I was lucky enough to score a pair of good used 20x6.00 tires for my TT truck from my friend Donnie Brown. I have good rims, but have never mounted TT tires. Does anyone have pics of installing your TT tires and tubes? Are rim flaps important? What are the pros and cons of metal stemmed tubes verses rubber stemmed? Chime in with any tips, advise or warnings please.
If your wheels have a snap ring to hold the tire on the rim, they want to kill you. Take them to a tire shop where they work on truck tires and have somebody with experience mount them in a cage.
No doubt those are the "lock ring" type of rims. I agree with Steve...farm it out!! I did on my TT Firetruck, and was worth every penny. Also definitely use flaps with it, as with this type of tire/rim arrangement, you don't want to take any chances of a leak.
Greg, this is one time when flaps are a must on a T. The tyre, tube inserted, with flap installed, are all dropped over the rim as a unit. Then the lock ring is installed to keep it all in place. As Steve cautioned, a cage is a necessary safety item, as there have been fatalities if the thing explodes as it is aired up.
The flap is needed because this type of wheel tyre assembly will allow water into the rim, and the consequent rust will damage an unprotected tube.
Allan from down under.
If you do it yourself, wrap a chain around the tire and rim in several places around the circumference and use an air chuck that locks itself onto the valve stem and use a remote valve to send the air downstream. If that snap ring comes off during inflation, it can KILL.
I do it like Hal. Make sure the grove and snap ring are clean.
It seems to me there was a thread on this subject a couple of years ago. In that thread I learned the difference between "split rims" and "lock ring" TT wheels. Someone even posted drawings of each, which really made clear the difference between the two.
As I recall, it's the split rim type that are called "widow makers". The locking ring type, while potentially dangerous, are not the ones that have the bad reputation.
If you can, post a couple of photos of your rims. IMHO you want to be sure you're using the lock ring type. If you have the split rim type I'd recommend replacing them. Way too dangerous. Once you're sure you have the locking ring type, then follow the good advice given above and have your tires mounted in a tire shop.
Henry, I think you're backwards--the lockrings are the ones that have to have the pressure to put them and hold them in place. The split rims have latches like all the 21 in T wheels.
Mike has it right. Split rims are the ones used on T's with 21" balloon tires. The rim is split all the way across and is held together by a latch. It looks like this:
With split rings, or snap rings used on trucks, there is a split ring that snaps into a groove in the wheel and goes around the outside of the tire like this:
It's that snap ring that's dangerous.
I think TT's are not T's with the same rims.Split rims as in truck rims are very dangerous snap rings not so much!After all this time the TT might have almost anything on it so check with a store/shop that works of farm tires,truck tires,equipment tires.Ask a pro!! Bud.
i think in the old days they called the the 21" car rim a collapsible rim, and the lock ring style has taken the name split rim probably from the truck industry that used them way up to the 70's. i have changed many, i like to put just enough pressure in to fill the tube, then hammer around the ring and look closely at the lock ring to be sure its seated, then i put my loader bucket on top with the valve stem exposed, and air it up. i like to beat on it again with a hammer after its aired up, so, hopefully! if its gonna blow it will blow then instead of when you are kneeing in front of it. sounds cruder than it really is, people have been doing it for a hundred years
From what little i know i think the split rims that were so dangerous were used in the 40 50'60's on smaller trucks and were [Budd stile] Snap rings should be checked on rims before tires are mounted for fit! For a few years i used to work part time for a Goodyear store on truck tires.Bud.
Question: how does the ring come off that is dangerous? Does it shoot straight out from the wheel, or whip around the outside?
I've seen this discussed a few times that they can be KILL YOU DEAD dangerous - just not sure exactly how the wheels are assembled or what happens if one turns loose.
An exploded (no pun intended) diagram would be very helpful.
The TT rim with the "snap ring" is dangerous.
But be prepared for sticker shock when you go get them done at a tire store. The local 1 charges 3 times the normal price of mounting a tire for the snap ring wheels.
