Flat tire report

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2018: Flat tire report
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Idaho Falls on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 11:15 am:



I'm afraid I have ignored concerns for my tire condition for too long. Today we found our 50+ year old tire had gone flat. Rich Bingham purchased this Wards Riverside in the early 60's. He and I got several trouble free miles from it. I bought a set of Firestones in 1964. They also have given good service. These have been on my Rusty Coupe since 2013. We drive it 10 to 20 miles a week but just around town.



While I don't encourage others to use old tires like these I must say they have given me good service. This is the second flat I have had on them. It is the tubes that give me the problems. I do carry a spare on this car.

Rich


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Peter Claverie, Memphis TN on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 11:23 am:

The unfortunate part of this story is that you will very likely not get the kind of life out of your replacement tires, that you got from these.

As I understand it, all of our Model T types and sizes of tires are now made in Viet Nam, probably all in the same factory, regardless of the brand name on them. The rubber compound simply isn't the same as it was 50 years ago.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jason Given - St. Paul, MN on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 11:29 am:

I have gotten nervous about tires like that. My T came with 4 new Firestones on it(~12-15 years old, but never drive on), and an old Wards tire with a lot of cracking on the spare. A couple years ago, in the spring I topped off the tires, except for the spare, I only brought it up to 25 psi, as it is cracked up so bad. about 5-10 minutes later, right after I connected the battery, it exploded! It scared the $%^& out of me. I put a brand-new Firestone on the spare.

On my everyday cars, if I see cracks in a tire, it is gone, as I do not want to deal with a flat tire due to being cheap/lazy. I noticed this spring that my 20-25 year old Firestones are starting to side wall crack. Im trying to decide when to replace them. I drive the T a lot (every nice weather day) and absolutely do not want to be stuck on the side of the road. PS, I do not carry the spare.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Neil Kaminar on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 11:58 am:

I bought a set of felloes and rims off a car that had been parked in 1949. They came with brand new 1949 Firestone tires that still had the little feelers on them. But they were cracked to hell with some rubber missing on the side exposing the cord. I sold them on Ebay with the warning that they should be used for decoration only. The person who bought them emailed me that he was going to put them on a car. Good luck to him.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Dimock, Newfields NH, USA on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 12:05 pm:

I love tire stories because they are all different. :-)

My dad put new tires on our T sometime in the early 60's and the car went into a barn in 64 when he got sick. The barn has a wooden floor with gaps between the boards and a horse poopy area underneath.
He put the T on blocks so the weight of the vehicle was not on the tires.

When we picked up the car in 2011 we put air in the tires, put it on the floor, and rolled it on to a trailer.
Once it was in my garage I filled them to 55 psi and after a bit of work drove the car until last year when I decided to get new tires and tubes because the tread was disappearing.

The old ones were cracked -like Rich's Firestones and hard as rocks but held air better than the new ones.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 12:19 pm:

Lots of folks with ancient tires have been lucky so far. But my unhappy experience last year with those NOS New Zealanders persuades me to go with new. Those tires were gorgeous when I unwrapped them, but the country roads ate them up PDQ. No matter how good the original quality, rubber does deteriorate with age, even if it's just sitting on the shelf.

Peter, I believe it's only the clinchers that are all made in Vietnam. Some other types of Model T tires are made in the USA and/or EEU.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rich Bingham, Blackfoot, Idaho on Friday, June 29, 2018 - 01:16 pm:

It's curious to dwell on the relative time-frames here . . . when I first got my T running, I scrounged ugly old tires off Hoover wagons to run on, but all considered, since my T was only 42 years old, the tires most likely were somewhat younger - nothing like the 50+ of Rich's tires today. Purchase of those Riversides followed my having totally run out of old, crumby tires, the final blow came on a 35 mile trip on gravel back-roads to my grandparent's place. I was used to patching tubes every ten miles or so, but when the casing totally failed, I had no option but to come in on the rim. I was amazed that there didn't seem to be any difference in handling or the ride, and the rim did fine until I was forced to come the last five miles on pavement - that dinged it up a bit, but it was still usable. Another reason to prefer dirt roads !! (from that experience, I'd reckon ten to twenty miles on pavement will probably totally ruin a clincher rim !)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 03:45 am:

