Tire Saving Tips

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MochetVelo
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Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:46 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Tire Saving Tips

Post by MochetVelo » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:38 pm

Brass-Era cars used high-pressure tires made of natural rubber. Most modern tires run at around 35 PSI, but the early clincher-rim tires drove at 45-55 lbs pressure. Even with modern tire construction, the reproduction tires don't last as long as those on your family car. Then again, how many car buffs will drive their prizes for 60,000 miles? White rubber tires were the norm until about 1913 when carbon black became a popular additive. This was not for aesthetic reasons. It was discovered the black increased tire life considerably (30%?). White tires are still sold today, and they still wear out faster than the black. However, they sure look nice and, in brass-era automobiles, more authentic. Odd, that the white tires are a good deal more expensive than black. After all, they have one less ingredient! My guess is they're more difficult to make. Here are some tire-saving tips for the old cars:

- Tire Savers were sold to slightly elevate car wheels, taking the weight off the tires. They lifted the wheels from under the hubcaps with a simple "baler" mechanism. Here is one popular design:
Tire Saver.jpg
Tire Saver.jpg (153.28 KiB) Viewed 3199 times
The same effect can be achieved with jack stands. It was suggested to me that lowering tire pressure to around 15 PSI during storage is advisable.

- Run at proper tire pressure. In modern cars, tire pressure affects mileage, but in old cars low pressure can cause the tire to become loose and spin around the rim, cutting off the valve stem.

- Inflate stored inner tubes. Other reports indicate inner tubes degrade when stored folded in their plastic bags. The folds weaken and the tubes can fail. The tip here is to inflate the tubes slightly; just enough to puff them up. You can hang them on the wall.

- Balance wheels. If you've ever driven behind a brass car, you often have seen wobbling wheels... the result of warped or mis-aligned spokes. Some wobble is acceptable; perhaps 3/8". Too much can wear tires quickly. The only real cure is new wheels. Balancing wheels was not typical before WW1, but as they sped up, unevenness could cause difficult steering and heavy tire wear. One modern method to balance wheels is inserting tiny metal or ceramic beads in the tubes. These spin with the wheel and, oddly, orient themselves to counteract centrifugal force in the tire. The most popular is DynaBeads. Also, Lang's sells Counteract beads. Here are some links:

http://youtu.be/eq263AYgyYg
http://www.modeltford.com/model-t-parts ... ing-beads/

- Rim Strips and Flaps. Rim strips are like big rubber bands that wrap around the wheel. They protect the inner tube from metal spoke wear. They are less needed on wood-spoke wheels, though some drivers still use them. Others just use duct tape, but I prefer the strips. Flaps are much thicker and wider. They wrap around the outer part of the tube, underneath the tire. Some drivers swear by them, saying they reduce the chance of tube puncture from tire rubbing and tire-iron use. Others never use them at all. They cost about $25 each, so you decide! It's important to keep them flat when inside the tire, or they can wear through the tube.

- Sharp rims? Rusty rims can become sharp enough to cut through the tire bead and ruin a good drive. A cut rim can cause the tire to leave the wheel entirely. Use a rotary tool with with a grinding bit to round-off any sharp rim edges.

Any more ideas?

Phil

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