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Are 35 year old tires safe to drive on?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by dccd, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. dccd
    Joined: Nov 1, 2009
    Posts: 155

    dccd
    Member
    from Missouri

    Looking at a set of 35 year old Sears bias ply tires. Good tread and no apparent cracking. Would you guys let your son drive on these?
     
  2. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 5,466

    Special Ed
    Member

    Depends. How far and/or how fast? Rubber dry-rots over time.
     
  3. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    Absolutely, 100%, NOT. Rubber deteriorates and may look fine but will blow out without any warning. If you value your Son's life spend a few bucks and buy one of the many new tires being sold by people like Coker.

    When I redid my roadster a few years ago the 20 year old tires looked fine but they went in the dumpster, even though the car had been stored for the last 11 years of it's life. No way was I going to trust them.

    Don
     
  4. 65COMET
    Joined: Apr 10, 2007
    Posts: 3,086

    65COMET
    Member

    NO!!!!!!!!!X2 what Don said!!Was riding in a car with 12 year old tires when one came apart,tore up the fender,not FUN!!!!
     
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  5. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,597

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    I've heard and read that bias ply to no deteriorate like newer radials do. I am not sure how much truth to that there is but it does seem like there are a lot of vintage tires still being driven on. John Joyo ran the same tires he found on his car.

    My '26 roadster had recapped slicks from the 60's on the back and they were great. Even made a trip back from Austin with them on and survived two more years until burnouts designated them to become wall hangers.
     
  6. JeffreyJames
    Joined: Jun 13, 2007
    Posts: 16,597

    JeffreyJames
    Member
    from SUGAR CITY

    But for the record if you can swing new tires it's always a safer bet. I put new tires on everything I'm building.
     
  7. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida


    I had the same thing happen. I bought the proverbial "Little Old Ladies" 84 Ford that had under 50,000 miles on it. 80 year old owner had brand new Michelin radials put on it, drove it home, and parked the car for 4 years. When I got it the tits were still on the tires so I ran them, plus they were expensive Michelins. One by one they kept blowing out sidewalls and would leave me sitting by the side of the road changing a flat.

    Check out this report, then decide.

    http://www.scottmcdonaldlaw.com/blo...ngerous-l-kirkland-wa-car-accident-lawyer.cfm

    Don
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2012
  8. Soviet
    Joined: Sep 4, 2005
    Posts: 723

    Soviet
    Member

    Not a chance.
     
  9. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,830

    chaddilac
    Member

    I know you're not supposed to... but I had a set of bias plys on my 59 olds... they were over 20 years (stored in an attic flat) old when I got them, and I put them on the car over 10 years ago, and I drove it last summer.... So that's over 30 years old tires... they actually still looked great, but the white had started to dry up finally.
     
  10. Ghost of ElMirage
    Joined: Mar 18, 2007
    Posts: 758

    Ghost of ElMirage
    Member

    No way!!!! And when you throw them in the trash or takem to the dump rip the side walls so no one else can potentially use em
     
    clem likes this.
  11. Rideron66
    Joined: Dec 2, 2010
    Posts: 44

    Rideron66
    Member
    from Virginia

    Nope..but maybe could give them to the Mother in law :)
     
  12. porknbeaner
    Joined: Sep 12, 2003
    Posts: 41,341

    porknbeaner
    Member


    Those tires are good for one of two things. Either you use them for display some where or if you are building a museum piece that is going to get trailered to a show or set in a diorama some place for people to look at.

    Look at it this way, people have said that I am so tight that I squeek and I have been known to run my old crap right on the ragged edge of insanity. I would not run them on my car.
     
  13. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,714

    junk yard kid
    Member

    I drove on some that were from the late 60's to early 70's. Took em on the freeway and everything. They never went flat. But when i changed to new tires i remember thinking i should have done it right away. the ride was so much better.
     
  14. MERCURYGUY
    Joined: Jul 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,008

    MERCURYGUY
    Member

    This could be potential suicide. There are a number of aticles out there about the risks of even 7-10 year old tires. One personal experience is that I am still a volunteer with our local fire department. We went one time to just test one of our engines in the yard. When we pulled it out of the bay one of the tires collapsed.On closer inspection we discovered that both front tires had rotted from the inside. This was not even noticable from just looking at the vehicle. Just think if we were on an emergency call. The tires were only about 5-7 years old. USE SAFETY ABOVE ALL ELSE
     
  15. roddin-shack
    Joined: Apr 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,392

    roddin-shack
    Member

    NO NO. Definately NOT, If you choose to ignore your own safety as well as others and an accident occurs the insurance company has an out to not pay your claim.
     
