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HowTo? Wire Wheel Tire Changing - 1930 Chrysler Roadster


RoadsterRich
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Okay... I need to replace two inner tubes and flaps on the Roadster. It has wire wheels, I can find no place locally that does this work. I have been told I can do this myself, but am looking for pointers before diving in.

Here is a picture of a friends wheel (mine are not this pretty) but it shows the rim and the split ring that holds the tire in. Any and all information would be greatly appreciated on how to remove the ring and hence the tire. I have to have this done by Friday night, as I promised to bring the car to a local show on Saturday. (No I won't be driving it, but at least it may (slim to none chance) be able to drive up on to the trailer under it's own power).

P0002089.jpg

Thanks,

Rich

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I have done this with the wheel laying on the floor. An old timer told me it is even easier if you leave the wheel on the car. You have to remove the valve core so all the air will escape. Then break the bead in other words press the outer side of the tire in until the outer part of the rim is loose. take the lock ring off and then the outer rim and then pull the tire and tube off if you have been able to push the valve stem out of the rim into the tire. Otherwise take the outer tire bead outside of the rim and pull the tube out (same as with a bicycle tube). Put your new flap on the rim and reverse the procedure. The only DANGEROUS again I say DANGEROUS part is when you put the side of the rim on and put the lock ring in place. It must be totally clean and must seat perfectly and fully all the way around. As you inflate the tube if the locking ring is not seated right it may blow off with tragic consequences. That is why most truck split rims are inflated in a cage. You could put a couple of loops of 1 inch rope around the tire and rim and through the spokes if you were working with the rim mounted on the car. If you have the rim off the car slide it under the edge of a shop hoist or under the side of a car for protection. Doing this and putting air in slowly and checking it four or five times should be safe enough. Total time should not exceed 10 minutes per tire. Well maybe your second or third will only be ten minutes. It really is easy, just be careful.

Happy hobying

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I find it easier on the floor with carpet or something to protect the finish. Need to be carefull taking the lockring off as they can be sprung. Once lock ring off pull tire,and everything off of rim. If pull it off starting oposite of the valve stem a little easier. Need to assemble tube and flap inside tire before putting back on rim. Also need to get the valve stem and the flap lined up together, or when tire aired up flap will pull on stem. I also find it helps to use a rubber mallet to seat the lockring before putting air in and air it up very carefully as lock rings have been known to come of, but not as likely if it is fully seated first.

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So far the tips are good, one thing you might want to do is what I had to with a wheel that had an oversized old tire on it. It also helps even if the tire is correct size, build a plywood pedestle with three 2x4 ribs arranged in a "Y" formation to support the wheel off the floor but with room for the tire to be deflected toward the floor. Assuming this is an old tire (On rim for 20 years?) it will be stiff and hard to push inward away from snap ring. You may also find that moisture trapped between the old flap and rim has caused rust to grow and that will make sliding the tire off rim tough. If the wheel with tire is laying flat on the floor it will be murder trying to get the tire deflected away from the snap ring.

To remove the snap ring it usually has to move slightly inward as well as expand in diameter to clear the groove it is in. Start at the joint with the notch to pry on and get 3 or 4 flat screw drivers to slowly work your way around the diameter and stick a blade in every so often to keep the ring from jumping back into the groove, it is going to want the contract and do just that any chance it gets. Once you are more than halfway around it will get easier to pull ring loose unless it is rusted bad. Don't pull up on the ring and warp it, just stay patient and work it loose inch by inch.

After the ring is off and the tire bead is still stuck to the rim you may want to inflate the tube slowly to "Blow" the bead loose with inner tube inflation. Don't put your face in the trajectory path, an old Army blanket keeps things from going airborn suddenly.

The tip to preassemble the tube and flap inside the tire first is correct, sprinkle a little talcom powder around in casing so the tube slips as needed when inflating. Rubber on rubber doesn't slide good at all. Inflate to tube in the tire case before mounting on rim to get the wrinkles spread out then deflate again as good as you can get it. Get the inflation stem centered in the rim well so it doesn't end up bent to one side or the other. That also brings up if you have bent metal stems be sure it is facing out before you get it all together and have do it over twice, once is enough.

