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How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
#1413100 Tue Jun 08 2021 02:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 35
K
'Bolter
I woke up this morning thinking about the tires that are on my 1954 3100 5 window. It's mostly original with the 235 engine and 3 on the tree.
recent put new tires on my Mini Cooper Rally car, as I thought they were just getting too old, and I wanted a newer stickier compound. Never thought about the tires on the truck. The tires are the ones that were on the truck when I bought it 3 years back, and while pretty noisy they had plenty of tread, so I did not give it much thought.
I went out the the garage to see if I could tell how old they are. They are Cooper Discovery LT's but I was unable to find any DOT code on any of the Tires. From what I understand, DOT codes have been required on tires since 1971.

Since I can not find a DOT code, are my tires really like 50 years old?

Scary, as some days I do drive it like I stole it. Picture attached of the tire.

Attached Files
20210608_082748.jpg (221.56 KB, 324 downloads)

1954 Chevy 3100
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413101 Tue Jun 08 2021 02:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 9,900
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
If you drive Hiways on a regular basis then replace ASAP.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2) “Emily”
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe “Clarence”



"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!
USAF 1965-1969 Weather Observation Tech (I got paid to look at the clouds)

Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413121 Tue Jun 08 2021 04:11 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,126
M
'Bolter
Did you look on both sides of the tire for the DOT info? They only stamp it on one side...

Mike B smile

Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413134 Tue Jun 08 2021 05:18 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 35
K
'Bolter
Thanks Mike B, I had not thought of that. I was able to read code off of 3 of the Tires. None of them good.

(CJL492) (CLJ291)(CUB073) If I am reading it right, the two front tires are from 1992 and 1991, and the rear tire looks like it's from 1973? Really???

I attached the two picts of the ones that were easiest to read.

Crazy. I need to get them replaced for sure.

--- UPDATE ---
I Found a site that suggested if the tire was indeed made before the year 2000, the code is interpreted differently.
So, CLJ-492, was made in the 49th week of the 2nd year of the decade
CLJ-291, was made in the 29th week, of the 1st year of the decade
CUB-073, was made in the 7th week, of the 3rd year of the decade

Regardless, all of the tires are nearly 30 years old. Not bad for getting your money's worth... Ha ha

Attached Files
20210608_130140.jpg (260.07 KB, 306 downloads)
20210608_124647.jpg (160.16 KB, 307 downloads)
Last edited by Kevin13Shaw; Tue Jun 08 2021 05:44 PM.

1954 Chevy 3100
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413139 Tue Jun 08 2021 05:42 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 1,273
G
Insomniac
Code is week and year. So CUB073 should be 7th week of 1993. In any case, they are too old.


Gord
----
1954 1/2 ton 235 4 speed
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413182 Tue Jun 08 2021 09:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 798
M
'Bolter
I've run (and am running) tires that are 40-50 years old. If they haven't been in direct sun their lifespan is infinitely longer. If there is no visible cracking on the surface, that indicates that the rubber is still pliable. We could argue that tire date coding is one of the biggest scams ever perpetrated on the public, but recent events have superseded that milestone. I go on a tire-by-tire basis - expiration dates are absolutely worst-case scenarios. If there's no cracking I would run them out - but then again I don't believe everything the government tells me and I don't have money to spend replacing tires that I have closely inspected and are still safely viable.


1951 Chevy Panel Truck
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413187 Tue Jun 08 2021 10:03 PM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 4,028
Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
If you want to be safe about it, they're good for tire swings. Just be sure the branch you tie them to is sturdy enough. wink


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: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
MiraclePieCo #1413201 Tue Jun 08 2021 10:54 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 698
F
'Bolter
MiraclePieCo Agree with your take on tires,Ithink they live best in service. To run 80 on the interstate all day better get some Michelins! To get to the gas station in town run beaters have junkers 60 yrs old ,think the warrenty ran out !! My machinery jocky neighbor said keep em out of the sun !!

Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413209 Tue Jun 08 2021 11:32 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 243
O
'Bolter
It seems impossible to wear out old all weather tread; even while using them for donuts and drifting! cool

Might as well treat your truck to some new ones sooner than never.

Last edited by Ott3r; Tue Jun 08 2021 11:33 PM.

'59 Chevy Suburban, NAPCO
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413214 Wed Jun 09 2021 12:14 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 9,703
5
'Bolter
One other thing to think about is how much smoother your truck will ride with new tires. Those old ones may well not blow out before the tread is worn off, but I do like the feel of new tires after running stiff and noisy old ones.

Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413221 Wed Jun 09 2021 01:25 AM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 61
R
'Bolter
Another factor is radial versus bias ply tires.

I've heard that radials rot from the inside out in about seven years, so they should be replaced at least that often regardless of the tred that is left.

