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Technical 55-59 Chevy truck

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jeff56, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Jeff56
    Joined: Jul 22, 2012
    Posts: 73

    Jeff56
    Member

    Hey guys I need some new tires. I currently have the old school bias play Coker whitewall tires on my 56 Chevy truck. Mine unfortunately are cracking. Should I stay with Bias ply or go for the radial whitewalls? What tires do you guys recommend? Thank you
     
  2. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,521

    AVater
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    There will be tons of opinions here.

    Depends on the look you want, the truck itself and what you plan to do in terms of driving.
    Is it a restoration or near stock look you are trying to emulate?
    Is the truck a daily driver or limited to show/cruise night activities?
    What does the truck look like now?

    Just a few questions for you to consider. Photo?
     
    squirrel likes this.
  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,672

    squirrel
    Member

    I recommend blackwalls....either bias or radial, depending on what you do with the truck, what size wheels you have, what you want it to look like, how you want it to handle, how many miles you put on it, etc.

    We have zero information about the things that would help us make a recommendation.
     
    Cosmo49 likes this.
  4. Bob Lowry
    Joined: Jan 19, 2020
    Posts: 572

    Bob Lowry

    I drove my '54 200 miles home with 16" bias ply tires on it. It was all over the road, trying to
    follow the ruts, and this was on interstate highways. Put radials on it and it no longer had a mind
    of it's own. Couldn't believe how much better it behaved. Have owned this for 30+ years never
    regretted radials. 54 truck.JPG
     

  5. Jeff56
    Joined: Jul 22, 2012
    Posts: 73

    Jeff56
    Member

    I will mostly drive it on the weekends and to some local group hangouts. Take the kids for a drink or ice cream. Stuff like that. I’m going with a satin paint with the chrome smoothies. I think the whitewalls look pretty nice with the chrome smoothies but I’m open to suggestions.
     

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  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,672

    squirrel
    Member

    I'd look for the date codes on the tires you have now, see how old they are...and see what the cracks look like. If it's just cosmetic, I'd get some more miles out of the tires. If they're falling apart, then choose tires based on how they look and how much they cost. Either would work for what you do with the truck, from what you say.

    Bias tires don't have the "exploding" problem that radials have, when they're starting to get old. I'd run 20 year old bias tires that are in decent condition, but I would not run 10 year old radials that appear to be in excellent condition.
     
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  7. Jeff56
    Joined: Jul 22, 2012
    Posts: 73

    Jeff56
    Member

    O ok I will look at them closer. I would like to drive this truck to work which is about 25 miles one way. Will Bias ply handle speeds up to 60-65? Or are they made for slower speeds
     
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,672

    squirrel
    Member

    they work at those speeds. as mentioned, they will tend to exaggerate handling problems. Some old cars/trucks handle fine with bias ply, some are all over the road. The condition of the suspension and steering makes a big difference.
     
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  9. Jeff56
    Joined: Jul 22, 2012
    Posts: 73

    Jeff56
    Member

    Ok I have the dropped axle and leaf springs. I upgraded to the heavy duty tie Rod and I added the adjustable draglink from sids as well as the shims. I also put brand new Bilstein shocks on the front. I will probably ad a sway bar down the road
     
    swade41 likes this.
  10. Jeff56
    Joined: Jul 22, 2012
    Posts: 73

    Jeff56
    Member

    The tire says G-78-15
    Perfect 97 p
    M+S
    Do you know what that means? Thank you
     
  11. I like radials. Bias plies deteriorate faster than radials from heat generated while driving fast, long distances, or ambient conditions. The contact patch of bias is smaller for any given size, meaning steering and braking are a bit better with radials. There are more radial sizes available. Radials are more available anywhere you go, and normally cost less. The down side is... if you want radial white walls, you don't have as many brand and tread choices. In either case, whitewalls drive up the cost.
     
  12. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,672

    squirrel
    Member

    That tells you a little about the tire...the size, the speed rating, and the application (mud and snow). But the date code is another small stamp, usually on the back of the tire near the bead, in a little oval. It's usually 4 numbers, such as 2304. That would be the 23rd week of 2004. If it's from before 2000, then it will be three numbers. Sometimes it's hard to figure out because not all of the codes are done the same way.

