I am wanting to convert to demountables and wondering what all I need. What's the difference between clincher's and nonclincher's? I currently have 30X3 nondemountables. So I guess I need new wheels and rims (and tires) all around? If so, any way I can get these cheap? Not wanting to pay Snyder prices. I will check with my local club in St. Louis. But I'd rather get some old ones and refinish them myself.
I would contact Steve Thum or Dick Lodge in the St Louis area.
You can search e-bay or craigslist, but you never know what kind of shape they will be in unless you can look at them first. Some rims available might be Chevy rims, but they usually work with Ford wheels. Yes, you will need new tires.
You can also get hubs and felloes and make your own wheels for about the same price as sending them to Stutzman's.
Don't worry about getting 4 at once. You can always do 2 this year and 2 next year. Never know if you will get lucky and someone will want to switch to wire and will sell you his old wheels for a good price.
There was a set of four nice looking wood wheels with demountable rims and tires on T-bay a week or so back, but they quickly got bid up out of my reach, did anybody on the forum end up with them?
The spokes must be tight and not rotted away. The wheel must also run true. You need to check for these things on a car before you buy the wheels. If they are bad, it might not be apparent by just looking or looking at a picture. New spokes cost quite a bit, so whatever savings you make by buying cheaper wheels might be lost in repairing them to make them roadworthy.
30x3 and 30x3.5 are clincher tires for Model T's.
Do you have 30x3" all around? That's unusual but not unheard of, usually Ford put 30x3 on the front and 30x3.5 on the rear, but sometimes a couple of Ford owners pooled their wheels and made two new sets where one had 30x3" all around and the other had 30x3.5" to avoid the need for carrying double spares.
Clincher tires has a thick bead held by the rim that is folded in at both edges. 30x3.5 tires came on demountable rims on most T's 1919-24. There were several types of rims and wheels coming from different suppliers and they don't all match. Hap Tucker has described the situation in many posts at this forum, like this:
For 1925 21x4.50 demountable balloon tires came as a popular option. The 21x4.50 tires are more modern non clinchers with steel wires holding the tire edges tight to the rim. With the new style tires something needs to be done to be able to get the tire on the rim when the bead no longer could be stretched, so 1925-27 demountable rims are split and have to be collapsed with a special tool or a turnbuckle when mounting the tire.
Soon enough the technique we use today was developed, so in the last years the Model T could be bought with steel wire wheels with drop center rims. Drop center rims has a center section with a smaller diameter so the tire bead can drop in there while it's stretched over the opposite rim edge. When the tube is filled with air the tire can no longer go into the drop center and is thus secured on the rim.
Andy, also there are several different styles and manufacturers of the clincher wheels and rims, some will interchange, some won't(OK, they will, but aren't supposed to be used that way). Do your homework and decide what you want before you just start buying wheels and rims willy nilly. There are several discussions on wheels and rims here on the forum. Dave
A good summary of the 30 x 3 1/2 clincher demountables is located at:
30 x 3 ½ vs 21 inch Demountable Wheels please see:
Caution some 30 x 3 1/2 rims are NOT demountables. They were standard equipment in some South American countries and they were offered as accessories in the USA. Please see: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/264646.html
The important thing is to make sure all the rims will fit any of the wheels safely. I.e. so you only need one spare rim.
Hap l9l5 cut off
According to The Book, demountable clincher wheels became available on some Model T variants in 1919. When thus equipped, instead of having 30 x 3” tires up front and 30 x 3 ½” at the rear, all four tires were 30 x 3 ½” clinchers (so only one spare tire would be needed).
To make the change-over, besides buying four demountable wheels, you’d have to buy two 30 x 3 ½” tires and inner tubes to replace the 30 x 3” tires you’ve been using up front. Depending on your car’s vintage, you might also have to change from ball bearings to Timkin roller bearings up front. None of this would make any sense unless you intended to carry a spare, so you’d also be buying a jack and a fifth demountable rim, tire and inner tube.
Wheel-wobble tends to increase with demountable rims. You can lessen the extent of this problem with shims, but from what I’ve heard, it’s awfully hard to completely eliminate it.
Nowadays, flats are a rarity, but if you ever do suffer a puncture on the road, it’s a heck of a lot easier to bolt on your spare than it is to peel a flat tire off the rim, patch (or replace) the inner tube and re-mount the tire to the rim. Of course, you’ll have to do that at home, anyway, and either way, it’s a back-breaking, knuckle-skinning job, but at least your trip won’t be interrupted.
So far, I’ve been lucky with my non-demountables, but if one of my tires ever does pick up a nail in the road, I’m going to need a flatbed truck to get home. My insurance (with Hagerty) covers this.
My phone number hasn't changed. If you lost it just send me a private message. I will be glad to help you with this.
Why do you want to convert from nondemountables?
Hi Constantine, why not convert, not every body cares about being orignal any more and there are some well know T owners who have them already on their early veterans, I am looking at changing the back wheels over on my 1913 to demountables, I am fed up with getting my clothes dirty changing rotten flat tyres on the road side for me and other and wasting time when I can change in minutes and repair the flat later that day or night besides that I feel like my back will not let me and my gut gets in the way, I carry a spare tyre on the running board so why not a wheel ready to go and its called age... Ray
Constantine,I am surprised that you ask that question. When I drug my tourabout out of a barn yard in Nebraska it had been changed to demountables. I quickly changed to non demountables. One day I pulled over on the showlder to let a car pass by I ran over a broken beer bottle. I thought its stupid to not have demountables and eventually put a full set of demountables back on the T. When I bought my 16 it had mint non demountables on it. I did not wait but immediately put demountables on it. I drive to town in one of my Ts every day and into some long day trips about every other week into the mountains and I sure don't want to be changing a non demountable tire out along the highway.
