Lotus Elan

Original steels and tubeless tyres?

PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:45 pm

My recent spare wheel quest got me thinking about running tubeless. I currently use tubes in my original riveted steel wheels but wonder how many (If any) of us run them tubeless?

The main problem with using tubes is I am finding the internal ribbed surface in tyres intended to be tubeless is tending to abrade and damage the tube surface. I suspect this was the cause of my most recent puncture.

I understand the accepted wisdom is that the rim does not have the safety bead and should therefore be tubed.

I have checked the archive and cannot find any discussion of this so I wonder what the concensus is on running tubeless?
John

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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:08 am

I ran tubeless on my original steel KO wheels for as long as I had them on the car. I changed them to Panasports only because I got tired of 4 wobbly bent wheels!

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PostPost by: lotocone » Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:58 am

John,

I've been using tubeless tires on original KO wheels for about 6 months with no problems. The tires were mounted by the local Lotus dealer which does a lot of work on classic Lotus cars.
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PostPost by: jk952 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:21 am

... 2 cents...
I agree on the above comments, the tubless didn't leak on my steel wheels (they had been recently painted however if that matters), changed out too for the wabbly reason. I don't recall the rim shape having anything to do with tube or tubeless, and I have trouble imagining the tube contributing anything with respect to that anyway.
I do recall being advised long ago not to put tubes in tubless tires for exactly the abrasion reason you stated.... :)
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PostPost by: reb53 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:06 am

Have been running tubeless on the original wheels for as long as I can remember without problems and I've had the car 35 years.

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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:13 am

I've tried running tubeless but found each wheel needed constant small-top ups of air. It's probably nothing that couldn't have been sorted out with a bit more attention to detail and some sealant but I took the easy route and fitted tubes. That was two sets of tyres ago and I've had one puncture (caused by a nail) since. Inspection of the tubes at tyre changing / puncture fixing has not shown any problems with abrasion.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:12 am

I've experienced both issues. I replaced my Tyres a few years ago -without tubes - & 2 went down within 2 days and a 3rd within a week. My wheels are in reasonable condition - so I had tubes fitted.

Over the last 9 years I guess I've had 3 deflations all caused by tube failures. I need to be changing Tyres again now, so am pondering the best outcome.

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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:51 am

jk952 wrote:... 2 cents...
....I don't recall the rim shape having anything to do with tube or tubeless, and I have trouble imagining the tube contributing anything with respect to that anyway.
.... :)


If you look at modern wheels designed to run tubeless they have a bead running around the rim on the inside and outside and it is my understanding that this "safety bead" is to prevent a tubeless tyre pushing off the rim as a result of hard cornering forces. If I recall correctly the remanufactured Elan wheels which were available in the UK had the bead.

Interesting replies so far. It looks like quite a high proportion of us are running tubeless.....
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PostPost by: 45bvtc » Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:46 am

Guys, in the 70's the factory didn't fit tubes, period! Get over it, already!

No Elan arrived at your doorstep, or the Lotus distributor - if you could afford an Elan ready built in the 70's - with tubes in the steel wheels/tyres, ever!

Hope this already satisfies those concerned with me being loquacious, or a first contributor even (tsk, check it out Pete, I now know I should have asked you first, and then add the photo gallery later).

However, the integrity of the original steel wheel was, and still should be, A1.

So, DO NOT FIT TUBES unless you have a problem.

If you have tyre/wheel combo experiencing a pressure drop, and you do not have a puncture or valve leakage (in that order), then fit a tube.

Tsk, simples.
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:45 pm

Another "no tubes here" vote.

If I'm honest I've never even thought about fitting tubes to the Elan and in my "ignorance is bliss" mode I've never even thought about the rim design, I've just changed tyres as & when, dating back to just after buying the car in the late 70s.

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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:09 pm

3380 H wrote:Guys, in the 70's the factory didn't fit tubes, period! Get over it, already!

No Elan arrived at your doorstep, or the Lotus distributor - if you could afford an Elan ready built in the 70's - with tubes in the steel wheels/tyres, ever!

Hope this already satisfies those concerned with me being loquacious, or a first contributor even (tsk, check it out Pete, I now know I should have asked you first, and then add the photo gallery later).

However, the integrity of the original steel wheel was, and still should be, A1.

So, DO NOT FIT TUBES unless you have a problem.

If you have tyre/wheel combo experiencing a pressure drop, and you do not have a puncture or valve leakage (in that order), then fit a tube.

Tsk, simples.


To be honest I can't remember, it's too long ago, too many brain cells gone but I suspect that tubeless tyres were quite unusual back in the early sixties? Certainly well into the 70's lots of cars were still tubed, I know because I used to do lots of puncture repairs back then.

I think it's more a problem of tone :wink:

I personally have no problem with someone who doesn't suffer from self doubt :D

From the contributions so far it looks as if you could well be right .............but then you knew that already :lol:
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PostPost by: frearther » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:36 pm

I use Plus 2 5.5" wheels on my S2, and they're fine without tubes. I know they're a little later than the originals, but, as I recall, I used tubeless with the original 4.5" wheels and didn't have any troubles, even during extreme autocrossing.
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:25 pm

3380 H wrote:Guys, in the 70's the factory didn't fit tubes, period! Get over it, already!

No Elan arrived at your doorstep, or the Lotus distributor - if you could afford an Elan ready built in the 70's - with tubes in the steel wheels/tyres, ever!

.


I have just noticed that the workshop manual states tyres "with tubes when applicable" and the contemporary road test specifications published in Autocar specify the appropriate tyres for S3, S4 and Sprint and in all cases state tubed which leads me to wonder if the road test models were supplied with tubed tyres?
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:34 pm

I was reading this thread with interest and then noticed this advert at the bottom of the page, I know that Jeff's advert robot has done this, but it's still a bit spooky.
http://www.readytovalet.com/TYRE_MAGIC_PUNCTURE_SEALANT_-_WILL_REPAIR_PUNCTURES_AS_THEY_HAPPEN!/p388157_2750262.aspx
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:48 pm

Spyder fan wrote:I was reading this thread with interest and then noticed this advert at the bottom of the page, I know that Jeff's advert robot has done this, but it's still a bit spooky.
http://www.readytovalet.com/TYRE_MAGIC_PUNCTURE_SEALANT_-_WILL_REPAIR_PUNCTURES_AS_THEY_HAPPEN!/p388157_2750262.aspx


I miss all these thanks to the power of Firefox and Adblock Plus :wink:

That said, it's interesting because they claim it works with tubes and tubeless.
John

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