This a rambling topic with lots of opinions. I tried to group topics but you should read all and make your on opinion.

gig_95 10/28/01 6:50 pm

I am have a hard time trying to find tires for my Crosley, could any of you tell me what type of tires you use on your Crosley or where I could get a set.

rwright24127 10/29/01 3:43 pm

You can find that Coker Tire has them or if you can deal with Trailer tires you can get them any place that sells trailer tires.

johnniemann1999 10/29/01 4:18 pm

You can use radial ply, Sears handles them. John


Chinese Tires

tmkldwwj 12/7/01 3:47 pm

My tires that I ordered from China came in last week. They look great. They are the proper 450X12 size and have a road tread. I will attempt to get pricing to order more. If anyone is interested in seeing what they look like, E-Mail me at TMKLDWWJ@YAHOO.COM

wally_48329 12/7/01 6:18 pm

Can you get them in white walls? I like white walls on my h/s. what kind of price on them? thanks, wally

Jim_Bollman 12/7/01 10:11 pm

Why don't you post a couple of pictures including a close up of the tread. Jim...

tmkldwwj 12/11/01 6:33 am

After a little instruction and a little playing around, I figured out how to post things again. Pictures of tires are posted under my Norman is home album in the series starting with "tire tread". Let me know what you think.


Trailer Tires

drrebob 12/11/01 10:33 am

If you would be satisfied with a 4.80X12 tire size, Northern Tool outlets stock them for trailers. It's a high speed tire with a standard highway tread. Looks right and they're very reasonable.

dave51117 12/13/01 8:39 pm

I tried to purchase 4.50x12" tires for my 51 SS. The tire company would not sell them to me for use on a motorized vehicle. They said the sidewalls are not designed to support the necessary flex that is required for turning movements. I decided to call my insurance agent to see if they had a problem with the use of trailer tires on my car. I was told that they would cancel my policy if I decided to go through with the purchase and they find out about it. I could have snuck it past them, I think, but I like to drive my car so I decided to play it safe. I purchased a set of P 145-80 R Steel radials. They work very well but they are slightly taller and wider.

tmkldwwj 12/14/01 4:22 pm

Dave, be careful, there is something in my memory that I was told about radials and Crosleys. Something to do with shearing off bolts in the rear. I think it had to do with the fact that there was not enough slip occurring with radial tires and it made the rear too tight. Maybe someone else out there will have a better memory than me. Crosley 19 or Jim Bollman perhaps?

crosley19 12/14/01 5:48 pm

Radial tires get a lot more traction than do bias, and the Crosley ring gear bolts are prone to breaking with even bias tires. On the other hand, radials give a much better ride and handling. So no side stepping the clutch, or flat shifts with the radials. Barry

installerjack 12/14/01 7:34 pm

I have taken many a cross-country trip at highway speeds pulling a boat in my Super Sport with the radials and never a problem. Except for a little rubbing on the frame. Happy Holidays, InstallerJack.

Jim_Bollman 12/14/01 9:34 pm

The only problems I had when I ran radials on my Super Sports was I had to run them with a little more air in them to get rid of a squirmy feel and they aggravated marginal king pins. I think you will be OK as long as the suspension is in good shape and alignment is correct. Barry is right, the ring gear bolts do give problems. I find that they tend to loosen and also the heads can fatigue off if you over torque old bolts. Jim...


12" Portawalls wanted

mrcooby 1/18/02 9:09 am

Universal Tire made some nice 12" portawalls in the late '80s. Also, Coker Tire sold portawalls, but these were somewhat narrower and had the "Atlas" name on them. Does anyone have any leftover 12" portawalls for sale?


Tire sizes, Availability of Radials, Tubeless Discussion

imakarknut 2/6/02 12:31 pm

My wife just purchased a '48 wagon and it needs new tires. I know that the car originally came with 450x12's. I've found 480x12's, 145x12's and 155x12's. Which of the larger sizes will fit on the wheels and not cause problems in the wheel wells? Are there some 'good' sources of such tires? As new Crosley 'parents' we need all the guidance we can get! Many thanks! Steve & Carol

bltlar 2/6/02 1:14 pm

My 48 PU (I think same fender wells) has Radial P145/80R12 Goodyear Invicta on it. No problems. Know not correct but like better than 50 HS with 5:30-12 Tubeless with tubes. Guy bought 4 radials at WalMart this summer. He mounted himself, got no warranty and paid $17 each. Larry

hoosiercrosley 2/6/02 1:18 pm

Welcome to the family of Crosleys! I use the 480x12 and have no problems, also they are affordable. Coker tire has the correct size with whitewalls but they cost a lot more. If you need any more help just ask. BO.

stevie_22847 2/6/02 2:24 pm

I had 155X12 radials on my 50 wagon for 20 some years. They worked fine but are a little wide and did tip the front fender edges on the right twist. I think the 145X12 would work the best.

