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Difficulty with installing portawall white walls

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by dccd, May 14, 2010.

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

    from Missouri

    New to the message board (just introduced myself in the newbie section) and was wondering if anyone could give me some pointers on installing Portawall white wall inserts? Took my 15" ones to a tire shop who said they had installed them before, but now I'm not sure they ever had. The inserts would go on OK until they starting putting air to the tire and then would "bunch" up in a couple of places and stick out from the tire's sidewall. It appears to be seated evenly around the wheel bead, but is definatley not right. The tire guy at first said it would be ok like this until I could take it home and use a hair dryer on it to make it lay down flat (ughhh???) When I told him I didn't think that was the fix, he said the inner diameter part of the Portawalls was too large for my wheel's bead and that was the reason of the bunching up. He said I needed to trim some of this off and it would work. This sounds more likely the reason, but after his hair dryer comment, I'm a little hesitant to follow his advice. No where on the Lucas Tire website where I bought the portawalls does it say that "trimming may need to be done".
    Anyone else have this problem with their Portawalls and found a solution?
  2. lorodz
    Joined: Jul 26, 2009
    Posts: 3,725


    are the tires you are using radials ..if they are newer radials that could be a problem due to side wall profile ..there preety much made to go on plys...
  3. Flatheadguy
    Joined: Dec 2, 2008
    Posts: 2,037


    Portawalls, see lorodz comment above. Will not work with radials. I'm going to guess that your wheels and Portawalls are both 15"(?). Been using them many years ago with no problems. Go to the dealer and ask how to install. There are a few tricks, but very doable.
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  4. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 5,718

    from Michigan

    Hi dccd. Concerning the might consider not even messin' with 'em. They don't look good for very long...they tend to become warped after a while, and look terrible. You'd probably be happier with real whitewall tires. More expensive of course, but waaaaay better that portawalls.

    Welcome to you and your son to the hamb. Good luck and have fun. :) Rick
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
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  5. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    from colorado

    They are portawalls. They are supposed to look shitty.
    Barn Find likes this.
  6. There was a thread on here not long ago about porta walls and how to make them work-some guys use them on radials with no problems but the lower aspect ratio tires(Like 60 series or 50 series)don't work too well.
    If you use the search function and type in wide whites or porta walls -that info will pop up-Good luck I've seen some that looked pretty good.

  7. brad chevy
    Joined: Nov 22, 2009
    Posts: 2,627

    brad chevy

    You get what you pay for and port-a-whitewalls do not work on radials and they don"t last very long anyway.Welcome from Florida.
  8. 36 poncho
    Joined: Jul 7, 2009
    Posts: 80

    36 poncho
    from ny

    They looked so frikin good, I bought whitewalls just so I could take them off for preservation
  9. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,079


    trial and error. air the tire up slowly, a bit at a time. Perhaps you are using a rim that is too wide for the tire? It takes the right "bulge" to match the pre-formed bulge of the portawall.
  10. Like every thing imitation, well.......
  11. In the early 60's when I was using them, I would use a rubber mallet to work them into the rim while airing up the tire a little at a time. Of course the tires were Bias Plys then, might be different working with Radials.
  12. waldo53
    Joined: Jan 26, 2010
    Posts: 831

    from ID

    They'll work with radials under the right conditions. I've had mine on for 5 years, most people don't know they're portawalls. They work best on the higher profile radials, and with 2 or 2 1/2" portawalls. Any more than that and the bulge and flex of a radial will make 'em look crappy real quick. The secret I think is being real patient while inflating the tire, adjusting the portawall to fit exactly on the rim, all the way around. It may take a few tries to get it right.
  13. dccd
    Joined: Nov 1, 2009
    Posts: 155

    from Missouri

    Wow - 11 replys in under 12 hrs. Thanks for this kind of response for a new guy.
    I agree with those who responded back to use real white walls. They do fix my problem, but a little out of budget for a 16 year old right now. Trying to teach him the whole "You need to work hard in life if you want nice things" philosophy. He just started a minimum wage job recently and really want him to work towards get this old car on the road. That said, the white walls are SO COOL looking on these cars, that I'm hoping we can make the portawalls work at least for awhile until he decides to either save up for the real ones, or sock his money into something else for the car.
    Looks like I might try some more tire shops around here and hope for the best. The Portawalls are 15", and we tried putting them on a 225/75/15 tire. Anyone think there might be a better size tire we shoule try? They are radials (again the cash flow issue with buying plys), but I've read from several that radials can work.

