Vintage cars such as the Ford Model T, or the Model A, have what are called “clincher rim” tires. This makes changing a tire on one of these older vehicles much different from changing a tire on a more modern vehicle. A clincher tire is a bit similar to the tires of a bicycle and those that are used on many motorcycles. The wheels of an antique car are metal, a bit more delicate looking in design, than those on modern cars of today, with spokes that are again similar to those on a bicycle. A strip of rubber is placed around the outside of the wheel in order to protect the tire from the spokes. There are a few different ways to mount the tires onto the rim. One way is to use two tire irons simultaneously as fulcrums, and one would simply work their way around the rim, “wedging” the rubber tire tubes into place.

Another option is to employ the use of a twenty five gallon trash bag. The wheel is placed on a work table, and the bag is laid over the top of the wheel, covering the entire wheel completely, leaving an open space so that it is easy to line up the tiny hole in the rim of the wheel with the valve of the tire. The inner tube of the tire should be filled with air at this point and the tire should be ready to go. Start with the lining up of the valve, and once that is in place work your hands around the wheel, each going in the opposite direction as you work your way around the wheel, pressing down on the tire just a bit as you go.

The function of the plastic bag is that it creates a slippery surface which makes it easy to press the tire down and into the nook on the wheel. This should be able to be done without the need for of a tire iron. The use of a tire iron is a bit more time consuming and one runs the risk of chipping the paint off of the rim. Once the wheel is in place, it is necessary to remove the bag, and again one just works their way around the wheel, gently pulling on the bag a little bit at a time to separate it from between the wheel and the tire tube. If a small bit of the bag tears off and stays stuck between the tire and the wheel it will not be a problem. Once the bag is fully removed, the tire can be inflated to the proper air pressure and the wheel with the new tire is ready to be mounted onto the vehicle.

2 Responses to How to Change Antique Tires

  1. This looks like a great method. Could you point me in the right direction to change a tire on a 1927 Chevrolet with detachable rims? Can the same method be used? The owner’s manual has nothing about changing tires which I find kind of strange!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Feedback Form
How are we doing?