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Whitewall Width Question
#1
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

Steve Henderson
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I just bought a 1949 23rd Series Deluxe Eight sedan that sat in a garage for 25 years with some of the tires flat. I know I have to replace the tires to have any kind of safety on the road. The tires on the car now are H78-15 (tubeless) with 3-1/2 inch wide whitewalls.

I can't find any information on the internet as to correct whitewall width for the period. I'm considering radials, as I'd like this to be a road car. I hear good things about Diamondback radials, but I've always bought from Coker. Coker radials seem to be offered in 2-3/4 inch whitewalls only, 3/4 inches smaller than those on the car now.

Does anybody have recommendations about whitewall width in 1949 and/or use of radial tires on this car? Will the 1949 wheels stand up to the stress of radials? Should I have tubes added if I buy radials? Also, what do you think about Coker vs. Diamondback...or perhaps others?

If possible, I'd like to buy tires for this car only once, so any help will be appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve in Indiana

Posted on: 2018/2/24 12:46
Steve in Indiana

1947 Clipper Six Sedan
1949 Deluxe Eight Sedan
1956 400 Hardtop
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Re: Whitewall Width Question
#2
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Randy Berger
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I've run Diamondbacks for several years after Coker did not stand behind their guarantee. I've been well satisfied. I do run wire wheels which were rebuilt by a company in Calif. that is no longer in business. I buy my Diamondbacks through a Packard club that advertises in the Packard club newsletter.
It helps the club out and doesn't cost me any more. I recommend Diamond backs from my own experience.

Posted on: 2018/2/24 13:09
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Re: Whitewall Width Question
#3
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Owen_Dyneto
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Posted on: 2018/2/24 13:28
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Re: Whitewall Width Question
#4
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HH56
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Diamondbacks are good and there are now some radial tires with profiles similar to the original bias tires which are becoming more available. I don't know if Diamondback stocks more than one size yet (700R15 I think was all they had last time I looked). That one might fit the 49 but if not, might be worth looking into at some of the other vendors. Having a better profile tire looking more like period tires and also avoiding the issue of larger width radial tires not fitting into the wheel well very well is the benefit. To get the appropriate size in a regular radial to have the proper diameter so the speedo isn't messed up sometimes makes for a tight fit. Having to let the air out to remove a tire on those tight fits is a bit too much work.

Posted on: 2018/2/24 14:30
Howard
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Re: Whitewall Width Question
#5
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BigKev
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I bought American Classics Bias Look Radial tires from Summit racing as they have free shipping. They are expensive, but they look great, make the car sit at the right height, and the steers beautifully with that narrow tread. These have that pie crust edge and 3.25 " white wall. Pictures in my project blog.

Posted on: 2018/2/24 16:46
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Re: Whitewall Width Question
#6
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

Jameson
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I bought a set of bias ply tires from Coker years ago and had to send two of them back, due to the fact that they were warped and I could not get them balanced correctly. On my next car I went with radials from Diamondback and was very satisfied with their customer service, along with the tires themselves. I also could choose the width of the whitewall, all the way up to 4 inches so I recommend this company over Coker.

Posted on: 2018/8/26 12:22
1947 Custom Supper Clipper 2106
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Re: Whitewall Width Question
#7
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Fred Puhn
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My 1950 Series 23 Deluxe 8 sedan came with a set of Coker radials on it when I bought it. The tires were wide and low and made the car look like a low rider. I got rid of them and bought a set of Diamondback radials. These are beautiful and fit the car. However unless you keep the tire pressure way high the sidewalls crack. That has happened to me so I am not likely to buy another set if I can find another tire that also fits good.

I had a very bad experience with Coker. I bought a set of inner tubes for my antique truck some years ago. When I took them out of the sealed bags they cracked where the tubes were folded over. I asked them about returning them for good ones they would not consider it. Apparently it was my fault the tubes were packaged wrong and were very old. Since that time I have heard many stories about Coker not honoring a warrantee. I will never use Coker again.

Posted on: 2018/8/26 15:50
Fred Puhn
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Re: Whitewall Width Question
#8
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Fish'n Jim
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This is a common issue. There's little to no info on period tires with WW widths by year and/or by manufacturer/models that I've ever found. I searched quite a bit, so save your time.
I like the O_D method with a twist. I used it for the cad. Find a good original side view photo* and print it out. Then measure your rim diam., measure the rim and WW widths in the photo (calipers are handy) and you can ratio the actual WW size from those figures and be pretty close.

Easy answer; Black walls => no problem.

Posted on: 2018/8/26 21:04
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Re: Whitewall Width Question
#9
Not too shy to talk
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shore72
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The previous owner of my 2362 installed Coker Radials. I'd prefer bias or bias-look but these don't even have the nibs worn off so it looks like I'll be driving them for a while. As wide as they are I thought they'd steer tough but they're not bad. But, they're loaded with wheel weights and I feel a vibration at highway speeds. At some point I'll try having them rebalanced.

My old Ford has 6.00-16 Coker bias and I have no complaints with them. They appear to be identical to an old set of Commanders that I had, only difference being the name. I'm guessing it's a set of molds from way back when.

Posted on: 2018/8/26 22:20
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