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Spare tire as airbag tank?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 64starfire, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. 64starfire
    Joined: Apr 16, 2009
    Posts: 37


    So in the intrest of trick, and efficiency (yes on rare occasions you can do both) I thought about how a spare tire could be used as an air tank.

    So a normal car tire is unsafe at 100-150 psi

    What about using a HD truck/trailer rim tire?

    Will an HD tire mount on a regular car rim? Is it safe to put the high air pressure of a HD tire on an automotive rim? If not could I get an HD rim in 5x5?

    I'm working on a brand of military truck in Iraq, but otherwise don't have experience with HD trucks. Ours have a screw in fitting for the schrader valve. Is this the norm for bigger trucks? Could an NPT fitting be used? Our trucks are filled to 115psi. Could a second hole be drilled for the air fitting and keep the regular schrader valve?

    I could even use the tire as a secondary tank and just have a small 2 gallon tank as the main. Edit: Something else I'll consider is to use a standard air regular off the small tank to fill the tire, then use a check valve from the tire to the tank

    I realize this probably isn't the norm, but if you work in the truck tire biz I'd be interested to hear.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  2. stealthcruiser
    Joined: Dec 24, 2002
    Posts: 3,748


    Are ya' thinking of using some steel air tanks, for tires, as well?????

    Stick with some type of pressure vessel for your air bag reservoir.............The tires you speak of, I don't BELIEVE, that they would work, on a passenger car rim, but I'm not sure!!!!....................This just doesn't sound like a good idea to me!!!!!

    Thanks for all you are doing there!
  3. Mudslinger
    Joined: Aug 3, 2005
    Posts: 1,964


    Not to mention it would be heavy.
  4. Malibob
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 503

    from Pittsburgh

    Something just seems like trouble with this. Where would the tire be mounted. If it is hidden couldnt you just have a tank fabbed up to fit where the spare "was"? Plus if you have a tank anyways, just use it. Oh and thanks for keeping it free over here man. Kudos.

  5. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    In a word NO !!! No car type rim/wheel is designed for over 60 PSI. You might get away with a HD pickup tire that is rated for 80 PSI. Best come up with another plan.
  6. Trucked Up
    Joined: Nov 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,580

    Trucked Up

    Most passenger tire/wheel combos are not rated above 45 psi. No matter what tire you use it is restricted to the wheel max psi rating.

    Now some light truck tire/wheel combos are rated up to 90 psi.

    Just seems a lot of trouble when you could just add a small tank. But I do understand the desire to have originality.
  7. 3onthetree
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 161


    If you're dealing with 100 psi I would not use an automotive rim, they're made form much thinner steel compared to a heavy truck rim and usually only carry about 30 or 40 psi. I'm sure they can handle more, but who wants to find out their breaking point the hard way.
    If the truck your working on has air brakes, there might be a connection already on the air tank for such purposes. I used to drive a heavy duty wrecker and we attached an air line to the air brake tank on the wrecker to the air brake tank of the vehicle being towed to keep the brakes off while towing.
    Just a side note, I have an old 73 VW Beetle which uses an air line attached to the valve stem of the spare tire which is used to pressurize the windshield washer fluid bottle. I always thought that was pretty trick.
  8. I think it'd just be easier and probably cheaper to get an air tank thats used for air ride instead of trying something new and taking chances of it not working
  9. I used to bemoan that the term "airbag" in the rodding world was not referring to a safety device. Now I just pray everyone will install three point harnesses and the best brakes they can afford in their rides.
  10. Chuckles Garage
    Joined: Jun 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,366

    Chuckles Garage
    Alliance Vendor

    I would say no on the tire thing, just use a tank.

    Thanks for maintaining our freedom. Good on you.
    Joined: Sep 14, 2009
    Posts: 56

    from JONES, OK

    Box the frame and install fittings. It works well if you can weld and no one will even know its there. Wow!! Look at that extra room in the trunk.
  12. 64starfire
    Joined: Apr 16, 2009
    Posts: 37


    For starters, Kritterskustoms...boxing a frame and using it as a tank sure has worked on some rigs usually offroad, but that would be way too much work and using square tube for an air tank is a bad idea unless it's really really thick. Just google square air tank and you'll find plenty on it. If you had a round tube chassis and really good welding skills...then maybe.

