I'm getting ready to order some tires for my T project. I have 30 x 3.5 wheels with demountable rims and wonder whether I need to install flaps to protect the tubes? Flaps are pretty pricey but I'll get them if they're needed!
What did you do with your tires?
On a related subject - anyone ever make flaps out of an old tube?
Flaps are usually recommended to prevent the tube from getting "under" the clincher portion of the tire....and getting pinched.
I remember reading somewhere that old 13" tire tubes could be cut and used as flaps. Never tried it myself though.
Flaps you wont regret it!
Forgot flaps on all of my 5 T's, past and present and haven't regretted it either! Just saying!
Thumbs-up on flaps for me.
Does the tube have potential to be pinched after driving or just during installation ?
The only flat tire I have ever had on a Model T was on a car I had recently bought, and it had no flaps. The tire beads had pinched the tube and punctured it. I always use flaps.
I got by without flaps from 1964 to 1985. That Summer I had a dozen flats that rim cut my Firestone's. I have used them since with very few troubles.
Yes, to install flaps!
It's undeniable that flaps provide a significant, extra measure of protection for your inner-tubes and don't let anyone tell you they don't. -Flaps are wonderful if you can get them and your fingers to fit inside the tire as you're making the mounting attempt. -My personal experience, though, is that this is impossible with 30x3 NON-SKID Firestones—and I've been mounting and dismounting skinny tires since I was a little kid with a bicycle.
Regular-tread Firestones have a bit more interior room and you'd have a better chance of fitting flaps into that type of tire. -As for me, I gave up on trying to fit flaps years ago and rely instead on the knack I've developed over the years for not pinching inner-tubes during the mounting process:
Buy a couple of jumbo-size, double-head C-clamps with plastic jaws, a rubber, dead-blow mallet and a set of smooth, spoon-type tire irons (and don't even think of going near your tires with a screwdriver). -Make very certain your rim is smooth. -A half-round file, followed by a wire brush followed by steel wool (and a good wipe-off), followed by a coat of Rustoleum and a single-layer bed of good-quality duct-tape* is reasonably good insurance.
Letting the tire sit in the hot sun for a while will soften the rubber a bit and make it a little easier to mount. -Dust the inner-tube and the inside of your tire with talcum powder (or corn-starch, if you're worried about the health-hazards of talc). -You need just a minimal amount of air in the inner-tube—just enough that it isn't collapsed—and when using the tire-irons, stick your finger in to make sure you're not pinching the tube. -Whenever possible, use the C-clamps or mallet instead of the tire-irons. -You may have to push the air-valve in a bit to get the bead to seat in that spot. -Don't worry, the valve will re-assume the correct position when you inflate the tire. -It's a good idea to put about twenty pounds of pressure in the tire and beat on the treads with the mallet to ensure that the inner-tube isn't being pinched between the clinchers—it's also viscerally satisfying. -Then, inflate to at least fifty-five pounds of pressure (assuming high-pressure clincher tires) and beat it up some more.
A little care and common sense is all that's required to safely mount the tires without flaps if it turns out you can't fit them in there.
*Some folks frown on using duct tape to line the inside of the rims. -Nevertheless, this versatile material is widely used for this purpose and for me, has worked out just fine.
I have clinchers with and without flaps. The ones without have given me no troubles so far except when I was careless mounting a tire and pinched the tube with an iron. I would want to use them if my rims were rough.
I use flaps and i can't understand how one could not get them in the tire?? Bud in wheeler,Mi.
I sense this is a "no win" discussion.
Flaps probably have benefits and probably aren't needed.
Drivers have problems with them and without them.
Punctures occurred only on tyres with flaps and only tyres with no flaps.
Conclusion? probably whatever you feel works best for you.
(I have just installed new tyres this week. I decided to skip the extra weight of flaps and as I have brand new rims I went for a flapless install)
Anyone here who owns a T and drives it regularly, and is honest with themselves and others realizes that what we do is fairly dangerous by any of today's standards. I prefer to take this chance willingly because i love driving these beautiful rattling relics. On the other hand i won't compromise safety to save a few bucks, So yes, use flaps, its just extra protection when we honestly don't have all that much to begin with. Just my 2c.
I ran without them for a while but have since added flaps only to save putting holes in the inner tubes when mounting the tires. I use tire irons, not screw drivers. Make sure they are installed correctly and not causing the tire to be out of round. This actually happened to a friend of mine after he took his wire wheels to a tire shop to have new clincher tires mounted. Modern tire mounting machines and old clinchers don't match. The flaps were between the tire and wheel in a couple of places.
