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Thread: Using inner tubes in radial tires

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    Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Just rec'd my Kumho tires, 165-80-15, to mount on wire wheels. The tire side wall says tubeless tire. Is there a problem using tubes in a tubeless tire?

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    Moderator Andrew Mace's Avatar
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    No, but it should be a tube intended for use in radial tires.
    -- Andrew (Andy) Mace, VTR's Triumph 10/Herald/Sports 6 vehicle consultant and keeper of the North American Triumph Sports 6 and Herald Database

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    Yoda Geo Hahn's Avatar
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Some tire shops (at least in my area) are squirrely about putting tubes in tubeless tires so you may have to ask around for someone to do this.

    Try to get the oldest guy in the shop and not some bored teenager who has never seen wire wheels and seldom mounted with a tube.

    Hopefully you have someone reliable to balance the wheels as wire wheels may or may not require a special fitting to be balanced on the usual machine.

    In case this is new to you, a couple of other thoughts: If there are labels stuck inside the tire (can't recall if Kuhmo does that) they should be removed. A dose of talc/baby powder in the tire is good. The way I was shown was to get it all (rim tube & tire) together, inflate the tube, then deflate the tube, then inflate it again. Look at the rubber-like bands around the inside of your rims, they should be in good condition (they protect the tubes from the ends of the spokes). Replacements are available though some just use duct tape.

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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Duct tape goes dry and brittle in time. If you can't find or don't have the inner bands, use an old innertube, cut to the width of the rim's channel for the spoke attachment and use the rubber cement from a bicycle patch kit to glue it end-to-end if you have to cut it to make it smaller in diameter.

    And everything Andy and George have said, too.
    '64 MGB, '67 Lotus Elan S-3 DHC,'69 Lotus Elan +2
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Quote Originally Posted by Geo Hahn
    Some tire shops (at least in my area) are squirrely about putting tubes in tubeless tires
    It's not necessarily "squirrely"; most tire makers say specifically not to do it. If a tire shop puts a tube in a tire not rated for use with a tube, they could become liable if the tire fails. For example, Pirelli says: "Under no circumstances are tubes to be used in Pirelli tires marked
    tubeless."
    https://www.tirerack.com/images/pdf/warranty/PIR1.pdf

    There is some logic in this, although I don't think it applies to Triumphs in general. Problem is that a tire's load and speed rating is limited primarily by the buildup of heat within the tire when operated under those conditions. A tube adds more friction, which means more heat, which means the tire can no longer handle it's rated load and speed.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    You may want to schedule a road trip to Hendrix Wire Wheel in Greensboro, NC. He could mount and balance the tires, as well as provide the correct tube.

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    Obi Wan
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    The tire shop I go to said that one of the reasons that tires went tubless is because tubless tires have better control when punctured. Tires with tubes tend to blow out quickly or deflate more quickly. That was one reason I blasted and painted my rims.

    Kevin

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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Well, I don't know about that. I ran over a 5/16" bolt in my Miata, and the tire went done within seconds! I believe they went to tubeless tires because rim and tire technology allowed it, thus saving the expense of the tube and the extra labor to install it.
    Art
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    "within seconds" is slow compared to what a tube can do. Tubes sometimes pop like a balloon (hence the phrase "blow out"). First time it happened to me (not on a LBC), I literally thought someone took a shot at me!

    Of course tubeless tires don't entirely solve the problem; I once managed to punch a golf-ball size hole in the sidewall by running over a broken curb. But they do help, IMO.

    OTOH, I feel we simply have to accept that these vintage sports cars are not as "safe" as modern cars are required to be. A reasonably competant driver should have no trouble handling a TR after a blowout, so the risk of using tubes seems acceptably low to me. I never did plan on living forever, anyway.
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
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    Obi Wan bgbassplyr's Avatar
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Seems to me that even if the tube blows out, and assuming that the tire remains attached to the rim which it should because with the spokes sealed the tire can be run tubeless, it would react as a slow to fast leak as air escapes through the spokes.

