I've just picked up my freshly powder-coated wheels and they look sensational.
How do I go about mounting the new Lucas tyres without scratching the wheels? My local tyre guy, who I know is sympathetic about this can only mount up to 20" max and these wheels wont fit his machinery (yes I live in a tiny town).
Can it be done by hand without tyre levers etc? I've only ever fitted and refitted beaded edge tyres to clincher rims before and because I knew I could brush re-silverfrost them easily, I used levers and consequently, it did some bruising. I don't want to run that risk this time.
Any advice will be appreciated.
(Message edited by rob patterson on October 10, 2016)
I start by cutting a small hole on the inside of the tire to allow room for the valve stem. This is not always needed but I find with the new tires it helps.
I like to center the tire name over the valve stem as ford did on the model A. It doesn't make the car run any better but its a nice thing to do.
The tube and flap is inserted into the tire and the tire is then put in a black plastic bag and placed out in the sun to get it hot.
I mount the tire with the wheel attached to the rear axle of the car, valve stem hole facing up.
To mount the tire I place the valve stem into the hole and slip both sides of the tire on the rim. I wet the rim and tire beads with a soapy water solution and start pushing both sides of the tire on the rim at the same time, alternating between sides to keep the valve stem straight. I use a rubber hammer to help stretch the tire on the rim. Along with keeping the tire beads wet it takes lots of pushing, hammering, and grunting to get the tire on.
I find that if the tire is really fighting me I let it rest a while and it will relax some making it easier to proceed. Towards the end of the process the tire can be pushed the rest of the way on just using your feet.
No tire irons are needed, Plenty of patience helps.
Thanks Art. Much appreciated.
I'll give it a shot tomorrow.
Art's idea works for clincher tires, but are yours the '26-27 ford wire wheels for straight side tires? If so, don't cut anything on the tire, but do put the tubes in and warm up the tire. Then lubricate it, and by putting the tire upside down on some carpet, working from the backside start one side in (opposite the valve stem is easiest)and as you work (with hands) the tire around, make certain the bead "falls" into the drop center rim. Once the one side is on, put the stem through the rim hole (this is a bit difficult) and then work the next side on the wheel, again starting opposite the stem, once again making certain the bead falls into the drop rim--this gives you enough room to work the rest of the tire on. Now center the tire on the rim, and inflate a bit making certain the tire bead ends up evenly in the rim. Once you get it seated, deflate the tire to let the tube relax and then re-inflate.
Rob, you don't need flaps. On wire wheels all you need is a narrow rim liner to cover possible rough spoke welds.
I would travel to a fitter who can cope with 21" rims. My guy's machine grips the rim on just three spots on the inside of the wheel. The fitting roller is set to never contact the rim. the very worst you can get is a miniscule mark where the rim is gripped on the inside edge.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
I'll see what alternatives I have in the nearby "bigger" town and take it from there.
Allen is right about flaps on straight side tires and drop rims--however, with drop rims you don't need a machine to install the tire, not even the "usual" tools, it can all be done by hand, I've done many of them and as long as the tire is flexible it's pretty easy.
Rob, I did mine on the workshop floor on a carpet mat. Left them out in the sun for awhile to warm up, lubed up the rubber with a some detergent and was able to pretty much push them on by hand and finish with a rubber mallet. No levers required. Give one a try and see how it goes. No harm in trying. Good luck.
Go to Google and search for "garbage bag method tire mounting". Seriously, it works. Its also fast and easy. I mounted all four tires with flaps and tubes on my freshly powder coated wire wheels in less than 45 minutes. I wouldn't do it any other way.
I mounted my tires on the drop center powder coated wire wheels by hand with no tools. Don't use a flap. The powder coating is pretty slick, and with a little detergent/water lube, they slid right on. Mine were older tires that were a little stiff, but they went on with no problems.
Rob, Find a motorcycle shop with tire changer. Motorcycle wheels can be more than 21 inch so it will fit their machine. I can do 21 inch wheels easily on my Coates 220 tire manual machine.
If the tires are new you should be able to do it warm without irons.
Little advice let the tire roll to find the heavier spot then mount the tire so that side is opp the valve stem. It may not look as pretty as being centered but it will roll better.
Drop center wire wheel rims are easy for mounting the 21" tire, no tools needed really.
Detail from Ford Instruction Book (Owner's manual) 1927)
Last time I installed tires, tubes and flaps on a project, I wrapped my spoons with a layer of duct tape. Still had the leverage I needed, but didn't scratch the paint. Laying the wheel face down on a moving pad or carpet and working from the back is wise so that even if you do make a small scratch, it is unseen.
Lots of baby powder helps the tube and flap and tire slip around each other.
Intersting that no reference to the brass valve stem protectors. Does anyone use them?
Yes. If you have metal valve stems, then the bridge washer and nut are imperative. All metal stems have these in the day, and folks then knew about the use.
The washer keeps pressure on the metal stem to rubber tube contact points, and holds the metal stem from twisting or bending within the felloe stem hole.
This works very well for drop center wheels.
I do the plastic bag method for both my Model T and Model A wire wheels by mounting the bare wheel on the spare tire rack on the back of the car, with the stem hole at the top.
I buy the super size cheapo trash bags at the dollar store.
Put the tube into the tire and put just a little air in it.
Lay the bag over the wheel without opening the bag.
Set the valve stem thru the hole and work the tire down both sides at once.
Hit the last bit with my knee and it's done in under a minute.
Pull the bag out and reuse it for the next one.