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Does anyone have a source for tubes?


alsancle
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So,   Ed and I are putting blackwalls on the Stearns Knight.   We have some nice brand new 700-20 Firestones ready to mount.  

 

I went to buy quantity 6 of the  19-21 tubes today - center metal bent stem - and Coker back ordered me until at least May and Lucas canceled my order.

 

Does anybody have another source for center metal bent stem 19"-21" tubes?    help!!!

 

 

1929 Stearns-Knight J-8-90 Convertible Victoria Photo taken in 1956-1.jpg

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Thanks guys,  I'll reach out to all these companies today and see what I can find.   When both Lucas and Coker were telling me May at the earliest I freaked out.

 

Ed and I were talking and our guess is that your sell at least 2 tubes for every tire,   probably more, so how do you completely run dry on inventory like that?

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Sorry to hijack a bit, but I know what you mean by “freaking out” regarding stuff like this.

 

While it has been evident 🙄 for months already my Roadster needing new tires, I kept squeezing last bit of thread wear out of them and when finally ready to buy (in early December), found out they were on back order from the manufacturer. ☹️

 

👍 Fortunately, I just received a “fresh” set (DOMS: 4420/fronts, 5120/rears) Monday, had them mounted Tuesday, but it was agonizing 🥺 not being able to drive the car at my leisure for nearly two months. 

 

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30 minutes ago, JFranklin said:

If possible I never had a problem using the tubes removed (if in ok condition) when replacing old tires. 


 

On a snap ring wheel that’s got fresh paint......you don’t reuse tubes. In my shop, I never patch a tube, or reuse unless it’s for an agricultural vehicle. With the chance to crack a snap ring that could run you 800-1000 bucks, paint damage, tire damage, and fender damage it’s just mot worth taking a chance with a five year old tube. And tubes today can run a fortune. Unfortunately, tire and tubes today are just plain expensive.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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24 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 Unfortunately, tire and tubes today are just plain expensive.

While my (financial) "net-worth" is probably far below yours and many others here, I respectfully disagree.

As I mentioned in some other thread (about "fresh" tires ?), I believe with all things considered, tires are probably one of the least expensive common denominator  in all (vintage) cars.

At least most sizes are readily available and unlike many other components/parts required to make many older vehicles operable, most don't have to be custom fabricated from scratch, etc.

 

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29 minutes ago, TTR said:

While my (financial) "net-worth" is probably far below yours and many others here, I respectfully disagree.

As I mentioned in some other thread (about "fresh" tires ?), I believe with all things considered, tires are probably one of the least expensive common denominator  in all (vintage) cars.

At least most sizes are readily available and unlike many other components/parts required to make many older vehicles operable, most don't have to be custom fabricated from scratch, etc.

 

 

On one hand I agree with you,  but on the other over 2k for a set of tires, tubes and flaps didn't feel cheap.   There were not the most expensive tires either.

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1 hour ago, TTR said:

Sorry to hijack a bit, but I know what you mean by “freaking out” regarding stuff like this.

 

While it has been evident 🙄 for months already my Roadster needing new tires, I kept squeezing last bit of thread wear out of them and when finally ready to buy (in early December), found out they were on back order from the manufacturer. ☹️

 

👍 Fortunately, I just received a “fresh” set (DOMS: 4420/fronts, 5120/rears) Monday, had them mounted Tuesday, but it was agonizing 🥺 not being able to drive the car at my leisure for nearly two months. 

 

 

I think we (I know I do) think that we can get this stuff just in time and it is always a shock when you can't.   If these tubes look good,  I'm going to buy some extras.

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3 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

I think we (I know I do) think that we can get this stuff just in time and it is always a shock when you can't.   If these tubes look good,  I'm going to buy some extras.

Yes, I hear you.

I always order fresh tubes, including extras/spares, with new tires, as they too dry rot with age and usually dispose the old ones, including previously ordered spares and that’s only because as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not wealthy enough to afford luxury of being cheap.

Heck, I can barely afford to own/maintain couple of vintage cars in useable condition and none that aren’t.

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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So they are not cheap, and I keep some fresh extras around as well.  Anyone else repackage the spare tubes so they are not as tightly crunched up, but still airtight and periodically take them out and repackage so they don't get cracks?  I also keep used ones as well laid out in shed.  Not sure why though.

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7 minutes ago, SC38DLS said:

I keep an extra tube in the car along with a can of air. My luck will be I replace the tube on the road and the can of air won’t work!  
dave s 

 

I got any 18V tire compressor for Christmas to go with all my other 18V tools.  It will fill a tire to whatever pressure you set it to in about 10 seconds.   Will be carrying on any tours along with my 18V impact wrench - that will be useless as all my cars have buffalo hubs except one.

