Holy crap, stupid mistake! So I was changing a tire in my 21 in split rim, all was going well. I changed it, and went to fill it up and couldn't get it to register air with my tire gauge. Thought there was a kink in the stem, maybe off center and not allowing air in. No prob, I thought I'll take the rim back off and adjust it.
I roll it to the shop, start collapsing the rim and then POW! The rim came off with force and I saw the tube swelling like crazy. I ran off and then it blew up. The tire did take air and the tire gauge didn't register it, and I was stupid not to double check.
That was a pretty harmful/fatal accident that could have been really bad. I still have all my fingers, eyes and toes. And maybe eight lives now instead of nine.
A booming voice from my long-ago past comes to me at moments like this. It says:
Don't do THAT !
Years ago I was having a locking rim tubed tire being changed in Lebanon, Ohio at a small tire shop.
They did not have a tire cage - I did not know what was involved in changing a locking rim at the time - a young guy tried to change it & almost killed himself in the process.
those split rims aren't called widowmakers for nothing ;-)
When I was a kid, my friend's dad was killed by a split rim.
Their last name was Meeks. He was in the driveway and was killed instantly....in front of his son and wife.
Brian, Did your wife have to wash your clothes?
For a newbie like me, what is the danger with split rims, and what is the process with tires that can claim lives?
The removable side of the rim does not get properly locked over the lip,
and when air is applied to the inner tube, the ring flies off the rim with
enough force to cut a man in half (or slice him up into delicious family-
size portions). Many tire shops will not service split rims. They are known
by old hands as "widowmakers" for a reason.
A 23" tire inflated to 100 pounds by accident (where most compressors are set) can have I believe oh, perhaps about 25 tons of stored kinetic energy force behind it.
It is worse on non-Ford real removable bead rings of the era...nice design to get tires on and off but not have the removable ring seated fully when you fill if up? What part of trebuchet siege machine releasing can you not envision?
I have never seen a Ford split rim (different animal to above mention) go nuts...but come to think of it now...why not? Once the butt seam goes crooked...it too can take off I would think. Maybe a standard practice should be to remove the valve stem before undoing the bolt or the clip on a split rim?
Ryan, there may be a bit of confusion here. The "split" rims that Don and Burger are referring to are different than some of the split rims used on T's. They have a split "lock ring" that slips over the rim, which is basically the outer flange for the tire bead. These are also known as "flat base" rims as there is no drop center. They are notorious for the lock ring blowing off of the rim when inflated with devastating results, especially when the rims and lock rings from different manufacturers were combined. I think that almost all of them had their own styles that didn't work well together. The T split rims are totally different, other than the later TT rims which are flat base rims. I guess that the term flat base is becoming lost over the years. That was the only way that I remember them being called from back in the early fifties up into the recent years.
Have I got you totally confused yet? Dave
I can see the seriousness of this concern, could someone present some pictures to more clearly explain split rims?
TAKE TIME TO STUDY THE TUBELESS TRUCK TIRE AND WHEEL PAGES. https://www.osha.gov/Publications/wheel/wheel-chart-booklet.pdf Here's a few representative pics.
A split RIM splits and collapses inward to make tire changing easier.
A split RING snaps into a groove on the rim. It's typically used on truck wheels. This is the one that wants to kill you.
here's some more good Ford info...http://aafords.com/aa-chassis/aa-1000-wheels/
I forgot about another version of the flat base rims. There were some, I think maybe Ford or Dodge(?) that had a lock ring that wasn't split. It was a solid ring that had two places opposite of each other that had a "recess" to allow it to slip over the rim at angle while the tire was flat. It was centered when the tire was inflated. I had one of those rings on a different rim that didn't fit. Fortunately, it didn't fail, I didn't find it until I had to break down the tire. Dave
I lost a friend and co-worker to a split rim and the fellow standing next to him lost his arm at the shoulder. My friend was slammed against the ceiling which was a story and 1/2 high and then fell to the floor. The shop we worked in did have a safety cage but they got over confident after 20 years of changing 10.00 x 20 truck tires. I was guilty of the same offence of not using the cage and beating on the rim while inflating the wheel because that was the way I was taught. After the accident everyone used the cage. When I repair split rims at the farm I place them under the bucket of the backhoe before airing them up.
At home we always wrapped a chain around the ring/rim and tire. It still wasn't the safest but we didn't have a cage.
About 50 years ago I worked for Goodyear recapping large mine tires. Those for the small trucks (10.00x20's) fit in the cage. The bigger tires like the 24.00x49's had to be chained. In 2 years I remember two of the small truck tires blowing up in the cage. Thank god one of the big ones didn't blow.
