I know from experience that antique car tires don't self-destruct after ten years. I've seen some at the Old Car Festival that are hard enough to stand without air yet they keep rolling on without experiencing chunkification. In spite of this, I had a difficult time at the tire store. My favorite one was a Goodyear store a little further away and I shook the dealer's hand as he sadly informed me he's closing his store. The second one is a national chain and they sell every brand known to man.
My first thought was to take my existing tires and turn them whitewalls in and get them rebalanced. Since my modern car and this car both have sixteen inch wheels, I figured all would go simply. It didn't because the dealer couldn't tell if my tires were made during the 27th week of 1991, 1981, or 1971 and he wouldn't even let me take them out of the trunk and spoil his parking lot.
So, I ordered a set of four from Summit and they arrived the next day along with a box of tubes. Free shipping! .
I then went back to the tire store with my purchases. New day, new counter guy and the first thing he asked when I threw the cardboard box on the counter was "What are these?" I replied "Tubes". He then told me that they don't install tubes in tires under any circumstances. I informed him "of course you do" and he proceeded to summon the manager. It was the same gent from day one and I showed him the new tubes, the new tires in wrappers, and he approved the work.
This particular dealer is proud of his shop so he has panoramic explosion proof glass lining the showroom so one can grab a free coffee and watch his uniformed team have at it. I told them I wanted the old tubes because they were probably better quality than the Korean ones going into the new tires. He warned me his new equipment would probably rip the tubes on dismounting even though I had deflated the tires and pushed the stems into the wheels. They didn't rip and they were able to save them.
I watched through the glass as two workers separated the two tires that were wrapped by Coker and packaged by Summit. I finally took pity on them and convinced the manager to bring the remaining three tires to me in the showroom where I unwrapped and unstickered them.
In the meantime, tire one was dismounted and the workers were clustered around the inner tube. I was told it was the first time they've seen one inside a mounted tire. They proceeded to air it up and bounce it around a bit and marveled at the Goodyear logo visible on the tube. And then they mounted the tire on the wheel minus the new tube and attempted to install the tube uninflated through the gap. At that point, I stuck my head into the shop and explained how I mount the balloon tires on a '26 and they found that way worked. And then he proceeded to install the tire wrong side out. I stuck my head in a second time and pointed out the shelf where the whitewall would be molded and said that should face out instead of the smooth backside of the tire. Thankfully the other three went on faster and they all got dynamic balancing.
After an hour and half, I got my four mounted tires back along with four keen swim rings for my grandkids. I'll let the kiddies figure out why they call it tubing. I tipped the installer and thanked him for a great show. It sure beat watching a movie. Driving home, I realized I am probably getting old.
(Message edited by tmiller6 on June 03, 2016)
Great old school tire shop in Utica Michigan, about an hour from you. USA Tire on Auburn Rd, Utica Nich. Being an old car guy, you will positively love the joint.
Ouch.. Even though I haven't come across quite that level of stupidity yet, that's why I do all my tires myself these days.. A friend has a manual mounting fixture for modern tires for the daily driver, usually the balance stays OK if the weights that's already there on the rim stays in place..
Thanks for the tip. In the past, I've used Warholak on the east end of Dearborn. They like working on the old stuff and advertise they'll work on vintage stuff and find tires in odd sizes.
In this case, I thought the install would have been straight forward so I went local by my house and I got a surprise. On the bright side, some guys are now educated on vintage tire technology.
What is wrong with mounting your own tires? It's a good thing you didn't have 30 X 3 1/2's. They wouldn't have been able to figure it out!
The beads on these tires were reluctant and while my brother has a setup like Roger shows, he uses the in ground mounting flange as a support for a barbeque in the summer. I mount all my other antique tires myself. Usually in cooler months so I sweat less.
I wanted high speed balancing too.
I installed my own tires and tubes on my car, but that's because I didn't think my local shop could handle clinchers. Nothing against them, but I'm pretty sure the owner of the shop is the only one who's ever even seen a clincher on a car. I used the trash bag method and they went on with a minimal amount of struggle. The longer I left them out in the sun the better it got.
I've been keeping my eye open for an old fashioned manual tire machine, as I have this weird idea of building a period-correct shop for my T. I also don't know if I trust tire shops to handle my antique tire needs. On my modern vehicles I'll let them have at it, but when it comes to the old stuff I'll do it myself.
There are a lot of idiots at tire stores out there. Bought the only place to get tubes around here is Tractor Supply.