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Discussion Starter #1
I stumbled across an old post on the BB regarding the use of inner tubes with the stock steel wheels, and now I'm worried.

I've got a '74 GTV with stock 14" steel wheels, and I've mounted a set of modern, tubeless tires. Two of the old tires had inner tubes in them (with several patches, too!) and the remaining 3 (including spare) were tubeless. I discarded the tubes, installed new valve stems, and mounted the tires.

I did this on an old manual tire machine, and the tires were very easy to de-bead and easy to re-seat the new beads. Maybe TOO easy?

I understand that these older rims may not have a bead "safety" ridge, to prevent the bead from slipping off under extreme cornering loads and deflating. Is this true? Are they meant to be used with inner tubes only?
Is this a real safety concern, or just a Ralph Nader scare story?

Also, they seem to loose about 5psi of air a week, which is a bit much. Again, is this because the rims are not designed to seal against the tires?

Are others running stock steel wheels without tubes and without problems?

Thanks,
George
 

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Hi,
Since you've read the other threads you'll already know that opinions vary on this. Some claim to have run tubeless tires for years w/out leakage or other problems. I too had a mix of tires (some with tubes, some without) when I bought my 69 gtv. I got rid of the tubes and have had slow leakage in some but not all tires ever since (10+ years).

I just had a new valve stem replaced and asked the guy to put in a tube. He said I was crazy and that his 61 MG with wire wheels runs on tubeless tires. So I asked him to check whether there was a bead on my rims when he installed the valve stem. He said I had a perfectly good bead and told me that if the tire didn't hold air with the new valve stem, he'd put in the tube for free. That was 2 weeks ago and so far, so good. If it starts to leak again, I'm going with tubes all around. I'm simply getting very tired of filling my tires.

The drawback of tubes according to some is extra weight. The advantage according to others is safety--these rims were designed for tubes and there is some risk with tubeless tires not staying put.

John
 

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2 cents that were never asked for:


My concern with tubes to stop slow leaks vs not and pumping up X times a week/month was always that I'd never had a tubeless tire go violently and instantly flat for no apparent reason, (ie: didn't run over anything or baff a kerb or hole in the road to actually break the tire), though I've had several tube types go from running ok to trying to shoot you into the treeline in under 1/2 a second when they got just a wee bit down on pressure or had a tiny bit of contamination between it and the outer carcass and managed to scuff a hole in themselves on the carcass of the tire then shred moments afterward. (try that ride sometime with a 5 ton dump truck, vintage pickup or car or even better, an old motorcycle. I'll take a slow tubeless leak any day myself....)

Of course if using a modern tubless tire over a tube the reaction may not be so rapid and violent, but it's still likely to cut itself down in the same way as a tube type would.
 

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For What It's Worth:

Michelin inner tube weighed 1 pound 8 ozs.

Stock 14" Steel Alfa rim weighed 17.0 pounds

Michelin 165 HR 14 tire weighed 18.0 pounds

Small hubcap weighed 6 ozs.

Standard kitchen and bathroom scales.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah... I was horrified at how heavy the stock Alfa wheels feel, after handling my stock Mercedes 14x6" alloys for the past few years (14 lbs... easy to feel the difference).

My bathroom scale says 17 lbs for the bare steel wheel, too.

This whole tube issue may be a good excuse to look for a decent set of alloys.


George
 

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To 'legally' run tubeless, the rim has to have safety beads, which are designated by the rim being marked JJ (ie it will be stamped 14 x 5.5JJ ).

Unless it has safety beads (which are little 'humps' running around just inside the flat edge that the tyre sits on), they are not 'rated' for tubeless tyres - think what you insurance company could make of that if you have to claim for an accident...

In Australia, this was introduced in the early 70's - my 72 105 did not have JJ wheels and ran tubes whereas my 79 Alfetta had them and ran tubeless.
 
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