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Coker Tires - Is it just me??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flatcrazy, Dec 19, 2012.

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  1. greasy53
    Joined: Sep 16, 2011
    Posts: 87


    I got coker bias ply's on my car and the front right right wheel/tire just developed a shake after riding fine for months. Was thinking of going and getting the thing balanced again. Thanks for the tips on what balancer and the beads. will try the psi trick first tho.
  2. LaurieB
    Joined: Aug 10, 2011
    Posts: 143


    I had Coker Classic Bias tires on the Caddy when I bought it, L78-15 size. The car had lots of strange random bumps and stuff. It wasn't really like a vibration (I also have a Jeep Wrangler on 35" tires, I'm very familiar with tire vibrations!), just seemed like once you got up to speed (40-50+) you were hitting bumps in the road that weren't really there. In all fairness though they are at least several years old.



    I'm now (as of 2 days ago) running Diamond Back 2.5" whitewalls / Sumitomo HTR Sport HP radial tires in a 255/55-R18 size on new rims... I've had it up to 80 mph so far - 2 fingers on the steering wheel and smooth as silk... just as you'd expect from a radial. Also much much better cornering etc. I was expecting an improvement but honestly I'm amazed at how good the improvement really was.

    If you really want the traditional look then the Coker tires have got that. But if the ride comfort and handling is more important than having the exact classic Coker tire look, then definitely go radials. The whitewall section is raised obviously because it's vulcanised on later, and the profile of the tire is a lot more aggressive and squared off with a bigger contact patch... But I like that wider stance. Best thing I've done to the car so far. I'm very happy.



    Appreciate / respect to those of you that want the traditional Bias tires and correct sizes etc... but I couldn't be happier with this radial setup. :)
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2012
  3. Beautiful Caddy by the way.
  4. swanwaco32
    Joined: Feb 7, 2005
    Posts: 143


    Welcome to the Bias Tire world! I have tried it all and some times it works and some not! I have even had to true up the radials from Coker. John
  5. I changed to the 145R15 Firestones in the front and Hursts in the back. I never had an issue with the 750 16 bias - the bigger ones were fine. It was the 450/550 16s I had the problem with. My car drives like a slot car with the bias or the radials. The tires being bias wasn't the issue it was run out or they separated or something. As soon as I accelerated hard it was over- the front end would bounce. Drive around easy and slow and it wouldn't set it off. Flip the hot rod switch and it was over. I am only saying I would stay away from those little bias 450/550 16s. Coker has all kinds of other tires including those 145R16s that are fine.

    My buddy had the same problem with the little bias and then the implement tires. He's finally on to the excelsior tires and doesn't have any more problems with bounce.

    It seems everyone tries the bias $$ (how bad could the be?) then gets tired of fooling with them then goes $$$$ for the excelsiors radials - then you've got $$ +$$$$ in a set of tires you can run.
  6. Lowliner
    Joined: Dec 15, 2012
    Posts: 54


    There is a special Oldtimer Tire and White wall tire store here in Germany. They threw Coker out of their program, cuz they have got too many complainings. The store manager said, the quality is too bad.
  7. LaurieB
    Joined: Aug 10, 2011
    Posts: 143


    Thank you :) Way more pics in the link in the signature.
  8. I ran around with bias plies on my O/T daily driver for a few weeks with no difference in handling, but I always hear people talk bad about the bias. I took them off because the rears were bald, and the cars alittle to new to pull them off. I drive the shit out of it too..

    They were not pie crusts mind you...
  9. 3wLarry
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 12,804

    Member Emeritus
    from Owasso, Ok

    With all the technology we have these days, why can't Coker make a new mold for his tires that would work?

    Back in the day, I don't remember having any problems with bias tires...that's all that was available then...and they always balanced them on the car when you bought new tires.
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  10. greg32
    Joined: Jun 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,080

    from Indiana

    Brand new Coker 7.50/16 skinnies. Measured the roll out, and one tire was 5/8 inch taller than the other, and the tread depth was 3/16 different. Absolute junk, no quality control? I would think these had to come out of different molds to be that different. Not cheap either.
  11. sc_sonoma
    Joined: Jan 7, 2008
    Posts: 49


    Sorry, but that just made me laugh. Every tire shop should have a sign that says that.
  12. GARY T.
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,985

    GARY T.
    from S.W. Pa

    I have 550x16 & 700x16 Firestone bias on old 40's rims----no problems,and I drive the shit out of it. cruise 65-70 on highway,& have had it up to 110 mph----no shake,no shimmy. They will try & follow a crack in the road and are scary if I get on a road that they just grooved up for re-surfacing. Due for new tires this summer will probably stay with same thing,hope I don't have some of the problems some of you fellows are talking about!!!!
  13. S_Mazza
    Joined: Apr 27, 2011
    Posts: 363


    You're so demanding! Customers like you are just impossible to deal with! ;)
  14. As some of the guys have stated in previous posts, I had the same issue on my bias tires. Got them shaved and balanced by a local outfit, Detroit Tire in Xenia,OH. Made all the difference in the world. No more steering wheel shake and ill handling issues at speed.
  15. farmergal
    Joined: Nov 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,074

    from somewhere

    I have a restored CJ Jeep that islifted with Mickey Thompson tires on it.Jeeps are known for this problem... It had the death shake BAD for the longest time. Any fairly good sized bump in the road would set it off and it was not pretty. We fixed it by uping the tire pressure; all problems solved. Might want to try that...

