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Post Info TOPIC: Conventional vs Radial tires on a 1957


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Conventional vs Radial tires on a 1957


Hi guys,

I heard that the "road feel" with conventional tires what a lot different than radial, but just wondering how much different?

I did a ride last night and on smooth asphalt it rides fine, but on a bumpy road it felt like I was driving on balloons and everything felt loose and very difficult to handle. Is this normal?

I haven't check under the car yet to look at the steering or bushings...

Thanks

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Steve
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This is the way I look at it, Major car manufacturers switched to radials about 75 across the  board. That was 35 years ago. What are you waiting for?

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Good point, but that was not the question...



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go with radial, safety, better handling, almost same look...I had normal tires on my 68 LeMans, would follow any crack in the asfhalt, tram tracks,,,then switched to brand new radials...wow!!!! could drive straight, brake and handling was much better...
now on a 57...maybe you need to change some of the front suspension because modern tires put a lot more effort on the steering parts...

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Merci Johnnee,

OK guys, let me rephrase this.

I know and I want to switch to radial tires BUT in the mean time is this normal that the car handles the way I described in my initial post?

Is there anyone running a 57 with conventional tires? How does it handle on bumpy roads?

Thanks

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Steve
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Steve, I have bias ply's on my 53 and handling is pretty much as you described above.
That being said I will be going with radials next tire change
Bob

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Thanks Bob,

That's all I wanted to hear..now I can sleep in peace :)

I'm planning on going on radial too once my original wheels are painted.

Steve

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The old cars run as described    sort wander around like a dog distracted by different scents  

with radials, they are like a CN train on rails...

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If you got a trailer queen, that will never see the road. Then stick with original wide white skinny tread tires for the museum look. (I am just trying to be funny here). If you plan on driving your 57, as of course you should and i mean on any kind of road. Then throw the bias ply junk in the garbage where it belongs and get your self a set of wide white radial tires. My 57 Pontiac has had radial tires ever since i got the car in 1996. 1,00000000000000000000000 % better in every way and then some. It just makes no sense to drive any car with bias ply junk. You can still have the original look with wide white radials. The only thing is you have to realize that radials are wider in tread. They are about twice as wide as the skinny original 57 tires. Go for it mate. George.

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When I had my 58 Ford wagon I put four new 14 inch radials on it. The car handled as well as anything on the road at the time (mid 80s). If I was intending to drive my old car a lot - especially on the highway - I would not have bias plies on it. My old cars all have good quality radials.

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Thanks guys,

The radials were on my "to-change" list, but after my first ride with the car they now became a priority.

Now do you guys knows any good place in Quebec or Ontario where I could buy white wall tires?

Thanks

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Yup what they said, big difference when running radials because the wander, nothing wrong with the car. Its all about the tires today.

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George, when I got my 1967 Chevelle in 1985 it was riding on old bias ply tires, the 1st replacement set. I didn't replace the tires with radials until 1992. Man, what a difference. The bias ply tires were hard and would follow grooves in the pavement, plus hitting the brakes made the car dart to one side or the other. With no other changes, radials in the equivalent size eliminated the dartiness and increased the cornering power. They wear much longer, run cooler and can give you back about 5% in fuel economy at highway speeds.

Two positives for bias ply tires are that you can feel them losing cornering grip progressively (rather than suddenly at higher speeds like radials), plus the low profile 60-series bias ply tires work really well at the drag strip if you pump the rears up rock hard.

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I have radials on my wagon and it handles great. Check out these guys for tires a friend of mine has bought 2 sets from them and is very happy.
http://www.classic-usa-cars.com/diamond2.html

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Hello Steve. I would not know in Quebec but in Ontario i would recomend the company Johnson and Magwood. They are in Mississauga, Ontario. I have purchased three sets of wide white radials from them and i was always happy. They might have a web site. If you have no luck let me know and i will do more digging on this or other possibilities. Cheers brother. George.

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We drove over 2000 miles with bias ply tires on our 55 from Newfoundland to Northern Ontario. What a ride,it seems I was on the steering wheel all the time . The car waddled and wandered all over the place. My wife was even close to being car sick. I explained to her it was the bias ply tires and as soon as we got home I ordered 5 wide white wall radial tires. The cost was close to $1200 with balancing and installation but it was the best improvement in the car and well worth the cost. Sue finally figured out why her and her sisters were always car sick as kids.

Al

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Taylor55 wrote:

We drove over 2000 miles with bias ply tires on our 55 from Newfoundland to Northern Ontario. What a ride,it seems I was on the steering wheel all the time . The car waddled and wandered all over the place. My wife was even close to being car sick. I explained to her it was the bias ply tires and as soon as we got home I ordered 5 wide white wall radial tires. The cost was close to $1200 with balancing and installation but it was the best improvement in the car and well worth the cost. Sue finally figured out why her and her sisters were always car sick as kids.

Al


 I was going through all this old stuff here on CP and i came across some input from Taylor55. We have not heard from Al in a while. Hopefully all that snow in Timmins, Ontario has not buried Al in. Al, are you out there? I hope all is well and it was always a pleasure to hear your very knowledgeable insights on all things "old Pontiac". Cheers. George. 



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He was on the site yesterday.

