Driving home from Memorial Day ceremony with my son on the freeway we felt a little bump or something and I asked my son to look behind to see if something fell off. When the turned back around he said "No I don't see anything but I think that is our tire just Passing Us!!!"
He was right as I felt the tire come off and before I even started to slow the left rear tire passed us rolling nice and straight up the freeway and finally coming to rest on the right next to the guard rail. The car handled very well but we could hear the metal noise from the clincher rim rolling to a stop as we pulled to a stop on the shoulder.
After a second or two thinking about what just happened and realizing how close a couple of cars came to hitting the tire and how lucky we were to have the tire end up on the shoulder instead of the center of the freeway. I started to think if I had everything to fix the flat and what caused the flat. My son inspected the tire and tube for a puncture and found the valve stem missing while I started getting our tools and new tube ready.
With the car jacked up and new tube and flap in the 30 X 3 1/2 tire and slightly inflated we lined up the stem into the hole then rotated the tire and rim to the ground. Next we lowered the jack to where it just held the tire and rim from rotating and while he held the tire with a tire iron near the rear I used two other ones to work the tire back on the rim starting near the front close to where it meets the fender. We mounted both ribs on the rim at the same time which was extra hard because we had finished drinking our water after getting out of the car and surveying the issue. So now, with no soap, a little grunting and coaxing the final push had the tire back on and ready for air.
We jacked the car back up, rotated the wheel around several times to insure all the beads were properly seated and hooked up the little plastic 12 volt H/F 250 PSI electric compressor. After about 15 minutes we were getting close to the 60 psi. We checked the tire, picked up our tools, started the car, looked for traffic and were back on our way home.
I think the whole break time wasn't much more than 30 minutes! I drove a bit slower the rest of the way home rethinking the experience and saying a couple of Thanks for some Good Luck and Divine supervision.
This was the second time I had the "good" fortune of a flat while out driving. The first was caused by a dry wall screw and this one from a separated valve stem. Both tubes were relatively new and had never been patched. This reminds me of some other stories here about bad stems...
It seems like with the T, the tire always comes off the rim very quickly. Both of mine did and Ralph Ricks told me about his tire taking off and ending up in a guys back yard on the other side of the freeway. I guess it has a lot to do with how fast your driving on the flat tire. If you were in a parade you'd notice it pretty quick before the tire came off. Certainly something to think about..
Turned out to be a great day with my son and paying our respects to fellow service members not so lucky.
Drive carefully and be prepared
What a lucky guy. Few of us get to experience that. I had two tires with the wires wheels still attached pass me. One from a Model A in 1963 and a T wheel in 1971 ( axle broke). Phenomena like this and inner tubes exploding in our faces or crankshafts breaking are truly a gift of the Hobby. Maybe we should have something like merit badges to celebrate these.
Anyway, Congratulations and thanks for the report.
Glad no one was hurt and the rim wasn't damaged. I ran over a roofing nail a couple of years ago and punctured a tire. Luckily, I could hear the flat tire squirming its way off the rim and was able to stop before it came completely off. I was sure glad that I had demountable rims and a fully inflated spare!
Gene, it may not have happened in the sequence you suggest. Usually, as Tube deflates,for whatever reason, the tyre can move on the rim, and this inturn will take out the valve stem.
Alln from down under.
I feel a Country song coming on...
Never a dull moment with T's huh Gene. Once my dad had been doing some work on the car with the RR wheel off. Once he got the car down he forgot to tighten up the lugs properly. Went to the market and coming back he lost his wheel. Shot passed him and went down into the woods. Took two weeks to find it. Wheel went down the hill bounced over a creek and ran half way up the other side
Wow, that's some story Gene. Glad you were not injured and were able to get the tire repaired.
Glad you guys are OK.
Must be wild to see your tire passing you.
Keith; "You Picked A Fine Time To Leave Me Loose Wheel"?
Glad it all turned out ok.
Reminds me of the story I heard about my wife's aunt and her husband in the 70's.
They were both hippies....both smoked a lot of weed....and were pulling a small utility trailer from California to south Texas with their meager belongings on it. They arrived in Port Isabel, TX without the trailer. But the kicker is, they didn't know they'd lost it until someone pointed it out to them in the driveway!
