So my two new tubes arrived today from a reputable vendor. They're from China. I'm open to the plethora of opinions and advice and any experiences here! or maybe
Tim, my experience has been that the Chinese inner tubes are way too light. The ones I got seemed to be more plastic than rubber. That was a few years ago so maybe things are different now. I bought four tubes made in India from Gaslight out at Iola. They seem to be very good quality; nice and heavy, and made from good live rubber, just like the old Made in USA tubes. I got some spares from them for the tour last month and they are the same. Hopefully Lang's or Snyder's also carries them; I've never asked.
I installed some original metal stems in them, no problem, though the rubber stems and the brass innards are hard to remove. I wonder if the maker could be prevailed upon to make a run of tubes with no stems?
Tim I had some model A tubes that gave lots of problems as far as driving long distances. The would pop like a bicycle tube use to when we hit the curb. I finally took them out and put a new set made in the USA from Cokers Tires in Chattanooga Tn. 800 miles later no flats. I guess I would give them a try but be careful. Tim
My experience with cheap Chinese tubes is that they are JUNK---besides thin spots, you can`t patch them either--I think they are butyl rubber--Cokers or Snyders have good ones--Rubber OR metal stems both good...
I picked up 2 sets of inner tubes. One from Lang's 6 six years ago and the other set from Coker's 2 years ago. Both sets leak air and I have to air up the tires every 3 weeks because they are all equally down 20-25 lbs. and over the winter months they will be down 40-45 lbs. equally. Valve cores are tight. Just don't understand it?
They leak air while sitting in the barn. You must keep them pumped up or they will let you down. They can make a good product over there but unless you give them the correct specifications for the manufacturing they will make $4it.
Thanks to you all for your help! Going to attempt to send them back and hopefully get them exchanged for their "other heavy duty" tubes from a different manufacturer.
I have recently returned to the vendor in Australia four tubes as they were half the weight of my originals. Even the heavier ones drop pressure from 60 to low / mid 40's over a month. I have proved it isn't the valves. My other vehicles with 20 plus year old tubes hold the pressure. I assume pressure must pass through the rubber?
I would pay more money for better quality tubes and can someone please identify where and if you can still get tubes. Once found, they should be promoted and the junk avoided.
Faulty tubes are downright dangerous.
I think you guys are mistaken about the "weight" of the tubes being a factor. I have several NOS Wards Riverside tubes from the 1970's Made in USA. They are the thinnest of any tubes.
Has anyone actually had a problem with the Chinese made tubes? I think I am seeing a version of mass hysteria over nothing here. I have not seen a Chinese tube yet, the four 30 X 3 tubes that I received from Lang's a few weeks ago were made in Vietnam. They are super thick which does not have anything to say about their quality or how long they would last.
Alan...you may have something there. Some kind of osmosis? And as for paying more for a better tube, believe it or not, that's exactly what I did by using this vendor over another one. Seems this particular vendor may have on hand different tubes from different manufacturers in order to keep up with demand. Well, they'll just have to keep up with MY demand for a better product for the same kind of dollar spent. Heck of it is, this same vendor did sell me the heavier tubes the last time I ordered 4 from them. Only ordered 2 this time, maybe that's why...
Does anyone know why the USA company quit making them? Seems rather strange. There are more T's on the road today than there were 30 years ago.
Maybe we are getting hung up on weight but it's the only way to compare tubes that I can do. The original ones supplied were 1/2 Kg and when I complained they sent me the EEC branded ones at 1kg. I can live with pumping then up every month or so as long as the integrity of the tube is there. Only time will tell I suppose. It's just frustrating when your older tyres and tubes hold top end pressure and the new ones don't
A lower percentage of butyl in the compound is the latest explanation I received from the supplier.
Alan in Western Australia
Where can we get at least decent tubes from Coker, Universial, Lang's? For now I only need to buy one, but I still would like to get the best dang Asian tube out there.
Most people that I have spoken to recon EEC are the initials of the European Economic Community. That of course would cover a multitude of countries if it does in fact stand for that.
Do we have a Tyre and Tube Guru amongst us who can sort out the confusion and guide us accordingly to the ultimate supplier?
