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Wondering if anyone can tell me what size radial tires I can use on my 41 Buick Special. It has  factory 16 inch rims. I am looking for basic radial tires I am not interested in bias tires or bias looking radials they are just way to expensive .

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Possibly a 225R75 16 .  225 is the width and 75 is the hight of the side wall.  Thats a starting point, if you can find something taller and skinnier I think that would be better.

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Posted (edited)

You didn't mention your original size. 650-16?

 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there are no good options for cheap tires in 16 inch. Any "normal" tires you buy will be even smaller diameter than the stock tires if they are narrow enough to fit, and most people already complain that Specials are geared too slow with the stock tires.

 

If you are in Australia, it is possible you could find something. Look for Toyota Hilux tires. If you are in USA or Canada, I'm afraid you are out of luck.

 

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Something like 205/85-16's. I had 215/85-16's on my '38 Special, but that's more like a 7.00-16. Looked cool, but tended to rub on sharp turns, more due to the width rather than the height. Check the truck tire specialty stores. Any of the antique car specialty shops charge an arm and a leg.

You definitely don't want to go smaller diameter than original, unless you LIKE driving 45 mph in the slow lane...

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If you are looking for WWW they are expensive in both bias and radial. I have bias on my Special and radials on my Roadmaster. I like the look of the bias and ride of the bias better than the tough to steer radials. Welcome to the expensive to own and fix world of old cars.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/6/2020 at 8:21 AM, suchan said:

Something like 205/85-16's. I had 215/85-16's on my '38 Special, but that's more like a 7.00-16. Looked cool, but tended to rub on sharp turns, more due to the width rather than the height. Check the truck tire specialty stores.

 

That would be great if any were still in production. Do you know a source? Please post if you do. Many might find it useful.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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18 minutes ago, Bloo said:

 

That wold be great if any were still in production. Do you know a source? Please post if you do. Many might find it useful.

 

Diamondback seems to find them and glue whitewalls to them, so they're out there.

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Posted (edited)

Diamondbacks in 16 these days are "Auburn Deluxe", and as far as I know are their own design. Whitewalls attached to other brands still exist in other rim sizes, but no 16".

 

I dug into this really deep 2 years ago when I bought my 195-80r16s (600r16 equivalent). There was one option. There were slightly more options then (like 2 or 3) if you wanted something bigger. They were in the $130-$200 each range if I remember correctly. Not cheap, but cheaper than the specialty companies. All these show "out of stock" now, even on sites with dozens of brands like tires-easy.com and simpletire.com .

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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There are Otani brand 205/85-R16's on that auction site at present, $93 a corner.

No idea if they're good or bad, but they are cheap.

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8 minutes ago, suchan said:

There are Otani brand 205/85-R16's on that auction site at present, $93 a corner.

No idea if they're good or bad, but they are cheap.

 

Nice! That's better pricing than anything I've seen in a while. They aren't quite what they seem though. On Ebay, some of the tires are Otani MK1000 and others are MK2000. On Otani's website they don't list that size in the MK1000 at all. On the MK2000 page, they list it as a 205R16. That should be an 80 series tire rather than 85 series. If you run the numbers though, it is neither. With a 734mm overall diameter and a 212mm section width, it is REALLY a 215-75R16, a readily available size elsewhere.

 

The diameter is good, only about 1/2" too big for a Special (and more diameter is better). The section width is going to be over 8 inches though. I would wonder if it would clear.

 

http://otanityre.com/product/mk2000/

 

http://otanityre.com/product/mk1000/

 

 

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If you aren't after white walls, go to your local tire shop and ask to see what 650 x 16 light truck tires they have on offer.  I like our 650 x 16 "light truck" Bridgestones.  Go tubeless if you can because the inner ribs on the radial tires damage the tubes.

