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  • Wheels / Tires: and tires: for those who want tall and narrow tires

    I do have a set of Mopar six inch wheel that run 205s quite nicely and I can get 205s anywhere in town

    but....

    I just acquired a set of stock Studebaker 4.5 x 15s. How narrow can I practically go? When my Lark was built the stock tire was a 6.00 X 15, a chart I found on Tire Rack's site has a number of successor tires sizes beginning with a 165/80R15 to 195/15

    I wonder because Walmart has a number of 165/80R15s all around $50.00 a tire, I do not need anything too fancy because I've only driven my Lark about 20 miles in the last 20+ years. (storage, major body work, life detours)

    I also may use the Studebaker wheels on the front (165) and the Mopars on the back (205) and use full wheel covers.

    Since it looks like my trusty six is going nowhere is the 165/80R15 good enough if I want narrow and tall in a modern tire? (and have no desire to pay $200.00 for a repop 6.00 x 15)
    \"I\'m getting nowhere as fast as I can\"
    The Replacements.

  • #2
    Those 165/80 r 15s will be perfect for a nice champ lark. They' ride nice and steer beautifully.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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    • #3
      I'd say that depends if you have an overdrive or not. With an overdrive, this would be fine. If, like me, you don't have have one; your car will be screaming at 60 mph as the original tyres were taller than the current ones. FWIW, I'm very happy with my 185/80 R15.
      Nice day to all.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Jeff,
        On my '59 Lark V8 Hardtop, someone had installed the 165/15 tires. I always prefer more rubber so I installed 5 sizes larger, (215/70r15) on Chryco cop car 7" wheels. I personally think they look way better as they fill the fenders and the handling is unbelievable. To each their own as the 165 size was originally intended for VW Bugs with marginal load carrying capacity.
        Luck,
        Bill

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        • #5
          I think a bug had more like a 135 r 15.
          Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by t walgamuth View Post
            Those 165/80 r 15s will be perfect for a nice champ lark. They' ride nice and steer beautifully.
            What is a "champ lark"?
            Gary L.
            Wappinger, NY

            SDC member since 1968
            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by studegary View Post
              What is a "champ lark"?
              six........I am not up on all the details of cars of that period. I understand that I spoke inaccurately but am not sure why. I could have sworn our 59 Stude wagon back in the day was labeled a champion, or maybe my dad just called any six cylinder stude a champ. I do remember seeing the Lark VI label now that I think about it.

              Or is it because the pickup was called a Champ?

              I would be pleased to be educated by a more expert Stude lover.

              Thanks Gary!
              Last edited by t walgamuth; 05-04-2019, 06:25 AM.
              Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by t walgamuth View Post
                I think a bug had more like a 135 r 15.
                Dauphines rode on 135 X 15 as some 4 CVs.
                VW used 155 X 15 or 165 X 15.
                Nice day to all.
                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  I searched for a decent while to find the original equipment size tire for a bug but was unable. I did find a place where a guy stated that his store sold a 165 tire which would fit a vw. To me that is not the same thing as saying it is a correct original size. Having had 165s on my 74 Saab which weighed about 2800# I would not think the factory would supply a tire that big for a Beetle which weighs a lot less (1800#?)

                  I found at Coker's website they show tires from 125 to 165 listed as being correct for early vw air cooled cars:

                  Firestone F560 | Firestone F560 Tires
                  Firestone F560 radial tires are a perfect choice for small sports cars. Sizing options allow for many fitments, and this blackwall radial tire is a favorite among Austin Healey, MG, Fiat, Porsche, Volkswagen, Citroen and Renault enthusiasts. The tread design and compound offer great dry and wet handling, while the tall sidewall and narrow tread profile provide the right look for many vintage sports cars. The Firestone F560 is a steel belted radial with P speed rating. All Firestone F560 tires are DOT and ECE approved.

                  SPECIFICATIONS
                  SKU 55593
                  Brand Firestone
                  Weight (lbs) 12.1500
                  GTIN 00842199100068
                  DOT Approved Yes
                  Sidewall Style Blackwall
                  Width Radial 125 mm
                  Radial Aspect Ratio 80
                  Rim Diameter 15
                  Product Size 125R15
                  Tread Width 3.75
                  Section Width (Actual) 5.00
                  Overall Diameter 23.00
                  Construction Ply POLY/STEEL
                  Speed Rating P
                  Max Load Capacity 695@44PSI
                  Recommended Rim Width 3.50 - 4.50
                  Tube Type or Tubeless Tubeless
                  Tire Construction Radial

                  Still hoping to find a source which states what the factory supplied in them.....the above search was for a 62 vw beetle since that is about the year of Lark being discussed.

