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11/5/12 9:01pm - Original Message: 'My 79 tire issue'
GoodyT
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Orlando, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Yellow L-82 Auto - SOLD 1994 1992 White ZO7 6 Spd - SOLD 1998 1978 Silver Anniversary L-82 4 Spd - SOLD 2006 1979 Silver L-82 4 Spd - 18,451 miles 1 owner car, found having been in storage 20 years. Purchased in 2010.

Joined: 4/2/2005
Posts: 28
Help please, My 79 is finally on the road and I was wondering if anyone had any history about Firestone Firehawk SS10's. Driving it right now it feels like all the tires or some have flat spots from storage, I have tried to find mfg date on tires but can't locate, is it possible that these are that old that there is no date stamp?. I know it will not be driven much until new tires are installed but just curious about anyone knowing about these tires, recommendations on decent tires would also be appreciated. G.T

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11/5/12 9:08pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
ebo Lifetime Member
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Holland Patent, NY - USA

Vette(s):
#1 *1980 White, Red interior 14,000 mile #2 *1980 Red, Oyster interior 93,000 miles Resto project car, rebuilt to 383 stroker

Joined: 6/3/2008
Posts: 4395
GT, search tire's in the search box, you will find a few nights worth of reading.
In any event if they are that old do not risk your car or your life on $500 worth of tires! 
Just sayin......
Evil Smileebo
Tirerack.com has a great comparison chart
 


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Evil Smileebo
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11/5/12 9:56pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
Jaws79 Lifetime Member
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Sykesville, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Corvette Coupe Corvette Light Blue Midnight Blue interior Mirrored Glass T-tops

Joined: 4/27/2008
Posts: 4211

I always recommend the Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires. Great ride, handling, wet traction, and all at a good price! You can't go wrong! Don't even worry about the old tires. DUMP them! I would not buy a car this old and expect to do anything less then changing the tires. When you have a blowout on a Vette, you usually lose a fender!

Barry
 
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11/5/12 10:02pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
GoodyT
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Orlando, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Yellow L-82 Auto - SOLD 1994 1992 White ZO7 6 Spd - SOLD 1998 1978 Silver Anniversary L-82 4 Spd - SOLD 2006 1979 Silver L-82 4 Spd - 18,451 miles 1 owner car, found having been in storage 20 years. Purchased in 2010.

Joined: 4/2/2005
Posts: 28
No worries, after all this time working on it I am not about to drive it much right now with these on it.  

So far I have seen photos of several using Goodyear Eagel GT II's, thank s for all the info.

G.T. 


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11/5/12 10:34pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
ebo Lifetime Member
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Holland Patent, NY - USA

Vette(s):
#1 *1980 White, Red interior 14,000 mile #2 *1980 Red, Oyster interior 93,000 miles Resto project car, rebuilt to 383 stroker

Joined: 6/3/2008
Posts: 4395
I also run the Firestones......do your homework.....they outperform the goodyears.
Evil Smileebo


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11/6/12 9:14am - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
Case75
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1975 Corvette 383 stroker w/Patriot 190 heads, Eagle stroker kit, Comp 279TH7 cam, DUI distributor, Edelbrock 7116 intake, Edelbrock 1806 carb, Hedman Hedders, TH400 w/TCI Breakaway 2400 stall, Transgo 1-2 shift kit.

Joined: 6/19/2012
Posts: 230
I'm running BF Goodrich Raial T/A's size 245/60/15. Mine are due for replacement next year as they're about 10 years old. I like them and will probably buy again. I've also been looking at the Firestone Indy 500's. Regardless, I'm going up one size to the 255's.

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Build Date: May 7, 1975. 383 w/267 RWHP/310 RWTQ
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11/6/12 10:48am - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
GoodyT
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Orlando, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Yellow L-82 Auto - SOLD 1994 1992 White ZO7 6 Spd - SOLD 1998 1978 Silver Anniversary L-82 4 Spd - SOLD 2006 1979 Silver L-82 4 Spd - 18,451 miles 1 owner car, found having been in storage 20 years. Purchased in 2010.

