I'm putting new tires and tubes on my T and decided to use rim liners or flaps. They came today and wow, how do these monsters fit inside the tire? Any suggestions? I have non-demountable wood wheels. Thanks
Don't even think about NOT using flaps. They aren't as hard to put in as you might think. Put the inner tube into the tire and inflate it enough to make it fit in and align correctly. Then put the flap into the tire too such that the flap is finally between the tube and the rim and neatly placed around the tire. Let some air out of the tube if necessary to get it into the tire and up around the sides of the inner tube. Now you are ready to mount the tire, tube, and flap onto the rim. Lube up the rim with your favorite rubber lube, talc powder or whatever and mount the tire by placing BOTH sides onto the rim more or less at the same time AFTER you line up and get the valve stem into its proper hole in the rim. Once you get the tire on the rim, inflate it to about 40 lbs and then bounce it up and down on the floor while you rotate it so that it bounces at a different place around the rim. This action is make certain that the clincher rim engages the tire bead. Check to make sure that the tire is fully seated all around and then inflate to final pressure of 60 lbs (55 minimum).
The flaps are NOT to protect the tube from the rim nor the installation tire tools even though they WILL do that job too. The flaps prevent the tire Clincher bead from rubbing against the inner tube as you turn corners and hit bumps. Without flaps you will have lot of flat tires and they will almost always be "pinch" holes located along the very innermost perimeter of the tube because without flaps there is nothing to prevent the tube from getting down into the valley between the tire beads. Some think these pinch flats are caused by improper tire mounting and tool marks from tire mounting tools but they are NOT typically caused by that. They are usually caused by the tire bead rubbing on the tube as mentioned.
Not as bad on the last 3 as the first one! The secret is to slightly inflate the tube (just to hold it's shape), put the valve stem thru the hole in the flap and tuck the rest of the tube in the flap, then tuck that whole package in the tire. Then set the package (tire, tube, flap) on the rim and start levering (with tire irons) the tire onto the rim---helps to have 3 hands and 3 tire irons! For a more comprehensive video, see
from the MTFCI website. First one takes a bit of effort and swearing, but the last 3 are amazingly smooth! Good luck.
Sorry John, I was typing while you were posting. Didn't mean to contradict your advice.
Clean those nasty flaps before you do anything.Good Luck!!!!! Bud.
Thanks for the advice guys. Going to put them on tomorrow.
If you don't get the flap in just right, it will cause a blowout.
This works for me.
In all my T days (50+ years) I've never seen a flap in a 30 x 3 or 30 x 3-1/2 clincher tire. I use rim liners in all my non-split rim wheels. I had always had the idea that the flap was needed in a split rim situation. Can't say I ever had a flat due to no flap in a non-split rim wheel. I have noticed that some tubes are thicker than others and always tried to use the thicker ones. Not that the flap isn't a good idea or that it isn't supposed to be in there...just my experience.
Think about it,Its not just because of the clincher bead as that is on the outside.Any straight rim,clincher,split,snap ring,as long as their not drop center needs flaps.Back before tubeless truck tires each straight rim,[not drop center]got a flap! 18 wheeler?? Yup 18 flaps new from the word go! Bud.
Ford built every Model T without a single flap. Fifteen Million cars, each with four wheels. No flaps. Was Henry wrong 60 million times? I think not.
My opinion is that if you think you need them, you do. Some of us are more talented at changing tires than others.
Please follow John Regan's advice & procedures. You'll be happier you did.
The Model T was known for having flat tires. Maybe the flap is why we don't have so many these days. I use them in mine and have never had a flat on a tour.
I've never had a flat either.
In addition to the other virtues of the rim flap; In clincher tires, the flap actually adds structural integrity to the bead areas of the tires, and helps eliminate rim cuts on properly inflated tires. Four rim flaps are around eighty bucks and are infinetely re-usable. You can use them over the next time you replace tires. As a full time Model T mechanic and tire dealer, it is my opinion that the clincher tires available now are not as good in many respects as tires that have been available in the past. The added benifit of the rim flap does seem to make up for some of the shortcomings of the currently available clincher tires. As far as I know, all of the tire manufacturers, recomend the use of rim flaps in all clincher tires. I am sure that some of you will believe that is sound advise, while others will believe the tire dealer is trying to seperate you from another eighty bucks. In a couple cases where I have had to send back failed tires, the first two things the tire manufacturer asks is generally; "did you install a rim flap? and was it properly inflated?". Yes, there are many hobbyists out there that don't use rim flaps and have not had tire problems but their odds of having tire trouble are no doubt higher than those of us who use a proper flap. Rim flaps are like safety glasses. Some of us wear them in the shop all the time, some of us wear them only when doing certain jobs, and some of us never think about using them... And the odds are that out of the people who don't use safety glasses, only a small percentage will ever have any eye injurys... Makes you think, doesn't it.
