In my previous post, "Browning of White Tires --- A Theory and Why", I presented a theory that I have been working with and researching for the last two years, as to what is causing the white tires (and gray tires) to turn a brownish color within a few months of installing them. Here is a general summation of the theory and what has been found to support it. For more details please see the previous post "Browning of White Tires --- A Theory and Why".
The theory is that the problem stems from the tubes, and more specifically, tubes that were marked "Made In EEC".
The case that made me focus on the tubes as being the source of the problem was when one of my 15 year old white tires on one of my own cars went flat. The tube had failed near the stem. I replaced the tube and within a couple of months, that 15 year old tire had turned brown.
The only thing that had changed was the tube. The tube in it was marked "Made In EEC".
As I investigated this, I found the tube to be a common thread with most all of the tires that had the problem (Where I could confirm the type of tube that was in the tire at the time of the problem).
This theory has been met with more than a little resistance, and for good reason. The inside of these tires do not turn brown like the outside and the thought of some chemical passing through the tire and only affecting it on the outside were it is exposed to the atmosphere, is a little hard to swallow. But there is more evidence to support that this IS what is happening.
In the photo of the Universal straight rib tire above, please note a couple of things. If you were to take a cross section of this tire, you would realize that it is discolored more where the tire is thinnest. The raised bead on the sidewall and the tread area are not as brown. Also the area covered by the rim is still white. Also of great interest is that this tire did not have a rim flap in it.
The photo above is a good example of what happens when the problem occurs AND the tire has a rim flap in it. The lower part of the sidewall is partly protected and does not discolor near as much.
The good news at this point is that the tubes that were marked "Made In EEC" are no longer made. I was told by two sources that the company that was making them went out of business. My biggest concern at this point is whether there are any tubes, currently in production, that are causing the issue.
So... If you know what tubes you have in your white tires, please let us know whether they have stayed white or turned brown. We need to know what works along with what does not work.
Albeit a bit of re-iteration (man that's a big word for me this time of night!), I'll mention here since you were nice enough to start "Part Deux"...I put in all "made in China" tubes fresh from Langs, per the "warranty instructions". Langs was absolutely great (Thanks Ashley!) in working out the replacement details of the tires. Hope she's seeing this. They deserve the kudos & return business! Today is two weeks and two days and so far, so good! You can bet I'll keep ya posted!
Sorry for the rehash but I felt I needed to start with a general recap for anyone finding this subject for the first time.
Hopefully we will get some people that have not already spoken up to answer the question in the title line.
Tod, no need to 'poligize for a re-hash! I get it!
I agree, it would be nice to hear from more and their types of tubes. I just hope my "fresh off the boat" China tubes will do the trick! Shoulda taken notes on when the previous tires started browning last year. But hindsight is always 20-20.
I just replaced my brown tires with new replacement white ones and I reused the EEC tubes. I did clean the tubes with hot soapy water and paint thinner. Then I took old made in the USA tubes to line the inside of the tire (tube inside a tube) also I have flaps installed. I would have replaced the tubes with USA ones but I couldn't find any with the metal stems that I need so I came up with this idea. We'll see what happens.
I have a set that has never been mounted and never seen the sun. They are around ten years old. The 30x3's are brown as a paper bag, the rears are still brite white. I really don't think the tube has anything to do with it.
To restate what I said in the other post: the simple solution is to slip the slightly inflated tube into a garbage bag and mount the tire normally. If using flaps put it on the tube and slip all into the bag. Good insurance no matter what tube you white tire guys use.
Brian..wow, that's a lotta "stuff" being stuffed into that tire casing! Sure hope it works and nothing wrinkles or anything causing a flat! On my currently brand new, warranty replaced whities, I bought the so-called "approved tubes" from Langs. Today has been one month since install, so far, so good. The tubes are from China of all places. My former tubes were EEC's, as requested by me ironically! After about a month, they started to turn. But I did drive the car a couple of times prior. So far due to the crappy weather and busy schedule, the new tires haven't really seen "true daylight". So we'll see. Next week I start driving 'em.
Don, reading your "experiment" still makes me wonder about tubes (or not tubes). Somehow I still don't think we'll ever really know. I think it'll be a crap-shoot with the luck of the draw!
Charlie, your garbage bag method warrants consideration, at least the bags are thinner than stuffing a tube in a tube in a flap. I do not use flaps, just line the rim with Gorilla Tape. So far, no problems in any of my cars that way.
I'll report back in two weeks if all goes well, quicker if, well, things don't!!
Tim; since you've already done it I would have suggested using something inert like the "real" duct tape. The Aluminum stuff. I've seen regular duct tape disintegrate when used on a rim as a liner. All 4 on my '27 Tudor had it on them when I replaced the tires and in all 4 had turned to dust and strings just the at it does when exposed to the elements. Again, you've already installed them but I were going from scratch after reading all of Tod's postings, there's no way I'd install any tubes (and/or flaps) in white tires without using trash bags to keep them off the tires as it's apparent Tod is correct. Something in the tubes plus atmosphere, (oxygen ?) is causing the discoloration. Even with a replacement guarantee you'd be doing a hard job twice.
