Who is in charge of making the decisions on clincher tires? It must have started when Firestone sent their operations to New Zealand. What happened to the original molds, and why did they change them?
Here is my point, you may recall I recently posted my thoughts on rubber valve stems, with no reason for the change on them. Now comes the beads on the tires. The tire I'm working on is an old Firestone USA tire. I've had this tire on a spare wheel for years, and need to put it on one of my cars. There has NEVER been a flap in this tire. It has a mint old time Coker tube in it, which is as good as the day it was put in. It seems to me the engineers that redesigned the Firestone molds didn't do their homework, or just need to pay more attention to what they are doing. Or, maybe Coker or someone else figured out they could make more money selling flaps to correct a problem they shouldn't have!
I believe Coker's own all the molds,so call them.
Flaps are tops for damaged/pitted rims. Keeps the tube from abrating. Don't suppose a good/clean rim would benefit from them.
June 5th, by Dan Treace in this threas:
And the difference of opinion is LARGE:
Your auto, your tires, your money, YOUR decision.
Never have used flaps. Neither did Ford. No flat ties associated with not using flaps either. Typically I wear a set of tires completely bald. A flat tire is a very rare thing.
I have had flat tires from bad rubber valve stems, and defective valve cores, and once from driving on a bald tire until it blew out through the tread side - the tube actually was contacting the road before it blew. Sounded like a shotgun blast!
Another key with clincher is keep then up on pressure ever a 5lb PSI differance will be an issue
Same here, no flaps needed. I think confusion started in the '20s when men said they were heading to town to pick up some flappers.
I've had a set of New Zealand made Firestones on my T for 12 years now, without flaps.
A couple of years ago I needed to replace the rubber stemmed tubes because the rubber was de-laminating from the metal inner stem. I replaced them with metal stemmed tubes.
I've never had a flat from the lack of flaps.
Again, I think there is a misunderstanding between flaps and rim liners. Flaps are installed in the tire to prevent the tube from being damaged from tire irons or unusually wide gaps between the beads on the tires. Rim liners are for keeping the tubes from being in contact with the spokes in the rim on wire wheels. Two totally different things. JMHO. Dave
I've found flaps to be cumbersome and unnecessary. 10 years ago, I put two new tubes in the rear wheels of my 15. I ran duct tape around the inside of the rim (two complete laps). Last year, I pulled the rear wheels off for some work and while I was at it, I swapped tires off. I found the duct tape as good as new, and I've never had a flat.
Mounting tires is an unpleasant, strenuous chore, but one that sorta goes with the territory. _Installing flaps in clincher tires doesn't make the job any easier and for me, installing flaps is just impossible. _But hey; if you're young and strong and have skinny fingers made of iron, perhaps installing flaps will be no problem for you—and the added protection they provide sure couldn't hurt.
Though there are people on this forum who stand by flaps and swear by them, I've run enough miles without 'em to wear through three or four sets of tires sans incident—and so have plenty of other folks. _That proves something.
If flaps were a necessity, Ford would have installed them. _He didn't. _Is it better to have them than not? _Sure it is. _But if, like me, you have a great deal of difficulty getting the flaps to stay put while mounting your tires, it's no big deal; you don't really need flaps. _Just be aware that the rim has to be smooth and lined with a couple of layers of duct tape (or something similar) and you must be careful to avoid pinching or puncturing the stupid inner-tube during the mounting process. _It's as simple as that. _No rocket science, no brain surgery. _If countless generations of Schwinn-owning kids have learned how to do it—and if lip-flibbing I can do it—so can you.
be aware that the rim has to be smooth and lined with a couple of layers of duct tape = rim liner or duct tape or whatever is handy...
Different situation : you must be careful to avoid pinching or puncturing the stupid inner-tube during the mounting process (and also helps to prevent the tube from falling into the crevice between the edges of the tire) = dexterity, very careful use of tire irons, or the dreaded flaps.
Different solutions for different problems (situations)
After comparing some old original tires to the new ones, I find that the bead on the old ones just about touch in the center of the rim when mounted and often required notching the bead for the valve stem. The new tires do not come close to touching in the center. Also the old tubes were made much thicker than the new ones. I do use flaps and have no trouble mounting them with less chance of pinching the tube.
I have at least one flap from back in the day that was in a Model T tire. So they were used even back then. Some of the current made tubes are too small in diameter (marked 30 X 3 1/2 but more like 28 X 3) and want to pull into the space between the beads when you mount the tire. Flaps help keep the tube in the tire and out of the crack between.
