I'll save the controversy. I'm in the process of mounting four new Firestone tires for my '13 runabout. I have one 30X3 1/2 ready to go on, so I measured the tire bead to bead, and it is two inches even. I measured the inside of the rim, and it is three inches. Any questions?
I'll bite Larry. There is no such thing as an original flap in a T, so why waist the cost of the things fitting them? It can't be because they are needed.
Allan from down under.
Make that waste the cost.
Allan from down under.
Larry, I don't know what I'm supposed to be asking. Make this a teaching moment.
I thought you were going to say that you used them to slowdown while landing.
Sorry - wrong site!
On my '13 Touring I have always used 15 degrees of flaps for landing. I have never crashed a "T". I use Dyna-Beads for stability, and they seem to overcome the flap instability.
I believe that he is saying is that with new tires, the tube will bulge past the beads and have significant contact the inner rim. Old tires have a much narrower gap and the tube is not so prone to rubbing on the rim.
The T did not ever come with flaps. Neither did they ever come with today's new tires with a wide gap between beads.
While the T never had flaps all the early treatises on tire care that I have recommend flaps for clincher rims and there must have been a reason for it. I use them because they make mounting easier by protecting the tube from getting pinched and they do protect the tube from rubbing on the rim. I am certain you can get away without them on clincher rims but am equally certain that they are essential on split rims
Yep. Flaps work if you want to land.
But if you want to keep flying don't use them.
I believe the gap problem began when Lucas started making Firestones down in New Zealand. I had never used them until that time. I mounted four new Firestone New Zealand tires, and within 50 miles I had a flat, so I replaced the tube, and shortly thereafter had another, so I replaced that one, and got another flat! At that point, I put my T on the trouble trailer. I don't recall how many beers I had that day, but it was a lot!
We never had that problem with Firestones or Monkey Ward tires when they were made in the U.S.
There are basically two choices when it comes to flaps: If you know how to mount tires without causing the inner-tube to get pinched, you won't need flaps. -If you don't happen to have that skill, you will need flaps.
It happened that I developed the knack of not pinching inner-tubes as a kid who went through bicycle tires like Elizabeth and Zsa-Zsa went through husbands. -I had no idea this knack would come in handy in later life.
I'd like to agree with Bob, but I don't! I've been mounting clincher tires all my adult life, and never had a problem until they started making them outside the USA! I don't like flaps, but I don't get pinched tubes any more either.
I just recently mounted one set of 5 & two sets of 4 (one set today) of the 30 x 3 1/2 Riversides and now waiting for my rims to get back to mount 5 Firestones on the Centerdoor. I require my customers to purchase flaps if they want ME to mount them up ! Might be a difference of opinion but - "knock on wood", I've mounted up well over 2 dozen sets in the last 5 years - yes, that's 96 tires + spares without a comeback for a flat or "leaker" - all with flaps !
I have never understood the controversy about using flaps, other than the additional cost. I personally would rather pay a few extra bucks on something i consider a safety issue, especially considering how the new tubes that are now available to us, aren't as good as they used to be.
Flaps are not orginal but rust pitted and bent rims due to age are not factor either.
Flap are an aid help prevent tube wear
I agree with Larry and always use flaps. (Larry, The speedster is still in perfect shape!)
Larry, disregard what's in the parentheses .
I use flaps in all my wheels, been down the pinched tube route before, haven't pinched a tube since.
This is NOT about the condition of your rims. If you have an old tire, take a look at the shape of the inner edge above the bead and then look at a modern replacement. You will notice the old tire has a nice smooth radius transitioning from the inside of the tire to the bead area where as the modern Firestones have a sharp edge in that same area- that's why you need flaps- that sharp edge is rough on inner tubes. If you pinch a tube, your tire will go flat and you'll find a small hole. The sharp edge failure mode is a blowout - not a leak from a hole.
This is NOT about the condition of your rims or pinching the tube during the install. If you have an old tire, take a look at the shape of the inner edge above the bead and then look at a modern replacement. You will notice the old tire has a nice smooth radius transitioning from the inside of the tire to the bead area where as the modern Firestones have a sharp edge in that same area- that's why you need flaps- that sharp edge is rough on inner tubes. If you pinch a tube, your tire will go flat and you'll find a small hole. The sharp edge failure mode is a blowout - not a leak from a hole.
With the '26 we have split rims and bought Lucas tires, mounted four of them this year with flaps, after restoring the rims, basically using the same principle as I did with bicycle tires. I did not have the years of experience to know that tires used to be of better quality on earlier T models.
..eam non deficient.
Have used flaps and now never have pinched tube tire mounting. Used to have some. So flaps are my choice.
Ford DID put flaps in all the '25-'27 split rim wood wheels. Just didn't do the clinchers.
But flaps were always available after market and lots of old tires I have taken off clinchers rims have had flaps inside the old tires.
Dan McEachern may have a point, just measured a new Firestone clincher tire, and an old Wards to look at the bead edge. The Firestone bead is much more pointed, measured thin. The old Wards is blunt and measured thick
Wards left, Firestone right
Wards thick blunt bead edge touching the tube.
