Tires & Tubes again!

chasgould

New Member
Good afternoon Amphicar enthusiasts,
I have some new news and information about this ongoing thread of tires and tubes.
First of all, as many of you know, about twelve years ago, I was fortunate enough to locate and purchase a brand new unsold Amphicar from a former dealer. This car had 468 miles on it, which was the distance from the distribution rail, where three salesmen had been sent to drive the three Amphicars, back to the dealership in Vermont. The now retired dealer told me that the first car sold immediately in 1962, and that the second car took almost five years to sell. He placed this third car away in a storage barn, as there was very little interest in this car back then. As it had been stored poorly, it did require a respray and a new top, but it is otherwise a remarkably unmolested original example, still riding on its original Vredestein tyres, which I had been gingerly preserving for the past twelve years. I had recently posted that the weather checking had gotten so bad that I had a blow out, and that I feared driving any longer on these original tyres, even though I dreaded losing that great unusual tread pattern on the original Vredesteins.
Second, I have since found and mounted four radials on my Amphicar, and I can report the following. Inside at least three of the original Vredestein tyres, including the spare (which had never been on the ground), was an original Vredestein 15 inch tyre tube, indicating that these cars probably did have tubes originally when they were shipped from the factory.
I can also report that despite all of the warnings to the contrary, I was able to mount a 185/80/13 inch radial tyre, and it does not seem to interfere with the rear fender valance, nor with the brake hose mounting clip, although it is very close. I should also stress that this is on an early 1962 without the lower body flare and fender flare, and with the narrower rear shock absorbers.
I have heard from others (presumably with later cars) that this size did rub the brake hose clamp and the shock absorber, and then rubbed the fenders when they tried to use a spacer to move the tyres out farther. This does not seem to be the case on my early 1962, however.
I suppose that it could rub if the tyre was to flex considerably during use, but I suspect that most of the deflection would be near to the bottom of the tyre where it comes in contact with the road, and that at the sides where the brake clip is, will be relatively stable. I will report back after I have put some miles on these tyres to confirm whether they rub at all. I will also confirm if the front tyres rub on the steering stops.
Third, I was able to find a very nice (but inexpensive) Hancook brand radial tyre in this 185/80/13 size at Town Fair Tire for a list price of $68.00 each. I was also able to find a special sale price of $22.00 each for these same tires at Town Fair Tire, based on an ad which coincidentally appeared in my local Boston Globe this past weekend. I purchased all six remaining tires in my area, but you may find a similar sale at a Town Fair Tire nearer to your location. I had five tires mounted, and balanced and put on the car for a total of $204.30 with all taxes included. As this sale price is not availabvle for "cash & Carry", I had to pay the $10.95 balance charge on the sixth extra tire that I purchased, so that mounting and balancing all four tires and a spare would have been $170.00.
Curiously the original Vredestein spare on my early 1962 Amphicar was a 6:40 X 13, and not the 6:50 X 13, which was on all four corners of my car, which means that the original tyres should have been 6.4 or 6.5 inches across the widest cross section, and the height of the total inflated tyre and rim should have been 24.74 inches tall.
The 185/80/13 tyres should be 7.2 inches across the widest cross section, and the total height should be 24.65 or less than one quarter inch less tall than the original size.
I was surprised when the Town Fair Tire guy used his width gauge on the old inflated tire, which measured just under 7 inches, and the new Radial which measured just over 7 inches, showing a difference of less than the .8 inch discrepancy which I expected from the tire sizes. I was also surprised that the new radial was almost an inch shorter in height, despite the tire size calculator indicating that they should be almost identical in height.
I always resent that so much information and warnings get repeated over and over again, sometimes without any actual experience, so I wanted to post my actual experience with these particular tyres.
I also want to say that I have mounted these tyres without any tubes, as I believe that the radial tyres will perform fine without tubes. I also believe that if a tubeless tire did come off of the rim, as a result of the lack of a bead lock on the rim design, I suspect that any tube that might have been inside, would be torn and rendered useless pretty quickly, as the tireless rim bottom ran over and pinched the tube. I just don't buy that you would have any substantial increase in time to react with a tube than without, in a situation involving a tire coming off of the rim.
Finally, while I am aware that everyone recommends 17 pounds of air pressure up front on an Amphicar, and that this low pressure is one of the reasons many fear a tire coming off of the rim, is it possible to run a newer radial tyre with pressure higher than 17 pound (say around 24 to 27), and still get good handling with a newer radial, which might eliminate this risk from the lower pressure, or will the handling be just as poor with more pressure, even with a newer radial. Inquiring minds want to know, and I will be doing some testing to report back to all of you.
Chas
 

