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Old 07-22-2020, 03:46 PM   #1
Teltruck
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Default 1951 Ford Split Rims

Safest method of adding Air to a Tire with a Split Rim? Thanks! Stay safe!
Bob
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Old 07-22-2020, 04:31 PM   #2
alanwoodieman
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

lock ring or 2 piece "widow maker"? lock ring type install it and after it is together bang it around with a hammer to make sure it is seated, push it under a piece of equipment and inflate to 10 lbs and bump it again then to 20 lbs followed by bumping if it did not come off go to pressure you want.
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Old 07-22-2020, 05:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

You really need to tell us more in your question. Are these stock wheels? No stock F-1 or F-2 had multi-part stock 16” wheels in 1951. ALL stock 17”, 18”, and 20” multi-part F-3 through F-6 wheels were “widow maker” “Firestone RH-5“ style. Google Images those terms. An F-7 or F-8 could have widow makers or what were called three piece Firestone R-5 wheels. Assuming you have a smaller truck with widow makers there is no safe way to keep them in service. If you have replacement wheels with the outer locking ring alanwoodieman’s method is good as any. If you have widow makers there are replacement options we can go into if you want. Stu
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

The very least that you want to do is wrap a chain and secure it in a minimum of two places across from one another. Three of four are better and no small dog lead chain either. Safety first and use 3/4" log chain and be ready to change your underwear if it does let go but you will still be alive and not maimed.
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

One of the favorite mechanics at a service station that catered to farmers back in my home town in Wisconsin lost an eye on his last day at work before retiring as he put air in a truck tire when the ring blew off.
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Old 07-23-2020, 01:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

The safest way to add air to a tire on a "Split Ring" wheel, is from the back side of the wheel (opposite the ring) or, off the truck, in a cage. Dual's are ok as, the rings face each other.

If you change tires, make sure you inspect the groove and ring and know what your looking for. Clean the groove out and leave no rust in it. Clean the ring the same way and make sure it's not bent or has lost it stiffness.

They are still pretty safe done that way but, only fill them from the back, mounted on a axle or in a cage. Most tire shops won't work on them any more.

The worst thing is, if you loose a ring, while driving. My family was in dump trucking and my step father lost a ring, fully loaded. It didn't do to much to his truck but, it totaled the car it hit.
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

An RH-5 widow maker side ring mounts to the rear of the base rim. If Bob has an F-3 and airs the wheels while mounted on the truck the ring will explode inward toward the truck and be held captive around an axle. On an F-4/5/6 the same applies to the fronts and inner duals. The outer duals, however, cause the damage Frank describes to people and property that are in the path of the side ring explosion. It is the RH-5 that no commercial shop will touch today.

Wheels having Goodyear style split locking side rings are serviceable at real truck tire shops just about anywhere. The solid/unbroken locking ring style (Firestone RH and RHP) are becoming hard to find service on as shops no longer train new techs in their service. So few are still in use, and they are harder to work on, so it stands to reason shops would decline to work on them anymore. These are not a job for an untrained hobbiest. Stu
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Old 07-23-2020, 01:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

My info was based on the wheels being "spit ring" that's what the OP said he has and that's why I put it in quotes.

Identifying the spit ring to a widow maker is easy, as the widow maker has no removable ring, around the bead. They look like drop centers, at first glance.

I did err by omitting that when airing the front, attached to the axle, from the back side, to be sure that there is nothing that a ring could damage, in it's trajectory, including humans.
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Old 07-23-2020, 01:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

One more thing. Back in the "old days" 50's and 60's, many truckers did their own tire changing (9.00 x 20 and up). Many of them would air the tires, off the truck by standing on the wheel from the back side. While I don't remember any that got killed that way, I do know that some lost their teeth and also, got scared up. That's why I said they have to be mounted on the axle.
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Old 07-23-2020, 01:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

My old 48 Stude had those wheels with the retaining ring, but the ring is welded into a one piece circle. You gotta egg shape them to get em off or on. That was an adventure putting tires on that truck. I never did worry about those rings coming off, though.
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Old 07-24-2020, 11:14 AM   #11
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

The 'split ring" type of wheel were very common up through the '80's on HD pickups and trucks up to 10/18 wheeler's. The majority of the trucks in a company I owned had that type of wheel. The two piece 'split rim', which Ford used a lot of on the one ton and larger are the dangerous ones, you cant see if the two halves are seated because they are covered by the tire.
Heavy duty radial tubeless tires pretty well did the spit rim in, blow-outs are a thing of the past if the tire is kept properly inflated.
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

Thanks to all who replied! Going to see what type Im dealing with. The Chains around the Rims while inflating seems like a great idea! Thanks again and stay safe!
Bob
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:44 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

The Chains around the Rims while inflating seems like a great idea!

As I mentioned the chains will work to supplant the regulation tire cage but still be careful and pay attention. Keep them tight and even after finishing the airing process leave them sit awhile then smack them with a hammer before removing them. Smack them like you mean it and not just love taps. It is your safety you are dealing with and you are not replaceable.
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

I don't think anybody mentioned you air em up with a long hose and a clip on air chuck. Turn the air on from over at the compressor.
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

Yet to be determined here is whether Bob’s 1951 truck has widow maker RH-5 wheels or the safer locking side ring style wheels. Most likely the truck is not an F-1 or F-2, which would have one piece drop center wheels, so it is a near 100% chance that Bob has widow makers. It is malpractice to give him, a rank novice, service advise on wheels that no professional shop will touch anymore.

Once Bob has helped us identify the type wheels he has, and provided important details about the truck, we can provide him guidance on safe(r) wheel options. Stu
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

Get an air chuck that locks onto the tire. connect 50 foot air hose to the regulator from your compressor. Gradually increase pressure until you are at desired pressure. Let it sit for however long is needed then disconnect it. A few pieces of chain as mentioned above for added safety.
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Old 08-05-2020, 06:23 PM   #17
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

Finally got the pictures of the Rims front and rear on my 1951 Ford F5? Also Im not familiar with split Rims and assuming these are? Really appreciate the advice from very knowledgeable people onFord Barn. Hope everyone is staying safe! Thanks!
Bob
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Old 08-05-2020, 06:45 PM   #18
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

Going to try again to post the pictures of the Rims? Cant load the pictures? Back to the drawing board. Stay tuned. Thanks!
Bob
Stay safe!
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Old 08-20-2020, 02:54 PM   #19
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

Finally able to post pictures of the Split Rims. Really appreciate your input!
Stay Safe!
Bob
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Old 08-20-2020, 03:11 PM   #20
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Default Re: 1951 Ford Split Rims

We had to change tires on the trucks in the Army. I never liked doing it!
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