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Re: Tire size
#11
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

Mark Buckley
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John,

I can't answer your question about switching from bias ply to radial tires. When I bought the car in 2004 it had radials on it. Unbeknownst to me the tires were the wrong size: too small. The tires seemed to perform well enough, but the car rode lower to the ground than it should have. I also believe the too-small tires affected my odometer readings. The odometer showed 1.25 miles for every actual mile traveled. This changed after I switched to the 225/75/15 tires from Diamondback.

Diamondback basically buys off-the-shelf radials from a number of manufacturers. I believe my tires were made by Hankook. Diamondback then scrubs away the identifying marks on the 'outside' wall of the tire, making a smooth surface (you can look at the 'inside' wall to see who made your tire). Diamondback affixes the whitewall material to that scrubbed surface in a way that seems superior to its competitors. After more than six years and 30,000+ miles on the road, my Diamondback whitewalls are still well-attached and reasonably white. The treads are also still in reasonable shape--I hope to get another 10-20,000 miles from the tires.

If you do opt for Diamondback wide whites I suggest you pay extra for the 'beauty ring.' This is an added ring of whitewall material that's affixed to the widest part of the tire. It's basically a sacrificial chafing ring that will absorb the brunt of any rubbing against curbs, etc. Rather than rub away your primary whitewall material, the beauty ring takes the hit.

Whatever whitewall tires you buy, I suggest you also invest in a pair of curb feelers. I have these installed on my front and rear bumpers, on the passenger side. They extend sideways and outward at about a 45 degree angle. I can usually hear the feelers scraping against any curbs I'm getting close to when parallel parking--the feelers start to rub when I'm about six inches away from the curb. The scraping sound tells me not to get any closer; if I do, I'll probably rub my wide whites against the curb. This will mean yet another application of solvent, scouring pads, and elbow grease!

All the best and good luck,

Mark

Posted on: 2011/9/20 14:49
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Re: 1950 Packard Standard Eight - Rear Shocks
#12
Home away from home
Home away from home

fred kanter
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How can you give an unbiased opinion on bias ply tires??

Posted on: 2011/9/20 23:14
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Re: 1950 Packard Standard Eight - Rear Shocks
#13
Home away from home
Home away from home

JD in KC
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My '50 Custom came with very old bias-ply tires that had a 1-inch whitewall that in my opinion, looked very wrong for the car. The car was extremely difficult to drive as it had a horrible tendency to 'follow' every flaw in the road surface. I cannot say with total honesty whether the problems were the tires, the age of the tires, or the condition of the suspension system.

I purchased Diamond Back radials (Cooper 235-75-15) and all problems related to the following/wandering ceased. The car now drives and handles (steering-wise) like my modern vehicles.

Recently I acquired a '49 Custom that has bias-ply wide whitewall tires (manufacturer unknown). Comparing the two cars as they sit in the garage, I have to admit that the tires on the '49 are better looking as they relate to the car than the radials on the '50 (even with the extra-cost beauty rings).

I am still working on getting the '49 totally road-worthy so I can't really provide a good comparison yet but so far... I can say that the radial tires eliminated the handling problems with the '50 and look good, while the bias-ply tires look better and make maneuvering the car at slow/stopped speeds (like backing into the garage in a tight area) much easier. Cranking the steering wheel with radial tires while the car is stopped is a real chore.

All in all I have no regrets with my decision to put Diamond Back radials on the '50.

Posted on: 2011/9/20 23:23
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