Our Lowrider culture has been around for decades and thanks to the mainstream exposure we have gained over the years, what was once a West Coast hobby has now become a worldwide phenomenon. The extravagant paint jobs and clean wheel/tire combinations found on our rides have changed the world of automotive design, symbolizing the fact that our culture is still alive and kicking. While we have changed the face of automotive customizing, our designs, mostly in the wheel and tire realm, haven’t changed all that much; as the classic wheel and tire combinations we tend to prefer have gone on to become timeless styles.
Modern vehicle manufacturers are designing today’s cars with big wheels and low profile tires, nearly making the bias-ply tire a thing of the past until manufacturers like Coker Tires stepped up to fill the market void for consumers. Since 1958, Coker Tire Company has supplied automotive enthusiasts with the right tires for their collector vehicles and everyday drivers. The company has grown in leaps and bounds since its early beginnings as a B.F.Goodrich tire dealership, and it is now the world’s largest supplier of specialty tires and wheels for collector vehicles. From the Brass Era cars of the 1900s to the classic muscle cars of the ’60s and ’70s, Coker Tire has period-correct tires to fit many Oem applications, as well as custom designs for Hot Rods, modified cars, or in our case, Lowriders.
Whitewalls have always been the preferred tire for any Lowrider enthusiast, whether they cruise around in a ’48 Chevy Fleetline or a 1980 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The many styles of Lowriders differ greatly, but the goal is always the same make it low and give a style all your own. From the classic Firestone bias ply tires, made fo r the fat-fendered cars of the ’40s to the very popular Premium Sport tire, ideal for cars that roll on 13-inch and 14-inch wire wheels, Coker’s tire line can satisfy all walks of Lowrider enthusiasts. The new Premium Sport models feature a four-ply construction that greatly increases its load capacity (Load Range C), making these models a viable option for many applications. While these tires were designed for use on Lowriders, Coker decided to remove the “Lowrider” script from the sidewall to keep it clean, simple, and more versatile. Sizing is still the same as before, with a choice between the 5.20-13″ tires and 5.20-14″ tires. Both sizes have two available whitewall widths; the 5.20-13″ features your choice of a 5/8″ or a 1-1/4″ whitewall, while the 5.20-14″ comes with either a 5/8″ or a 1-3/8″ whitewall. The tread pattern will remain the same as well, so you can keep the Lowrider traditional look.
We ordered our tires from Coker and a few days later, they showed up at our door. When it’s time to mount your tires, it’s vital to find a shop that understands the technique involved with mounting these tires on wider wheels. In our case, we headed out to Diablo Wheels of Baldwin Park, CA., where resident expert, Gio, lent his vast experience to the mounting of our tires. Gio couldn’t help but to agree that these modern versions of the tire are far superior to the original models. Thanks to their increased load rating, it’s much more feasible to use them on classic Impalas or even the popular G-body Regals, which carry a 3,400 lb. curb weight. The quality of the whitewall itself is also much more durable, shining bright for longer periods of time. Gio mentioned that they used to mount more 13-inch tires in the past, and I explained to him that the rise in the popularity of the 14-inch 5.20 is more of a style thing. While used to lower the vehicle, the look becomes more exaggerated with a 14-inch when the car is laid out, tucking the whitewall into the fender wells and giving more visibility to the rim. Regardless of your choice, make sure that you go to a reputable tire shop to get your tires mounted. That said; we want to thank Diablo Wheels for taking their time to share their expertise on mounting tires, and for doing a great job with our new Coker tires. Now follow along, as we show you some of the steps that it took to mount these modern classic tires.
1. These old, used, cracked bias-ply tires were ready to be upgraded to the Coker Premium Sport 5.20
2. To make sure that your tires do not get damaged during shipping, Coker wraps the tires in a plastic liner.
3. The tires were lubed with mounting soap.
4. Time for the tire to be put on.
5. The mounting machine got the tires onto the wheels with ease.
6. As you can see, these tires are going to need to be stretched onto the wheel.
7. This is the trick to mounting these tires; the valve stem will receive a blast of air while another tank will blast a burst of air from the other side of the tire.
8. The tire will start expanding like a normal tire until it is on the bead.
9. Here is a look at how the tire will look once it is stretched.
10. These wheels and tires were balanced to help maintain a smooth ride when driving.
11. The decals were taken off before washing the wheels.
12. A little elbow grease and these tires were ready to be mounted on our Lowrider
13. These Coker Premium Sport tires were ready to roll!
Tread Width: 4.00
Section Width: 5.78
Overall Diameter: 24.30
Construction: 4-PLY NYLON
Max Load Capacity: 915@36PSI
Recommended Rim Width: 3.50 – 4.00
Tube Type: Tubeless
Made in the USA.
Improved full 4-ply rating for increased load capacity.
Vintage profile for that perfect look.
Hi Performance Lucas Oil Products Inc. Tech Tip Of the Month
Engine Break-In Oil Additive
In this months Lowrider Garage “Tip of the Month” series, we bring you an important but often overlooked tip that can make or break your new engine. Allow us to shine the light on Lucas Oil Products’ Lucas Engine Break-In Oil Additive. Break-in oil for a new engine is very important, as this is the crucial time that the seals on most of the internal components are settling. If you dont use an additive like Lucas Engine Break-In Oil with zinc, you are running the chance of blowing up your new engine.
Engine break-in is a necessary evil in all genres, from performance enhancements, stock rebuilds, and Lowriders; so remember to break in your engine before taking your car for a cruise by using Lucas Engine Break-in Oil Additive.
Engine Break-In Oil Additive – Tb Zinc Plus
Key Benefits include:
- Protects camshaft lifters and valve train during break-in period of motor.
- Excellent for flat tappet camshafts during break-in or as an additive to any motor oil to prevent premature wear.
- Exclusive blend of extreme-pressure additives.
- Add one bottle with every oil change to increase the zinc content of your motor oil.
- Designed for race applications requiring additional extreme pressure additives.
- Dyno testing shows a more efficient break-in when used resulting in less engine run time prior to race day.
To learn more about this and other Lucas Oil Products, log onto: