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Beware of inner tubes from China


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I had to change out the new rubbish Chinese tubes on my Lincoln-Zephyr here in the UK.

I found heavy duty 700 x 16 Michelin tubes at North Hants Tyres also here in UK  Excellent quality.

They have many other sizes available. Google North Hants Tyres for their web site. They will ship worldwide.   

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10 hours ago, c49er said:

No one makes much here in America anymore.

I went to the John Deere dealer for a smaller Stihl chain saw ( I am getting old & my big Stihl is getting heavy) and came home empty handed. Stihls line of smaller saws like the MS 180 c-BE that I wanted are made in China. My Honda generator is also made in China I found out after buying it. 

After GM pulled its car and truck plants out of Oshawa GM took a real pounding from the public. The dealer I dealt with had sales drop by 35% and the union even ran adds against GM sales in a Super Bowl add last year. My oldest son went from Cadillac to a Volvo and the other now drives a Mazda from a GM and I will follow suit. 

GM is now saying they are going to assemble pickups in Oshawa sometime starting 2022-23 with a workforce of 1,400. All that is is a token for advertising GM in Canada  

 So your statement may be correct to a point.    

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On 12/24/2020 at 7:23 PM, Matt Harwood said:

 

We've done it to ourselves. The Chinese are certainly capable of building good quality stuff, it's just that nobody is willing to pay for it. There's certainly an opportunity here for an entrepreneur to manufacture high-quality innertubes for old cars. However, do you think will anyone buy them if they're 30-50% more expensive than what's available now? Unlikely. 

 

Cheap is all that matters anymore. Quality? Pffft. Nobody even asks about anything other than the "deal."

I didn't contribute to where we are.

It's the tight wad folks looking for the cheapest pos everything.

They don't realise over the long run it might cost them more over the long run buying questionable quality.

I have always shopped carefully..looking for good quality always over price. Also wanting top quality American made if possible.

Of course now days almost impossible to do.

Guess I'm really old and not into global sourcing unsafe junk.

Finding good heavy duty safe inner tubes is tough now days.

Thanks cheap people/corporate leaders and China for all your good deeds!

 

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Back to the subject of tubes in tires, improper installation can be detrimental to tubes.  The inside wall of rims that the tube contacts have to be clean and smooth, anything sharp will eat a tube.  My Buick rims are split rims so close inspection of the seam where the ens of the rim are joined by the rim lock are typical areas of trouble, there mus not be any burrs and the ends should come together with a minimum of gap.  After careful inspection of the rim  I start by putting a good load of talcum powder inside the tire casing to help seat the tube.  I use soap on the tire bead and lever one side of the tire onto the unlocked split rim using smooth tire irons or large wide blade screwdrivers with smooth blades.  I put just enough air in the tube to get it to hold a circular form, then stuff the tube into the tire carcass and fish the stem thru the hole in the rim.  Make sure at this point the stem is not preloaded to one side or the other because the tube is twisted out of alignment with the stem hole by the tire.  Once the tube and tire are rotated into perfect stem-stem hole alignment I will make a judgement to decide if there is too much air in the tube.  The best situation is that the tube DOES NOT keep the side of the tube pressed against the inner walls of the tire carcass as that arrangement becomes a pinching hazard while levering the second side of the tire onto the rim.  At this point I wipe the uninstalled tire bead with soapy water and using 2 tire forks or screwdrivers and a forehead flashlight so I can spot a pinched tube before wrecking it I start carefully levering the second side of the tire onto the rim.  Now carefully go around the side of the tire you just levered onto the rim and look for any signs of having the tube pinched between the tire bead and the rim.  Work around the entire circumference of the tire and use your hands to squeeze the tire bead in away from the rim to make sure of this.Once that step is completed I line up the ends of the rim and engage the split rim lock.  Now I roll the tire across the floor to spread the talcum powder, then put just enough air in the tire to see the tire begin to expand the bead against the rim.   Now in an open area of shop floor away from vehicles and other breakable things I arrange the tire vertically and toss it a few feet into the air allowing the tread of the tire to bounce on the floor.  I probably repeat this 10 times to make sure the tube seats naturally inside the tire carcass with no twisting or side loading.  Check to make sure the valve core is properly tightened in the stem, then inflate the tire to it's recommended operating pressure and check it with a gauge.  Set it aside for a couple of hours and check the pressure.  If the tire is holding air you might be in business.  