If Henry saved 10 cents for every flap he didn't put in, for 60,000,000 wheels he saved $600,000.
And this doesn't include the labour costs involved.
Henry also made 15 million T's without auxiliary brakes. Will I ever need them? I dunno, but if I ever do, I suspect I'll be glad I have them...
Oops, forgot that my '13 touring had a flat while my Dad was driving it on tour several years ago. The tire was a Universal T Driver 30 X 3 1/2 that had worn all the way smooth. We thought it could go one more day on tour, and we had a servicable spare demountable rim.
Dad was following me, I was in the '15. About 5 miles from the hotel we were coming around a turn and I heard what sounded like a shotgun blast. The tire had worn completely through the cord and the tube blew out through the center of the tread area. We replaced both the front tires that night at the hotel parking lot, and one tube. Today that set of tires is about completely worn out. No flaps were involved in any of the proceedings.
The only blowout I've ever had on any car was caused by my poorly installing a flap, which pinched the tube. The tire and tube rolled off the freeway embankment, never to be found, but the pinched flap was on the T's front axle.
I later pulled the mating tire, and found another pinched flap. . No more flaps for me.
Not only do they add about five pounds unsprung weight to the wheel, but they are an aggravation to insall - at least for me.
I run Coker Commanders/Excelsiors, fwiw.
Looks like we have a little flap going on here.
Hey Ted ask everybody at McDonalds this week if they use flaps or not?
Seems to be a lot of experienced Model T and '28 Chevy drivers at that McDonalds every time I go.
The reason we must use flaps today, is because the tires are not made the way they were 40 years ago. The beads used to come together after the tire was installed on the rim. Today, they do not. They are about 1/8" apart, allowing the tube to work in between the two beads. You may get 50 miles from your tube before it goes flat.
I have never used a flap in the old Wards tires, and I wonder if Stan Lucas is making them exactly the same? I'll bet he is not. For now, we must use flaps, or suffer the consequences. When tires were made in the USA, we didn't have problems. Ever since New Zealand, and Viet-Nam, we've had problems.
If the beads came togather as you say they should how would you get clinchers on or off the rims?? Snap ring clinchers?? I havnt seen any to date.I wish Eric from Universal Tire would post a few simple facts! Bud.
I was happy to see the latest clincher tire beads on the Coker Firestone's are now constructed in much the same manner as the old Ward's Riversides. I presently use flaps on all my clincher tires although I never used flaps on the old Wards tires. In fact, I don't think flaps were even available in those days (early 50's).
"They are about 1/8" apart, allowing the tube to work in between the two beads. You may get 50 miles from your tube before it goes flat."
Oh, I think the Cokers I have been wearing out - without flaps - have much more than 1/8" gap; probably an inch or more.
just a note on tire irons...pick up a good used hockey goalie mask. otherwise,as noted in "pulp fiction" you could suddenly develop a speech impediment.....
Right around 1986 or so, a friend of mine bought a brand new set of Firestone 30 x 3-1/2s. He had one flat after another so he started looking for a root cause.
He started by comparing the beads on his old set of tires to the beads on the new Firestones and noticed that the new tires had some sort of "string" running around the inside layer of the tire in a spiral design. This string appeared to hold the the tire together in a tubular form while it was being molded. It looked like the tire was then removed from the mold and the beads were separated by cutting this string with a sharp blade. The "string" appeared to be made of fiberglass or some other tough and very abrasive material (you could cut your fingers on this stuff if you them along the edge of the beads).
His tubes showed hundreds of little slices where the tubes had come in contact with the tire and one by one these tiny slices would open up and cause a flat. No way to patch them all.
He bought new tubes, got out a small drum sander for his dremel tool and carefully sanded down the edges of the tire beads to get rid of the "string" ends which seeemed to cure the tube slicing problem. The following summer at one of the national tours, we both started hearing complaints about flats when using new Firestones. Took about another year and all of a sudden the tire companies were offering flaps.
I've avoided Firestones ever since and haven't had a flat in over 20 years. Last flat tire I had was in 1985 and was caused by a stray rust flake that came off the inside of a drop center wire wheel. I line my rims with duct tape.
