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TIRE SIZES THAT WILL FIT 16" RIMS ON 1940 BUICK SPECIAL


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On 10/24/2017 at 10:13 PM, Bloo said:

I ran some radials on a Geo Metro, and my rim cracked.

I'm wondering about the rims too.  My car currently has circa 1949 wide rim Buick wheels on it.  I'm wondering if I should use 700R15 from Diamondback or not.  The original rims were about 1 inch narrower than the 1949 wheels.  That might mean I need 760R15.  Does anybody have a guess.  I will not talk to Diamondback seriously until December.

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On 10/24/2017 at 5:27 PM, Matt Harwood said:

 

Better yet, has anyone even seen a vintage wheel fail due to normal driving on a radial tire? I recently wrote an article on radial tires for old cars for the CCCA magazine and I spent about an hour scouring the internet looking for just one example of a vintage wheel that failed because it had a radial tire on it. Not one anecdote about a cousin or neighbor with a bad experience, not one message board post with a warning, not one cell phone photo of a blowed-up wheel and tire. You'd think that if radials were tearing the centers out of old wheels or making old rims collapse, people would at least take a picture of it and show it around on the web. We'd surely hear about the blood flowing in the streets as all these old cars self-destruct with radial tires on their original wheels. But nope, nothing, nada, zero, zip, and my Google-Fu is pretty darned good.

 

/cue someone on this site saying, "I seen it happen!" in 3...2...

//pictures or it didn't happen

///slashes come in threes

The late Howard Scotland, former two-time President of AACA, had a wheel fail on a 1941 Cadillac 62 while running radial tires on a tour.  My car came with 7.00x15 tires.  When I bought it, it had P235R75x15 tires on it.  It look squat to me, but of course the narrow whitewall accentuate that effect.  Those tires are coming off in December and I'll use them on my 64 Wildcat, which needs tires if the painter ever finishes it.  The tires I buy should be 29.5 inches tall.  I am going to use radials.  I have radials on my '71 Riviera, which came with H78x15 tires and sofar no problem.  What I worry about more than wheels is the tires.  The tires will naturally get old before their time, because we don't drive the cars enough to ever wear them out.  I used a set of 6.50x16 on my '39 Buick sedan for 30 years with no problem.  Radials are known to blow out violently just from age.  When they do, of if they do, they will take a fender with them.  I've had that experience on my trailer and my 99 Suburban.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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Yes, but was Howard's failure due to the radials or due to age or other issues on the wheel? One anecdote does not evidence make. I continue to believe there is zero additional risk to the car or the wheels by running radials and failures are, if anything, less common than with bias-ply. I had two flat bias-ply tires in the space of 48 hours, and they were brand new and installed by the guys who make and sell them. On the other hand, the radials on my Limited didn't even lose a pound of pressure while sitting over the winter with a 5200 pound car on top of them.

 

For your Roadmaster, Earl, I would recommend trying Diamondback and seeing if they have their 700R15 Auburn radial ready yet. I'm not sure and they've been promising it for years and years, but maybe it's finally here. I tried to buy a set last spring for my '41 Cadillac 60S but they didn't have them (in fact, they had nothing that was appropriate for this car, which was shocking to me). Instead I bought C*ker radials since they were the only alternative radial that looked right. Of note, I am glad that I bought the 760R15 rather than the 700R15, at least in C*ker sizes. The 700R15 on paper seemed too small for a big car and the 760R15 looked exactly right in real life:

 

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As far as tire life vs. cost, is that really something we need to worry about? Spend $1000 on a set of tires and they last, say, seven years. That's $140/year for tires. You'll spend more on gas or insurance. Yes, yes, everyone moans and groans about how expensive tires are, but if you're playing in this hobby and have multiple collector cars, the cost of tires should be very low on your list of complaints and being safe shouldn't be a financial hardship. Buying inferior tires because they may or may not last longer is silly (remember I lost two bias-plys in 48 hours--that was $650 + mounting & balancing + $1000 in towing I won't get back). Also remember that most bias-ply tires already have their clocks started--they don't put date codes on C*ker tires anymore because they sit in a warehouse for YEARS before being sold to a customer. You've already lost a few years of life when you buy a bias-ply tire from them and your "brand new" bias-ply tire is anything but. I bought the Diamondbacks for my Limited in August and they had an April date code on them. FRESH!

