A few weeks ago I ordered a new set of 21 X 4.50 inner tubes from Lucas to put on my freshly powdercoated 26/27 wire wheels. When I went to install them, I found that the rubber stems were way too large to fit the hole in the rim. Thinking it could possibly be the powder coating, I tried to fit the new valve stem on a different unrestored rim. Same problem.
So now I was thinking it was just an issue with the Lucas tubes so I ordered another 21 x 4.50 tube from Lang's. If anyone carries the right part for a Model T it has to be Lang's, right? The tube arrived yesterday and same problem.
I do have three old tubes with valve stems that fit fine but I can't really run very well on three wheels and there's no way am I'm going to modify a 90 year old part to fit a new tube.
So does anyone know of a place that sells tubes with stems that fit the 26/27 wire rims?
Metal stems were used originally. You can easily install an original metal stem in your new rubber stem tube.
Here's how to do it:
Best solution with rubber stem tubes is to hunt for original Schrader 777 or 888 stems and hardware and install them in place of the rubber stem:
You might try putting a wanted ad in the Classifieds for original stems and parts, and/or search for them at Hershey.
I've tried to explain the problem to Coker, and Universal, and Lucas. They are sympathetic, but when I walk away that is the end of it. I've even saved rubber stems from old tubes that fit through a wood felloe, and given them the Schrader number too, and that doesn't work either. The bottom line is, they really don't care to cater to the hobbyist. Sooner or later we are going to run out of original valve stems as Mark posted above, and then what?
Lang's carries metal stem tubes. https://www.modeltford.com/item/MTS6.aspx
The metal stem tubes from Langs's are pricey but are very well made from heavy duty thick rubber. I have the clincher version in my 14 for about 10 years and have never had any problem.
This is what I've used with great success.
I just whittle them down some to fit the hole.
The stems that come on the metal-stemmed tubes from the vendors are noticeably larger than original Model T stems. Not a big deal on a driver, but might be on a show car.
Larry has mentioned this before, but Model Ts originally came with Schrader 777 stems and matching dust covers. The Schrader 888 stems and covers are about 1/2 inch shorter than the 777's.
It took a lot of digging at Hershey last year, plus some begging on the forum for me to accumulate a full set of five Schrader 777 stems and matching hardware.
y. My tire guy had a tool that helps pull it through. The wider taper at the base of the stem didn't allow me to install my new nice dust covers. I'l have to maybe bore out these covers or grab a razor an shave the stems a bit.
Thanks everyone! Lot's of ideas and options given here.
In the spirit of making do with what I have, I'm going to try to shave one stem down and use my three old tubes for now while looking for some original Schrader stems.
The modern metal stems that Coker sells are for trucks, and Pierce Arrows! They are a larger diameter than what was used originally. Plus, they are vulcanized to the tubes which is not correct. The bottom line is, do your homework, and pay attention to the post that Mark provided above.
Put some alcohol on the rubber4 part and they should pull into the hole, you will probably need to trim them to remove them.
Use of the snap ring pliers as is shown in RV's link above is key to prevent cursing while doing these steps. I have tried it both ways. Borrow if you do not own a pair.