Bias tires seem to last forever if you keep them out of the sun.

Case in (extreme) point: The front tires on Lurch are over 80 years old. How can I tell? The size is 30x5, which changed to 5-20 in the mid-1930s. See the pic below and shudder.

For safety (?), Lurch has inner tubes and flaps that are only 4 years old. Also, I only drive at around 20 mph. ;-) I've only had one flat with driving these tires for over 25 years.

Silly? Yes. Stupid? Maybe.

Cheers, Dean

Attached Files
LurchFrontTire-1.jpg (355.49 KB, 252 downloads)
Lurch's right front tire. ;-)

Dean 'Rustoholic' Meltz

Lurch: 1927 1-Ton Chevy Cattle Truck
In the Stovebolt Gallery [stovebolt.com]
Old and ugly is beautiful! -- The Saga [stovebolt.com]
More fun with Lurch [stovebolt.com]

Justin: 1928 Chevrolet AB Canopy Express
In the Stovebolt Gallery [stovebolt.com]
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413227 Wed Jun 09 2021 01:54 AM
Joined: Feb 2000
Posts: 4,324
J
'Bolter
Price out a new fender, paint and labor, then price out tires. If the tread lets go, the old hard rubber will beat the fenders to death. Thats how I decided when I bought new ones. Mine had 10,000 miles and 18 years old, but still looked new.

Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413275 Wed Jun 09 2021 10:06 AM
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 5,076
J
Unrepentant VW Lover
Yeah, personally, I dislike replacing tires with usable tread still on them. But I think I would dislike being dead (or causing someone else to be dead) even more.

I made my decision sortta like Joe's a couple of years ago during a ride to the big show at Winchester when I was going down a hill about 60 MPH and it occurred to me that I had owned the truck for nearly 20 years and was still running the tires that were on it at the time ... If one failed ... going down a hill ... 60 mph ...

I have new tires. And the clock is ticking. My goal is to wear the tread off right about the time they date stamp out. smile


John

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
— C. S. Lewis


'49 Chevrolet 3804

Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413291 Wed Jun 09 2021 12:52 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 203
D
'Bolter
In that code how do know what decade?

Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413372 Thu Jun 10 2021 02:00 AM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,175
M
'Bolter
The paste and copy below is from the Spoon back in '19. I was lucky when I had a blowout on a Michelin LTX 235/85/16 E rated (10 ply) tire that was at about it's midlife point based on mileage and just turned 6. Not mentioned in the original post was the partner tire that also still looked great didn't go 100 miles on a backhoe trailer (it was well within it rated load range) and it blew out. There were no open recalls.

This Public Service Announce is related to tires. A tire story from two days ago that's still very fresh. I was returning home from a (800 mile each way non stop, sorta) trip to check on a pipeline company project I've been roped into, I was in my '95 Dodge Diesel dually about 200 miles west of Dallas Tx on I-20 and had a blowout on the right front tire. Speed was 70 and even though I had one hand securely on the steering wheel (as opposed to finger tips only) the truck immediately shot 10 feet to the right before I could wrestle it back under control, lots of noise and smoke. Had I been on a no shoulder road or had another vehicle been immediately on the right, it'd have been BAD.

The PSA component here is stay aware of and CHECK your tire age. The tire that blew on the front had about 30,000 miles on it and had just turned 6. The manufacture date was 3-13. Cold pressure was 75 psi and no previous repairs, it was Michelin LTX which should be a great tire.

A lot of jurisdictions require tires to be no older than 5 years old when on the front, I've always felt that was a bit ridiculous since I've regularly ran tires much longer with no catastrophic failures. I've gone though several sets of 235/85/16 E rated BF GoodRich Liberator tires and usually at the 7 year mark they go on hay trailers. It's not uncommon for the tread to separate at about the 10 year mark. However due to the way we pull at low speed on secondary roads it's never been a problem. I've never had em blow.

The above said, it's to the tire shop tomorrow for new steer tires and one very good looking Michelin will be set-aside for trailer duty.


1951 3600 with Clark flatbed, T5, 4.10 rear
1970 340 Duster
1990 5.0 V8 Miata (1990 Mustang Gt Drivetrain)
1951 Farmall Super A



Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413377 Thu Jun 10 2021 02:36 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,119
E
'Bolter
I have run many bias tires way more than 10 years, the recommended interval here, many tire shops quit at 10 years, however, many Michelin’s have failed after many(more than 10) years.