    We run Coker Bias Plys WW that we purchased 2 years ago on our Plymouth and we've never had issues. With that being said; after reading all of the stories here; I think we'll be putting a different brand on the coupe when the time comes. Tires cost too much $$$ to have that type of problem.
  16. I am running the 450/475-16 in the front on 3 1/2 by 16 40 ford steelies and 750-16 in the rear on 4 inch 40 ford steelies. The rears have been perfect while the front had section of tread come out in the middle of the tire. Called coker and they took care of the tire under warrenty. For balancing I have the ceramanic beeds and they are awesome. Tire pressure is 30lbs in the frt and 35 in the rear. I have had my car in the triple digits and no issues at all. I think the solution is good wheels, the balancing beeds, and luck of the draw of tires from coker. I just can't bring myself to go to radials or fake bias plys since they do not have the look of the firestones for the traditional hot rod look.
  17. I had 5.60 x 15 whitewalls and couldn't cure the shake/hop until in desperation I threw a pair of 155 x 15 radials on.
    I wanted the look back so dumped a whole load of cash on a matching set of new blackwalls, 5.60 x 15 front and 8.20 x 15 rears. Guess what? The problem is back.

    60/65 is the spot at which they hop and shake which makes it real tyring (sic) to drive after a while...
    They are fine at 100+ by the way.
  18. You might find it interesting that suppliers over here in England charge us close to $2000 for a set of Coker Firestones so frustrating aint the word.
  19. kiwi1967
    Joined: Dec 1, 2011
    Posts: 130


    i just got a set for my 39 coupe. L-78 rear and 5.60 /15 front,WWW...put them on monday and havnt driven it yet with the weather getting crappy,im in denver also ,if i have the same problem who did you use to shave your tires?..thanks
  20. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,958

    A Boner

    Out of round #43......this year.....I wonder if there is a real problem?
  21. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    from PA.

    Originally Posted by coopsdaddy [​IMG]
    What about grooved front runners or the rear dirt trackers?, you pay that kind of money they should work great or no ? Asked returns plus shipping,you shouldn't have to go spend hundreds to fix a new set of tire.

    Isn't that the truth, you watch the ad's on TV & in mags. and then spend a thousand dollars and get white walls that ain't really white , w/tan stains all over them you can't get off. You spend more bucks trying to get them balanced & run with out wobbling at higher speeds.

    Garbage tires and garbage service.

    Too many other companies eager to sell tires, no more Coker for me !
  22. 55chieftain
    Joined: May 29, 2007
    Posts: 2,186


    It's ok, vibration is traditional......
  23. MTR-HD-Ordie
    Joined: Nov 13, 2012
    Posts: 42


    I'm running a set of WW bias Cokers on 17" wire wheels on my 39. 550 up front and 750 in the rear. They all took a lot of weights to balance. Would occationly go into a suicide shimmy at low speeds until I installed a steering stabilizer. No more issues and it is driven at 70+ on a regular basis. Hate to hear about the bad press they are getting here, not sure what ill buy next, 4 of their tires is a lot of $$$
  24. slinginrods
    Joined: Oct 6, 2008
    Posts: 422

    from florida

    Haha...yes it is...
  25. Zombie Hot Rod
    Joined: Oct 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,453

    Zombie Hot Rod
    from New York

    I went nuts trying to chase down a wobble on my Coker/Firstone Bias Ply Tires. . .

    I had the tires shaved, balanced the rims, balanced the drums, new bearings, replaced the king pins, rebuilt shocks, toe in/toe out, checked caster, camber, etc. . . everything you could possibly think of and nothing worked.

    I put five more pounds of air pressure in both tires and they never wobbled again.

    I think with the bias ply, as opposed to steal belts, if the tire pressure it too low. . . the tires can act like a spring, bouncing the axle back and forth.

    Might want to give it a shot. . . it's free, ad takes about a minute.
  26. GARY T.
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,985

    GARY T.
    from S.W. Pa

    What air pressure do you run?
  27. Fred Hire
    Joined: Aug 1, 2006
    Posts: 7

    Fred Hire
    from Hudson,MA.

    go with their steel belted radials.......they handle great but the white walls are hard to keep clean
  28. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 8,050


    No question that bias ply tires look traditional-that's what was available back in the day. Maybe if there had been a choice, our great traditional hot rodders would have gone with radials and they'd be traditional,too.

    But you know what? I am more interested in safety and handling. And, after spending several 100s on new tires, let alone several 1000's, I am not interested in the crap some of you guys go through-shaving to the point where all the tread is gone, multiple wheel weights, ball bearings and bb's. If I spend real money on a set of tires, I want to put them on, balance them and go driving. JMTC but Coker's bias plies sound like just too much trouble for the benefit.
  29. jimbousman
    Joined: Jul 24, 2008
    Posts: 543


  30. 27Tudor
    Joined: Jun 17, 2007
    Posts: 125


    Just a thought but has anyone contacted Coker to let them know that our members are having issues with their products and asked Coker to comment and to give tips on how to use their products successfully? I would hope the manufacturer would have insight into their products and how to get the most out of them. Just a thought.
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