Full NameAlbert Taylor
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I did some extensive amounts of research when trying to decide Radial or bias ply tired for my 64 impala.

64 chev2.jpg

shown with P215/75R14 Radials

I first purchased the car with some 15" rally wheels and changed them back to stock rims and put some 205/75r14 on it. The stock rim is 14x5.  I was not please with the ride so i put some 14" s-10 rims (14x6) on to widen out the rim to perhaps have a better fit with respect to tire width and rim width. With this change I found that car wandered more and proceeded to make sure the suspension and steering were still fine. All was well and an alignment done to be sure. Without a major improvement I decided to bump up to the P215/75R14. they offered a bit more stability it seemed and were alright. I tossed a hupcap on the 427 one day as a result of the s-10 rims my hupcap had no place to go other than tearing off my fender skirt and costing me $600 at the body shop. For this I put the stock rims back on.  This was fine although noticed that after a while the hubcaps(64 impala ss whell covers go past the rim to hide the weights) were cutting the side walls as they were rubbing on the radial bulge. Obviously the tire was too wide for the rim. What to do.

I made lots of phone calls and read many articles and spoke to several automotive experts on their opinions and came up with this...

Radial tires don't track with the road hence you don't feel the wandering.

The have more surface contact with the road. 

just about everything around you on the road is on radial tires.

 

But what to consider about your classic car...

your car was designed for bias ply tires, its suspension was engineered to function with rigid sidewall tires.

your skinny little rims were designed for skinny tires

your car ride height was designed for tall tires. 

your big old heavy car was designed to be held up by stiff rigid sidewalls

 

And everyone I spoke to said the same few things. when considering changing your car to radial tires it was not designed for, you need to consider rim widths, weight ratings, can your sway bars compensate properly for the sidewall roll of a side wall?

We have radial on our Pontiac and plan to on our wagon, the Pontiac has had suspension upgrades to make sure we are a safe as can be. We drive it on highways. As for our impala we don't run highways but make sure the bias ply tires don't get dried out and brittle as then it will be like driving on marbles. It with its stock suspension has never driven better than now on its bias ply tires even at 80-90 km/h we keep in mind that we will skid well before other cars around us and drive accordingly 

64 1.jpg

with bias ply 

 

Its all a personal preference really, and depends what you want to do with your classic car. I figured I would share a small part of what I learned while trying to decide. 

 

Cheers!

 



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I do remember reading that radials were only a problem on some older rims (two piece?) and that their construction could cause these rims to fail.
Funny about the wandering issue. Dad's 69 Strato Chief only had bias ply tires and I don't remember that car wandering all over the road or dad mentioning that he was really tired after a long trip. I had Wide Oval repro bias ply on my Laurentian and didn't have any wandering issues with them.
My 58 Plymouth had bias ply as did my 60 Catalina. Neither car had handling issues. In fact I drove my Plymouth at 90mph on several occasions (closed course, professional driver ) and it was always rock steady.


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long stroke wrote:

Hello Steve. I would not know in Quebec but in Ontario i would recomend the company Johnson and Magwood. They are in Mississauga, Ontario. I have purchased three sets of wide white radials from them and i was always happy. They might have a web site. If you have no luck let me know and i will do more digging on this or other possibilities. Cheers brother. George.


another choice would be Queensway Tire Service in Simcoe, on. 519-426-5280



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Depends on what you are going to use thecar for. If sunday drives and car show type thing, stick with bias only for appearance. If planning on driving car on regular basis, stick with radials. I had 67 nova with very low miles that use to wander brutal, ended steering linkage too small of diameter. Bias will feel floaty at higher speeds, biasply usually start to disintegrate at 80mph, they will do 80 but not for long.

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also depends on how much you want to spend  

I bought P235/75R-15 radials new for 60.00  :)  

Red Lines on E-bay 200.00 each :(  

 

Queensway tire are one price for all  no discounts for other tire shops or volumne

 

 they have the Ontario monolopy for antique     I think they may be Liberals, cause it hurts when you do business with them  lol  



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427carl wrote:

also depends on how much you want to spend  

I bought P235/75R-15 radials new for 60.00  :)  

Red Lines on E-bay 200.00 each :(  

 

Queensway tire are one price for all  no discounts for other tire shops or volumne

 

 they have the Ontario monolopy for antique     I think they may be Liberals, cause it hurts when you do business with them  lol  


 Leave it to those Fibreals, to even screw us with our antique radial tires. I say we vote them out in the next radial election. Kathleen Wynn only swings one way, divided by the middle, oh no now i have gone too far. I will leave it at that before i get into some real serious trouble. Cheers. George.



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long stroke wrote:
427carl wrote:

also depends on how much you want to spend  

I bought P235/75R-15 radials new for 60.00  :)  

Red Lines on E-bay 200.00 each :(  

 

Queensway tire are one price for all  no discounts for other tire shops or volumne

 

 they have the Ontario monolopy for antique     I think they may be Liberals, cause it hurts when you do business with them  lol  


 Leave it to those Fibreals, to even screw us with our antique radial tires. I say we vote them out in the next radial election. Kathleen Wynn only swings one way, divided by the middle, oh no now i have gone too far. I will leave it at that before i get into some real serious trouble. Cheers. George.


 You had to get George going Carl!biggrin



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