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Portawalls question


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Whilst we're talking about whitewalls can I ask if anyone has any experience with portawalls?

 

s-l300.jpg

 

The reason I ask is because I can get some really inexpensive 6.50 x 16 blackwall tires for my '47 Chevy.    Not bad tires for about $81 a piece.   But they only come in blackwall.

 

But I can get a set of (4) 16" x 3" portawalls also for about $80.   So for a grand total of about $400 I can put a new set of wide whitewalls on my Chevy. 

 

Compare this with actual wide whitwall tires that seem to go for much more.  About $200 a tire for the cheapest ones I could find which would be $800 for a set of four.  Exactly twice as much. 

 

So the portawalls are looking financially attractive to me. ?

 

Anyone have any experience with portawalls?

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8 minutes ago, AntiqueCraftsman said:

 

 

So the portawalls are looking financially attractive to    me. ?

 

Anyone have any experience with portawalls?

    Back in the 50[s & 60's they were a way to get mis-matched tires to all look the same but they

    don't take  curbs well an suck the black out of your tires and turn brown.

    Never use them on radial tires, the will cut a grove in your tire.  

    The voice of experience here.

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12 minutes ago, AntiqueCraftsman said:

Whilst we're talking about whitewalls can I ask if anyone has any experience with portawalls?

 

s-l300.jpg

 

The reason I ask is because I can get some really inexpensive 6.50 x 16 blackwall tires for my '47 Chevy.    Not bad tires for about $81 a piece.   But they only come in blackwall.

 

But I can get a set of (4) 16" x 3" portawalls also for about $80.   So for a grand total of about $400 I can put a new set of wide whitewalls on my Chevy. 

 

Compare this with actual wide whitwall tires that seem to go for much more.  About $200 a tire for the cheapest ones I could find which would be $800 for a set of four.  Exactly twice as much. 

 

So the portawalls are looking financially attractive to me. ?

 

Anyone have any experience with portawalls?

 

If you don't mind the flapping and wrinkling, I suppose. They're cheap for a reason and it isn't because they're convincing enough to pass for real whitewalls.

 

There's about two hours in making that left front tire look right for photos and it will be screwed up again the moment someone drives the car:

 

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6 minutes ago, Paul Dobbin said:

    Back in the 50[s & 60's they were a way to get mis-matched tires to all look the same but they

    don't take  curbs well an suck the black out of your tires and turn brown.

    Never use them on radial tires, the will cut a grove in your tire.  

    The voice of experience here.

 

These are the tires I'm looking at: I don't think they are radials.  I think they are "bias ply".   They are also tube-type tires, and based on the photos they appear to come with the tubes, but I'm not sure about that.  It doesn't really say in the ad.
 

https://simpletire.com/deestone-6.5-r16-ds6322-tires

 

One thing to consider is my driving habits.   This car will only be driven at quite moderate speeds on back roads.  I don't plan on taking this car out on any major high-speed highways.  Nor will it be driving for any long periods of time on any long trips.   So I really don't need high-performance tires.

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8 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

If you don't mind the flapping and wrinkling, I suppose. They're cheap for a reason and it isn't because they're convincing enough to pass for real whitewalls. 

 

I'm not worried about perfection.  If I can save $400 on tires it's worth it.   In fact, I think I'd just go with the blackwalls before I'd pay the extra $400 just to have whitewall tires.

 

10 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

There's about two hours in making that left front tire look right for photos and it will be screwed up again the moment someone drives the car:

 

How do they mount?  Do you need to put these on when you mount the tire?  Do they actually stick begin the rim and the actual tire?  Or are they somehow held on with adhesive?


I don't even know how they work.    It seems to me that if they are installed when mounting the tire they'd be pretty permanent in the position when they were installed.   I really don't know how they are mounted on the tire.

 

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They mount between the rim and the tire. We used a kind of rubber cement to stick it to the tire sidewall, but as soon as the car rolled and the tire flexed, it broke loose and started to wrinkle and move around again. They can't conform to the sidewall when it's flexing during rotation. In fact, they're rarely even the same shape as the tire sidewall and don't sit flush even at a standstill. Seriously, they look terrible.

 

Go with blackwalls or save up a little longer for real whitewalls. Port-A-Walls will do nothing but advertise loud and clear that you can't afford the real deal (although I should point out that those on the blue car up above were intentionally installed for a '50s look, which, obviously, didn't quite work out).