Thank you Dan and Dan
You have illustrated the differences between old tires and new tires that I could not. They each interface with the tube in dramatically different ways.
This is why I previously said Ford never used tubes in clinchers, but *neither did he use new (style) tires*
Whether Ford used them originally has ZERO applicability as to whether or not they are appropriate for today. They are, and for good reason. If you are unconvinced, don't use them.
I wish the tire dealers would sell rim liners too. A lot of our old rims are pitted from rust, and a nice new rim liner would help. I tried to buy some from Lucas awhile back and they don't carry them. I also had to buy some 30X3 Firestones and the don't have them either! They did have the 30X3 1/2's, so I had to order two 30x3's from Langs. I could have bought them directly from Coker, but I'd rather give Don a chance to make a couple of bucks since he is a friend.
I agree with John Noonan.
I saw no need for rim flaps until one year when I had more than a dozen flats on new Firestones. I always use them now except in some old Firestones I bought in 1964.
I am pretty good about not pinching tubes when mounting clinchers, but always install flaps anyway. I hate getting a tire mounted only to hear the hissing of a pinched tube or have a slow leak. I had a set of NOS Co-op brand tires on my 23 touring. The beads were so thick that there was barely enough room to get the second bead on the rim. Those are hands down my favorite T tire. I loved the tread design, they fit and looked great. Wish I could find another set.
Starting to see a possible common thread here...Firestone tires. A friend of mine had two flats in as many months with a new Firestone tire. Be interesting to hear from users of other brands with or without flaps. As for me, I don't have flaps on any of my 3 Ts, so far, so good. But then, none of 'em are Firestone either. FWIW I do put Gorilla tape all around the inside of my rims.
Gary, cheap is relative. At current prices for flaps a set of 5 to protect against clumsy tyre fitment is $225 plus shipping. My 27 Tudor Has comprehensive cover for write-off, third party damage and $20,000,000 public liability cover, plus I get to keep my wreck, at a cot of $50.06 pa.
Allan from down under.
Are you glad to know now that your trouble was related to your poor installation technique?
$225 !? I just used a long strip of marine vinyl for each tire that I had lying around.
Vern, that's our cost in AU$. Snyders has them for US$140 for 5, plus shipping for you guys in the USA. That's still way more than 3 times my AU$ insurance cost.
My alternative rim liners begin life as 13" car inner tubes or 28" bicycle tubes.
Allan from down under.
I can't believe some folks don't know the difference between a rim liner and a flap!
Larry, that is me.
Let me describe in more detail. The vinyl strips that I used were much wider than the inside width of the rim and could not have fit there. I also did not place them there first but mounted one bead of the tire on the rim, then the tube and finally the vinyl into the tire such that it lay inside both beads and on the rim. The vinyl was not a continuous loop however. but overlapped itself. So, in reality, I don't know if you can call it a flap or a rim liner...and on a '26. I only have one year of T experience but it has been great.
Your the first fellow to satisfactorily explain to me why flaps are required versus not required.
I just mounted (for my first time) four Firestone clincher tires on newly rebuilt rim/wheels and I used flaps. The flap is much more substantially built as opposed to the tube.
I observed the tires sharp edges you mentioned and also noticed the difference in the gap between these sharp edges of the 3 inch front and 3 1/2 inch rear tires when mounted.
When not using a flap one can easily envision how a tube inflated to 65 pounds of pressure could fail (or easily pinched during mounting) in that environment.
One additional point about those sharp edges you mentioned. The narrow width of the sharp edge gap on the 3 inch tire convinced me of the need to make a semi circular relief in the two adjacent sharp tire edges for the metal stem tubes.
I measured the sharp edged gap on the 3 1/2 inch tire when mounted and inflated to be wider and I did not make the circular gap in the sharp tire for the tube stem.
This may not apply to other manufacturers tires, but it certainly is for Firestone tires.
To me flaps are important for obvious reasons.
I just finished mounting a new Firestone 30X3 1/2 tire. Because it's an early wheel with nice paint, I tried the new plastic rim protectors that Ron told us about. Honestly they seem like a great idea, but the darn thing kept popping out, so I finished up mounting them with a huge rubber mallet, and TT truck tire irons just like I always have. It took me 10 minutes start to finish.
Simple,I'm not crazy about changing tires!
After you reform the Rim Shield device it will hold better but you must use the finger holds to keep tension on the rim edge. Very difficult with only one person doing the job.
As I told you I had three people. One to hold the wheel, one to man and slide the Rim Sheild tool and another to man the tire iron. Finially I had the rim on a waist high table on a four inch thick piece of high density foam with a 3 inch hub hole in the foam. Hence no wasted rim chasing motion.
The ideal situation would be a Rim Sheild tool made specifically for a Model T clincher rim.
I need to do more measuring, but I did a little yesterday, and the difference between a USA Firestone and the Viet Nam is 1/8". Definitely enough to pinch a tube. I can remember back in 1962 when I bought my first Firestone non skids from the local Firestone dealer, I had to cut a notch in both beads to be able to get the valve stem through. Didn't need flaps back then, AND the tubes were considerably thicker than anything made today.