I have a 1924 Runabout. The front tires are 30x3 and the back ones are 30x3.5. Do these tires use the same tubes? Can these tubes be purchased most anywhere? Also is there a trick to getting the tire off the rim?
The vendors sell a different size tube for each size tire. Regarding dismounting/mounting tires, see:
Be sure to follow the link from Royce in the third thread.
Tubes are not the same:
I wrote this article in a previous post:
It just so happens that I just changed 5 tires on my demountable Depot Hack. Here is how I did it:
Purchase two 24" tire irons from Harbor Freight. Remove your demountable and place it on a work bench or tall table. Remove the air from the tire. Starting furthest from the valve stem, insert the smooth end of the tire iron all the way through both tire beads and pry both beads off of the rim. Insert the second iron about 20 degrees from the first iron and repeat. The idea is to remove both beads at the same time until the tire pops off of the rim.
Next insert a new tube into the new or old tire. Inflate just enough so the tube inflates without expanding the tire. Place the tire and valve stem into the hole in the rim. I did not use flaps as I don't believe they are needed on demountable rims. Take a ratcheting strap and place it around the tire and rim next to the valve stem. Tighten the strap while working both beads into the rim. Using only your hands, work both beads into the rim until you have about 30 percent of the tire mounted. Place the hooked end of the tire iron between the rim and the tire and slide it toward the valve stem. Now pry both beads onto the rim. While holding that iron, repeat the process on the opposite side of the rim. It should only take about 3 or 4 of these steps to mount the tire.
It should be noted that I have seen the videos of installing a tire with a plastic bag. I decided not to try this method. Last year I changed one tire on my Tourabout and it took nearly all day. By the last tire on my Hack I was down to about 10 minutes.
Rod, I've read where the 30x3 tires non-demountable. Is this true?. We are new to owning a "T" and feel very green about this. These are on wooden wheels.
Mine has 30" x 3.5" on all 4 corners
Darrell, the cars that came from Ford with non-demountable rims had 30x3 tires and wheels on the front, and 30x3.5 tires and wheels on the rear.
Cars that came from Ford with demountable rims had 30x3.5 tires and wheels all around.
If you have 3" wide 30" dia. tires on the front, your T would have non-demountable rims. The tire will then be removed from the wheel felloe and its intregal rim.
Demountable rims are held with 4 bolts and lugs around the felloe of the wheel.
The 3" wide x 30" tires only fit to 24" rim wheel.
Non-demountable rim wood wheel
Demountable rim wood wheel
Your car has the "wrong" wheels. All four wheels on a 1924 Ford as it came from the factory would be 30 x 3½. As the nephew in Tobacco Road said, "That don't hurt the runnin' of it none."
By the time Ford started supplying demountable wheels, they were all 30 x 3½. The bare-bones economy cars in the mid-twenties came with non-demountables, also all 30 x 3½.
All the Model T parts dealers and antique tire dealers will have both sizes.
When removing or installing tires, warm and soft is much easier to deal with than cold and stiff. Laying them out in the sun to soften is helpful.
Apparently I was misled by the wheels that came on my 1923 touring. All were 30 x 3½ non-dempountable square-felloe wheels. But the encyclopedia says the fronts were 30 x 3. If that's the case, I wonder where my 30 x 3½ front non-demoubtables came from.
Somebody probably swapped out the hubs and put front hubs in some rear wheels.
The 30 x 3 front tires continued into the '27 year models on "stripped down" cars. These came with non-demountable metal felloe wheels, no starter. Not common to find today though!
Steve, I think Hal has the answer to your front wheels--or they were an after-market wheel. Some folks didn't like to have to carry two different sized spare tires!
FW it's worth. I have 30x3 inner tubes in some of my 30X3 1/2 tires and it has worked fine for a long time. That's what Lucas Tire sent me one time and I went with it.
Thanks to everyone who answered. We are new to this and learning as we go. First photo is the rear (30x3.5) tire and second photo is the front (30x3)tires of our 1924 T-Model. At the risk of sounding totally dumb, I am assuming they are both non-demountable because there appears to be no way to get the tires off to change them. Is this true? Have I missed something about how to tell the difference in demountable and non-demountable? Front tire is flat so I ordered a 30x3 tube as well as a flap. Thanks for bearing with us as we learn!
