Last Updated 30/09/2010 13:23:51
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Split Rims

One of the concerns Jason had when we decided to go with the bigger chassis was that the wheels are split rims.  Apologies if you’re one of the millions of people who already know what these are, but I was one of the handful of people still left in the world who had no idea what this means, so here’s a very quick

Now, the biggest challenge we’ve been told we’d face with split rims is when we come to changing a tyre - it sounds like an urban myth, but there really have been instances of drivers being cut in half when their split rim wheel flies apart at the roadside while they’re trying to change the tyre.  Not good.


So, first up we had a bit of an instructional from Willsy here at Atkinson Vos about how to manually remove the tyre from the wheel, before Jason had a go himself.  The first clip is Willsy showing us how to break the bead and remove the locking ring from the wheel, which holds the whole thing together...

Breaking the bead and locking ring removal

And here we have a video of Jason demonstrating what happens after the tyre is filled with said flammable substances, reseating the tyre on the wheel...

Next up is a series of photos showing the steps taken to put the separate parts of the split rim back together before attacking the whole thing with a flammable liquid!

Specialist tools required

Jason had a bit of concern initially with breaking the bead, but when he had a go himself it was on one of the wheels that Willsy had demonstrated with a week earlier, so things were still nice and greasy and it all came apart no worries.  Jason has therefore drawn the conclusion that all tyres should be removed and replaced on a weekly basis, and copious amounts of greasing used to ensure its never too tricky a process!

laymans explanation of what they are.  Essentially, a typical family car has a metal wheel surrounded by a tyre, and a split rim is a wheel made up of three or four parts.  Apologies to those of you out there who know the proper terminology for those parts (and feel free to let me know if you do coz I’ve Googled for ages trying to find out!), but I think of them as the central hub (the largest part and the bit that most closely resembles a standard wheel), a second part which looks a little like a collar which forms the outside of the tyre supporting edge, and the third and final part that acts as a locking ring to hold all three bits together.  Then there's the rubber sealing ring wedged in the middle keeping it airtight.

With a little more investigation, it became apparent that most horror stories we’d heard about exploding split rims were from trucks with tyre pressures much higher than we ever have Moglet at, where changes are attempted at the roadside with pressure still in the tyres.  The most important thing to remember when changing a split rim is to make sure ALL the air is out of the tyre before you start.  Then its just a case of getting the three bits separated, doing what you need to do to fix the problem, putting it all back together again in the same methodical way, and re-inflating from the backside of the tyre, just to be sure.  And try to point the tyre at something that won’t matter if a locking ring flies off in its general direction!  We’ve been told that around 30psi is the magical point we need to get to on our tyres, which means there’s enough pressure in the tyre to hold things in place, and to also tell you you’ve passed the point where if something was going to go wrong, it would have happened already!