Forgive me for what is surely a "stupid question" but can someone explain what wheels the balloon tires available in 1926-1927 are compatible with?
My 1926 coupe was made in November of 1925 and currently has wood wheels with 30 x 3 1/2 tires. I like the look of the balloon tires but from my limited research it sounds like they won't fit on my wheels.
The balloon tires were 21 inch and smaller than your 30x3 1/2 . They take a different wheel and rim. They do ride a little better.
21" balloons won't fit on 30 x 3.5 clincher rims. among other things, the 21" have smooth sided beads which are made for a straight sided rim; not a clincher. You can use 21" balloons on 21" demountable rims on 21" wood spoke wheels or 21" wire spoke wheels. The 30 x 3.5 demountable clincher wheels, rims, and tires were used on a few early 26 models; usually very basic non-starter, non-generator low price 'leaders'.
The balloon tires really aren't "smaller", except in their inside diameter measurement. The outside diameter is the same.
4.50 x 21 has a 30" outside diameter. 21" inside diameter + 4.5" sidewall height X (2) = 30"
30 x 3-1/2 also has a 30" outside diameter, with 3.5" sidewall, giving a 23" inside diameter. 30" - 3.5 x (2) = 23"
Jerry, Are you a public school Math teacher? I know a bunch of high school students who couldn't figure your math out.
Two pictures, One with the wood spoke 21" wheels and the other with 21" wire wheels.
And that's the problem with some of today's high school students.
Would a '25 coupe come with 21" wheels or 23" wheels? My '25 coupe has clinchers on it, it is mostly original, but the wheels could well have been changed out. I believe(but have no proof)that it may be an early production '25. It has a few typically '24 features(don't ask me now what they are, I wrote them down SOMEWHERE!)) that I have found. It was assembled at the Kansas City branch plant. If they were typically supplied with the 21" wheels, would the factory send them out with 23" wheels until they were used up(seems unlikely) or the branch assemble them with 23" wheels until they were used up? Could the early '25 production have used 23" wheels and been changed over later in the year? Just curious.
21" Balloon tires were new in 1925 but not standard - it was a very very popular option at extra cost beginning March 6, 1925 while the 1925 model year started in august 1924, so it would be very possible to have a 1925 coupe with the regular clinchers.
I suppose they're demountable, non-demountable clinchers would be very odd on a closed car - they were only offered on the cheapest non-electric open cars, on closed cars demountables were standard.
Many thanks Roger. Yes they are demountables, Hayes brand. They look very much like the rest of the car, "patina" wise(read cracked paint, dirt and rust). Dave
I thoght I misread the question when I read Michaels start of the thread he has a 1926 model year coupe made in november 1925, not a 1925 model year coupe as David has. By 1926 model year 21' demountable wood wheels were standard on closed cars, but I'm sure it was possible to get 30-3.5" demountable clincher wheels installed by the dealer at no cost if you liked when buying a new Ford. There were fleet buyers who ordered their cars like that to have one size wheels on all cars, but eventually the economy of the balloon tires became evident since they lasts longer than clinchers. But the clinchers were in production until the bitter end - I don't think US made TT trucks ever got any other front wheels from Ford.
(Message edited by Roger K on December 02, 2015)
Roger, yes it is a 1926 model year made in November 1925. The previous owner told me they are original (which doesn't carry much weight, but hey it's something). They are demountable clinchers. The car is mostly correct otherwise, so I am inclined to keep them instead of spending money on 21" wheels. It sounds like they could be correct, and being an early Improved car, it might be a fleet car as you noted.
The non starter 1926 Model T Fords came with 30x3 1/2 tires and appropriate wheels. The improved engine flywheel had ring gears on all models. The tranny cover had a plate that could be removed and a starter added. So did the block for a generator. This coupe could have been a non-starter model and a starter and generator added later.
Did Ford make non-starter closed cars in the 1926 model year?
Never say never, but the MTFCA Encyclopedia says that starters and demountable wheels were standard on closed cars from 1919 on up.
I saw a '26 Tudor with the block off plates for the starter and generator and non-demountable 3 1/2x30's. It had the large brake drums. I still have the rear wheels. The rims are very good with unrusted edges. Actually, I'm assuming it was a '26. I still have the engine. I should check the serial number.
Typical of Henry not to waste any parts. The low price leader without the starter would use the remainder of last years wheels and later after they were used up he would switch to the new de-mountable split rim wheels.
I know of one made in early 1926 coupe with starter package that as far as anyone knows has had 30" wheels all it's life.