The tire bead on the inside rim flange can be a lot worse than the snap ring side to break loose if there is rust involved. You might have to conjure up combinations of small pry bars, crow bars, old hack saw blades, ETC to work that bead loose.

If it turns out to be the mother of all tire changes get a coarse tooth blade for your reciprocating saw and cut the tire case into as many pieces it takes.

I have had good results with my Louisville & Nashville RR spike puller bar also.

Just wait until you have to put the ring back on with a new paint job to protect, you will cry a lot that day.

Good luck, Stude8

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RR,

Good luck to you on this one! I 've had to do the two-piece rims on my '54 Chevy 3/4 ton for years because tire shops are "scared to death of them".

Good suggestions so far- especially about the talcum (not to much - to much will cause chafing and balance problems ) and "safeties" around the wheel & tire to contain that ring during inflation. An air chuck with the little clamping lever helps you get a respectable distance away before you turn on the air to inflate.

If the tires have been on there for a while and/ or are 6 or 8 ply truck tires, (as are sometimes found on vintage cars), you might be in for a struggle!

Before trying to remove the locking ring, deflate tire completely and remove valve core: then go around the outside rim flange with your rubber mallet and try and whack it away from the locking ring; then you can try to pry the ring out.

Usually, these things were engineered so that the locking ring is a "loose" fit on the rim, then when the tire is "aired-up", the outer rim flange is forced outwards as the tire expands, and a raised-ridge on the face of the flange encircles the locking-ring, and contains it there. (So, not only does the locking ring keep the flange on the rim, but the flange keeps the locking ring in its groove too, ideally!)

Watch out for the tube getting pinched as the tire assembly goes onto the rim; not as much risk with a flap, but tire irons can bite before you know it!

( I hate doing motorcycle tires for this very reason!)

Also, some (most?) of these early rims do not have "dropped-centers", so there's no center well for the tire to drop into as on later "safety-rims", so the tire can be real tight coming off the rim - particularly if there's "rust-growth": I've run into this a lot on three-piece truck wheels (20", thank you - a dinosaur in the truck world now!)

Take your time; wear your oldest, grubbiest work clothes, good gloves.

I might be wrong, but you're probably in for a time!

Good luck!

(Now that I've gone back and looked at your picture, I see that your wire wheels don't apear to have a separate locking ring; just the split side flange.

If possible, you'll want to get the tire squeezed away from the ring so that it can pe tapped loose from the rim, as per above; again- outward pressure from the inflated tire forces the ring to lock with the rim, so you need to "unlock the ring" before trying to pry it off. Once it's apart, you'll see exactly what we're talking about!

From now on, I'm going to "look twice and post once"! <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> DeS F.)

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The reason shops are "scared to death" of 2 piece rims is because they can KILL you if they fly apart. I grew up working in Dad's truck tire and recap shop. A prior owner of the building had been nearly decapitated by a two piece rim. After killing him the rim continued its journey upwards and actually left a round impression on the underside of the wooden roof beam more than 10 feet from the floor. Please be careful !

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Well my right hand is purple (far beyond black and blue)... and the tires were still on the rims. I was complaining to a doctor friend of mine about mangling my hand, to which he asked what I was doing. I said "I'm trying to get the tires off the rims for my Roadster". He politely said "Why on earth are you trying to do that yourself, just take them down to Glenn's tire, they've been doing mine since the 50's". Well sure enough I call up Glenn's tire and yes they have two people who have been around just about as long as the car and have years of experience with them. The wheels are now there, we'll see how they do... I just don't look good in purple. And for the record, breaking the tire free from the lock ring, compressing it, was the killer. Some sort of jig would be required for a lightweight with me, even beating it with a mallet wouldn't work. Boy was that alot of work for nothing. Sure hope Glenn's really can do the job, I should know in a couple of hours. Sometimes... it's just smarter to give up and say "Uncle".

In the meantime, I made the odd studs I couldn't find for the throttle assembly, I've prepped and painted several bits, installed the choke cable, installed the rebuilt generator, and think I have tracked my brake issue down to the rear brakes. A friend will be over in a few hours to help me redo the fuel lines I didn't do such a good flare on... so that should help out, I'll be much happier with the gas doesn't drip on the exhaust pipe. Oh and the exhaust header is properly mounted, as soon as my back recovers I'll be heading out and putting the muffler and tail pipe on.

