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Old 02-26-2021, 11:47 AM   #1
coup34
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Default radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

Do the caps come loose? If so, how many miles?
thanks
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

I'm not sure I understand your question.

The smaller hub caps, full wheel covers?
Some full wheel covers do lose their grip over time and fly off when cornering.
Bending the tabs on the back side for a tighter fit may take care of it.
I've seen other folks comment that wheels made before the mid 60's flex more than newer versions and that could be part of the problem.

The tread on the tire?
Tires do age-out.
Most tire shops won't service one over about 8 yrs old, due to failures and legal liability.
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Old 02-26-2021, 12:40 PM   #3
Merc Cruzer
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

With radials, the front ones will come loose in about 200 yards....or less!
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Old 02-26-2021, 01:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

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With radials, the front ones will come loose in about 200 yards....or less!
I actually had one stay on for over 25 miles, then it flew the coop down a steep, rocky embankment. That's when I switched from full discs to baby moons and beauty rings. Still gotta keep an eye on the rings, even they won't stay fully seated on the rims.
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

I went with dog dish and trim rings.
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

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I think the rim flexing is a real thing. I believe Ford made heavier rims for HD situations like wagons, police, HP. They were usually at least half inch wider. Nothing I've owned from the 70's would pop the full covers off but radials on my 67 would. I have a steel rim from a previous Town car 15 inch and it is wider and considerably heavier than the 67 rims.
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

Thanks!!!
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsfrr View Post
I'm not sure I understand your question.

The smaller hub caps, full wheel covers?
Some full wheel covers do lose their grip over time and fly off when cornering.
Bending the tabs on the back side for a tighter fit may take care of it.
I've seen other folks comment that wheels made before the mid 60's flex more than newer versions and that could be part of the problem.

The tread on the tire?
Tires do age-out.
Most tire shops won't service one over about 8 yrs old, due to failures and legal liability.
That pic of the Kelsey-Hayes wire wheel (or look-alike - I'm not going to bother counting spokes) reminds me of the tires on my '63 T-bird Sports Roadster - were about 28 years old when they 'let go' like that three years ago - tread came off the carcass of one of the rear tires but thankfully no damage to the car. As for the '55's rims, I would suspect that with the narrow profile that they will flex more with radials and throw full wheel covers. Even the 14" solid-center rims on my '63 T-bird allow the full covers (especially the ones with spinner centers) to 'walk' and shift - using solid steel valve stems/extensions helped to keep them from rotating on the rim, but after a few drives I walk around and check to see that they're seated.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

On my 56 Bird, I ran radials on what I am sure were stock wheels and full hubcaps. never had a hubcap come loose. two trips coast to coast and a lot in between
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

When safety rims came into wide use, the extra ridge in the tire bead area actually strengthened the rim quite a bit but they weren't in wide use till the mid 60s.
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Old 02-28-2021, 06:05 PM   #11
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

I've had radials on my '54 and '61 for many years and thousands of miles now (without incident.) The '61 has full covers. I don't drive like Steve McQueen and that helps.
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Old 02-28-2021, 06:49 PM   #12
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

I guess I learned something new today. I'd never heard of this happening.
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

Been using radials on my '55 Ford sedan with full wheel covers for more than ten years now. Never lost a wheel cover. Tons of hiway driving too. However my wheels are verified factory original mid-fifties and most likely original to the car, so they are pretty heavy and not as likely as later 15" wheels which may tend to flex more.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:09 AM   #14
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

I had radials on my 52 ford for 20 yrs never had a problem the car ran smooth and handled better !
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:19 AM   #15
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

I should have never read this thread. My '39 p/u had radials on it when I bought it 6 years or so ago. Never had an issue with the hub caps. Then 2 days after initially reading this thread I lost a rear hub cap. Luckily a guy in a Toyota stopped and piked it up from the middle of the road before it got run over. All the wheel clips where intact when I banged it back on and it seemed tight. So hopefully I'm good for another 6 years or so.
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Old 03-07-2021, 11:46 AM   #16
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

It's usually just the full covers that fall off. Center caps and beauty rings will generally stay on better. It doesn't matter what type of tires are on a car. If a person takes a corner too fast, it's can lose a full wheel cover.

I remember the classic chase scene in Bullitt between the Mustang & the Charger. The Charger had the old Firestone red lines on it which were original equipment. During the various scene takes, the Dodge lost a total of 4 hub caps for the final print. They had three black Chargers to film those scenes and I always wondered how many more caps they actually lost during all the filming of that chase with all the takes and retakes.
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Old 03-07-2021, 12:28 PM   #17
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Default Re: radial tires on a 55 car wheel (orig)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
It's usually just the full covers that fall off. Center caps and beauty rings will generally stay on better. It doesn't matter what type of tires are on a car. If a person takes a corner too fast, it's can lose a full wheel cover.

I remember the classic chase scene in Bullitt between the Mustang & the Charger. The Charger had the old Firestone red lines on it which were original equipment. During the various scene takes, the Dodge lost a total of 4 hub caps for the final print. They had three black Chargers to film those scenes and I always wondered how many more caps they actually lost during all the filming of that chase with all the takes and retakes.

According to the book by Matt Stone, there were only two Chargers used in the movie, one 4-speed and one auto. The stunt teams wanted the Charger to get ruffed up and loose hubcaps so the factory steel wheels and hubcaps worked out great!
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