 

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Yokohama lists some 6.50-16's on their website (truck tires; 10 and 12-ply). One of them looks a lot like the tires I got from Diamondback 2 years ago, albeit with WW's attached. Great tires. I don't know the cost from Yokohama, but it has to be less than Diamondback. . It's unfortunate it's so difficult and expensive just to get modern tires for our classics.

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3 hours ago, Terry Stock said:

If you aren't after white walls, go to your local tire shop and ask to see what 650 x 16 light truck tires they have on offer.  I like our 650 x 16 "light truck" Bridgestones.  Go tubeless if you can because the inner ribs on the radial tires damage the tubes.

 

Unfortunately (for me anyway) those are not available in North America. We don't yet know where Neal with an a is. I found some listed tor $297 AUD. 12 ply is going to be extremely heavy and stiff, I'm not sure if it's a good solution, but it might fit on the rim.

 

https://bigtyre.com.au/store/P4507/new-6.50r16lt-bridgestone-r205-light-truck-tyres

 

 

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2 hours ago, suchan said:

Yokohama lists some 6.50-16's on their website (truck tires; 10 and 12-ply). One of them looks a lot like the tires I got from Diamondback 2 years ago, albeit with WW's attached. Great tires. I don't know the cost from Yokohama, but it has to be less than Diamondback. . It's unfortunate it's so difficult and expensive just to get modern tires for our classics.

 

Yokohama seems to have various types available in Australia (RY-01), Japan (TY-228), and Belgium (Geolandar MT). I have still not found anything along these lines that is sold in the US or Canada.

 

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Toyo makes a LT215/85R16 as well. 7.00-16 equivalent, pretty much. I  just checked their website. Hopefully available in the western hemisphere!

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tirerack.com has several 215/85R16's on their website. Cheapest is Kumho Crugen, $139. I have Kumhos on one of our cars, Good low-price tires. Not stock '41 Buick diameter, about 1/2 inch bigger, but should look/work good.

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I bit the bullet and went with Diamondback Auburn style and 760 R 16 in WW tubeless.    They fit nicely on my '38' coupe.    At my age, and I do travel in my coupe,  plus,  I had a nasty blow out with my old C......radials with tubes.     Tires, brakes and steering are my FIRST priority.   The rest  comes in a far second.   The cost per tire is about the same as tires on my 10 year old Honda Accord coupe.    They run about $270 each and I'm on my 4th set.  (130k+ )     I consider tires to be expendables  like shocks which you must have in good condition.    Just my opinion of course ! 

 

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I went with 205 / 70 / 16 on mine and wish I didn't because the overall diameter was 27.5 inches and that's less than the stock 29 inches I would have had with 6.5 / 16 tires, and that made the gear ratio even worse instead of better. I was too cheap to pay Coker prices. Maybe get 6.5 in the rear and save money on the front because they don't affect gear ration

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I used what I felt and found would fit.    I installed  a Spedo correcting gear unit to correct for tires being not the same dia.    I got  Diamonback  'Auburn'. w/w radial tubeless tires  7.00 - 16.   They are nice riding stable tires.     They won't   'hunt'  like bias ply tires on todays roads.   IMHO,  they are very good.   I now have a 1935-57 Buick and when I'm done getting it ready to run on todays roads,  I will put the same tires on my  '35'  like on my '38' coupe....

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FYI: I am in the early stages of a tire experiment. Bought a set of tubeless 6.50x16 bias ply tires from Simple Tire for my 1939 Special convertible. They are 6 ply rated but say 4 ply on the sidewall - less than $90 delivered and I'll state right now that I don't shop for cheap, nothing else on this car is cheap. Blackwalls (that's what I want) with sort of an industrial or light truck look, kind of homely off the car.

 

They mounted up and balanced quite well, they run true. Expect to get them on my car later this week but I won't be cruising it soon. If they don't work out I'll report back. Bob H

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I'm going to look at the simpletire, as I need something for a spare and do not want to spend $140. The Cokers that I have on all four corners set me back a few dollars. 

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