My 15 touring came with a mixture of wheel types.
The rear wheels are 440/21 demountables and the tires are almost new.
The front wheels are 3.5 x 30 (non demountable), tires are in good shape but the left front was recently installed and was NOS and a BEAR to install !!
The mixture of wheel types doesn't bother me but the possibility of a flat does.
Since I have a spare demountable for the rear, I guess the question really boils down to - just how hard it is to patch a tube on the front 3.5x30 non demountables?
1. Is doing it on the car really the best way?
2. Is that NOS tire that was a bear to mount going to be difficult to change on the road, or will it have loosened up?
3. Better to carry a spare tube rather than trying to patch ?
4. Should I just not worry about it and carry towing insurance ?
It's your choice but two sets of tires and tubes is a pain! The Canadian cars were all 30x3 1/2 from the word go but never leave your new tubes in the shipping box until you need them.Bud.
If you don't care about being "correct", four 30 x 3.5 demountables plus a spare or two would be my choice. Being correct for 1915 (nondemountable 30 x 3 in front and 30 x 3.5 in back), I think the easiest approach would be to carry a couple of spare tubes. The problem there is that folded tubes will eventually crack on the folds. The spare tubes on my shelf have enough air in them to remove the folds, but that might be impractical when you're carrying them in the car. How difficult that NOS tire is probably varies with temperature. If it's cold it will be tough, and if it's warm it will be easier. That's why I lay tires out in the sun to heat up before I mount them. Even with a spare the towing insurance is probably a good idea, but I can think of some parts of the country where it would be a mighty long tow. I can't say anything about patching because I know nothing about the current patching products, if there still are any.}}
Spares? Thats what cell phones are for. The TT has two different size wheels and our Touring has two different size tires (non demountables), so no spares for me. Probably should carry tubes and a means of inflation.....but I don't. I do make sure I have a cell phone though.
Bud -- As Steve said, your car came with non-demountable 30 x 3's in front and 30 x 3-1/2's in the rear. After the demountable rim/wheel combination came out in the 1919 model year, lots of folks with older T's switched their wheels to the new type, 30 x 3-1/2" all around. That way, you could carry a pre-inflated spare, and it would fit either front or rear. It is really MUCH more convenient. You might be able to trade your 21" ones for some 30" demountables; then you'd need to buy only two more complete wheels/rims (plus another rim/tire/tube/flap for the spare).
I've mounted lots of tires & tubes in my shop but have been fortunate enough never to have needed to do it beside the road. And believe me, I don't want to.
A repair kit, spoons and a air pump was the standard years ago. Carrying a spare tube is not a bad idea if you can do so with out damaging it. Bear in mind that the tires and tubes years ago were prone to failure, the modern ones not so much. But getting out on the road with out some back up is not a good idea, even if the back up is just a cell phone.
Measure your front wheels! To me it looks like one of 3 things.
1. You have Canadian 30x3 1/2 front wheels.
2. You have a rear wheel that someone put a front hub into.
3. You have a normal 30x3 front wheel (24 inches diameter) that you someway forced a 23 in diameter (30x3 1/2) tire onto.
IMHO I think you'd be happier in the long run with 30x3 1/2 DEMOUNTABLES all around.
4.50-21 tires will last forever and I think are made in USA. 30 x 3-1/2 will run about 8000 miles and are made in Vietnam. Your car might look better with the 30 x 3-1/2 but 4.50-21 is much more serviceable. Just decide what you want and go with it.
On removing a couple of 21" tires from demountable rims...the fastner that keeps the rim from spreading apart is missing? With the tire pumped up and on the wheel you can't tell it's missing. Is this common? Do folks run rims this way?
Back when I and my pals were a Boy-Scouts, our scoutmasters and patrol-leaders hammered the motto, "Be prepared," into our little skulls (and we also learned that you can rub two sticks together until the cows come home, but you would never see a fire suddenly erupting into being).
But I digress (Always wanted to say that).
Being of a compulsive nature, I tend to carry a lot of tools and kits and junk that really aren't needed. I've got spare inner tubes, tire irons, a Marquette tire tool, a 12-volt tire pump, a first-aid kit, sun-screen, spare eye-glasses, toilet paper, an empty canteen and a pair of leather gauntlets. I blame the Boy-Scouts for this sickness.
Having driven my Model T around for three or four years, I've never actually used any of that stuff while on the road (Okay, once I used the toilet paper to clean my spare eyeglasses when I accidentally smeared sunscreen on the lenses). My other car, one I've been driving around for a long time, is my 1999 Olds Intrigue. Got something like 240,000 miles on it and have never needed to change a flat tire. True, modern tires are puncture-resistant, but c'mon, fifteen years is one heck of a long time. Same deal with my bicycle. I bought that thing twenty-five years ago and it still has the original tires—and never a flat.
It's not luck. City roads, because of the concentrated (and often impoverished) population they serve, tend to gather a lot of debris—and anybody who has driven the Cross-Bronx Expressway knows what I'm talking about. But we Flivver pilots tend to live and operate in suburban and rural areas which have nicely maintained roads. And unless, in the area, there's a bunch of horses throwing nails out of their shoes, we don't generally get a lot of sharp junk on the road.
Now, if I were out with organized tours every weekend, or if I were going to participate in something like the 2009 Ocean-to-Ocean Tour, then yeah, it would make sense to switch over to demountable rims with same size tires all around, and carry one or two inflated spares on the runningboard. But that's not necessary because the thousand or so miles I put on the car every year is really minimal exposure. Still, maybe someday my Model T will suffer a flat tire. But if that ever does happen, odds are it won't happen again.
When I bought it, my 1915 Touring came with "correct & original" non-demountable wheels; 30x3" tires up front and 30x3.5" tires in the back. Now, why the heck did Henry do it that way? The front tires, not requiring as much traction as the rears because they wouldn't be subjected to acceleration and braking stresses, could afford to be smaller and lighter—which, to the mind of Henry Ford, meant cheaper—and the guy who left off the other front door wasn't about to purchase more rubber than he absolutely had to (Canadian Fords, built for people who lived with equal parts of British and American influence, were produced with steering wheels on either side, so it made economic sense to have all their bodies manufactured with operating port and starboard front doors. And, as we know, they also had 30x3.5" tires all around. The Canadians simply got a better car—and no doubt, paid for it).
Being retired and married to someone who hates airplanes (I no longer fly), hates antique cars and would rather I sell my Model T and hand over the money to her so she could buy stupid things like groceries and a new roof for the house, I have to pinch pennies till Lincoln cries out for mercy, so there's no way I can afford to switch over to demountables. I also happen to like the look of stained & varnished wood and when given that treatment, non-demountable wheels look better because they have wooden felloes.
Now, because I don't expect to spend a lot of time changing flat tire after flat tire on the road, it doesn't make sense for me to go to the expense and aesthetic sacrifice of making changes to my car, so I'll keep the non-demountable wheels. On the other hand, because yours truly is the type of guy who wears a belt and suspenders at the same time, there's a spare inner-tube in both sizes as well as a patching kit in my runningboard toolbox. The little container of patches is dirt-cheap and non-space consuming, so what the heck, why not? (It also makes for a handy place to keep the tiny, little screwdriver I use to keep the screws tight on my spare eye-glasses)
All of my above baloneying is just a round-about way of saying, Don't give this thing a whole lot of thought. You don't need to.
You're lucky, Bob. Just about every time there has been a building or remodel project on our street, I get flat tires from nails they leave. Construction pukes can be such inconsiderate slobs.
The neighbor who drags me out early every morning for hike and exercise.