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Old 02-26-2020, 11:40 AM   #1
39deluxecp
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Default 1955 t-bird tire size

Can anyone tell me what radial tire size they are using on their 1955 Tbird? I want to be sure they will clear the body. Thanks
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Old 02-26-2020, 12:06 PM   #2
dmsfrr
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

205/75R15 - assuming original 5 inch wide wheels.
They'll clear the fender skirts by about 1/2 to 5/8 inch.
(depending on conditions of the individual car)

The original tires were 6.70 x 15
http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird/prod1955tbird.html

Are you going for the deluxe wide whitewalls or regular whitewalls?
.
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Last edited by dmsfrr; 02-26-2020 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 02-26-2020, 05:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

The wide whites are nice, and original, but I like the narrow "Monza White Walls" better
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

This '55 isn't overly original but it does have oem wire wheel covers. I think they help make the narrower whitewalls less of an issue.
The wide whites are crazy expensive. These are Hankook brand, about $55 each at walmart, not $300ish each from a specialty manufacturer. I'm too cheap to spend that much for tires that will age out in 8yrs, likely before they even have 10k miles on them
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Old 02-26-2020, 09:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

I like the narrow best.i did find those narrow tires you suggest at Walmart. I may have to give them a. Try thanks
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Old 02-26-2020, 10:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

I used 205/75-15 on stock '51 rims on my '51 Ford. It doesn't have much fender clearance either. So far so good. I also like the cheap narrow white walls I got at NTB for $50. Looks like the old Firestone 500's.
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Old 02-27-2020, 08:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

My 55 Fairlane has 14" wire wheels with the Thunderbird logo in the center. I've been wondering if they were really Thunderbird wheels or not, wish they were 15" only thing bad is I just put Coker wide whites on and can't afford to buy new wheels and tires.
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Old 02-27-2020, 09:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

As far as the early Birds (55-57), they did not have a true wire wheel. The 55 and 56 had a wire wheel type hubcap setup.


The first Ford true wire wheel as standard or optional equipment came out in 62-64 (not sure of the exact years). Don't know if they were 14 or 15. Kelsey-Hayes made them.







Quote:
Originally Posted by grumppyoldman View Post
My 55 Fairlane has 14" wire wheels with the Thunderbird logo in the center. I've been wondering if they were really Thunderbird wheels or not, wish they were 15" only thing bad is I just put Coker wide whites on and can't afford to buy new wheels and tires.
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Old 02-27-2020, 10:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

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Originally Posted by paul2748 View Post
As far as the early Birds (55-57), they did not have a true wire wheel. The 55 and 56 had a wire wheel type hubcap setup.

The first Ford true wire wheel as standard or optional equipment came out in 62-64 (not sure of the exact years). Don't know if they were 14 or 15. Kelsey-Hayes made them.
Yes.
The first oem Ford wire wheels on a T-Bird were on the '62 (and '63) Sports Roadster,
14 inch and made by Kelsey-Hayes.
They were tube-type wheels and required 'ventilated' tires at the time. The first batch were recalled for wheel failure and replaced with similar wheels with larger diameter spokes.
If original they would have 48 spokes and most likely stamped with K-H and FoMoCo logos.

http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird...rspecific.html

The various versions of reproduction wire wheels are very popular.

Photos, '55 oem wire style 2 piece wheelcover, '56 had the same but with white paint on the center caps instead of red.
.
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File Type: jpg wire wheel cover c.jpg (41.4 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by dmsfrr; 02-28-2020 at 11:00 PM. Reason: add photos
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Old 02-28-2020, 11:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

thanks for the info. Al
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Old 02-28-2020, 11:13 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

What were ventilated tires, mine has tubes, but never heard of the ventilated term.
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Old 02-28-2020, 11:34 AM   #12
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

Tires with holes in 'em...

