TheSamba.com Forums
 
  View original topic: Opinions wanted on 15" Bias-Ply Tires for a Bus... Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
billyisme Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:10 am

Please don't hurt me for posting ANOTHER tire thread...

I'm in need of 15" tires for my stock-height 1960 panel. I am leaning toward a set of 4-ply tires because I think they are very cool and original looking. I have searched the forums here for feedback on their driving characteristics and tread life, but have not found many opinions one way or the other from people who have actually used them on a bus. Technically the 640-15 tires are closer to stock size, but I am interested in blackwall BF Goodrich 670-15 tires simply because of the increased load rating over the 640-15 tires, and the actual size difference shouldn't be noticeable from stock.

Here's a link to the tires I'm looking at right now (the photo shows a whitewall tire, but the specs listed are all for blackwall tires):
http://www.coker.com/store/customer/product.php?productid=17645&cat=&page=1

Here's the 640-15 tire specs:
http://www.coker.com/store/customer/product.php?productid=17421&cat=&page=1

So... who uses them or has used these or similar tires and what is/was your opinion of them? My bus is "just" my hobby so I won't be pounding the tires on the freeway every day--mostly weekend driving and the occasional long trip to a show. I also live in SoCal, so snow is not a concern, and rain is infrequent.

Thanks for your time.

Billy

Bryan S. Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:25 am

If you aren't going to be driving it alot on the highway, I'd get them they look nice, and it's a hobby car. Now on the other note it's gonna ride like shit when you do drive it to that vw show,and going to want to wander alot more than radial tires.

DanM Wed Apr 07, 2004 12:25 pm

i drive my '60 on Firestone 6.40x15's everyday. I drive in every kind of traffic and weather imaginable and have no complaints. (ok, sliding backwards down a hill in 2" of snow kind of sucked but that was my fault) bottom line for me is that these are the tires that our buses were built for. just make sure you slow your ass down on those highway exits!!!
your bus will handle, look, and feel exactly as it should on the right tires.

billyisme Wed Apr 07, 2004 1:37 pm

so-23 wrote: i drive my '60 on Firestone 6.40x15's everyday. I drive in every kind of traffic and weather imaginable and have no complaints. (ok, sliding backwards down a hill in 2" of snow kind of sucked but that was my fault) bottom line for me is that these are the tires that our buses were built for. just make sure you slow your ass down on those highway exits!!!
your bus will handle, look, and feel exactly as it should on the right tires.

Very cool--Thanks for the reply! Where do you live? How is the "drift" on a grooved-cement freeway road survace?
The <1,200 lb load rating of the 6.40 tire doesn't worry you?

hazetguy Wed Apr 07, 2004 5:11 pm

Quote: but I am interested in blackwall BF Goodrich 670-15 tires simply because of the increased load rating over the 640-15 tires, and the actual size difference shouldn't be noticeable from stock.


you obviously haven't seen Rachel's truck. the 670's are HUGE in comparison to 640's. makes her truck look taller for sure, and makes the speedo turn slower.

for a stock look, then go for it. for daily driving-the price you're gonna pay for bias ply's from coker, you could buy a real nice set of michelins. i have also heard (from people who have actually used thm on a daily basis), that they do not last very long--like 30K-40K, and that's not long for me. i have more than that on my michelins, and they look barely used.
i've driven busses with bias ply tires, and i can't wait to drive my busses with radials after that. make sure all your steering components are in tip-top shape, otherwise the "drift" will be exaggerated by the poor steering qualities.
i'll take radials any day.

and the load rating is per tire. 1200lbs is no problem for a bus.

edgy Wed Apr 07, 2004 5:20 pm

Being old enough to have purchased 670x15s new for my first car...I'd go with radial tires. Every car manufacturer in the world has switched to radials. I suspect it isn't because bias ply were so good. The are hard, wander, and the treadware is probably faster than you realize. In the early 60's every gas station carried the tires you are considering. The reason they all carried them was they were replaced so often.

If you want a show car, go stock, if you want a hobby, go good.

gatorwyatt Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:04 pm

i drive just about every weekend on my 6.40x15 set and have no drift also no load complaints.coker is just about the easiest place to score them.hazet guy is correct about having a tight suspension,adjust all of your links pins,grease and should make sure your center link is also tight.hobby or not they drive great when your bus is all stock,besides it was the way the bus came. :idea:

splitpile Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:18 pm

I have 670/15 Nankings on my container van, drove it to Cali and back with out a problem. I thought they felt good, rode fine and handled great in the winds we fought along I 10. Cost less the 60 dollars each mounted and balanced, I wish I could get a few more for my other 15 inch wheeled buses/ I have not found a decent radial in 15 inch to this day that is proper for a bus.

hazetguy Thu Apr 08, 2004 8:01 am

Quote: I have not found a decent radial in 15 inch to this day that is proper for a bus.


michelin ltx 205/75/15. same height as original 640/15 (i did alot of research before finding ones that would fit that were the same height). my speedo is very accurate,and they have a good weight load.
i don't care about original looks, i need roadworthiness (as you know). about 50k miles on them, and still about 3/4 tread left. they are quiet and handle great.
and they are a little wide, but i don't have a later rear end in my bus, so i do not have the tire-to-fenderwell clearance problems that so many complain about when they put bigger tires on and early bus with a later rear end in it.

