Radials or bias tires for my 35 s/c auburn driver?

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20 Dec 2006 01:22 #5974 by Mike Dube
Mike Dube replied the topic:
Jim,

Not to be confrontational, but.... I mentioned that the tire technician mounting the radials on that '41 Packard called my attention to the wheels. He did so by throwing one, like a basketball pass, to me from across the bay. It was extremely light compared to the stock rim from my '63 Ford that I had with me for a leak repair. I think you'll agree that Packard in 1941 was still a pretty stout car, and they didn't cut too many corners either.

This guy is also talking about a Classic era wire wheel, I wonder if it was ever respoked? In this day and age, I'd be careful about making a hard and fast recommendation, the internet never forgets.....My 2 cents.

PS: For what its worth, that 63 Ford now runs radials.

Mike
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  • Josh Malks
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20 Dec 2006 02:39 #5975 by Josh Malks
Josh Malks replied the topic:
I do not have the knowledge needed to make engineering statements about old vs new rims. I do know some history, though.

In the 1930s, French tire manufacturer Michelin began to investigate ways to reduce interply friction and tread movement. Their first production radial tire for passenger cars was on the market in 1948, aimed primarily at sports cars and sporty sedans. For some years Michelin was the major producer of radial tires, and provided them only for European cars. In 1965 Goodyear, Firestone and U.S. Rubber began selling radial tires in the United States in limited areas, primarily in sizes to fit European cars. In 1966, Sears Roebuck stunned the tire industry by introducing radials made in sizes for American cars, as aftermarket replacements. Sears and Michelin had signed an agreement a year earlier under the terms of which Michelin would supply its radial tires to Sears, branded with the Allstate name. (This was the only time, incidentally, that Michelin branded its tires with any name but its own.) The tires were originally installed at Sears shops with Michelin radial tubes, but after satisfactory experience for just a few months the radials were installed tubeless from then on.

Ford offered American-made radials on some of its 1967 models. Within ten years every production car offered radials, first as an option and later as standard equipment.

But in 1966 and for a decade afterward Sears specifically marketed Michelin-made Allstate radial tires to owners of cars that had come from the factory with bias-ply tires. These included not only then-current vehicles, but older ones --- 60s and 50s too. Nowhere in Sears? advertising material, in their instructions to mechanics or in their training for salespeople is there any reference to the rims on which the new tires were being installed --- rims that were designed for bias-ply tires. There was no requirement, or even suggestion, that the original rims be replaced with heavier ones.

The above information, with supporting documentation, came to me from the late Jim Troka, an ACD Club member who was the Sears buyer who closed the deal with Michelin. It is no more than historical information. Readers may draw whatever conclusions they wish.

Josh B. Malks
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  • Lee
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20 Dec 2006 04:01 #5978 by Lee
Lee replied the topic: Hey, great information...
I appreciate all the information on running radials on the Auburn. Okay, here my take on the rims: If no one from the club has said their rim/rims have blown apart, then I bet it is okay to do.

Has anyone heard of a rim doing that?

Now, I need to know what the 'black goop' is to run tubeless...Josh, I take it you don't have any slow leaks...

I am also still debating on the Diamond vs. Coker...more thoughts on that?

Okay, Let me spring this one...I'd like to have some fun with the
Auburn...I'm considering driving it to Bonneville and putting it through the time traps this summer...yeah, breaking 100 mph on the salt flats in my phaeton! Okay, imagine, windshield down, goggles on; headlamps taped; number taped to the side of the car; tarp over the seats; of course a (football) helmet to protect me in case i flip. I know Jenkins did it for 24 hours, but I don't have that kind of time! Do you think it could happen? Okay, maybe put a temporary roll bar in the back seat area...hey, it's a driver and we drive drivers/why not race them? Who wants to pit crew?

Has any one else done this recently? I checked, and it isn't that hard to register for a time trial. Okay you engineers, what RPM would return 100 mph with the 6:50x16 and a dual ratio?
Lee

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20 Dec 2006 04:14 #5979 by Mike Dube
Mike Dube replied the topic:
I don't propose to be the be all expert on this subject either. This was taken from an article on Businessweek.com entitled a 'Tale of Two Tires' addressing the use of radials on older vehicles. The article takes the same point of view that most of us have here, ie that radials are fine on old cars.

This is one old tire guy's response:

<<Nickname: Old tire man
Review: You're neglecting a very important design fact when comparing radial and bias tires and rims: How the load is transferred through the tire to the rim. Radials transfer the load (vehicle + payload) to the bead of the rim and bias transfers the load upwards through the center of the rim, ie, bias rims are thinner at the bead area than radial rims. I was there when we made the transition to radials in the 1970s and I can't tell you how many bias rims I personally have seen 'peeled' at the bead when a radial tire was (wrongly) mounted. I won't mount a radial on a bias designed rim, but then I have many years of personal (in a professional setting) experience to rely on. Safety first.
Date reviewed: Nov 24, 2006 10:24 PM>>

During my college years, I worked part time in a Sohio Gas station, the old full service kind, we did everything. While it was almost 35 years ago, I seem to remember a communique from corporate about just this problem.

Again, I just wonder if we ought to be making this kind of recommendation here.

Mike
8-100A

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21 Dec 2006 01:51 #5985 by
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Hi Guys,

Josh, the Coker radial has a 3" whitewall, so yes it is narrow for the Cord. I'll email you a picture since I haven't figured out how to post one yet. If anyone else wants a photo of the Coker radial on my car just send me an email.

Mike, I agree with you, the one thing I like about this website is being able to get into these discussions and hearing from many different people. I missed the wire wheels, those I would be cautious with. As with any of the recommendations and information we have to take a look at it and see if it applies to our situation and make our own judgement. Also when we are dealing with cars that are over 70 years old, condition is very important.

The history of the radials is interesting. I didn't know most of that. I do remember when the radials frist came out in the late '60's my dad wanted to put a set on the family car and my mom FORBID his too because the cop cars all had the radial and they were haveing problems with the tires coming apart during prolonged high speed chases (she knew how fast my dad drove).

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22 Dec 2006 03:01 #5993 by mikespeed35
mikespeed35 replied the topic: tires
You might go to 7:00X16 for a little more top end. They were optional on 35 Speedsters.
Cordially Mike

Mike Huffman

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