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Anyone using bias ply tires on your Stude?

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  • Anyone using bias ply tires on your Stude?

    I know they are inferior in every way to radials, but they just look right on 50's cars. When I didn't know any better in the 50's, they were fine. If you are still using them, how do you like them?
    Don Wilson, Centralia, WA

    40 Champion 4 door*
    50 Champion 2 door*
    53 Commander K Auto*
    53 Commander K overdrive*
    55 President Speedster
    62 GT 4Speed*
    63 Avanti R1*
    64 Champ 1/2 ton

    * Formerly owned

  • #2
    I had them on a '69 Plymouth Valiant in '88. They last about 15,000 miles and drove like bias plys. When done I'll have two sets of tires. One for driving on and one for shows.
    Tom - Bradenton, FL

    1964 Studebaker Daytona - 289 4V, 4-Speed (Cost To Date: $2514.10)
    1964 Studebaker Commander - 170 1V, 3-Speed w/OD

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    • #3
      I run them on My Speedster and really do like the 'look'....But I've tried P20575R15 radials on the President wheels, and it drives much nicer. I guess it boils down to how much one uses their collector car.

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      • #4
        Hi, I have B.F.Goodrich Silvertowns on my 1957 Packard Clipper wagon. Like the look better than radials and since the miles put on this car is minimal at best, bias belt are just fine.
        If I were driving my Packard or my Studebaker any distances or putting in any regular time behind the wheel, radials, yes.
        sigpic1957 Packard Clipper Country Sedan

        "There's nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer"
        Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle
        "I have a great memory for forgetting things" Number 1 son, Lee Chan

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        • #5
          I use bias ply on my '49 Champ and they work well. We do have a local auto shop who can tweak the front end so that the car no longer dives ditch to ditch, and actually handles well.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bob Hutchins View Post
            I use bias ply on my '49 Champ and they work well. We do have a local auto shop who can tweak the front end so that the car no longer dives ditch to ditch, and actually handles well.
            It would certainly be very important info for you and us to know as to WHAT Camber, Caster and Toe-in Settings he used.
            The next time you need an Alignment he may not be around or you may not be near enough to him, Specs would be good.
            StudeRich
            Second Generation Stude Driver,
            Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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            • #7
              I had them on my 58 Plymouth, which I did a good amount of driving with including freeway driving, no real problems.

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              • #8
                And why should there be any problems, we drove with them for 75 years until 1976 when some of the OEM Car Co's made Radials Optional to buy on New Cars?
                StudeRich
                Second Generation Stude Driver,
                Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ddub View Post
                  I know they are inferior in every way to radials, but they just look right on 50's cars. When I didn't know any better in the 50's, they were fine. If you are still using them, how do you like them?
                  I have 7.10x15 bias-ply tires on my '53 and they are fine. It has been eight or ten years since I have driven any distance on them though. Steering and handling is fine, but it has never been aligned for radials nor had radials mounted.
                  Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
                  '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

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                  • #10
                    Yep - both Studebaker are running the original bias ply. They both had radials before and I do not miss them. With the original tire pressure, they actually ride smoother and any of the new stuff in the garage ( '60 Lark is 24 lbs in the front and 20 in the rear). The Champ is always going to ride like a truck no matter what I put on it. The 6.70s make is steer much easier than the 215s radials that were on it before.

                    I actually had a guy at a car show tell me that if he ever saw me out on the road he would not pass me or follow me because those bias ply tires are "as dangerous as not having brakes" or something like that. He said the grooves in the road would jerk the vehicle to one side or the other possibly causing it to suddenly swerve into the on-coming lane of traffic. They will follow grooves in the road, but guess what, it makes me more aware of having both hands on the wheel and paying attention to what I am doing.

                    They will never make a radial that will look right on a classic car. Your results may vary. Good luck.

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                    • #11
                      I have Wide White bias on my 57 Silverhawk and I love'em. I have radials on the 63GT and I love'em.
                      I have had lots and lots of radials come apart with me. Some while driving,some while the car was sitting still. I don't think I have ever had a bias tire come apart.
                      Back in the 70s, I remember fiberglass belted radials. Seems to me they were the best of all.
                      Neil Thornton

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                      • #12
                        To rephrase what Patrick just said, radials are wonderful! They do not require that you understand where the rubber meets the road.
                        We drove on bias tires for years and years and years and, before that, solid rubber!
                        When I bought my '53 in 1976 it was sporting the original bias nylons. They thumped a bit in the morning but they soon warmed up. In those days, I do not recall that there were so many grooved highways and expanded steel bridges. They really do grab the ply and demand your attention in the process. My first set of Coker Classics on the '51 were bias nylon. I wanted to be true to the original. I put tens of thousands of miles on them over fifteen years and finally replaced them when they started spinning and sliding on wet roads.
                        Now that I am older-- been there, done that--I still plan on doing a lot of driving. I'm choosing to feel relaxed behind the wheel.
                        While I'm alive there will be no more bias tires on those two. They don't look very inappropriate if you select the correct size. The '33, on the other hand, will never see a radial tire.
                        Last edited by rockne10; 05-03-2013, 05:24 PM.
                        "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                        Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                        Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                        sigpic'33 Rockne 10, '51 Commander Starlight, '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée"

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                        • #13
                          4 year old bias on the '51. i'd be more concerned with older tires (bias or radials) on any vehicle!
                          Kerry. SDC Member #A012596W. ENCSDC member.

                          '51 Champion Business Coupe - (Tom's Car). Purchased 11/2012.

                          '40 Champion. sold 10/11. '63 Avanti R-1384. sold 12/10.

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                          • #14
                            I agree with everything 62 Champ said.

                            When my son bought our old PowerHawk back, it had radials on it. It was a bear to steer at low speed. Bias plys fixed that. Yes, they can follow "grooves" , but the degree to which they do is a function of the condition of the steering components. My friend's '62 Lark, with the whole front end rebuilt, handles beautifully, and radials are not only not missed, but not welcome. And it rides like a dream with factory tire pressure settings.

                            Radials can be a mask for the need to maintain your front end parts. Relpace worn parts FIRST!

                            Also, with bias plys, and original rims, there is no need to worry so much about cracked rim centres. Don't forget - Studebaker rims were not made for radials, and they may eventually crack. Not uncommon.
                            Roger Hill


                            60 Lark Vlll, hardtop, black/red, Power Kit, 3 spd. - "Juliette"
                            61 Champ Deluxe, 6, black/red, o/d, long box. - "Jeri"
                            Junior Wagon - "Junior"

                            "In the end, dear undertaker,
                            Ride me in a Studebaker"

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                            • #15
                              I'm currently driving on bias ply tires on the 54 Coupe. I put them on for the looks, not so much for the ride. No problems with them. They run and drive fine, but I don't do any of the fast turns I used to do when I had the radials and wide rubber in the rear. These tires squeal a bit when tested in that way. Other than that though, all is well.
                              sals54

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