So I just bought some Universal all white tires manufactured in '09 ....nice condition but I'm having a heck of a time trying to clean them. I've tried Bleche-wite which did nothing. Then a SOS pad...nutin. Now Comet paste and letting set and still nutin... What in the heck works on these pieces of crap ?? Thanks in advance...have a nice day~
Acetone will remove the excess oil from the white rubber then you should be able to clean them.
I learned this when I bought some cheap wide whitewalls for my old Lincoln and after about 3 days of a 3 ton car rolling around on them,it squeezed the oil out of the white wall. I naturally called the dealer and fussed. ]They told me to clean them with acetone and that did the trick.
Thanks Mack, I will try it right now...Thx !!
I have used Mr. Clean "majic eraser pads" with good results
I read somewhere that this year was a problem. That they won't stay clean or bleach white. Has anyone else heard this?
I've traditionally used Bleche-wite too and now the tire manufacturers websites seem to shy away from it. The tire manufacturers also caution us not to use petroleum based solvents on the rubber because it leaches the UV and ozone resisting wax from the tires which squeezes out as they roll. Do a Google using "UV resistant wax in tires" and read the results.
My son's tires are similar in appearance to what you're describing Don.
Coker tire sells a tire cleaner and also a preservative that supposedly is safe for their white tires. Summit racing also sells their product and shipping costs may be better there. I have yet to try it. I'm too busy turning my other whitewalls crumbly brown side in.
Most likely, the tires were made in Vietnam and the rubber is poor quality. Many of us (me included) have white tires,which have turned either yellow and cracked, or in my case, pinkish-tan. Nothing seems to remove the stain (acetone included) and no amount of scrubbing removes it. Just poor quality tires. Don't know if the rubber quality has improved in the last year or so.
Yeah, I just tried the acetone thing and then a Comet and bleach paste. Brass brushed them until my fingers fell off. No difference, sorry to say. I will pick up some Wesley's Bleach-Whyte the "Black Magic" version of Bleche-Wite is a total waste of money. If that doesn't improve them then I'm at a loss. Loss of some bucks also.
Bleche-white ain't what it used to be. Ever since Black-magic bought it from Wesley's the formula is different and it doesn't work as well. I think they took the bleach out.
I wonder if Lye would clean them up ?
Sand seems to work on every thing.
Don, have you switched over to the white booty tire cover crowd? Bud in Wheeler Mi.
Well Bud, not with these tires I haven't. I wanted white tires on the C-Door. But it looks like I will have something between cream and brown with a little black... So yeah you might see me go by with the white tire covers on...I wonder how many miles those would last?
I don't know much about white tires but if the discoloration is the result of poor quality materials it seems to me that it would be virtually impossible to clean them. The reason, I think, is simply because if the white rubber discolors due to poor quality the discoloration would exist monolithically through the entire thickness of the material. If you ground away half the thickness the discoloration would still be there.
Just my thought.....
I'm sure you are correct Henry. The discoloration is too deep for bleach to have a effect. So, maybe I will spray paint them~
Don, I was half-heartedly gonna suggest painting too! I think there actually is a halfway decent whitewall paint somewhere out there. I just ordered 4 new white Wards, sure hope in a year mine don't start to do the same thing.
Tim these tires were in a museum and never saw the road. They look like they were run thru a manure field...about a 6" layer of manure. Oh well live and learn. I did run a wire brush on a drill and it appears to be on the surface but it sure is stubborn. Kinda reminds me of my ex-wife...
I found this on the internet.
I don't know anything about it. I also saw where some guys were using white "Plastidip" (sp) because its made of rubber and sticks to rubber.
WOW! I didn't know the photo was so big! but being a Camp Ranger I guess I had to post "Ranger" paint
Lets see a pic of the discoloration
I used that stuff to make a white sidewall on an all black tire because they no longer make 30X3-1/2 clinchers with white sidewalls. It took 3 coats to cover but that was over black. It looked great but after less than 100 miles of driving it started to crack and peel off from the flexing of the tire. It might work on tires that were supposed to be white to start but I doubt you will be satisfied with the results unless you plan to leave the car off the road and up on jacks.
The tire on the right is what I've been working on.
That's unbelievable. I would make a stink with the supplier and get them replaced. That is not normal.
