I just tried to install a new tube. The stem would not go in the hole in the rim, so I removed it from the tire and roughly measured it. It is almost 5/8 of an inch wide. The other stems on the other tires I have are all about 7/16 of an inch wide at the base. What gives? Almost 3/16 of an inch wider.
Is anyone else having this problem? Just got the tube last week from Langs.
That was a problem several years ago Dave. I thought it had been fixed, apparently not. Dave
T rims are made for metal stem tubes, so with the modern tapered rubber stems, you have to make the hole in some rims or felloes just a bit wider.
Original Model T valve stems were 5/16" diameter. The ferrule in Model T wheels won't fit modern valve stems.
You have to drill out the ferrule to fit the larger valve stems.
Yep. I know that problem all too well. Not wanting to modify the rim, I just widdle the valve stem down with a good sharp knife. The insert is metal, so you don't have to worry about cutting too deep. Just make sure to do a few test fits so you know that you got it right, and make sure you don't puncture the tube with the knife.
We had a puncture in April in our 1911. I was sad to see one of my Australian made Dunlops give up. Used the brand new spare tube I had under the seat. To cut a long story short I had to remove the ferrule out of the felloe on the side of the road to fit the tube to continue on with the rally. Now I have a tyre to remove again and a wheel to repaint. Drilling the ferrule is not an option on the side of the road. Man was I angry at the time.
Just another example of a crap parts that are "close" enough and do not fit or function properly without modification.
Will have to give that a try. All I can do is waste a tube, and if I wittle away from the tire I should be all right.
If you enlarge the hole make sure that you make it nice and smooth so it won't cut your valve stem.
Just an observation on the crap parts comment. I doubt very much if these tubes are being made specifically for Model T's. Most likely they are a generic tube and probably fit just fine on other makes. I don't think there is a big selection of tubes out there to choose from. I know a few years ago it was impossible to get any tubes. These are probably all that are available - or the best that are available at the moment.
The metal stem tubes do have the correct valve stem size and fit just fine.
I have mentioned that to Coker many times. They don't care! Maybe the old man might do something, but the hired help doesn't seem to G. A. S.! I have several old stems from the Riverside days, that had genuine Shraeder stems on them, and they worked.
I looked at the metal stems. They cost a lot more and it looks like they are a real treat to install. It was hard enough just getting the tire on and then trying to get the inner tube to go in to the tire. Maybe I am doing it back a$$wards.
If you think the metal stems are easier and the cost is worth it, please let me know. Right now I have my knife out and I am whittling away at all the excess rubber on the stem.
I think I'd go with widening the rim hole myself. You're just weakening an already crap product.
I got metal stemmed tubes for my touring. They were pretty easy to install. Whether they're worth the cost depends on how important originality is to you. I'm not above some modern modifications, but I preferred originality for this.
Coarse sandpaper shaves them down too.
This might be slightly off-topic as it does relate to my Model A I had the stems fail on two of the tubes in my 28 A and being cheap I cut the failed stem out and replaced it with a metal stem. I then re-installed the tube. The repaired tubes with the metal stems have lasted longer after the repair than they did before the repair!
Royce, 5/15" seemed a little too small for valve stems so I measured one at the valve cap thread and found that thread just a few thousandths under 5/15". All the metal stems I have seen in old tubes in Australia have been larger than that, some around 7/16", others 1/2".
Were your 5/16" ones plain stems or were they threaded for the bridge nut like ours?
Just for interest.
Allan from down under.
FYI - the valve stems on the wire wheels are a smaller diameter than those for the wooden wheels. The wire wheel metal stem tubes use a bridge washer with a smaller diameter hole, a smaller diameter lock nut, rim washer and dust cap. The rubber stem tubes all have the same diameter valve stem, so the fit problem may be worse on wire wheels than on wooden wheels.
Here's a picture of an original 5/16 - 24 metal valve stem on my '17 runabout.
Carving away the rubber 'works' simply to make it go thru the hole! But I don't think anyone has mentioned the next problem yet...with these more modern arrangements, when that rubber wall gets too thin...the valve body can start walking out of the support as it is just a friction fit in many cases!
Answering Dave question, metal stems are fun...they do cost more...in theory you can move them to the next modern inner tube needed with a sharp knife, some good rubber glue and remembering how you use to do bicycle tires...and if you get to put them on Clinchers for the first time, boy are you in for a surprise...but yes, just when you are ready to throw in the towel you do eventually figure it out with maybe 1/64" to spare
I converted and run metal stem on the '15. Simply because I wanted to add the brass covers (before they had the look alike for modern stems available) There WAS a problem where the brass nut like royce shows a nut on his and the thread on the valve body had different thread pitch, but I converted the nut to a single thread and they stay in place. Get a cup of coffee when you want to add air if you go this route...you twist forever and a day to get the dust covers off.
