PDA

View Full Version : 52 Champion - How will Radials work?



montereystude
12-06-2005, 01:25 PM
Interested in putting radials on my 52 Champion Commander. Wondering how the car will react and whether or not I need to replace the rims in the process. Someone said the radials cause flexing in the rims that may be too much for the old rims to handle and that there are sometimes issues with the wheel covers staying on because of this flexing in the rims (upgraded rims or not). If the rim does need to be replaced is there a later model car that has a rim adequate for the replacement? Does anybody have experience with this? Thanks!

Roscomacaw
12-06-2005, 01:55 PM
Those radials will make one BIG improvement in the way that Champion drives and handles!:D You'll LOVE it.

My observation has been that the stock wheels on a 52 are heftier than later, Lark era wheels. I've run radials on my V8 Lark for years, using wheels off a '51! Whereas I did have wheelcover walk with the original Lark wheels, it stopped when I went to the earlier wheels.
Get 195X75 R15s if you can. They really look right, size-wise. And their smaller "footprint" will lessen the effort required to turn them while parked![:I] 205s look OK and will fit alright but every part of the steering gear is stressed more (including your arms[:0]) when you add more footprint than you really need.;)

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

Alan
12-06-2005, 02:23 PM
There is a safety hump around the rim of a tubeless tire to keep it from dismounting itself on a turn or in the rear when you get on it hard. Also the rivited rims on some of the older Studes will leak at the rivits unless you use a tube. The best thing you can do before you spend a lot of money and grief is dismount your old tire and inspect the rim.

Roscomacaw
12-06-2005, 02:31 PM
I've yet to need tubes on stock rims with tubeless tires. Not to say it doesn't happen - just that maybe I'm unusually lucky[}:)]

You could seal the rivets on the inside before letting the tire shop install new tires if it would afford you peace of mind.[:I]

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

Mike Van Veghten
12-06-2005, 03:08 PM
Riveted vs. welded wheels and radial tires...
Not sure "I'd" run riveted wheels with radials.
On the other hand, if you drive it like an older car and don't induce all that heavy duty side load that the radial tire is designed to handle, you should be fine....maybe with an every 6 month, rivet air leak check as a verification.

As far as wheel vs. radial tire tread width...
The radial tire was designed and works "best" with the tread and "rim" width being +/-1.00" (total). A slightly wider wheel is better than a narrower one.

Watch out for those Coker prices......

Roscomacaw
12-06-2005, 03:46 PM
I've been running radials on riveted rims for years. And I drive them hard. No problems.:)

In fact, the only Stude wheels I've had trouble with were the flimsy, early Lark wheels. I finally reverted to using earlier 50s Stude wheels because they don't bend. "Bend" as in the center portion, so the wheels didn't track true anymore.
I also had a set of truck wheels that cracked around the lug holes![:0] And this was even with bias ply tires on them. I've heard of others having the same problem with stock Stude truck wheels. OF course.... trucks typically get more hard use with high loads, so that might cause a problem well past the age that engineers ever envisioned these vehicles serving![}:)]
Almost 42 years now, since the last Studebaker truck was assembled. And wheels have to handle loads and stresses in many directions over all those years.[xx(]

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

gecoe
12-06-2005, 07:01 PM
Ah radials, the difference between herding and driving![:o)]

hank63
12-06-2005, 07:46 PM
Going from x-ply to radials would have to be the single most cost effective improvement you can make to your car.
The car suddenly gets so much better road behaviour.
To be honest, I didn't notice any worse parking effort (and I went from 5.90x17 to 205x16 on a non-stude car). It's still a wee bit heavy to park, but that's to be expected from a heavy car without power steering.
BUT, no more fighting to get around corners, no more sudden course changes from road surface roughness and a much smoother ride in general.
Go for it.
/H

Dick Steinkamp
12-06-2005, 08:55 PM
quote:Originally posted by montereystude

Interested in putting radials on my 52 Champion Commander.


Is that a Champion with a V8 or a Commander with a 6? [}:)]

-Dick-

buckeye
12-06-2005, 08:56 PM
Cooper Tire has a P195/75R15 but not in the wide whitewall

Mike Van Veghten
12-06-2005, 11:10 PM
Mr. Biggs,

Seems we have another bit of a difference of opinion!
My statement stands...as far as "my" cars go!