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I found a good YouTube video on how to mount portawalls properly.  It looks pretty good.  He gives some good tips.

 

It seems to me that if you take care and mount them correctly the first time they shouldn't be moving around after that.

 

He's actually mounting his on a radial tubeless tire.  I'll by mounting mine on a bias tube tire.  

 

It looks like it's worth shot.   Worse case scenario is I'll end up taking them back off and just going back to blackwalls.

 

 

Edited by AntiqueCraftsman (see edit history)
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They don't move around radially, they flap around the outer edges where there's nothing holding them in place. We only glued them to make them look acceptable in photos. Otherwise they were all puckered up at the bottom because the tire is a completely different shape (and yes, they do turn brown rather quickly). At speed, you can almost hear them flapping and it's often quite visible to other drivers.

 

Cheap stuff always looks cheap. Something something lipstick on a pig. Good money after bad. You get what you pay for. Etc., etc., etc. I guess if you can afford to waste $80, go ahead. But you could also put that $80 towards real whitewall tires and get a much better result. Your car, your call. But I know what I think when I see port-a-walls, and it isn't, "Wow! That looks great!"

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

At speed, you can almost hear them flapping and it's often quite visible to other drivers.

 

What kind of speeds are  you taking about?    This same guy above made another video where he talks about the pros and cons of portawalls.  And in this video he says they are definitely not any good for highway speeds at much above 60 MPH for extended periods.    So if you're putting them on a car that is driven over 60 MPH then it's no wonder they are flapping around.

 

Like I say, my driving is all country back roads.  I seldom drive over 50.  If I hit 60 I'm clipping along pretty fast looking for a ticket.   The vast majority of my driving in this car will most likely be between 45 and 50 or slower.

 

So according to the guy in this video they should work fairly well for my application.  He claims that you can't tell them apart from the real thing when they are installed correctly and assuming you don't drive at highway speeds.   So I'm well within the parameters that he has set out.

 

But yes, you are right.  They aren't for everyone.   I agree with that.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

It takes awhile because the brush is small. Image result for white out

 

I have seen painted on whitewalls.   They certainly aren't going to move around. ?

 

But the paint tends to crack over time as the tire flexes and so requires periodic repainting.

 

I think I'll give these portawalls a shot.  It's an $80 gamble that according to the man in the videos might actually work quite well for my driving habits and application.

 

I wouldn't advise putting them on a Lamborghini. (hee hee)   They'd probably fly off.

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5 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

What's that old line about not asking questions to which you don't want answers?

 

That's old line is kind of outdated with the advent of YouTube.

 

You failed to take into account the different driving habits and other factors.   All you did was cite an example where someone put them on a car and drove it too fast.

 

What good is that information doing me when it doesn't apply to me?

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No, I told you about a car that has them on it which looks like crap just sitting still and required hours of effort to not look like crap for just a few minutes. I didn't say how fast you have to go for them to move, but merely pushing the car around our photo studio by hand was enough for them to wiggle loose and pucker up (you will note they are ALWAYS puckered on the bottom).

 

I told you that after doing this hobby for 40 years, I have yet to see a car wearing port-a-walls that did not look like crap. 

 

What you wanted was for me to tell you what you want to hear, which is that they look great and it's an awesome way to get the look you want without spending the money. They don't and it isn't. I'm sorry. 

 

Someone else pointed out that you're intending to install 6-ply trailer tires on your car and that they're going to ride like bricks no matter how modestly you drive. I presume you'll be ignoring that bit of advice in favor of low cost as well.


Like I said, you seem to have already made your decision and now you're defending it so it doesn't feel like a mistake. It's your money, your car, your call. If you want it, it's not a mistake. But you came looking for a blessing and I'm not giving it--you can't get angry at me for that. After all, I only possess and have driven a car with port-a-walls on it and I'm offering you my real-world experience. You don't have to listen; that's perfectly OK with me.

 

Enjoy your car.

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8 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Like I said, you seem to have already made your decision and now you're defending it so it doesn't feel like a mistake.

 

With all due respect I actually posted a video where a person who is in the business claims that you can't tell them apart from the real thing when "done right."      He even included dos and dont's. And from what I can see your experience is associated with having done all the "dont's." 