Well, it certainly would not be me! I will HAVE TO buy about six to eight model T tubes in the next few months. And I have been having SO much trouble with various tubes the past few years that I have no idea where to go or what to get. I am currently working on the wheels for the '15 runabout and have tires for them, but no tubes (I swiped them trying to fix the flat on the boat-tail). Plus, the mostly '13 speedster is short one tube. I have got at least six tubes that will NOT hold air (not even for a day). (I won't take the time right now to go through the details, I am not sure that I can keep enough of the details straight.) Suffice to say, the right rear tire has been taken apart at least eight times trying to find and fix the leak in five different tubes.
AS broke as I am, I am willing to pay more for a quality reliable tube. But who is that? The last time (several years ago) that I bought the expensive heavy duty tubes, only half the ones I got were good. The last tubes I bought for model Ts were the cheap choice direct from Coker. Also about half good.
Since only about half the tubes I buy are good, regardless of the price? Maybe I should just buy twice as many cheap ones as I need?
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Tim I thought you meant those woven things that I once got my fingers caught in .
Here in Australia, we have consumer protection laws which demand that any product sold be fit for purpose. Seeing that a tube is made to hold air, any that don't are clearly not fit for purpose.
It is clearly not beyond the realms of possibility to still make an airtight inner tube, so the manufacturers/resellers are not up to scratch.
I know you guys have Lemon Laws against cars which do not meet reasonable standards. Are there no such laws governing other retail goods? It seems to me from afar, that you are captive to a few major players for old car tyres, who seem reluctant to do anything about the quality of the product they sell. It will be a sorry day if it takes a catastrophic failure to make some difference in the market.
Enough rant from me. I have a roadster to complete.
Allan from down under.
Tom...that was a good one! Funny thing is..the full set of new trailer tires I got at Auburn came from guess where...CHINA!! But having a blowout on a dual axle trailer is a lot different than on the front of a model T. Heck, I wouldn't have known that tire blew out had it not been for the fact that I run with the rear slider window open in my truck to "listen" for things as well as the car next to me simultaneously waving me down, as I heard the "flop flop flop" start from the tire.
As for where to get good tires, Charles (and all), I got these Chinese tubes from one of the three you mentioned, but out of respect I will not mention names. I do know I got EEC's for my '12 last spring, and they were MUCH heavier than the Chinese tubes. Now that I'm back home from helping the new neighbors with a house issue, I'll give 'em a call.
Tim,Makes one wonder about those who haul single axle?? Bud.
Kenneth, what do you wonder about those who haul with a single axle?
I have never used anything else to carry a T. None of the 5 other trailers I have built for T owners had dual axles either. I use light truck radial tyres on mine, with a matching spare, usually Japanese manufacture. I once had a blowout carrying 3/4 of a ton of T parts to a swapmeet. My wife asked what "that noise was"? We simply coasted down the road to a safe pull-off and made the change. No dramas, no sway, all from the legal speed limit.
A single axle trailer is lighter to tow. Mine tilt for loading, something not possible with dual axle setups. They are far easier to push around by hand and are far more responsive to back up.
Of course, I run with electric brakes and an in-vehicle controller.
That said, I can understand the use of dual axles under the huge covered trailers some of you fellows prefer. With the amount of air you shift and the side loads from cross winds, stability and a heavy tow vehicle are necessary.
Allan from down under.
Allan,I waited a very long time before i bought a very nice 14 touring,and yes it was expensive!! Being old and fat i do not push a trailer i use my truck or my backhoe both do not lack for power or traction! With the Wife and i our crew cab F-250 is very close to 8,000 pounds and i believe it's what's up front that counts!! I seldom exceed 65 mph towing so if you pass me do not be scared!! If you roar by with a car on a single axle i,ll back off and give you lot's of room!!!! When we went to Alaska we went 12,500 miles hauling our 5'th wheel so this is not my first rodeo!! Bud.
I have had issues with the cheap valve cores several times now.I have a good supply of NOS valve cores,made in USA that I swap out the junk for.It seems to help.Last set of tubes from Coker are leakers,so I must replace some more.
It's funny every time someone mentions trailer axles this argument breaks out. It's as if you actually believe people have a choice about how many axles a trailer has...
A friend of mine had a blow out on a single axle trailer with a Model T on it. The noise alerted him to the situation. The trailer still towed just fine as he slowed down and pulled over.