Charlie..can't remember..are you running white tires? God forbid I have to go through this again but if I do I might very well try your method. Any port in a storm, right? Ha ha.
I mounted my 2 rear tires a month ago using Gorilla Tape as a flap. Tomorrow I plan on mounting my two front tires using Saran Wrap as a "protective insulator". The 2 rear tires look pristine, but then, it has only been a month.
There is a huge difference between a "flap" & a "liner" - a flap completely protects the tube from contacting any part of the clincher bead or felloe - a liner merely prevents contact of the tube to the inside of the wire wheel rim.
Yep, I'm aware of that. Given some drawings in the past, and how they looked when I cut one halfway up the sidewall with a saws-all, frankly I couldn't see the need for flaps. I know it's one of those opinionated arguments so that's as far as I'm gonna go!!
No Tim. No whites for me. Even if I had a car that warrented them all the bad press here about discoloration would have stopped me from spending the extra kale. I do however thing Tod is spot on.
Thanks for including your white tire story. Very interesting. Were the tires wrapped in anything or stored in any type of bag?
I wish I could tell you for sure that you will be OK with your old EEC tubes in your new white tires. You might be just fine, as my experience has been that the tubes will probably be done off-gassing the problem chemical by now. I am more concerned about your setup causing a premature failure of the tubes due to possible folds in the tubes. Hopefully all will be just fine.
I have mentioned it in the previous post but it bears mentioning again here. There are multiple problems that can occur with tires. We need to be careful not to assume all tire problems are the same issue and are all due to the same source. While I am quite confident that the EEC tubes are the source (or at least the main source) of the particular problem that we have been discussing here, it is clear that they are not the reason Don's tires turned brown if no tubes were involved. That being said, we do not know what chemical is gassing out of the EEC tubes to cause the white tires to turn brown. So that means we also don't know if there are other sources of that chemical out there besides the tubes.
I have also see plenty of problems that can be attributed to manufacturing issues of the tire. This could possibly be the case for Don's tires, if they were not affected by something where they were stored.
I know I am not going to make any points here, but I am not a fan of the idea of using garbage bags or saran wrap around the tubes. Neither creates a gas tight envelope around the tube to contain whatever it is that is off-gassing from the suspect tube.
Once again, the tube that is suspect here is no longer made. Hopefully that means that the current tubes are no longer an issue. I believe it is a better strategy to identify what tubes are OK AND if any other current tubes are a problem, instead of introducing yet another unknown into the tire assembly. But that is just my 2 cents.
Surely there has to be a university chemistry department out there that would be interested in solving this mystery, or at least identifying the chemicals that are being gassed off as a student research project?
It seems to me that since the new White bicycle tires don't turn brown, then the bicycle tire company knows the secret. Looks as if the clincher tire manufacturer could make some kind of deal with the bike tire manufacturer. Maybe purchase the rubber from them in agreement that they would only use it for car tires. Or get a license I guess you'd say to use their recipe, for car tires only, and give them a percentage per tire. I don't know how big business works but I've been following this and hopefully one day this will be solved because I've always wanted some white tires.
Corey, I wondered about that myself and have mentioned it a few times. Dave
Ed, that's a good idea! We need to find a tire coroner!
Corey..great idea there too. Even makes sense. And that's where the whole thing will stop...nothing that makes sense in this world seems to happen! Probably the biggest hurdle would be getting the different mfg.'s party's together, especially if no doubt different countries and languages.
My T has Firestone whitewalls on it. Three are perfect, the forth whitewall turns brown in a few weeks. It will clean with whitewall cleaner, but it's a PIA.
A few white tire threads ago a tire coroner chimed in soliciting donations of white tires to analyze. Haven't seen him around since.
bugger the tire coroner !! .. I have new findings !
My previous threads in the other white tire forum mentioned that the universal tubes on my fronts & made in mexico caused my white tires bloom also ..not as bad as the EEC type i had on the rears but they are just blooming slower ...anyways
..2 months ago i mentioned that i removed all the inner tubes & wet sanded & cleaned off the browning of my 4 white tires that i installed 2 yrs ago new..
MY new white tires purchased in 2009 have never seen the sun or road & this model T car sat on car jacks off the ground in a climate controlled garage to this day.
Anyhow`s.. I mentioned that i was going to see if these tires would continue to bloom without the tubes in & get back to you all with my findings .. well guess what !!
..MY TIRES ARE AGAIN BLOOMING !!
