Perhaps the first thing most enthusiasts have to deal with when bringing a car out of long-term storage is flat tires. Understanding how to remove a tire from a rim can be a real lifesaver in getting a classic car rolling again. Over time most tires lose air pressure and if unattended, the rim and weight of the car then rests on the sidewalls and/or inner tube of the tire; which can lead to tire/tube failure. Sometimes the fix can be as simple as just adding air or in some cases the tire or tube needs to be replaced.
Even if unused and your car has been sitting inside for years most tire manufacturers limit the life expectancy of the tire to 10-years. As tires age the rubber dries out and begins to crack, the bond of the rubber to the tires’ cords also begins to break down and if driven at road speeds their condition can quickly deteriorate creating an unexpected unsafe condition as the tire disintegrates. Additionally, old tires become hard and lose their ability to maintain road contact and dry pavement traction.
For many of us changing tires is simply a matter of taking your classic car or tires to a service station and having them changes but for early classic car enthusiasts who enjoy cars of the 1930s and earlier most service stations simply won’t touch these classic wire and wood spoke wheels. Primarily their equipment isn’t set up to handle these wheels nor are they willing to accept the liability of possibly damaging vintage wheels.
Mark Simpson demonstrates how to remove a tire from a rim on our classic 1931 DeSoto, that has been sitting for over 30-years with now 40-year old tires. Simpson demonstrates how to use tire irons to release the tire bead from the wheel and remove the inner tube and tire. When working with old rubber can be a challenge as it has lost most of its ability to flex and will resist tire removal, but with a little patience most tires can be removed.