I'm going to have to acquire new wheels for my 24 Touring before I do any serious driving with it.
It currently is wearing a set of badly worn, and probably dangerous, 21" split rims and the corresponding wood spoke wheels.
My question is...which type of wheel is better and easier to deal with? I believe the 24 models were sold with both types of wheels. So are both types an option as I go wheel/rim hunting?
Finally, my car has the spare mount in the back, that a demountable rim hangs on. So I guess I should take that into consideration.
The original owner of my 1919 Touring "modernized" the T in the late 1920's by installing a Vaporizer carburetor and split rim demountables. I assume he figured since the T was no longer being produced he would "up grade" as close as possible to Henry's final version. I prefer the split rim demountables to clinches and have had to repair a tube on the side of the road.
I like the look of clinchers better, but I've never changed tires on a split rim. Maybe I'd like those better for that.
My mentor (who is a considerably more knowledgeable than me) claims that the 21' tires get more miles out of them than the clincher variety. As to the accuracy of that claim, I can't verify Mounting split rims can be less hassle than clinchers if you have the right equipment and know what you're doing. Since you will have to purchase new clincher rims and deal with the same potential bad spoke issues, I am wondering if you wouldn't be money ahead to just re-spoke your current wheels? That way you know you have a safe set of wheels on your car.
21" tires are cheaper and wears better. 21" wheels weren't available until the spring of 1925, so no '24 came from Ford with them, but as soon the dealers got the new style wheels they were sold to Fords of any age, so many 24's may have got 21" wheels when fairly new.
With the right tools, Split rims are very easy to change. In my opinion you should use flaps with split rims and I use a tire machine (I already had one before I acquired my 26) to remove and install tires and just use the special rim tool to expand the rim back out to lock the rim. If the condition of your rims is not good and you can't find good used the good news is they are being reproduced. I have two reproduction rims on my car and they are great in my opinion. It appears American Vintage Rims web site is down so I won't post a link. However I did find a business listing and the phone number is good. http://listings.findthecompany.com/l/26664510/American-Vintage-Rims-Inc-in-Grand -Haven-MI
Don, It depends on what you mean by serious driving. I have cars with both clinchers and split rims on them and having the balloon tires gives the car a better ride, tires last a whole lot longer and I have found them to handle back roads without problems better. If you do a lot of back and off road driving you can go to 525-21 tires that are 6 ply rated.
Great advice...thanks everyone.
I'll be sticking with my split rims....and probably will build up one of those jigs for replacing spokes.
I love your car Dennis...too cool.