nashtwin8

Vintage Wheels and Modern Tire Changing Machines

Recommended Posts

I was told long ago that 1930s style wire wheels are not strong enough to use on a pneumatically operated tire changing machine - that the machine is too powerful, and will break the spokes and ruin the wheel. Is that really true?

 

How about 1930s steel artillery wheels? Can those be used on a tire changing machine in any tire shop, or do I need to break out the tire irons and do that job by hand? Probably doesn't matter, but these wheels are on my '34 Nash.

 

Thanks in advance for any helpful tips and advice.

 

Jerry K

Seattle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't believe there would be any problem with steel artillery wheels. My Pontiac manual shows how to change tires easily on drop center wire spoke wheels by mounting the wheel on on the car and working vertically rather than chasing it around on the ground or using a machine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might pay to be really careful with something that pushes UP like an old Coats 4040A. Modern rim clamp machines are fairly nice to the wheels.

 

The part that could conceivably bend a rim would be breaking the bead loose. It probably wont be stuck that bad on an old tube type drop-center wheel, but if it is, how are you going get it loose with just tire irons?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Bloo said:

It might pay to be really careful with something that pushes UP like an old Coats 4040A. Modern rim clamp machines are fairly nice to the wheels.

 

The part that could conceivably bend a rim would be breaking the bead loose. It probably wont be stuck that bad on an old tube type drop-center wheel, but if it is, how are you going get it loose with just tire irons?

 

I ran into this a few years ago, seems like nobody has the old Coates machines any more, they don't work on the modern rims, and take up too much space, where the modern machines tens to destroy the painted on the old rims when mounting the tires. Lead balance weights are also becoming hard to find. The old tire machines are going away like brake drum lathes, things we just presumed these tools would always be around  

Edited by John348 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

had the same problem with my 32 Studebaker wheels--tire shop bent 2 of the wheels, they said not there problem--the other 4 I did myself--sine the tires were junk, I just cut them off--a hack saw & a good set of side cutters worked perfect--the 4 I did got plated & are on the ground, the first 2 became s/mts--Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most modern tire machines use rubber fingers that press outwards on the inside of the rim, so even if there's considerable downward pressure to break the bead loose, it's not pushing down on the rim with the wheel itself anchored by the hub. There should be zero stress on any spokes or the hub with one of these machines. They often have a center post to help with alignment, but most that I've seen or used simply spread the fingers out until they contact the rim, at which point the rim centers itself. You should have no troubles with breakage on one of these machines.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had six new tires mounted on drop center wire wheels for a 32 Cadillac about 6 years ago. I talked the manager of my local Discount Tire into doing it himself, he used a machine designed for mounting expensive custom wheels which today would probably be just about for any newer vehicle. He also had experience mounting tires with tubes, IMO that may be the bigger concern today at your typical tire shop. By the way, I doubt that any Discount Tire today would do that job. More recently I had a flat repaired on a 34 Packard with wire wheels which involved R&R and tube patching and went to a local tire shop that regularly worked on trucks and farm equipment, they didn't even blink and had it done in 10 minutes.

DSCF1676.JPG

DSCF2389.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I use a motorcycle rim clamp machine for all my pre war car wheels when replacing sets of tires. I usually use hand spoons to remove the tires on the drop center rims. I think its best to do things by hand with tubes, coming off or on. If I only have one snap ring wheel to fix, I use a carpet on the shop floor. The issue is three fold...........don't pinch the tube, don't damage the paint or chrome, and don't kill yourself or anyone else near by. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER...patch a tube on any car or motorcycle. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Several years ago a tire shop bent the spoke rim on my 34 Pontiac.  Do everything by hand on spoke wheels now.  

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Local shop destroyed ALL SIX split rims on a 1926 Cadillac, why stop at the first one when you are clueless, just press on. 

 

 

Bob 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be short and to the point, I totally agree with edinmass.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I had a clueless young man at a gas station mount my bias ply tires on my 35 Dodge around 1979. Very bad, bent rims. Fast forward to today , I use Les Schwab (close to you) and they’ve done an excellent job. The 36 Dodge also has easily bent rims too. Mention this tale to your people if you give up on the spoons like I did.

