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Tube Punctures

Tube Punctures from Wire Wheels

I've had a puncture twice with my car - so did a friend of mine (not a good feeling - espesially when the front tyre May be it's because of the wire-wheel. It seems like the nipples on the spokes are causing the problem I tried using a strong tape on the nipple side of the wheel-rim. It did happen again....I wonder if a broad rubberband is the solution, covering the whole inside of the rim? What are yours experience and solution? (I don't thin any vendors offer 16" center lace wheels with the spokes laced to the well of the rim?). Thank you. - Martin Jacobsen, (120 DHC)

I have a "rim band" on the inside of my 16" wire wheels. It is the same type of thing used by bicyles on the inside of their wheels. The local tire store in New York obtained them. I also went through all of the spokes INSIDE and found a few that seemed to be a bit sharp. A few minutes with the Dremel tool took care of those sharp ones. A call to Coker Tire (ad is generally in Hemmings) may turn up the rim bands if not otherwise available. After doing a favor for a friend with a 120 at the time...he was new to Jags and did some ignition work; points, plugs wires, cap rotor, etc. and the car wouldn't start. Needless to say, the reverse plug numbering was the culprit... anyway, he had an extra set of older Perelli's. He gave them to me for helping him! I made the mistake of fitting them to my 140. One day on the Long Island Expressway (at 75 mph) the right front one disintegrated. Rubber flying all over the place. Fortunaterly I was planning a repaint because as the tire came apart the steel wires did a good job of removing the paint from around the fender well. I checked one of the others and found that the lack of the rim band probably contributed to the destruction. I purchased a set of the Road Speeds as originally fitted along with whatever else Coker suggested by way of installation. The local tire installer on Long Island that I used was very careful in the installation. Thank goodness no other problems. - Barry Goldman

The solution would be to do what was done originally, and that is to use a rubber belt about 1-1/2" in width to cover the spoke nipples. Also be certain there are no sharp protrusions (like spoke ends) sticking up. The rubber belt (you could make one from an old inner tube) must cushion the tube; probably the tape chafed the tube. - Mike Plechaty