Ken, I agree. Single axle hauling at least to me is scary. But then, I'm a wimp who doesn't like to take chances. Guess that's why I pull my trailer with the rear slider open just to "monitor" what's going on behind me. I never did like pulling trailers anyway. I was never so glad to get back home from Minneapolis back in Jan. '14 with Clarabelle. Nervous wreck. Kep, I know what you're saying, but there are quite a few single axle trailers out there just the same.
Back to the cheapie tube issue...long story short...starting to look like the heavier EEC tubes just might be a thing of the past thanks to China! My vendor I talked to about this issue says it'll be at least 6 mos. before they see any EEC heavy duty tubes, if at all. Sigh.
I have one cheap tube (the vendor told me it was). It has to be topped up with air regularly. The other three are the impressive looking EEC tubes. They almost never need air, maybe two pounds a year.
I wonder is Goodyear could be talked into making tires and tubes again. They made them in the '70s and they were the best.
I bought a set from Lang's and installed them with new flaps over a period of about nine months. The last one went in about five months ago. I have not had to add air to any of them yet. The tubes were definitely not thin, and appeared to be of excellent quality construction. I confess that I didn't look to see where they were made.
Back in June I bought three 4.50x21 tubes from Lucas at $15 each. They seemed heavy and have been holding air rock solid since then. I just ordered 4 more today. They're made in India.
As for needing to add air several times after installation, here's something to consider. When you install an inner tube it's obviously deflated. Therefore, before you air it up for the first time, there's the air space between the deflated inner tube and the inside of the tire. Upon inflating the tube, the air trapped between it and the tire has to go somewhere. However, the "seal" between the tire bead and the rim, and the tight fit between the valve stem and the rim, does not allow an easy escape path. So, you inflate to 35 or 40 or 60 psi, but not all the trapped air has escaped yet. It definitely will, but it takes time. After it has, it will look like your tire/inner tube has leaked down. This process can take some time, maybe hours, maybe a day or two. The moral of the story is, maybe your tubes aren't really porous, unless they continue to leak down over an extended period of time. I do agree that some tubes being offered look pretty cheesy...
Yes the cheapy tubes made in china are junk. I need to find some better 30 x 3 1/2 rubber stems that are heavy duty.
what happens if I use 30 x 3 instead?
Someone mentioned a company called Gaselite in Iola. Anybody have contact info. for them? Are they a tire manufacturer or? Tried a search but coming up empty.
Getting ready to do a set of Clincher 30x3.5's and I don't want to have to re do them for sure. In the US which vendor has the best tubes that won't leak?
Mark, Different spelling but is this the one?
I have not done any business with them.
Gaslight Auto Parts
1445 South US Hwy 68, P.O. Box 291
Urbana, OH 43078
Web Site: www.GaslightAuto.com
Mark...bottom line is this...if we can't get the tubes from whomever EEC is from the vendors, we're S.O.L. I've spent plenty of time on the phone recently searching to no avail. All I keep hearing is "Asian" manufacturers. The only luck anyone will have is if they happen to latch onto some old stock of the better tubes. Even Coker's are coming from Korea the guy told me.
Mark/David: I talked with Craig at Gaslite. They have the Chinese tubes too, and the 30 x 3.5 I asked him to check on for hopefully EEC, turns out his is from INDIA. We can't win. Next time Joe Bell is over there I'll have him check out the India tube for quality.
The India 4.50x21 tubes I'm using are great, so far. No refills needed.
Thanks guys. Not sure what to do.
Jerry, which vendor or source did you purchase your India tubes from?
Charles...when I talked to Gaslight the other day, they said theirs were from India. Hope this helps.
Thanks Tim, it does help. Like most of us we want to track down the best tube (one that holds air) we can. Luckily as of now I only need one.
Thanks again, Charles
Just received a new tube from Lang's ITEM # RSH2 30 x 3 1/2 rubber stem tube 1909 - 1926 and it says MADE IN EEU ( Europe as far as I can tell. No idea which member country ) It is thicker and seems to be better rubber than the chinese tube I bought earlier this month.
I went by the price of $24.95 rather than the $16.75 price from Snyder's.
it seems well worth the difference.