Replacing Rubber Valve Stems With Metal

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Replacing Rubber Valve Stems With Metal

Post by MochetVelo » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:19 pm

Well worth a read. You can make your (cheaper) rubber-stem tubes more authentic by replacing them with metal stems. Here's how:


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Re: Replacing Rubber Valve Stems With Metal

Post by Rrdoubleday » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:57 am

Have installed these many times. I suggest a low pressure test in water prior to using.

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Re: Replacing Rubber Valve Stems With Metal

Post by FullerMetz » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:18 am

A good read and pictures. A couple comments I would add.

Low pressure testing is a very good idea before mounting into a tire. However, I have found that sometimes they will not show a leak at low pressure, but will leak when over that low pressure. Given that some of our horseless carriages are not exactly fun to remove and fix such a leak. I will add that the fix for this high pressure only leak has always been a simple tighten the nut on the base of the stem about another half turn. It takes a little practice to find that right amount to tighten the nut. You could probably go too tight and squeeze out the stem base, or more likely simply strip the threads on the stem or in the nut. You will probably need to tighten it more than you think the first few times. I crank them down really tight now.

I do not use any tool, pliers or otherwise to pre-stretch the hole for the stem. What I do is put a small amount of tube-patch rubber cement on the base of the stem and/or around the stem hole in the tube. This does three things. It makes the "push in" slick and you will need to fight with it a little bit (it does become a slippery little sucker). It also makes the base of the metal stem slip in so much easier that it is worth the added fight with that slippery little sucker. The third thing I think it does, is help seal the base when the nut gets tightened all the way down. Hopefully, that helps prevent those high pressure only leaks.
I would be curious to read other opinions on this use of a small amount of rubber cement in this location.

I differ with their idea of how to cut off the old stem. I go straight to the sharp knife (or razor) and cut barely above the level of the tube. So far, I have never had a rubber stem that I could not pull out just by hanging onto the stem itself with just my fingers once it was cut. I just feel the extra steps with the pliers are unnecessary. Usually it only takes a little smoothing and cleanup this way.

While I do like to support those that manufacture and supply such things as inner-tubes. I also find that many older tubes seem to be better quality than those that can be purchased new today. When I have a tube fail at the stem (a common failure), I am torn whether to buy a new one? (And support those companies.) Or repair the old one by the installation of a metal stem? (And get many more good miles and years out of the tube I already have.)
A conundrum.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2

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