Richard, in the first photo the lug at the bottom shows that the lug is hard against the felloe and the rust shows this. i have no experience with 23" clincher rims and felloes wth no return flange on the outside. If the rim goes on far enough to allow the lug to hit the felloe, does that indicate that the rim/felloe have been 'working' and have worn enough that the rim no longer wedges on the inner felloe land?

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Neil Kaminar on Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 05:40 am:

So here are a couple of other true tire stories:

From my Grandfather: Sometime in the 20's he was driving from LA to San Diego and got a flat. He was out of tube patches so he filled the tire with straw from a field and drove home. Pretty sure these were clinchers.

From my father: 1930's, no money and bald tires so he put old worn tires over the ones on the car and drove it that way. He had to be careful because the inside of the over-tire would generate little balls of rubber which would act like ball bearings causing the over-tire to slip. Also probably clinchers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Idaho Falls on Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 09:07 am:

Allen, I am not sure I have an answer to that. It may be that the rim is a different type than the wheel. I had not noticed it tight against the felloe. The rim I changed to doesn't bottom out. The tire I used is a Wards out of the same 1960's batch. It had 25 lbs when I selected it from the garage. It was mounted 3 years ago. I filled it to 55 lbs. We will see how well it lasts.
Thanks for all the comments.
Rich


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gordon A. Clayton Sr. on Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 10:03 am:

another tire story

I bought a 28 Essex coupe in 1955. It had 4.50-
5.50 20 tires. !9's and 21's were plentiful due
to lots of Model A's still on the road but used 20's were not available. Every time I had a flat, it was off to the junk yard to find a tire. I found a Jewett Sedan in a little worse for wear condition but ohh it had what looked like new tires and the rims were right too. I got two and thought I was in heaven. I put them on the Essex and one blew out that afternoon and the other the next day.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By jeff cordes on Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 10:15 am:

I had a WWII vintage 10 ply tire on the rear of an unrestored TT blow out a couple of years ago while driving home. It blew out and handling didn't change at all. It took 2 days for the tire to go flat even though it had a 2" hole in the side of it!!! They just don't make tires like that any more.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Norman T. Kling on Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 11:54 am:

I know you don't want to hear this, but it is time to get new tires! Even when they have tread, the casings get rotten and will blow out easily.
Don't worry about how long the new tires will last. Unless your car is a daily driver, they will last for years. If you are sentimental about your old tires, you can keep them for wall ornaments:-)

Norm


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 12:52 pm:

Well, my story is about a model A (that I still own); back in '71 I was driving it around town (Dusnmuir, SMALL mountain town)on the tires that had been on it when parked (Outside) in '54, they were marked "S3" I believe. Well, one day I drove into town and had to make a U turn. The minute I started on that hard left turn, the right front tire collapsed. Hmm, no sound, no pop, just the sidewalls fell over. So, I figure I'd been driving around on that old stiff tire without ANY air in it for some time; the sudden sideways loading finally made the tire loose its shape! Man, they don't make tires like that anymore!! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Neil Kaminar on Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 12:55 pm:

Here it is 2018 and we still use lug nuts and spare tires even though the nuts are wheel nuts and we carry a spare wheel.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Richard Eagle Idaho Falls on Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 04:39 pm:

Norman, that is exactly the advice I would give others. I don't want to mislead anyone into thinking these old tires are safe.
In the mean time I will test these for my own amusement.
Thanks for the good advice.
Rich


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 04:44 pm:

Geez we take chances don't we ? I had a spare that looked like that & I always sh*t bricks that I'd have to use it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 04:44 pm:

Geez we take chances don't we ? I had a spare that looked like that & I always sh*t bricks that I'd have to use it.


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