Bias ply tires - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-22-2016, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Bias ply tires

Hey guys, I'm seriously thinking of going to the Firestone G70 bias tire route, yes to get the look and to achieve the right height.

Currently my 69' has radials.

I get that the bias tire won't run as good as a radial but how big is the difference? Is it like going to a Flinstone's car? Or tractor?

I bought an old car because I like the old car smell, feel, power, and don't need the car to drive for me. So unless I am going to be all over the road and cutting people off mistakenly I don't see an issue?

Would appreciate any comments on you're experiences.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 09:26 AM
 
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Here is my opinion and what I recall, but that was a long time ago, so others should chime in on this.

I know bias ply tires make a better smokey burn-out! I remember when the radial was just hitting the market - I was a kid driving then. I remember they were really expensive and there were rumors that the steel belts could break or slip within the tire, but with all things, improvements followed.

Radials lasted longer and did handle & grip better under most conditions - due to a thinner sidewall that puts more tread down on the road as it flexes. I remember that although radials gripped better, in a "take it to the limits" high speed corner, they would not give much warning when they were on the verge of breaking loose. Once you heard tire squeal, you got ready for the car to get a little sideways -and I don't think they recovered as well at that point of breaking loose. Bias tires seemed to squeal to give you a warning and could be pushed a little more until the tires actually broke traction.

Bias tires always seem to offer more "squeal", lots more smoke, and a nice black (or two if posi-traction) strip of rubber on the pavement that can last for months in a good long burnout. Done right, you can engulf your entire car in a cloud of tire smoke and impress your buddies! Radials "squawk" or "chirp" and then spin, don't throw off much smoke, and seem to leave a faint black burnout strip of rubber as you're melting the hides. And that's what I miss about bias tires.

If you do a search on the differences, they are explained. Bias tires have thicker side walls and less flex, they hold heat more, and are less fuel efficient. They also have a different side wall height that radials don't (especially these newer metric designated tires).

They came on the cars originally. I drove bunches of cars with them to include my old GTO's and other cars. Never had any problems and I did not baby my cars and always pushed them and would light up the tires whenever the mood hit - which was often.

Yep, you may find yourself having to "drive" the car a little more. If you get them, I would just pay attention to how the driving and handling will change a bit from what the radials offer, and adjust to it. Might try some hard cornering in a safe place where no damage to car/driver/others will occur just to get a feel of it. I would also pull a couple hard accelerations to experience the tires breaking traction as well as hard braking. Once you get a feel for it, then adjust your driving to know what to expect.

If you do switch to the Bias-ply, it would be neat for you to come back and write your experiences as to the differences you noticed before and after.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 11:39 AM
 
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Bias tires for GTO

When I bought my GTO twenty five years ago it had bias tires. I drove on them a few years and finally got red line radials. I personally wouldn't have bias tires. If you get in a rut in the pavement it follows that rut. The ride was so different in bias versus radials. I know people who want that vintage look but I would rather have a nice ride verus all over the road. Just saying.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
 
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Great write up PJ, I'm in the midst of a mild resto but I've been gathering parts like crazy! The engine is out and stripped and soon the front end is coming off. I decided to go with the Butler 467 kit... Yikes!
The tires are a ways away but trying to do my research before I pull the trigger. If I do get them (which I'm leaning towards) I'll post the results for sure.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 07:53 PM
 
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Go radial

I'm in the tire business. If you really want to drive and enjoy the car. Go modern steel radials. T/A's or something comparable. You don't want bias tires.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 07:59 PM
 
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If you really want to enjoy driving the car, go 17" Rally II. 275/40R17 front and 285/40R17 rear. Continental Extreme DW. I have that combo on my 68, 70 and 71 GTO convertibles.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks GMP I've seen the 17"s and they do look sweet but I'm trying to keep an original look.
Your in the tire biz... So does that mean you've driven radials and bias? Or just heard back from some guys saying the bias tires I bought from you suck?

I don't need to take a corner at 70 mph to feel cool... I'll leave that for the drifting guys.

BTW my front end suspension is fully rebuilt and right now (or did) the car drives awesome!

Are they over priced? Probably. Do they REALLY drive like crap?
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 09:18 PM
 
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I'm 59 years old. Bought my first GTO in 74 when I was 17. A 68 convertible of course it had bias tires. I'm a lucky guy. I have seven GTO convertibles now. I drive them all like I stole them. I have a friend who had bias tires on his 69 GTO convertible. When I drove his car I was shocked at the difference. Bias might look cool for show. But only if you're trailering the car.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-23-2016, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks gmp, I appreciate your insight. I guess to really find out Id have to buy a set and then say oh man I should have stayed with radial!
Lol.
Shows and cars are starting to pop up around this neck of the woods so I'll see if I can drive something with bias tires and a similar build.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-24-2016, 09:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Wendt69 View Post
Thanks gmp, I appreciate your insight. I guess to really find out Id have to buy a set and then say oh man I should have stayed with radial!
Lol.
Shows and cars are starting to pop up around this neck of the woods so I'll see if I can drive something with bias tires and a similar build.
That's the smart thing to do. I put F70 repos on my '67 many years ago for the correct look. My front suspension wasn't the best (it still isn't) but I felt like I was riding on potato skins. Put BFG 235/60R15's with the letters turned inside. Much better feel. They will break loose if you tromp on it just right.
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  Pontiac GTO Forum > The 1964-1974 Pontiac Tempest, Lemans & GTO > 1964-1974 Tempest, Lemans & GTO Wheels & Tires

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