So far, I think all of you are talking about clincher type rims.
Would the flap discussion still apply to the late, demountable 21" rims? On these, wouldn't a rim-liner (like I've seen used on Model A's) be sufficient to keep the rim from chafing the tube?
Don, split rims like the late 21" wheels on T's must have the flaps to prevent the tube being pinched it the rim join. The 26-7 wire wheels have a narrow rim liner so that any roughness where the spokes are welded does not cause problems.
Flaps are not necessary in clincher rims, but there are many who find reasons to invest in them.
Allan from down under.
Just installed new tires, tubes, and flaps on my "24 Touring.
Getting the old tires off was a real wrestling match.
I am the third owner of the car. The second owner purchased it in 1963. Not exactly sure how long the old tires (Lincoln Highway brand 30 X 3.5 clinchers) were on the car. They were like rocks!
Putting on the new was not too bad. I rubbed baby powder on the tubes, flaps, and inside the tires to help lube everything.
I would strongly recommend flaps!
Inflating and then deflating the tires several times, before final PSI, as well as bouncing the tires on the cement garage floor will help take out any kinks.
I always slip the tube in, then put enough air in to get all the wrinkles out. Then start about 10" with a spoon, I use a rubber hammer and walk the tire on the rest of the way. A little Murphy's oil soap on the bead helps and sunshine. I haven't pinched a tube in 45 years using this method. I had never heard of flaps before...
This topic ranks with spark plugs, Mystery oil, and tire brands.
I never used flaps until Lucas started making Firestone tires in New Zealand. After three consecutive flats in a row, I now use flaps.
I have flaps in my '13 T. I like them and hate changing tires because I'm waaay too fat and it's hell for me to do it. I did put them in my 1905 Queen as well, but I will tell you trying to stuff 28 x 3's, tubes and flaps on clincher rim times 4, is a real hard chore to do!
I use a few wraps of duct tape. Works amazing and is way easier and cheaper than messing with flaps.
Way back when trucks used tires with tubes every tire tube assembly had a flap.Over my life i have changed many but never really understood why new smooth rims needed flaps? A wise man who seldom post anymore said it was to keep the tube out from under the bead of the tire! Millions and millions of truck and trailer tires had them so there must have been a need!!!!! Bud.
I have run into tubes that are not a full 30" in diameter so they do not stay in the tire when mounting, being under sized they want to come out. Back in the old days when clinchers were made the tire completely encased the tube when mounted. The new ones leave a narrow gap. I have them in the 30" tires on my 21 and will used them in the 21" tires on the 25.
I hate duct tape and curse it’s use with a passion! Probably, because my father couldn’t “fix” anything without using it! Growing up he always had 6 rolls of it in the front room closet!
I will do whatever it takes just to not use the stuff! That’s me though.... Flaps, Name Brand Oil, MMO Forever
Kenneth, you are correct about there being a need for flaps in truck tyres with tubes. Until the development of well based rims and tubeless tyres, trucks had flat based rims over which the tyre/tube/flap assembly was dropped. Then the lockring/s were fitted to make the outside edge of the rim. These were split so they could be fitted into each other or into receiving grooves in the rim. This break in the lockrings and the general construction of the rim assembly was not watertight, and rust in truck wheels was a real problem. The flap kept the tube isolated from the rim and lockrings as well as the rust.
This is why flaps are a must in 26-7 T and TT rear wheels.
Allan from down under.
In 1963,I got my first Model T, that could be driven. I put duck tape around the rims.I did not know anything about rim flaps. I kept getting flat tires.I also had rubber valve stems. A few years later, I heard about rim flaps and the metal valve stems. From that point on I never had a flat tire on my 1923 touring. I drove it till 1994, when I got my 1911 touring. I put rim flaps and tubes with metal stems in my 1911.. I have had one flat tire since them. We were on a tour down in Florida, when it happened. Knock on Wood !!!!
I choose to use flaps because I'm sometimes not as careful with tire irons as I should be. Next time I'll have to try the rubber hammer method.