With a riveted construction..you have what is concidered a "flexable" joint...in the Areospace industry. We aren't talking spacecraft or aeroplanes here...but it's still a flexable joint. It may take 10lbs to make the joint flex, it may take 10,000lbs to make the joint flex. But without testing...the wheel in this case, you simply don't know how that 40+ year old wheel will stand up to the added load of a radial tire.
Notice I said flex, not break, like a weld might. A proper weld will out live a riveted joint...in this case "nearly" every time. Could that be why the industry went welded wheels...beside of course the overall cost in the two wheels! And yea....the earilier wheels had thicker material, I'd be willing to bet somewhere in later years, the material got better.

While you may have had wonderfull luck over your years of driving on riveted wheels....I'd still "caution"....notice I haven't said "DON'T", I'm just saying...do it with caution. Make a scheduled check of the rivets in the back of ones wheels. Or else the center and the rim....could part company at a very inopertune time.

And to all a good night.

DEEPNHOCK
12-07-2005, 08:16 AM
Only thing I'll add to what was said here is to watch the tire size.
Pay close attention to the tie rod end to tire sidewall clearance.
Radials squirm more side to side on turns and you don't want your sidewall to rub on the tie rod end.
Make sure to service the shocks (or add new ones if they are tube shocks)
Jeff[8D]





quote:Originally posted by montereystude

Interested in putting radials on my 52 Champion Commander. Wondering how the car will react and whether or not I need to replace the rims in the process. Someone said the radials cause flexing in the rims that may be too much for the old rims to handle and that there are sometimes issues with the wheel covers staying on because of this flexing in the rims (upgraded rims or not). If the rim does need to be replaced is there a later model car that has a rim adequate for the replacement? Does anybody have experience with this? Thanks!


DEEPNHOCK at Cox.net
'37 Coupe Express
'37 Coupe Express Trailer
'61 Hawk
http://community.webshots.com/photo/42559113/426827941Lsvfrz
http://community.webshots.com/user/deepnhock

55s
12-07-2005, 11:02 PM
Radial Tires are a HUGE improvement over bias tires - a safety item. Even with a solid front end, bias ply tires would track in truck tire grooves on highways and street car tracks. Radial tires stop the wandering.

I have had no rim problems on any car. (40 years)

195 75R15 are best. My fender skirts won't fit on my 55 with the 205s.

Paul

montereystude
12-08-2005, 02:07 PM
Thank you for sharing your experience with switching over to radial tires. This vehicle has a 6 cylinder and is driven pretty mellow like the older vehicle it is. Sounds like a pretty solid stock rim as I didn't hear anyone say they've had a problem with rims splitting. We will most likely make a visual inspection and seal the rivets from the inside before having the new tires mounted up.

Roscomacaw
12-09-2005, 03:11 PM
Well now! montereystude E-mailed me to ask just WHERE he might find a set of 195X75R15 tires like I'd recommended. Since it's been 3 years since I bought any, I had to look before I could give him an answer. HAH! There ain't much out there!:(
I found one brand of blackwalls that had terrible feedback ratings about the tire they had of that size.

The last set I'd bought were Kelly-Springfield so I visited their site and it was no go there as well. Closest thing was a 14 inch version.[V]
Last resort was Coker. They've got them! Nice wide whitewall too! Only $145 each.[:0]
Will 205s be next to disappear from the racks???[}:)]:(

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

montereystude
12-10-2005, 01:54 PM
Those Coker prices are a bit steep for me. The closest thing I have been able to find to the 195/75 R15 is a 205/70 R15 which sounds like it should work based upon the feedback I've received here. Standard blackwall which I am okay with.

I was looking at a couple of original advertisments for the 52 Champion and guess what was in the photo's.... Blackwall Tires. I wonder if they were trying to sell a more modern image by steering away from the whitewalls in the advertisments? My dad bought this car new and thinks they sold it with both black and whitewalls.

Appreciate all of the feedback!

Roscomacaw
12-10-2005, 03:26 PM
Yes, whitewalls were an option, not the rule. The 205s should work fine. Just be careful to check that they clear the tie rod ends.
The reason I pointed to 195s as best is because the extra grab of the wider tires makes for more work for your arms and induces more work on the steering components. Not a REAL BIG issue, but a point to be considered, nonetheless.[8D]
Either way, you'll be delighted in the way the car goes down the road with radials.;)

Miscreant at large.

