Rich I am not going to agree or disagree with the points you make - but I would correct one point.
You state that tires are hand made. This was largely true in the earlier times, but most current tires made in mass production quantities are made with computer controlled or robotic equipment to much tighter tolerances than those of your and my times.
While hand made tires made in small batches can be made to tight tolerances (I recall favorably the Goodyear Race tires we had in the late 1970's and early 1980's), the tendency of most hand built tires is to exhibit more variability. This is also true of tires made in small batches (maybe 50 tires or less) due to low demand such as our odd sizes.
You may blame this on operator variability /inconsistencies, or learning curve because the last time a particular tire size was made was a year or more back, or raw materials issues (each tire size will have a unique set of raw material configuration / widths, etc), or simply the hand build process.
This is particularly significant on belted tires - either radial or the old style bias belted tires. In the 1970's when bias belted tires came out there wee a number of recalls due to belting not being straight. The effect of belt inconsistency was doubly bad - it caused the tire to tend to wander more - and because the belts (particularly steel) added more weight at the maximum diameter of the tire, any imbalance due to the belt had much more effect. I experienced this first hand on my 1968 Plymouth Sport Satellite. This was the beginning of the urgent need for more attention to improve product consistency and tighter tolerances.
High volume mass produced tires these days are almost always built with computer controlled equipment and / or robotic devices which produce a much more consistent product - both from tire to tire and within an individual tire (minimal weights to balance, etc).
Specialty tires such as our reproduction tires and odd sizes made in small batches are probably still mostly hand built - so your point about hand built tires is in my opinion valid, but comparing those to your Michelins or Hankooks made on more precision computer controlled equipment is not realistic.
One additional point I will make is that the Coker Classic I have (2002 vintage NoS) was made in the old style clamshell mold. The Michelin NoS H78R14 I have were made in newer style segmented molds. The difference is the segmented molds are much more friendly to the manufacture of steel belted radials since they require less distortion of the tire and its belts in the uncured state going into or coming out of a fixed circumference mold.
Most, but not all of the mass produced tires use the segmented molds - I believe my most recent Cooper Trendsetter in 235/75R15 still used the clamshell mold.
Cooper Trendsetter SE P235/75R15 105S - DOT R7HL C2T 2216 (Corporacion de Occidente, S.A. de C.V., Mexico)
On 5/10/2018 2:10 AM, 'Rich Barber' c300@xxxxxxx [Chrysler300] wrote:
I have no connection with the tire industry and only about 65 years dealing with tire issues. Mostly as a consumer, but also as a tire buster in the ‘50’s. And having a close friend that built tires for a major in Des Moines for many years.
I started rambling here but will resist and just surmise that Coker management knows about the quality of every tire they ever sold and cannot risk sharing the information for product liability reasons. Recalls, lawsuits, inspections & replacements would be disastrous. Word of mouth (or via the net) will highlight the problems but the volume of problematic tires and number of complaints probably are too small to attract a class-action lawyer or generate any interest at DOT. We critics may even be risking sued by the vendor unless we have first-hand information on poor quality and proof that management knew it. Most employees of major and minor corporations have had that lecture from the law department. No writing, no e-mails, no conversations about product issues. Trespassers will be violated.
Tires are hand-built, quality is variable and bad problems can get by inspectors. There is no excuse for a new tire being far out of balance. Poor design and/or construction/build can lead to extra thickness of rubber and cord where the ends of the belt overlap. Invisible from the outside, but fairly visible inside.
Caveat emptor. Keep sharing your experience with various tires but be careful about your wording. Word of mouth beats no word at all. Me, I’m running Michelins on my RV, Hemi-rango and Jeep. All these years, no problems with Michelins and they wear like iron. In the ‘60’s when 40,000-mile radials started appearing, the story was that Greyhound had been running Michelin radials on their buses for years with no problems. Sears broke the ice and started offering Michelin radials and I did put a set of Goodrich radials on a ’64 Corvair I had. Made it into a much better handling car. I did slap an inexpensive set of Hankook’s on our 300K and expect them to perform well for years. The P215’s are a little small in appearance but have more than adequate load-carrying ability and have narrow WSW, also. Sure, I would have bought a set of Michelin P225’s or P235’s with 1-1/8” WSW if they are available. But they were not readily available. I hate to think about the number of hours so many of us have spent thumbing through tire catalogs or surfing the net to see if just the right tire at a fair price would magically show up.