Joined: 4/2/2005
Posts: 28
Ok so a silly question? 

225 vs 255 tires? 

Currently have 225/70R15's and I see the 255's were an option back then, I guess there is no clearance issues? 




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11/6/12 11:41am - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
Case75
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, - Canada

Vette(s):
1975 Corvette 383 stroker w/Patriot 190 heads, Eagle stroker kit, Comp 279TH7 cam, DUI distributor, Edelbrock 7116 intake, Edelbrock 1806 carb, Hedman Hedders, TH400 w/TCI Breakaway 2400 stall, Transgo 1-2 shift kit.

Joined: 6/19/2012
Posts: 230
I like the look of the 255's as they fit the 8" wide rim better. A 225 is meant for a 7" wide rim at the maximum. I have no issues with the 245's and the step up to the 255 is very small in width or height.

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Build Date: May 7, 1975. 383 w/267 RWHP/310 RWTQ
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11/6/12 4:40pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
DaveM Lifetime Member
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Flanders, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1982 Black, ZZ4, Hooker Side Pipes, 3.55 Rear, Rebuilt & upgraded 700R4, All new suspension, brakes, & new Charcoal interior.

Joined: 1/27/2004
Posts: 2530
I have the Firestone Indy 500's in the 255/60 size they don't hit at all. I love them. They are the same dia. as the 225/70 tires so there is no speedo problem. The 60 series is wider.
Good luck,
Dave


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11/6/12 5:49pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
dwright Gold Member
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Victor, NY - USA

Vette(s):
2004 Commemorative Edition Coupe, Auto w/HUD. 13K miles in 2015. Sold 1982 Red Coupe

Joined: 7/12/2004
Posts: 6757
Ditto from me on the Firestones. Great performance and tread life.
As for size, I like the wide for looks.
I think that is a guy thing.Wacko


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11/6/12 6:27pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
GoodyT
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Orlando, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Yellow L-82 Auto - SOLD 1994 1992 White ZO7 6 Spd - SOLD 1998 1978 Silver Anniversary L-82 4 Spd - SOLD 2006 1979 Silver L-82 4 Spd - 18,451 miles 1 owner car, found having been in storage 20 years. Purchased in 2010.

Joined: 4/2/2005
Posts: 28
Well it appears that the Firestone Indy 500's 225/70R15 are discontinued from what I was able to search today locally at tire suppliers.

I guess I will look at 255/60R15's but do they fit the original wheel's???  Or some other alternative.

More research to be done tomorrow.

Thanks for all the great feedback.





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11/6/12 8:09pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
aceinthehole Lifetime Member
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Valley Springs, CA - USA

Vette(s):
1978,Metalic Money Green W/Gold emblems,TH350 w/gear splitter,black & grey interior.1978,two tone,Metalic Rootbeer & gold ,Doeskin interior,auto. trans. 1981, Silver w/mirrored T-Tops,4 spd, charcoal interior.

Joined: 11/20/2005
Posts: 3618
 Seems the most popular size is the 255x60 15s. I haven't ever heard of clearance issues until you take the next step to 275x60 then the parking brake cable interferes at the trailing arm mount........ Luv them fastbacks Thumbs Up.

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Just can't wait to get on the road again.

 
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11/6/12 8:37pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
rod7515 Lifetime Member
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Red Lion, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1974 White 350 Corvette, TH400 Automatic 1972 Tangerine /Go Mango Convertible 383 Stroker, 2004r Automatic

Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 1172
I've been selling tires full time for the past 10 months for a good size tire company here in Pa. Up until that time I was selling tires in my auto repair shop before I sold my business. This is what I know about tires from what I see on a daily basis.

First, 15" sports tires are getting harder to find. Almost, if not all cars have gone to 16" - 18" tires as standard so the tire manufacturers have not and do not plan on producing near as many 15" tires for our older classic / muscle cars. Many of the classic/muscle car owners have gone to the 17" & 18" for a few different reasons. First, some feel they look better while others like the stock sizing looks.(rotors and calipers stand out) 2nd reason for the larger tires is the size availability is much better. What many dont understand about going from a 15" tire to a 17" / 18" tire is that the outside diameter can be matched to what your stock tire was. Then you have many selections on the width of the tires. Todays wheels/tires are all about styling so manufacturers see that as profitability potential, thus the reason they have gone to the newer sizes.

