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Old 12-08-2019, 02:18 AM   #21
GB SISSON
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

There's nothing like having a bunch of 5 on 5 1/2 " early ford rims around the place. The newer ones with 'outie' hub cab nubs just look wrong.....
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:57 PM   #22
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

so i was told 205 is 205 mm wide 85 is 85% of 205mm for sidewall height. so 215 is only 10 mm wider that 3/8 of an inch.
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Old 12-08-2019, 08:22 PM   #23
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

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so i was told 205 is 205 mm wide 85 is 85% of 205mm for sidewall height. so 215 is only 10 mm wider that 3/8 of an inch.

Is that tread width or section width? That's great to get some inside scoop about what that 'aspect ratio' is about.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:56 AM   #24
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

Yeah, section width and tread width can be two different measurements, and most of these tires I've been researching seem to be lacking detailed measurements.

Overall diameter shows the 215's to be more like a 700-16 in diameter, which might be fine for a truck, or the rear of a hot rod, but seems a bit much for the front on a car. Wouldn't mind some lower revs on the highway with my 3.78 rear end, but looking for something similar to the 650-16 rear, 600-16 front I'm running now. There are always 205/75/16's available for the front, which come in close to the diameter of a 600-16.

Just thinking out loud here. Have to get out the old manual tire changer and shop for some used ones to experiment with.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:49 AM   #25
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

it should be tread width ! i know for a fact that a cheap chinese tire compared to a known brand will not be exactly the same. to keep cost down the cheaper ones don,t usely respect the tread width. but over all diameter should be close.
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:25 PM   #26
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

I would suggest that people should be very careful mounting 8/10 ply tires on vintage wheels, especially wheels that were intended by the manufacture to have 600 x 16 on a 4" rim.
During the '40's/50"s my father was a Ceramic Tile & Marble Contractor. Dad learned the had way that heavy loads with over-size tires was nothing but trouble, the wheel would split right at the bead line, sometimes as much a half the circumference of the wheel which really made a mess of the fender and bed of the truck.
During the late '30's and through the '40's Dad generally had the wheels changed to the artillery style, which was a HD wheel. During the late '50's Dad switched to split rims on his trucks.
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Old 12-09-2019, 06:05 PM   #27
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

Any of these tires are technically too wide for a four-inch rim. That prompted my question as to whether they were being mounted on the early rims or later five or 5 1/2 inch rims.

Sorry if I spoiled the party here - there's always a catch somewhere, it seems.
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Old 12-09-2019, 11:14 PM   #28
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

Didn't spoil my party one bit. Everything about these old rigs is way beyond the safety standards of today. Metal dash with knobs that stick out... Gas tanks at your knees or under the seat, mechanical brakes, no seat belts, high center of gravity..... the list goes on. This is not a hobby for the faint of heart. I don't haul weight in my woodie wagon with the 215s... My big antique trucks have new bias ply tires on split rims and I guess we all draw our own lines at some point. Car crashes were absolutely brutal in the 30s, 40s and 50s. My thing is that if I leave this world driving an old, outdated ford is that I'm alone and don't take anyone out with me. I suppose I could take up golf instead but then I'd probably clobber someone with a nine iron that slipped outa my hands, or collapse from exertion on the 17th hole. Still better than the nursing home.... .
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Old 12-10-2019, 10:43 AM   #29
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

Yeah GB, my sentiments exactly!
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:00 PM   #30
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