Jim_Bollman 2/6/02 7:23 pm

I'm using 4:80X12 Carlisle tires with tubes from Tom Smith on my FarmOroad. They look fairly good and are almost exactly the same size as the original 4:50X12. I used 145X12 radials on a Super Sports I use to have and I had to pump them up a little harder than spec to keep the squirm down to a reasonable amount but they worked well otherwise. You have to have good kingpins and general better alignment with radials since the car was not setup for them originally. If you go radials and use tubes (Crosley rims were not speced for tubeless) be sure to use tubes made for radial tires. All the flex in radial tires will rub holes in regular tubes. Welcome to the club. Jim...

chuckhk1941 2/6/02 9:23 pm

A friend told me this a few years ago--If your wheels are in good shape--forget the tubes,convert to tubeless.Well I trusted him--YES it works--no leaks--I'm passing this on to you,as I have used them this way for a few years -- it came from Neal Daglow and he should know.

brawnybug 2/7/02 5:48 pm

I agree. The problem with Crosley wheels comes from where the center is riveted to the rim. If the rivet is tight with no signs of rust, you should be able to go tubeless.

imakarknut 2/7/02 9:04 pm

Thanks for making us feel welcome and for all the good info on tires. As we are not yet in possession of the car we don't know the condition of the wheels and so are leaning toward bias tires with tubes. Walmart had trailer 480x12 tires but I assume that we want something else! Being in Michigan does anyone know of stores to check on for 480x12 bias tires? We called Tony in Angola,IN and he has 4 480x12 tires for $100. Don't know if bias(assume so) or tubeless.

Jim_Bollman 2/7/02 9:45 pm

Tony's tires are bias tubeless, but he sells tubes for them if you want. I think his are trailer tires also but has a better tread design than most trailer tires and look close to what they should for car tires. Not the old Crosley style, those will cost you over $50 a tire from Coker. Coker's are only whitewalls and I don't care for the width. I'll try to remember to post some tread pictures this weekend of Tony's tires that I have.

mrcooby 2/8/02 5:02 pm

As to tires, I'd consider bias-ply 5:30x12s first for any CC or CD-model Crosley, and 4:80x12s for any Models A, B, CB-41 or CB-42 2-cylinder Crosleys from '39 through '42 (5:30s will rub on these). They're widely available from any stores selling trailer tires. These are inexpensive, usually tubeless, look fairly original, and handle best. If you like wide whitewalls (and I do) get some Lucas 12" portawalls (800-735-0166) and install them at the same time. (Make sure the portawall bead is tightly tucked in.) Not having experience with the '49-'52 VCs, I can't speak with authority on tires for these. Enjoy the weekend. Lou

speedoo51 2/8/02 7:50 pm

Ridge in rim is helpful in keeping tire on when flat..don't think it does much when inflated.. Seb.

tinyauto2 2/10/02 8:04 am

I second this. Never, never, never, use a tire tubeless on a non-tubeless rim. You are sitting on a disaster waiting to happen. I have a buddy that restored a BMW 600. He runs all over the country with it. Yes it is 600cc! Anyway, he is tooling along on one of his trips and a kid came up from behind, on straight interstate road, and hit him in the rear. The impact was so great that he was thrown sideways, went through the median into oncoming traffic. He never hit anything himself, but the car did slide sideways on dry pavement. IF he had not put tubes in those tires, he and I both are convinced the outcome would have been much worse. Tubes folks. Kevin.

antiqbob 2/8/02 1:10 am

Just an opinion, but on tube type wheels the inside of the wheel lip is smooth. On tubeless type wheels there is a ridge designed into the inside lip of the wheel to lock in the tire. While I know tubeless tires will mount and hold air, I am somewhat troubled by the lack of this ridge in the event of a hard cornering movement, believing that it is possible for the tire to pull free from the rim, with obvious dire consequences. Any other opinions? antiqbob


Carlisle Tires

mrcooby 2/10/02 10:06 pm

I took a look at the Carlisle 12" tires at Menard's. I like the traditional smooth 1940s-1950s sidewall design (not too many 12" tires made today have kept that style), and the tread design is pleasing, too. Ask Carlisle Tire for a brochure and check out their 12" line. This tire would be a great candidate for a wide whitewall.

Carlisle USA Trail 4:80X12 Tires

Jim_Bollman 2/11/02 7:25 pm

Here is a picture of the tires I bought from Tony Smith a few years ago for my FOR. I run them with tubes that I also got from Tony. They don't look like the originals for critical judging but I don't think they look to bad. The are 4 ply nylon construction. Jim...