If you do it yourself,which I do mine what few times it is needed,use a chain,wrapped several times and bolted together so it can not come unraveled.
Use the locking chuck.
Now here is 1 thing my dad taught me about this. Use a light hammer with a long handle to gently tap the ring all the way around once you get about 15 pounds of air in the tire.Do it again before full pressure. This helps to seat the ring.
My dad worked with these type rims as a teenager in hi school and on his job for 30 years as alot of military trucks use this style as well and the power company used alot of army surplus trucks.
To be honest,you should not stand over any tire and wheel when inflating,snap ring or no. All can be dangerous.
I do know they can kill as a storage building we used on my first job had a big dent in the ceiling.I ask the guy whose family owned the building what happened. His brother was beheaded there 10 years before by a snap ring and it went on up to the ceiling hard enough to dent it.
yup mac is right, they usually go thru the roof with your head along with it IF they blow. one important thing i forgot to mention is the ring has to be round, and fit in the groove. many times the ring is bent because some one got too violent when taking it apart, forcing the ring off without having the tire pushed down far enough to let the ring come off. so, check the fit on the wheel before the tire is on, make sure its round and fits in the groove nice and uniform all the way around and you'll be ok. i dont think its so much that the design is bad, but more that people are using bad parts that dont fit or are rusty. i owned a gas station in the 80's, and we had an old 20"wheel with 4 tangs welded on so you would lay the wheel to fix on top of that wheel so the tire is off the floor and then can be pushed down far enough to get the ring on and off easier. here on the farm i push the tire down with the bobcat forks, and on the old rotten rusty ones i cut a piece out with the chain saw so i can get inside and cut the metal bead with a torch!, or drive it around flat works some times too. Bud is right, the really bad ones were the budd style in the late 50's and early 60's that were a true split rim, split in the center like slicing a bagel, then they had a thin stamped steel ring about 3"wide in the center to hold them together. that ring was weak when new, and then they rust and can blow any time whether you just worked on it or not. they are the killers that not even a truck shop will fix today
Seth, the ring will basically come straight off the wheel. Greg I forgot to show you the tool for removing the "rings" without damaging them. Ill post some pics of the tool that is really needed if messing with split rims. As to the wheels being dangerous, Yes they are, "But" anyone can mount them that has respect for them and common sense. The Budd wheel mentioned above is the "bad" wheel that has really earned the reputation for being a widow maker. They can blow off while driving down the road. They are really a three piece wheel. There is also another wheel that somehow splits in the middle that I have never worked with that is a dangerous wheel. I found no photos of it. Below is a pic of the three piece type.
These pics are of the actual wheel that Greg bought from me. It is a very good wheel with nice ring and groove areas. One of the issues with fixing these wheels is "distorting the ring when removing them. That is where the "special tire tool is great to have. I like the flat bar type shown in the pics best. You use the square end to pry the ring loose from the wheel and "start it coming off. Then you insert the "croocked end. You place it in the opening between the ring and wheel that you just openend with the other end of the tool. Now with the handle of the tool pointing straight up, you "drive" the tool all the way around the rim with a big hammer. As you do this it will "unseat" the ring and remove it for you. By using the proper tool you will not "distort" the ring like is possible when using screwdrivers or regular flat bars. It is possible to do it without the special tool, but you need to pay close attention to not "distort the ring. When reinstalling the ring, make sure it is seated in the groove. I also like to lubricate the ring and groove a little by wiping a little grease on the ring and groove with a old paint brush. To air them up you can use a "cage" made for them out of pipe that will allow the tire to "roll" in between the pipes. A good cage will have about 4 or more vertical pipes on each side of the tire. You can also wrap a chain around them, but remember to leave the chain a little "loose" as you wrap it. If you wrap it too tight you will not be able to get the chain off after airing the tire up. As you air up the tire, "tap" the ring with a 2 to 4 lb hammer. Put a little air in the tire, tap the ring, put a little more air, tap the ring, ect ect. When the tire is aired up, look at the split in the ring. It should be almost closed up. 1/8 to 1/4 inch is about normal. Inspect the ring seat. "does it look OK. ??" If it looks OK, remove the chains or take it out of the cage put it on the truck and go for a drive.
