Sign in to follow this  
AntiqueCraftsman

Portawalls question

Recommended Posts

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Benefits of AACA Membership.

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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:

 

009.thumb.JPG.d2f1b7823aa7914bcf31763044492b3a.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They go between the tire and rim. I see the tires are 6 Ply. Might ride a little hard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

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

 

The guy in the video I found says not to use glue, or soap. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you've talked yourself into it. Good luck.

 

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

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess you should believe what you see on YouTube.?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paint is a far better option than portawalls. Neither looks like real tires.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember seeing these in the '60s and people called them “Mickey Mouse” whitewalls, so my opinion of them is bad.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this