No Love for the Split Rim???

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Sep 2, 2016
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charles town wv
So, I’m getting new tires for my 78 FJ43 and they have the original 16 split rims.

Well, nobody and I mean nobody (tire shop) will touch them, in a 30 mile radius.

In fact most “professional” tire techs have even heard of them and once I explain what they are, they laugh and say no.

So, should I just do it myself?

I watched a YouTube video and as long as I let all the air out first, and shouldn’t kill myself in the process.
 
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Victoria, BC
Look for a tire shop that services rigs and other Comercial vehicles. Go in person and talk to them. These are not Domestic split rims. They are extremely secure and won’t fly apart like the rims shops are scared of.

If all else fails, do them yourself... but they are a ton of work to do yourself and even then they’ll still need balancing.
 

troy scott

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all the tire shops around here have cages that they put them in to air them up. Lots of grain trucks here still run split rims
 

NMC_EXP

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First off, stop calling them "split rims". OSHA, NHTSA and the rest of the safety nazis refer to them as "multi-piece wheels" or "lock ring wheels".

There are actual split rims but the design of those things are much different and as a guy who worked in a truck stop tire shop the true split rims were inherently much more dangerous than a multi-piece aka lock ring wheel.

I'm pretty sure the feds basically banned the actual split rim design and no doubt the insurance companies told tire shops not to service that design.

Problem is 99% of us call the lock ring wheels on Toyotas and vintage American pickups split rims. That plus the fact that decades ago over the road semi trucks converted to tubeless tires with conventional drop center wheels means almost nobody is left in a tire shop who ever saw a lock ring wheel much less a real widow maker split rim. But all the tire shop guys have heard the horror stories about split rims.

Find a tire shop that works on tractor trailer tires. They should have a safety cage to inflate the things in and that is a requirement. And don't call them split rims - that will set off alarm bells and get an automatic "NO" from the shop.

Or go the do it yourself route. If the wheel and lock ring are in good shape - not rusted badly and the tire/flap are not rusted solid to the wheel they are not hard to break down and reassemble. Takes a few special tools: (1) bead breaking "duckbill" hammer or a slide hammer bead breaker (2) short handled 8 lb sledge to drive the duckbill (3) two lock ring tire irons to pry the lock ring out of the groove (4) a big rubber mallet to drive the lock ring back on the wheel (5) a clip on air chuck so your arm is not right over the lock ring while you are airing it up (6) some training.

The lock ring is just a big snap ring that engages a groove in the wheel. If either the lock ring flange is rusted away or the engagement groove in the wheel is filled with rust, don't reassemble and air it up. If the lock ring is sprung out of shape, scrap it.

If no safety cage to air it up in the method was to lace a log chain thru the wheel slots and around the tire/wheel.
 

45Kevin

 
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Calgary, Alberta
They are easy to do.
My only safety measure I used was to inflate the tire from the back side of the rim.
My hand and the air hose wen through the center of the rim.

I'd put 10 lbs in and then pound the ring with a rubber mallet, then put it up to 20 lbs and bang it with the mallet and then bring it up to 32 or 36 lbs.

Good to go.
 

NMC_EXP

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Here is a photo of one of the two types of true split rims. I believe this was called the Firestone design. All of these I saw were on 1-1/2 ton or 2 ton straight trucks.

This split rim design does not have a snap ring style lock ring. Instead the complete wheel split in two circumferentially down the middle. The halves do not bolt together - as it's aired up the two haves are supposed to engage each other.

This photo is least dangerous of the two widow maker designs:



So far I've never found a photo of the other true split rim design and it is hard to describe with words. It was used on old tractor / trailer rigs with 20" wheels. It looked similar to Toyota and other lock ring wheels but big differences were (1) the lock ring was not split like a snap ring (2) the flat base of the wheel was split from side to side.