Yes, those are non-demountable rims. Your rear tire in the picture has a lot of sidewall cracks, looks like it's near the end of its useful life.
Good luck with your new T!
Mark, this car belonged to my wife's grandmother's half brother and it sat in a barn for probably 30 years and went out of the family in the '70s to a guy who kept it all these years but rarely drove it. There is a rich history to it that I won't go into but it is fun. We just got it back into the family and are thrilled. I realize we will have to buy new tires but at this point hoping to get it roll-able so we can learn to drive it around the yard before sinking a fortune in new tires. It is not an easy thing to learn to drive but we are anxious. Thanks for the help.
When swapping tubes and tires, it helps if you can roll the car out in the sun several hours before you are trying to get the tire off - they get softer with some heat.
You can get them off and on with the wheels in place - here's a thread where Royce shows how: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/179374/256320.html?1325091009
Clincher tires needs more air pressure than modern tires, so don't let them go under 55 psi. If too low they may turn on the rim and cut off the valve.
Thanks Roger. Again, at the risk of sounding dumb, could you explain the difference in "Clincher" tires and the non-demountable tires we have?
All Model T tires were clinchers up through 1924, demountable or not - it's the old tire and rim design where the rim folds over thick beads on the tire. In 1925 4.40-21" balloon tires were introduced as an option - they're more similar to what we use today with steel wires inside the bead while clinchers are pure rubber (and cord) and you need to stretch the rubber over the rim to change the tire.
(Message edited by Roger K on June 25, 2016)
WOW...thanks for clearing that up. We ordered flaps to go with the tube. Is it a good idea to use them?
Your tires are clincher tires. The vendors sell several different tread designs, although most all of the new clincher tires are made overseas these days. My car came to me with Universal T-driver tires on it and I am happy with them. Others may have their own favorites.
You will get different (and sometimes heated) opinions regarding whether or not you need flaps. Model Ts did not originally come with flaps. Some folks (including me) like to use them because they help protect the tube from ham-handed use of tire irons and such.
As with many things "T" opinions differs - Ford never used flaps on new cars with clincher tires, but back then the rims were new without any rust and the tire companies knew how to make clincher tires with beads that got thinner and thinner until they met between the tube and rim.
And Ford didn't spend one cent more than absolutely necessary. Today the flaps costs quite a lot, and many of today's T:ers are like 'ol Henry if you know what I mean
They certainly won't hurt if you get them in the right position (put the tube in the tire while the tire is off, put some air in it so it holds its shape somewhat and put the flap also in the tire, then put the whole onto the rim together, starting with the valve)
And it may actually save you from blow outs - sharp edges on some modern tires has been known to wear holes in tubes.
Thanks Mark. We will definitely be ordering four new ones soon and appreciate the recommendation AND the link to order them. Learning new things about the "T" daily. Wish we had a private teacher to teach us how to drive it. :-) There doesn't seem to be any "T-Clubs" in our immediate area so it is hard to find anyone who knows much about them.
Google is your friend:
Mark, ironically, we googled it awhile back but for some reason never found anything in Charlotte. Will try again and hopefully find something close. Thanks for reminding me! This is the best forum ever.
I agree and totally wasted many hours scouring Google before joining this group of positive, helpful enthusiasts. A few years ago I learned that it was very important to join a forum of users for every classic automobile before I purchased it. In addition to finding multiple sources for parts and wisdom, there are often also prepurchase inspection checklists that save me on several occasions.
As for flaps, Ford might not have used them in clincher tires, but Ford did use flaps in split rim, balloon 21" tires.
Use of flap in a clincher rim helps protect the tube, in mounting and running, IMO.
note comment to remove the flap used in regular wood wheels (demountable split rim balloon tire rims) when fitting those 21" balloon tires to wire wheels.
There is a pretty active club in SC called South Carolina Model T Ford Club. Members are from all over, but a lot in the Columbia area. Not THAT far from Charlotte, in the grand scheme of things. Maybe someone would let you visit or maybe they could come help you.
Rod, the plastic bag trick works well with balloon tires and wire rims. Doesn't work as well with clinchers.
Mack Cole who is a frequent poster here lives in your neck of the woods. Check out his profile and send him a message or e-mail