One of the problems with finding a place to fix them for you is "Finding a place to fix them for you " Greg mentioned that the local tire shops would not even remove the old ancient, rotton, tire that obviously did not have any air in it. There are some places still doing them but are harder to find. I still run Ford "nesting" split rims on my Dodge car hauler. I carry a "slam hammer" and tire ring tool with me. Most of the times if I have a flat tire on the road I can not find a place to fix it. So I brake it down, buy a new tube from the tire shop that will not fix it. Put it back together, and if they will not let me use their air hose I have a little 12 volt pump with me .. One more thing about airing them up. The old timers around here just stand the tire up, with the ring pointing away from themselves (or anyone or anything). Then they just air the tire up. If the ring blows off it is going away from you. Now you will have to pick your self up off the ground and go inside to change your shorts, but you are OK... I do have a lot of respect for what these can do. The only person I know to ever be hurt by them was my brother in law. Him and a friend of his came to my house to use the tire changer and air hose while we were gone. When we came home I noticed tools laying everywhere, and a sheet of tin laying in the driveway to the shop. It appears they were fixing a split rim and both of them were drunk. When the ring blew off it cam up under my brother in laws arm, broke 2 ribs, broke his arm, and removed a lot of "hide" on his arm. Then the ring removed a sheet of tin from the roof of the shop. He healed up OK, but it could have been a lot worse. So I guess the "moral of the story" is "do not fix split rims while drunk"
Clayton was typing while I was typing .. The wheel he mentioned that splits in the middle is the "really dangerous one. I have even heard stories of them blowing off while driving down the road, and hurting people or whatever that was unlucky enough to be there at the time ...
those are good looking rims Donnie, nice clean ring and not rusty in the groove. they will go together just fine with some common sense as you say
Here is a pic of the "widow maker"
I have one of those tools, wondered what the double-offset was for. I also have a TT with the 20" wheels. The 23" rear wheels, split RIM are the earlier ones. (pre '23, I think). When I was a kid we had a 36 Dodge 1-1/2 ton truck with Budd 20" wheels. I changed tires on it, and worked with the rims very carefully, standing to one side when inflating!
Thanks for the widow-maker images. When I was about 5 or 6, a truck driving by (US99, now I-5) had one blow apart and it knocked down the picket fence alongside Ma Green's (the Cafe at the resort). I had just walked past there on my way back from the market (was in the house when it happened). The walk to town involved walking on the sidewalk of the Big Bridge over the Sacramento River, with traffic zooming by at 55 (nothing between you and the traffic, just the sidewalk drop-off which was a bit taller than city sidewalks). After that I would look both ways for trucks coming an then RUN across the bridge--I didn't want to get hit by a wheel coming apart! That's why I hated walking to town. When I was in 8th grade they built a new bridge for Park Avenue (Dunsmuir Ave now) so didn't have to walk on the freeway bridge anymore. (actually, they closed the freeway sidewalk then).
BTW, my TT rims look even better than Donnie's--lucked out when I found them! The wheels themselves look like NOS, but they came without the rims (dumb estate sale folks, probably threw the rims away thinking they were modern stuff).
With thank's to Clayton and Donnie who explained with pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!! The next step when your org TT rims/rings might be shot it should not be a huge problem to adapt a good used/or new set of [Dayton Wheels] for the TT!!! Budd Wheel/flange mounting.Dayton Wheel open center to mount on steel fellow or spoked hub.Bud.
Hey guys!! I appreciate all of the advice, tips and warnings. I think I will try the job myself when the weather warms a bit. In the mean time I need to order my tubes and flaps.
I consider Donnie Brown to be a good friend and great all around T'er. He has a wealth of knowledge of Model T's. If you have a chance to do business with him I highly recommend him.
Thanks again, Greg Ragland