Just wondering if anyone has any info on All White or White Wall Tires for a Model T coupe. Pros and Cons , Where to buy them. How much they would cost $$ Etc..
Thank you in advance.
Yes, there have been discussions in past threads:
Paul, my advice is don't waste your money on 'em!
As yet I haven't tried Mark's link, but quite possibly I'm in there bitching like mad about them. I wasted over $1K on a set of 4 for my 1912 Comm. Roadster P/U and they turned brown in less than 3 months. You can buy them from any vendor around, they're all from the same Vietnamese mfg.
Just my not so humble opinion!
In the last 13 years I have gone thru four sets of five tires, white ribbed. All have yellowed and cracked at an early stage(1 year or less). I wont waist any more money on them. They look great but they don't last worth a crap. I have blacks that I have ran for ten years with no problems. Don
I have a set of white Riversides that will go on my roadster. I bought them only because I got a nice discount off the normal retail price. I've never had any, so they'll be a learning experience. From the forum comments I've read, I suspect they'll be my first and last white tires.
I put a set on a 14 for a customer. Not only did they turn brown in less than 3 months they split at the rim and down through the center of the tire. I bought them at Lang's dont know who there dealer was but they were from vietnamese mfg.
Steve, when/if you do put the tires on, obviously get all the pics you want with them within the first month!!
Sam, I got mine from Lang's also. They actually had them drop shipped straight from Lucas Tire. Yours probably came from them too. These tire distributors i.e. Lucas, Universal, etc. certainly must have a contact source "over there" in which to relay all these complaints. I have a hunch there's quite a huge number of these tires out there and obviously purchasers, so there ought to be some strength in numbers in getting a remedy. Trouble is, nobody wants to get involved. It may require some actual effort on the phone or computer.
I've had no problems with my all white Wards Riversides. In fact, our car gets a lot of work in TV because of the appearance. I think they are three years old. Purchased from Lucas.
They do wear out quicker... Softer compound I guess.
Otherwise, very satisfied.
The only flat tires we ever had on our local tours were with white tires. I started calling them sissy tires. MHO
About 18 months ago I mounted a "new" set of white ribbed Universals on a friends 1910. By the date code they were manufactured in the fall of 2012. When unwrapped they were white as could be and proceeded to turn brown in a matter of weeks once inflated (that "once inflated" point is important). The white ribbed Universals that we removed (manufactured in 1989) now look way better than the new tires as shown below:
Universal has actually been pretty good about it and has acknowledged the problem. They also admit that they don't know what's causing it. They provided a replacement set. This replacement was manufactured in the spring of 2016 and is shown below against the 2012 tire it replaced. We'll see how long it lasts:
I say the inflated part is important because they don't seem to turn until they are aired-up. My friend bought six tires and we unwrapped all of them at the time we mounted the four. Only the four that were inflated turned brown. The other two have been leaning up against a wall all this time and are still white as the day we unwrapped them (and they have the same date codes as the ones that turned brown). This tells us it's not a u.v. exposure issue. Some say it is the tube bleeding through the tire, but I don't buy that. What is there to bleed? Also, I think you would see the rubber breaking down to the point of being unusable if that were the case given that they turn brown in a matter of weeks. My thinking is that when the rubber stretches and it gets all those little micro cracks in it it's accelerating the oxidation of the inferior rubber compound.
We opted to only mount one of the replacements given the labor involved. If the new ones are going to turn brown, too, there's no sense in expending all the effort. We'll know soon enough.
Walter..one consideration to think of with your 4 "aired" tires vs. the 2 unaired...that is exposure to daylight. You didn't mention if the aired tires were ever driven out of an enclosure. Assuming the car with the 4 aired up tires was driven at least a few times, then yes, UV starts in. The un-aired tires no doubt have not seen enough, or maybe even any, daylight in order to start the process. I will say, however, your oxidation theory with the little cracks may be something to consider too. Somehow I think this is a mystery that'll never be solved.
That's a good point Tim, but I should have been more clear when I mentioned the u.v. issue. This car has not been driven since I mounted the new tires 18 months ago and the other two tires are stored right in the same shop space with the car. Aside from the shutters being opened now and then, light exposure is very low and whatever the four on the car are getting, the other two are, too.