4.80X12 Tires - Size Variation

iamrustless 2/22/02 5:47 pm

I found some 4.80 x 12 tires at a trailer place today, called "tow-Master". I mounted them, and they are about 3/4" to 1" shorter than the old 4.50 x 12 tires that were on it, and they sure look narrower too. They don't appear as round as the old ones (sidewall). Are these tires going to be a mistake? They are 4-ply, 780 pound rating per tire. The guy at the shop also had 6-ply, but said they would be rock hard riding. Thoughts? On the first rim, I managed to bend the hub cap clips (bent when rim turned on changer) and when I tried to straighten them....snap. Does anyone offer clips I can rivet on? Thanks, Hal (hating when I bust something)

Jim_Bollman 2/22/02 7:05 pm

If your tires are that much shorter than stock tires you will probably not be happy, unless you mostly drive around town. You will have slightly better pickup but a lower cruise speed. Tire diameter seems to vary a lot. I have seen the same think you are talking about. I have a set of 4:00X12 tires that are almost exactly the same diameter as the 4:50X12 and some 5.00X12s that are shorter and narrower. These happen to be tractor tread that I picked up for my duals on the FarmOroad but I had the same thing happen on trailer tires. I posted a picture of the Carlisle 4:80X12 in the club #2 album. I have these on the FOR and they are almost exactly the same diameter as the 4:50X12. I think they look good but not vintage.

iamrustless 2/22/02 7:59 pm

I looked on the Coker site, and saw Goodrich 4.50x12 blackwalls. Are they made by Goodrich, or by Coker? If they are the exact same size, I may end up going with them (depends on my test drive!) Regards, Hal

mrcooby 2/23/02 12:06 am

As was discussed here earlier this month, the best modern-size tires for all CC, CD, and VC models are the 5.30x12s. For all two-cylinder models, mount no larger than 4.80x12s. The modern tire-size numbers are different than original since the Feds mandated standardization in tire ratings. The old 4.25x12s on the two-cylinder models are really closer to 4.80x12 in size, while the old 4.50x12s are in reality pretty much equivalent to 5.30x12s. The new Coker 4.50x12s really ARE 4.50x12s. I called Carlisle to discuss the possibility of making whitewalls for us on their 4.80s and 5.30s, but they have no whitewall-making tooling. Their one whitewall was a motorcycle tire, and it was jobbed out. But we'll be talking again. These are great-looking tires on Crosleys. The 4.80s are too small for four-cylinder Crosleys. They look wrong, handle wrong, throw your speedometer off, gear your car too low, rev your engine too fast, and you'll burn more fuel. And don't try 5.30s on your two-cylinder cars, or the front tires will rub.

mcriverbug 2/23/02 9:24 am

My car had the original tires on it when I bought it. It also came with a set of tow master tires mounted on wheels. The towmaster tires ride better but the other tires were 55 years old that I compared the ride to. Also I took a razor blade and cut off the China or Taiwan name and smoothed out the rubber with a flat blade on my soldering gun. John

iamrustless 2/23/02 1:47 pm

What size were your Towmasters? I have mine on a VC, what were yours on? I just replaced the fronts, and it drives a lot better. It almost seems squirrely when turning quickly, but I still have the old rock-hard tires on the back. It did feel good enough to venture out for a ride.....see my next post for the results! Hal

mcriverbug 2/23/02 2:04 pm

My tow master tires are4.80x12 same as yours,strangely enough 2 were made in Taiwan and 2 in China,but identical in every way. The raised letters from China Or Taiwan are easily cut off with a razor blade. These tires are good enough for me on such a limited use 47 pickup. I don't go fast or far enough to warrant using ugly balance weights,it will never handle or ride like my new car anyway-But more fun to drive.


Wheel Clips

iamrustless 2/22/02 5:47 pm

On the first rim, I managed to bend the hub cap clips (bent when rim turned on changer) and when I tried to straighten them....snap. Does anyone offer clips I can rivet on? Thanks, Hal (hating when I bust something)

mcriverbug 2/23/02 9:24 am

Service Motors have the wheel clips $2.50 John


Tire Changing

mcriverbug 2/23/02 9:38 am

I went to the tire shop to have my tires changed and the machine was too big for the 12 inch tires. He changed one tire using 2 large screwdrivers, and showed me how to take the tire off the backside of the rim without damaging the hubcap clips or the paint job. But be CAREFUL not to pinch the tube. I have since changed 7 tires myself and it really is easy. John

iamrustless 2/23/02 1:44 pm

There is a lawnmower shop behind my house. They have a baby tire changer for mower and lawn tractor wheels. It is manual, is bolted to the floor, and is easy to use (just keep the clip side up!). It looks like an inexpensive rig. If they weren't so close to me, I would buy one if I fooled around with small wheels often! Hal