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Wheel & Tire Width
#1385608 Mon Nov 23 2020 05:41 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 64
T
Wrench Fetcher
We have made great progress on my friend’s 3100. The painted truck is fully assembled and runs well.

The one major item left is wheels and tires. I have done quite a few searches. Obviously there are lots of ideas and opinions about bias or radial, classic or modern, tubes or tubeless, etc. The owner’s preference is to run a set of modern radial tires on the stock wheels.

The original 6.00 x 16 tire has about 6.8” section width. That translates to about 175 mm. The limitation is that there are almost no 16” tires in that width range. The few that I can find do not have enough land capacity and are too small in diameter. One other limitation we have is that we cannot handle much if any diameter increase due to the garage door height.

From a practical standpoint how wide a modern radial tire can be used on the standard 16x4 wheel? My concern is the distortion of the tire profile and crowning of the tread due to the narrow bead width.


Rusty
Re: Wheel & Tire Width
TBUChevy #1385615 Mon Nov 23 2020 06:45 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 30,801
ace skiver
Do you know what year the wheel is for/from?

The 1954 16" rims are 4.5" x 16"

Cooper Tire SRM II LT215/85R16 black truck radials on my Suburban.

A 215/85R16 Radial will work well on a 4.5" wheel/rim.


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Re: Wheel & Tire Width
TBUChevy #1385626 Mon Nov 23 2020 08:27 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 64
T
Wrench Fetcher
I forgot that detail in my original post. This is a 1949 3100 so the rims are 16x4. I cannot remember if they changed to 4 1/2" in 1950 or 1951.


Rusty
Re: Wheel & Tire Width
TBUChevy #1385627 Mon Nov 23 2020 08:40 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,096
G
Shop Clutterist
Did you try Coker tire? Expensive, but if you must keep your old rims...


Gord
----
1954 1/2 ton 235 4 speed
Re: Wheel & Tire Width
TBUChevy #1385630 Mon Nov 23 2020 08:57 PM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 64
T
Wrench Fetcher
Hi Gord,

I agree that the owner might have to adjust expectations. The solutions are to either get different wheels or pay for tires from a source like Coker.

From my perspective I would definitely be concerned using anything wider than a 205 on a 4" rim. 195 is really the maximum I prefer.

I have a friend running 225/70 -16's on 4 1/2" rims on a '54 3100. They do bulge quite a bit. I agree with the match between your 215/85 on a 4 1/2" rim.


Rusty
Re: Wheel & Tire Width
TBUChevy #1385633 Mon Nov 23 2020 09:23 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,188
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
I just found a tire on Tire Rack that's pretty close to a 600-16 (185mm wide) that would probably work on a 4" wide wheel. They do caution that it's a summer only tire and shouldn't be driven at freezing temperatures, because the compound can crack. To me that would be a definite no-go, but may be an option for guys in warmer climates like SoCal, Texas or other southern states.
Link [tirerack.com]


Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos [flickr.com]
Busting rust since the mid-60's
Re: Wheel & Tire Width
TBUChevy #1385639 Mon Nov 23 2020 10:07 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 30,801
ace skiver


Tim
1954Advance-Design.com [1954advance-design.com]
1954 3106 Carryall Suburban [stovebolt.com] - part of the family for 49 years
1954 3104 5-window pickup w/Hydra-Matic [1954advance-design.com] - part of the family for 15 years
- If you have to stomp on your foot-pedal starter, either you, or your starter, or your engine, has a problem.
- The 216 and early 235 engines are not "splash oilers" - this is a splash oiler. [chevy.oldcarmanualproject.com]
Re: Wheel & Tire Width
TBUChevy #1385641 Mon Nov 23 2020 10:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,096
G
Shop Clutterist
Kevin,
In the specs for the tire you linked, they recommend 5 to 6.5 in wide rims. Don't know what happens if the tires are installed on rims outside the recommended range. Even if they work OK, could some lawyer make an issue of it in case of an accident?

Last edited by Gord&Fran; Mon Nov 23 2020 10:15 PM.

Gord
----
1954 1/2 ton 235 4 speed
Re: Wheel & Tire Width
Gord&Fran #1385644 Mon Nov 23 2020 10:31 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,188
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
Originally Posted by Gord&Fran
Kevin,
In the specs for the tire you linked, they recommend 5 to 6.5 in wide rims. Don't know what happens if the tires are installed on rims outside the recommended range. Even if they work OK, could some lawyer make an issue of it in case of an accident?
Hey, some lawyer would probably make an issue of it even if they were on the right width wheels. ohwell
The 215/85R16 size that Tim mentioned would have the same issue. Other than the Coker 600-16's, there are no modern tire sizes that I can find that are recommended to fit on 4" or 4.5" wide wheels.


Kevin
First car '29 Ford Special Coupe
#2 - '29 Ford pickup restored from the ground up.
Newest Project - 51 Chevy 3100 work truck. Photos [flickr.com]
Busting rust since the mid-60's
Re: Wheel & Tire Width
TBUChevy #1385652 Mon Nov 23 2020 11:21 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 21,599
H
Boltergeist
The old rule of thumb used to be to run a wheel width that was 75%-80% as wide as the tire footprint. On a metric radial that would make a 195/85R16 about the right size. A 215MM footprint would be 20MM (just under an inch) wider than optimum. That's not way off, but it might result in an oddball wear pattern of the tread.
Jerry


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