Most people don't give a lot of thought to their tires except for how they look. Truth be known, your tires are designed to perform under extreme conditions of heat via kinetic energy transfer, high speeds for long periods of time and incredible forces of torque and flexing. That's a lot to ask from a chunk of rubber, inflated with air like a cream filled donut.
The science behind the modern rubber formulas used by major tire manufactures today is both complex and interesting. The rubber itself contains and ingredient called Antiozonant.
Antiozonant is an ingredient that helps to prevent the exterior rubber surface from cracking, checking, oxidizing, and deteriorating. The rubber is designed in such a way as to constantly work its way to the outside of the tire and as such, continually replenish the exterior surface with fresh antiozonant.
After the antiozonant works its way to the outside of the tire and is exposed to the ozone in the air, it turns brown. The technical term for this effect is blooming.
This is why you see a brown film on the surface your tires. You can wash your tires with soap or an all-purpose cleaner and remove this film, but in a few weeks, it's back. That's because the antiozonant continually works its way to the outside of the tires every time you drive your car.
I suppose white tires are like brass. If you want your brass shiny, you have to work at it. If you want your tires white, you have to work at it.
To Everyone who replied. Wow, Thank you so very much. I learned a lot. Having second thoughts about buying them.
I bought 5 Firestone all white tires last year and they all turned brown. Within the 1 year warranty, Universal refunded my money completely and I ordered Firestone black 30x3.5 from Universal
Rich, I already tried Bleche-White and absolutely wouldn't phase it. Tried Grease Lightning, Purple Power, Ajax, Clorox, even carefully tried my good ol' all purpose "cure all" Lacquer thinner! All to no avail. The treads are actually staying just a bit white, the inside of the tires are now browner than the outside...now go figure that one out!! I've gotten adjusted to these stupid things now, and actually not letting it bother me. It is what it is! The sun seems to rise every morning!
With respect to Steve's comment, the 1989 tire shown above probably hasn't been cleaned at all in the last 15 years. It is a nice dignified ivory color. Other take-offs stored in there are the same way. They don't get dark and splotchy like the new ones.
I didn't get photos of it, but the right front tire has several places thumbprint sized places on the sidewall that were darker than the rest of the tire and didn't develop any microcracks like the rest of the sidewall did. It's almost like there's some varying density in the mix. It's very inconsistent and unstable stuff.
Might I suggest black tires with neatly painted white sidewalls.
Or just plain black.
A year or two ago, I wrote an article, which appeared in Vintage Ford, on the subject of Model T Clincher tires. -It involved some independent research and a nice interview with a very knowledgeable representative at Coker Tire.
One reader somehow got a hold of my phone number and called me at home to inform me that he had bought white tires which quickly turned brown, and went on to suggest that I request further space in the magazine to make that known.
Well, it's common knowledge, and Coker acknowledges, that white rubber tires don't last as long as black tires, but indeed my article didn't mention anything about the alleged color changes. -Since then, I've heard that specific complaint a number of times, though, and wondered about what might be causing it. -Recently, I found the following on somebody's Facebook page and perhaps it will shed some light on why white tires (at least some of the time) turn brown quickly. -
Don't consider this an endorsement; it's just something I ran into that may be of interest.
When this came up a few months ago I suggested and tried a tennis shoe cleaner and dressing on the Firestone white tires I got for my '12 torpedo. It did OK but I wasn't totally satisfied. There's a product: Motor City white wall paint listed on ebay that sounds promising but I haven't ordered any yet. Just a thought. MG
GoJo with Pumice cleans the white walls pretty easy. Not sure if it will help with white tires as I haven't tried it.
interesting topic for me. i bought a set of universal smooth whites a couple of years ago and have been reluctant to mount them for fear of turning brown and also mucking up the paint on the wheels when mounting. they still have the wrappers on them and still look fine. white on outside and grey on the inside. perhaps this spring, i'll get brave.
That's another point I was reluctant to bring up so as not to confuse the issue, but here's something odd I noticed about gray tires when I was dealing with a couple of sets of those.
The first set was white on the inside and the clincher bead with what looked like a gray coating on the outside, so I figured they were essentially painted. The next set was white inside but the gray covered the bead and I figured maybe they had too many instances of the white peeking out if they got sloppy, or people questioning why the tire wasn't all gray.
Mounting these white ones the other day, I noticed they're gray inside. So, now I don't know what to think about what's done to achieve the color and why they flip-flop. Interestingly enough, all the 30 year old white ones I have access to are black inside.