What I question is if it is darkening from within then why doesn't it show where the rims were attached? Also upper right pic just right of the "4 PLY" is where I lightly took a wire wheel on a drill. It seemed to clean right up.
Ed I bought them used but I assumed they would clean up...peed on my own feet again~
Maybe you could blast them with media, maybe walnut shells or fine glass bead?
I doubt the old tires were white for very long. They don't look it in the photos.
Don sorry about the not so white tires. Have you tried the Magic Eraser mentioned above? I am a believer in them and I don't know why they work when nothing else well sometimes. Give it. You might want to give it a try and see if it works.
It was the only thing that cleaned up the white vinyl on my boat and I had tried everything I could think of. I know you do not give up --you can do it. Good luck!!!!! Joe
I will give it a try. Thanks Joe, and I will post the results. If worse comes to worst I will take the wire brush on the drill to the entire batch.
I might add that in the day, I don't think these tires were ever white. I've read that they were natural latex color much like a rubber band. Carbon black was added to the tread at some point to provide better wear. This is why you see so many old photos of white walls (inside and out) because only the tread was black.
Here's an earlier Forum link
Joe, you mentioning a boat brought up a long forgotten thought since we've been out of boating now, and especially the sailing aspect, for over a decade. Our final sailboat, before going back to "the dark side"-power- was a brand new 30 footer. Within a month all the lifelines, a double row, turned a purple-ish hue, then dark brown. Turned out the manufacturer forgot to put in the UV resistor in the vinyl. I wonder if this is the issue with Don's tires, and dozens of others for that matter. Including one of the current 4 on my '12 that I'm about to replace with new ones. Magic Eraser does work wonders on lots of stuff, but I really don't think it'll help poor Don. Just thinking...which I know is very dangerous!
Don, I'm just spit balling here but are you SURE they were white and not gray It may be just the lighting in the picture but they look gray. MG
If so they will never be white :0)
M.G. they appear to be white. If you look at the where the rim was it is very much white. Also the top picture just to the right of the "4 PLY" is where I took a wire brush on a drill. It sure looks white to me~ And it also seems to be surface stains and dirt. So I'm hoping to be able to come up with a way to clean them up. We shall see...
Here's my discolored tires. I'd rather have yours. Mine are Universals, about 5 yrs old now. They were pure white when purchased and mounted. About 4 months later, the colored started to turn.
It took 3 years for the discoloration to completely envelope the tire, before it was blotchy like they had some sort of disease. There's NO miles on this car and its never seen daylight. I had contacted Universal about this a few years back and received a poor response, basically- "sucks to be you" feeling. They didn't seem surprised about the discoloration and never offered to do anything about it. No amount of solvent,acetone,bleach, or wire brush scrubbing will touch it.
OK! I'm at Chickasha till tomorrow night I have a totally out of the box suggestion, I bought some tennis shoe cleaner dressing at the Texas State Fair in September. What ever it is my sneakers are as white as the day I bought them. Six months now. I will post the information when I get back. If nothing else works it might be an option. MG
I have a Marmon with wide white walls that over time turn yellow. I'm told that this is common and have tried several cleaning solutions. I too used "bleach white/the latest type of westleys". I read the label and stopped using it. READ THE LABEL!!! I found that I can clean them by first sanding them with a fine sanding pad (the foam pad/block) and then use Comet on a damp sponge. Works pretty good. I have never seen tires as you show and have to say that I don't think anything will get them white.
White Tires Matter
I have had the same experience as Les with different sets of gray smooth and white ribbed Universals. It is very frustrating and there's not much you can do to improve them. Even if you can, they won't stay that way for long.
With the white set we replaced, the 30 year old Universals we took off looked discolored compared to the new ones. Two weeks later those same 30 year old ones looked as pure as the wind driven snow compared to the new ones.
I suspect there is a lone Vietnamese worker, laughing his ass off, as he pulls the soon to be black fresh white tires from their molds.
I purchased a set of white Universal straight ribbed tires a year ago for my 11. I haven't had the car out much but so far the tires are still white. No sign of discoloration. The white firestones on my tourabout are about 6 years old. They are a darker shade of white now but nothing like Les's tires. I replaced one firestone last year and so far it's still white. Maybe they've got the problem solved now. In 08 I had a set of firestones that cracked badly within a couple of months. Coker replaced them no charge then.