Rich

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Argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They got the tires off... but now they say they can't be put back on because I don't have the right flaps... I call coker tire, they say no those are the right flaps... I call the tire place back, nope we can't put your tires on these aren't the right flaps. I call Coker back, Coker says they are just suppose to cover up the spokes nothing more, should be 1 1/2" wide or so... yep that's what I've goe. Coker gives me instructions... I call the tire guys back... nope can't do it that way, not enough clearance... Argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rich

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Your wheel man Glenn is right and Coker is WRONG! This caused a major tire problem with the New Zealand boys that drove the Marmon across country and had 25 flats between NC and AL, but that is a different story. When I had to replace tubes in my Marmon wire wheels I ordered new tubes from Coker and got the same silly little flaps. Called back and told them this was a split rim wheel and the guy said, "Oh, that does make a difference." They do sell the proper flaps, but you have to convince them that this is not a more modern wire wheel. If all else fails, ask for Corky Coker. Fortunately, I also have a good tire man who will do this work on rare occasions. Have cultivated his friendship and was told by one of his workers after taking in my Marmon wheels, that Ken normally turns down this work and was surprised that he did it for me. Good luck.

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Follow up...

After talking to Coker repeatedly, I finally go through to someone who knew what was what. In fact the flaps sent to me were for a drop center rim, not for a rim with a locking ring. New flaps will be sent and should arrive next week. Unfortunately it didn't help with todays delima. And they sent the wrong innertubes as well, though we could make due with what they sent. The moral of the story is, you need to know what you need, before you order, because you can't trust them to know...

Rich

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If I read this right so far, this was only a temporary mounting job and you will get to do this all over again when you refinish the wheels. I can sympathize because I have done this routine with a 6 wheel DSM car myself. The original tires were 6 different brand s and types. Correct size was 6:00 x 20" (1930 Studebaker President), they had a 7:00 x 20" McCreary truck tire with beads about 1-1/2" diam and dried out stiff as a pine plank. I watched the so called tire expert wail on it for 15 minutes using a railroad spike puller ram rod trying to beat the casing away from the snap ring. After he hit the ring 3 or 4 times I said "Time OUT". Took my wheel back home and did it myself before I needed a new rim besides the tire and tube. Old wrong size tires can be a real dog to get off, it is easier to destroy the casing with a power saw than ruin a good wheel.

Your flap fiasco is familiar to, 20 years or so ago they hadn't reproduced the extruded rubber flaps that are 1/4" thick in the center and taper out to a feather edge where they enter the tire casing so all we had were the rubberized cloth spoke protectors that were ok but could let the tube migrate upward and get pinched between the rim and tire bead. Good thing you had a coach to keep the dogs on Coker heels. I dealt with the old Universal tire people in PA, they knew what they were doing then. Stude8

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Here is a photo (attachment) of a snap ring profile so you can get an idea how it index's to the rim groove when the tire is inflated. The short tongue on the inside diameter is slanted slightly outward so that the more the tire pressure loads against the flange the tighter the tongue digs in. These are 19" rings I want to sell, think they are 1929 Hupp? The rims they came off had Hupp hub caps but don'y know if they were legitimate. They didn't fit my Stude rims. Stude8

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Dan,

Coker was informed of the fact that this was a lock ring wire wheel, repeatedly on three seperate follow up phone calls, plus the origina order. I have heard from others with similar experiences, so this is not an isolated incident. The drop center wheel/rims are much more common and are generally what people need. I did not have a clue what I needed in the way of a flap, so I did not know to make sure they sent the right flaps. In the future I will now know. I am frustrated that it took more than one follow up call to get the right information from there, however they were always pleasant and eager to help, though not always with the right product or information as this experience has shown. I would (and will) still do business with them, they have resolved the issue, and had it not been for my timing issue it would not have been as urgent and frustrating. I've abreviated the entire episode here... but bottom line is, you can't trust them to know what you need, make darn sure YOU know what you need before you call and place an order. Their service is excellent, their products are excellent, unfortunately their information appears not to always excel to the same standards. I have learned, and things worked out in the end acceptably well.