azpaul50

Member
I replaced the polys on Blub with new radials today and what a difference it makes. I had complained that Blub would turn on a dime (faster than my other Amphi) and now it is much more manageable. Juanito F.! You were correct, as always. I now have P18580R13s on both Amphis and cannot see any rubbing problem on either. As for deflating the fronts appreciably, I'm looking for a 12-step program to find acceptance. I put tubes in Blubs anyway. - azpaul50 of the Western Amphi Fleet.
 
R

Ron Green

Guest
Charles,

I have been running Diamond Back radials (with tubes) for 6 years and have no issues running at 65 or 70 MPH. I have tried different pressures in the fronts and my amphi (and they are all somewhat different) will wander quite a bit with tire pressure over 21 pounds. For my amphi 18 pounds seems to be the correct pressure and no wander.

RG
 

Canadian four amphs

Amphicar Expert
Rear Radial tires have a habit of flexing more on turns or when a load(people)is in rear seat, be very carefull that the tire does not rub on the spring or worse yet the brake flex line holder, it will gouge the tire and cause a very quick flat!I have had custom spacers made to fit the Amphicar, they are 1/4 inch thick and have been using for many years.
Made of steel they are $22.50 each pl shipping and made of Alum. they are $26.50 pl shipping each.
Gord...(Gord@amphicar.ca)
 

lelms

Gold Subscriber
When I put Diamondback radials on my car in 08, they definitely were going
to rub on the left front spring/shock (Hugh's gas version), as well as the
left rear brake bracket. The right side was iffy on the rear. I ground the
brake brackets down as far as I could go, but it appeared to me that the
tires would still hit them, if they flexed much at all. I got a set of 4
aluminum spacers from Gord. No rubbing at all now, with about 500 miles on
this summer; many of the miles at 65+. I'd be very careful about running
radials without spacers; based on the tolerances on my car, a 67, or fairly
late production, based on VIN #'s. I went the no tube route - haven't lost
a tire yet. But there is always next summer.
Mark Lellman - Minneapolis
marklellman@gmail.com



On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 19:18, Canadian four amphs <


> Rear Radial tires have a habit of flexing more on turns or when a
> load(people)is in rear seat, be very carefull that the tire does not rub on
> the spring or worse yet the brake flex line holder, it will gouge the tire
> and cause a very quick flat!I have had custom spacers made to fit the
> Amphicar, they are 1/4 inch thick and have been using for many years.
> Made of steel they are $22.50 each pl shipping and made of Alum. they are
> $26.50 pl shipping each.
> Gord...(Gord@amphicar.ca)
>
>
>


--
Mark Lellman
355 Elmwood Place West
Minneapolis, Minnesota
55419-1349 USA
marklellman@gmail.com
612 824 2860
612 701 6913 cell
 

azpaul50

Member
Gord - I've decided to take a pair of those spacers for the rear wheels. I was looking at 'em for clearance and I think I'll go ahead even without any apparent rubbing. How does one buy something from you? - azpaul50 in Yuma, Arizona
 

Canadian four amphs

Amphicar Expert
Im leaving for Fl. today. I sent you a email off line.
Have lots of parts in Fl. Spacers are a must with radials!
I may be back on site Tusday, but not sure till I get to home.
my phone is 352-319-6774 in Fl.
 

