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Keeping air in wire wheels?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by vert1940, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. vert1940
    Joined: Aug 10, 2006
    Posts: 394


    OK,how is this done?I'm sure not everyone is running tubes.Had them blasted, powdercoated i sealed around the inside spokes with clear one tube per wheel...all four leak around the spokes..overnight!..leaking around the spokes.any ideas?
  2. ryno
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,471


    not sure what kind of wheels, but newer wires use a rubber seal over the nipples. maybe you could try to run something like that. check with coker or someone like that who specialize in vintage stock
  3. Gotgas
    Joined: Jul 22, 2004
    Posts: 6,968

    from DFW USA


    I bought a set of 'tubeless' wire wheels. Guess what? They need tubes. :D
  4. plym49
    Joined: Aug 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,797

    from Earth

    X2 on tubes.

    Don't forget to put 'rubber bands' under them, covering the heads of the spokes. Keeps the tubes alive longer..

    And use a radial tube if your tires are radials.

  5. I usually put the air in the tires. The wheels don't have anywhere to put air into them......
  6. vert1940
    Joined: Aug 10, 2006
    Posts: 394


    having trouble finding a tube for a 255 70 r15....the back tires
  7. Road Oiler
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 146

    Road Oiler

    Just like on a bicycle.
  8. WOW, no flaming for the joke...
  9. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223


    Silicone does not seem to work on 2 pc Centerlines I had that leaked, but maybe because they were aluminum... I was told back then to use a "urethane rubber sealer". I do not know where to get it. I sold those &$%# wheels instead :)

    Lots of spokes means lots of potential leaks on the road though. How about a European supplier for radial tubes?
  10. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,595

    from Garner, NC

    My Jaguar wire rims were fine until I broke a spoke. :eek: They were made by Dayton and 25 years old before they leaked... and they have o-rings on all the spokes. :rolleyes:

  11. BangerMatt
    Joined: Mar 3, 2008
    Posts: 465


    I used duct tape, does that make me a bad person? :rolleyes:
  12. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,598

    Atwater Mike

    Wire wheels hang on the spokes. They are in constant 'adjustment', any time the car is in motion. After moving the car, spokes are in a different place, and the car is 'hanging' on whichever ones are 'up'. Imagine a steel wheel flexing enough in a turn to pop a center cap off! (that's in the least-flexing part of the wheel, just outboard of the lugs)
    Now imagine the wire wheel. It's bending and flexing like Madonna, I don't know how you'd keep air in either one!
    Coker has tubes, both bias-ply and radial. I got mine for the rear there.
    If you use small radial tires up front on V8 wire wheels (or Kelseys) use the rim band for spoke nipple/ tube protection, and tubes from a Harley shop: "Drag Specialties" is the brand name, and they come with center stem and offset stem. Use the 'offset' stem. Under $15 each.
  13. hotrodtom
    Joined: Apr 14, 2005
    Posts: 231


    Not that it'll do you any good now, but '35 Ford wire wheels will take tubeless tires because the spokes on Ford wheels are welded to the steel rim, so no flexing. Kelsey-Hayes wires are not included in this advisory as their spokes go through the rim.
  14. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,598

    Atwater Mike

    They've been welded since '35. I've gone thru wire wheels aplenty, only to see miniscule cracks developing around the spoke roots at the rim. Be smart and run tubes.
  15. You are not the only one,, HRP
  16. My Jaguar wire rims were fine...................

    Wire rims? What are the spokes made from?
  17. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,598

    Atwater Mike

    eyeglasses! Doh!
  18. cruisin1947
    Joined: Nov 15, 2009
    Posts: 2

    from Sparks, NV

    Good afternoon all,
    I have a '63 T-Bird with wire spoked wheels. I'm running radials with tubes. The problem I have is the ribs on the inside of the radial tires. The movement of the tires and the tubes causes these coarse ribs to rub against the tubes and wear a hole in the tubes. When I took the car in for the second tube, the guy showed me my tire ribs, as well as all others he had. He said I wouldn't be able to get away from this problem and just count on a blowout every 6 months. Now, I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I've been to many a show and seen cars that are running wires, radials and are driven a bunch. I seek advice on how I can keep my wires and drive the car without fear of this wear and a flat.
    I did use the duct tape to cover the nubs where the wires enter the rim and that has served me well.
  19. I used to be in the wire wheel business. We used a two part urethane sealer that was applied from a pressurized machine that also mixed the two parts. The wheel would be turning on a pair of motorized rollers and the technician would spread it and force it tight against the nipples using a plastic "Bondo" type spreader. It would then set up for 24 hours. We very rarely had a leaker out of thousands of wheels a year.
    I have been out of the business for 10 years now so I'm not sure who is doing it.
    Last edited: May 18, 2011
  20. no55mad
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 1,887


    A HAMB buddy just bought some new spokes wheels from Wheel Kid @ Turlock. He said to use pure silicone sealer from the hardware store - he recommended 'ACE' brand. I have also seen members of Model A clubs running tubless tires on the original 1935 Ford, welded 35 spoke wheels w/0 tubes.
  21. Crankhole
    Joined: Apr 7, 2005
    Posts: 2,626


    What's the difference between a radial tube and a bias ply tube? I can't imagine the construction being any different.
  22. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,766


    Coker carries 136 different tube sizes, I'm sure they have one that fits.


  23. if anyone knows i wanna know to
  24. There IS a construction difference in the tubes that corresponds with the difference in the way the belts are made in the tires and therefore the way the tires "moves" as it rolls down the road. The radial tubes have seams that spiral around the tube. Standard tubes have seams that intersect at 90 degrees, running the full diameter and cross sections.
  25. plodge55aqua
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,711

    from Alberta

    Make sure you check the inside of the tire too... the mold lines in the tire will rub through the tube causing it to leak... Ive had that happen a few times...
  26. handyandy289
    Joined: Sep 19, 2010
    Posts: 354

    from Georgia

    I thought the same thing. May be some new foreign thing that uses air in the wheels.
  27. handyandy289
    Joined: Sep 19, 2010
    Posts: 354

    from Georgia

    Fill them with spray foam and never experience a flat again. Permanent "fix-a-flat".

  28. your right! i just realized that!
  29. Are you running Radial tubes or standard Bias ply tubes?

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