 

Are we having fun yet?  Nobody said this was gonna be easy but at least you've done a quality installation and assuming you maintain the tire pressure and stay out of the potholes if the tube fails now, well, you can blame it on the quality of the tube.

 

Dave

 

 

31b65ad22bf462db8c02e44b480dae20.jpg

Edited by Str8-8-Dave
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7 minutes ago, Str8-8-Dave said:

Back to the subject of tubes in tires, improper installation can be detrimental to tubes.  The inside wall of rims that the tube contacts have to be clean and smooth, anything sharp will eat a tube.  My Buick rims are split rims so close inspection of the seam where the ens of the rim are joined by the rim lock are typical areas of trouble, there mus not be any burrs and the ends should come together with a minimum of gap.  After careful inspection of the rim  I start by putting a good load of talcum powder inside the tire casing to help seat the tube.  I use soap on the tire bead and lever one side of the tire onto the unlocked split rim using smooth tire irons or large wide blade screwdrivers with smooth blades.  I put just enough air in the tube to get it to hold a circular form, then stuff the tube into the tire carcass and fish the stem thru the hole in the rim.  Make sure at this point the stem is not preloaded to one side or the other because the tube is twisted out of alignment with the stem hole by the tire.  Once the tube and tire are rotated into perfect stem-stem hole alignment I will make a judgement to decide if there is too much air in the tube.  The best situation is that the tube DOES NOT keep the side of the tube pressed against the inner walls of the tire carcass as that arrangement becomes a pinching hazard while levering the second side of the tire onto the rim.  At this point using 2 tire forks or screwdrivers and a forehead flashlight I start carefully levering the second side of the tire onto the rim.  Now carefully go around the side of the tire you just levered onto the rim and look for any signs of having the tube pinched between the tire bead and the rim.  Work around the entire circumference of the tire and use your hands to squeeze the tire bead in away from the rim to make sure of this.Once that step is completed I line up the ends of the rim and engage the split rim lock.  Now I roll the tire across the floor to spread the talcum powder, then put just enough air in the tire to see the tire begin to expand the bead against the rim.   Now in an open area of shop floor away from vehicles and other breakable things I arrange the tire vertically and toss it a few feet into the air allowing the tread of the tire to bounce on the floor.  I probably repeat this 10 times to make sure the tube seats naturally inside the tire carcass with no twisting or side loading.  Check to make sure the valve core is properly tightened in the stem, then inflate the tire to it's recommended operating pressure and check it with a gauge.  Set it aside for a couple of hours and check the pressure.  If the tire is holding air you might be in business.  

 

Are we having fun yet?  Nobody said this was gonna be easy but at least you've done a quality installation and assuming you maintain the tire pressure and stay out of the potholes if the tube fails now, well, you can blame it on the quality of the tube.

 

Dave

 

 

31b65ad22bf462db8c02e44b480dae20.jpg

You don't use a liner between the tube and rim?

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I didn't on these as the inside of the rims are perfectly smooth.  Buick didn't use them on these rims from what I can tell from their extensive section on tires in both the reference manual and the specifications and adjustments (shop) manual.  When I did this stuff for bicycles or motorcycles with spoke rims where the tube was exposed to the spoke nipples I either used a rubber rim band or heavy tape.  I don't believe it is necessary on the inside of a powder coated split rim.  It is very smooth.  

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The 1912 T I am making road worthy never had liners. One of the tubes wore through on the edge of the old tire so I put in new liners tubes and tires. I do not think a tube can contact the rim on a 30 X 3 1/2 as the liner is in the tire and not on the rim. If there was no liner the tube could not contact the rim and then you have to contend with the gap between the beads. 

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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On 12/24/2020 at 7:23 PM, Matt Harwood said:

We've done it to ourselves. The Chinese are certainly capable of building good quality stuff, it's just that nobody is willing to pay for it. There's certainly an opportunity here for an entrepreneur to manufacture high-quality innertubes for old cars. However, do you think will anyone buy them if they're 30-50% more expensive than what's available now? Unlikely. 

 

Cheap is all that matters anymore. Quality? Pffft. Nobody even asks about anything other than the "deal."

Entrepreneurs are constantly forced to search for the cheapest source of the factors of production (land, labor and capital) in order to compete. Manufacturers are constantly searching for what we demand, which today may be China, tomorrow Viet Nam, the next day India.