Alan Brase Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:07 pm

splitpile wrote: I have not found a decent radial in 15 inch to this day that is proper for a bus.
Splitpile:
Way back in about 1982 when I got my first type 2, (a 1976 red and white bus), and found out what "reinforced" tires were, I noticed that Michelin had available 175r 15's in reinforced construction. I kinda suspected that these were produced to retro fit 15" wheeled type 2's. I have no idea what ELSE they could have been made to fit. I suppose these have gone AWOL in the intervening years?
Or are they available from vintage suppliers?
Al Brase
69 double cab

campingbox Fri Apr 09, 2004 10:47 am

I noticed a weird feeling the first time I drove on biased ply tires....it was a different feel than radials.
After a few days of driving the bus the weird feeling went away...never noticed it since.

Lind Fri Apr 09, 2004 11:07 am

bias ply tires aren't quite as bad as some make them out to be, but they still are not nearly as good as radials. radials just handle much better in rutted roads and on corners. my attitude is that if you are going to drive the bus alot, get radials. if it is a show type car that you are very interested in preserving its originality, get bias ply tires. I have buses with bias ply tires and radials. the bias ply tires don't make it too far from home.

NorCalWeekender Fri Apr 09, 2004 12:34 pm

This just occurred to me...when did they make the switch from bias to radials? I mean, would my 67 have originally had bias-plys? Just curious.

-Taylor

dstefun Fri Apr 09, 2004 12:54 pm

NorCalRiviera wrote: This just occurred to me...when did they make the switch from bias to radials? I mean, would my 67 have originally had bias-plys? Just curious.

-Taylor

Radials had been popular in Europe for many years by 67 so it probably came with radials - Michelin, Conti, & Pirelli all made them. US made cars and trucks didn't go to radials until the early 70's. Only Lind knows for sure!

Waah Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:04 pm

I'm having the same problem. I wanna ride radial wide whitwalls on my '58 SC. I don't want to use inserts.

What about 195/75's? These have a diamater of 26.15 are 5.68 wide and will carry 1477 lbs.

http://www.coker.com/store/customer/product.php?productid=17640&cat=285&page=1

Any thoughts?

dstefun Fri Apr 09, 2004 5:20 pm

Waah wrote: I'm having the same problem. I wanna ride radial wide whitwalls on my '58 SC. I don't want to use inserts.

What about 195/75's? These have a diameter of 26.15 are 5.68 wide and will carry 1477 lbs.

http://www.coker.com/store/customer/product.php?productid=17640&cat=285&page=1

Any thoughts?
Those P195's are 1.0" smaller in diameter than a P205 which is close to stock, that's almost 4% smaller.

Here are some Coker P205/75's 2 3/8" wide whites

http://www.coker.com/store/customer/product.php?productid=18332&cat=&page=1
http://www.coker.com/store/customer/product.php?productid=17660&cat=&page=1

From type2.com ....

Quote: Bentley says that the 3/4 ton (small nut) models came with a 6.40-15 tire, having a diameter of 27.16", +/- .24".

This makes the nearest European radial tire size a 185R15, and the nearest P-Metric size a 205/75-15.

Specification Sidewall Radius Diameter Circumference Revs/Mile Difference

185/75-15 5.5in 13.0in 25.9in 81.4in 778 -4.5%
185/82-15 6.0in 13.5in 26.9in 84.6in 748 -0.6%
195/75-15 5.8in 13.3in 26.5in 83.3in 761 -2.2%
195/80-15 6.1in 13.6in 27.3in 85.7in 739 +0.7%
205/75-15 6.1in 13.6in 27.1in 85.2in 744 0.0%

Waah Fri Apr 09, 2004 11:41 pm

Thanks for the info dstefun. That table is very helpful.

I've been looking at the 205's too, but are they too wide for a OG rim? Here are the measurements from Coker.

Overall Diameter: 27.10
Cross Section: 8.00
Tread Width: 5.80
Load Capacity: 1598 @ 35 psi

The Goodrich 640-15 bias plys ( http://www.coker.com/store/customer/product.php?productid=17755&cat=&page=1 ) measure:

Overall Diameter: 26.88
Cross Section: 6.25
Tread Width: 4.20
Load Capacity: 1190 @ 32 psi

Scott's '63 23 Sat Apr 10, 2004 8:53 am

dstefun said:

Quote: I've been looking at the 205's too, but are they too wide for a OG rim? Here are the measurements from Coker.

dstefun,

I put a set of 205/75R15 Coker Wide Whites on my '63 two days ago and they fit and look great. Took it out on the freeway yesterday and the ride is excellent.

I now have an extra set of Goodyear 205/75R15's with about 85-90% of their tread still on them with the small whitewall. They're great tires. Anyone interested?

Scott

splitpile Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:07 am

Waah wrote: I'm having the same problem. I wanna ride radial wide whitwalls on my '58 SC. I don't want to use inserts.

What about 195/75's? These have a diamater of 26.15 are 5.68 wide and will carry 1477 lbs.

http://www.coker.com/store/customer/product.php?productid=17640&cat=285&page=1

Any thoughts?

Roaming westy just bought 5 of the cokers for his 23 window, I'm sure he'll pipe in when he gets them in and mounted

splitpile Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:11 am

On my 1960 SC I have Coopers, 195/75/15 lt tire. They are rated at I think 1480 and have 2 ply sidewalls. In a never ending quest for a true LT 15 inch, I have found that there really are NONE made. If you look at the true construction and learn to read the codes on them you will find that there really isn't a radial 15 inch tire for a bus. The smallest size I have been able to find is a 215/15 truck radial, but to big for a bus



Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group