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Old 12-07-2019, 06:17 PM   #1
Jwawhite
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Default Radial and Bias Tires.

I believe Radials were invented in 1946.

Being that my car Year is 56, were radials readily used or were bias ply tires?...It is a Ford, going with bias tires.

Comparing the two, radial tires give more road contact and absorb bumps better.

My Wagon rides rough even with relatively new shocks, new rear springs and radial tires.

Do I need to mention how bad the roads are here in CA? (BTW, our Governor has already deflected the new gas tax to other areas instead of the stated road repair only....)

Question, Shop Manual calls for 26/30 air pressure, but based on stock tires.
Does the recommended air pressure change with radial tires?

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Old 12-07-2019, 10:50 PM   #2
miker98038
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

I don't remember a lot of radials around on factory new American cars until the late 60's. My first set of radials was on a 68 Swedish car, I'm sure many foreign cars used them prior to that.

All my old cars have radials, sometimes stock sizes, sometimes larger/lower aspect ratio, one set of bias look Coker radials.

My 32 is an odd case, 5.60 front, 8.20's rear. I replaced the bias plies with the Coker radial "look alike" a couple years ago. On a close look, you can tell, and the tread (mimics the bias ply) isn't as efficient as modern tread patterns. But they are a great improvement over the old bias plies. Steer much better, brake better (not that 5.60's do much with a Y block up front). I'll never go back.

On another OT car, I replaced the worn out radials with "correct" bias belted tires. I gave those to a buddy who only drove them to judged shows, and ran radials when he was driving for fun. Horrible.

Couple thoughts. I don't know how Ford set the tire pressure, but likely for a loaded wagon. You might look up the sedan pressure and see if the rear is lower. That might help explain the rough ride.

So I'm a believer in radials.

My buddy has a 56 Nomad, 14" radials, little wider and lower than stock. He runs in the 26-30 range when he's just cruising. All rebuilt except the springs (which were probably replaced by the PO) and it rides nice. I'd think yours should be similar

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Old 12-07-2019, 11:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

The bias ply tires on my wagon back when I bought it were over 40 years old and in awful shape, and when I replaced them with new radials it felt like the car's suspension and steering components had all be replaced and upgraded. The difference was that dramatic. I'd heard somewhere you weren't supposed to use radials on 50's era cars, but I don't know if that has any basis in reality. I'm sure not going back to bias ply.

Yes, my wagon rides rough compared to some other old cars, but it's not as bad as I think. I was driving over some crudely repaired potholes the other day and it was smoother than I anticipated. As far as air pressure I just go with what's printed on the tire.
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:39 PM   #4
Daves55Sedan
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

If you watch old movies, you will notice '53 and later Lincoln Capri cars had much wider tires than the usual 4 inch wide tires all the Fords had all through the '50's. They may have been radials.
The factory 670X15's and 710x15's had 4 inch tread width had around 28 to 29 inch diameter respectively, resulting in a high side profile, unstable handling and overall lousy cornering.
In the '70's I ran G-78-15 bias ply tires on my '55 Ford. They had about a 5-1/4 inch tread width, but really not much better than the 710x15's but a little better at cornering.
I have P205-75R 15's on the front and P215-75R 15's on the back of this '55 Ford today and they are the best tires I've ever had on the car in over 40 years easily, not to mention they last ten times longer due to the much wider tread width. The downside is, they're hard to get on and off the back due to the lower fender well.
As far a tire pressure, forget the instruction sticker inside the glovebox door. Go by the stated tire pressure on the tire (usually in small embossed lettering up close to the rim). During hot weather months, run the tires on a couple pounds LOWER than the stated pressure, since hot air expands inside the tire and could result in overpressure and a blowout.
I think the perfect tire for these would be G-78-15 radials, but there isn't anything close to those dimension available.
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Old 12-07-2019, 11:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

As far as the ride goes, how do you think it would feel to be goin down the road in those 1930's and '40's cars that had one set of "wishbone" leaf springs on the front and rear axles. But then in '49, Fomoco redesigned the suspension system with front independent suspension and a parallel leaf spring support for the rear, which carried through at least the '70's in full size cars.
I'm not so sure you can do much better to improve the ride without major frame and suspension upgrades.
But, I'm used to the bumps, squeaks and rattles in my old '55. You could always move to a State that has better roads.
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

I put radials on my '41 with stock front suspension. The ride and handling improved immensely. Tracked far better than bias. No swerving with road crack. would never go back to bias on any car. Now have radials on my '60. Works great.
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:29 AM   #7
miker98038
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

The tire pressure on the tire is the pressure for its maximum load rating, which is also listed. On most radials you can get away with that because the belt keeps the tread relatively flat. Most modern cars will show a recommended pressure below that. I was told some years ago by a friend in the tire business that that was a "ride" adjustment. He recommend to me that I use the rated pressure because of the way I drove. I never use that "rated load" pressure rating unless I'm doing something illegal.

My 10 year old daily driver came with "ultra high performance summer tires". It's not a sports car, just an overpowered econobox. Even it had a recommended pressure below the rating. They made 15,000 miles, driven gently. 4 hours on a track day, they were gone.

So, I run my tires where they feel and handle good, but below that max. Your results may vary. Watch the tread wear.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:35 AM   #8
darrell
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

radials were first used in north america in 65.they were invented much earlier.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

Radials were an option on my 67 Galaxie. I put radials on my 58 Ford and it was so nice not to be chasing cracks in the road. I didn't think it made it ride rougher. For a rough ride you need nylon bias tires setting outside overnight at 20 below.
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Old 12-08-2019, 10:02 AM   #10
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwawhite View Post
I believe Radials were invented in 1946.
Very close
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radial_tire

FWIW, my last year of High School, 1973, I worked at a corporate Mobile station. They had just introduced their own branded radials because of the "Gas Crisis".
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Old 12-08-2019, 01:51 PM   #11
KENNOIE
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

Im running radials on my 60 tbird and my 46 sedan. The 46 has stock front suspension but dual leaf mustang in rear. I personally would change the wheels to newer, disc ready wheels. The original wheel is not designed for the flexing of radial tires. KENN
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Old 12-21-2019, 12:49 PM   #12
56yblock
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

i've put the white wall radial tires on my 56 it's much better to drive with them
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Old 12-21-2019, 04:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

here's the pics
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20191221_100649.jpg (28.9 KB, 20 views)
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Old 12-21-2019, 08:53 PM   #14
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

I run radials on all the cars listed below. It has been recommended to me by tire shops and knowledgeable friends to run them around 32 -35 Lbs
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Old 12-22-2019, 01:57 AM   #15
50fordcoupeman
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

I also run radials on the '50 plus everything I own including trailers.
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Old 12-22-2019, 05:14 AM   #16
56yblock
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

i've tried on the highway ,is perfect..
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Old 12-25-2019, 07:43 AM   #17
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Default Re: Radial and Bias Tires.

I had bias ply on my '56 for over 30 years, then switched to radials. I could not believe the difference in handling. It was like a brand new car. No more fighting grooves in the highway. No more wobble along the way. The difference was fantastic.
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