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Rev_Rock

Radial tires on 1960 Buick Electra

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Hi Everyone,

 

I just joined.  My girlfriend has a 1960 Buick Electra.  It's not a stock restoration, but has been lowered, door handles shaved, custom interior, etc.  And it's PURPLE (her favorite color)!  She bought it when she was 17 (she'll be 34 in December).  I'm helping her get it back on the road after getting it back from her ex-husband.  Battery tomorrow, check the brakes, etc.  It runs and everything works.  It needs tires.  I'd like to put radials on it, but am not sure what size.  It's got the stock 15" wheels, and I'll be putting Moon aluminum discs on them.  Anyone have any ideas?  I'm not even sure what size tires are on it now.  But I do know that they're mis-matched. 

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Holly's Buick.jpg

Edited by Rev_Rock (see edit history)

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Welcome to the forum. What size tires are on it now? There's a cross reference chart that shows the various sizes of bias ply tires and what the similar size is in a radial tire. It doesn't have to be exact. A big Buick like that probably would take a 225-75R15 or 235-70R15-somewhere in that ballpark. The guy at the tire store should be able to help you decide. Good luck....

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I'd check out Coker or Diamondback's website for standard tire dimension info.  

 

Flush the brake fluid if it's been sitting a while.  Usually they need the works if it has been sitting.  If it's power brakes they are known to dump brake fluid in the booster and not work properly.  

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A friend of mine was daily driving a 60 Electra in the early 90s. He had 235-70/15 radials on it. He told me they worked fine, but would hit the frame at full steering lock.

 

The original tires would have had something like an 85% aspect ratio, so unless you buy specialty radials that are really made in the original size (DIamondback and Coker are possible sources for that), the new radial tires are going to be smaller in diameter. This will lower the car a little. It also lowers your gearing a little. The tallest aspect ratio you will find in modern tires is 75%.

 

I think 215-75/15 would probably fit and clear. That is the best I can do until the real 60 Electra owners find their way to this thread. There are several in here, although I imagine most of them are running authentic bias-ply tires.

 

Welcome to the forum!

 

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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JUST SAY NO to Coker Tire Co.

 

I put Diamond Back Radials on several cars now with TOTAL satisfaction in every way.  

 

But since it is a mild custom, go the early '60s route and buy some "narrow" whitewall radial from one of your local suppliers.    They MUST be at least 225s..... depending on how wide those factroy wheels measure.

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10 minutes ago, StillOutThere said:

JUST SAY NO to Coker Tire Co.

 

Totally agree.

Over priced and over rated.

Only good for a static display in my opinion but if you drive your cars, like I do, there are WAY better choices out there.

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Other than Coker & Diamond Back Radials, what other brands would you guys suggest ? 

 

Thanks !

 

 

Steve

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Steve,

               I suppose it would depend on the size needed. Usually I try to stick with any of the current/common tire suppliers when possible, BF Goodrich, Good Year, Michelin, Continental even Cooper once in a while If they have a size and look that will work for my current vintage car. (However,  I still steer clear of Firestone, too many critical failures there to ever regain my trust, from the endless separation problems with the 721 radial to the deaths caused by their poor product control of the ATX, ATXII and the Wilderness AT, etc.)  The others usually do have a size/look that will suffice. I've had a couple sets of Coker supplied tires and was very disappointed with the short life span of both sets. Plainly put, they are cheap tires with a big price tag. Also, I've found that because their tires don't move as quickly as common suppliers, sometimes one can buy a tire that was made a couple years ago, diminishing its lifespan before it ever sees a wheel.

Years ago I worked for both Goodyear and BF. Goodrich. To this day, tires are the absolute last place I will scrimp or compromise.

There's just too much riding on them.

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Greg,

            Thanks for the information....I put Coker's on my '69 Impala ( P235 / 75 R15 ) back in 2005.... I can't remember how much they were, but they were not cheap !  I have about 2000 miles on them now, but due to the age, I was thinking about replacements...I have my other '69 Impala SS that will be needing tires at some point as well.

 

 

Steve

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2 hours ago, STEVE POLLARD said:

Other than Coker & Diamond Back Radials, what other brands would you guys suggest ? 

 

Thanks !

 

 

Steve

 

I just bought a set of Goodyear blackwall radials for my '49 Stude pickup ($338 out the door at Walmart) and they ride great. That's a hell of a lot less than you'll pay for wide whitewall tires. Good luck....

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If you have 6" wheels I'd go with a Cooper Evolution H/T in 225x75R15.  That would be similar to an 8.85/15. At 44 psi it would feel like a bias tire.

 

They also have a 235x75R15 which would be more like a 9.25/15 and can always add portawalls. Or not.

 

ps where you live is a factor for what tire is right. For my Monsoon season I like BFG Comp-2 A/S tires.

 

+1  I would avoid Firestone/Bridgestone (same company like UniRoyal, BFG, and Michelin are the same company) I had two sets of Firestone 500s that just came apart.

Kumho & Hankook seem like decent tires but I prefer to buy tires made in North America.

 

 

 

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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You do realize Hankook has  a plant in Tennessee, yes?  I believe all Kumho's are imported from Korea or China

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I put a set of Multi-Mile radials on my '59 Chevy.

VERY reasonable and after 5000+ miles still look new.

My first car was a '59 Chevy and I remember the difference radials make........amazing.

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