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Projects Tires that look proper.

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by DemonTweaks, Aug 28, 2020.

  1. DemonTweaks
    Joined: Mar 16, 2016
    Posts: 26

    DemonTweaks
    Member
    from T-Town, WA

    Been looking for tires for my -53 Studebaker/'Bonneville race look' project and run into a wall. Right now there is some old ass snow tires (!) on it that are both worn and old in 175/75-14 (will swap to 15s due to brake clearance issues) front, and 225/75-15 in the rear. They have the right look for the car, tall, skinny and a nice bulging sidewall.
    But can't find any new ones that seems useful!
    Don't want to run a round with snow tires and 'real deal' Goodyear LSR or Mickey Thompson tires (which would be sweet!) are stupid expensive..!
    Been eyeballing old school bias ply's too since that would look great, and period correct, but are worried they suck to drive on...
    Any ideas?
     
    dana barlow likes this.
  2. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,069

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Probably not a big deal here in the PNW as far as Bias or radials as far as taking it to most events go.

    The thing I don't like about most of the tires I see at tire stores is that the have gaudy side walls with too much molded crap on them rather than just a plain sidewall with discrete lettering for the brand.

    I Know that a few guys who have showed up at Billetproof were running bias tires on old school rims rather than the billet wheels you saw on the car at Goodguys. Not all of us can swing a set of street runners and a set of show bias tires though.
     
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  3. Yep.
     
    DemonTweaks likes this.
  4. There used to be a thread on sanding/buffing unwanted molding crap off your tires...going no-name!
     
    loudbang, jimmy six and DemonTweaks like this.

  5. DemonTweaks
    Joined: Mar 16, 2016
    Posts: 26

    DemonTweaks
    Member
    from T-Town, WA

    Totally agree Mr48chev! Hard to find these sizes too though. 235/70-15 is common, for Off-road tires...
    I've never driven on bias ply's and am worried it might handle weird (but considering the suspension on this is a 70 year old design...) especially with some power in it.
    My goal is to be finished (at the very latest! ) for 'Hotrod-a-Rama' next year!
     
  6. ST63
    Joined: Aug 28, 2020
    Posts: 8

    ST63

    I owned an old school rodded 50 Plymouth and ran Coker 800R15 “bias look radials” on it. Had the tall skinny profile I liked but rode like a modern radial. Had a Borg Warner OD and ran it at freeway speeds all the time with no problem. I’ve heard from others who don’t like Cokers, but I was happy with them. They looked right and rode well. I’ve had many cars over the years that had bias ply tires on em, but these were like night and day in all but looks. Not cheap, but I bit the bullet and was happy. I’m going to buy another set for my 49 Ford project.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
    loudbang and DemonTweaks like this.
  7. DemonTweaks
    Joined: Mar 16, 2016
    Posts: 26

    DemonTweaks
    Member
    from T-Town, WA

    Been looking at those and might be 'it'.
     
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  8. MAD MIKE
    Joined: Aug 1, 2009
    Posts: 704

    MAD MIKE
    Member
    from 94577

    FWIW
    Hankook Optimos and Kuhmo Tourings both come in whitewall versions that have a skinny tread width for a given size and pudgy sidewall. They have that BP look to them in the 70/75 sidewall sizes.
     
    loudbang and DemonTweaks like this.
  9. I have bias plys on my 53 Chevy. I drive it everywhere. I have driven it from upstate NY near Albany to Englishtown NJ and to Boston.

    Don't forget the stock 53 Studebaker suspension was designed for use with bia plys not radial tires. A radial tire actually acts as a spring (this is how the 3 NASCAR top divisions run coil bind) somthing the stock 53 Stude suspension was not disgned for.

    If bis plys were as unsafe and dangerous as some say they are there should be nothing but carnage on every Friday/Saturday night short track!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  10. ST63
    Joined: Aug 28, 2020
    Posts: 8

    ST63

    Definitely true...bias plys are fine for those old stock suspensions...put thousands and thousands of miles on mine over the years with no issue...just a matter of getting used to the way they track vs. a radial. I should have mentioned that my 50 Plymouth and 49 Ford project have updated suspensions that work better with radials.
     
