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Old 07-29-2021, 08:15 AM   #1
wnlewis
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Default Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

I'm starting to do the rebuild on my '51 Ford Custom Tudoor Flathead V8.

What tires could I get at a modest price for "mechanic work"? Example, do some engine or brake work, and then drive the car once around the block to see if the change is OK? Not for taking out on the road at highway speeds.

I've been thinking of farm implement tires, 6.70-15 bias ply like you would put on a farm wagon.

The alternative would be to see if I could find something like that from a salvage yard, or a small tire dealer.

Any thoughts or comments on this?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-29-2021, 08:22 AM   #2
19Fordy
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

Good condition used bias ply tires are not very common as most tires today are radials.
Or, buy 4 of those skinny small size spare tires.
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Old 07-29-2021, 08:46 AM   #3
pistonbroke
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

wnlewis, How close are you to Olympia WA. I have 4 Coker 6.70 15" with 3" wide whites with less then 500 miles on them.I will make you a deal you can't refuse. They are for trailer queens and around town low speed driving. I will not ship. To much hassle . P. M. me if interested. Tim
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

Around my area, it's as simple as a trip to the local tire store. For me, I just tell them, 'four rollers', off the used junk pile. Sure, they're radials, and sometimes miss-matched sizes. If I'm not in a hurry, I can ask for four matched sizes. Last time, it was four pretty good tires off a Camry, to use on an old Ford. Time before that, I decided to buy new tires for a Grand Cherokee that I have, and the take-off tires were put on a 38 Plymouth. Sure, a little too big. But, they are great tires, and are still on that Plymouth today.
I'm currently in the same situation as you... a project that I bought, came with four deteriorated flats. I'll be getting four of almost anything, off the used junk pile. Good enough for rollers, and good enough for the first 'neighborhood trial trips' that I hope to do within a year or so. Tires are free, and I pay for mounting (No balance).
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

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Originally Posted by 19Fordy View Post
Good condition used bias ply tires are not very common as most tires today are radials.
Or, buy 4 of those skinny small size spare tires.
Harvest King Rib Implement 6.70-15 C/6PR Tires, $72.93/tire.

I could use the small skinny spare tires for my "modern" cars. Where do I find them?
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by pistonbroke View Post
wnlewis, How close are you to Olympia WA. I have 4 Coker 6.70 15" with 3" wide whites with less then 500 miles on them.I will make you a deal you can't refuse. They are for trailer queens and around town low speed driving. I will not ship. To much hassle . P. M. me if interested. Tim
Thanks for the very nice offer, but I'm out in the middle of Sunny (very sunny right now) Kansas. sigh . . .
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:02 AM   #7
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Around my area, it's as simple as a trip to the local tire store. For me, I just tell them, 'four rollers', off the used junk pile. Sure, they're radials, and sometimes miss-matched sizes. If I'm not in a hurry, I can ask for four matched sizes. Last time, it was four pretty good tires off a Camry, to use on an old Ford. Time before that, I decided to buy new tires for a Grand Cherokee that I have, and the take-off tires were put on a 38 Plymouth. Sure, a little too big. But, they are great tires, and are still on that Plymouth today.
I'm currently in the same situation as you... a project that I bought, came with four deteriorated flats. I'll be getting four of almost anything, off the used junk pile. Good enough for rollers, and good enough for the first 'neighborhood trial trips' that I hope to do within a year or so. Tires are free, and I pay for mounting (No balance).
OK. Keep my eyes and ears open. Maybe take an example tire along to show them what I want. Got it! Thanks.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

Most implement tires I have seen were rated for a maximum speed of 25 MPH, making them unusable for regular use on a car. Seems like a lot of dough for them compared to 4 discards from the tire store.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

Your 51 has 15" wheels and your local tire store should have plenty of used 15" tires in their inventory. Also check your local Craigslist. Lots of wheels and tires on that site plus look at Facebook Marketplace. Tires there too. Many times you can buy tires with the wheels. The Chrysler products have the same bolt pattern as your Ford.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:18 AM   #10
wnlewis
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

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Most implement tires I have seen were rated for a maximum speed of 25 MPH, making them unusable for regular use on a car. Seems like a lot of dough for them compared to 4 discards from the tire store.
Just an idea if no one can come up with the discards.

Right now the car has two tires that hold air and two that just have holes and are flatter than flat.
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Old 07-29-2021, 10:20 AM   #11
wnlewis
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

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Your 51 has 15" wheels and your local tire store should have plenty of used 15" tires in their inventory. Also check your local Craigslist. Lots of wheels and tires on that site plus look at Facebook Marketplace. Tires there too. Many times you can buy tires with the wheels. The Chrysler products have the same bolt pattern as your Ford.
Good suggestions, all. A spare wheel would be good to have.
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

Look at Milestar radials. I run them on my '53 and so far they have been great for the price. You could run them until the rebuild is finished then upgrade after the car is fully shaken down.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 07-30-2021, 01:16 PM   #13
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Look at Milestar radials. I run them on my '53 and so far they have been great for the price. You could run them until the rebuild is finished then upgrade after the car is fully shaken down.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I like that idea! I can afford one tire at a time.