 

I also don't believe that radials explode any more violently than bias-ply tires. To date, I've had only one radial really let go violently (and it was a C*ker radial with less than 1000 miles on it sitting in a parking lot). I don't think it's a correct assumption to say that bias-plys don't explode and radials do. It depends on the circumstances as much as the tire. If you're truly worried about it, put tubes in the radials, but that kind of eliminates a lot of advantages and causes a different set of problems. Scratch that, don't use tubes in your radials.

 

Like unleaded gas, zinc in the oil, and all the other scares we suffer through with old cars, there's enough anecdotal evidence and rumors in the radial tire scare that it's been blown way out of proportion and everyone is paralyzed into inaction. Or they retreat to the stone ages (which weren't any safer, by the way--how many flat tires did they have when they were driving around on bias-plys in the 1940s?).

 

I, for one, refuse to live like that.

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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

As far as tire life vs. cost, is that really something we need to worry about? Spend $1000 on a set of tires and they last, say, seven years. That's $140/year for tires. You'll spend more on gas or insurance. Yes, yes, everyone moans and groans about how expensive tires are, but if you're playing in this hobby and have multiple collector cars, the cost of tires should be very low on your list of complaints and being safe shouldn't be a financial hardship. Buying inferior tires because they may or may not last longer is silly (remember I lost two bias-plys in 48 hours--that was $650 + mounting & balancing + $1000 in towing I won't get back). Also remember that most bias-ply tires already have their clocks started--they don't put date codes on C*ker tires anymore because they sit in a warehouse for YEARS before being sold to a customer. You've already lost a few years of life when you buy a bias-ply tire from them and your "brand new" bias-ply tire is anything but. I bought the Diamondbacks for my Limited in August and they had an April date code on them. FRESH!

 

I also don't believe that radials explode any more violently than bias-ply tires. To date, I've had only one radial really let go violently (and it was a C*ker radial with less than 1000 miles on it sitting in a parking lot). I don't think it's a correct assumption to say that bias-plys don't explode and radials do. It depends on the circumstances as much as the tire. If you're truly worried about it, put tubes in the radials, but that kind of eliminates a lot of advantages and causes a different set of problems. Scratch that, don't use tubes in your radials.

 

Like unleaded gas, zinc in the oil, and all the other scares we suffer through with old cars, there's enough anecdotal evidence and rumors in the radial tire scare that it's been blown way out of proportion and everyone is paralyzed into inaction. Or they retreat to the stone ages (which weren't any safer, by the way--how many flat tires did they have when they were driving around on bias-plys in the 1940s?).

You are a good source of information Matt, truly.  One thing  you may not know is that Diamondback still does not have that Auburn tire, but they do offer 700R15 in a Yokohama tire.  Now Yokohama has a great reputation in the modern car tire market.  Now, with radial tires the problem is ply separation.  They separate in such a way that the top of the tire comes off.  One of them beat a hole in the floor on my covered trailer (I was on that 18-mile bridge in Louisana with no shoulders and had to creep all the way across at 15 mph with the flap beating on the trailer floor).  A Firestone on the left rear of my 99 Suburban came off and the tire blew out at 70 mph pulling the trailer.  Now that was really exciting in a negative way.  I thanked my late father many times over for warning me and teaching me how to handle a blow out on that one.  But the still partly attached top of the tire bent the fender well of the Suburban all up.  Now that's the kind of explosion I was talking about.  Now, to what you just taught me:  I wondered if these old wheels were tight enough in the middle so as not to need a tube.  Thanks for answering that one, because I don't want to use a tube.  Your mention of the C------r tire experience makes me like the Yokohama option all the better.  And, I think you are right about how old the bias tire is when received.  I've had trouble with a radial crack in the white wall on the inside of the rub strip on my '39 Buick.  I think it is surface, but it doesn't look good and is also worrisome.  For those of you interested in judging, the AACA has just reduced the radial tire deduction from 5 points per tire to 2 points per tire.  Well, come-on, that's progressive thinking starting to prevail.  As we all know, the CCCA does not deduct for radial tires, I guess recognizing the "safety issue".  Personally, having driven since 1954, I think the radial are only safer from the standpoint of driving a straight line on a truck-rutted road.  Older bias tires do not come apart on a blowout like a radial tires, and as a result the car is easier to control.  One other point that I am in no position to prove is that I think the structure of the ancient Rayon and Nylon tires was different that the current "bias ply" tire.  I think the plys ran differently.  Those tires from long ago did not cause the wandering of the current version of a bias tire.  Somebody prove me wrong, but I seem to remember that the current non-radial tire is a version first introduced by Ford in the late  60s or early 70s and at that time the term "bias" was born.  One last thing Matt: So you think I should get 760R15 tires for my Buick rather than 700R15 and run them tubless, is that right?  I promise not to hold you to your opinion.......it is only your opinion, not taken as any sort of professional "advice".