Ed


'37 GMC T-18 w/ DD 4-53T, RTO-610, 6231 aux., '95 GMC running gear, full disc brakes, power steering, 22.5 wheels and tires.
'47 GMC 1 ton w/ 302, NP-540, 4wd, full width Blazer front axle.
'54 GMC 630 w/ 503 gasser, 5 speed, ex fire truck, shortened WB 4', install 8' bed.
'55 GMC 370 w/270, 420 4 speed, grain, dump bed truck from ND. Works OK.
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413390 Thu Jun 10 2021 03:44 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,729
R
'Bolter
I've had my truck for 18 years and the tires were on it when I got it. It was a farm truck so not many miles on the tires and they look like new. I suppose should replace them, but I only put a few miles on it myself in a year. Plus I imagine I'd be stuck replacing the wheels also.


Rich

'47 Loadmaster [stovebolt.com]

1947 Chev. Loadmaster

1959 Chev. Viking 40

Genie: "I am the genie from a magic lamp and I have the power to grant you three wishes."
Me: "I want to be rich."
Genie: "OK, Rich, what's your second wish?"








Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413392 Thu Jun 10 2021 03:57 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,475
'Bolter
Probably shouldn't admit this but I ran the B.F. Goodrich Radials on my 37 for20 years. My truck does stay in the shop and I did look closely at them every time I washed the truck. Still no cracking ect when I took them off this summer. I took the tires to the recycle place so no one would think they were practically new and run them which would have happened if I left them at the tire place!!!

......needless to say, the day before I ran the little blue pickup well past 100 on I-85 then later that night decided I'd be smart for once in my life and had new ones put on two days later! I realize I got lucky this time!!!


1937 Chevy Pickup [stovebolt.com]

1952 Chevy Panel [stovebolt.com]
52 Chevy Panel [photos.app.goo.gl]

Pictures in my Photobucket [s140.photobucket.com]

1950 Chevy Coupe
https://photos.websearch.com/share/...Nko1cUJCNFFMTVFEUnNRbjFhNTFPc1J4YWV4cmRB



I'd rather walk and carry a Chevy hub cap than ride in a Ferd.
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you smile
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413679 Sat Jun 12 2021 10:17 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,521
S
'Bolter
A local truck buddy of mine got tired of several in our group making fun of his old, cracked rear mud tires on his all original 1967 Chevy 3/4 ton truck he bought at an estate sale 12 years ago. He ordered 2 new rear mud-grip tires online and finally found a tire shop that would install them on his split rims. The shop owner told him the old tires were manufactured in 1969. They still had tons of tread and he’d never had a flat or any other problems with them. He said the new tires did ride a little smoother.

I also don’t pour milk down the sink when it reaches the expiration date printed on the jug. I use the smell test. Just sayin’.


Chuck
1950 Chevy 1/2 ton (all original)
1951 Chevy 1/2 ton (future streetrod)
1941 Chevy coupe
1938 Chevy coupe streetrod
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413750 Sun Jun 13 2021 06:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,175
M
'Bolter
Spotbiltxo said; "I also don’t pour milk down the sink when it reaches the expiration date printed on the jug. I use the smell test. Just sayin’."

Yep, I do the smell test as well. And I was strongly in the camp that tires should be used till used up......Until the incident described above that could easily have resulted in death or serious injury due to a tire failure on two Michelin LTX tires that had just turned 6 yrs. old. As mentioned the first fail was on the front of the dually, the companion failed on a trailer several weeks later. The tires had zero visual clues they were less than perfect.

It can happen. I do believe old school bias ply tires are much less likely to have age related suprises. Radials, I know it can happen.


Good Luck,

RonR


1951 3600 with Clark flatbed, T5, 4.10 rear
1970 340 Duster
1990 5.0 V8 Miata (1990 Mustang Gt Drivetrain)
1951 Farmall Super A



Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413751 Sun Jun 13 2021 07:09 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 915
B
'Bolter
My boss bought a new 1977 K20 when I was 16., had Firestone directional mud treadI 7.50 - 16 from the factory. I was making a parts run (120 mile r.t,),. L. Front sidewall blew ascoss them hood of oncoming car on narrow, busy 2 lane. A
Gets ones attention.


BC
1960 Chevy C10 driver 235 T5 3.73 dana 44
1949 GMC 250 project in waiting
1960 C60 pasture art
G.M dealer tech since 1980 & counting
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413796 Mon Jun 14 2021 02:02 AM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,475
'Bolter
There was an article in Old Cars Weekly back sometime ago where the editor told or a tire exploding in his trunk, or maybe it was someone else's. It had never been on the ground so I suppose, (no not assume) but suppose the hot temps in the trunk did it in. It looked nasty for sure!


