion chart to compare and use for interchanging and sizing match-ups :

 

http://www.vintagecarconnection.com/vintage_tire_size_conversion_chart.htm

 

… oh and taking a look at both Coker and DB websites.  It appears that DB tires are indeed current blood full modern radials profile, tread.  The works.  This is perhaps why they may drive and last like new radials, because they appear to be just that.  White walled tires on modern profiled radials. Can also put a beauty ring above the radial to make them look somewhat like a classic www tire and not so much of what they are.  Modern profiled radials with white walls.

 

Coker on the other hand, appears to have attempted to create the radial specification along with the topography and profile look of a bias tire of old.  Perhaps this combo may diminish the overall useful mileage of these tires as Mike indicated above.  But they do look great and if you are not putting high mileage on your cars then what the heck these would appear to fit into the look just right category.

 

Still Coker also offers a nice range of bias ply with traditional webbing, profile and treads along with improved traction treading.  Cannot tell from the site as far as I can tell, as to just who is making the tires for them if not actually stated.

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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Al, I know what you think of the Portawalls but I'm leaning toward a set of the DBIIs.  I have a nice set of the wire wheel hubcaps.  Given this would you choose a 2 5/8th whitewall?

Thanks, Pat

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Al, I know what you think of the Portawalls but I'm leaning toward a set of the DBIIs.  I have a nice set of the wire wheel hubcaps.  Given this would you choose a 2 5/8th whitewall?

Thanks, Pat

A 2 5/8th whitewall would have nice proportions for your car.  But note that  Coker tires and DB tires I have bought are up to 1/4 smaller white when mounted.

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Wow. That's counter intuitive.  So the 3" tires you like mounted are about 2 and 3/4? Thanks for the help.

Pat

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Al, I know what you think of the Portawalls but I'm leaning toward a set of the DBIIs.  I have a nice set of the wire wheel hubcaps.  Given this would you choose a 2 5/8th whitewall?

Thanks, Pat

On either a bias ply or radial tire, my 2¢ worth is that it's going to look better the closer you can keep the mounted tire whitewall width to 2 3/4". You'll be happy with the radial tire ride, too. Good luck. 

 

Al Malachowski

BCA #8965

"500 Miles West of Flint"

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I have both Diamondback and Lucas wide whitewall radials on all of my Buicks for at least the last 10 t0 20 years. I have had absolutely no problems with them and they are on the stock steel wheels and one set of chrome spoke wheels.  I have had the suspension beefed up on all cars so they don't wallow around curves. 

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I am a notorious second guesser with a large dose of Scot, but with your help I finally decided.  I ordered a set of 2 and 3/4  whitewall DB II tires due in 2 weeks.  I'll get them on the car and post pics and you can decide how we did.

Thanks again

Pat

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I want to thank you all and especially Tim, Tank, and Al. The Toyos were ordered with 2 and 3/4 whitewalls.  2 and 1/2 inches are revealed when mounted.  I think they look just right and they balanced well and drive well.
Pat

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If you don't mind, what are the two last numbers? The 11/100? I'm needing tires for my 53 and have been trying to study up a little.

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I really don't know what they are but I included them because they are on my Diamondback invoice.  The tires are DBII on a Toyo base.  The standard ww was 3.  They did not charge extra to adjust to 2.75,  a choice I made based on the guidance of Al and Tank.

Pat

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Roady: One last question, if you please: is it a struggle getting that size tire up in the rear fender?

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No problem with the car fully jacked up.  It might be a problem with a bumper jack but I,m not going to trust my bumper or my life to one of them.  I know that 2.25 or even 2,15 might be closer to the width of the original 8.oo-15s but the 2.35s are taller and as close as we can get to the correct overall diameter.  I had the spokes off my Olds on it with 2,25-70 series and it drove OK but looked modernized.

Pat

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