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Ferret run flat tyres and tubes.
The Ferret and for that matter, Saracen and Saladin are fitted with an English version of "run flat" tyre and this causes some problems. All 3 vehicles use a different size tyre from the other.
When I first got my Ferret, it arrived at the transport yard and was fork lifted off the truck and placed on the ground. Looking at the tyres, they seemed to be okay, but we thought we had better check the pressures just in case. This was when we discovered that we only had 2 valve stems visible. So we pumped up the 2 tyres that had valve stems and when we tried to see if we could locate the missing 2 we very quickly found that there was a rubber insert in between the wheel rim and the tube, so we gave up and drove the vehicle as was - they are run flats aren't they?
The down side to this wa that the vehicle must have been sitting for quite some time in this condition and 2 of the tyres had bad flat spots. So the trip home was a bit like you would imagine riding in Fred Flintstone's car would be like.
Poking with a blunt object through the valve stem hole showed that the 2 wheels with the missing valve stems had no air in the tubes so I felt confident I could split the combat rims and retrieve the stems. Had I only known! The alloy wheels had corroded slightly and there was even water trapped in them. Splitting the rim was a lengthy and exhausting process as I don't have any tire tools. When I finally got the rim about 1" apart I could not move it any more as the run flat had a firm grip on it. Getting what I thought was the run flat bead to release without damaging the tire was a nightmare.
A word of advice - let the experts play with these things, they are just too solid, heavy and ultimately, dangerous, for the DIY approach.
When I finally had the thing apart I discovered that the problem was actually the run flat insert, which is a very massive version of a "rust flap" and serves to keep the beads firmly against the rim edges in a run flat situation. These had adhered to the rim due to the corrosion.
I discovered that because the vehicle had been driven "run flat" the tires had appeared to have rotated on the rims along with the tubes. But not the liner/insert, thus you could look through the hole in the rim for the valve stem, see the corresponding hole in the liner and the tube, but no valve.
Upon getting the run flat liners out of the tyres (no fun either) I discovered that the valves had been ripped out of the tubes when things had rotated.
The local tyre place took one look a the tube and told me that there was no way they could get another as it was 3 time the normal thickness. So they grafted on a new valve assembly, much to my surprise, this repair has proved durable and has now been in there for over 10 years.
Still being stuborn, I re-assembled the wheels myself. Never again, I will happily pay someone with the right tools to do it next time.
WARNING: BE AWARE THAT COMBAT RIMS ARE DANGEROUS. IF THERE IS EVEN A SMALL AMOUNT OF PRESSURE IN THE TUBE, YOU CAN BE KILLED BY THE RIM IF YOU SPLIT IT. THAT IS WHY THIS JOB IS BEST LEFT TO THE EXPERTS.
ON MOST COMBAT RIMS THERE ARE 2 SETS OF NUTS, 1 SET IS TO REMOVE THE WHEEL FROM THE VEHICLE AND THESE SHOULD BE PAINTED EITHER THE VEHICLE COLOUR OR WHITE. THE OTHER SET IS TOWARDS THE EDGE OF THE RIM AND SHOULD BE MANY IN NUMBER AND SHOULD BE PAINTED RED, THESE ARE THE DANGEROUS ONES AND SHOULD NEVER BE UNDONE UNTIL THE TYRE/TUBE HAS BEEN PROVEN NOT TO CONTAIN ANY PRESSURE.
From Tony in the USA comes the following:
I took my ferret to a big truck tire repair shop to have the tyres seen to. They were so exited about the ferret that I got free work done in exchnage for pictures of owner and employees standing with the ferret. They looked at the suicide rims and tires and saw no valve stems, they took the rims off and tried making a hole in the inner tube BUT COULD NOT puncture the inner liner, they placed the tire in a cage and removed the nuts, the rim and tire fell apart (no pressure in the inner tube). The inner tube was good, but it had rotated about 8 inches on the rim from the valve opening. The tire is 7/8 inch thick on the sidewalls and the inner liner is about 1/2 inch thick protecting the inner tube, they discovered that I had two bad valve stems that leaked causing the tire to rotate, they replaced valves and put it all back together and put 30lbs air pressure in the front and 35lbs in the rear and balanced my tires (all for free). Then the owner said he had these tires in stock, no way I said God is not that good to me, he has 20 "out of productions" 900X16 9 ply YKS tires he would sell to me for $70 total including inner tube these are truck tires, does anyone had replacement tires here in the states for a ferret?
My thanks to Tony.
I would be very surprised if those tyres would fit. The Ferret rims are 9.00 x 16 ENGLISH, which is very different to 9.00 x 16 American. As Blitz (Canadian Military Pattern) truck owners are well aware, one type does not fit the other.
Further enquiries received by Doug:
> Bar tread tyres, cost? No, not "bar tread". Ferrets/Saracens/Saladins etc used Dunlop Trak Grip T-56 Run Flats, nicknamed in Australia "Lazy S".
900 x 16 US and Australian etc will NOT fit British (Ferret) rims so don't think you can use bar treads, because you can't.
I sourced some new production run flat "Lazy S" tyres from the UK in 2000 and they cost me £100 each; with customs clearance each end, freight etc wound up costing me AU$1500 which is roughly £600.
Or, you can find out who your local Simex tyre dealer is and ask them to search for T-56 which are the original molds now resident in Malaysia. They are not made as run flats but are correct except for name. They retail for about $180.00 AU each. They are also now 10 ply rather than 6 or 8 ply's. Simex only make them in batches of 100, so if there are none floating around in Aus, you will be told they are no longer made, which is incorrect. You have to place your name on an order list and they will make them when the list hits 100 tyres. They are also snapped up by the Blitz and 25pdr people worldwide, so there is more demand than you may think.
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