Now when it comes to what brand should I buy, and remember. this is only my opinion and we all know about opinions!
With todays quality control techniques in manufacturing, todays major brand tires are all very good. Remember this about your car, Very few of us race our cars, so the performance side doesnt come into play. (although I'm sure we all drive aggressive at times) (if you plan on racing its a whole other ballgame) Also, mileage usually doesnt matter as the tires get old before they wear out.  Now when it comes to "my car handles great with brand X", its usually because of the difference in the wear and condition of the suspension/alignment. Take care of that part and it comes down to what tire makes me feel good. Some look at pricing to make them feel good, others want a sidewall that looks good. Then there are those that want a tread design that looks aggressive.

I could go on and on about tires but by now you should see that when it comes to "what tires should I buy" only you can make the right decision. I will say this, one of the most important part of the tire purchase is to be sure that the person/place that mounts and balances your tires does a good job. Make sure all old weights are removed before the new tire is mounted.(this includes removing old stickon weights) The rims are cleaned well, they use ruglyde on the beads and you put in new valve stems. Once you get the tires on go drive and enjoy the ride!

Best of luck,
Rodney






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11/6/12 9:23pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
Jaws79 Lifetime Member
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Sykesville, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Corvette Coupe Corvette Light Blue Midnight Blue interior Mirrored Glass T-tops

Joined: 4/27/2008
Posts: 4211
From 78 up the optional size tire was 255/60-15. The wheels are the same regardless of what tire size you use. In 78, Chevrolet increased the size of the wheelwell to accomodate the larger tires. I agree with most of what Rod said, except I feel that wet traction has to be a consideration. If you use you car, you will be caught out in the rain sooner or later. Ask anyone that has driven in the rain with bad or cheap tires and you'll see it makes a difference. The only thing that holds your Vette to the road is the tires. Don't cheap out!
 
Barry
 
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11/7/12 9:19am - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
ebo Lifetime Member
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Holland Patent, NY - USA

Vette(s):
#1 *1980 White, Red interior 14,000 mile #2 *1980 Red, Oyster interior 93,000 miles Resto project car, rebuilt to 383 stroker

Joined: 6/3/2008
Posts: 4395
Rod, most excellent post, Barry I'm with you, even thou it took me a while to like the lettering on my Indy's I bought them because of traction in wet conditions. I remember a post where a member had new goodyears on and went down a wet exit ramp and looped the car around.
Firestones as rated by tirerack had the best wet conditions. I remember the full day of rain we had traveling to the MAMO gathering and was glad I had the stones on.
Evil Smileebo 


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11/7/12 2:30pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
KDADDY79
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Dutchess County, NY - USA

Vette(s):
White '79 Corvette. It's a driver.

Joined: 8/27/2007
Posts: 2484
G.T,
Mine is a '79 too.
I had the BFG 225/70-15's for about seven years. I liked 'em alot!
After reading many good reviews about the Firestones, I went with the Indy 500 255/60-15 size. Mine do rub just a but, but only when it's in reverse and I cut the steering wheel all the way to the right. It's such an infrequent and minor occurrence I don't spend time worrying about it.
I think they look and ride better, too.
Please let us know which tires you decide to get.
 
Kevin


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11/8/12 11:28am - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
GoodyT
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Orlando, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Yellow L-82 Auto - SOLD 1994 1992 White ZO7 6 Spd - SOLD 1998 1978 Silver Anniversary L-82 4 Spd - SOLD 2006 1979 Silver L-82 4 Spd - 18,451 miles 1 owner car, found having been in storage 20 years. Purchased in 2010.

Joined: 4/2/2005
Posts: 28
Again thank you all for awesome information, you are the greatest.

Latest is that Firestone has discontinued all of the recommended tires that have been mentioned and the only option as of right now is the BF Goodrich TA's. 