During the late '60's the buying public went crazy buying RV's, a large percentage of which were pickup trucks with campers.
My wife and I had five kids, I had been raised in a family of outdoors people, tent camping was all I ever knew. On the other hand my wife had never camped in her life, roughing it was to have room service be ten minutes late.
Having five kids and not a lot of spare change I suggested that we take the kids camping, our Olds station wagon could do in a pinch for sleeping quarters for the wife and two youngest girls, me and the two boys could sleep in the tent. Our first venture did not go well.
I then proposed that we buy a camper, since we owned a Tile Contracting business a new pickup could be used by the company, the slid-in camper would be stored at the business when not in use as an RV. Took some doing, but my wife finally agreed to the idea.
I started shopping for a new HD 3/4 ton pickup.. I knew that a good self contained camper would weigh in the 2,000# range, adding seven people and gear would add at least 500 + lbs. Doing the math showed that I needed a truck that had a GVW of at least 9,500 lbs, the average GVW of a '65 3/4 ton was/is 7,400 lb's.
Working with truck salesman I was able to get a 3/4 ton pickup up to 9.500 lbs with HD options. We bought a '65 HD 3/4 ton and an 11' self contained camper, fun times ahead.
Following several trips in the RV over 18 + months I noted that the original tires were not holding to well. Prior to heading out for a long trip to several Western States I took the truck w/camper to my tire dealer, I got the shock of my life, I had a truck that was rated to carry 9,500 lbs, however, the 6 ply tires and 15" wheels were only rated to carry 3,000 lb's per axle, a gross of 6,000 lbs which is the GVW of a basic 1/2 ton pickup. (5,700 lb)
I purchased new Firestone 16" split rims and had the tire dealer install 10 ply radial tires which had a load range of 3,000. lbs per wheel, 12,000. lbs gross.
Not long after I up-graded my wheels and tires I received a recall letter from the manufacture of my truck informing me that if I was using my truck for an RV I should have the vehicle weighed by certified scales and bring the truck into the dealer for a valuation. After I drained the holding/water tanks and removed some gear I was under the 9,500, lb's.
The dealer was surprised that I had put HD wheels and 10 ply tires on the truck. In a few months I received a check from the manufacture of the truck, the amount of the check was in excess of what I had paid for the tires and wheels.
Within a few months the media was full of reports concerning tire and wheel failures on RV's. I had told many of my friends that had RV's that they should check into the weight rating for their tires/wheels. I also sent out a letter to all of my employees informing them of the problem, most choose to ignore my warnings.
Sadly, many people find out the hard way that the pretty chrome wheels and raised letter tires they have bought for their outfit are an accident waiting to happen, an example being Ford Motor/Firestone and the Excursion tire mess that cost a lot of people their lives.
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Old 12-10-2019, 04:18 PM   #31
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

No offense intended for your valid points, blucar. Don't think anyone here is out to endanger anyone's life.

Just meant that perhaps a slightly oversized tire on an early rim supporting a 2800 pound car is likely safer than the 1966 6-ply Kelly Springfields (one almost bald) that are currently holding my '40 off the garage floor, where it is harming no one.

Used to stand on the passenger side floor with my hands on the dash while riding around in this car when I was five years old and lived to tell about it. Do I recommend this to anyone today? Probably not, but I think this stuff is within the grey area in which people can weigh their own options.

Think we've about covered this topic, and I will fade back into the woodwork.
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Old 12-10-2019, 04:40 PM   #32
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

Hell, on long trips, my little brother used to take a nap in the package tray in dad's Oldsmobile. Talk about a potential projectile. Things have really changed; think about it, when you were a kid, who had ever heard of wearing a helmet riding a bicycle?
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:07 PM   #33
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

it must be a minnesota thing, being the baby in the family the rear window was my seat also on long trips, 53 olds
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Old 12-11-2019, 04:46 AM   #34
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

bought a '65 HD 3/4 ton ......several trips in the RV over 18+months......had the tire dealer install 10ply “radial” tires....??????
Radials???......in the late 60’s???......Mark
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:36 AM   #35
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

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bought a '65 HD 3/4 ton ......several trips in the RV over 18+months......had the tire dealer install 10ply “radial” tires....??????
Radials???......in the late 60’s???......Mark
That's about when I first learned about radials. They seemed to start as a foreign car thing but in '69 I was working for a rich guy that put radials on his station wagon. More surprising to me was that with all those HD options this truck was on 15s! The only 15" 8 lug wheels I recall were on a '54 GMC I bought in '78. Of course the 15s were 7.00. I immediately switched over to 7.50 x 16s, and later to 7.50 x 17s in my unending quest for tall, narrow tires.
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Old 12-12-2019, 11:55 AM   #36
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