Edited by Steve9 (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Time sure does fly by, my Grandson was four when he ripped his first wheel  off a tire, his expression when it came off was priceless. I missed the photo put it's a memory that will last for ever. Bob 

 

 

DSCF4657.JPG

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edinmass:  with the lousy, lousy tubes available today, I will always patch a tube.  I've never had a patch fail in 50+ years.  Why do you not like patching tubes?  

 

GregL

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I patch my old tubes too... never an issue.

New Chinese tubes are garbage..... paper thin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the responses! Sorry to be so slow, but things have been rather busy for us of late.

 

I thought I'd post a few pictures of one of the wheels in question, in case it helps narrow the suggestions down any more. These take a 7.00 x 17 tire.

 

Is there any need for flaps with these wheels? They appear to have smooth, seamless rims, so from what I've been told, I don't think so. I'm here to ask the experts though!

 

Thanks again to one and all!

 

Jerry K

IMG_4905 (480x640).jpg

IMG_4906 (480x640).jpg

IMG_4911 (480x640).jpg

IMG_4914 (480x640).jpg

IMG_4916 (640x480).jpg

Edited by nashtwin8
Added text about flaps. (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I *think* you would be fine mounting those even on an old Coats 40-40a or something *if* the cone would go down inside there and clamp securely on the lower hole.

 

It is academic, because every tire shop these days has a rim clamp, and that is what you should use. They aren't rare and exotic anymore, and most tire shops have more than one. They typically are intended to grab from the inside with teeth (i do not recommend) on steel wheels, or can grab from the bead surface on aluminum wheels. Just have them grab as if they were aluminum wheels. There is no reason no to.

 

I don't know about the boots. I suspect they wouldn't have had boots originally because they are just welded drop-center rims. You will need to make them smooooooooooooooooooth on the inside. You can't have balls of rust like that on the inside of the rim, or anything rough at all if you intend to run an inner tube against it.

 

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I would run gorilla tape around the center of the rim if you don’t use a rim or wheel flap. Wheel flaps are always a good idea. Also, buy a good tube, not the Chinese junk most people sell......good tubes from France are 40 dollars each, and worth every penny. The wheel shown can be easily done on a rim clamp, but I still suggest you have an “old guy” with years of experience do it, and I still recommend using spoons to take the tire off...........hand work is your best bet. Using the rim clamp as a secure table makes the job easy.......if you have done them by the hundreds.......or thousands. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Bloo said:

I *think* you would be fine mounting those even on an old Coats 40-40a or something *if* the cone would go down inside there and clamp securely on the lower hole.

 

Back in the 1970s when I first got my '33 I had a local shop put new tires on for me. Their cone did not go down inside but rather pressed against the area where the hub caps snapped on. Needless to say the damage they did is still visible today if you look hard enough and every time I've changed tires since then I’ve done it myself with tire irons/spoons. Breaking the bead is the hard part but not too hard, I usually jury rig something with a jack to press down against the tire.

 

I was unaware of the newer style rim/finger clamp machines mentioned above. Maybe it is safe to take my rims back to a shop again.

 

On the other hand, I don't put new tires on but every few years. And while tedious and a bit frustrating at times, changing tires on that era rim is not too hard to do by hand.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tire shops I use all have new equiptment made for aluminum wheels.  They almost don't touch the rim, to avoid damage. No problem.

The even mounted my new VW tires on the freshly painted wide psttern early wheels  (Similar to the 36-39 Ford wheel) 

I remember doing it with tire spoons and I'm glad thise days are gone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never had a problem with breaking beads, that is what bumper jacks are for. Problem is I only have one car with a bumper jack now...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the helpful comments everyone. Right now, I'm just going to mount some good used tires on these rims so I can trailer the car to a new storage garage. It's going to be a while yet before I can begin restoration, and I'll have to do things "right" then.

 

Some of the very old tires presently on the car have gone flat, and cracked and broke in the process.

 

Wish me luck!

 

Jerry K

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/8/2019 at 3:56 PM, padgett said:

Never had a problem with breaking beads, that is what bumper jacks are for. Problem is I only have one car with a bumper jack now...

 

I just did 5 tyres for the cad and after I’d let them down I could just stand on them to break the bead :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...