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Old 11-25-2019, 11:18 PM   #1
GB SISSON
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Default 215 85 16s

OK, this size tire came stock on dually pickups for many years. Maybe some still do, but I think the newest stuff is 17-18". Anyway your average 28 year old refinery worker making 70 grand a year wants some real meats on his rig, and this size ends up on the used tire auction block.. I have always thought this tall/skinny profile would work nicely on a stock ford rim of our vintage. Last month our local gas station-tire place changed hands and the new owner's insurance would't let them sell used tires out back.... But they could GIVE them away, so I hauled off 4 for a test. I have an old Coates 'tireman' manual tire machine so I took four home and mounted them. What a difference! Yes, steering in a parking lot at a standstill required more effort, but down the road like a dream. Today I had a delivery to the mainland so I went to the used tire place and got 4 really nice ones for 150.00 for all. It was 6:00 pm and 40 degrees when I got home, but I just had to peel off some old tires and mount a couple of the 'new ' ones. Not sure I can divide 150.00 by four but I think a real bargain. I know some (Tinker) will think I sold out on the bias thing ..... Anyhow, just wondering if anybody else here runs the 215 85r 16 tires. P.S., at the Portland Or swapmeet I asked a salesman from a well known vintage tire company about radials for the woodie and he quoted me something like 275.00 a piece.
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File Type: jpg 215s in the back.JPG (114.9 KB, 117 views)
File Type: jpg 215s on the slab.JPG (120.7 KB, 119 views)
File Type: jpg 215 on the side.JPG (104.4 KB, 125 views)
File Type: jpg red 215 closeup.jpg (53.3 KB, 131 views)
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'47 1/2 ton pickup next project, '47 one ton panel 99% stock nearing completion, '47 2 ton with 8ba and 9' script stakebed, '46 1/2 ton woodie project,'59 F350 9' flareside pickup with cummins 6at. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

You've done well!! now that you've 'found' radial tires, you'll never go back to x plies....
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

You do you GB . Keep it on the road!
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Old 11-26-2019, 07:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

Work great on my 35
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Old 11-26-2019, 07:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

I'm running 205 80R 16's Michelin's on my '39 pickup. Can't seem to wear them out.
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Old 11-26-2019, 08:53 PM   #6
GB SISSON
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

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I'm running 205 80R 16's Michelin's on my '39 pickup. Can't seem to wear them out.
I'm going tubeless... You? Got the other two mounted after work tonight. Now all four bolted up. Supposed to be ok weather tomorrow and I'm playing hookey, so will file a report after the test-drive.
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'47 1/2 ton pickup next project, '47 one ton panel 99% stock nearing completion, '47 2 ton with 8ba and 9' script stakebed, '46 1/2 ton woodie project,'59 F350 9' flareside pickup with cummins 6at. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)
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Old 11-27-2019, 06:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

No, I'm running tubes. Too many rivets in the wide 5 to make me feel comfortable with tubeless.
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Old 11-27-2019, 08:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

Are you guys running these on four-inch rims? Don't know exactly when the rims got wider, as my experience ends at 1940.

Looking at tires for my '40 coupe, and shaking my head at the price and apparent poor quality of many of the bias-ply options (without mentioning names), and price and shipping on the obvious bias-look alternative.

Want something I can drive on without thumping down the road, or wearing out in 3500 miles.

Seems like asking a lot. Well, Pirelli is reproducing the Stella Bianca bias-ply 600-16 they made from 1927 to the early '50's, which is V speed rated (149 mph). Same high price, but perhaps will balance and roll smoothly down the road.

Not too early Ford traditional, but neither were the 195/80/16 Bridgestone Ecopia electric car tires, which have apparently been discontinued. Never had those, but they were a viable alternative at one time.

