My '48 Chevy 1/2 truck currently runs on a set of 10 year old radial tires that have 7500 miles on them. Truck is housed in a pole barn and sees no winter salt. I wonder if I should consider replacing them due to their age.
If yes...I want to use a quality blackwall radial tire with a bias ply look and maintain the old school "tall/skinny" look as original. Wheels are 15" X 6" from the Wheelsmith. Rear end is still 4.11. I have a side mount spare tire that I would replace as well. Is there a recommended tire size AND recommended manufacturer/vendor to accomplish all of this?
I have truly valued the input from knowledgable members on this forum since 2009.
I think I would start by Googling your question on replacement and read opinions. A thorough inspection of your tires is necessary to determine if you think they need replacement. Your driving habits and conditions also play a part. If you drive around town, like me, rarely over 45mph that would be different than regular highway driving. You could also get opinions from local tire shops keeping in mind they would have skin in the game so they may be biased. Can usually get a feel for the shop based upon how they treat you. Lots of tire options out there but again we get back to your driving habits. You drive approx 75-100mi/mo. so that comes into play.
Last edited by Forty9; Mon Jun 08 2020 10:45 PM. Reason: change info
Less complicated tire construction and, therefore, typically lower cost.
The stiffer sidewall can be an advantage in certain applications, e.g., as trailer tires where a bias ply tire may deliver less sway and bounce than a radial.
Rugged design and sidewall puncture resistance (some agricultural tires are bias ply)
But today, bias ply tires on automobiles have mostly been relegated to classic car/truck restoration projects and car shows. If the goal is to replicate the true classic look, then bias ply tires achieve that best.
When it comes to your truck though, radial tires are almost certainly the ticket. There are a few modern manufacturers of bias ply truck tires, but almost no matter where and how you drive, you’ll be at an advantage with radial options."
I would recommend some 235/85/16's. Those are relatively tall and skinny and pretty common
'66 c10 rust bucket, 350 nv4500 stock bellhousing, '85 c30 front suspension, h072 rear axle with 3/4 ton rear coil springs '67 cj5 225 oddfire motor, time for disc brake conversion, offset rear dana 44, intermediate pedals and steering upgrade '48 3804 frame and bed + '52 6400 cab and front clip + 4bt, need to put them together
I run 225/75/16’s on my 3/4 ton and they seem to be the perfect balance. Coming down the road they look like skinny tires and the height and sidewalls look “correct” on the truck. I originally wanted to keep the 16” split wheels and run bias with tubes but then after lots and lots of research and planning I realized I was going to be driving the truck A LOT! So I opted to go with the most proven up to date design. Radials on steel wheels. I used 3/4ton 8 lug ford wheels and just used stock gmc hubcaps. I have put over 5000 miles on the truck this year and I never worry about the tires. It goes 65-70 down the highway for as long as I want. If i get a nail in it i can just plug it and if I ever needed a tire on the road in a pinch I can just buy a new one and have it mounted. I do have the spare and tools but you know what I mean.... easier to have a common radial on it nowadays.
My old bias ply tires would "hunt" for the ridges in the road. If the road had the 2 grooves worn in it, my '48 3/4T would lurch to the side (sometimes almost violently) to get the tires on the higher points above the grooves. At one place in town, it would scare the heck out of a passenger but I knew it was coming. It would only go to the high points and then stop. There was no danger in going into the ditch.
When I got my 235/85R16 Michelin's, all that stopped and I could bring a cup of coffee with me to work.
Last edited by Wally / Montana; Sat Jun 13 2020 02:31 PM.
28 Years of Daily Driving but now on hiatus. With a '61 261, 848 head, Rochester Monojet carb, SM420 4-speed, 4.10 rear, dual reservoir MC, Bendix up front, 235/85R16 tires, 12-volt w/alternator, electric wipers and a modern radio in the glove box.