1937 Chevy Pickup [stovebolt.com]

1952 Chevy Panel [stovebolt.com]
52 Chevy Panel [photos.app.goo.gl]

Pictures in my Photobucket [s140.photobucket.com]

1950 Chevy Coupe
https://photos.websearch.com/share/...Nko1cUJCNFFMTVFEUnNRbjFhNTFPc1J4YWV4cmRB



I'd rather walk and carry a Chevy hub cap than ride in a Ferd.
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you smile
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413821 Mon Jun 14 2021 07:26 AM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 798
M
'Bolter
Check the sidewalls on the 50-year-old bias-plies on my '34 Ford pickup (below). Solid steering column, metal dash, no bumpers, no seat belts - the adrenaline rush when running 85 mph in rush hour traffic is something money can't buy!

Attached Files
10-27-11 014 (Medium).jpg (103.39 KB, 234 downloads)

1951 Chevy Panel Truck
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1413986 Tue Jun 15 2021 04:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 35
K
'Bolter
After thinking about how i'm not ready to die yet, and really like the truck in the current shape that it is in. So, I drove (my car) to the tire store and ordered some replacement cooper discoverer tires. Pmetric not the LT series, and will have them installed on June 17th.

Better safe, than dead or sorry.


1954 Chevy 3100
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1416537 Sat Jul 10 2021 03:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 560
H
'Bolter
I was a bit skeptical about replacing old tires with good tread considering myself frugal but practical. Then when we had temperature at 115-116 degrees for several days this happened to the spare on my trailer.
The trailer doesn't get used much. I did replace the tires on it and use one of the take-offs as a spare. It had plenty of tread and thought it would be fine as a spare. The trailer sits in the shade at least 1/2
the day and most of the tire is shielded by the trailer in the afternoon. I don't know exactly how old the tire is but it is probably a teenager. Made a believer out of me. Should be attached pictures but not sure I did that right.

Chuck

Attached Files
IMG_4926.JPG (154.64 KB, 139 downloads)
IMG_4930.JPG (142.2 KB, 138 downloads)
IMG_4931.JPG (166.88 KB, 134 downloads)
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1416650 Sun Jul 11 2021 11:01 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 4,119
E
'Bolter
That is how radial tires usually fail!

Ed


'37 GMC T-18 w/ DD 4-53T, RTO-610, 6231 aux., '95 GMC running gear, full disc brakes, power steering, 22.5 wheels and tires.
'47 GMC 1 ton w/ 302, NP-540, 4wd, full width Blazer front axle.
'54 GMC 630 w/ 503 gasser, 5 speed, ex fire truck, shortened WB 4', install 8' bed.
'55 GMC 370 w/270, 420 4 speed, grain, dump bed truck from ND. Works OK.
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1416675 Mon Jul 12 2021 01:58 AM
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 5,076
J
Unrepentant VW Lover
Same here- Here's a shot of a radial tire on one of the dump trucks at work, somewhat older, that just blew while the truck was parked in the lot. Naturally, it had to be the inside one ...

Attached Files
20210706_142513[1].jpg (335.61 KB, 86 downloads)

John

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
— C. S. Lewis


'49 Chevrolet 3804

Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1416681 Mon Jul 12 2021 03:49 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,653
W
'Bolter
Yes, replace the tires as soon as possible and do not do what I do under any circumstances. Yes, replace them!


1948 3/4-Ton 5-Window Flatbed Chevrolet [sandeace.com]

28 Years of Daily Driving. 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.
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1416748 Mon Jul 12 2021 07:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 707
D
'Bolter
This whole conversation really has me on the fence. I put new tires on my 54 3100 in January of 2016. They are bias white walls and cost $900 for the set of 4. I probably have less that 500 miles on them and I don't take it on the interstate. Original driveline and it does not like interstate speeds. I hate the thought of spending $1,000 on 4 new tires when I haven't wore out the ones on it but I get the safety concern with old tires. A lot to think about.


Dave from Northern Kentucky
My 54 3100
Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
Kevin13Shaw #1416827 Tue Jul 13 2021 01:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,175
M
'Bolter
Dave, this is just me and I have been accused of being a bit too risk tolerate. After a BAD experience with a blowout on the front of my dually at 70 mph I will not have old radials on our vehicles.

Bias ply tires are a totally different animal. I personally wouldn't be afraid to drive 10 year old (and beyond) quality bias ply tires that look good and have have been out of the sun on secondary roads. Your 5 year old tires would be good to go at my place.

Good Luck,

RonR

Last edited by moparguy; Tue Jul 13 2021 01:55 PM.

1951 3600 with Clark flatbed, T5, 4.10 rear
1970 340 Duster
1990 5.0 V8 Miata (1990 Mustang Gt Drivetrain)
1951 Farmall Super A



Re: How old are my Tires? Are they safe?
52Carl #1416832 Tue Jul 13 2021 02:06 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 698
F
'Bolter
52 Carl Nothing like a fresh set of Michelins,aligned and balanced...run a long time !!

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