Using radials on 30s cars

by Guest4030  |  earlier

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I have been doing some research over the last few months about using the newer radials that can be used on pre-war cars and look period correct. I have a 1937 Packard 120 sedan that currently has 700-16 tube type bias-plays that will need replaced. I am interested in possibly using radials, but I have heard conflicting opinions on what is required to use them successfully. I have heard you have to have the rims reinforced. I have heard that tubeless radials would not hold air on pre-war rims that were designed for tubes.

I have heard that radials introduce greater stresses to the rim because of the more flexible and shorter sidewall design. I have also read from a radial tire manufacturer for collector vehicles that radials introduce less stress on an older rim. And, I have read that tubeless type tires were always able to work with older rims and hold air. I am interested in your opinion on this!

Thank you.


 Tags: 30s, CARS, radials, Using



  1. John

    Hello there

    Radial tires concentrate the stresses applied to rims and rims designed for bias ply tires need to be reinforced if radial tires are used. Personally I think you might be able to get away without reinforcing the rim if the vehicle is not driven much - but I admit not having enough experience in this area to make a definitive statement. The air tightness of the rim was never an issue when tubes held the air.

    I do not think it is the shortness of the side wall it is the fact that stresses are concentrated in a small area due to the radial cords - as opposed to a bias ply tire where the cords involved in the footprint extend further around the circumference. There are some compatibility issues with the beads seating on the rim. But I think the real problem is the rims themselves. There are rims that were manufactured that are airtight, but then there are some that are not.


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