Olympic Tire Question

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Olympic Tire Question
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Tuesday, August 04, 2015 - 09:40 pm:

I picked up a set of four garage stored new never used 30x 3.5 Olympic tires (made in Australia) with paper labels still on the tread at and estate sale a while back.

When were these last made?

Any tips on mounting tires that have been stored for 20, 30 or more years?




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Val Soupios on Tuesday, August 04, 2015 - 09:56 pm:

I picked up a set of Goodyear Diamond Tread tires that were NOS, stored inside and still in the wrappers for my 1930 Plymouth. It was 1962 and the tires were 30 years old. I was able to mount them easily but the sidewalls blew out on all of them after less than 50 miles because the cord had rotted. There was no visible deterioration, the tires were still supple and they mounted without showing any sign of side wall cracks so be careful if you decide to use them.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ed in California on Tuesday, August 04, 2015 - 10:01 pm:

Late 70s or early 80s. Last batch were from New Zealand. I ran a set, they need to sit in the sun for a bit before putting them on, unless you are Popeye.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Tuesday, August 04, 2015 - 11:21 pm:

If they did in fact spend their entire life inside? They may be okay. I like and often do run very old tires, but usually they have nylon cord casings. I believe Wards Riverside tires were nylon casings after about 1960, most Allstate tires were.
However. I also have an Olympic tire from the early '70s. It was low mileage, nice tread, soft rubber, and very little checking, even though it had obviously sat outside for quite awhile. I tried to mount it on a rim to use as a garage roller. And using tire irons, it ripped the clincher bead. I still tried to put it on very gently to use strictly for a roller. And it ripped again. And again. So then I took it clear off the rim. And I ripped the sidewall with my bare hands.
It amazes me how nice a tire can look, and a cotton cord have rotted inside. It only takes a very small amount of water to find its way inside the tire, and cotton will rot. Nylon cord does not rot from water. As long as sunlight cannot get to the nylon? The casing will remain fairly strong until the rubber checks enough to begin falling off from around the casing.
I would probably try to use those however.
Do drive carefully, and enjoy. W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Wednesday, August 05, 2015 - 01:51 am:

Jay, you are indeed fortunate. Those Olympic tyres are legendary for their long life. They have wide feet on the beads to protect the tube, and apart from minor surface checking, they last forever the way we use T's today. I have a set on my roadster, restored in 1986, which have done around 30 00km. The front ones are almost due for replacement.

In the early 1970's we were advised that manufacture of those tyres was to cease. Those who could afford it, put away a set or two for future use. They still turn up occasionally, and I grab them when I can. The last 3, about 15% worn, were taken off a car and replaced with Wards Riversides.

Being stored for that long, the beads will have shrunk some. Do not try to force them on. You need a 14" rim and 185 x 70 series tyre combo, or a near equivalent. Deflate the tyre and lever the beads on over the tread and inflate it again. This will stretch the Olympic somewhat. It may even be beneficial to have another slightly larger rim and tyre combo to give them a second bigger stretch. Left in the sun for a couple of days, they will stretch and soften. Believe me, they are worth the bother.

I have found some with V notches cut into the beads to clear the valve stem when fitting them. This is a NO NO, leading to possible breaking of the beads when fitting. Instead, I fit the tube into they tyre with just enough air to hold its shape. Then I give both beads a liberal coat of the tyre fitting lube the pros use. Then fit the rim over the valve stem and squeeze both beads into place. Put a large clamp over the tread and rim and use this to keep the tyre beads in place. Then I proceed to lever both beads on at once. A helper with a second pair of hands helps here. Right at the end, one bead may go on without the other. Just be careful levering that last bit on, or you may pinch the tube.

Hope this helps.

I am envious of your purchase.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Thursday, August 06, 2015 - 06:09 pm:

So I've over inflated tubes in the tires out in the sun to stretch the tires. Will this help? and if so how long should I keep doing this before I try to mount them?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By paul iverson freeport ill. on Thursday, August 06, 2015 - 06:37 pm:

I think what Allen meant was to put your tire over a mounted tire on a rim that you let the air out of than put air in that tire to strech the new tire it sounds like a very good idea I would air it up slow so you dont break the cords maybe over a few days. also be careful with those old tires when tires get old they can come apart real fast when they get hot I dont think I would trust them to much keep it slow


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Thursday, August 06, 2015 - 08:14 pm:

Jay, what you have done will do no harm, until a tube blows out! Paul has the procedure outlined for you. Just take your time.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Thursday, August 06, 2015 - 10:45 pm:

Thanks guys for all your input here.

I just cleaned these tires up with tire cleaner and they look like they were just made last week. It's hard to believe the cords could be weathered when the rubber looks brand new.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Friday, August 07, 2015 - 12:15 am:

Jay, if you feel the cords may be weathered, just wrap the tyres up and ship them to me. I'll even pay the shipping, minus any fee you would have to pay to dump them!!!!!

Just trying to help.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Hunter, Lithgow, NSW Australia on Friday, August 07, 2015 - 01:46 am:

Guys, on the tyre (tire) theme, my '27 tourer has 5 Australian made Dunlop tyres. Dunlop hasn't produced round black rubber things in Aus since, I think, the late 1970's. I used to row past Birkenhead Point, on Sydney harbour, in the early 1970's whilst still at school. That site is now a shopping centre and has been for many years.

I'm about to replace my Dunlop tyres with 5 brand new Lucas covers. (Cover is a better term to use as it removes the tyre/tire spelling problem). The Dunlops, whilst heaving almost perfect tread, are showing many signs of age, cracking of the sidewalls particularly. I wil be keeping the Dunlops as they are a piece of history in themselves.

Cheers, Paul


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