    That's been the opposite of my experience. But it might depend on inflation pressure, too, if you let bias tires run low on air, it's not good for them.

    The contact patch size (area) depends entirely upon the pressure in the tire. The width depends on the tread width. Most radials are a lower aspect ratio, so to get the same height, you need to get a wider tire with a radial.
     
  13. Jeff56
    Joined: Jul 22, 2012
    Posts: 73

    Jeff56
    Member

    Ok thank you. I’ll see if I can get the other numbers. My tires sat for at least 15 years on low air. So that’s where the cracks came from I’m sure. But hopefully they will be ok just to put some miles on the truck
     
  14. 59Apachegail
    Joined: Apr 30, 2011
    Posts: 1,381

    59Apachegail
    Member
    from New York

  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,064

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Sounds like what you have on it are what those Texas and Oklahoma boys call "Grips" = mud grips. or out here in the west Snow tires.
    Right now I'd go with off the rack at the local tire store radials. Something six ply rated if you plan to haul loads in it. Maybe more of a car tire with at most all season tread if you don't. No need for aggressive tread unless you are going to go off road.
    Black walls or narrow white wall is up to you. What look do you want? That isn't for the rest of us to decide. Black walls give the work truck look white walls give the cruiser look.
    Bias tires no matter who made them were/are good at most for about 25 K before they get worn down too much. Plus you are looking at about 1200 for a set of four when it is all done.

    The other thing to consider is get the radials now and drive it to work and back every day and then think about getting a set of Cokers for shows and trips to shows later.

    You do about 13K a year just going to work and back. Been there done that for the most of the past 50 years.
     
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  16. Jeff56
    Joined: Jul 22, 2012
    Posts: 73

    Jeff56
    Member

    I really appreciate it guys. I like the satin and low cruiser look. But if I do black wheels I will get the US wheel 68 series and run those also. And keep the chrome smoothies with the whitewalls for special occasions
     
  17. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,672

    squirrel
    Member

    sitting with no air for years can damage tires....
     
  18. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,775

    jnaki





    upload_2021-6-9_4-7-4.png

    Hello,

    Recently, we saw this cool Chevy truck parked on the side of a road. At one time it looked like it had old tires. Then the following weeks, the whitewalls were clean and bright. The tread looked to be radials. There are several tire shops in town and since the closest to where we saw this truck is a great tire shop, we assume it got 5 new tires from that shop. Fonseca Jr. Tire Shop is one of the best IOHO. The service and quick response to getting new tires was really fast. The service and mechanics were top notch.

    My wife’s car needed new tires. I drove in on a Monday and they said that those tires had to be ordered, but that they would call me back. That afternoon, I got a call and said Tuesday morning would be good time for installations/balance and alignment. A one day tire company service like that is pretty good in our books.

    The old Chevy truck’s looks has improved with those whitewall tires and black rims. There is no amount of money to skimp on tires for any car or truck. We like the feel of having new tires for safety and handling. There is nothing wrong with spending a few dollars for what tires you want. But, skimping on old tires is not in the best interests of you and your family.

    Jnaki

    Old trucks can be made to handle well with some good tires, balancing and alignment. If needed add in some shocks and other necessary parts. We did it plenty of time for the cars we have owned and there is no regret for spending money to get the best handling and safety for those that ride in your car or hot rod truck. It does not matter if the distance is 5 miles or 50 miles, safety is safety and that is important to all concerned.
    upload_2021-6-9_4-9-9.png
     
    Budget36 likes this.
  19. Radials. My Cameo was a bitch to herd down the road with bias ply.Put radials on,and it settled right down.Rode softer too.
     
  20. GMC59X2
    Joined: Jul 19, 2020
    Posts: 5

    GMC59X2

    Spend the money on radials and you’ll have no regrets. They are smooth and predictable.
     

    Attached Files:

    Cosmo49 likes this.
  21. Here's a chart to help you pick a radial size to equal the bias size.

    Screenshot_20210630-020428_Chrome.jpg
     
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