What should I use to keep some old tyres I have from going hard please.
You need something that makes time stand still. A time tunnel perhaps?
Seriously, the way to keep tires in good shape is to keep them out of sunlight. The Montgomery Wards Riverside tires on my '17 roadster are about 50 years old and look like new because they have been in a dark garage with no sunlight.
Also, drop the pressure to 10 or less.
You can wipe them down occasionally with a light oil on a rag. ATF works. Do NOT use the silicone based products. These cause checking and cracking of rubber.
Andrew; As Royce says, keep them in the dark helps. The two things that contribute the most to side wall cracking are sunlite and Ozone.
To keep the sunlite off the tire, a thin application of old fashioned black tire paint that has a good percentage of carbon black in it. The carbon black physically blocks the sunlite.
To keep the Ozone off the rubber, a mixture of SILICONE OIL and a good solvent. The silicone based products usually are water based, and the soluble materials are left behind when the water evaporates. The next time the tire gets wet they wash off and remove part of any underlying protection that might be on the tire.
By fooling with the amount of solvent used with the silicone, the proper looking finish can be produced. One that is not greasy, but has a little shine to it.
Not much can be done to keep tires from hardening while ageing.
The problem here is the mfgr probably used cheap accelerators. The better accelerators more nearly stop curing after the tire has cooled down.
An other problem the mfgr has to address is when Nylon is used in the sidewalls. Nylon will stretch quite a bit more than other sidewall materials, and has a memory. Untreated Nylon tires will crack in the sidewalls very quickly, many times in just a few months. These tires also get a severe case of morning sickness. For the first few miles the vibration from the flat spot is very evident till the tire gets warmed up. To minimize this, the Nylon cord is heated, stretched and cooled while being stretched.
Thanks for your post Jim. I've learned something - now if I can only retain it....
If "SILICONE OIL" is good, then would Dot 5 "silicone based" brake fluid also do the trick?
I personally prefer Kessler's bourbon. (It doesn't do much for the tires,but I don't care!)
I'm talking thru my keester here...but I'll throw this out and seek others comments......
All rubber products have a shelf life...
There are reportedly some 50 different rubber compounds used in the making of car tires...
I'll agree that both UV and Alkali kill any polymer compound...
I'll agree that there is an age hardening that can't be avoided....
However, and realizing it is probably a totally different compound, how does all of this tie in to the old plumbers trick of wiping any rubber inventory down with petroleum jelly to keep it always 'fresh'...or to take an old dried out rubber part, coat it with petroleum jelly overnite and then use it as almost 'new' for the next day?
Off the wall comment, I'll agree...but just wondering if there is any associative science behind it when it comes to tires.
[From the guy whose '25 STILL has red rubber inner tubes that are as soft as the day they were made without ever doing anything to them! Even while the newer 'black' spares bought as backup were inflated a bit and placed in storage and went hard and checked to scrap while waiting. ]
Never, ever use oil on any rubber product. Silicone is ok, but OIL, never. It causes the rubber to swell and rot. Ever see an oil-soaked radiator hose? Oil makes rubber APPREAR supple and pliant, but only at the cost of breaking it down. IT weakens and rots rubber. In our fleet trucks, we used to use brake fluid to wipe down mud flaps and rubber trim. Worked ok.
Yes, I've seen "an oil-soaked radiator hose". I never said to "soak" the tire though. Silicone is not okay. In keeping with your analogy, ever see a swelled and plugged brake line hose? Silicone tire treatments cause rubber to crack. This was determined years ago and the reason the better tire treatment manufactures have eliminated it from their products.
Keep using whatever you want. I'll keep using ATF with an "occasional wipe-down". My old tires seem to like it and they're not swelled, rotted nor cracked.
Blistex, Carmex, Fast Orange hand cleaner (smooth), Corn Husker's lotion, Vaseline Intensive Care, and KY Jelly also work well.
Yup! Sunlight is the trouble maker and thats why I only drive at night!! And there are more Chicks to pick up at night also!! But not for me I have one already!! LOL
We used to use the black tire paint a lot back in the '60's and '70's and had very good luck with it. Where can you find it now? I haven't seen it in years. Dave
You guys just don't listen; you all forgot about "modified bitumin roofing tar"!
Harold; That is only for horizontal surfaces. For the contoured surfaces like these, we would have to use UN-modified bitumen roofing tar. Hugh Jas has done extensive testing on this material.
Large electric motors, arc welders etc give off ozone. They will damage tires quickly.