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  11. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,742

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    The look,hummmm,Well I drive hot rod I built in 1959,bias ply were on it for many years,Radials came out,and I pick some same size and black wall. Much better ride,no bump BS for first few miles. Do they have the look< What hell you talking about,pick some same size. Only Superman may have eye that can see Rarial words,as I'm going by,and not even he could tell if it was a bias or radial as I pass. Now if I see some at a show bending over to try an read tire,I ask what would they like to know? If they talk for a time,at some point the fact they need to look that close,will flash a red light=they look the same,if you pick the right one. I'm actually tired of the BS about Bias ply vs Radial,if you like paying more for less,just to say it is bias,go for it,if it's your love,but don't fool your self that any one can see that as you go by. What I'm really saying is,for me,I use the saved $ for other cool upkeep stuff on the rod an ride smoother too. As for adjustment do to using radial,=Radial have better sidewall,so lower tire PSI* will give better ride,with better tread on road< I don't want to hear any misinformed ideas about radial can't work on earl cars*
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  12. DemonTweaks
    Joined: Mar 16, 2016
    Posts: 26

    DemonTweaks
    Member
    from T-Town, WA

    That's the biggest problem, can't find tires this size anymore! Atleast not on the giant, online shops. Gonna pop in to some tire place around here and see what they can do too.
    (These tires are at least 20+ years old and was put on when the previous owner hot rodded the car back in California in the 80s I'm guessing)
     
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  13. Unless you are running actual racing tires NOTHING will look the same. And these tires are not really safe for everyday road hazzards.
     
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  14. Bigmac48
    Joined: Apr 3, 2017
    Posts: 551

    Bigmac48
    Member
    from Dundalk Md

    image.jpeg Demon Tweaks , wanted a tall thin tire fore the rear of my 40 took off a set of 235x70x 15" off the back did tire rack found matching tires in the 2 sizes I was looking for 195x65x15" for the front did 225x75x15" for the rear . The 225x75x15" are slightly taller (28.2) I think then 235x70x15 " but a little narrower that I was looking for . Picked a brand that had the 2 different sizes I wanted . .think I did hankook Kinergy Can't remember but searched there site ,bought tire sizes I wanted then looked at tread design found the most normal tread . Then went to grinding the sidewalls smooth . Used a D A took me longer then expected .am satisfied with end results .they are about $80.00 -$85.00 each and had em mounted and balanced local .on tire rack you can shop by tire size ,find what you like can hit sizes tells all diff sizes in that perticular tire hit specs and tells you height , width , rim size . Wish you well , and God bless
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  15. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,742

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    This may help find size,take your tape an put it on what ya got,if ya like them size wise. Way of numbering an labeling tire changed,am we got mm # too; http://www.angelfire.com/on/geebjen/tires.html
    A few others may also find that handy.
     
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  16. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 51,245

    squirrel
    Member

    Might depend where you live, but you should be able to find 165/80R15 and 215/75R15 tires without too much trouble.

    Or get some 600-15 and 855-15 bias plys, for more money, and not as good handling or tread life...but they have the right look, that you just can't get with radials.

    If the car's suspension and steering is all in good condition, you should be fine driving with the bias plys.
     
  17. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,262

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    2 minutes online and my favorite tire store shows me several street tires in 235/70/15 from different manufacturers.
     
    dana barlow, Just Gary and loudbang like this.
  18. This is what they used to run.
    Still available and will always look great on a Bonneville Stude IMHO!
    18 Doug cookie cook.jpg
     
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  19. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,653

    i.rant
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. 1940 Ford

    Using the tire diameter formula :

    Tire diameter = 2x section width x aspect ratio divided by 2540 + wheel diameter

    235 x70 x15 is 27.95 in diameter as opposed to the 225x75x15 = 28.28 diameter
     
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  20. DemonTweaks
    Joined: Mar 16, 2016
    Posts: 26

    DemonTweaks
    Member
    from T-Town, WA

    Really like those 'Hallibrand' Kidney bean rims! Had a set of 'Rocket Racing' look-alikes on my Falcon some years ago, but was the 'as-cast' ones and they sucked to try to keep clean. Stained from water even... but a good affordable candidate for painting them for a magnesium look.
     
    Tony Martino likes this.

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