And, I said I would not ramble. Sorry.
Beautiful Brentwood, CA
From: Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <Chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> On Behalf Of Keith Boonstra kboonstra@xxxxxxxxxxxx [Chrysler300]
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2018 5:38 PM
To: Noel Hastalis <cpaviper@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: Lindsey <lindsey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; Gary Gettleman <gary.gettleman@xxxxxxxxx>; Harry Torgeson <torg66@xxxxxxxxx>; Chrysler300ClubInternational <chrysler300@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Re: [Chrysler300] Coker Tires way past 'best before date'
I just looked back in my email archives and I note that I was in conversation with Bill Chapman, the owner of Diamond Back, over five years ago regarding big 14" tires. Bill assured me their Thailand production and market debut was just around the corner, and with just a little patience we would soon be able to order them. I would occasionally contact Bill to check on progress.
Not long after that, political turmoil in Thailand was said to be thwarting current chances for production. Then the politics settled down there, but one reason and another always held off production just a little longer, yet I was assured that truly these 27.5" D - and eventually even the 28.5" D tire we really lust after - would soon be in stock at Diamond Back. Just please be patient a few more months..I finally grew weary of the same story over and over, and I haven't called for Bill in maybe a year now. Sounds like the story line has now been passed to James. So many of us wish it could be believed, but I no longer believe it to be a possibility worth waiting at all for.
It might be more fruitful for a for a posse of 14" tire fans to approach Corky Coker and lay out the problem to him in very serious terms. Is the Coker Tire Co. aware their tires fail so often and so catastrophically? Do they understand the reason they do and what in their production process can be corrected? It seems a little incredible to me that Coker would actually be satisfied with offering a poor product that simply looks good - but is an utter failure in serving its intended purpose. Would they be willing, for a price, to step up their game and produce a well-built tire that could perform safely at highway speeds?
Does anyone in our 300 Club have a connection to Corky Coker, or anyone else in a managing position at Coker Tire, that could be used to begin a conversation with them on the subject?
On Tue, May 8, 2018 at 6:54 PM, Noel Hastalis cpaviper@xxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:cpaviper@xxxxxxxxxxx> [Chrysler300] <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> > wrote:
Spoke with James at Diamondback today - still no good news from his shop for those of us running 14" tires - again he said "Hoping for next spring" so I'll keep running my 8 year old Diamondback tires with 45,000 miles on them for at least this year. He said American Classics are manufactured by the same folks who manufacture Coker Classics - at locations in Indiana and in Mexico. I'll be curious to hear your experiences with these tires over extended trips of highway driving.
Sent from my iPhone
On May 8, 2018, at 4:38 PM, Lindsey lindsey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:lindsey@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> [Chrysler300] <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> > wrote:
Do we have any new updates on the Coker 14" whitewalls that have been coming along for several years? I have had good results from my last set after having the rims balanced first. Have to check when back home, but probably well over 12,000 miles and most at highway speeds up to 95 mph. Usually 75-80 on your nice midwest interstates. I was not happy until Coker suggested getting the rims balanced. New ballgame after that.
High 80's in Winnipeg area yesterday!
Sent from my iPad
On May 8, 2018, at 12:10 PM, Gary Gettleman gary.gettleman@xxxxxxxxx <mailto:gary.gettleman@xxxxxxxxx> [Chrysler300] <Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:Chrysler300-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> > wrote:
Thanks for your updates on the F tire project.
Have you had a chance to run them at speed. How about the balancing process.
On 5/1/2018 3:17 PM, Harry Torgeson torg66@xxxxxxxxx <mailto:torg66@xxxxxxxxx> [Chrysler300] wrote:
I just installed American Classics and are happy so far, but have not got on the freeway yet.
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