  16. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 8,994

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Tires lose strength and resiliancy just sitting around. After 5 years, tires have lost half their strength.

    So, it all depends. Do you feel lucky? Would it bother you if a tire blew on the road, bent the fender and possibly caused a wreck?

    If you are moving it around the garage or driving in town at 30 mph you might be a little chancy. If you are going to drive much, get new tires.
     
  17. dccd
    Joined: Nov 1, 2009
    Posts: 155

    dccd
    Member
    from Missouri

    Soooo, I'm starting to get the impression from you that I shouldn't, right?;)

    I don't have these, just found a guy who wanted to sell them very cheap. Said he just took them off his 58 Thunderbird and replaced with radials. The price caught my eye, but the whole 35 years old thing made me very nervous. My 18 year old wants a set he can afford, but Dad's not willing to take a chance with him on these.

    Maybe get them for garage art?
     
  18. junk yard kid
    Joined: Nov 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,714

    junk yard kid
    Member

    I just remembered that this very knolegable old guy told me that he worked for an insurance company as a claims adjuster. He told me my old tires would cause them to deny any claim due to negligence.
     
  19. Would you use a 35 year old Condom? Same answer.
     
  20. There are things I will take short cuts on, things I will not. Tires are one thing I will not.
     
  21. cruzr
    Joined: Jan 19, 2006
    Posts: 3,125

    cruzr
    Member



    Bingo !~!
     
  22. AnimalAin
    Joined: Jul 20, 2002
    Posts: 3,417

    AnimalAin
    Member

    The question is: "Are you willing to play 'you bet your life' every time you get in the car?" It might work out, but the likelyhood of failure at the worst possible moment seems too high for me.
     
  23. While I wouldn't run any tires that old on anything that would be driven at speeds greater than 25 MPH (which makes them kinda useless), I wonder why bias-ply don't seem to dry rot like radials do?
     
  24. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 44,022

    squirrel
    Member

    I'd ride around on 35 year old bias tires before I'd ride around on 15 year old radials. The radials will come apart, the bias plies probably won't.

    But I don't think I'd let my kid do it.

    I don't think the problem with radials is "rot", it's that they separate internally, I think the stresses between the plies are higher, and the rubber just can't hold together that long.
     
  25. safari-wagon
    Joined: Jan 12, 2008
    Posts: 1,457

    safari-wagon
    Member

    Newer Radials do deteriorate a LOT faster because the EPDM rubber that is used today is crap compared to what was used even just a decade ago. That's why any radial tires over 6 years old are suspect.

    I've been running 15-20yo bias-plys all over town without issue for years. If the rod was going on a cross country tour, I'd probably spring for newer tires.

    But then again look @ the checkered, old, bias-ply race tires that get run @ B'ville today.
     
  26. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    Member
    from Benton AR

    I know that it is supposed to be illegal to patch or cap a truck tire that is over 10 years old, I don't know about car tires.

    The Coker radials on my Lincoln were put on in 2005, I wonder about them from time to time when driving down the interstate at 75.....
     
  27. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,762

    fastcar1953
    Member

    no,think of other peolple on the road and in the car.
     
  28. cherokee_64
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 85

    cherokee_64
    Member

    I once was running some used tires on a '47 chevy I had built. The fronts were Michelins (not old, but not new) and I took them off when I was working on the body. I set them upstairs in a room, went up to get them about 2 months later, and both of the tire's treads had seperated and come apart!
     
  29. PackratDave
    Joined: Dec 31, 2011
    Posts: 3

    PackratDave
    Member

    I have been a mechanic for close to 30 years. I have from time to time driven on old tires, however the rubber often gets hard, and does not grip the road as well as it should. I have seen more Michelin tires have problems when they get old than other tires, though I wonder if it is because they often dry rot before you can wear them out. I don't think I would buy 35 year old tires, bad enough to drive on them when they come with a car. Maybe a set of new cheap radials could be the way to go.
     
  30. Fighter-of-Wars
    Joined: Nov 3, 2008
    Posts: 294

    Fighter-of-Wars
    Member

    I think it is hit and miss with old tires. Got tires on my 43 that are 30 years old, no tread, huge weather cracks, and it will haul 8,000 lbs down the road. Haven't had one blow out yet. But it doesn't go over 35 or 10 miles from home so I don't feel to bad. Sure it's not safe, but they work.

    If you buy the tires, do it. You'll feel much better driving it.
     

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