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Old 12-16-2018, 06:50 AM   #1
flathead 53
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Default radial tires /bias tires

I just read an article on running radial tires on older cars, that originally came with bias tires , they said if using radials on older vehicle, set the toe at zero. not at the factory setting recommended for the stock bias tires, my 53 f100 factory specs calls for 1/16th toe in. I am running radials I should change the setting to zero toe. anyone have A take on this
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Old 12-16-2018, 07:52 AM   #2
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

Unless you are experiencing any steering anomalies or unusual tire wear, I would not worry about it.
I have and suspect that many others have been running radial tires with original alignment specs for thousands of miles with no issues.
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:18 AM   #3
Bob/Pa
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

I went to radials front and rear with no handling problems. The old bias were getting dangerous.
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

Running well used Cooper radials on the 52 Merc for a while now and I'm happy with them. Alignment? I doubt this car has ever had one but there is no worn out steering parts either.. Cruises the gravel roads at 50 mph feeling stable but I won't push it any higher. The radials do ride "harder" than the old bias plies in my opinion.
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

My 53 ford steers much better with radials. The bias tires seem to let it wander.
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:52 AM   #6
flathead 53
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

Agreed, I like the radials on my 53 f-100 much better ,steering is great ,but very hard when parking .
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

Thought they might now "look as cool or as original" . . . once you put a good set of radials on one of these older cars - you won't return to bias ply tires. This is especially true if you drive at higher speeds on any sort of paved highway - and then there are 'grooved highways' and bias ply tires . . . yikes!

Okay - my opinion . . . and maybe too much coffee this AM . . . but so be it! LOL
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Old 12-16-2018, 10:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

I use radials on all my old Fords and set the front end to factory specs. Not everything you read is "gospel".
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Old 12-16-2018, 11:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

i've never heard of any car recommended for zero toe in. its done to allow for the wear in all the components, so you may be back to zero when going down the road with the factory setting of 1/16th
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Old 12-16-2018, 12:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

Mine was set at "0" when radials were first installed.....handled weird....set to spec & it drives like it should now...my 2 cnts. .
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Old 12-16-2018, 12:17 PM   #11
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

Have been running radials (Coker & Diamondback) on my '35's for last ten yrs, at original front end alignment settings. I usually drive on the Interstates at 55 to 65 mph with no handling problems in last 32k miles. Would never return to biasply tires.
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Old 12-16-2018, 12:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

I agree with all above. The alignment specs were set to work with the front end geometry, not whatever kind of tire was on the vehicle.
I hate driving with bias ply tires and am eliminating them.
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Old 12-16-2018, 01:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

I also run radials at factory specs. No problems and like the ride.
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Old 12-16-2018, 01:43 PM   #14
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

On all 5 of my straight axle deuces I have radials and have the toe in set at an 1/8th. Seem to drive good with no tire wear.
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Old 12-16-2018, 01:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

I have been running radial tires on just about everything I have owned for the past 30 + years with no problems. I do know that the alignment settings for radials is slightly different from bias ply tires, I leave that up to the alignment man.
I have ran radials on '59 and later F100/350 trucks and GM '62 and later C-10/C30 trucks.
I found out several years ago that on solid I beam axles, '59-64, a hydraulic dampener on the tie-rod improves the handling of the truck, especially if large tires, 235/75R15 or bigger are used.
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Old 12-16-2018, 11:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

bias tires wander a bit, but I don't mind.... certainly never dangerous ever up to 70 continuously (for me the faster I travel the better), shitty roads under 40 and it wanders a inch or two (never dangerous, good lord how did we survive!). If everything else is solid it just lets you know you are driving a old car, not really that weird. If you really want "good driving" weld a mustang 2 in with rack and pinion, get off your phone and drive! . But it's probably short lived that we can get 16" bias ply anyway.... or not


What we all going to do when all the self driving cars roll out in 100 yrs! haha

Last edited by Tinker; 12-17-2018 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 12-17-2018, 10:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

I never really wanted radials, love the look of bias ply on an old car, but all this has me thinking. A friend has a set of 16” wires with black wall radials that he was going to use on his model A. Now he is going a different direction and has them available. I’m thinking of purchasing these for my 35, still not sure about the look though.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:03 AM   #18
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

You do know that the difference in appearance is apparent to only a tiny amount of the population. It never affected me until it was pushed, hard, on a well-known "traditional" hot rod forum. If it was me, I'd be all over that set if the price was even close to reasonable.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:08 AM   #19
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

My '47 came with like-new 15" Coker Classic tubeless WWW bias ply. They have lots of tread and run fine at 65 -70 mph. As others say, if you catch a groove or edge in the pavement they prefer to follow it. Ride-wise they don't ride hard. I can't compare since I haven't experienced radials on the car. However, when its time to change I would go for radials given all the positive reports.
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Old 12-17-2018, 11:10 AM   #20
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Default Re: radial tires /bias tires

Ralph, if you do not buy them, and they are still available , I may be interested in them when I get back in late Jan., or early Feb.
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