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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C'mon Matt, stop making sense!

I don't understand why folks old enough to have driven during bias-ply's heyday  would want to go back if a bias-look radial is available. I bought a new Ford Fairmont in 1978 with B78-14's, was scared enough by their performance to put on a set of Michelins the week after I bought the car. And I'm cheap!

I'm also leery of the sourcing for the new bias-plys. I'm guessing Goodyear and Firestone aren't making them. Take an antiquated design, with questionable construction by unknown sources, and it's not something I want to intentionally add to my list of concerns when I'm out enjoying my classic car.

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Just to jump in, I've got "Dave's Buick" doing an actual on road test of the Lester bias ply tires for me. At least a 4.5" white wall.

He bought them first.

IF he does well with them, I will jump in and get a set for the "Baby".

So far the Martin B-16's are running well with the new tubes we installed.

 

Mike in Colorado

100_1235.jpg

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Earl, I wanted to use the Diamondbacks, and in one of the other tire threads someone posted their Roadmaster with a set of the Yokohama radials from Diamondback that you mentioned. They were the right choice. I wanted those on my Cadillac, but the Yokohama tires were in short supply when I called, so Diamondback couldn't get them. That's why I had to go with C*ker. The only reason I used the 760R15 C*kers is reading the spec sheet it appeared that the 700R15s were a little shorter and a little narrower than the original 7.00-15 bias-plys. The 760R15 radial was closer to the original size so that's what I chose and it was the right decision. With the Diamondbacks and the Yokohamas, use what they recommend. I think C*ker either got the sizes wrong or are playing games with the numbers for some reason (my guess is that they put two different sizes on the same tire, which is actually somewhere in between the two, so they can cover more of the market without building new tires). I can't find the photo of the Roadmaster with the Yokohama tires, but for the record, those are the tires I would have preferred for my '41 Cadillac.

 

Don't bother with tubes unless your wheels leak. They shouldn't, but if they do, it's better to seal them than run tubes. Tubes are problematic because they generate heat. They rub on the inside of the tire and given how thin tubes are, that's a frequent failure point. Most radials specifically recommend against using tubes and I have not had problems running radials (or any tire) without tubes on late '30s through modern wheels.

 

To date, we've installed radials without tubes on a 1935 Cadillac town car, 1937 Ford cabriolet, 1939 Cadillac 60S, a 1940 Cadillac 62 convertible, a 1941 Cadillac 60S, two 1941 Buick 90s, 1947 Cadillac 75 limousine, 1948 Ford convertible, 1949 Buick Roadmaster woody, 1949 Ford sedan, 1950 Chevy pickup, 1952 Mercury. I'm sure I missed a few others, but whenever I'm installing tires for a client or on a car I own, I use radials. I probably buy 10-12 sets of tires a year and of those, only a small fraction are bias-ply, usually only for '20s and '30s cars for which no radial equivalent exists. We have not had a failure with radials yet.