Does anyone here really believe that the white tires bought in February of 1911
were still bright white in August of 1911, or September of 1912 ?
..... or that farmer Brown even cared ?
GOJO with Pumice works for me.
I've seen these posts before about the white tires not staying white. I've also seen those and whitewall tires that turned brown. It's been a problem for many years. What I don't understand is, why do the white tires, or any other color, on the kids bicycles these days stay white until they wear out or come apart from age? Why can't the "expert" tire makers for our antique cars make tires that are at least as good as bicycle tires? I don't get it, we have so much more technology now than we did back in the day, and decent white/whitewall tires aren't being made. Sorry, no, I'm not sorry, for the rant. It just p#%*#@^s me off! JMHO. Dave
PS. You can add tubes too!!!
Well, here's my shopping list as of 0700 3-18-16..
1. magic eraser.
2. tennis shoe cleaner.
3. GOJO with Pumice
4. Several bags of Carmel Corn.
5. 3LB bag of M&M's.
6. Gob of asparagus (I try to eat healthy).
Off I go !!
Wish me luck ~~
Try scrubbing with Comet Cleanser and a wire brush. You might also get some whitewall tire cleaner and using a brass wire brush. My experience in cleaning white walls dates from 1960, I have never dealt with all white tires.
Hi Ted, the top picture and the tire on the right was cleaned with Comet and bleach paste. I then took a brass brush to it. It did clean it up a bit but I'm going to keep trying things out. The results were ok and I might have to do it a couple of times before they really look like something...thx
David - Your post pretty much addresses a thought that this thread has bought to mind:
I've had no experience with whitewall automobile tires, and certainly no experience with all-white tires, however, I remember as a kid with a pretty sharp maroon & cream colored Schwinn Hornet bicycle, cleaning my whitewall tires with S.O.S. Pads. I remember how great they worked! Almost like magic, the brownish discoloration that seemed to develop every few months scrubbed off very easily with the S.O.S. Pads.
The other thought I had is that when I still owned a sailboat, I had very good luck in cleaning the white fenders that we used between dock and sailboat hull. The fenders were white, and in time, would turn yellowish and eventually, almost brown. An old-timer showed me a trick he used, and it worked great on the white fenders/bumpers (whatever you might call them) and also on other white rubber type items like the white colored rub rail on a dinghy. The stuff he taught me to use was "BRUSH CLEANER",....the stuff you get at the hardware store to clean and/or restore old paint brushes that turned stiff from not being properly cleaned. I'd sure try this on white rubber tires; I don't recall anyone ever mentioning having tried this, but it just might work,.....FWIW,......harold
When I was a kid helping out at an auto dealership, we used steel wool and soapy water. This took off all the marks on the raised white letter tires and the whitewalls. Wear a glove as the steel wool gets aggressive on the hand.
Don, quite a few of the rat rodders around here make their own wide white wall tires by grinding raised letter tire side walls down to the white rubber. The process they use is to mount the tires on a rim attached to the rear end of the car then run the wheel up to speed. They use an angle grinder with declining grits to remove the black rubber in stages till the get the look they want. The guy I talked to started with #36 and finished with #100. Although I wouldn't recommend doing this, it may give you some ideas.
Maybe this will help... YouTube video I watched showed a fellow with ugly brown wall tires, he used fine grit sand paper 1000 grit. Or 1500 grit. Water sanded them back to white.
John,Steve I was actually thinking of doing the same thing. Mount the tires and jack up the rear end, put it in gear and hold a wire brush to it. The raised letters and numbers would be sacrificed in the process but "oh well". That would be the last resort, for now I plan on trying a few bleaching methods. I did try the GOJO with pumice and it didn't phase it. Thanks for the suggestions though, I would really like to come up with a good way of cleaning without the risk of doing long term damage...Stand back!!
I have had three sets on my 16 touring over the last nine years. They don't last long, they crack fast and bad, and yellow fast and bad. They arn,t worth a crap.... But they look SOOOOO good, and they cost so much. I don"t think I'll do it again. DON
I've tried the brass brush, SOS pad, and plain steel wool. I think I'll pop a couple beers, get buzzed and tell myself the tires are "natural rubber colored" and more correct than the pure whites anyway. Might be a good plan-certainly won't hurt. (I still like the looks of white tires on very early cars).