The early treatises all call for flaps in clincher tires. Whether that is to avoid pinching the tube when mounting and dismounting or for some other reason I do not know but I think the earlier tires were more elastic and much easier to put on and take off which is a good thing because I also think they had a lot more occasions to do just that. I also think that like so many repro things the flaps that are offered today are not right. I have some flaps that are coated with a fabric that came off some tires from a barn fresh car from the teens and they almost lay themselves in the casing. I actually find putting tires on and off easier with the flaps and have always thought that was why they were used.
Which early treatises?
I've never noticed any edition of Dyke's advocating flaps for clinchers.
The other early books on my shelf don't advocate flaps for clinchers.
They also had tires that when installed wrapped all the way around the tube, not leaving a gap at the center. Bottom line for me is, if someone asks if they are a good idea and I will give my reasons then it's up to them.
I don't get why duct tape needs to be applied to the rim on clinchers. If the rim is rough, then it needs to be sandblasted to remove the rust. If the tube contacts the rim because the beads are too small, then they need a flap. I really can't comment on the new tires that are sold now because I have never used any of them. All of the tires that I use/have used are old ones from back in the day, back in the 60's or older. They do have a notch cut it the beads for the stem. No way that the stem would fit without one. Rim liners are for a totally different problem. JMHO. Dave
David, there is a way to fit tyres with a wide bead without butchering them to accommodate the valve stem. BOTH beads can be fitted at the same time, with the valve stem sandwiched between them. I use a clamp to hold the tyre/valve stem in place. Then BOTH beads are levered on simultaneously. The levers never come near the tube so there is no need for a flap. At the very end, one bead may slip on ahead of the other, and a little caution is warranted to lever the second bead into place.
When replacing a tyre on the car, the jack can be lowered onto the tyre to do the job of the clamp I use.
A rim liner is insurance against rough spots on the rim, future rusting and imagined problems of narrow beads on newer tyres.
Hope this save a tyre or two.
Allan from down under.
Have read several early publications on the use of flaps. Here is one from 'Motor Car Tires', by W. C. Scott, Automobile Journal Publishing Co., 1910
Flaps for clincher tires are shown in many old auto supply catalogs.
True, many back then didn't use flaps, but they are helpful for tire casing and tube long life.
Ford may not have placed flaps in the factory mounted clincher tires on the Model T....BUT.....Henry DID place flaps in the balloon tire 21" wood wheels, as this Service Bulletin mentions, when the new welded wire wheels in late '26 came out, flaps were not used in the balloon tires, just rim liners in the depression of the well of the drop center wire wheels.
For me, am a proud flap user in clincher tires, and like 'em, easy to place, and really drops the fears of tube puncture in mounting, and tube pinch in use if the tire pressure gets low. But always strive to keep 55+ psi in those clinchers
Rim flaps in clincher tires are like insurance...
You can mount your tires with or without rim flaps and either way you might never have a tire problem... That has as much to do with "luck" or "odds" than anything else. Whether or not you do or don't run flaps and have or have not ever had any sort of tire problem DOES NOT PROVE ANY POINT OR OPINION.
HOWEVER... I have personally seen and heard of enough instances of trouble with tires that don't have rim flaps to make it clear to me that IF I USE A RIM FLAP IN MY CLINCHER TIRES IT IS LESS LIKELY THAT I WILL HAVE A TIRE PROBLEM.
Like Dan Treace, I also am a proud flap user in clincher tires.....have been using them since 1978.
I'm aware that flaps for clinchers were sold at the auto parts stores and advertised in auto supply catalogs. And, of course, the corresponding text in the catalogs will tell you they are necessity which is just marketing and sales talk.
"The tube is placed within the shoe and if there be a protection flap or cover this is also inserted."
The above is a mention of, but not an advocation or requirement for, flaps. And there is no mention of the style of rim.
Dan, as Eric pointed out, do you really think merchants would not promote sales, even if the merchandise is not needed.
Your point about Henry using flaps in 21" tyres illustrates the correct use of flaps. They are used in this application to protect the tube at the join in the rim. The same applies to other straight sided tyre applications, those using lockrings like the TT and all other Trucks up until tubeless tyres were mounted on drop centre rims. In all these cases, the tube is fitted inside the tyre with the flap in place, and the whole assembly dropped over the collapsed split rim or onto the flat base of a lockring type wheel.
By all means fit flaps in clincher tyres if you prefer, but they are an unnecessary expense.I have better things to do with $150.
Allan from down under.