    Thanks guys
  14. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,129


    I'd watch Craigslist for real WWW. They can be had. My now 17 year old has them on his truck through swaps, parts cars, and time. Porta Walls suck. I had them on a '54 Chevy with radials. As you speed up, they'll flip out and get trimmed down quick by the rear wheel radius! They only look good standing still. Go without and dream for WWW or do a search here on how to make your own WWW. I think it's in the tech section. If you've got white letter tires or a thin white wall, you can cut through the rubber covering the white and make your own. It just takes care and concentration.
  15. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,129


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

    from Missouri

    Danimal - is this safe to drive on then or just for show parked? Seems like it could be susceptible to a sidewall blowout.
  17. cruzr
    Joined: Jan 19, 2006
    Posts: 3,125


    Why would you want something that flaps when ya drive, looks shitty, and is fake?? I had to ask........................:D
  18. RDR
    Joined: May 30, 2009
    Posts: 1,352


    hey all, been wondering if there isn't some kind of super adhesive..shoe glue.. or something that we could use to adhere these portawalls onto radials...? I know Michelin has a program that you pick any of their tires and they will stick a whitewall on for a pretty hefty price.....Dang WWW are getting WAY too expensive and I'm just... wondering.......??
  19. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 3,895

    Automotive Stud

    yep that's how my dad said they did them at the used car dealer when he was in high school. He did a few fairly recently and you really couldn't tell.
  20. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,079


    don't forget to buff all the letters, etc. off the sidewall where the portawall will sit.

    sanding disc works great
  21. I ran them for two years on my truck. 205-70-15. The weight on the front of the truck caused the porta wall to flex and eventually they stretch and one ripped chunks out. Can you say unbalanced ( wheel that is) I finally bought real WWW for the front but continue to use the flappers on the rear. Less weight and they sit flat on the tire. I'm running 3" on N 50-15 on the rear now.
  22. UnsettledParadox
    Joined: Apr 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,107


    Starflite likes this.
  23. Starflite
    Joined: Mar 7, 2009
    Posts: 1


  24. Installed tons of them in the 60-70s. Make sure the bead of the tire, the bead of the wheel and the the pota wall are clean and DRY. With the bead broken place the porta wal into position (with air valve in place) inflate until tire just pops into place. Taking a rubber hammer(wrapped with a clean shop towel or rag slowly inflate tire in spurts while pounding on the pota wall where it meets rim. This will, when done properly, make a tight hugging, even fitting white wall with the outer edge snug against the wall of the tire ...................until ya curb it.
    302GMC likes this.
  25. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    from Missouri

    When I ran portawalls with radials on my '63 Comet, I noticed that the portawall wore a groove in the sidewall of the tire-presumably as the radial tire flexed the portawall was rubbing into it. Other than that, they fit well enough.
  26. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 9,817

    Blue One
    from Alberta

    Whitewalls suck real or fake admit it and move on. Real men run blackwalls. :D

    Hot rods run blackwalls, cream puff customs run white walls. :D
  27. Flat-Foot
    Joined: Jul 1, 2010
    Posts: 1,704

    from Locust NC

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1468986524.279413.jpg whitewalls rule!
  28. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 5,732

    from Idaho

    I'm with willbe.
    Just re-mounted a pair of 2 1/2'' Bearfoot Sole Port-A-Walls I've had since the late '60s. 15 X 5'' Chev reversed wheels, 5.60 Sportsmasters that were on 6'' mags. They got like 3 lbs. air, beat into place about 3 laps with a clean plastic hammer until absolutely uniform. Inflated to 30 lbs., the outer edge fits right into the rib in the tire's sidewall.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
    willbe likes this.
  29. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,498

    Kiwi 4d

    We ran porta walls for 10yrs on our shoebox. I think in that time we lost perhaps 2 , sure the quality degraded as you would expect.they are as cheap as chips .We were running 195 x70 x14 tires on a 5 1/2 I think rim. The tyres got cut a little at the edge of the whitewall , probably 1/8" .

    The trick seems to be to not go silly on rim and tire width. The straighter you can keep the tire sidewalls the better. Like 205 on a 6" rim .

    Don't let the monkeys at the tire shop install them. Sure Get the tires fitted at the shop then bring them home and deflate them and install the whitewalls yourself. It takes time to get them even , a couple of ups and downs usually, the puckers can be removed as long as the tire and rim size match. Just partially inflate and work the whitewall around.

    On our shoebox rebuild we had BFG white walls fitted even then the tire shop managed to bruise badly the white wall . The shop guy said "oh the boss says that always happens" " bull dust I said we have had several sets fitted and no dramas." monkeys..".
  30. So has anyone that used "port-a-walls" actually gone at least or over modern highway speeds without them flying off?

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