 

So I thank you for sharing your experience. Now I know what not to do. So the information you have shared was indeed helpful. Thank you. ?

 

Don't put them on a car that will be driven at high speeds, and don't try to glue them down with rubber cement. Understood.

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The man on YouTube told me what can go wrong.

 

Matt Harwood verified those predictions.

 

So I basically learned the same information from both places. I don't see where they are in conflict.

 

I'm grateful to have the information verified by both sources.

 

I appreciate the information. I posted the videos so others can avoid those same mistakes.

 

 

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I installed many a porta- wall growing up in Dad's tire shop. Properly installed they don't look too terrible. Many do not understand that you have to use a rubber hammer to finalize the position of the porta-wall. They cannot be installed successfully without using this hammer technique.

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I remember a few early fifties Chrysler Corp cars had a sort of molded, white-painted accessory trim on the wheels which was neither fish nor fowl; not a trim ring or a whitewall. And certainly not sourced from J.C. Whitney, so it would be unappealing to the true portawall acolyte. I'm sure a google searcher could turn up a picture

Edited by Pluto (see edit history)
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Back in the late 50's and early 60's, dad would save a few dollars by buying new cars with blackwall tires.  My job was to install the portawalls.  Definitely use the rubber hammer technique or they will not lay flat.  Never use tire lubricant when installing them or they won't stay where you put them.  Count on doing a couple of them multiple times before they look right when you air up the tire.   They look better on bias ply tires with less bulge at the bottom.  Some tire sidewalls are more "friendly" to them than others.  I remember also putting the narrow wall versions over older factory wide whites to look more modern in about 1961.  There were even red line versions for the "performance look" on your 1955 Ford four door that you drove to high school.  

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The information I shared in Post # 14 was about using the Potalls on my antique VW.   Same wheel as shown in your You Tube video.  Re-read #14 and then either risk your life and waste your money or learn form others mistakes.   The portawalls cut 1/4 inch groves in my sidewalls  at the edge of the portawall in only a a short time.  (They flex at a different rate than the tires, resulting in the cut.)    The cost of blackwalls and portawalls and you are half way to the cost of real whitewalls.  Skip the redo and buy what you need  the first time.97244186_VWFounders.thumb.jpg.80a75be85c7338155e4d89a5a5db9a49.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Paul Dobbin said:

The information I shared in Post # 14 was about using the Potalls on my antique VW.   Same wheel as shown in your You Tube video.  Re-read #14 and then either risk your life and waste your money or learn form others mistakes.   The portawalls cut 1/4 inch groves in my sidewalls  at the edge of the portawall in only a a short time.  (They flex at a different rate than the tires, resulting in the cut.)    The cost of blackwalls and portawalls and you are half way to the cost of real whitewalls.  Skip the redo and buy what you need  the first time.

0  

 

You used them on highly flexible radial tires.   Your experience isn't going to apply to someone who is using a bias 6-ply very stiff, very high-wall tire that doesn't flex like a radial tire.

 

So yes, your experience is useful for someone who has the same situation you had.  But it's not going to apply to everyone.

 

Edited it to ask the following:


What kind of portawalls did you use?   The man in the video says there are two kinds, soft and hard.  He said not to use the hard ones.    If the portawalls cut into your tires it sure sound like you were using the hard ones.  It's not likely that soft ones would cut into tires.   So based on what the man in the video said you may have gotten the wrong portawalls to begin with.

Edited by AntiqueCraftsman (see edit history)
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18 minutes ago, Chris Bamford said:

 

Hey, why not -- after all, you obviously have money to spare and certainly haven't heard anything negative from anybody  with any actual experience. 

?

`

You can jump to your totally bogus conclusions all day long.  That's not going to make them true.

 

Everyone who has shared their problems thus far has actually included information of what they have done wrong and why it didn't work for them.   So I'm paying attention to the details.  Are you?

 

Just don't do what they did and you'll be fine.

 

I'm learning a lot here from other people's mistakes.   This is a very useful forum.    ?

 

So far I've learned the following:

 

1. Don't try to fix a bad installation by trying to glue them down where they don't want to lay naturally.

2. Don't install them on a car that will be driven at 65+ mph on a regular basis.

3. Don't buy the hard portawalls.  Use the soft pliable ones.  Otherwise they might cut into your sidewalls.

4. Don't install them on highly flexible radial tires

 

All GOOD ADVICE! 