Rich

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RR,

The learning curve is steep here at the "University of Hard Knocks" (and bruised appendages!) !

"Breaking the bead", as they call it is the hardest part of tire work, as far as I'm concerned! I've had some sucess "taking a page" out of the 1940's MoPar shop manuals regarding their "new safety rims": they show a picture of using the bumper jack with the bottom plate on the sidewall of the tire, right up against the rim (tire flat on the ground, under the bumper of a convenient car), and jacking up the car, using the weight of the vehicle to force the tire bead away from the rim. One must be judicious in trying this method; you don't want to get the "weight car" too airborne, and you want to keep an eye on the jack plate to make sure it isn't slipping of the sidewall of the tire.

A buddy has a old slide-hammer type bead breaker that he uses on his 18" truck rims from his 1950 Chevy dump truck; it's about 5 ft long, and has a chisel-like business-end that is placed against the rim flange and a long heavy outer slide tube that furnishes the muscle. That sometimes has trouble moving a tire that's been on the rim forever.

As for "the kids who work at the tire stores", when I had to replace the 40 year-old Montgomery-Wards tires on my '41 De Soto, I wound up ordering very nice (and conveniently correct) Goodyear "All-Weather" diamond-treads (6.50 x 16) from Sears (!), as they had the best price (and I happened to have a Sears card <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />); well, I got the correct tires and tubes, but there was no way on God's green earth that anyone in their tire shop was going to attempt to mount them !

So I took tires, tubes, rims, et al and hauled them up to my buddy's and we did 'em ourselves on his 1950's vintage manual tire machine.

Then I humped the new tires (now on my rims) back down to Sears to have them balance them (per part of the purchase price!), then heaved them home to finally put them on the car.

You'd think I was asking those guys at Sears to lay golden eggs when I asked them to mount tube-type tires !

In my younger days, I'd have mounted them right on my rims in their parking lot in view of their service bay!

Amen! about "knowing exactly what you need"; trouble is that most of us find out exactly what we need after the fact; and there don't seem to be enough "grey-beards"( who are old enough to know better! ) to go around when it comes to vendors!

I really hate going to any store for something and "knowing more" than the "experts" who are waiting on me....

Hope your hands heal-up quickly!

Be thankful you're not working on a brass-era car with high-pressure clincher tires (where the wheel stays on the car), and you pry the tire off the wheel while it's still attached to the car! <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Stay with it!

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The first set of tires I got for my 1933 (back in 1973) I had a local tire shop install. They badly damaged the wheels where the hub caps fit. After that I have done the tires on the old car myself. Using a jack (it does not have to be an bumper jack) and the weight of a conveniently located parked car body is how I have always broken the bead.

Funny thing is that I got the mindset that you always change the tires on old car related stuff yourself. So when I when to pick up a old reproduction Mullins trailer recently and found it had a flat tire I simply changed the tube out myself at the seller's house. Never dawned on me until afterwards that I could have taken the wheel to a tire shop and had the new tube installed. <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

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Tod,

Now...did you put a NEW tube in or did you get out your vulcanizing kit ? <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Even here in Wilkes-Barre / Scranton (Anthracite Coal Country), where we're "two hours and twenty years from anywhere", it'd be hard to find a tire shop that admits to knowing how to handle tube-tires !

I did a hot patch on one of my DeSoto tubes out in front of the house ( where the car is parked ), and my wife comes along and asks "why are you trying to light that tire on fire with a match?"....

Good thing I wasn't using my Shaler vulcanizing clamp that has the cast iron tray that you fill with gasoline and light ! (pre-chemical patch days!).

My wife is definitely a "Honda girl" : turn the key & go...! <img src="http://www.aaca.org/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

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  • 10 years later...

Older trend, but only one that I found about changing tires....

Suggestion-

Look for a place that also changes large truck tires. Ask some local truck or tractor owners. Most of those shops are used to dealing with big tires with rings, split rims, etc. A local shop replaced tubes and flaps on a 1929 Pontiac, with wire wheels and complicated rings for me by the next day. (after I got the supplies).

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