I am reasonably sure of what I am going to say here: All of the 30x3" clincher and 30x3+1/2" clincher tires, regardless of what brand they are, are now made in the same plant (in Vietnam), and are made out of the same rubber and same casings. The only thing different about any of the available tires, is the mold they are made in. From what I have been told by my associates in the industry, the two biggest tire suppliers have had the same owner for a while now (maybe a year or two, possibly longer). Coker tire owns Universal Tire. The new Riverside tires that have been offered for the past couple of years are a product of Lucas, but are still being manufactured in the Coker/Universal Vietnam factory with all the other clincher tires(The old Riversides were a popular tire due to their good looking tread design and their reputation for a long lasting tire, but now they are still made of the same rubber and casings as all the other currently available brands of clincher tires). Therefore, all currently available brands of new black tires are of the same quality, made of the same rubber, casing, and construction as any other brand. Only the tread and sidewall designs are different. If you have recently installed new black clincher tires on your Model T, the tires you have are manufactured of the same materials and to the same quality standards and in the same factory as all the other brands available at the time. From my experiences, what I have seen, and stories I have heard in the last couple years, it is my belief that if you have a fantastically good experience or if you have a poor experience with your particular set of tires, it really says nothing about the brand you bought, it is just simply "the luck of the draw". "How good the set of tires you get is" has more to do with how good a job they were doing at the plant when they were manufactured more than anything else.
Sorry... The above post kind of says the same thing more than once in a couple of spots. I was typing faster than I was thinking (or was it the other way around?) Anyways, I hit the post button before I was done revising it.
I just need to get this off of my chest with regard to those blankety blank clincher rims & the task of mounting the tires. I put this mind bending chore at the top of my list of least favorite things. With a serious physical(& some might say mental)disability I hate the task & have on more than one occasion paid $$$$$$ to have it done. I am aware of the historic reasons for the clincher rim!!!
Till we meet again in "flat tires ville"
Keep on crankin.
P.S. Just as a matter of interest does anyone know if the clincher rim was common during the early years of car production or was this limited to Fords ?
Edward R. Levy
P.S. I can almost hear my T buddies laughing
Ed, where are you located? I will mount tires for a reasonable fee. We own a 1920's era tire machine that does clincher, split, & lock-ring type rims.
The clinchers were the early design of 'shoe' for the wheels of early cars. Ford was not the first with clincher tires to fit the clincher type rim.
The tire bead of the clincher tire fit into the 'cupped' wheel rim to keep the tires on. There were even 'bolts' used to fit into the clincher rim to help secure them too. A lot of design into rims happened to make the clincher a bit easier to mount, some clincher rims had 'rings' that removed to fit the tire easier.
And then the 'demountable' rim came out so the whole rim with spare inflated tire could be rapidly changed on the auto on the roadway. That solved a lot of trouble in fixing flats. That is if you had a spare wheel and tire
Actually, I like fitting clincher tires to T rims. Reminds me of childhood days when you have to fix that tube in your bike, and streach the tire and tube back over the bicycle rim, which was kinda clincher like.
The later split rim on balloon tired Model T, was easy to mount those straight beaded tires.
Then the drop center rim for these balloon tires is the real easy way, Model T wire wheels.
Gormully & Jefferys, who made Rambler bicycles and later the Rambler autos, used wooden clincher rims on their bikes in the mid 1890's, when most others were using glue on tires on crescent shaped rims. The inside of the G&J tires overlapped to protect the tube from the spoke ends.
The flap and tube are the easy part of T tire instal,the hard part is trying to find that third hand to hold that third tire tool.
The trouble with duct tape is in a few years when you need to clean up the rim for another tire,that tape and goo is hard to remove.I had picked up some wheels that somebody had done that to and even tryed burning that tape off with a torch and couldnt.
Tape also hold moisture and will help rust the rim if the tire goes flat for a while and gives moisture a chance to git in.
I am curious about something.Do the new T tires come with any type warrenty? IF so,does this warrenty require the use of flaps? If it does,and the tire goes bad and they find you didnt use 1,that could be cause to void any warrenty.Rather the flap is really needed or not.
I don't use duct tape; I use stage tape, which doesn't leave a residue. Dunno where to buy it, other than a professional music store. Younger son owns one.
Stage Tape, also known as Gaffer's Tape i available from theatrical supply houses, or from a rental place that does theatrical rentals (black lights, mirror balls, etc. I get mine from Sacramento Theatrical Lighting. Not as chap as duct tape, but better stuff!
Well I can see part of the problem, according to the old literature you need to be wearing your best suit and tie while changing tires. Now how many of us do that?
I see no reason to use duct tape or anything else as a rim liner on a clincher rim. Seems to me you're just putting more crap in a place that already has limited space. Now flaps, thats another matter.
Adam, nice posting. I do believe all you said applies to the all white tires as well. THe recent Firestone all whites are the best I've seen and have the early Wards quality beads and appear to be wearing less than eariler whites.
I use the duct tape as a security blanket in case a rust flake comes loose. Seems like there's always one lurking that I didn't get off. Now I have a blasting cabinet so that might make a difference also.
Then again, I used to say I was so lazy I was looking for a girl who was already pregnant to marry. I'm one of those guys who lets the masking tape wear off over a few years and tells folks its striping.