But I will keep looking and try and find something as I do NOT want to drive my Vette around on these ancient tires.  There is no MFG date on my tires so they seem to be pre 1993 as the consensus is that's when tire manufacturers started to stamp dates on tires.

The Firestone Firehawk SS10 that is currently on my car was also discontinued in or about 2003, so yes these are OLD tires.

Again thanks for all the great info.




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G.T 

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11/8/12 1:07pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19458
GoodyT said:There is no MFG date on my tires so they seem to be pre 1993 as the consensus is that's when tire manufacturers started to stamp dates on tires.


That's not true....tire dating has been done for many years....long before '93. The date stamps are normally only on the back side of the tire, so if you did not look there, you wouldn't see it. I have an article somewhere describing date de-coding on tires....I'll see if I can dig it up this evening when I get home. I think there was also a thread here before that had the same info. I can check that now....

I did find this in an old thread...it gives basically the same info....

rod7515 said: Mike and follow C3VR members, I dont know what I was thinking last night when I posted but I had to go back and edit to correct what I said. It was late and I was sneaking in some reading while doing my month end closing for work which I am late on! (Again)! Any way the build date always follows the DOT number and can be either a 3 digit or 4 digit number. Its usually only on one side of the tire and can be inside or outside depending on Manufacturer and mounting. If its only a 3 digit number the first 2 will be the week of the year and the last digit will be the year. 3 digits are 90's tire. 4 digits are usually the 2000 and newer. Hope this clears up my mistake!
Rodney

Also, the Federal Guvment started requiring a uniform dating on ALL tires starting in '71. Up until then, each manufacturer had their own way of dating tires.
The original Firestones on my '74 are dated.....can't remember the dates, but I do know I have checked them.





|UPDATED|11/8/2012 11:07:29 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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Joel Adams
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11/8/12 1:07pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
Adams' Apple Lifetime Member
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
#1-1974 L-48 4spd Cp Med Red Metallic/Black deluxe int w/AC/tilt/tele./p/w-p/b/ Am-Fm/map light National/Regional/Chapter NCRS "Top Flight" #2-1985 Bright Red/Carmine Cp.L-98/auto Member: NCRS, NCRS Texas, Corvette Legends of Texas

Joined: 11/8/2003
Posts: 19458
And I found this on the NCRS discussion board, from a retired Firestone employee...

Bruce, Ok I'll give this a shot.
I believe they started requiring the DOT on tires around 68 or 69
. You are correct in the date code with the "347". It would be the 34th week of a year ending in "7". Before 2000 they used a 3 digit date code (first 2 for week and 3rd for the year) because they didn't figure tires would last more than 10 years (OR maybe they didn't figure ANY of us NUTTY classic car enthusiasts would need to know what decade it was produced ). After 2000 they started using the "4" digit (first 2 for week and last 2 for year). The first 2 digits in your DOT (VJ) is where the tire was produced, which in this case is Pottstown Pa. The rest of the numbers/letters had different meanings for each tire manufacturer. At Firestone some of the numbers designated which curing press and mold was used. Not sure what other manufacturers called these numbers but at Firestone they were the "serials". Before we went to the 12 hour/ 7 day operation we would change the serials in the curing molds on 3rd shift (3-11) Saturday. To muddy the waters more, on the set of numbers you posted I'm guessing "N08B" is on one tire and "N15B" on the other? If so that would be the curing presses (N08 and N15) they were cured in. Since they cure 2 tires per press each time one tire would be stamped "N08A" and the other "N08B". Now that you are TOTALLY confused, have fun at BG!!!





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11/8/12 1:47pm - Reply: 'Re: My 79 tire issue'
GoodyT
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Orlando, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1979 Yellow L-82 Auto - SOLD 1994 1992 White ZO7 6 Spd - SOLD 1998 1978 Silver Anniversary L-82 4 Spd - SOLD 2006 1979 Silver L-82 4 Spd - 18,451 miles 1 owner car, found having been in storage 20 years. Purchased in 2010.

Joined: 4/2/2005
Posts: 28
I stand corrected... Found MFG date on inside... tires are per 96 so time to change.

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G.T 

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