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In the 'for whatever it is worth' department. My experience is that spare tubes should be put inside spare tires (new or old if new not available), and inflated to 'just firm', but not stretched. Then stored in a cool dark place. UV and ozone both attack the spare tube, and the attack is exponentially worse on any fold! Even inside a plastic bag, in a cool dark place, folded tubes go bad on the folds in just a few years. They can actually still look fine, then installed and pressurized, fail where the folds were in a short time.

Been there, done that.

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2 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

I got any 18V tire compressor for Christmas to go with all my other 18V tools.  It will fill a tire to whatever pressure you set it to in about 10 seconds.   Will be carrying on any tours along with my 18V impact wrench - that will be useless as all my cars have buffalo hubs except one.

Great idea but similar to the can of air not working my luck would be a dead battery!  Lol

dave s 

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1 hour ago, wayne sheldon said:

In the 'for whatever it is worth' department. My experience is that spare tubes should be put inside spare tires (new or old if new not available), and inflated to 'just firm', but not stretched. Then stored in a cool dark place. UV and ozone both attack the spare tube, and the attack is exponentially worse on any fold! Even inside a plastic bag, in a cool dark place, folded tubes go bad on the folds in just a few years. They can actually still look fine, then installed and pressurized, fail where the folds were in a short time.

Been there, done that.

Great idea, thank you. 

While I have a habit to replace tubes, including spares, along with tires, I learned something useful today.

 

 

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16 hours ago, alsancle said:

Just to update this thread.   I ordered 6 tubes and flaps from Universal Vintage Tire.   Ed should have them within two weeks.


The stems look correct.

 

https://www.universaltire.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/n/e/new-bent-stem.jpg

 

 

NEW UPDATE.   I guess there are two guys working at Universal.   One responding to customer requests and saying that it will take 3-5 business days to make the tubes,  and then the guy in the warehouse who responds after you place an order and tells you that they are backorderd out 6-8 weeks because of the stems.

 

I hate to be whiny,  but it would have been nice to tell me that before I placed the order.

 

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1 hour ago, Matt Harwood said:

Universal IS [large unnamed antique tire seller]. If [large unnamed antique tire seller] doesn't have it, then Universal won't, either.

 

This is what I thought.    But the customer service interaction led me to believe otherwise.

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All they do is cut the stem out of a stock tube and vulcanize in the stems you want. They must be back ordered on stems.  We are relatively near Universal and have always found them to be as helpful as possible considering they are owned by a  "large unnamed antique tire seller".

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1 hour ago, alsancle said:

 

 

NEW UPDATE.   I guess there are two guys working at Universal.   One responding to customer requests and saying that it will take 3-5 business days to make the tubes,  and then the guy in the warehouse who responds after you place an order and tells you that they are backorderd out 6-8 weeks because of the stems.

 

I hate to be whiny,  but it would have been nice to tell me that before I placed the order.

 

I wouldn't worry about it much.

This type of "customer interaction/support" has apparently been a standard for many businesses related to this hobby for quite a while, years before the virus, which has only compounded it prevalence. 

Those of us dealing with it on "professional" level encounter it all the time, at times daily and sometimes to a point making one wonder how do people owning/operating these companies get through a day, let alone stay in business.

It's a brave/strange new world out there.

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1 hour ago, TTR said:

I wouldn't worry about it much.

This type of "customer interaction/support" has apparently been a standard for many businesses related to this hobby for quite a while, years before the virus, which has only compounded it prevalence. 

Those of us dealing with it on "professional" level encounter it all the time, at times daily and sometimes to a point making one wonder how do people owning/operating these companies get through a day, let alone stay in business.

It's a brave/strange new world out there.

 

 

Unfortunately you are 100 percent correct. Someone actually stocking something today? How do you sell tires that take tubes if you don't have any tubes? 

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2 hours ago, edinmass said:

 

 

Unfortunately you are 100 percent correct. Someone actually stocking something today? How do you sell tires that take tubes if you don't have any tubes? 

...or operate a website store which won’t indicate/notify the chosen item(s) being out-of-stock until buyer has actually gone through the process of payment for it/them, etc...