Anyway, sorry to stray from your original post Gary, but we're definitely on the same page on keeping our heaps rolling. Just would like to know if you are running those tires on 4 inch rims. More appropriate on your woodie, but beats sitting in the garage on baloney skins!
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Old 11-28-2019, 12:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

I'm running the 205-16's on 4" wide rims. They don't looked pinched to me and ride good. I have a set of 5" wide Zephyr wide 5's that I thought about putting these Michelins on but they seem to work fine on the stock rims. An interesting side note, none of these tires required balancing.
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Old 11-28-2019, 02:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

GB....the 215-85’s are 10/ply right?.....what are the 205-80’s.....I looked on-line and all I could find was 10/ply........Mark
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Old 11-28-2019, 11:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

The 205-80's are 6 ply, 4 polyester and 2 steel. They are made in the UK and my tire guy said they were used on Range Rovers back in the '90's. I don't think they are made anymore.
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:34 PM   #12
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

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GB....the 215-85ís are 10/ply right?.....what are the 205-80ís.....I looked on-line and all I could find was 10/ply........Mark
Yes Mark... 10 ply rating, but I dont think they really have ten plies (plys?). Radials always have that flexible sidewall. I don't know how wide my rims are but they mostly came from jailbar half tons. These ten ply tires come on and off the rims so much easier and are way more pliable than the old 6 ply 6.50 16s I peeled off the old rims. The new radials are considerably lighter in weight than the bias truck tires I removed. And they don't look pinched at all. Wife, dog and I heading to town in 2 minutes for another joy ride.
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Old 11-29-2019, 08:13 PM   #13
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

Ok... thanks guys. I went from 245/75R16 to 235/85R16 on my XXX daily driver and they only came in 10/ply.....but it doesn’t ride hard at all and they wear well. I never air up a tire to the max press on the sidewall (unless the vehicle loaded heavy) anyway...thanks again...enjoy the Holidays.....Mark
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

Ran on 35 psi. Still a bit stiff. Gonna do the next run on 30. But.... I gotta say it stays so straight ahead between the ditches, running nice and true. I don't have any way to balance these, but fastest stretch on the 24 mile round trip is 35 mph. The run to the ferry has a stretch of 40 mph road, but we don't do that one very often..
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Old 11-30-2019, 03:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

Gary;
Check out Dyna-beads. Spendy but they work.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:26 PM   #16
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

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Gary;
Check out Dyna-beads. Spendy but they work.
Thanks! Looks like a good way to go. Here's a shot of my 'truck' with the 215s mounted up. I like the way they fill up the wheel wells, and with 30 psi they steer a bit harder when stopped, but the ride on my ol' potholed road is improved. Maybe I'll settle on the old tried and true 32 psi.
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:10 AM   #17
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

When buying used tires always check the D.O.T numbers to make sure they are not too old , I tried to have some mounted and the clerk said the numbers indicate they are 10 years old and can blow out due to internal failure ,mine were new and sat on the shelf for what I thought was a shorter time , just a word of caution.
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

Thanks Stenny, those 205-16's sound good on the 4-inch rims. Just have to see if I can find some somewhere. The 215's seem a bit more plentiful.
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

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Thanks Stenny, those 205-16's sound good on the 4-inch rims. Just have to see if I can find some somewhere. The 215's seem a bit more plentiful.
The width is probably very similar on thje 215s and the 205s. The 215s are an 85 series, and the lower the aspect ratio, the shorter and wider the tire. Right down to those 22" things that are popular now with a tire about about 3" in section. Gag me with a tire spoon.
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'47 1/2 ton pickup next project, '47 one ton panel 99% stock nearing completion, '47 2 ton with 8ba and 9' script stakebed, '46 1/2 ton woodie project,'59 F350 9' flareside pickup with cummins 6at. 'Rusty ol' floorboards, hot on their feet' (Alan Jackson)
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Old 12-08-2019, 12:45 AM   #20
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Default Re: 215 85 16s

Yeah, always thought some chromed Conestoga wagon wheels would be just the thing on lowered Cadillac. Yech!

Anyway, I think your used tire idea is a great way to try them out and see how I like them without jumping in head first. Have a bunch of spare rims around, too.
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