Side bar: I would much rather wait and fix a flat tire when I get home on my Weaver tire changer and all my tire tools and compressed air.
Well I had demountables on my 15 when I bought it. I couldn't stand the way they looked on my brass car so I changed them to the original non demountables. My 11 also has non demountables as it should and between the 2 cars I've put about 6000 miles on the tires. I run good tires always and I've never had a flat. But if that happens, I'm quite prepared to change the tire the old fashioned way! I'll never go back to demountables now.
Whether to change wheels to demountables or not for everyone it is a different proposition but one does need to become efficient at changing tires by them selves as eventually you will have to.
My 1911 has its non demountables and I would never go back to the demountables that were on it when I got it. The previous owner had a spare tied on the running board. After 2 years carting it around I took it off. I later on bought the new non demountables. In 50 years I have only had 3 flats on the road but it is on its 3rd front tires and 4th rears but it is not that hard to do.
My 1915 has the demountable rims from the 1911 with new spoked wood wheels there is no where to keep a spare wheel or tire so I repair them when needed. In 19 years I have had 4 blow outs on the road. Each one miles from any help.
One was in Tennessee in a back road in 100F heat (nail) another in British Columbia (blown tube) 150 miles from a town. I take off the rim, place it on a plastic sheet remove the tire and tube. I carry extra tubes, it takes about 15 minutes to jack up, remove rim change the tube and replace the tire. Being able to remove the rim makes it easier to do.
Having a spare rim would make it quicker, but its still possible to get more than one flat in a day. If that happens you are no better off and often spare tires don't have enough air in them anyway.
I understand Ray and Bob having new knees or anyone with a health problem would find it difficult but a healthy person can easily change one of these tires if needed.
That only applies if you carry the gear to change the tire. Its nice and easy in your garage with a compressor and any other gear but on the road you need tire irons, a jack, a rubber hammer is handy and a good pump capable of pumping 60 psi. Most modern ones are not up to it.
If you are going to drive your T and you don't at least carry tools in case you do get a flat tire you will at some time get caught out and you can bet there will be no cell coverage available.
With the poor quality of tubes and tires you really do need to educate yourself to be able to change a tire by your self on the road without any help.
A lot of new owners have not been exposed to such things but it goes along with the adventure of owning a Model T ( or any early car)
At fifty years old non demountable would be kept at seventy no.
Driving back roads to stay out of fifty mile an hour traffic can be dangerous in todays world and back roads can be hard on tires.
Hi Ray, Dave, Ken. Hope you're all well.
My question addressed to Andy: "Why do you want to convert from nondemountables?" was not because I don't know the answer, but rather because Andy is new to this forum (and perhaps to Ts) so I wanted to be sure he's not thinking of changing only because he's heard or been told that non-demountables are "no good" or something to that effect.
It's certainly takes longer and is more physical to change tyres on non-demountables. So for someone with health or strength issues, or for someone who just wants to make their life easier it makes sense to use demountables.
Having said that, as Peter mentioned, having a flat tyre is very rare. I didn't have one on my trip.
Demountables don't look great on brass cars but there is another option...the new 30x3.5 wire wheels available, they are even easier to change tyres on than demountables, look great, and are period correct BUT are not cheap.
Hi Constantine, I have heard every argument for and against demountable wheels on brass cars and I am over it, you have said the correct reasons in the above posting and I should have done it years ago, 95percent of the public would never know the difference as they believe all "T" are black and has round wheels so its not them the owner is tiring to impress. Its only other "T" club members and owners or the odd veteran car club member who you are tiring to impress, you get the car to build and love and it becomes part of you and in some cases it takes over your life, some car even have a mind of their own and you can become part of it, you drive the car because you want to have fun and you can drive it were 90 percent of people can not. Club members can stand around and pull new members car to bits with nasty criticism and no one can tell me it dose not happen as I have stood there and listened to members do it and people do it to my car which has been on the road for 30 years and I know its correct.
Unlike you who drove across the world, I have only driven about 50000 miles in my car in Australia since it was rebuilt in 1982 and I have worn out one engine and had at least 8 flats or more that I can remember and worn out 3 sets of tyres with one set going in the trip to central Australia due to the camber of the road and its a pain in the rear to change tyres on the car, yes I am getting lazy and rounder in the middle and I have metal knees and I really dont want to bend over as my back hurts. If you want to have a show car or trailer queen then its correct but if you want to have fun and enjoy your car and do your thing then have what wheels suit you and now demountable's suit me, I have had wire wheels but sold them on as I could never get the full set so I have no idea how hard or easy tyres are to change on them and thats my two bobs worth... Ray
Well, I guess I am one of the stupid ones. The '22 TT indeed has demountables.....'cause that's the way it came. The '18 Touring has non-demountables........'cause that's the way it came. While I do show them, neither are show cars. Both get driven regularly and sometimes on dirt roads. Certainly not trailer queens. I usually take both of them when I go to a car show. I park them side by side and when someone is interested, I tell them all about them. I point out the likeness and differences including the demountables vs. non-demountables. I am not trying to impress club members or anyone else. I'm trying to educate anybody who is interested. HAVING a Model T is a good thing. EXPERIENCING a Model T is a GREAT thing. Non-demountables are just part of the experience.
Ray, Common sense (and safety) always trumps keeping a car original, so you did the right thing in your situation and it's hardly a radical change anyway.
Then why not just get a newer car instead of altering an original?