CapnJohn

Amphi Guru & Former IAOC President
Spacers are a must with radials!
Not always true. I have had radials (with tubes cuz I don't want to die or worse) for 10 years on my very early Amphi without spacers. They don't rub at all. So I do't know why some need them and some dont. Even the last Amphi I did (100% nut/bolt) wore radials yet did not rub. Humf?
 

azpaul50

Member
What happened was that the new P185s on my blue Amphi were fine. Then I had a flat due to a nail with no spare. (It turned out the spare that came with the car was a 12" wheel! Grrrr). So I put a P185 (same size, different brand) from my White Amphi on the blue one to get home. That tire/wheel assembly rubbed the shock spring leaving two recessed grooves inside the tire's sidewall. Remember that technically the tires were the same size radials but on different wheels. Both wheels appear to be the same type Amphi steel rims. So now I have screwed up a perfectly good tire from my white Amphi. I fixed the original flat tire (no grooves, just a regular flat) and put it back on the blue Amphi and now it rubs lightly where it didn't before! As for the shock/spring on the blue Amphi, it appears otherwise still in good shape except for some minor wear from rubbing for about 30 miles of driving to get home. I can't see any evidence of shifting position for the shock. So now I feel forced to use a pair of spacers on the blue Amphi really without a logical reason why it now rubs (and didn't before). Every thing is the same as before the original flat. THe space will leave me with about a 3/8" clearance between the tire and fender, I hope that's enough.



To: azpaul50@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20186] Re: Tires & Tubes again!
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 10:37:16 -0500
From:






Quote:




Originally Posted by Canadian four amphs
Spacers are a must with radials!Not always true. I have had radials (with tubes cuz I don't want to die or worse) for 10 years on my very early Amphi without spacers. They don't rub at all. So I do't know why some need them and some dont. Even the last Amphi I did (100% nut/bolt) wore radials yet did not rub. Humf?



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jfriese

Active Member
My two cars are late cars, have radials and never had a tire rub problem.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 
S

SplitPersonality

Guest
I agree. My Amphi is a 1967, has tubeless radials, and has never had a rub
problem.

Victor Nelson near Daytona


In a message dated 11/17/2009 9:19:23 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
writes:

My two cars are late cars, have radials and never had a tire rub problem.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red
 

azpaul50

Member
Juanito! Long time, no hear, brah! Let me explain again what happened. I changed the tires on Blub from poly P165D13s to P185R13s. There didn't appear to be a rub so off we go to the lake. Then I had an unrelated (to rubbing) flat and had to use a tire from the white Amphi to get home. That one rubbed two gooves in the original white car tire (temporarily on Blub), also a P185R13 but a different brand. So I fix the original Blub tire and put that back on Blub and now that rubs slightly where it didn't before. The initial change to P185s did lessen the gap between sidewall and shock but only by a miniscule measure. The "new" rubbing is barely there on Blub and not as remarkable as it was with the temp spare I used. That side shock on Blub shows minor wear from that 30 miles getting home using the white Amphi car tire but appears otherwise undisturbed (mount, bolts). i remember on the trip home that the road noise changed a little with me thinking that a wheel bearing might be going bad. I now think that was the point in the trip that the rubbing started but sounded like it was in front, I have a pair of spacers coming from FL so we'll see what that does. I would point out that my cars are older ones 100114 and 100289 and might be different from your beauties. That isn't even considering suspension changes that may have been made to either car through the years. Speaking of "beauties," our regards to your fair wife! - azpaul50 of the Western Amphi Fleet, AMP114 now in dry dock.



To: azpaul50@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: [General Amphicar Discussion-t-20186] Re: Tires & Tubes again!
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 21:12:50 -0500
From:




My two cars are late cars, have radials and never had a tire rub problem.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red



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DavidC

Amphicar Expert
175 is I reckon the ideal size in 13 inch radials but difficult to find. 185
can be a bit tight (and I reckon look too wide) but should be OK, on earlier
cars they tend to touch the body at the back and on later cars the spring at
the front.



Is this rubbing the spring on the back ? If so then most likely cause is
not good:- the axle pinch bolt loose and axle going oval. This causes the
wheels to tilt in at the top causing the problem but you should also notice
it's a pig to drive at high speed(over 60) and feels like the back wants to
overtake the front.



Jack up the back, remove wheel, remove shocker (don't let hub drop and
stretch brake lines) replace wheel then lift wheel to approx road level.
Hold wheel at top and bottom and feel for any in-out movement. If there is
any it might be bearings so get someone to put foot hard on brake, if it
still moves it's the axle (you might even see movement at axle pivot if bad)
only real fix is at a machine shop, don't overtighten that pinch bolt or -
ping - and you find yourself driving a tricycle.



David C
 
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