I'm going to be needing two new rear tires for my '25 TT, current tires are 6.00 x 20 Firestones, with the split rim. Any one know where to find these?
Here's a source: http://www.cokertire.com/firestone-650-20-truck-tread-3292.html
Have deep pockets and be carefull installing them.
How about 7.00 X 20 U.S. Military (jeep) tires? Last TT I bought had these on the smaller diameter wheels with the lock rings
If you have the two or three piece split rims, be VERY careful with mounting the tires. They can kill you.
I could sure use some used 20 inch tires for a non-Ford. I would consider mounting someone's new tires in trade for keeping their old tires? I have been working with split rims since I was twelve.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks guys for the valuable info. Looks like between either Roger's link to Coker and George's suggestion on 7.00's which might be a bit easier to find, I should do OK. Love the help from everyone on this forum. These are going on a '25 Firetruck, someday will figure out how to post a pic of her, especially with her new shoes! Wayne, yes, you're very right about the split rims, my grandmother owned a tire store in Marion, OH and she always called them "widow-makers"--she had an installer get in a hurry and put a tire on without using the cage and lost his right arm over it. I was about 8 y.o. when I heard about it, you never forget that stuff! Needless to say, I'll have a tire shop do the work.
Tim, Good luck on your 25 TT. I also have one and love it. A year or so ago I had to buy a couple of new tires and could not find a tire shop that would install them for me. I think it was the liability involved So I actually installed the new tires and tube myself. The first one took some patience but really not that hard. I am assuming you have the one piece rim that is split and comes together with a locking mechanism at the split. If this is true I believe all rims and tires can be dangerous but these are not really the widowmakers we hear about. I actually put very little air in mine until they are mounted on the truck for safety.
Just a question of curiosity not of doubt.
How does it become safer if you put only a little air then put them on the truck before airing them up fully? If it's going to come apart while you're airing it up, it seems to me that on or off the truck would be a small matter. Either way you're in trouble.
I have to do my own 20 inch tire work because everybody is scared of the rims.
I wrap a log chain around the wheel and tire before inflation and use a clip type hook up to the tube so I can inflate without being on top of the tire.
I then as my dad taught me,use a long handled lightwieght hammer to tap the rim as it is being inflated to help seat the lock ring.
Henry, the dangerous TT rim is not the one I usually see which is cut all the way across from outside to inside. This one would be safer if pressured up after mounting in truck.
The dangerous one is the one that has a snap ring that fits in a grove on the outer edge of the main rim. This ring is not part of the main ring and can come flying off if not seated correctly in the main rim. Mounting the rim onto the truck would not make it any safer.
Henry it looks like Willie answered my question better than I could. The truth is I read it somewhere in these post that it was safer and you do have the rim locked in at all the lug bolts while on the truck. To be honest when I worked on the rims and got used to them what I did not know worried me much more than what I did know.
Willie you are exactly correct. I have what I call the "safer" type rims. I have been in the construction business all my life and recall a young man was inflating a backhoe tire with the dangerous type split rings in our town and was decapitated and lost his life. It can happen. And it did happen. The closest I think I ever came to dying while working on an old car is when a 2 blade fan from a Model A went flying by my head while I was working on the carburetor. I felt the air and noise but it flew so far out into a field I have not found it yet. I had read on the Model A site to never get in the direct line of the fan while working on a running engine. I really think that saved my life.
Thanks, guys. I have the split locking ring type on my TT. I've never had occasion to take the rear tires off the rims, so I've never had to deal with this.
I'm not sure I've ever seen the "safer" type. Are they similar to the 21" split rims often found on the front of a TT as well as on many regular T's?
Is that the same type of split rim/locking feature that was on the 5 ton and deuce and a halfs in the army? We always had to air those tires up in a steel cage. Very dangerous otherwise.
Yes Henry my 25 TT has the same type of rim on the rear as I do on the front. The fronts are just smaller. I do not know what was standard for the 25. But if you have the split locking ring type that is much more dangerous to work with. Are you saying the ring is 2 separate pieces?
Hi guys...since I'm reading things about "locking features" and such, thought I'd try to upload a pic of my rim that I started this thread about. I appreciate all the feedback, nice to see others have what I have--and am learning about- as I just got this firetruck a week ago and haven't had the time let alone the decent weather to open the garage door to run it and start tinkering, let alone get the tires off and in to the shop, once I order new ones. Hope I can get a pic up. Here goes---oh yeah, the front tires are the usual 30 x 3.5 oversize. No split ring, just demountable. You can see the "split" at about the three o'clock position.
No, Joe. The ring is one piece that just spreads apart a little and snaps into place to hold the tire in place. Of course, from what I've read about them, what I just wrote makes it sound a lot easier than it is. Problems occur when the ring is not properly seated, air pressure is applied, and it blows off with great force.