Martin, In regard to wire wheels and flat tires. When we raced wire wheels, we had a lot of flat tires in the 60's and we did not have rubber band to cover the spoke nuts properly. What we did was :.. Put some soapy water on your finger and hold it on the tire valve to check for a slow leak. Tighten or replace valve if bad. .. Turn the steering wheel if full lock if it is a front tire. inspect the tire as far as you can see, roll the car a foot or so, or jack it up and roll the tire. Visually inspect the outside of the tire. Look for a little dot of gray or silver, it may be a screw or nail with the head worn off. If you find something, mark it before you move anything. .. Remove the wheel. If the hub and wheel has a bad spline and will not come off. I have in the past loosed the wing nut, move the car forward or backward and wiggle the steering wheel then got out to check it. I do not recommend this for your car but but it worked on our old rally car that we used and abused. Mark the rubber tire with a chalk or what ever you can find, adjacent to the valve stem. (I have used a lime stone from along the side of the road before) If you put the tire back on in the same place you might retain the correct balance or at least, come close and time is a factor in any case. Then again, if there is a lot of weights on the rim, you may not want the tire back in the same place. Sometimes we would put the tire on in a different place to see if we could balance with less weights etc.. but save this information until you re-install the tire. .. In this case, we are looking for something in the tire, or on the rim that is causing a hole to rub into the tube, so. Remove the tire and tube after marking valve stem location on the tire. Put the tire on a bench if you can, ( I hate working on the floor) so that the mark representing the location of the tire valve facing up. Lay the rim on the tire with the valve stem hole up. align the valve stem hole in the rim, with the mark on the tire as if they were assembled. Inflate the tube, locate and mark the hole in the tube. sometimes a slow leak can be hard to find. We over inflate the tube and apply soapy water or if you are fortunate enough, try to submerse in water. Some service stations have special troughs for this. Compare the location of the leaking hole in the tube to the valve stem. sometimes it is easier if you lay one on top of the other to line things up This will tell you where the exact location of the problem is. . Note: there are bias tire tubes, and there are radial tire tubes, if you are running radial tires, you should have radial tubes because some radials have certain designs on the inside that can eat up a bias tube. inspect the tube for wrinkle marks, if the wrong size or incorrect tube is used, a wrinkle can get trapped and cause the tube to fail over time. Sometime in haste odd tubes are used because the correct tube is not readily available. Note: sometimes the installer damages the tube during installation but the tube does not leak until you get well beyond human habitation. .. Clean the rim .. If a rusting condition exists, Remove all rust and rust flakes. .. Feel the rim with your hand be sure to check the entire surface because the reason for the flats may not be obvious. Sometimes during a previous tire change the tire tool can create a burr and cause a flat over a short time. .. Feel for a spoke that may have been adjusted and is sticking out of the nut, if so, file or grind it off, but, do not to damage the nut, or leave sharp edges. check to see if someone else ground the spoke nuts and left them sharp. Under pressure, the rubber can conform around the nut and cause trouble. .. Put a rust inhibitor in the inside of the rim but be careful it will leak through the spoke hole and drip down the nicely painted or chrome spokes. Then again it is a good time to paint the entire wheel. .. After the rust inhibitor I smear a dot of silicone over the spoke nut and on to the rim (inside the rim). The reason is in rain and snow, the water seeps past the spoke nut and after some wear the dirty water from inside the rim seeps back out and screws up the paint or makes the chrome dirty. The wheels are easier to keep clean if you seal them plus the inner rim is less likely to rust if kept dry therefore reducing wear. We never had a rubber wheel band handy that was in good condition, so we wrapped the inside of the rim in the spoke nut areas only where the tube could come in contact 2 - 3 times with 100 mile per hour tape ( good quality duct tape) found at any hardware. Duct tape is a key essential for any race garage or race shop Ha! Ha! Note: don't get carried away. .. Visually inspect the outside of the tire for a little dot of gray of silver that may be a screw or nail with the head worn off again. Sometimes it takes a long time to actually create a flat. .. Feel the inside of the tire. .. assemble and balance etc. We used to race with wire wheels and have driven on wires since 1969 to 1996. I finished a rally once on a spare with 6 spokes missing and I could shake the wheel 3/4" but I never had a wheel break off or anything. I did loose a wheel once as it spun off while breaking over a railroad track. (Right Front splines were worn and too easy to get off ) but that is another story. - Edgar Blake, 54' 120 - DHC "Blanch"

Martin: You should have bought my XK140 last year, you would have had none of these ongoing troubles. The new wire wheels that I had on my XK had a broad rubber band covering the ends of the spokes, they came with the wheels which were Dunlops, made in India if I recall correctly. Regards to you and your wife, and good luck with your 120... - Bill West

Hello Bill, you are still keen on XK's and not only XJR and Firebird (?)? I converted my XK from disc-weel to wirewheels last summer. I bought a painted set (used) from Guy Broad, UK. I plane to use them next summer, but want a set of chromed wire-wheels and Pirelli C. tires. May be not Dunlop wheels, but Dayton wheels. Acc. to the catalogue from XKs Unlimited they are able to deliver tubeless sealing, as far as I understand.I'm planning to visit my brother in CT, and wish to visit some vendors in the NY-area. Your car was beautiful to look at, but I am really satisfied with my car. All my problems are mere trifles. Both the restauration-receipts ($47000) and my experiences tells its a really solid and beautiful car, with 1st price both from the US and Norway - not concours on a trailer but on the road during the short norwegian summer. - Regard, Martin Jacobsen

To Martin, A not very big advertiser but quite knowledgable in the New York area is John Farrell. His place is out by Republic Airport. You might give him a call. JOHN FARRELL, 57D Alder Street, West Babylon, L.I. 516-454-7977 If you do speak to him, give him the regards of Barry Goldman. - Barry

Another tip to reduce friction between the inner tube and the wheel is to wipe the tube with talcom powder before installing. Reduced friction should help to prevent wrinkles in the tube and, maybe, abrasion. - Regards, Mike Carpenter

One thing I learned from having an old tractor, which uses water in the tires for added traction and can get rusty and rough on the tube. Take the old tube, cut off the valve stem and cut a hole for the new valve stem, then wrap it around the wheel. - Jim Voorhies

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