Register now to get rid of these ads!

History Newbie Big and Littles education

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by jim1932, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. On a traditional 30's 40's rod, what would be a typical big and littles combination. Is this only the with and sidewall of the tire? or different rim sizes as well?

    Thanks
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  2. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 2,018

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    It really depends on the car and the year you are trying to replicate.

    As a general rule, rods in the '30s used a matched size tire front and rear. 600-16 or 650-16 tires all the way around seem to predominate.

    It wasn't until the immediate prewar period (very late '30s and early '40s) that guys on the dry lakes started using a taller rear tire than the front to gain the advantage of speed on the big end of the land speed courses. 600-16 or 650-16 up front and 700-16 or the occasional 700-17 in the back seems to be common.

    In the postwar period of the late '40s is when the exaggerated "big n' little" combinations took hold on the streets, the 'look' bleeding over from the lakes. This is when you commonly see 500-16, 550-16, or 600-16 tires up front with big 700-16, or 750-16 tires out back.

    16" wheels predominated throughout the '30s and '40s, 17" wheels were sorta old fashioned, and the 15" wheel was only offered in any quantity when Mercury started offering them in 1940.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
    lothiandon1940 and F&J like this.
  3. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 2,018

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    1936 - Note same size front and rear...
    Frank Morimoto.jpg

    1939 - big (probably 650-16) tires on all four corners...
    Edelbrock 1939.jpg

    1942 - Bigger tires in the rear, but not exaggerated...
    file.jpg

    1949 - Definitely big n' littles, probably 600-16 in front and 700-16 in back...
    Image1_2.jpg
     
  4. X2 what Rainerhooker said, then read this:
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/wheels-tires-stance.272403/#post-2892163

    In my opinion, on a highboy, you should shoot for about 5"-6" difference in tire height between the fronts and rears. Less if you're building a '40's themed car and a little more if you're building a '60's drag-themed car.

    Cars with fenders usually look best with a slightly smaller height difference.

    Hope this helps.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.

  5. I was kinda leaning toward the late 40's style with my Deuce pickup,bias ply front tires 5.60 x 15" with 5" wheels,the rear tires were L78 x 15" with 7" wheels. HRP

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
    lothiandon1940 and Just Gary like this.
  6. We run old Ford 16" rims with 600's in front and 750's out back. Firestone WWW.
    Don't really like the bias tires because of road manners but they sure look the part.......
     
  7. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member

    RainerHooker posts are gospel in that precise time era.

    super early cars were go-faster more than looks. Take parts off for wind resistance, work on engine, and go faster.

    early 1950's-up, things started to change a lot in many areas of the States.... "go faster" mixed with more emphasis on "looks". Cars were not just for the tracks, and many built just for street use.
    .
     
  8. just remember to put the big tires in the back and the little ones in front....don't mix that up
     
  9. ANDEREGG TRIBUTE
    Joined: Jan 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,367

    ANDEREGG TRIBUTE
    Member
    from Bordertown

    Did the introduction of the VW Bug, have anything to do with the availability of the 5.60-15 and further the big/littles ratio difference? Isn't that the tire size for the Bug?
     
  10. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member

    The OP said 30s to 40s rod. The VW bug first appeared in 1938 with 16" and had that 16"rim size until 1953.
     
  11. this answers my question. Working on a 32 tudor banger. For some reason my eyes had me convinced is was the diameter of the wheels that was different.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  12. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member

    Some pics really do look like two different rim OD on front vs rears, if the tire diameters are very different. Optical illusion.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  13. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 2,018

    RainierHooker
    Member
    from Tacoma, WA

    The differently sized wheels do come up, if only infrequently, in pictures of cars at the dry lakes from the late '30s on. This car, the "McClair Phaeton" ran at Harper Dry lake in 1940, and is a major source of inspiration for my war-time period-correct Model A build:
    Taylor McClair Harper Dry Lake 1940.jpg