For what its worth
I dont use them
Keep tire properly inflated 55 to 60 psi
Anything less then 55 you'l wish you used flaps
I'm going to respectfully disagree that flaps will allow you to get away with insufficient inflation (but understand that I could be wrong—happens all the time—just ask my wife. -If so, I'd appreciate being corrected and educated as to why). -Let me put forth my reason for this thinking:
The reason we need to run high pressure in clinchers is to avoid shearing the air valve off the inner-tube. -Higher pressure forces the rubber clinchers more tightly against the rim, thus preventing tire slippage. -If the tire slides along the inside of the rim (and this tendency is strongest during heavy braking), the inner-tube gets stretched at the point where the air-valve pokes through the rim and that can cause the valve to part company with the rest of the inner-tube. -All things being equal (meaning psi of inflation), adding thickness to the inner-tube by encasing it in a flap wouldn't change this situation.
This valve-shearing problem is much more prevalent in the case of the rear tires because they are subjected to the fore and aft loads of acceleration and braking. -Not so, the front wheels, the most significant problem of which is the kind of excessive side-load you get when rounding a corner at too high a speed (which is not only bad for the tires, but for the wooden spokes as well).
I think, therefore, there's some "wiggle room" when it comes to deciding on the proper inflation pressure of your front tires, and if you run them at, say, 50 pounds instead of 60 pounds, the car will ride much more smoothly, at least as far as the front passengers are concerned (but as always, take corners slowly so as to avoid peeling the tire off the rim or shattering the spokes).
There's not a whole lot we can do about reducing the acceleration and braking impulses at the rear wheels. -In a Model T, those forces are already minimal compared to most any other kind of car and reducing them further is not really possible. -The usual vacuous advice applies and all you can do is inflate to the recommended pressure and drive gently.
Now, intuitively, it seems to me that the old-fashioned type of metal air valve would have a greater tendency to become separated from the rest of the inner-tube than would be the case of a modern valve, the shaft of which would be encased in rubber as one piece, thus making for a bit more ability to stretch without popping out the valve.
On the "improved car" I cannot figure out how you could use duct tape on the inside of the rim. The way I mount tires, I have one end of the rim overlapping the other as the tire goes on. If I had used duct tape, where the seam occurs there would be tape breakage or a wrinkle in the tape which would have the potential to rub against the tube. Having said all of that, four of the five tires on my '27 had duct tape. All now have flaps.
I used duct tape on my 30 1/2 rims. It was quick and easy, tires went on fine and 2 years later still ridding good.
This week however I am cleaning a set of 21 inch split rims and some one used duct tape on them. The tape has almost bonded with the paint / steel and is impossible to get off. In the end I used a rotary tool and wire brush to take them down to steel. I will never use duct tape again on tires because it is so hard to get off.
I would like to see a picture of said flaps. I believe that proper inflation is the most important part of the conversation.
I think I will leave the 200 mph tape to the NASCAR boys and MacGiver !
Just a data point but my intention was to rebuild without flaps but when I pulled the old tires off there was a set of nearly new flaps in there which I reused. After taking a good look at how they sat inside the tire I realized I had completely misunderstood their function (I thought they worked like rim tape on a bicycle) and now can't picture myself running without them.
Flaps and what Adrian said.
A wire wheel rebuilder in SoCal who rebuilt my wires said that Duct tape is the worst. it eventually abrades the tubes. He recommends Using Pipe sealing tape from Lowes or Depot. It's smooth and won't abrade the tubes. Get the thickest mil stuff. As I understand , he does most of Leno's wires.
I went through tire installation last Sunday and the flaps caused most of my installation issues. I used plenty of tire lube and choice words but still had a fight to put on the tires. If your rims are smooth I'd forego the flaps.
Baby powder is key and plenty of it, not lube.
My first round in tire mounting on d mountable clinchers was with a heavy ole flap mean thing to get placed, hard on the back of the fingers. with a sizeable screw driver, as i did not nave the tire tools needed for this job,well i tried stretching the retched tire over the ridge, my hand sliped off the driver, it did one back flip and got me [butt first] over my right eye, talk about stars, some colors Iv'e never see before.went to the house and sat for a while thinking WHAT IF--well needless to say I went on the hunt for the proper tools, Henry did make them, I found three, to look at them one would think they wont do the job,well they made those hard ole tires [with the help of ole sol] baking them a little while slide on with ease,the irons I got were from a collector,and on the tip of the rounded edge is a very slight lip,when this is apply'd to the rim when prying it up stays put no slip, this gives you a chance to make shure the tube is not in the way,slick as all getout.after mounting that tire with flap I made up my mind the other three are going on flapless! my feeling is this,flaps if your rims are questionable or worry about pinching the tube, otherwise there of little use in a blowout. 30/3's when inflated to proper pressure, there is no movement between tire and rim, 50 pounds is not enough pressure when tires are warm and cornering at 30 mph.yes it's one of those should I?? its up to you,ether way you may be wrong. A T IS A T AND ALWAYS WILL BE. they were built a hundred years ago, when things were a lot slower, were ever you go, your in somebody's way.Like here in VERMONT the horse has the right of way, ha try telling that to the jerk be hind me blowing his horn. makes one grind his teeth,
I use tire talc. One can will last multiple lifetimes.
