The car i recently bought sat for almost 5 five years in a garage and as one might expect the tires were pretty low on air. After further inspection it seems there are some nasty dry rot crack issues close to the bead. The spare looks like new and is a lot beefier than the Firestone's now on it. The spare is a 30x3 1/2 universal brand driver. Has anyone here used these tires, as it would be much easier to buy 3, and keep the best Firestone as the spare.
Well, depends how tight $$$ is but if you plan to keep the car and use it for tours I'd suggest spending an extra $150 and buying 4 new tyres, not 3, and keeping your current spare as the spare.
Well that's not what i asked, but thanks for the input. Money is not really the factor here, quality of the tire was my main concern.
I agree on getting four. A set of Wards will be about $608, a set of Universals to match your spare around $616, and four Firestones about $720. Or you could spend over a grand for Firestone NON SKID. They look cool, but I've seen forum comments about them wearing faster than other treads.
Thanks Constanine and Steve, you are probably right on getting 4, and having the same spare.
Constantine, sorry for being so snarky at your post, just mad at myself for not noticing this when i bought the car...my apologies, i appreciate the advice.
One of the most important things to consider when buying tires is freshness. When tires get stored in a warehouse for—oh, let's say three years—the rubber may still be within the margins of acceptable, but those tires won't be supple.
I buy tires from Lang's because they "drop-ship" them direct from the manufacturer and insist that their customers get the fresh stuff.
Send me a Private Message with your e-mail address and I'll e-mail you a detailed article on Model T tires in Microsoft Word format.
John, no problem.
John, if you're like me, I hate to spend $ on tires as much as I hate to spend on shoes! I go through 'em all too quick! I can understand the stress. When I bought my TT firetruck I knew at the time the tires were rotted as hell,but that wasn't to be a deal breaker. But wow, once I got 'em off and learned the tire installer wouldn't re-use the rims...well, talk about stress. $2K later, the stress is gone. And my savings!!!
It was very tempting to go with the NON-SKIDs. My car came with a fairly new NON-SKID on the front-driver's side and a half worn out one on the front-passenger side. At car-shows, spectators noticed the very unique tread design and that in itself became a conversation piece.
Two things I noticed:
1.) As my front NON-SKIDs weren't evenly worn, the car had a pronounced pull the the right which increased with time.
2.) NON-SKIDs wear out very quickly. As the tires needed replacement, I bought more NON-SKIDs and even from new, they wore out in maybe 1,200 miles. Considering the lack of stress on the front wheels (no braking or acceleration forces), that's pretty bad.
After the second set of NON-SKIDs wore out, I bought a pair of regular-tread Firestones which cost about half as much and after a year (about 600 miles), show no indication of wear. They make the car handle a whole lot better—and the pull to the right has disappeared. Now, the car tracks straight as a freight train. My two-year-old rear tires (1,200 miles) are also Firestone regular treads and show almost no wear.
In spite of their novelty and aesthetic appeal, if your car is a "driver," I'd recommend avoiding the NON-SKIDs (but if, on the other hand, your car is primarily a show car or museum piece, NON-SKIDs are great). In either case, for period correctness, NON-SKIDs should only appear on the front wheels.
"...for period correctness, NON-SKIDs should only appear on the front wheels."
Bob -- What's your basis for that statement?
According to Bruce's book, Fords came with smooth tires all around until the '15 model year, when they began furnishing treaded tires on the rear only.
Agree with Mike - Non Skids would and could be used on any wheel position. A '15 would likely have come with smoothies all around. Non Skid tires might have lasted longer than smoothies, especially on dirt roads.
I don't see any evidence of treaded tires when looking at pictures of new cars.
I suspect that the change to treaded rear tires occurred sometime during the '15 model year, but of course we don't know now just when the change was made. And it may not have happened at the same time at all assembly plants. Those last 2 pics of the '15 Touring "turned turtle" are interesting. That car has Non-skids on the rear and smoothies on the front, but it has a '14-type rear end, suggesting that it's an early '15 car. Of course, the tires might be replacements, since it seems they didn't last long back then.
The two pics of the '15 Sedan and one of the Coupelet are both prototype cars, taken for P.R. purposes in calendar year 1914, so we would expect to see smoothies all-around on them.
It's another one of those situations where we'd all like to know when the change was made, but we'll probably never know for sure.
Notice too, the wrecked '15 has accessory Firestone demountable wheels on the rear.
My understanding is that NON-SKIDs were not available in 3 x 30.5" size back in the heyday of the Model T. I wish I could remember where I heard that. If you have contradictory knowledge (and perhaps a vintage photo or ad), I'd sure like to be correctly informed. They don't call me the know-nothing newbie for knothing.
Period Firestone advertising lists 30 x 3.5 non-skid tires.
Also - the upside down Ford that Royce posted has 30 x 3.5 non-skid tires on the rear axle.
Same car, different angle:
The upside down car has NON SKID 30 x 3-1/2 tires on the rear. So obviously they made 'em.
...not that they did any good...
: ^ )
And I stand corrected yet again. Don't tell my wife—she enjoys this too much.
Let's look at new '16 T's to see what the rear tires look like.
Thomas Edison's car has Firestone demountable wheels and experimental tires made with a compound derived from the goldenrod plant.
I still see no evidence to suggest treaded tires were used in '16 model year but they may have been used late in the year 1916.