                  I know I probably seem to be going on and on but in my experience using the size tires the car is designed for will promote good ride, precise steering and good feel.
                  Last edited by t walgamuth; 05-04-2019, 06:41 AM.
                  Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Jeff, I am assuming that your "Lark" is a VI (Six Cylinder) correct?

                    I think anything less than a P195 is going to have an extremely LOW profile in a Radial Tire, it'll look like a Funny/Clown Car.

                    If it IS a V8, the load will be too much.

                    What Year is it?
                    StudeRich
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by t walgamuth View Post
                      I searched for a decent while to find the original equipment size tire for a bug but was unable. I did find a place where a guy stated that his store sold a 165 tire which would fit a vw. To me that is not the same thing as saying it is a correct original size. Having had 165s on my 74 Saab which weighed about 2800# I would not think the factory would supply a tire that big for a Beetle which weighs a lot less (1800#?)

                      I found at Coker's website they show tires from 125 to 165 listed as being correct for early vw air cooled cars:

                      Firestone F560 | Firestone F560 Tires
                      Firestone F560 radial tires are a perfect choice for small sports cars. Sizing options allow for many fitments, and this blackwall radial tire is a favorite among Austin Healey, MG, Fiat, Porsche, Volkswagen, Citroen and Renault enthusiasts. The tread design and compound offer great dry and wet handling, while the tall sidewall and narrow tread profile provide the right look for many vintage sports cars. The Firestone F560 is a steel belted radial with P speed rating. All Firestone F560 tires are DOT and ECE approved.

                      SPECIFICATIONS
                      SKU 55593
                      Brand Firestone
                      Weight (lbs) 12.1500
                      GTIN 00842199100068
                      DOT Approved Yes
                      Sidewall Style Blackwall
                      Width Radial 125 mm
                      Radial Aspect Ratio 80
                      Rim Diameter 15
                      Product Size 125R15
                      Tread Width 3.75
                      Section Width (Actual) 5.00
                      Overall Diameter 23.00
                      Construction Ply POLY/STEEL
                      Speed Rating P
                      Max Load Capacity 695@44PSI
                      Recommended Rim Width 3.50 - 4.50
                      Tube Type or Tubeless Tubeless
                      Tire Construction Radial


                      Still hoping to find a source which states what the factory supplied in them.....the above search was for a 62 vw beetle since that is about the year of Lark being discussed.

                      I know I probably seem to be going on and on but in my experience using the size tires the car is designed for will promote good ride, precise steering and good feel.
                      You made me digging into my pile of old shop manuals.
                      I have a 1955 and a 1969 edition.
                      Both mention 5.60 X 15 tyres being the original size, both with 4 inches rims.
                      The 1969 editions also mentions radial tyres. All are 155 X 15. These are larger than the conventional tyres to compensate for the lesser height.
                      Incidentally, my 1951 Simca 9 which used 5.50 X 15 originally now rides also on the same 155 X 15.
                      As the radial size does not fully compensate for the loss in height, I'd took the conventional route to restore the original gearing of the car, even if over revving a VW engine seems difficult to me.
                      Any radial tyre under 145 X 15 on a VW would look preposterous to me, but that is just my humble opinion.
                      I hope this helps.
                      Nice evening to all.
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Yes, 5.60x15 bias ply was factory correct
                        for aircooled Beetles.

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                        • #13
                          Yeah, the 5.6" works out to be about 142 mm but with the lower height the 155 or 165 might provide the proper gearing to maintain the design final drive ratio.

                          The 165 tire will be heavier though and un-sprung weight is our enemy.
                          Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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                          • #14
                            Even with 165 X 15, you'll be under the height of the original tyre. That is why I would use period correct 5.60 X 15. You might also want to compare the real dimensions of each tyre, as they are not all exactly the same.
                            Nice day to all.
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              47 Champion tire info Owners manual page 196 reads 5.50x15 std. 5.50x16 optional and 6.00x15 optional. The 49 suplyment has 6.40x15. Good luck.

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