I'm done with white tires

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Tom VanMeeteren
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I'm done with white tires

Post by Tom VanMeeteren » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:43 pm

I have had a set of smooth whites on my 11 for the past 10 years or so. Probably about 4000+ miles during that time. Last year I replaced three of them for various reasons. Tonight we went for a little car show about 10 miles from home. When my wife got out of the car she noticed the cords were showing through the center of the driving area about 1/3 of the diameter of the tire. We made it home at about 15 mph but I will never buy another white tire. This one only had about 200 miles on it, that's !@#$%^&*&^%$#@!@#$%^&*&^%$. What experiences have others had with these new SOFT WHITE tires. 200 miles is terrible in any ones opinion I'm sure.

What you guys running for tires and how many miles do you expect out of them today?

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Steve Jelf
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Re: I'm done with white tires

Post by Steve Jelf » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:21 am

Are you sure they were new and not NOS? My NOS white Firestones looked wonderful. They came out of the wrappers gorgeous and appearing brand new. One wore clear through to the tube and blew out in under 200 miles. I replaced those with new Wards Riversides. No more NOS or other old tires for me. Some will deny it, but rubber deteriorates with the passage of time. Black is not correct for 1915, but I don't care. I think they look OK, especially for a non-show car. They now have a couple of trips to Detroit and back on them and they look like they're good for one or two more such trips. Why Riversides? Because all Coker/Universal and Lucas clincher tires are of equal quality (basically the same tires with different names) and these are the least expensive of the lot. When they need to be replaced I'll try the new Blockley beaded edge tyres because they're advertised as much better tires. The Blockleys cost £149, which is 19% more than the $152 price of Wards. If they last 20% more miles I'm money ahead. If they last a lot more, even better.
The inevitable often happens.
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1923 Touring


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Tom VanMeeteren
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Re: I'm done with white tires

Post by Tom VanMeeteren » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:21 am

No Steve, they were brand new from a well known supplier.


Rich Bingham
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Re: I'm done with white tires

Post by Rich Bingham » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:22 pm

It seems white tires have been troublesome for quite some time. Not long ago there was much discussion on these boards as to the cause of their turning brown. Haven’t heard much about that lately, I wonder if it means that problem has been solved ?

Up til now, Steve’s experience with extremely rapid wear was an isolated case, at least as reported to the forum. As noted, he laid the cause to being aged NOS.

Tom, I presume all three of your new tires wore to visible cord in that 200 miles ? I think you should approach the vendor with your complaint and see what they have to say.
"Get a horse !"

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Re: I'm done with white tires

Post by Susanne » Thu Jun 25, 2020 2:56 pm

They're white tires - they don't have the carbon in the rubber to give decent wear on modern pavement... I think I got 1000 miles on a set of fronts, and that was 50/50 betweeh asphalt and dirt roads. Went back to blacks after that... not the same look, but at least they live longer...

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Re: I'm done with white tires

Post by TRDxB2 » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:18 pm

Who's making White Tires today?


Rich Bingham
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Re: I'm done with white tires

Post by Rich Bingham » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:21 pm

Susanne, I was mulling this over in terms of the historic time-line, and what I’ve noticed re/ tire wear on my own Lizzie. Dirt roads can be “kinder” to tires, but pavement is always abrasive. The reality that few Model Ts have all four wheels in perfect alignment, to say nothing of worn steering elements and unbalanced wheels and rims with some run-out, it makes for a “duty” where durable tread material is certainly desirable.

Historically, it would seem tougher black tires appeared on the market coincidentally as roads improved. I wonder what kind of tire mileage was common on dirt roads in the white tire era ?
"Get a horse !"

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Re: I'm done with white tires

Post by Susanne » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:58 pm

I've seen ads in the early 20's (black tires) bragging them to be "Long Distance 3500 mile tires"... and they weren't cheap (in 1920's dollars). I can only imagine how awful the white ones were - while not 100 milers, I'd think 1000 miles would have been a boon!

I really want to see how the blockleys are... the more I look at the tires (and remnants of tires) I have, the more I want better than what I have.


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Re: I'm done with white tires

Post by Tom VanMeeteren » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:49 pm

Rich, no the other two that I changed about a year ago are still okay at this point. The right front is the culpret. The first set that I had on went about 4000 miles with no problems what ever. I have not done anything to the front geometry but did check it and it is within specs. Just a bad tire I guess. Today I ordered new Wards Riversides like Steve suggested. Problem is, they will not arrive for 2 - 3 weeks, bummer!!!!!! It's ice cream season now, guess I have to take the newer vehicle with the dog and my wife.


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Re: I'm done with white tires

Post by Allan » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:33 pm

Any tyre which lasts only 200 miles is clearly not fit for purpose and the seller should be held responsible. If he/she cannot get satisfaction from the supplier, that is a problem for him/her. It should not be a problem for the user. At least, that is how consumer law protects us in Australia.
My question is, would such be acceptable in a tyre for your modern?

Allan from down under.


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Re: I'm done with white tires

Post by Michael A » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:38 pm

I was so looking to fitting white tires on my veteran.
A local friend here has had a set of white ribbed tires for many years without any complaints.
The wearing quallity and browning obviously a huge disappointment for many.
How big is the demand for white tires out there and would we be able to escalate interested numbers through the forum to pass on to the manufacturers the interest and demand.
At least the feedback will let them know how bad or good there product is.
Any thoughts?
Michael A

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Re: I'm done with white tires

Post by TWrenn » Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:47 am

TRDxB2 wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:18 pm
Who's making White Tires today?
Right now, technically no one. Last I heard, it will be a long shot if Vietnam begins making them again. Haven't heard of anyone else making them. If there is, chime in and enlighten us!
I've been waiting for a warranty exchange for over a year now, no luck at all. I'm with the OP...no more white tires
even IF they start making them. They're only good for about 2,000 miles on GOOD smooth roads!

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Paint them White

Post by Novice » Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:50 am

Larry will have a CAT! But just paint them White worked in the fifties for kids with no money. and then just touch them up when You Wife hits the curb.


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Re: I'm done with white tires

Post by Adam » Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:11 pm

Hmmmm... I wonder why most tire manufacturers quit making all white tires in the 1920’s ??? Could it be because black tires were superior and white ones were inferior ??? Actually, I think that is a fact!

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Re: I'm done with white tires

Post by TRDxB2 » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:27 pm

Adam wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 12:11 pm
Hmmmm... I wonder why most tire manufacturers quit making all white tires in the 1920’s ??? Could it be because black tires were superior and white ones were inferior ??? Actually, I think that is a fact!
Did some Inter net searching and found a remarkable set of information about tire production in th early days https://books.google.com/books?id=7aI7A ... ll&f=false
I just pulled off info related to color but the article covers production methods etc. And yes adding carbon black made the tires stronger
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