Prolly more than you wanted to knkow:

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20070006951
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Old 02-28-2020, 12:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

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Originally Posted by grumppyoldman View Post
What were ventilated tires, mine has tubes, but never heard of the ventilated term.
Apparently the tubes (or tires?) available back then were failing from the extra heat.
There's a sentence about it in the article... doesn't sound like a great idea.
To prevent heat buildup between the tube and the tire, thousands of tiny holes were punctured through the sidewalls of tires fitted to these wheels, and the notation "Tubeless" was ground off in an attempt to prevent the use of "non-ventilated" tires.
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumppyoldman View Post
My 55 Fairlane has 14" wire wheels with the Thunderbird logo in the center. I've been wondering if they were really Thunderbird wheels or not, wish they were 15" only thing bad is I just put Coker wide whites on and can't afford to buy new wheels and tires.
99% chance they're newer reproductions. If 'original' to '62 / '63 they would most likely be in need of a complete re$$$toration (if that's even possible) also have 48 spokes and most likely stamped with K-H and FoMoCo logos. Worth a lot of money to some collector tho...
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Last edited by dmsfrr; 02-29-2020 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 03-06-2020, 02:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

I just read the information about the wire wheels. The change they made was the dia. of the spokes, not the no. they changed the dia. from 1/4" to 5/16" I've got to check mine. Thanks for the info. Al
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Old 03-06-2020, 10:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumppyoldman View Post
I just read the information about the wire wheels. The change they made was the dia. of the spokes, not the no. they changed the dia. from 1/4" to 5/16" I've got to check mine. Thanks for the info. Al
I've been told the newer / reproduction wire wheels have more than 48 spokes.
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Old 03-08-2020, 04:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

I didn't count the spokes, just measured them. They are 1/4", but I did see one of them without the tire installed. I looked to see if it had a rubber cover over the spokes, it did not, there was what looked like a stainless band around the center section covering the spoke ends. I'm trying to find out who made them. I know there are several companies that offer them, and there are 3 different spoke arrangements. Truespoke has 50 spokes attached at the center of the rim, and a reverse 50 spoke wheel. there is a lip lace style and a standard style, I took pics and have to go back and see which I have.
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Old 03-09-2020, 03:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

[QUOTE=grumppyoldman;1860000]I didn't count the spokes, just measured them. They are 1/4", but I did see one of them without the tire installed. I looked to see if it had a rubber cover over the spokes, it did not, there was what looked like a stainless band around the center section covering the spoke ends. I'm trying to find out who made them. I know there are several companies that offer them, and there are 3 different spoke arrangements. Truespoke has 50 spokes attached at the center of the rim, and a reverse 50 spoke wheel. there is a lip lace style and a standard style, I took pics and have to go back and see which I have.[/QU.OTE]

I have counted the spokes on my 14" Thunderbird rims, they have 56 spokesw and are made by Tru=Spoke. Talked to them this AM sent them pic. of wheel, the man said it was a wheel they make. he didn't know about the S.S cover over the inside spoke nuts, said someone had added that after wheels were sold. He also told me if I was driving and got caught in rain to use Pledge furniture polish on the rims until they could be cleaned properly. He also said if car was to be in storage for a lengthy period to spray them with WD-40. He also told me to check for loose or broken spokes with a plastic screwdriver handle and listen for a spoke that sounded different. Mine are the lip laced wheels.Al

Last edited by grumppyoldman; 03-09-2020 at 03:17 PM. Reason: Add more info.
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Old 03-17-2020, 10:07 AM   #18
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

I got a set of 4 ties in it.205/60/15 size, and they look great and fit perfectly. About an inch clearance between rear tire and rear fender . Thanks for all the help
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Old 03-17-2020, 11:29 AM   #19
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

Quote:
Originally Posted by 39deluxecp View Post
I got a set of 4 ties in it.205/60/15 size, and they look great and fit perfectly. About an inch clearance between rear tire and rear fender . Thanks for all the help
just curious... what wheels did you use?
Something aftermarket and cool looking you can share a couple photos of?
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Old 03-19-2020, 11:41 AM   #20
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Default Re: 1955 t-bird tire size

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsfrr View Post
205/75R15 - assuming original 5 inch wide wheels.
They'll clear the fender skirts by about 1/2 to 5/8 inch.
(depending on conditions of the individual car)

The original tires were 6.70 x 15
http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird/prod1955tbird.html

.

The chart is as handy as heck, I was going to say 775-15 off the top of my head. I was a tire installer for Sears many moons ago when the switch was made to the letter sizes.


I have Hankook radials on my '59 and they are WW, I just turned them around, 235/75-15 out back, 215/75-15 up front. The disc brake conversion moved the fronts out a bit so I have to go slow up driveways.
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