I have read old posts about 20" TT rims and the dangers of mounting tires onto them. My question is: Is it safe to mount a spare and keep it stored without being on a wheel. Once properly mounted to the rim, can that ring pop off? Thanks
The two (or three) piece removable ring wheel rims are generally safe once they are aired up. The pressure presses the tire against the ring and helps hold it in place. When big trucks used to use such rims and blow a tire, the ring would often go flying off and could be very dangerous to other cars and people. But that was because the blown tire no longer held the ring in place.
There is one danger that should be considered. IF (my big "IF again) the part of the rim where the ring fits into becomes cracked? It is possible for the crack to suddenly fail in a large enough section to explosively fly away. Usually, a piece of the ring will separate due to a crack, the ring generally is steel and won't break. The rest of the tire and rim will usually hold it together until the inner tube blows through the crack. I have personally seen (and had it happen) that the crack would open up nearly two inches wide before the tube would blow out. And when sitting, once the tube blows out? there is no pressure to blow the ring out.
Always, when working with such wheels and rims? INSPECT the rim and rings for any sign of cracks, defects, warping, or in any way not fitting together properly.
Most people do not realize that there is a danger even with modern type all steel one piece drop center rims. I have had two of those over the years that developed cracks and blew out. And I once read of someone walking by a car parked in a shopping center lot that was injured when the car they were walking by blew a tire because of a fractured wheel.
Personally, I have always liked and liked using the removable ring wheels and rims. But that is me.
Wayne's comments and advice are sound.
I'll jump in over my pay grade. As I understand it the 20" lock ring rims discussed here are not the "widow maker" rims of the past. Some early TT's, were, I think, equipped with the old style two piece rims known as "widow makers". I've never seen one in person or used them, but from what I've read they'd pretty much spit at you as you walked by.
The reason I mention this is to point out that IMHO the locking ring rims have suffered an exaggerated bad reputations being confused with the widow makers. Sure, they can be dangerous too, but not nearly as bad. Follow Wayne's advice and you should be fine.
I carry an aired up spare rear tire. As said before, it is all about condition.
Hey Tom, As we are getting ready to change the rear tires and tubes on my wheels on the truck, my Dad told me that my grandfather always made sure that the rings and the seating areas were really clean. Get rid of any rust, etc. to make sure they seated properly. He hauled many tons of coal back during the day here in WV and never had one fail on his truck. - Matt