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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It’s the new logistics way of doing things. The supply is supposed to be replaced just as the stock runs out. Saves inventory cost. The problem is most people don’t know how to maintain a schedule so “out of inventory “ problems don’t happen. They just don’t keep up on the inventory or anticipate the need to place the resupply order. In an old mans opinion the younger generation needs to work on their computer skills! 😳
dave s 

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6 minutes ago, SC38DLS said:

In an old mans opinion the younger generation needs to work on their computer skills! 😳
 

... perhaps get even smarter apps & phones to compensate for their lack of... 🙄

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23 hours ago, SC38DLS said:

It’s the new logistics way of doing things. The supply is supposed to be replaced just as the stock runs out. Saves inventory cost. The problem is most people don’t know how to maintain a schedule so “out of inventory “ problems don’t happen. They just don’t keep up on the inventory or anticipate the need to place the resupply order. In an old mans opinion the younger generation needs to work on their computer skills! 😳
dave s 

 

It is even worse than that. Ever since UPS did an advertising campaign about 25 years ago showing empty shelves in the dark of night, and saying "By morning, these shelves will be full of all the things you need!" The implication being the magic of UPS' delivery would just magically have it there. Forgetting the obvious fact that UPS would not deliver early enough and nobody would be there to actually accept, receive, stock the shelves before opening the store, and about a hundred other silly things.

What that made even worse, was the (I will say it) stupid idea that 'someone else' would stock all those things in 'their' warehouse and ship it out within a couple hours of it being requested. It often turns out that some small number of sources will all be listing stock in their inventories that they have been lead to believe is available to them. Most of these middlemen are listing the same few pieces from numerous places, believing that a whole lot are available on a computer click's notice, when in fact, the only one was sold yesterday!

In my family's business, we often needed special electronic gear and parts. Twenty years ago, we were having this problem. Over and over again we would be PROMISED 'in the mail tomorrow' only to find out days later what was on the inventory list never existed. One time, we checked with several different suppliers for an obsolete part that we were going to NEED, and found several different suppliers all had the same exact number available on their inventory lists. You have to have guessed what happened next. We ordered from one, all they 'had'. Then wanting a couple extras for good measure (didn't know exactly how many we would actually need before the work was done) tried to order a few more from the other suppliers. Oh the excuses we got from them all! Of course the truth was that only one supplier ever had the parts to begin with. All the rest were just smoke and mirrors. We were able to complete the job on what we did get.

I run into this almost every time I need something for my 'modern' car. The local big chain auto supply says they have it. When I go in to get it, they tell me "Oops, it isn't in the back, it'll be here tomorrow". Next thing I know is they're calling all over the state (Califunny is a BIG state)! Half the time, when I do get it, it isn't the quality I ordered (and paid for!). With service like that, the past couple years I have been ordering modern car parts myself online. I still may not like what I get, but at least I paid half as much for it. (Please do take note, that I was willing to pay more to get better, it is only after being ripped off too many times with also lesser quality for too much money that I switched to ordering online myself!)

 

Dave S, I really liked your last comment there, about improving their computer skills! A stab right in the heart of where they live. But they do need to improve a lot more than their computer skills. Just SOME amount of what we used to call "common sense" is desperately needed!

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I should also add, that about six years ago, this happened to me when I tried to buy some innertubes from a local (and fairly good) tire shop. I was told "no problem", until I said to go ahead and get them. To the shop's credit, they tried to get them for two days. I suspect they spent hours on the phone and online. I never did get those tubes. Patched a couple old ones I had instead. Seems to me that those were twenty inch tubes also.

About a year after that, I did go back and buy a set of tires for the Expedition.

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  • 3 months later...
3 hours ago, alsancle said:

To update this thread.   My tubes from Coker and Universal are still on backorder.

 

However,  via John's recommendation,   I ordered a set of Michelin's from here:

 

https://www.vintagetyres.com/shop/michelin-20h-centre-valve-inner-tube-600-650-700-20

Fingers crossed for good luck - my guess is a solid choice in tube that gets the job done and ... (and with the RR PI, I became very use to ordering from overseas).

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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So I just paid this morning around 600 bucks for Michelin tubes and flaps to be shipped to Ed.   2 hours later I got an email from Universal that they had the tubes in stock and asked if I wanted to complete the order.

 

If I didn't know better,  I would think God was screwing with me.

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12 minutes ago, alsancle said:

So I just paid this morning around 600 bucks for Michelin tubes and flaps to be shipped to Ed.   2 hours later I got an email from Universal that they had the tubes in stock and asked if I wanted to complete the order.

 

If I didn't know better,  I would think God was screwing with me.

AJ, God was very good to you, delaying the Universal notification until you had purchased the *superior* tubes!

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