I don't use flaps. (We only used flaps with split rims on the '27 Hupmobile).
Frankly, it doesn't take much talc. Just a light dusting of the tube. Tire talc serves as a lubricant for the tube and the casing (inside of the tire). The purpose of tire talc is to alleviate chafing and sticking of the tube against the inside of the tire. I don't consider it to be bead lube (I have never used bead lube.)
The last time I mounted a clincher tire was last summer. I installed it with my hands (no tools) with the wheel still on the car. I'm a thin fellow and have never been particularly strong but it was a piece of cake.
Royce posted tutorial:
I know he likes to use GoJo for bead lube.
The last time I mounted a new clincher tire it took four minutes. I used to struggle at it with Ford irons, but now I use three 24" HF irons. The Ford irons are now just a dis[lay item. In this case there were no flaps. After about 3000 miles, no problems yet.
Stay away from the cloth duct tape. As in Fisher's photo. It deteriorates just as it does when exposed to weather leaving a real mess. If you simply must go this route go with the "actual" duct tape which is the aluminum stuff that has the paper backing. Leaves a smooth clean surface.
I use a heavy rubberized pipe wrap tape on my clinchers with flaps.
I have flaps, suspect it saved me a few years back when I took a sheeting screw in a front tire. Flap kept screw to the outside of inner part of tire. Had it punctured tube, I'd have a tale to tell. Was on secondary highway at est. 35 MPH before I saw it!!
I don’t understand how using flaps saved your inner tube from a Sheetmetal screw? Flaps go between the tube and the rim not the tire and the tube....
It appears to me that the liner goes up the sides of the tube as well, and I thought it would protect the tube. Maybe not.
Liners go on the rim, flaps go in the tire. Flaps are about 4-1/2" wide so they would not have come up that far, you just got lucky that day!
Ros, THAT screw had to have landed just right to have stuck your front tire, I put many many miles over the road in a fuel tanker, normal'y the front tire will stand the whatever up and the rear wheels will catch it 99 times out of 100. you just had a bit of unlucky luck.
I did sixteen tires this summer, I used flaps in them all and have had no problem with any. The only trouble I had was with 30 year old New Zealand white 30 x 3 tires which I wound up sending back. I would not recommend buying them. I think the flaps actually make the tires easier to mount including 30 x3 on non demountable rims. I cleaned all the rims and painted them with Eastwood silver cadnium paint.
As much as this subject comes up from time to time, i have never understood the reluctance to add flaps since they were available pretty early on, and probably for a good reason. Is all this outrage simply over the addition cost?
All the tires I replaced did not have flaps and were probably on the cars for 20 or 30 years but almost all the tubes had stem issues, maybe from under inflation?, also had a couple of stems blow out. I have 5 more to replace that do have flaps, 30 year old Olympic tires that are badly cracked and hard as rocks. Should be a challenge to de mount.
John, the cost is a major disincentive for me. US$150 for 5 flaps plus around $80 for shipping makes US$230, which is around AU$329, all for something which serves little purpose other than insurance against clumsy/incorrect fitting. I have better things on which to spend my hard earned cash.
Joe, if your Olympic tyres are Australian made, they are more like 45 years old. When they were going off the market in the early 1970's, we were advised of this, and anyone who had the means salted some away for future use.
A friend purchased three of them from a stash just 10 months ago. They were still in fine condition, having been stored correctly. Best of luck having anything you buy now last a quarter as long as your Olympics have.
If your Olympics hold air, at least do whatever you can to save the tubes. Again, they will be far better than those available now.
Allan from down under.
Part of the reason this discussion surfaces so often is because (IMHO) the meaning of the words "flaps" and "liners" is sometimes misunderstood- again, just my suspicion.
I sometimes consume food with a fork, sometimes with a spoon - different items for different needs - same with liners and flaps...
Rainy day in the Northeast...hope things are better in Chocolate-town. ...
The only problem with my Olympics, Allen, is they look like they are getting ready to split out the sides. They are on a car now and do hold air. They do have good tubes, have changed a couple and they have flaps, 45 years is good tire life.
(rainy day humor)