    It appears to be running a 17-700 tires on either Ford, Lincoln, or aftermarket wheels in the rear and either 650-16 or 600-16 tires on 1935 Ford wheels in front. My car duplicates this with 700-16s on 1935 Lincoln wire wheels and 650-16s on 1935 Ford wire wheels.
    28.jpg

    This phenomenon seems to be fairly limited to guys running for speed on the lakes, and is especially well documented with high-clearance wheels (i.e. the mis-named "Divco" wheels) on post-war and 1950's cars at Bonneville. I have yet to find any compelling evidence that this trend actually caught on for street-driven rods until recently.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  14. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,487

    Fogger
    Member

    My '32 Roadster has 5.00x16 front and 7.50x16 rear on bent spoke Kelseys. It looks right to me. EP1120539_JPG.jpg
     
  15. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member

    I agree, it looks the era...and the headlight type and placement, and the lower than "normal" back of the roof. (the roof cloth on the side slopes down as it heads to the rear) Neato
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  16. Fogger
    Joined: Aug 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,487

    Fogger
    Member

    Found another shot that shows the tire size difference. DSC_7693.jpg
     
  17. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,372

    Gary Addcox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Your truck had "the look".
    This Gary likes it, too!
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  18. Gary Addcox
    Joined: Aug 28, 2009
    Posts: 2,372

    Gary Addcox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Why, yes indeed! ALWAYS put both big tires in back, then the two 'lil tires HAVE to go up front. Wanted to clear this up.
     
  19. I thought the little ones go on the drivers side for going around the track. LOL


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    GearHead614 and lothiandon1940 like this.
  20. Jet96
    Joined: Dec 24, 2012
    Posts: 1,173

    Jet96
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from WY

    image.jpeg Firestones 7.50/16 rear 5.50/16 front. Trim rings from a '39 Dodge, original v8 caps
     
  21. I found my "Big"....
    believe it or not this is NOT photo shopped. Saw a set of four, in four separate trucks, on route 26 outside Charleston, SC IMG_2667.JPG
     
  22. Barn Find
    Joined: Feb 2, 2013
    Posts: 2,320

    Barn Find
    Member
    from Missouri

    So, besides the fact that it looks photo shopped, are we supposed to assume that they cut the top out of four shipping containers to move these tires down a stretch of road that had no overpasses?
     
  23. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,510

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Those look to be tires for a Cat 797 dump truck.
    Each 797 wheel is attached to the axle using 54 - 36-mm nuts that are torqued to 2,300 lb·ft (3,118 N·m).[17] A size 55/80R63 radial tire was developed by Michelin in conjunction with Caterpillar specifically for the first generation 797.[18] The Caterpillar 797B and 797F run 4.028 m (13.22 ft) tall, 5,300 kg (11,680 lb) Michelin 59/80R63 XDR. Most first generation 797s have been retrofitted to use the 59/80R63 tires as well.[19] Six tires are required per truck at a cost in 2009 of approximately US$42,500 per tire.[20]

    13.22 ft tall and the tread pattern is an exact match.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
  24. I want to put a set of those on the back of my 29! lol Ron...
     
  25. 54stude
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 60

    54stude
    Member

    You can rent containers with tarp tops, for use when you want to unload a container with a crane.
     
  26. the photo is real through the windshield of my pickup. I do agree that for some reason it has that photoshop look. maybe the tint on the windshield. Wonder where they are running trucks that big near Charleston.... but then again that is Way off topic.

    how big a tire can you put on a stock 1932 ford rim? I am running the original size right now.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  27. indyjps
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 3,921

    indyjps
    Member

    Yokahama has a big plant outside Greenville SC. They do make Caterpillar tires but I'm not sure if they make those tires at that facility. Inventory gets run ahead and shifted around, never seen them ship like that, typically rail.
    On an export machine, everything has to get to port somehow.
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  28. Bader2
    Joined: May 19, 2014
    Posts: 1,143

    Bader2

  29. Bader2
    Joined: May 19, 2014
    Posts: 1,143

    Bader2

    Tobbe J, Frankie47, Hotrodmyk and 3 others like this.
  30.  

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.