Two weeks ago, I re-skinned a front wheel and it was fairly easy. Today, I did the other front wheel, but this time, the rubber just wouldn't cooperate and I had a wrestling match on my hands. Talcum powder and grease were everywhere, sweat was dripping into my eye and my knuckles were bleeding. Then the new tire was on and I started to enjoy a feeling of triumph—but then I noticed the blue dot on the tire was on the outside instead of the inside. I had mounted the tire backwards.
Does this matter?
Bob - I don't know if I am 100% correct for antique tires, but on modern vehicles, the dot simply tells you where the "Light" side of the tire is so that you mount it in line with the valve stem (since the valve stem side of the wheels is the heavy side). So it may not matter one bit.
I wouldn't know if you hadn't told me. Can ya paint somthin' on it, like a Sharpee pen ?
If they're the Universal Drivers tire tread I'd say no, didn't make any difference when I put them on my car, but my tires didn't have any dots of any color, just inspection stickers from Goodyear (I left them on).
My guess if it is like tractor tires the mounting direction is important because of tread pattern. If you mount a tractor tire wrong the tread is not gripping the ground properly and you have no traction. So check your car tread to see if your gripping the road with the direction of travel. Some tread patterns don't matter.
If it is a directional tread, it would be marked with an arrow on the side wall, the dot would be for only as James has posted.
Fascinating. Learn something new every day. The tread direction hadn't ever occurred to me.
Although the tires I have mounted on my 1907 K were not directional, they did have serial numbers on them and I made a point of mounting them such that they numbers were on the inside.....merely for aesthetics. I believe the same was the case for the tires on my 1909 T.
Remember to tread lightly. You get more mileage from tires that way. :-)
Dennis, should he carry a big stick too?
I recently put 4 universals on my car. They were the same on the inside as they were on the outside. You could not tell the difference. I did not see any blue dots. Does that mean I have defective tires?
Yea Dave, you should send them to me for proper disposal
Guess I should have mentioned this is a black Firestone with regular tread.
I have never noticed a blue dot on any of my Firestone tires. Non-Skid tires do have an aesthetic proper direction. The problem is, it changes depending upon who you ask?
Most of my older Firestones are a wrestling match to mount. That tightness makes them less prone to slipping on the rim. Maybe you got a really good one!
On the regular model T treads, I don't think there is any real directional preference.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
I bought some paddle tires for running my ATV on the sand and they had the usual arrow for direction of travel but on the back side there was an arrow going the other way!??!! Don.
All my tires have a black dot on them...I know it's on there somewhere! I'll keep looking.
Don't think it makes any difference on vehicles other than tractors. Otherwise there would be instructions on which way to mount depending on which side of the car it will be running on. That is, if you take a wheel off one side and put it on the other it will be running in the opposite direction. Nothing I've ever seen dictates a auto tire must be mounted to rotate only in any one direction.
Most snow tires and high-performance tires are directional, and will have an arrow on the sidewall indicating which direction they're supposed to go. It really doesn't matter in dry weather, but the directional treads are supposed to channel the water away from the center better.
Some regular all-season tires are directional too, but most are not.
I haven't seen any directional Model T tires though.
I agree with Derek, Here are a couple of shots of the mud/snow tires on my Ranger pick-up. They are directional.
I would take a Sharpie marker and color that blue dot black so I wouldn't have to be concerned about it.
Thanks for the info Derek & Ted. I haven't had any experiance with high performance tires and haven't used snow tires in many years. If the weather is that bad I stay home.
If that black dot protrudes from the rest of the tire surface and it's bugging you........I keep my jack knife VERY sharp....... ;)