The tires on my 1924 touring are old and dry rotted on the sides.
I am ready to purchase new tubes, flaps, and tires.
My car has wood spoke wheels and should take 30X 3.5 new tires.
I am new to Model Ts and would like some advice on which brand and which company to deal with.
Lang's set me up with a set of Wards tires, tubes and flaps. http://modeltford.com that worked out great. I am told that all Model T tires are made from the same factory in Vietnam.
Try Summit Racing, from what I understand on this forum their prices are reasonable and shipping is free over a certain price. (I think $100.00)Jim
I believe some of the balloon tires are American and/or European. That's all clincher tires made in the same factory in Vietnam. I doubt that there's any difference in quality among them. Paying more will get you a tire with a different name on it, but not better quality. I get my Riversides from Lucas.
Get two 24 inch tire irons from Harbor Freight. Makes changing the tires easy.
I agree, but I use three.
Three for me too. And a large rubber hammer, all from Harbor Freight. Also some lube. I find hand cleaner, like Go-Jo works well.
Choose a very hot day with plenty of sun. Get a package of black lawn/leaf garbage bags (so the tires fit inside).Put the tires in bags and let them sit out in the sun for an hour or two. They'll be a lot easier to work with.
I like to use plenty of baby powder,
Question regarding flaps inside the rim.
I have a set of flaps that look like they are innertube material, and about 1 1/2" wide. I also have flaps that came from Coker that are much thicker, and approx. 4" wide, and with a concave surface. Never saw such heavy duty flaps. I am mounting 21" tires on my 25 wood spoke demountable rim. Which flap is correct?
John, your inner tube flaps may just be that. inner tubes can be used to make rim liners for 23" clincher rims. Your 21" demountables will be split rims, and the heavy rim flap is needed in that application to protect the tube from chafing at the rim join.
The tube and flap are assembled in the tyre as a unit and the whole is dropped over the rim while it is still collapsed.
You should not need any lubricant, any tyre levers or have to resort to heating up your tyres to fit them. Those are all considerations when working with 23" clincher tyres on earlier cars.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
Jon, the 1 1/2" wide strips are rim liners and are designed for the '26-27 wire wheels. These wire wheels take straight-side tires and are drop-center rims. Straight-side tires have steel in the bead and cannot stretch like clincher tires. When mounting straight-side tires on drop-center rims, you place the bead in the drop center and this gives you the clearance to put the opposite side on the rim.
The flaps are much wider and heaver and designed to completely cover the tire opening and protect the tube from anything on the rim (and protect the tube from pinching by the tire iron). Your 21" wheels have straight-side tires, not clinchers. The rims are split on 21" rims and yes you should use talcum or baby powder. When you use your rim tool (or jack with curved boards) to expand the rim, the tire must move on the rim. Sometimes this causes the tire to move at the valve stem causing the valve stem to be pulled on an angle when the rim is expanded. When this happens, lubricant on the tube will help the tube rotate in the tire to straighten up the valve stem. A good way to get the tube to move is to bounce the tire, tube and rim and slowly rotate the assembly. Just did that on a Buffalo wire wheel with an old 30 x 3 1/2" tire that was very hard to mount. A flap was used on this wheel. We finished and the stem was on an angle. I bounced the wheel and slowly rotated it (no air pressure in the tube) and the tube moved inside the tire. We then removed the valve core and aired up the tire and let the air out twice to remove any possible wrinkles in the tube. On a National Tour a few years ago we had 7 flats all on the same wheel. The valve stem was torn from the tube each time. The tire was to blame as it was VERY loose on the wheel. I never needed tire irons to mount the tire, just my hands. The tire was too loose on the rim of this rear wheel and the tire was rotating on the rim when we either accelerated or stopped. Finally fixed it by placing 7 layers of duct tape on the rim to tighten up the bead of the tire on the rim.
I used to own a '25 pickup with old cracked Wards tires. The car didn't care, and neither did I. I never drove it over 35 anyway.