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bought a '65 HD 3/4 ton ......several trips in the RV over 18+months......had the tire dealer install 10ply “radial” tires....??????
Radials???......in the late 60’s???......Mark

Radial truck tires were not a common thing in the mid to late '60's. I first noticed them on UPS route vans, UPS generally used split rims with the ring painted silver. I figured that if radials were good enough for UPS, they were good enough for me.
The 10 ply radials I bought were 750 x 16 Michelin's mounted on Firestone 16" split rims. I would run the tires on my RV unit for two years, switch them out to one of the Company trucks, putting a new set on the RV. When the tread got thin we would have the casings recapped, just like UPS did.
I still have a set of 700 x 15 Michelin's on Firestone split rims that came off of my '59 Ford F100 4x. I bought that set of tires and wheels in '68 or '69, they were recapped twice.
When I took the '59 out of the company service, I restored it, down graded the Michelin's/wheels to a utility trailer.

Two years ago I removed the Michelin's from the trailer, installed Ford F150 HD 5 on 5.5 wheels with radial trailer tires.
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Old 12-13-2019, 10:18 PM   #37
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

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Radial truck tires were not a common thing in the mid to late '60's. I first noticed them on UPS route vans, UPS generally used split rims with the ring painted silver. I figured that if radials were good enough for UPS, they were good enough for me.
The 10 ply radials I bought were 750 x 16 Michelin's mounted on Firestone 16" split rims. I would run the tires on my RV unit for two years, switch them out to one of the Company trucks, putting a new set on the RV. When the tread got thin we would have the casings recapped, just like UPS did.
I still have a set of 700 x 15 Michelin's on Firestone split rims that came off of my '59 Ford F100 4x. I bought that set of tires and wheels in '68 or '69, they were recapped twice.
When I took the '59 out of the company service, I restored it, down graded the Michelin's/wheels to a utility trailer.

Two years ago I removed the Michelin's from the trailer, installed Ford F150 HD 5 on 5.5 wheels with radial trailer tires.

This tonner I brought home from Twisp in Eastern Washington about 5 years ago has a set of recapped 7.50x17 michelin radials on the front. Two years ago I bought an unused set of the same tire on craigslist, but not capped and put them on the front of my good driver jailbar tonner. Steers so nice. That's what got me thinking about tall skinny radials for the woodie.
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Old 12-14-2019, 12:18 PM   #38
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

I think some of the comments to this topic bares out the old adage, "don't confuse me with facts, I already have my mind made up".
When I first looked into Michelin radials for my RV unit I to thought they were to expensive, my mind got changed when I blew a rear tire late one evening on my way to the lake. Fortunately I make it a practice to carry a spare tire that is as good as the weakest tire on the road.. Our weekend excursion was not ruined.
As time went bye I came to the conclusion that the safety of my employees was just as important as my family, I switched all of my trucks to radial tires, including the large three axle units. The net result was that I cut our tire problems down to almost zero.
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:32 PM   #39
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

I worked at a garage on the Maine Turnpike from ‘74 - ‘82. When a car came in with radials in the late ‘70’s it was a big deal!...everybody that changed tires came out of the garage area to look at them. We didn’t have any sizes to replace one if a car lost one. Big truck sizes were limited to 10.00x20 bias ply. Of course when auto manufacturers started putting them on new cars, availability increased then. The reason I asked was because, I never saw radials regularly until the early ‘80’s.....Mark
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Old 12-20-2019, 11:40 PM   #40
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

I used those tires on my '54 Ford Panel truck with later 50's outside bump 5" wheels, worked great. I also put them on my '56 Chevy Panel truck with 4.5" wheels, they were crowned and wondered when driving (also started to wear in the center. I used 80's Ford 3/4 ton truck wheels, cut the centers out and welded the Chevy centers in the Ford hoop. Turned them into 16"x6" and now everything is great with the 215/85LT16 tires.
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