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New Member, with a 1956 Ford Car tire question


Guest NOLAguy
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Guest NOLAguy

Hello I just joined because my local mechanic seems stumped and my friends recommended I check out a forum. I bought a 1956 Ford Customline 2dr sedan, with a 272 V8. It is my first antique car and I have loved learning more with every issue I have with it. 

     My current issue is the leaking tires. The last owner put new (tubeless) tires on the original rims. I discovered that they leak. My local tire shop said that the tires are fine, that the problem is that the rims are not designed for tubeless tires. There are rivets inside the rims and that is where the air is leaking out. They suggested that I have a welder remove the tires and seal up the rivets. That is what I did. The welder sanded to remove corrosion, welded, and painted. They leaked even more than before and I have brought the tires back three times. The shop is not charging me, thankfully, but I am beginning to think that they are out of ideas. Surely other antique vehicle owners have had this problem before. Do I have to use old fashioned tires, or do I need to buy new rims? Is there a fix that I can tell the mechanic about?

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I am guessing from your user name that you are in New Orleans. You can contact Marty Roth, by private message on this site. He is near you and I am sure can give you some good advice on local companies that know what they are doing working on antique cars. I am sure he would give you good advice on where to buy tubes locally.  

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In addition to the excellent advice given thus far, I believe that there may be a difference between tubes for radial and biased ply tires. Also, I've always used powdered soap stone when mounting tubes in tires. BTW, I'll be doing the same with my '55 Ford Customline 2dr sedan! (Let's see some photos!)

Edited by Larry W (see edit history)
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I think you need to find a new tire shop. Tubeless tires were standard equipment on American cars from 1955 on. Your car has probably never used anything else.

 

To find out where the leaks are, take an old dish soap squirt bottle, or a spray bottle, and fill with water and a few drops of dish soap. Squirt the water around the bead where it contacts the rim, and around the valve, and in the valve. Bubbles indicate a leak. You could also inspect the tires for nails, glass, etc.

 

If you can take them off and dunk in a tank of water so much the better but we usually can't do that at home.

 

Most likely they are leaking around the rim because of 60 years of rust pits. If that is the case you can wire brush or sandblast, paint and fill the holes smooth. As long as they are not so rusted as to weaken the rim.

 

Any good tire store or garage should have caught this BEFORE they installed the first tire. I worked in garages for years and I never put a tire on a car until I checked for leaks and a damaged rim is so obvious you can't miss it - if you know anything at all.

 

If all else fails tubes will stop the leaks but should not be necessary.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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You could smear silicone over the rivets/welds, let it dry and it will seal the rims.

 

If you are going for the other alternative and decide to fit tubes I would carefully check all the welds to make sure there are no sharp edges.  Maybe get into them all with a 4 inch grinder with a sanding disc to make sure.

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The green slime wont seal the rim, It is for the part of the tire that contacts the road so to speak. I get flat tires all the time on my lawnmower and tractor from the black berries on my place. Works pretty good for that.

I had a set of rims manufactured for one of my hot rods that are spokes, they used a silicon bead around the inside and recommended tubeless tires.

The problem is that the silicon doesn't stick to the powder coating and the centrifugal force at high speed let chunks of the silicon fall away from the rim and to the back side of the tread causing that wheel to be WAY out of balance.

A scary ride in a light car at 90 MPH.

The mfr charged me a lot to reseal the wheel. When the second one went they resiliconed all four and told me not to drive so fast (jerks).

I put tubes in all four and all is OK now, but I just cant recommend this major wire wheel vendor.

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