In the meantime, I remembered that my dad always put snow tires on the Ford in the winter. So I found those. They were still good. I put those on the back and the two remaining good tires on the front.

Problem solved for "mechanic grade tires" for right now.
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Old 07-30-2021, 01:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

You have the original snow tires your dad put "on the Ford in the winter"? Sounds like there is a good family history with the car. That would make a difference to me.
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:33 PM   #15
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

Here in Wichita there are a lot of shops that sell used tires, and only used tires. I use them a lot for mocking things up with different sizes and for rolling things around. Some times as cheap as $25 mounted. These are streetable tires, some hard to tell from new, LOL. I wouldn't drive on them at high speed, but that may just be me.
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:55 PM   #16
wnlewis
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

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You have the original snow tires your dad put "on the Ford in the winter"? Sounds like there is a good family history with the car. That would make a difference to me.
The Ford was built in the Dallas, Texas, factory in 1951 (one year before I was born).

Grandfather Lewis bought the car in 1952, when it was one year old.

Dad got the car when Grandfather passed away in 1971.

I got the car when my mother passed away in 2007.

The block broke when Grandfather was driving it in downtown Oklahoma, City. Ford blocks and Mercury blocks were designed to the same blueprints.

However, the Mercury blocks were sourced from a different foundry and were thicker than the Ford blocks.

Also, the Mercury radiators were thicker than the Ford radiators.

Cracking of Ford blocks is common. Cracking of Mercury blocks is not so common.

Dad "rebuilt" the Ford. He discarded the Ford block to a salvage yard in favor of a Mercury block that was handy at the right price. The radiator did not get changed to a Mercury radiator.

The Mercury engine, the engine currently in the car, also cracked on a hot day.

Within 30 miles of where I live is an engine shop and a fellow who has a good reputation for welding cracked cast iron blocks.

That is an art. I have seen a true blacksmith weld the cracked exhaust headers on my 1973 Mk I 2600 Capri. The finished work is every bit as good as the metal on either side.

So, although the block in the Ford is not original, getting it welded, is what I plan to have done.

It will be less expensive than buying a new (used) block, and I have history with that Mercury block. Plus, by putting in a Mercury radiator, I should gain a "bullet proof" powerplant.

So, that is a bit about the car and me.

P.S. The old car is a survivor. Grandfather, Dad, my brother, and I took it out to El Paso to bring back the belongings of his brother.

Grandfather had had a heart attack, and the Ford had a cracked block. The temperatures were in the high 90's to upper 100's.

With a desert back strapped to the side of the car we made our way out and back, stopping every 50 miles to put water in the Ford and to let Grandfather rest.

Yes, I have history with the car.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

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Here in Wichita there are a lot of shops that sell used tires, and only used tires. I use them a lot for mocking things up with different sizes and for rolling things around. Some times as cheap as $25 mounted. These are streetable tires, some hard to tell from new, LOL. I wouldn't drive on them at high speed, but that may just be me.
I will have to look for those places.

The places I've tried so far don't have any and have said that they're hard to get.

The next thing is this: what size are you asking for (I assume that you are working on a "shoebox Ford")?

There are sizes that would be quite acceptable for mechanic work, but not for any sort of a drive except maybe around the block.

I think that not driving an unknown tire at high speed is very sensible. People who are safety minded tend to live longer.
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Old 07-31-2021, 02:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

The places I am referring to are Hispanic owned/operated and not what I would consider a normal name brand type of tire shop. I can give the the address of some of the places I use, great guys to work with!

The shops I normally use are on Harry between Gold & Water. I don't think you can call, not that kind of setup. I just show up and see what they have, there are several locations in this area. If one shop doesn't have what I'm looking for, just check at the next place. And these are cash only places. In fact, I am getting ready to go by and get some trailer tires mounted, they will do mount and dismount work on tires you carry in as well.

Last edited by JSeery; 07-31-2021 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 08-01-2021, 04:23 AM   #19
wnlewis
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The places I am referring to are Hispanic owned/operated and not what I would consider a normal name brand type of tire shop. I can give the the address of some of the places I use, great guys to work with!

The shops I normally use are on Harry between Gold & Water. I don't think you can call, not that kind of setup. I just show up and see what they have, there are several locations in this area. If one shop doesn't have what I'm looking for, just check at the next place. And these are cash only places. In fact, I am getting ready to go by and get some trailer tires mounted, they will do mount and dismount work on tires you carry in as well.
I am familiar with the area, just never had a reason to stop and check the stores.

Sounds like it would be worthwhile to take along a sample tire and ask if they have anything that might match.

Thanks for info!
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Old 08-01-2021, 07:33 AM   #20
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Default Re: Mechanic grade tires for my '51 Ford Tudoor

My ‘51 Tudor was made in Dallas. But, I have no history with the car, other than taking it completely apart, repairing-fixing what is needed and am in the process of putting it back together.
Your story-history with your car is great! We would like to see some pictures of your car when you have time......Mark
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