 

If you are always search for quality first, that says something about you. It makes you an outlier in the system. I'm as guilty as the next guy, by shopping around for the best deal. Ask yourself if you were restoring a car and you knew that chrome plating was going to cost you $10-12K for the best no questions asked job, would you look for something less expensive? How about paint or interior? It's what we demand that the entrepreneur produces, and it's our fault for excepting second best, because the quality is out there. All we have to do is pay for it.

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I have dealt with Chinese suppliers in the auto industry and some do not play fair. Scraped over a million in rubber hoses that the Chinese tier 2 factory changed the formula without an engineering change to save money and kept quiet. The hose was so stiff they could have used them for metal tubing. The US tier one company paid the bill and the Chinese company washed their hands. 

You hear the advertising how it is made to their specification but I can tell you that at times it is not so. Remember the Chinese baby food fiasco where baby's were being poisoned by an industrial filler they used to bulk up the product for profit. So do you think they care about a flat tire on your antique car half a world away?

Edited by Joe in Canada (see edit history)
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It would be interesting to ask this question on one of the Model T Ford websites. All I can add is a few years ago I bought 4 new tubes for my 1917 Maxwell 30 x 3 1/2 size from one of the well known Ford suppliers and they were marked Made in China.  I can't keep them inflated for more than 2 months without them loosing half the 60 pounds required. It has become a normal ritual to re-inflate the Maxwell's tires, my wife's bicycle and lastly before I put everything away I have to re-inflate the tires on my portable air compressor. Guess what they all have in common? China made tubes!!

 

Howard Dennis

Edited by hddennis (see edit history)
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As usual have a different method. Look for US first, NAFTA, second, and "not China" third. Tend to buy midline from a premium manufacturer on sale. Usually review the specs carefully first on anything over a buck. Gotten hard though, finding almost no "Truth in Advertising" except by drug companies "may case death".   Have to really dig for reality. Good example is a small pressure washer. Big print says "2500 psi", small print says "2000 psi", label on washer says "1900 psi".

 

So not just Chinese but is hard to find quality in anything these days. Welcome to the new millennium.                   

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"Truth in Advertising" not much of that anymore either.

The new import tubes arr so fragile and thin just a label inside the tire casing can cause a tube failure.

I broke down a bunch of old 40/50's tires and rims.

Some of those old tubes inside were so thick and stiff they were hard to pull out of the tire casing. Didn't even need air in them to hold the tire up.

Anyway I cut a sample of one and the rubber thickness was no less than .060".

I wonder what the average new inner tube rubber or what ever it's made of is?

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Well, they say those thin rubber tire tubes that the commonist Chine make are leak prone. May be endemic to all thin rubber rubber products they make. I go to great lengths to avoid anything made in China. I’ll shop thrift shops to look for second hand whatever which is not made by them commies. But there is a whole bunch of ‘em makin’ a bunch of stuff. Leaky thin rubber products. Might have somethin’ to do with a whole bunch of ‘em.................  🤭😏   -   C Carl 

 

P.S. Astonishingly , there are some very good tires made there. 🤔

Edited by C Carl (see edit history)
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The recycled rubber theory is at best only partly true.  Vulcanized rubber can't be remelted.  It's possible to put finely reground rubber in as a filler, but it doesn't replace virgin rubber for vulcanizing, and is more expensive than the usual mineral fillers.

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I just say that I choose to refrain from painting all of Chinese production with a broad brush. The inference that all Chinese companies are producing inferior quality goods is not sustainable. If that were the case who would be the more foolish, those producing the products, or the consumers buying it? I remember when Japanese production was considered inferior, that myth was extinguished decades ago. 

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Back in the '60's when corporate America was falling all over Tom Peters and  W. E. Deming I remember 4 or 5 QC managers from a refrigeration taken out and shot to emphasize the program. I don't think things have changed much in 40 years. Sole sourcing to retailers is the goal and you can't do it with junk. I wouldn't be surprised to see a few inferior products let into a niche market as a smoke screen. I think like that. When I do it makes me distrust others.

 

Spend twenty bucks. You will certainly be able to get a conversation going at family events: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/factory-man-beth-macy/1117321227

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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I notice there may be a fellow that is trying to respond on this thread from China but is having a few issues how to post here.

He must be board sitting in the corner of his mothers basement trying to get some needed attention one his big sisters computer. 

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