While I was in the army I worked in the motor pool. From time to time I had to fix flat truck tires. I never had any come apart but one of the other guys had one blow and smash his rib cage. He died later that day. After that I was happy to take KP.
There are many different kinds of split rims. Both single and double rings. Definitely not something for a novice! I have done more than I care to count over the last 30+ years! If you look up on YouTube you will see some terrible accidents by people who were careless or didn't use the proper precautions or didn't have the proper cage.
I can't imagine taking one apart that was aired up.....
Split Rim's covers so much ground that very few actually know the real killers! David Stroud named the bad killers on a post this morning.Properly installed [snap rings] are Very Safe and easy to use! There are snap ring rims for tubeless tires,but those pictured ain't it!! Anything will hurt/kill you but you need to know in advance what your doing before you just bull ahead!! Getting back to the post,my fathers name was Darwin and yes i was awarded every now and then!Bud in Wheeler,Mi.
David Stroud and Bud have it right.
>There are many different kinds of split rims<
50 years ago I worked for an outfit that had a mid-50s GMC digger derrick that I operated (it was rural Maine and lots of employers then were small businesses operating on a shoestring; this outfit was no different); this truck was originally a ton and a half flatbed that had its frame lenghtened and plated, a military surplus tandem axle drive put under it, and a Silent Hoist derrick and Highway Products mechanical pole auger installed...it had a different type of split rims under it, referred to in this drawing:
as a '2 piece advanced rim'. None of the major truck tire shops would touch those rims even then, and I've never seen them on another truck since.
I don't have either split RIM wheels, nor split RING wheels..used to have the RING type on my TT, but since sold the truck. Just the same, this is why I don't even mess with tire installation period. For $20 I let the "young experts" handle it. The SPLIT RING is by far the most dangerous, they weren't labeled widow-makers for nothing! My late grandmother owned a tire store in Marion Ohio and had a careless employee lose his life because he was in a hurry and didn't use the cage on a split ring install.
My cousin used a cage and kept his hand in the cage to put air in a plit rim truck tire. He paid for it! Messed his hand up good. Clamp on air chuk was invented for a reason.
Here we go again!! Far from a expert but for a time i worked at two Goodyear stores part time doing Fleet Service.In my mind i think the rims David talked about were the most dangerous!! With a snap ring you can easily see if it is mounted correctly!! Drinking a glass of water is dangerious if you pour it in your ear!! Still in Wheeler Bud.
I just did 2 of these on a 20" tt rear. Now, the split ring was correct so I am guessing the risk is low. I change dirt bike tires often enough and would much rather do these tt rears. I did put a tie down around them but you can fairly easily see the fit before you run up the pressure. I suppose not paying attention and walking away with a compressor running way to high are where the stories come from. I would not discourage doing them if you have the correct combo and look at the fit. one of these deals where you don't want the try to knock the ring back in with pressure in the tire. air it down and reseat it. just an opinion from someone doing it the first time. TS
Wow Brian - scary as he#* - Sure glad no harm was done!
thanks guys, now I'm thinking I might have cashed in all my extra lives on that one. Now I'll be extra EXTRA careful the next time around, especially refilling too.
Once again, I'll side with Jack Murray and Bud.
I've had the one's Jack is talking about. I think Chevy used them back in the 50's and 60's. I sold mine for scrap. The others with the one or two rings are safe if you pay attention to what you're doing. I changed a bunch of them before the tubeless ones came out. Tubeless truck tires are the best thing to come out in years. I'm talking about 22.5 and 24.5's.
Amen to that Fred!! Bud.
We have those Budd 2 piece style on a 53. Ford f600. When we changed those a few years ago the tire shop mounted them for us but wouldn't air them up. We took them home and wrapped chains around them and slid them under the Dozer with an air chuck attached to air them up. This truck has been inside all its life so the rims were rust free. Those rims barely latch when the metal is perfect. There is no way I would use some with 50 years of rust. I have even heard of them blowing apart mounted on the truck.
My Dad used to always wrap them with chains. It's the only way I knew until I joined the army and saw my first tire cage. One day, we had a tire in the motor pool that had a somewhat "Sprung" ring that wasn't quite seated, but wouldn't do any more. Someone decided to air it up and see if THAT would seat it. I didn't think it would, but it wasn't my call anyway. We had quite a crowd gathered outside to watch what happened. We weren't disappointed. Even expecting it, it scared the crap out of everyone including me. What was the real eye opener was what it did to the tire cage. It was bowed out in the center on both sides. There were three chains that were supposed to be used to kinda close off the open end after inserting the tire. They only hung on cutoff pieces of chain link that were welded to the other side of the cage to hook them on. It had bent the three "Hooks" made of chain links and the three chains were inches too short to ever hook back. Serious forces at work.