It is amazing how those old Ward’s hold up. I actually have one as a spare right now.
I have metal valve stems that have lock nuts on both sides of the rim. Anything different when mounting so as to not stress the tube? Seven flats sounds the tour from Hell.
Beware of the rubber stem tubes, as they may be closer to 9/16" instead of 1/2" . No doubt they'll talk you into metal stem tubes. Don't ask me how I know.....
Coker owns Universal tire
As all the various clinchers are basically the same tire with different names, decide which name you prefer (if you have any preference) and order from whichever dealer has the best price and shipping on the one you want. The main ones are Coker, Universal (owned by Coker), and Lucas.
Jon, I would leave the stem nut that is on the inside of the rim either very loose or off while mounting the tire. If you have it tight, you may not know the tube is in stress. Always air the tube up after mounting the tire and let the air escape. If the tube is in any stress, many times when the tube relaxes, it conforms to the tire and stresses are relieved. The 7 flats occurred over a week of touring and I got very good at dismounting and mounting the tire on that wheel. Also, realize you need to use the correct size flap. There are 30 x 3" flaps for 24" rims (early front wheels), the most common 30 x 3 1/2" flaps for 23" rims (most of the Model Ts) and 21" flaps for 21" wood or wire wheels.
Whichever brand or type of tires you buy for your Flivver, it's very important that when you make your purchase, you get tires that haven't been laying around long enough to dry out. -You want the freshest rubber you can get. -Lang's, a company with significant buying power, "drop-ships" tires directly from the manufacturer and seems to have the clout to insist that any Lang's customer will receive only very fresh tires. -When I buy tires from Lang's and unwrap them, they always have the dizzying stink of fresh rubber.
Here's their website:
You don't need flaps on a 30 x 3-1/2 clincher rim. Two thicknesses of duct tape will do just fine. The flaps just cost money and makes mounting more of a pain.
Duct tape does absolutely nothing to protect your tubes from the "clincher" area of the rim which is one cause of flats ! The other is "pinching" the tube with an iron, which is nearly impossible utilizing flaps.
right on Steve, when the bead's are pinched together in the mounting of the tire,this is where you need to have the correct amount of air in the tube to keep the tube from between the bead's where that pinch will happen.as far as the rim,the tube on a clincher tire wont ever touch the steel part of the rim because the bead's are touching, making a complete seat holding the tube away from the rim.if the rim is rough take the time to smooth them up paint with good paint and give it time to dry completely,and its wise to pressure the tire to thirty pound's let air out then pressure up to fifty pounds, give tube chance to stretch into seating the beads, let air out again, then air up to pressure recommended pressure. I like the hand cleaner,messy but works.Good luck.
Besides, duct tape leaves a mess when you try and clean up. Try removing OLD duct tape from something.
If the rim inner diameter is smooth, then you don't need either duct tape or a flap. IMHO
The flap does two very important duties. First it protects the tube from a steel rim that may have its outer diameter very rough from rust or loose rivets. The other duty is to protect the tube from being pinched by tire irons. Not so much on mounting, but on dismounting. The very tip of the tire iron can pinch the tube when pulling the bead of the tire over the rim. You may see the nail in the tread and know there is a hole at that location in the tube that has caused the flat, but you can pinch the tube and cause another hole during dismount. I have dismounted a lot of old tires and rarely found flaps, but have "seen the light" and really believe in them. Flaps protect the tube from pinching with tire irons.
I have found 1 30" and 1 21", both wood wheels, with very old flaps in them. Ok maybe not a lot, but then if you consider the few tires I have changed over the years, the percentage goes up. Right now the 3 21" tires that I have changed, there was one flap. I know the 30" on my 21 have flaps.
When did they stop making red rubber inner tubes . Changing a front tire and the tube was red with brass stem .