They and the relatives mounted a search party and ended up finding it a few hours north in the King Ranch....off in the brush.
Don thats funny. My Dad never smoked anything and didnt drink. Even had short hair. He hauled Amish to work in the van and took the trailer some days to bring home wood. He got to work and realised he had no trailer. Out of town a couple miles sitting up against a fence, there it was. That is the same trailer that we lost a wheel late at night in the middle of Texas on the interstate. That was a hunt ! Good thing we had a suburban with the same size lug nuts. He lost a wheel on a 59 chevy one time on a long hill about to the top. It passed us and then went back by all the way to the bottom and then some. Hey! I see a theme here.
Keep your nuts tight and drive often
Along the same line, but the opposite, there was a guy that had a "Hobby Semi" with a flat bed trailer. He "dropped" the trailer at a truckstop and got on the interstate and drove several miles before he notice that he still had the trailer behind him. He'd disconnected the air lines and cranked down the dollies, but forgot to unhook from the kingpin. The trailer brakes were the old kind and didn't set when he unhooked. The wheels on the dollies were worn off.
I guess his mirrors were not working.........or he never looked into them. How he pulled on the interstate without looking in the mirrors is above me.
I've actually seen that happen on a tour. It usually happens from low pressure. If you don't have at least 50 lbs, it can happen.
Was that in your '12 Torpedo Roadster that I saw you displaying at Fairhaven?
Seems that I remember it having wooden fellows? You changed that tire on the freeway???
This happened on a modern car two weeks ago and again last Sunday. Both times were Sunday evenings. I had been going down the freeway at 70 and when I took the ramp off the freeway, I heard a pop. The left front tire had blown out. The tread was not worn out yet. I got a new tire. Then exactly two weeks I started out of our driveway which is a gravel road, so didn't know how rough the car was driving. The right tire was flat. So anyway I now have two new tires!
I've never had that particular pleasure...flat tire...on the road. But if I ever do, I'm prepared...I carry two spares, figuring if one is good, then two has to got be better (three would be better still, but I can't figure out how to carry that extra one...not enough running board).
Don, we hadn't been smoking or drinking anything and Dallas, My nuts Were getting tight just after seeing that tire passing me. LOL
We were doing about 55 to 58 when this happened and quite a bit of traffic about 1 PM which was all moving pretty fast in the left lanes so I was keeping a good watch around me.
After reading earlier posts and thinking about why the failure I don't think low pressure was a cause but I could be wrong. Just looking at your tires sometimes is not a good way to tell if the pressure is over 30 at which or lower would be dangerous in a clincher. I'll admit I didn't check tire pressure before we left but my tires have never leaked down in the past from sitting. Since we had a pretty long freeway run I did look pretty closely at everything.
Now... I'll admit to having those fake brass caps that screw onto the stems which I've wondered about whenever I take them off to check pressures if they were pulling to putting weight on the stems. Since this the only one I've had that failed at the stem I'm still not sure. I do have some tubes that are now ready for the metal stems to be installed but have always be leary of that seal between the washer and the rubber. This tube was one of the good heavy ones also so still a mistery.
Lucky I've had very few flats in all the driving I've done but now can feel confident about fixing a flat myself out on the road.
Yes, Mike, We had a great day with perfect weather and lots of people enjoying the cars.
Wood felloes and a new tube with a little air and a couple of tire irons and we were back on the road. A lot of spit or some soap would have made the job a lot easier. Of Course, not like a few lug nuts....
Interestingly only one guy stopped to see if we need help but we were packing up by then. I know, this is SoCAl and some old guy so I understand...hee hee
Gene, when I fit metal valve stems I leave a little bit of the old rubber stem to make a small ridge around the valve hole. This gives a little more rubber for the bridge washer to clamp on.
Metal stems will still go south if you lose pressure enough to allow the tyre to shift on the beads.
Allan from down under.
I've had several flats whilst driving. On one I saw the right front tire pass me. I was up on a mountain dirt road, it rolled into the brush but stopped before finding the bottom of the hill. I was glad it was on dirt as the clincher rim (1913 non-demountables) was not damaged. My guess is that asphault or cement can destroy a wheel in quick order once the tire departs.