The '25 has rubber stems, but that's my own enigma in the making as I really am trying to see just how long red rubber inner tubes can last I was going to replace the red rubber in 1979 0n a just because basis, and decided to go for it with spares available. Have NEVER had a flat on that one! (I've 'worn out' two sets of modern shelf spares while waiting, one set was kept folded because no one told me otherwise and was confetti when opened to check, the next had 'some' air blown into them and hanging on a dowel, but they just went and cracked anyway in time)
The '19 has the fat rubber stems whittled down and was that way when I got it. That one is interesting as it has demountables and someone prior managed to bend the valve stems a bit anyway. They hold air, take a charge, and I figure the valve body won't walk out with the kinks in the middle Someday I'll do something with them.
After seeing what happens to rubber stems just from STANDING I wouldn't buy a rubber stemmed tube if they were 10¢ on the dollar.
I bought most of my metal stemmed tubes from Lang's and there have no problems with them not fitting correctly.
I have just bought metal stemmed tubes from Snyder's and expect it to fit properly too.
I've cut into a number of tubes to install metal valve stems - some of the tubes do not have much of a connection between the metal inner part of the stem and the rubber. A number of people have had rubber stem tubes fail where air leaks up between the rubber and metal parts of the stem. So I would not want to cut into the rubber stem to shave it down to fit. In my opinion, if you are going to cut into it, why not cut the whole stem off and insert a metal stem?
For me, original metal stems were the best option - picked up at swap meets or in a lot on Ebay, they can cost just a dollar or two each, fit correctly, can be reused in a new tube later and look original (because they are :-) ).
Royce, that's exactly what I measured. The valve cap end is very close to 5/16" but the stem which goes through the felloe is more like 7/16" We do have larger ones at around 1/2" too.
Allan from down under.
The valve stem in my '17 is passing through a 11/3" hole in the stamped metal ferrule in the rim. Modern metal stems from Snyders, Langs, Universal, Coker etc are 3/8-24 thread. The new valve stems won't fit through original Model T valve stem ferrules.
Correction to my last post -
I checked the threads on the original valve stems for Model T and found they are in fact 3/8" - 28 TPI. The dust covers are 1/2" - 28 TPI, same as current reproduction valve stems.
Here are a bunch of Model T original valve stems. Wood wheel type on left, wire wheel type on right.
Valve caps went from cast brass on early T's to stamped brass with nickel plating later on. All used an adapter between the cap and the stem. Here's a few:
I used a long taper center punch to enlarge the holes in a rim for the newer tubes. It works really well. Insert the long punch in the rim hole and go around and around to enlarge the hole just enough to allow the stem to go through the rim hole. You cant tell hardly tell it was enlarged.
I have had good luck fitting these with the aid of a 90 degree die grinder and a fine sanding disc. You don't need to take off much to make the stem fit. When ever I'm faced with the option of modifying an original part or the new part that doesn't fit, I opt to change the new part.
Actually, there were two sizes of tube stems before 1921. The "rear" stem for the 30 x 3-1/2 tube was 15/32" dia. x 26 tpi. The "front" 30 x 3 tube stems were 13/32" x 28. After 1920, all tubes had the 13/32" stem.
Go with the metal stem tubes. Beside the fact they work--If you happen to show it at an AACA show they'll crucify you for rubber stems--you might as well have exposed Phillips screws!
I won't use rubber stems Period! been there and done that.
Apparently, there's a way to "undo" enlarging the hole for metal inner-tube valve stems. Nice to have that option.
Twice, I have seen that rubber stem get the size of an orange and then all the air leave the tire.
The larger stem was probably a fix for this problem that has often been reported by other T owners.
Then too, the rubber material may not be as strong as it used to be when the tubes were MADE IN USA.
I still have some old Wards tubes that have Schrader rubber valve stems, and they go through the holes in a WOOD FELLOE wheel fine. The problem is the maker of the tubes. I'm sure Schrader still makes the correct valve stems, but Coker, Lucas and the rest of them are not interested enough to correct the problem. The metal vulcanized valves stems are a joke! The are way to big in diameter, and were never vulcanized to the tube in the first place. Refer to the photos that Royce posted above!