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Radials on Bias ply/inner tube style rims?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by orange52, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. orange52
    Joined: Feb 21, 2003
    Posts: 452


    This is probably a dumb question but can I run a radial tire on a biasply/inner tube style rim?

    I.E. I have a set of 1950 chevy car rims. The centers are rivetted in, as long as those rivets don't leak will this work?

    I think they are 15x5 or 6. I was thinking of running 205 70R 15's on the front and 235's on the rear.

    Better yet, will this work safely?
  2. oldspeed
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 897

    from Upstate NY

    I don't think there is a problem as long as the rims don't leak. When radial started to get popular they were putting them on all the cars with out changing wheels. Someone correct me if I'm wrong
  3. skipperman
    Joined: Dec 24, 2002
    Posts: 1,837


    There is such a thing as RADIAL inner tubes too if need be ......

    Jersey Skip
  4. OHV DeLuxe
    Joined: May 27, 2005
    Posts: 352

    OHV DeLuxe
    from Norway

    I`ve been told not to do that because the sidewalls on radials are much more rigid than those on bias plys so some people have experienced cracked rims around the outer and inner "lips" of the rim and even the "lips" falling off...

    I guess it`s different from manufacturer to manufacturer..

  5. OHV DeLuxe
    Joined: May 27, 2005
    Posts: 352

    OHV DeLuxe
    from Norway

    I`ve been told not to do that because the sidewalls on radials are much more rigid than those on bias plys so some people have experienced cracked rims around the outer and inner "lips" of the rim and even the "lips" falling off...

    I guess it`s different from manufacturer to manufacturer of both rims and wheels..
    Joined: Jun 6, 2005
    Posts: 1,887

    Member Emeritus

    It is not recommended to use a tubeless design radial ply tire on a rim designed for a bias ply tube tire. Radial ply tires have beads designed to correspond with rims that have a tapered bead seat and the angles are different. A safety hump is now rolled into the rim body to prevent a low pressure tire from rolling off the rim. Bias ply wheels do not have this built in saftey measure and should the tire loose air pressure the tire bead would easily part from the rim creating an Oh S.. condition.

    It is possible to use radial tires on bias ply rims that lack the safety bead but this requires the use of radial tire inner tubes. In some applications the rim center rivets are covered to prevent chaffing the inner tube.

    Opinion only, can you use radials? Yes, but with tubes.
  7. Certainly, as long as the wheel holds air. As far as bias/radial, there were bias tubeless before radials were implemented.
  8. I'm gonna guess that if your tire looses air on about any rim its gonna be an Oh S---- situation.

    Throw some tubes in 'em and run 'em. No one asked those questions when they were putting Pirellis on 'em back in the '50s.
  9. Elrod
    Joined: Aug 7, 2002
    Posts: 3,563


    I know that MoPar touted safety rims as far back as 1936. I've run bias plys tubeless on a 48 plymouth before with no problem. I don't see why you can't run radials.

    Heck. The Model A restorers are slapping Radials on 36 Ford wire wheels all the time.
  10. Everybody makes a good point, but with 32 years in the tire business, I'll throw my .02 in.

    Spadaro is right about the tire bead angle (5* bias and 15* radial) and the retaining "safety" bead rolled into the wheel rim. Yeah, it will work, but that's not the standard. The radial bead will twist to conform to the 5* rim's bead seat and puts additional stress on the area above the bead (body ply turnup) which can lead to cracking there, due to the higher flex of the raidal in that area.

    Regardless, if you decide to run them with tubes, absolutely use a radial tube.
    Heavier gauge rubber, better splices, heavier stem base to take care of the flex and heat buildup. You might want to cut the belly out of a smaller tube and stretch it over the drop center to keep the rivets from chafing the tube.
    If you go tubeless, some silicone around the rivets will take car of leaks.

    YOU have to make the decision as to the level of "safety" you're comfortable with, as with any of the kind of cars we drive. Keep in mind that a tubeless tire's liner is designed to seal around a puncture, but if a tube is punctured, it's an instantaneous flat. Not fun on the steer at speed!

    Good luck!

  11. That's an Old Wife's Tale.

    Think about it for a moment. What's the limiting factor for putting stress on the rim?

    It's the adhesion of the tire to the road. The tire will loose traction before it breaks or cracks the rim.

    If ya' have a rim that was thin because of rust or a manufacturing defect (I've seen those) ya' could be looking at trouble. But if ya' have a good rim to begin with, there shouldn't be a problem.
  12. Crestliner
    Joined: Dec 31, 2002
    Posts: 3,011


    Been running radials on my crestliner for about 10 years. Even drove it on Winchester speedway and it has the same banking as Indy.

  13. Mr. Spadaro,

    NO! NO! NO! NO!!!!! Who told ya' all this bullshit? A tire design engineer? Ya' don't need tubes when runnin' radial tires on old bias ply style rims. If the bead seat area is clean, straight and free of dirt/rust pits, the Radial will seat fine on the old rim.

    When several racing organizations switched from Bias to Radial racing tires, did it obsolete the old rims? No :) . How do I know this?

    Ya' know what keeps the tire seated to the rim? It's not that bump on the rim bead seat area you mentioned. It's air!!!!!!!

    Yes, the bump in the rim is a safety feature in case the tire goes flat, but it wasn't invented for radial tires. It was invented for tubeless tires, but didn't appear in the market place as standard issue until several years after the introduction of tubeless tires.

    The '55 Chevy my folks bought new had tubeless tires (US Royals 6:70-15's) and the rims didn't have the bump. Ya' know what, we had flats and I'm still living.

    As far as the bead seat area design, bias vs radial, there can be small differences, but not enough to cause a safety problem. If there was, the number of law suits would be astronomical because of hot rodders like us.

    Stupid people do stupid stuff (remember, ya' can't fix stupid!!), like trying to put a tire designed for a 8" rim on a 4" rim and visa versa. This has more of a negative effect on the geometry of the tire bead seating to the rim than bias vs. radial rims.

    Next time there's a tire question, ya' better let me answer it, you're in over your head ;) .

    Now, how do I know all this shit?
  14. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Bottom line I've done it a lot and it works.
  15. txturbo
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 1,771


    Ive driven cars without seat belts and air bags and its worked fine also. But it hasn't worked for everyone. Lots of things were done a different way back then.....they are done differently now for a reason.....its safer.
  16. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Okay you'll be safer in a new Volvo station wagon but it's not a death sentence,
  17. hari kari
    Joined: Aug 4, 2011
    Posts: 42

    hari kari
    from michigan

  18. junkman8888
    Joined: Jan 28, 2009
    Posts: 559


    Greetings! Am avoiding this issue by mating the centers from the original Chevy wheels with hoops taken from later-model 15" Ford pickup wheels.
  19. Cosmo49
    Joined: Jan 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,222


    HMMMMMM., 85 K miles, 215 85 R 16's on stock rims, no tubes. Daily driver year 'round, only vehicle. Lose no air, check them once a month, tp is the same. 1949 Chevy 1/2 ton. You can keep giving people money that you don't need to part with or you can follow practical, empirical advice.
  20. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,200

    Ned Ludd

    I think it depends more on the quality of manufacture than what system the wheels were meant for. The tubeless radial tyres on my Morris Minor slowly lose air through the stock rims. When I used the car regularly, checking tyre pressures was routine. With less frequent use tubes might be a better idea.

    It's important to use tubes designed for radials, though. I had tubes fitted in radials on another car once as a stop-gap measure until I could afford to replace a tyre which had taken a nail. The tube "walked" around the tyre and pulled the valve stem into the hole! They had to puncture the tube to get the damaged tyre off.

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