1957 Transtar 1/2ton
1960 Larkvertible V8
1958 Provincial wagon
1953 Commander coupe
1957 President 2-dr
1955 President State
1951 Champion Biz cpe
1963 Daytona project FS

Eman
12-10-2005, 04:11 PM
I'm kinda facing the same decision on my tires. Would 205/70/15s be better than 205/75/15s?




quote:Originally posted by montereystude

Those Coker prices are a bit steep for me. The closest thing I have been able to find to the 195/75 R15 is a 205/70 R15 which sounds like it should work based upon the feedback I've received here. Standard blackwall which I am okay with.

I was looking at a couple of original advertisments for the 52 Champion and guess what was in the photo's.... Blackwall Tires. I wonder if they were trying to sell a more modern image by steering away from the whitewalls in the advertisments? My dad bought this car new and thinks they sold it with both black and whitewalls.

Appreciate all of the feedback!


1951 Commander Starlight Coupe (aka "Stella")
www.bulletshots.net
www.bulletshots.net/blog

montereystude
12-10-2005, 05:54 PM
From the research I've done thus far I think you may have a hard time finding the 205/75 15. The original 640-15 is 26.88" tall versus 26.35" for the 205/70 15 I am considering. I imagine the 75 series would be closer to the original diameter and probably why so many people have recommended it on this thread.

gecoe
12-10-2005, 06:16 PM
The 205X75 R15s are very close to the original diameter. After putting them on my 50 and tracking the speed with a GPS I found that the indicated and actual speed variance was negligible until above 50 where the actual began to be slightly higher than the indicated.

As to the larger footprint's impact on parking, I'm sure its harder to turn the wheel at a dead stop. A different manner of driving is called for. In modern cars we turn the wheel first and then go but that doesn't work well with the old cars no matter what the tire size is. The trick is to have slight movement forwards or backwards as you are turning the wheel. I know that's not always possible but most times you can do it after you get used to it.

Gerry

hank63
12-11-2005, 12:31 PM
Just a small point - when you compare tyre sizes, make sure you talk about "rolling radius". The physical sizes vary, especially for radials and their many aspect ratios (width / height).
The rolling radius is not written on the tyre, but most tyre companies publish them. Certainly your tyre place should know what they're selling you.
If you go from a 15" x-ply to a radial, you can actually go for a low-profile 16" tyre, just make sure the rolling radii match (or come close anyway).
/H

55s
12-11-2005, 01:33 PM
The last tires I put on were wide white 205 75R15s. They were expensive and they are a son of a gun to steer into tight parking spaces.

Paul R

Alan
12-11-2005, 04:36 PM
Hank, you are a bigger joker than I am. Most tire places, the people can't see past their computers. And even brands are different. I had 215X70X15's and went from Springfields to Nexus and the Springfields were as tall as the Nexus 225's.

hank63
12-12-2005, 08:53 AM
Alan, now you know why I pointed out the rolling diameter. It's true that some tyre shops are on par with grocery shops. However, I've found the more reputable shops can be quite good. Depends on if the licencee has a technical background or not.
/H

montereystude
12-21-2005, 01:10 PM
Other than Coker or some other specialty manufacturer seems like the narrower 195/75 R15 is pretty much non-existent (other than the light truck tire - Goodyear Wranger). The best thing I found was made by Cooper but they recently discontinued their Trendsetter SE which carried this size. There are a few available but ONLY from stores that may have a few in stock. I did end up finding a set of 5 by calling around to the different dealers listed on Coopers website, but man it was hard to find a full set that had a manufactur date within the last couple of years. A couple of dealer warehouses had some hidden in the back that were from 5 to 9 years old and decided to pass on those.

hank63
12-21-2005, 08:00 PM
You could try the 4WD tyre people. Ask for "Road" pattern tyres. That's what I did, and ended up buying a set of 90% road / 10% off-road. They work superbly, no noise, better road handling and easier steering. And they don't look or sound like a 4WD tyre.
I can't recommend brands to you, as I don't know what's available in USA. I ended up buying a set of Silverstone tyres (made in Malaysia) and have absolutely no complaints.
/H