I have expressed throughout this blooming problem that the formula used to manufacture tires between 2007 & 2010 or so was probably a bogus formula & thus causing this drying out & cracking process of tires from this period & im sticking to that !! Maybe the new whites made these days might be good to go & no problems will occur...so im going to pass judgement regarding gassing tubes being the problem !.. here we go .."The only gassing is coming from those whom think the problem is an inner tube ". you can continue to run with that , but you wont be able to hide from what has transpired here. These are my personal findings... so take it as you will..
How does taking the tube out of a tire (that has already been contaminated/affected by this problem), and then letting it sit to see if tire starts turning brown again, prove the problem was not initiated by the tube?
If the tube is not the source of the problem, how do you explain the tires not discoloring near as much where the rim flaps are, when rim flaps are used?
If the tires are the true source of the problem, why do we have reports of tires purchased with the same date codes but only the ones that have been inflated have turned brown?
If the tires are the true source of the problem, why do they discolor more where the tire cross-section is thinner?
simple really .. penetration of oxygen reacting with bogus chemicals used in manufacture of these tires!
i personally believe the area where the rim flap butts up against the inner tire area & again with further pressure up against the inner flap by the pressure of the inflated tube ..this creates a thicker wall which does not allow oxygen to penetrate thru from the out side of the tire & basically into that section. & thus why they discolor more rapidly thru the thinner section of the tire that you speak of. ...the tube alone once inflated does not create a complete inner seal everywhere to the inner tire & that allows the oxygen from outside the tire to easily penetrate & thus causes a reaction from bogus chemicals used in the tire making process used back at that time (being around 2005-2011 or so) . The chemicals used in recent times when making tires have been probably improved & thus newer tires wont discolor.
You cant dismiss that My theory is not plausable ..
it could aslo be that the pressure from within the tire could open up the pores of the tire to allow an atmospheric reaction too..
Tod, my question to you is ....
why isnt the inner tire blooming ..why only the outside of the tire is having this affect ...one would think that if it was the inner tube that was causing the blooming it would start from that closest cause point... my inner tire walls that the EEC tubes butted against are as white as snow still. if your theory was indeed correct.. shouldnt this gassing start from the inside out ?
I wonder if anyone else out there in the last 5 years or so purchased white tires ...& are using the UNIVERSAL type tubes which are made in Mexico, are having blooming problems ???...if they are not ..
my theory is plausable
And yet something else to think of, has anyone tried filling with nitrogen?
Wouldn't that turn 'em green ? How about helium ? Make your T into a hover-craft.
John...are the Universal tires still made in Mexico? Most of us were of the understanding Vietnam was now the only place...just curious. So far, tomorrow will be 7 weeks, with the "new style" tubes, and we're still white. Bit dirty from driving of course, but still white. Fingers crossed. This next week will be the pivotal week comparing to what happened with last year's set. But as I recall even in week 7 last year, they were "hinting" at turning brown. Not so this year!
And I think maybe next week "we" need to start this thread as "Part 3"!!
Tim, totally glad your going well staying white with your tires ..please continue to keep us in the loop with your whites..not sure if Mexico, is still selling the universal brand "inner tube" or tires for model T`s .. but they are still making inner tubes & tires.. heres a link that shows their current & previous forecast in manufacturing
ok it seems the link above shows the importing of tires & tubes not the manufacture ...MY Bad ! but i honestly cant find anything showing Mexico, is still making tubes or tires now .. looks like they may have too been raked over the coals & closed up shop for their shady rubber manufacturing practices.
But THE GOOD NEWS IS....
i did find out the Mexicans are still making Tortillas
John, I missed your point. All the link you provided shows is dollar value of tire tubes (and rubber?) imported into Mexico. Do you have factual information on any rubber manufacturers in Mexico or anywhere else who have been "raked over the coals" and "closed up shop" ?
Careful of the tortilla comment. You may have noted a downturn in humor on this forum since yesterday, and us greasers can be a sensitive lot.
That's not manufacturing, that's IMPORTS. And most of Mexico's imports come from the US.
us greasers ? u may need to take ur own advice there Rich ,
See ? A downturn in humor. This "greaser" ain't particularly sensitive, but I can't speak for the scores of relations I got, spread from Tabasco to Los Mochis. Heck with 'em if they can't take a joke.
I haven't had much time to be on the forum for a while now and this thread has been dormant for a about a month at this point, but I feel I need to reply to John K's question to me above.
John, you asked...
"Tod, my question to you is ....why isnt the inner tire blooming ..why only the outside of the tire is having this affect ...one would think that if it was the inner tube that was causing the blooming it would start from that closest cause point... my inner tire walls that the EEC tubes butted against are as white as snow still. if your theory was indeed correct.. shouldnt this gassing start from the inside out ?"
John I covered this issue in the beginning of my previous post on this subject "Browning of White Tires --- A Theory and Why". Here is a link.
I would recommend reading my whole post on the theory I am presenting but the part that answers your question to me is the paragraph that starts with... "Another very interesting observation".