    The biggest problem with tubes in radials on wire wheels was pintching or abraiding of the tube by exposed spoke nipples and/or shifting of the tube by radial side wall movement.

    Just use a tube rated for radials and be sure the spoke nipples are sealed-taped. Big 3 offers a PVC tape for this. Don't use duct tape.

    Anything I'm missing?

    Jim
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Quote Originally Posted by bgbassplyr
    Seems to me that even if the tube blows out, and assuming that the tire remains attached to the rim which it should because with the spokes sealed the tire can be run tubeless, it would react as a slow to fast leak as air escapes through the spokes.
    Say for example the incident where I punched a hole in the sidewall with the corner of a curb. With a tube, the initial injury likely would not have punctured the tube and the tire would still hold air. But immediately afterwards, the tube would form a bubble outside the tire and then burst suddenly. Something similar would happen if the tire carcass failed due to old age or whatever, a tubeless tire would leak slowly while a tube would hold air until it had a big enough bubble to pop.

    I remember years ago seeing people driving with a bubble of tube protruding; I used to yell at them (but it never did any good).

    And there is still that problem with extra heat that I mentioned before. Perhaps not an issue for those of you in more temperate climes, but the Mojave gets darn hot in the summertime and I'm usually in a hurry to get through it ...
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Jim:
    Only thing missing is the mention of the plastic sleeve that goes between the wire wheel and the tube stem. Without the sleeve the stem will eventually be "sawed off" by the minute movement of the stem on the wheel. Now if you want to see how quick a tire can go down then loose a tube stem some day! Ask me how I know!

    Lou Metelko
    Auburn, Indiana

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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Quote Originally Posted by Randall
    OTOH, I feel we simply have to accept that these vintage sports cars are not as "safe" as modern cars are required to be. A reasonably competant driver should have no trouble handling a TR after a blowout, so the risk of using tubes seems acceptably low to me. I never did plan on living forever, anyway.
    Amen, Randy!!

    We get what we get. It's basically what's called: "Taking Responsibility" for ones' self.

    Live wifit.
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Quote Originally Posted by TR3driver
    I never did plan on living forever, anyway.
    I think we need a bumper sticker with those words.
    Of course I don't think it would fit, or would be readable, on the rear bumper(ette) of a TR3.
    59 TR3A "Butter"

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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Think of the irony of someone getting far too close to said TR3 in an attempt to read the words....
    -- Andrew (Andy) Mace, VTR's Triumph 10/Herald/Sports 6 vehicle consultant and keeper of the North American Triumph Sports 6 and Herald Database

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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Mace
    Think of the irony of someone getting far too close to said TR3 in an attempt to read the words....
    Ewwwwwwwww!
    If a man says something in the forest,
    and there isn't a woman around to hear it,
    is he still wrong?
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Doesn't matter, they pull up until they can't see my brake lights anyway!
    Randall
    56 TR3 TS13571L once and future daily driver
    71 Stag LE1473L waiting engine rebuild
    71-72-73 Stag LE2013LBW waiting OD gearbox rebuild

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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Related to the original topic, did you Randall (or someone else) once say they had the tire changer offered by Harbor Freight? Possibly this one:

    https://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ct...emnumber=34542

    They also offer assorted tire tools and attachments for the above such as:

    https://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ct...emnumber=36133

    Is this really a futile thing to attempt with low-priced equipment?

    I assume the ad copy "No expensive 220V power hookups or pneumatic lines" really means you provide the power via upper body strength?

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    Yoda martx-5's Avatar
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    In the early '70's, I worked for a Saab dealer, and this is how we used to change tires.
    Art
    '58 TR3A TS236xxL
    '92 Mazda Miata -- Supercharged
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    Jedi Knight MGTF1250Dave's Avatar
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    Re: Using inner tubes in radial tires

    Aloha Geo,

    Many years ago, in the '70s I bought a pair of tire irons from Moss and have used them to change many tires on wire wheels. One is a spoon type and the other is a lever to move the bead over the rim of the wheel. The lever ends have a small bend to catch and hold the lever over the rim. It isn't that hard to do. Art's method works well.
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    Dave

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