If you could find a car wash that still has a steam
cleaner you might try that. I have three sets of
white tires that have yet to hit the pavement. Afraid to open the wrappers and see what happened
since I purchased them. And, I waited three years
to get my back order filled on one set. And, the
other set represented to last four available from
the production run of a different style and size.
The third set has already started to turn brown even
though they have never been outside.
Anyone concerned re. the integrity of these
tires when the rubber is obviously failing?
Well Don K, my 4 new white tires just arrived yesterday while I was in Erie PA. All wrapped up tightly in black plastic. Hate to even open 'em and let the air/light at 'em for fear it'll start the yellowing process right away! And thanks for your words of wisdom there!! ha ha...just kidding. I've known I'll probably have crap in less than 3 years...
Curiosity got the best of me, so unwrapped one of 'em. Not really too thrilled frankly. Wards Riverside, treaded. Here's a pic of it between the worst of my old Firestone's on the left, and the one on the right frankly still looks whiter! But all are badly cracked, which is why I'm replacing them in the first place. First pic was with flash, second one without for comparison. They never look the same in pics as in real life either. Gonna "sleep on 'em" over the weekend and then decide if it'll be worth it to bitch to Lucas tires or not and see if they'll send some "whiter" ones.
I put a set of the Wards Riverside all whites on my 10 about five months ago. There has been some slight yellowing along the outside tire edge, but not too bad so far. I ordered mine in late 2014 and they sat wrapped in dry, dark storage until last November.
Timm, save one of those old tires for me...I need one for the spare. That is if you want to let one go...This post is a flip flop of emotion. The mood swings it has created are stress'n me out. I mean its to the point that it doesn't matter if you clean them up or not. At least they will look to be the same year as the car.
Don..no problem. PM me ur address and once I remove old ones ill send u the best. The rear ones aren't too bad..some sidewall cracks but nothing like the fronts..they have bad cracks as well as bad tread cracks too. I'll junk those. Helluv it is the old rear ones are as white maybe even a tad whiter than the new ones. Maybe cause they're Firestones? Or cause they're Lord knows how old? I already sent a nastygram to Lucas!
Mike H. That's a beautiful car in ur profile. Those tires look super white but is that because of the bright sun or were u that lucky? Here's mine with the tires I am replacing..the right front is the one on the left in my post above for comparison..you can see quite a difference. Even the old rear tires photograph whiter outdoors than in "real life". Like Don Booth says it gets a bit stressful especially with the high cost.
Now I need Steve Jelfs help! Posting from phone with simple resize & can't for the life of me figure out why it always does this! I even rotated the pic on the phone thinking it'd be right size up and nooooo...has a mind of its own.
here you go
Tim your phone automatically rotates the image the data in the stored picture tells the system how it should be orientated (sp?) you would need to turn off that feature before posting with your phone. The Kids at your providers office should be able to help you with that.
That photo was taken back in November when I put the tires on.
Thanks G.R.! Now to find that feature on the phone. Like you said...hunt up the kids!! How'd you turn it around from the computer?
Thanks for that info too Mike.
I used Gimp Image editor It comes with Linux and some Mac systems
Don. Been through this TWICE with Firestone "Non-Skid" All whites.
First set in Oct, 2013, turned coffee brown by April 2014. Universal Tire replaced the tires with a new set around July 2014. I kept them wrapped while Stutzman's was restoring my wheels. Heres the photos of the 2nd time around:
Installed on Stutzman's restored wheels Nov, 2014
January, 2015..breaking in the engine
By April, 2015 here comes the brown!
July, 2015. Disgusted, I literally cut them off so I didn't have to use tire irons and ruin my restored wheels and rims.
And finally just ordered Firestone, Non-Skid, Black tires to complete the restoration. This is October, 2015:
Bottom Line: It cannot be scrubbed, cleaned, bleached..nothing. It's a quality issue from Vietnam, where the rubber simply oxidizes (i.e.rusts) because an element or two is missing.
My experience with Universal was flawless. They replaced everything (except the tubes) throughout the whole ordeal.