    I poked around on ebay for a bit and found some trailer tire/rim combo's that could handle 80/85 psi and have my bolt pattern. Since the working pressure of the bags should be below that then there's no reason to not use a spare as a tank. I think what I'll do is start with a smallish tank and work in the spare over time. If/when I get it done I'll post pics and info on this board.
  13. Alot of minitruckers use the rear back half of the frame as a tank . now if you wanna go stealth and use your spare tire idea. heres a idea for you get a spare rims cut the center out and weld in a plate front and back. BAM! you got a tank then just get a tire mounted on it and too hide it all throw a hubcap on it put it in the trunk run your lines and no one would ever know that was your tank
  14. tiredford
    Joined: Apr 6, 2009
    Posts: 527

    from Mo.

    How many psi does it take to burst a car tire? I figured the rating on the tire was for driving conditions. If the hose that fills the tire can live at 150psi, it seems like the tire could stand much more. Has anyone ever had a car tire burst from too much pressure?
  15. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,188

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    I just wanted to step in and thank you for helping keep freedom alive. The tire thing is a cool idea, but I wouldn't do it. Doesn't seem safe.
  16. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,595

    from Garner, NC

    LOL, you want to use a spare tire, but square tube is bad. Dude! And the tank on air systems usually carries 150psi. It just sounds like a bad idea.
  17. robleticia
    Joined: Oct 15, 2007
    Posts: 2,497


    Keep the wheels of creativity spinning, but axe this idea!
  18. It wouldn't be very stealth to have a tire in there that didn't fit the car, seems everyone would ask, "What's the big truck tire in there for? Where's your spare?"

    Thanks for serving!
  19. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,561


    Threaded valve stems are no problem. I have a couple we used in the factory for Secret service cars we built. Cadillacs with olds motors and truck rear ends. No emissions eqpt. required..........................
  20. 80-85 psi doesnt seem right to me, most systems dont kick on until 110 psi or higher and will shut off at 145 psi or higher depending on your pressure switch
  21. Nick Flores
    Joined: Aug 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,357

    Nick Flores

    I keep the tires on my wrecker at 120 psi. They're mounted on 19.5 inch Alcoa's. I've got close to a million miles under my belt and have had only one flat/blowout in that rig. Heavy truck tires are very thick, small nails and screws usually just stick in the tread and rarely compromise the tire. That said, I wouldn't trust one used as a reserve for braking. Air pressure in tires changes with the temperature, they are always "leaking", and that could pose a problem with the regulator/check valve. Its a cool concept, but I would figure there would have to be some kinda tank, scrounge-able materials, or even a wreck to find more suitable parts.
  22. hucks 48
    Joined: Aug 21, 2008
    Posts: 347

    hucks 48

    why not just use a tank?
  23. 39 All Ford
    Joined: Sep 15, 2008
    Posts: 1,531

    39 All Ford
    from Benton AR

    Most semi tires are designed to run at 110PSI, I have typically run 100PSI, when one of these blows, the explosive force is INCREDIBLE.

    On something that has as many square inches as a Semi tire, the difference between 110 POUNDS PER SQUARE INCH and 150 POUNDS PER SQUARE INCH acting on a big ass tire is freaking huge. I have no idea and I am not going to do the math, but I imagine we are talking about more than 1,000 square inches of surface area, lets see, 1,000 X 150 = 150,000 pounds of force....

    I wouldn't want to be close to a bicycle tire with 150 PSI in it, let alone a semi tire.
  24. Steves32
    Joined: Aug 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,280

    from So Cal

    I saw "airbag" & immediately thought of my ex-wife. ;)
  25. the-rodster
    Joined: Jul 2, 2003
    Posts: 6,763


    The only practical alternate purpose for the spare tire came from VW.... windshield washer.

  26. R Frederick
    Joined: Mar 30, 2009
    Posts: 2,658

    R Frederick
    from illinois

    If you hit a large pothole, the air would rush into the tire and blow someone's head off. Probably not a good idea.
  27. chucklz
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 170

    from KC

    Yeah! Just make a trap. You could use a stock style car rim fabbed into a donut style tank then have a tire cut like a slip cover.
  28. Do it and send me a video.
    I saw a video long ago when a testing company inflated a tire to over 100 lbs.
    You should have heard the bang, should've seen the dust fly, and you should've seen the wheel and tire shoot more than two stories into the sky.

    It was so cool.

    I haven't been able to find a modern copy of the video.
    Please tape yours and share it with us.

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  29. Nick Flores
    Joined: Aug 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,357

    Nick Flores

  30. Last edited: Mar 12, 2010

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