To dismount this one you had to pry one side of the wheel split until it overlapped the other side thus reducing the wheel diameter. Then the solid lock ring would come off. When you reassembled it you put the lock ring on then then inflated the tire. Inflation pressure was supposed to pull the two sides of the split wheel back into place against each other and at the same time lock the lock ring in place.

A lot of things could go wrong with that during inflation earning this design the title of widow maker.

That design was the one that gave all truck wheels a bad reputation.
 

NMC_EXP

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“here are differences with toyota rims over other style of split rims...

1st pic is Toyota Semidrop Center Rim with removable flange on the ring this is what makes it much safer than most other split rims...full bead applys pressure as it has a full flange base and deep lock
The Toyota design is not a split rim.

The lock ring flange under the tire bead is a good thing. However, the only feature that prevents the lock ring from blowing off the wheel is positive engagement between the lock ring lip and its mating groove in the wheel.

A rusted out wheel or lock ring or a sprung lock ring or bent wheel can fail - even Toyota.
 

NMC_EXP

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Yes your right as I have always said ... it’s design is a split ring you call it a lock ring ... I call it a land cruiser others call it a jeep :meh:

It’s known to the world as split rims ... most of the world call all these Ute type trucks Jeeps

Potato ... potahto

It’s still good mashed :)
Here's why the terminology is important - in 1977 true split rims were already rare but we did see them occasionally. I'm 67 and am the last generation to actually work on these things on a regular basis. I worked on conventional lock ring type semi tires every day.

Now it's 40 years and a few generations of tire repairmen later. The training in tire shops is mostly word of mouth - not class rooms and slick Powerpoint presentations. All these last generations have ever heard is split rims are killers so don't work on them. After 40 years guys trained this way are now owners or managers of tire shops. And their training and knowledge is flat wrong.

End result is tire shops refuse to work on safe multi-piece / lock ring wheels......All because we use bad terminology.

I have the tools and knowledge to breakdown and reassemble lock ring wheels at home so it should not matter to me. Problem is I'm damn near too old and broke down to do that kind of stuff.

The devil is in the details, including terminology.
 

tlaporte

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It was the terminology advice from @NMC_EXP in one of the other threads that helped me find a shop two miles from my house here in Pasadena that repaired a tube/fixed the flat on one of my Troopy’s wheels.

Prior to that, I’d been searching and calling around asking about fixing a flat on a split rim and I couldn’t find anybody within 50 miles of LA who said they could/would do it.
 

NMC_EXP

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It was the terminology advice from @NMC_EXP in one of the other threads that helped me find a shop two miles from my house here in Pasadena that repaired a tube/fixed the flat on one of my Troopy’s wheels.

Prior to that, I’d been searching and calling around asking about fixing a flat on a split rim and I couldn’t find anybody within 50 miles of LA who said they could/would do it.
Thanks for the back-up.

Not my intent to be a semantics dick about this. But I do wonder why anyone would chose to be wrong when it's easy to be right.

We need to bear in mind most of the guys working in a tire shop ain't there because they want a career as a professional tire man. They will have that job for maybe 5 years then move on. They have never seen a true split rim and never will but have damn sure heard the horror stories handed down thru the generations for 40 years.

And that makes it hard on folks who have the other type of wheel.
 

3_puppies

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the "split rims" I remember way back when, the rim had a slice across it and the lock ring was a solid ring, the rim slid into itself so you could get the solid ring into the indent for the lock ring to sit.

FYI almost all construction equipment still uses multi piece rims loaders, haul trucks, motor graders
 
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Split rim definition:
Split Rims - Split Rims
"....if you have split rims there should be a ring around the outer edge of your rims that is separate from, but which seems connected to the outer circumference of the rims and sits around the inner circumference of the tire; this ring has a small gap – or split in it and is called a lock ring...."

I`m not a blue collar worker. I`m a stock market investor *.... I know the risks there.
Vintage cars & trucks are a hobby only.
Split rim in German language= Sprengringfelge

* they never retire see Warren B. 88 years & Charlie M. 95 years ... every day in the office.:)
 
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