Gary..that you mentioned "an element or two missing" takes me back to my post last thursday..given what happened with my boat I still think it has everything to do with UV resistance and is easily remedied by the manufacturer. They're either ignorant or just too cheap and/or uncaring.
Money money money. Cheaper to build crap I guess. Not my style. And it discolors from the outside. Notice the one photo where I cut the tire off. The inner surface is not brown. So I'm going with a UV thing
Gary that just about makes me cry.... For those tires to turn brown in such a short time span is just crap ~! The car looks great with black tires also but the cost is almost a crime.
Don,sorry my suggestion didn't work. I just washed the car yesterday that has the wide whites and bleech white cleaned them ok. I agree it is not what it used to be though for a cleaner.
I have to say for what tires cost I woulda had to run those dingy white 1's till they wore out anyhow. Not but about 3000 miles or so. It is a shame we can't get quality anymore, for any price obviously in this case.
This is a case of basic business economics. When price is king, quality becomes the joker. Worse than that, when one producer gains a monopoly, soon price and quality are both gone.
Mack all is good, I'm trying anything that gets suggested. I don't pretend I can find a cure for this because many others much smarter than I have already tried. I would like to thank everyone for their input though. This could swing any thoughts of paying full price for those that think the white tires are what they want. I find this quite interesting because I had no clue the tires had problems. Thanks everyone !!
It's too bad that there isn't some way to somehow instill the thought/opinion within the Model T community that the yellowing and eventually brown color that seems to develop with all of these crappy import white tires, is actually very desirable "patina"! You know,...like the copper roof that turns green with age, or the varnish on an old piece of antique furniture that turns black, or the Tiffany lamp that looks like it's been laying in somebody's basement for a hundred years.
Actually, I wrote this as a sort of "joke", but in thinking about it, I think that could actually happen. When you consider how,...somehow or other, women fashions come up with some absolutely idiotic styles,...like shoes they can hardly walk in for example,...ah well,...sort of thinking out loud again,...sorry,.......harold
Don, if I fact the browning is caused by a lack of UV protection, then after you get them nice and white you could spray them with a UV protection product. My wife Nancy, found such a product on the Internet.
Google PBS Boat Store--- Flitz Marine/RV UV protectant. 16 oz. spray bottle for $10.00.
I have no idea if it works but might be south a try. Good Luck Joe
Tim, Mine were and still are Universal ribed.I have a friend that has Goodyear they yellowed. pretty fast also. Maybe its this California weather (smog). Gary, That is what my last ones looked like.... Don
M.G. you may have something there! I'm wondering if anyone has tried white shoe polish on the tires? If given enough coats it might just hide the stains and should give them some UV protection plus be flexible enough to stay put...anyone have some thought on that ? Thx
I wonder if black inner tubes would leach through the tire causing the discoloration?
As an experiment on my wide whites I coated one of them with Mink oil (the stuff in the shoe polish can) in an effort to try to keep them cleaner if I had to drive home in the rain. My thought was the Mink Oil would be water proof therefore the mud would not stick. It did stay clean a lot longer but I never thought about UV protection... Hummm
I was thinking along the same lines as Joseph. If the discoloration is caused by UV light then it stands to reason that a UV block would help. However, I'd want to experiment with something I don't care about first. It's possible that the UV block itself may have other negative effect on the rubber.
I have a set of used Firestone white diamonds in storage. I won't be able to do a study as well as Jim Patrick but I will do a test area with the sneaker stuff and see how it works and holds up under cover. MG
Don- Back in the seventies, I had a 56 Ford 2 door. I used as a driver. Someone gave me new tires that came off of a new wrecked Dodge. I made wide white walls for the 56 out of them, using urethane paint with a flex agent. I drove the tires bald. The tires always cleaned up good and it wasn't until they were just about bald, that some cracks started to show up. You wouldn't notice until you were up close to it. If all else fails I think I would try doing this.
Well I mounted a couple tires this morning. Actually with the C-door in its current state, they go rather well with it.
Nice to see the up-date and progress on the Center Door, it's coming along very nicely. You may want to adjust the front fender it looks like it rubbing on the tire
Yeah Dennis I'm having fitting issues...I can't fit under the car anymore...