Other tires and mounting them can be dangerous as well. Years ago I had just taken a job as the director of Maintenance, Operations and Transportation in a local school district. This gave me responsibility for the school busses, among other things. The mechanic (I use the term loosely) had just installed a tubeless tire on a bus wheel rim and was about to set the bead. He looked at me, smiled and said, "Watch this". The then took a can of ether starter fluid, sprayed it inside the tire the entire circumference, and trailed it out of the tire. Quickly he then lit a match to the ether trail. There was a loud BANG and tire and wheel jumped at least four feet in the air. When it hit the ground the bead was set.
As soon as I recovered my ability to speak, I informed him in very clear terms that if he EVER did that again it would be his last act as an employee.
My eldest son calls that "the Redneck Olympics, tire seating division". It is a viable way to seat a tire on some types of rims. But sounds like that guy was having too much fun which equals unsafe (nine points for showmanship, only seven points for form).
Those are the two piece split ring type rim which are common on 20 inch model TT truck rear wheels. I have seen the one piece split rims in 20 inch on TTs (similar to the car 21 inch rims), but not many of them.
I like the rims like you have. You just have to be very careful with them when airing them up. They are, however, easy to do. And make sure when you have them apart that the ring and rim are both straight and fit well.
Congratulations on the new TT!
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Thanks for the info, and frankly, some words of encouragement. Like most of us, these things scare me to death. I'm actually afraid to even air up or even deflate the buggers for fear of the rim taking part of my body parts off. And unfortunately for me, these tires are rotted as hell! I think this might be why the guy who started the refurb stopped there and sold it. New front tires, new paint, runs decent on an otherwise untouched engine, bad rear tires. What's that tell ya? Bought from a consigner, so haven't been able to talk to previous owner. Anyway, your comments do make me feel a bit better, but I think I'll actually start a new thread titled something like can a guy get "regular" rims for a TT and just get away from all this?
Henry--you and I should talk someday--I am retired from the very same school position of 20-plus years. I'm sure we can commiserate and edificate!!
I feel somewhat compelled to point out the dangers of those rims for safety's sake. The difference between serious risk of potentially deadly explosion and reasonably safe is nothing more than a minor attention to detail.
The little understood truth is, that every tire, modern or antique, pumped up to a pressure over about 35 psi has potential for a deadly force explosion. But just like a chain-link fence can stop a speeding automobile, the woven casing within the tire generally holds back enough force to limit the explosion to a loud bang and a whoosh of air. Some sort of projectile is necessary for the explosion to become potentially deadly. The steel ring is that projectile.
A lot of good advice has been given on this site over that past few years. The most important things are'
1, Make sure the rim, ring(s), and ring slot are in good condition. Some rust and pitting is okay, but check for serious rust, reasonably clean, and no cracks. And check to see that the ring fits straight! Best advice is replace them if they are not really good, however with 80 year old parts that cannot always be done. They can be repaired.
2, Air the tire up slowly and carefully. After putting the tire onto the rim. Install the ring carefully without distorting it too much. Model TT type rings are usually easy (my dad's '68 Chevy 3/4 ton pickup are uncut and very tricky).
Put only about 5 to 10 psi in the tire. The bead may or may not slide out to contact the ring. Either way hit the tire with a medium hammer a few times (Vibration helps it to slide and center itself). After the ring has set into the ring groove, you should tap it lightly with the hammer also for the same reason.
The tire probably hasn't seated yet. Add about another 5psi. Tap again. If the tire has not seated by 20psi, let the air out and air it up again slowly. You may want to add a little soap onto the rim so the tire will slide more easily. I prefer not to add soap.
Several people on this site recommend wrapping rope or chain around the tire and rim (and around and around and around) to safety the ring. Whether you do this or not, ALWAYS be on the back side of the rim (away from the ring) when putting air in. The ring and about 95 percent of the potential shrapnel is on the ring side.
Look the ring over carefully to make sure it has seated and is properly centered (tricky because you should still avoid being directly in front of the ring). Once the tire and ring are seated, the edge of the tire sits over the inner edge of the ring and the ring can no longer lift up to come off. That means the only way it can come off is for either the rim or ring to actually break.
Once everything is seated and centered and tight, take the tire on up to your desired pressure (usually around 40 to 45psi. Still a bit slow, STILL staying on the side away from the ring.
Long enough for now?
Air up carefully, and enjoy the drive,W2
Thanks for the excellent advice! I'm going to print this out for reference in case "we" do decide to stay with this set-up as opposed to a different rim, and if we (me & a friend) decide to handle it ourselves. Still searching for a garage to do it just the same.
Did mine with no problems, just a bit of nerves. Got to remember all the safety advice, good luck with yours.
Thanks for the encouragement, Tom.
Boy you Cali guys sure do stay up late!!