 

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Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Thanks Matt.  Since I have the six inch wide 1949 wheels (I can't remember what the Buick advertising called them) on the car, I think the 760R15 is more appropriate anyway.  That is if it is on a good brand tire like  Yokohama, Kumo or Good Year.  I had trouble, for example, with Mastercraft, for example, on my Park Avenue and Diamondback has used those in the past.  I'll ask Diamondback, but I think that tire is probably better suited to the wheel width.  I measured a 1939 Century wheel and it was about 5 inches while the '49 was 6 inches.  Now, that said, it was hard for me to tell exactly where to measure it.  It may be 5.5 and 6.5.  The real deal, to me, is the height.  I don't know how tall a 7.00x15 was/is, but Diamondback told me 29.5 inches.  The car came with P235R75x15 tires and it looks squat (as in awful).  I hope the new tires will make it stand taller as it should.  My former 1941 71-C had bias tires on it (not C-----r) and it stood taller.  You wouldn't think a few inches would matter to the eye, but it does.  Did you notice what I said about AACA judging with regard to radial tires......deduction reduced next year from 5 to 2 points per tire.  Word came out at Hershey.  It reminds me of 1968 when they were locked at 1935 and had been since 1960.  In 1968 they accepted the 1936 and one new year every other  year.  That lasted until 1974 when they went to 25  years and older.  From 1965-1974 my nose was bloodied as a leader in that fight.  Still, when the dam burst my 1939 was 35  years old by then. 

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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Another viewpoint is does the car look antique.  I can tell a radial from a  bias ply with a glance, same goes for clear coat paint.  I want my antique to look antique therefore I buy cars which look right to me.  I agree radials drive nicer but it is too high a price to pay in looks, for me, I ride on bias ply tires with little negative effect and do I say I even feel as if I am getting the full, old time, sensation from my car?  Gary

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3 hours ago, cxgvd said:

Another viewpoint is does the car look antique.  I can tell a radial from a  bias ply with a glance, same goes for clear coat paint.  I want my antique to look antique therefore I buy cars which look right to me.  I agree radials drive nicer but it is too high a price to pay in looks, for me, I ride on bias ply tires with little negative effect and do I say I even feel as if I am getting the full, old time, sensation from my car?  Gary

I'm not sure I don't agree with you...............to a point.  I don't like basecoat/clearcoat either, but who are you going to get to paint lacquer today?  And if you do, do you use nitro lacquer or acryllic lacquer?  I can tell the difference between the two of them too.  Tire suppliers are doing the best they can to match the look of "bias" tires with radials.  And too, is a "bias" tire the same as a Rayon tire, and is a Nylon tire the same construction as a "bias" tire.  I am not sure any "bias" tire is the same as the tires I drove on in the '50s.  1950's and 1960's tires did not follow the grooves in the road, but bias tires do.  I'm not going to do it, but I challenge somebody to tell me that a "bias ply tire" is the same construction in the way plys are done, as an original Firestone or Goodyear or even a Gillette that I drove on back in 1960.   I never had any trouble driving on those old tires.  They just wore out in 20-25,000 miles.  Don't forget, I got my first car in 1955, and back in the day I drove on many a recap too.

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Matt, Yesterday the Diamondback salesman told me the 700R15 is taller than a 760R15.  I got out the Uni*****l and C****r books I picked up at Hershey, and sure enough, he was right.  The 700R15 is 29.1 inches tall, but some of the books call for either it or the old 7.00x15 to be as much as 29.56 inches tall.  I looked at a 255R70x15 and it was the tallest of all 29.56 or something like that.  One needs to be careful not to get a tire too wide for the fender skirts on a Buick trying to get it tall enough to look right.  The salesman said the Auburn tire would be available the first or second weekend in December.  I did not like where it's being made, tho, Malaysia.  I have Yokohama tires on my 2013 Dodge Charger and I like they way they run.  I think I'm going to buy 700R15 Yokohama's if noting changes and they are at least 29.1 inches tall.  I can't find the pictures you mentioned above, but I asked Diamondback to mail me a catalog yesterday. 

 

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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I received my Hemmings Motor News yesterday.  Diamondback has a full page ad on the back page.  They are offering one of their tires for $189 with whatever size wide whitewall you want.  For another $19+ you can also get the rib.  I'm not certain, reading the ad, that you can also get the $50 Christmas bonus with the "on sale" tires.  Again they are some strange brand call Mexus or something like that.  I asked him if they were made in Mexico and he said, no they are made in Korea.  I didn't buy yet.  The P235R15 tire stands 28.9 or 29 inches tall....can't remember which he said, but that's close to the height of the 700R15 and $100 per tire less.  I want to call back and ask them if the 700R15 squats on the bottom like a P235R15 does.  That's what makes the car look like it's squating, in my opinion.  I would like the car to stand tall like it would on bias tires, but not drive like a bias tire.

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Here's a picture of the Yokohama radial in question mounted on a 15-inch wheel on a 1947 Super (from the thread above):

 

image.thumb.jpeg.b759547d5cb72d36cc960d4

 

I think the Auburn radial would probably be the right choice, but Diamondback has been saying, "Any day now!" for four years. First or second week of December probably means 2019 or 2020. But if they can get the Yokohama shown above and do their usual process on it, that would be an excellent choice. It's what I wanted on the Cadillac and I like the more aggressive tread around the perimeter. Don't just look at height--a 235 section tire is going to be VERY fat and soft looking. Shopping price and price alone will inevitably leave you dissatisfied (as it does in every facet of our lives--cheaper is never better and we always regret doing it wrong the first time). This car is sitting on 235R15 tires:

 

Cadillac1.jpg.d7d45c9b6736181fab47f029678f5df2.jpg

 

Even with a 4-inch whitewall, those are clearly the wrong tires for a 1940s car. At this point, you're over-thinking it and hesitating over a few hundred bucks. You will not notice .4 inches of difference in height, the car will not drive any differently, and you won't regret spending the extra money when your new car looks right and drives great. Don't analyze yourself into paralysis. Just note that if you do go Diamondback, whatever model you choose, be sure to get the beauty ring around the perimeter (visible in the first photo). It makes a world of difference in creating a convincing bias-ply illusion. Yes, yes, I know,  it's $25 extra. Just do it. You won't regret it.

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Just a thought,  when choosing the tire you want.  The speed adjustment will enter the picture with the change in DIAMETER.   The height is an issue.    0.5" in height makes a significant change in diameter i.e.  revolutions per mile.  It will make your speedometer change.  May not be a big issue but if you are a geek like me, I use my GPS to get accurate speeds..   With my modern car I travel several states.   I push the speed limits to just before the "ticket" gotcha.  Different states have different top speeds posted.  I have found that 10 over is a ticket, 9 over is to close so I use cruise control for 8 over.  Smile as I run thru the ticket traps no sweat.  My '38' with overdrive lets me travel +70 on the interstates (to keep from getting run over) and the engine loafs at 2600 rpm.  I like my speed to be reasonably accurate.  GPS for accurate miles traveled.   I'm in the process of changing my rear end on my 37 coupe.   4.44 to 3.4 will change my speedometer a bunch.  I have a fella close who does the speed change thru a little gearbox.  My 38 with OD necessitate the unit.  It gives me  -2mph @ 55 mph.  -1mph @ 60 .  Zero at 65mph verified by GPS.   The original Buick speedometers were reasonable but those days are gone.  If they need money (No. Carolina on one trip) you need protection.    Yah, yah -----      

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10 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Here's a picture of the Yokohama radial in question mounted on a 15-inch wheel on a 1947 Super (from the thread above):

 

image.thumb.jpeg.b759547d5cb72d36cc960d4

 

I think the Auburn radial would probably be the right choice, but Diamondback has been saying, "Any day now!" for four years. First or second week of December probably means 2019 or 2020. But if they can get the Yokohama shown above and do their usual process on it, that would be an excellent choice. It's what I wanted on the Cadillac and I like the more aggressive tread around the perimeter. Don't just look at height--a 235 section tire is going to be VERY fat and soft looking. Shopping price and price alone will inevitably leave you dissatisfied (as it does in every facet of our lives--cheaper is never better and we always regret doing it wrong the first time). This car is sitting on 235R15 tires:

