Today two helpers and I mounted four Firestone Non Skid clincher tires on new wheels I am building for my 1915 Runabout.
It took less than 2 hours and here are the key tools which made the job much easier than I expected. Two Eighteen inch long tire irons. Motion Pro Rim Shield II rim edge protectors made for motorcycle rims. The rim protectors are made of Zytel which is kinda like nylon only a bit harder, non abrasive and can be heated and formed to the Model T rim edge diameter. Copious amounts of Bead Eze to grease the tire and rim edges.
I was paranoid about scratching the new paint on the wheel rims, but the Rim Shield product worked great. You simply slide them around the rim edge and lever the tires on the rim. And best of all no paint damage. Although my forehead has a small nick from the end of one tire iron.
Thank You Ron. Just ordered a set of the rim protectors.
Nice ! Where did you get the brush & bottle ?
Amazon; search Bead Eze
Thanks much !
Ron, were there moments when a third tyre lever would have been handy? I find it makes re-positioning a lever easier if another is inserted a little further around and the load taken off the one I want to shift. Is 'Bead ease' a fairly liquid product? I always use a paste type lubricant put on with a paint brush. Your stuff looks more manageable. Those pads for the levers are an excellent idea. Fortunately, or otherwise, all my Ts have plated rims, but even then these can be marked.
Allan from down under.
Ron, those rim edge protectors are very interesting! Thank you for posting this!
For another bead lube reference if I may, the service station where I changed my tires when I was younger used Ru-Glyde.
Hehe, too many tools like to bite us back. :-)
I use plastic from ice cream buckets or milk bottles. Keep a few strips along with e in my tool box as well.
You didn't show the motorcycle tire irons which work super
Looks like pretty handy tings to have in the tool box when on tour.
For several years I used small pieces of leather as a protection of the rims. That was until a friend showed me how he puts tires on a non-demountable wheel. He picks a very warm day and lets the tires warm up in the sun. He leaves the wheel on the car and starts the install with the tire with the tube inside and locates the valve at the top of the wheel. He starts with the back side of the tire onto the wheel rim about a quarter of the rim and inserts the valve stem. Then the he inserts the front side of the tire onto the rim and pushes the tire into the rim a little at a time working it in from both sides. It is amazing but the fact that the wheel is on the car allows one to push and twist the tire into place quite easily. I tried it and it worked for me.
Here is how it went for us.
Put the tires in a large black plastic bag and placed in direct sunlight to warm up. Prepared a substantial four foot square waist high table with a four inch thick 3 X 3 foot square piece of dense foam with a three inch hole in the center and placed it on the table. Laid the rim down on the table. Coated the tire bead and rim with the rubber lube. Started with the valve stem first. One man held the tire in place at the starting point. The rim shield was placed on the rims edge and another man moved it on the rim in 5-6 inch sections while the third man levered (lever end wrapped with duck tape) the tire at each move of the rim shield. No need for two or three levers, stable work table with no need for chasing the tire or rim around the table. I believe the keys were three men, the rubber lube and the rim shield being used while levering the tire on the rim every 5-6 inches.
And no paint scratches occurred.
I have found what works well for me. I bought a couple of 18" tire irons and a large, 3 lb, rubber hammer from Harbor Freight. I use hand cleaner, like Go-Jo for lube. I leave the wheel on the car. I too put the tube inside the tire , with just enough air to eliminate the wrinkles. Then I put tire and tube onto the wheel together. I can repair a flat pretty quickly now. I'm glad no one was watching the first couple of times I tried it, but now it looks like I know what I'm doing so I don't mind an audience. My '21 touring has non-demountable wheels/tires so I might eventually have to do a roadside repair. I am prepared.
Ron, you have it nailed! The three man team is the key. My fitting table is a bit above waist height. With no paint to worry about, I have no need for the foam. I can do them on my own when I have to, but have never done so with new Firestones. My second 'man' holding the tyre/tube in place at the start is a quick release bar clamp. I start with two irons, but tuck one in my armpit while a third is inserted and pushed over. That takes the load off the armpit lever so it can be easily re-positioned. The process might make an hilarious video.
Did you fit both beads at the same time?
Allan from down under.
I've used the trash bag method on Model A wires and tires. Will it work on clinchers? I've got to replace two on wood demountables once I get over the sticker shock of the tire price.
Didn't work for me - spent too much time trying to retrieve small pieces of bag from under the bead !!!
We did both beads at one time on the 30 X 3-1/2 but found it worked better do do the beads individually on the 30 X 3. There seemed to be much less working real estate on the front tire rims.
I've been mounting T tires all of my adult life. I use a huge rubber mallet and two TT truck tire irons. Where did you buy those rim protectors? They look like a good idea.
Larry; they have them on Amazon.
Ron; Can you share details on how you heated and formed the rim protectors?
$13.49 per pair
I have just ordered a set that is in stock Australia. Slightly more expensive but will be here in two days from the East Coast. Going to try them out
Alan in Western Australia
I really appreciate all tips I learn at MTFCA forum. What kind of motorcycle tire irons length you suggested to use ?
Kind regards ,
The "Rim Shield" tools were apparently designed for motorcycle clincher rims. They are advertised as made of "Zytel" whatever that is? It's kinda like nylon but a bit harder. If you contrast the dish shape in my picture above and the Amazon ad you will see how I changed the shape to make them easier to use on Model T clincher rims. I simply squeezed them a bit in a vice and used a heat gun to warm and let cool to take the new shape. I also slightly changed radius of where is clamps over the Model T rim edge in the same manner.
Once you clamp them to the desired new shape, heat them with a heat gun and allow to cool they retain the new shape.
Three additional things we did I forgot to mention above; we placed the tires in a black plastic bag and let them sit in the hot sun for two hours, laid the rim on a waist high table about 3 foot by 3 foot square and used a four inch thick 3 foot square piece of dense foam with a three inch hole in the middle. Placing the rim on this with the hub in the hole allowed the three men to easily work at waist level, not having the rim rocking about or having to chase it all over the table.
I have found that tire irons made for motorcycles are usually short, 8-10 inches. The ones available from Harbor Freight, and other sources, I'm sure, work much better, being 18 inches long. Two can easily be carried in a T.
Tire irons 8-10 inches long would be useless on a Model T clincher rim. We used one 18 inch long iron purchased from Lang's and wrapped the business end with two layers of duct tape.
Hi Ron, I used the 18'' long iron from Lang,s but I founded it a bit thick but next time I will use duck tape to avoid any scratch for sure as you said.
Mount clinchers with the wheels on the car.
With the stem at the bottom, you can lower the car enough so the ground pushes the tire up and firmly into the rim and the wheel remains stationary. It's like having an extra set of hands.
I've done it - I am thin with skinny arms and not particularly strong. I used only my bare hands - no tire irons. You can use both arms and your body weight to push or pull the tire onto the rim.
No rim lube but I do put some tire talc on the tube - it doesn't take much.
I am new to this Model T thing and have been hearing how difficult it was going to be to mount tires. So I went on Amazon and got 2 Core Tools CT101 16" Curved Tire Irons these things are great. The little curved end hooks on the rim edge and folds the tire (both beads at once ) on the rim. I lay the rim on the bench, lube the tire and in two minutes the tire is done. The only way it could get any easier is if someone else did it !
I've been using TT truck tire irons for years. It's the only way to go.
My experiences mounting clinchers has always been very satisfying and rewarding. I take 'em to the local tire shop, who satisfies me as a customer, and I reward them with a mere $18 per tire to do the hard work!