Just assisted Gene mounting 2 of his tires and Mark your absolutely correct about the flaps. Doug
Lowell, just a guess based on observing the innards of Model T tires over 50 years ago. Someone on the forum may have documented evidence. My guess ? Just prior to or during WWII.
I'm going to be buying tires too. My '17 has demountable rims and utilizes 30 x 3.5 tires. As a new T owner, I'd like to do it right the first time, especially with the price of tires and tubes.
From this thread I get the idea that most favor flaps. How about tubes? Rubber stem or brass? The price difference is substantial so what do you recommend?
Flaps - definitely !
Tubes: depends on the hole size in your rims - apparently the currently available rubber stem tubes have a larger O.D. than original.
Being Mister Thrifty, I buy rubber stem tubes then cut off the stems and install old metal stems bought on the cheap at swap meets. The new metal stems have a smaller base than the old ones, and the new bridge washers are no good.
Can you replace the fat rubber stems with brass ones . Ifso , how?
Yes, that's what I do. Briefly:
1 Cut around the base of the rubber stem with a sharp knife. You can't cut all the way through, as there's a little brass tube inside.
2 After cutting down to brass all the way around, pull the stem out of the tube, being careful not to rip the surrounding rubber.
3 Smooth the area around the hole. I use an air grinder.
4 Spread the hole with snap ring pliers.
5 Work the base of the metal stem into the hole. I put contact cement on top of the base to help seal it against the inside of the tube.
6 Put on the bridge washer.
7 Put on the nut and tighten it down.
That's the basic procedure. I'll make a website page on this and add some details.
Here you go;
I recently replaced clincher tires and tubes for the first time, here's what I took away from it:
1. It's easiest to fight the tire off and on when the rim is attached to something solid, like a car.
2. Two tire irons are extremely helpful, three would have been better. Go into an auto parts store asking for tire irons and they'll hand you a lug nut wrench instead, you're better off asking for irons at a motorcycle shop.
3. Rubber valve stems suck, they wouldn't fit through the hole in the rim without something being modified. Next time I'm buying metal stem tubes. For as infrequently as they'll need replacement the extra fifteen bucks each will be worth it.
4. Flaps are pretty handy. Many people seem to think that flaps are used like rim tape on a bicycle to smooth out the rim, when they actually fit up inside the tire and protect the tube from pinches and whatnot. After actually seeing and handling flaps, I don't think I'd mount a tire now without them.
5. Clincher tires are way softer and more pliable than I was expecting. No wonder they need that little interlock with the rim (by virtue of their shape). I no longer look at guys who can change clinchers without any tools as some sort of supermen, though I'll admit I can't do that myself... yet.
6. If you buy T-Drivers straight from Universal, the batch was made about two months ago so right now they're as fresh as they're going to get. I suspect this helped make the job as easy as it was.
James Riedy : i just dont see the Summit Racing for 100 bucks a piece . I think youre the second one saying that and i would jump on a $100 tire but i dont think the info is correct . Can anybody check ?
A search of the Summit website shows nothing.
Check on eBay. I bought the 21" tires there from summit for $99 and free shipping this early summer. Even better, I had a one day eBay coupon for 15% off which made it a great deal. The tires were sent UPS, and were very soft and pliable! They sell tubes as well.
eBay search summitracing_sales in sellers then tires 30 x 3.50 brought up Coker excelsior set of 4 $756.00 with free shipping. For what it's worth! I have no interest in any tire sales! No idea as to whether that's a good price or not!
You can buy Coker Firestone's and Excelsior Tires thru Summit - do a search of the Coker SKU. You can get Wards Riversides thru PerformancePlus Tire https://www.performanceplustire.com/antique-tires/wards-riverside-tires/clincher -blackwall/
They offer Free shipping with a catch-there is a $19 to $30 boxing charge for a set of four tires and wheels. However, they also offer discount codes good for 7% off (today anyway) which ends up actually dropping the price.
I've had no luck finding free shipping on Universal tires...yet.