 

Cadillac1.jpg.d7d45c9b6736181fab47f029678f5df2.jpg

 

Even with a 4-inch whitewall, those are clearly the wrong tires for a 1940s car. At this point, you're over-thinking it and hesitating over a few hundred bucks. You will not notice .4 inches of difference in height, the car will not drive any differently, and you won't regret spending the extra money when your new car looks right and drives great. Don't analyze yourself into paralysis. Just note that if you do go Diamondback, whatever model you choose, be sure to get the beauty ring around the perimeter (visible in the first photo). It makes a world of difference in creating a convincing bias-ply illusion. Yes, yes, I know,  it's $25 extra. Just do it. You won't regret it.

Wow Matt!  I really do like the look of that tire.  I haven't been shopping price, although their new ad offering any size tire for $189 plus $19 for the rub ring does sound enticing.  That's 100 a tire, and one has to wonder what they look like.  I order their book yesterday.  I also talked to the salesman again today about "squat" that radials have.  He told me the 700R15 Auburn, when available, would also have the "squat", but they are building the sidewall a little stronger to reduce the "squat".  It's starting to feel like "who knows" now.  On the Google thread on Diamondback it was a 50/50 break of comments about Coker and Diamondback, so that didn't help.  I do know that a Yokohama is a good tire.  Toyo is higher rated, and I've run Hancooks too.  Wouldn't it be nice if some true American brand was spoken of in the same breath with those brands?  Hmmm......

     I'm going to go with 3.5 inche whitewalls plus the rub strip for my 41 Roadmaster, or that's the plan.   But, here is the best news, Diamondback offers a 700R15 on Yokohama base tires, not P235R75/15.  Tell me if you disagree.

 

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On 10/26/2017 at 6:34 AM, Dynaflash8 said:

What is the white wall width of those tires.  As I recall Goodyear Eagles have at the most, a 2-inch whitewall.  That looks horrible on one of these old Buicks.  Now if you like blackwall tires, and I don't, then you are probably alright.

 

 

Why would you want white walls on a special? It's kind of like gilding a lily.

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6 minutes ago, Morgan Wright said:

 

Why would you want white walls on a special? It's kind of like gilding a lily.

First, I don't want any of them without the proper size white walls.  Second, Diamondback makes the white wall whatever size you want on any one of their tires.  Nuf said.  Third, I like the idea of having tires that run straight down the road and don't let the grooves run you off both right and left.  If Florida with the sand based roads, the tractor trailer trucks groove the highways, and they are wider than an old '39 Buick, which lets you keep falling off the mound into right one groove and then the other.  I'm long since done building show cars now....I'm 79.  I want cars that look close to show, but drive good for tours.  Tours are the most fun in the hobby now that no old pre-war cars are left in junkyards....."junkyarding" was great Saturday fun back in the day.

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14 minutes ago, Morgan Wright said:

 

Must be a joke. Talking about vintage cars not 80's cars.

 

I was sort of joking but not really. The point is a cracked rim could happen to anything, and it did. I see this "warning" all over the Internet about radial tires on bias rims. During the changeover period from bias tires to radial tires I was working in gas stations. There was no such thing as a "radial rim". Detroit used the same rims on the cars they supplied radial tires on as they had with bias a year or two earlier.

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At the risk of racial profiling the walls of tires, once you go black you never go back. I never had a car in my life with white walls, and I've had about 50 cars since my first one in 1973. I think they are ghastly.

 

Well, my '18 Buick E49 has them, that doesn't count.

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15 minutes ago, Bloo said:

 

I was sort of joking but not really. The point is a cracked rim could happen to anything, and it did. I see this "warning" all over the Internet about radial tires on bias rims. During the changeover period from bias tires to radial tires I was working in gas stations. There was no such thing as a "radial rim". Detroit used the same rims on the cars they supplied radial tires on as they had with bias a year or two earlier.

