I decided to put a new rubber stem tube in the spare tire on my ’22 roadster as the old one was not holding air for long. All of the other tires (30x3-1/2) have heavy old red/orange tubes in them with no flaps and were like that when I bought the car in 1988. The valve stem guts in the old spare tube disintegrated when I removed it. I believe that this tube is Vietnamese. I was thinking about buying a tube and flap from one the vendors but thought to check my in trove first. I found two tubes, each wrapped in plastic bags. One was unlabeled except for “30x3.5” printed on the tire. The other was labeled “30x3.5, for bias ply and radial use” and the tire had a Universal logo plus “30x3.5 STR135, Made in Mexico” printed on it. The first tube leaked badly when I put a little air in it so I trashed it. The Mexican tube weighed about 2-1/2 to 3 times as much as the other one and it doesn’t leak. I am thinking about using this tube (remember, this is just for a spare) but when inflating it some, the inside diameter of the tube fits over the outside diameter of the tire. Is this normal or is this not a tube for me to use?
Some folks have used the same tires and tubes for fifty years or more with no trouble, but my experience has been otherwise. I don't know what to tell you about the size, but if you decide to use the Mexican tube for a spare I would certainly have a more recent back up tube in the car. Even if it's a quality item, I believe age takes a toll on rubber products.
I'm with Steve on this. That tire and tube if you mount it on the car needs to work properly. I do a bit of motorcycle work for folks and I will never put a used tube in a tire. I carry the same philosophy to Model Ts.
My OP and some others. Old or even new tubes that are stored a long time folded in plastic bags or tight in boxes can develop leaks at the folds. I would not have a problem using an old tube but would first inflate it some and let it sit. If it does not hold air just sitting then it wont when mounted.
The worst enemies of tubes are sunlight and exposure to the elements. For that reason, the best old tubes are to be found in old tyres still mounted on rims. If you can find them,it is best to fit them up as soon as you can. Otherwise, store them in the cool, in the dark. Inflate before using to make sure they still hold air.
Allan from down under.
Thanks to all of you. I'm hanging the Mexican tube, inflated in my garage for a while though it doesn't show that it's leaking when submerged in my washtub. I bought the car from a farmer in 1988 and I've changed tires on this car about every 5 years due to sidewall checking. I kept using the old tubes that were in the car when I bought it and never used flaps and never had a flat (good luck?). The car didn't have a spare when I bought it but I added one about 5 years later. I replaced the spare several times with the best one of the old tires I was replacing. None of the tubes that I bought for this spare held air as well as the old ones they never hit the ground.
Thanks again, Robert