The hardest part in fixing an escaped-tire-flat is cutting and pulling the tube off of the front axle and spindle. Thank goodness I carried a spare tube, pump and three tire irons.
Sorry about this double post. MTFCA delete is not working so I have just erased it.
(Message edited by Thorlick on May 31, 2017)
I lost an entire rear wheel once and it passed me. Had done a 26 roadster PU with wire wheels, did the transmission but something was not right. On a hard break everything would go to neutral and I would have to use the hand break then sit there for a few minutes with no low band or reverse. I thought I did something wrong in the transmission. Put it up for the winter then got it out in the spring to go to town for gas and a shake down drive. Almost home and hit the brake hard...there goes the rear wire wheel past me.
Turns out that my swap meet wire wheel hub had been bored out for a bad key way and someone had turned down another hub and pressed the center in with no pins or welding and painted it really nice. The hub separated and I had a nice stub on the axle with a hollow hub on the wheel in the ditch. I could see my house and walked home to get another wire wheel hub and jack an drove it back home. I keep that hub as an example to show people.
The bad thing is that this roadster has Riley Multi-Lifts and will hit 70 mph easy with an aluminum Warford overdrive. Not a combination to drive at speed on 3 wheels.
Nice to know the kids come in handy when they are along for the ride.
You are lucky indeed - how fast were you going when the tire came off the rim ?
Years ago Dad had a 1951 Studebaker with a 2 speed rear end and tandem dummy axle with a 16 ft flat bed. It was during one of the labor strikes in the iron mines and the old Studebaker was his only chance of earning enough money to feed us and keep a roof over our heads.
One day he had a 5 cord load of green Aspen bolts on it and was headed for the lath mill. Just as he topped a hill on the gravel road we lived on, he looked in his outside mirror and noticed a set of duals coming up from behind. They rolled up around the front of the truck and pulled back in front of him. Then they proceeded down the hill for a ways before pulling over and rolling down over a bank about 10 ft high along the side of the road.
Dad went ahead and pulled over to the side of the road and stopped. He shut the truck off, got out, slammed the door and started walking in a direction away from home.
Later in the afternoon my sisters and I were on our way home on the school bus when we went by the old truck laying wounded on the side of the dirt road and noticed Dad was nowhere around.
So, we got home a few minutes later and asked Mom. What had happened. It was the first she had heard the truck was broke on the side of the road. Mom got on the phone and started calling the neighbors to see if any had spotted Dad during the day. And as it turned out one of them had seen him walking into the local watering hole about 4 miles from the house.
About 5:30 Mom sent my brother and I to fetch Dad home for supper. And down the road we went in the only other vehicle left in the yard. A 1947 Chevrolet Stylemaster coupe.
When we got to the bar, Dad was into his fourth or tenth bottle of Grain Belt and was laughing and talking with others at the bar. He was having a wonderful time. Heck, we didn't want to take him home. He was really enjoying himself and we knew what was waiting for him at the house. And besides, Dad seldom drank and we weren't real sure how to handle such a different kind of situation. But, Mom had sent us to get him and we convinced him it was time to go home.
That was the quietest meal and evening I can remember at our house. After supper I went out to the barn to milk and put bedding down for the cows. I fed the calves and threw some hay down for the horses. It's the longest it had ever taken me to do my chores.
Over the course of the next couple days the truck got repaired and the load was hauled into the mill. But I think i discovered how much my Mother cared about my Dad. When I thought it was a time when the family would fall apart we actually grew closer. It ended up being one of those times when we all came together and silently grew stronger as a family.
I've seen original old stock tubes at Hershey. The valve and bridge washer are inserted directly into the tube. There is no flange like we are lucky to have now days which gives a better seal in my opinion. I've voiced my disgust of the current brass stems in the past, and won't do it now.
Thanks' I'll have to research the correct metal stem hardware for the early wood felloe clinchers. Any chance somebody here has a correct set they be willing to sell?
I just looked at my patched tube that we installed on the road and it's FLAT.. I needed to replace that one with a new tube that I had here at home anyway and replace the Dynabeads after doing a bit of sanding and touch up paint on the rim.