 

 Hear, hear. I agree. We never gave it a thought.

 

  Ben

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I bought the COKER white wall radials that look like bias (KIND OF) and they have worked out well so far. We have about 4000 miles on them and one quarter of that is high speed on the freeway (65mph to 70mph) because we have an overdrive. The tires are holding up great and I run 41 lbs of air pressure in each tire. In Las Vegas the roads are blistering hot in the summer and hi thirties into hi forties on winter mornings. The Cokers have handled these temps fine so far. I never give the story about rims needing to be RADIAL RIMS a second thought. As a kid we mounted radials when they came out on all our old cars with never a problem.

 

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4 hours ago, suchan said:

As long as we've slid over to a  discussion of whitewalls, is there a list somewhere of the proper whitewall width for a particular model year?

I wish I knew.  I've got pictures of my Dad's 1939 Buick Special in about 1942 an the whitewalls were double (inside and out) but not near as wide as I would have thought.  I'd say no more than three inches wide.  Someday I'll print out a picture.

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  • 3 weeks later...

After much study, and talking with a longtime friend who drive his 51 DeSoto from California all over the United States from Florida to Maine to Texas to Georgia and all points north, south, east and west for many years, I figured out what to put on my '41 Buick Roadmaster.  He has used both Dback and C***r radials and confided his findings to me of both the plusses and minuses.  It turns out that the previous owner of my car changed the wheels from 5.5 inch to the broadwheels introduced in or by 1946 which are 6.5 inch wheels.  The car came with 7.00x15 tires, as did the 1946, but in or by 1948 Buick changed to 8.20x15 tires.  Researing the tire catalogs of the three major old car tire companies, I found that the 820R15 radial was almost the same width as the 7.00x15 bias and the 760R15 radial tires.  It was nearly an inch taller than the 760R15, but only slightly taller than the old 7.00x15 bias tire.  Currently the previous owner has P235R75/15 tires on the car, which are around or almost 2 inches wider than the 820R15 tire, one inch on either side.  Yesterday I mounted skirts on the car with the P235 tires on it and could just get my index finder between the tire and the skirt, about 5/8 inch.  Add an inch to that and you get 1 5/8 inches and I think that will be enough clearance.  So, I opted for the C***r  820R15 tires with 3 1/4 inch whitewalls.  To my surprise and glee, they were $20 less than the 760R15 even; although that is not why I picked them.  Of other interest is that the 1948 Roadmaster was 150 pounds heavier than the 1941 Roadmaster.  The 1946 Roadmaster was somewhere in between the two.  I'm building a tour car, not a show car, but I do want it to look like a show car to "Joe Public".  Anybody want to argue with me?  Go ahead, because I haven't bought the tires yet.

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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Earl, I recently installed five (5) Coker 8.20R15 with 3-1/4 inch Whitewalls on our DPC 1954 Cadillac convertible. They actually do have the appearance of the Bias-Ply tire but with radial handling characteristics. They are also approximately 1.11 inch taller than the 235/75R15 and have just about corrected any speedometer error. I've attached photos for you to see what they look like when mounted, and am considering ordering another set of five(5) for our 1941 Cadillac convertible if I quit showing it since, as you know, we also tour extensively with the '41 :

 

 

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Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)
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Marty, I really like the size of that whitewall.  Perfect.  As to your '41, don't forget, AACA has cut the point deduction for radial tires to 2 points each from five.  Obviously, as a Board member you are totally aware of that.  I tried to be analytic as I tried to figure out the size tire for this car, which I explained above.  I can't wait to get the P235's off the car.  Judy's Riviera wants them.....they are new or near new Toyo narrow white wall tires.  I think I'll move the Hankooks on there now over to the '64 Wildcat unless it turns out the Toyo's are older.  Another thing, if you're going to buy tires for the '41, now is the time.  Coker told me free shipping until 17 Dec; although the Speedster says Dec 31.  I am buying the five  year warranty

Edited by Dynaflash8 (see edit history)
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