 

I'm paying close attention to everything everyone has offered thus far.   Contrary to your claim that I haven't heard a thing.

 

Edited by AntiqueCraftsman (see edit history)
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I grew up in a tire shop. I know the differences in types of Port-O-Walls. And I know how to correctly install the ones that look decent. Learning that when I was young gave me the knowledge to have enough money to buy real whitewalls for myself.

 

Paying attention in English class taught me about rhetorical questions. How about that?

 

I don't feel a lot of frustration when someone asks me how to do something, then tells me I am wrong and how they do it. That still makes me smile even after all the times it has happened. Sometimes I suppress the smile and ask a rhetorical question with bad words. Then I turn around a walk away really smiling.

 

My Wife has seen me do that and told me I shouldn't. I would miss the entertainment. Sometimes she is laughing when she scolds me. She was a young adult librarian for the past 20 years and had the same problem disciplining teen aged boys.

 

Antics. Yep, the antics of old men and young boys, always fun.

Bernie

 

EDIT: I was putting Port-O-Walls on when I was in Junior High and High School, graduated, joined the Navy, and went to war. What's this "before the war" baloney. Where were you guys in the '60's?

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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AntiqueCraftsman,

 

Your portawall question hijacked another thread from its original purpose. I have split your question and the responses into a separate thread. I would simply caution you that you asked for other's experience. Your posts seem to have become a bit defensive when you got some negative feedback based on others experience with portawalls. It is your car and your money, so if you want to put portawalls on it, you can certainly do that. You have received advice from various sources. Do what you want to do, but please don't argue about the issue on the forum. Polite discussions are encouraged. Arguments are not allowed. 

 

All,

Let's keep this discussion civil.

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5 minutes ago, MCHinson said:

Your portawall question hijacked another thread from its original purpose. I have split your question and the responses into a separate thread

 

Sorry about that.  I didn't mean to high-jack the other thread.

 

6 minutes ago, MCHinson said:

Your posts seem to have become a bit defensive when you got some negative feedback based on others experience with portawalls.

 

I'm sorry my posts are being seen that way.  I was actually just trying to explain that the problems they were having wouldn't apply to my situation.   I understand that their experiences is valid.  I never questioned that.

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They were popular when bias ply tires were all we had. They don't work on radials. In your case, you are using bias ply tires on a car that will not be driven a lot, will not be driven hard and will not be driven at high speeds. All good things when it comes to making them work.

 

As for those who say they can always tell portawalls, you can always tell the ones that don't fit right. When they fit right you have to look awfully close to tell the difference.

 

Worst case, you gamble $80 and have to take them off. But, I think it is worth a shot.

 

 

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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Here is my .2$ worth go to a new car dealer ask to talk to the used car manager ask where he has his black wall tires buffed and stained to look like white walls our guy could make a black wall look like it was always a white wall .  Mike

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6 hours ago, misterc9 said:

I remember the tires sometimes having bead leaks when using the Portawalls.

\

YUP !!

Check the air pressures every morning.

I only know this because I made the mistake, once.

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I bought the originals in 1957 or 1958.  They were heavier and didn't wrinkle and were difficult to tear.  They also had the outer edge curb rub ridge.  And then, they sold out to somebody.....J.C. Whitney, Sears, Pep Boys, I don't know who and the quality became more like trash.  I had them on my 1952 Plymouth Belvedere hardtop.  It must have been 1957 because I traded that car on a

'55 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan in April, 1958.

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I had them on my 57 Chev belair fitted with bias ply tyres, they were fine for a year or so, until I took the car on a 1200km journey where we sat on highways in South africa at speeds approaching 70 miles an hour, then one decided to work its way out the rim, causing damage to the bodywork as it flapped around.

 We refitted the offending  portawall in Johannesburg and on my return trip to Zimbabwe on the highway, I was cruising around 80 miles an hour. When we stopped for gas an hour later, 3 portawalls were missing and there were bits of the 4th one stuck between the rim and tyre. I bought proper whitewall tyres after that.

 I will never use them again and recommend that portawalls should never be used on a tubeless tyre, because if they fly out like this without a tube, you will have a blowout.

Viv.

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