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Where's your Spare Tire?

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  • Where's your Spare Tire?

    BLOWN UP, SIR !

    Some of you will remember that we reported a small explosion in our trunk as we drove down I-40 on Day 2 of Thunder West By NorthWest. We were able to determine that it was the spare tire at the time, but we never took it out of the trunk along the way because of the full load we were carrying. We knew that we had multiple other spares with us if we were unlucky enough to need one on the trip. Thankfully, that little problem never arose so we were at least fortunate in that respect.


    I finally took it out of the trunk this evening and this is the condition that I found it in:





    I had filled the tire to the recommended 60 psi prior to leaving on the trip. I found no evidence of anything puncturing the tire in the trunk. I found no evidence that the explosion caused damage to anything in the trunk. It was a bit disconcerting that the blowout happende right next to the battery (no proof that there is any connection to the event - but a bit frightening that all that pressure was aimed directly toward the battery).


    I have no idea if this is related or not, but I did have the spare turned upside down in the well to allow a little storage space in it for cleaning supplies and tools. I also know that Bill Green has done the same in his car in the past and he has had a spare go bad in his car as well.


    A very nice TBN member that has modified his car to the point that he doesn't carry the donut spare has offered to give me his. I won't mention his name as it might embarass him. IF he wants to fess up, I'll be happy to thank him in public, othewise it is just between us. Aren't TBN members the greatest?


    I should get the replacement spare this week. I think I will keep it right side up in the trunk and keep 50 to 55 psi in it from now on. Hopefully, those measures will somehow prevent this from happening again and still allow me to limp somewhere if we are unfortunate enough to ever have a flat.
    Last edited by 2K2BIRD; Sep 14, 2011, 09:06 PM.
    15 years, 138K miles, 48 States & DC, 9 Canadian provinces, 8 European countries, 3 Caribbean Islands, 3 Hawaiian Islands, 100+ National Park locations, 100+ T-bird events, 160+ retrobird diecasts/models, 9 TOTM & some very special friends...THANKS to TBN !

  • #2
    Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

    Thanks for sharing the graphic reminder with us, Paul. I'm very happy it failed in the trunk and not in use as a spare, or destroyed your battery! For others viewing this, here is a previous link about this where Dot alerted us to this danger:

    http://www.thunderbirdnest.com/forum...ght=spare+tire

    and here:
    http://portholeauthority.com/thenewtbird/Wheels.html

    As a note of caution, although it's very generous for the TBN member to give you the no longer needed spare, please read the above links and look for the date on the tire or you may find yourself in the same position that you were in before.
    Last edited by merlot4; Sep 13, 2011, 05:02 AM.
    Life without passion is no life at all.
    Sean Combs

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    • #3
      Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

      The spare has been a concern since I bought my car. I am thinking about buying a standard wheel and tire and sacrificing the trunk space for when we drive on interstates or go a longer distance. I think as discussed on other treads that we would only loose a couple inches in depth. I never thought manufacturers should have been aloud to use theese spares.

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      • #4
        Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

        I find it intersting that the blowout occurred in the main tread area rather than the sidewall. I would have expected the thinner sidewall would be weaker than the main tread area with the steel belts. That was also my concern the last time I brought my spare back up to full 60 psi. I was concerned that if the tire was getting weak, the sidewall might blow out in my face while I was airing it up.
        For others who have experienced failure while still in the trunk, did your failure occur in the sidewall or the main tread area?
        Never grow up. Enjoy life while you can

        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

          See message 65 of my spare tire thread for Bill Green's tire
          http://www.thunderbirdnest.com/forum...6&postcount=65
          However, he had to cut into his tread to even get the spare out of the wheel well because of the bulge it had made. Assume the bulge was in the tread, not the side wall of the tire because of that.
          Dot from Texas
          Porthole Authority
          TBN 2017 Calendars free to download.

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          • #6
            Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

            Wow, that looks like a spare with a bad hair day
            Sometimes Birds travel far...
            Dutch T-Bird
            tbirdregistry.com No. 27947

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            • #7
              Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

              'Keep my spare tire just above my belt (most of the time).

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              • #8
                Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

                A couple of years ago, someone started a thread to remind us TBN'ers to make sure our spares were at the recommended 60 PSI, at that time I found that, sure enough, both of my T-Birds were very low. I brought them back up to 60 PSI, but felt very uneasy about such a high pressure setting. I wonder if a guy couldn't let out about 5 or 10 PSI and keep them at say 50-55 PSI, to alleviate such a great pressure?

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                • #9
                  Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

                  Paul, Try some duck tape.
                  They are Here. Scotty, beam me up!
                  IT'S 5 O'CLOCK SOMEWHERE
                  Visit the TBN Store

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                  • #10
                    Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

                    I would never inflate any tire to the Max PSI. We all know that tires gain air pressure while driving as the tire gets hotter. I would assume that the spare tire would also gain pressure while in the trunk as the trunk area of our tbirds get pretty hot. I keep my spare tire inflated to 55 PSI and no more.
                    Sam

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                    • #11
                      Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

                      Spare from HELL! Dang, I keep a can of fix-a-flat in the trunk, it will probably blow too! Totally ugly Paul...
                      See Thunderbirds at the races Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas
                      Here

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                      • #12
                        Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

                        60 PSI is not the max PSI...it is the recommended PSI. Smaller tires need the higher pressure to support their load and they were designed for that pressure. My skinny bike tires are at 85 PSI and they do not have near as much beef in the tire. There is nothing unusual about 60 PSI. This an age issue...not a PSI issue.
                        Never grow up. Enjoy life while you can

                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

                          My failure was in the tread also, but the tire did not deflate. It was still holding pressure and I had to let the air out to remove from the tire well as it was waged in due to the knot on the tire.
                          Birds of the 48
                          15AGAIN has been in 48 States and 9 Canadian Provinces. Travelled many miles with great friends-- "Priceless"

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                          • #14
                            Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

                            Based on our experience and the other threads concerning spare tires, I have some more thoughts/questions on this issue.

                            1. I'm not sure how big of an issue this really is for the masses. If all of the 10+ year old donut spare tires in this country were exploding, I think we would have heard alot more about it and we would definitely have more than 3 reported here.

                            2. Bill wrote this about his spare in the other thread .... "The Production # was 3101 or the 31st week of 2001". Ours has a production code of 3201 so their manufacture date is extremely close to each other. Our cars were also assembled within days of each other in 2001. As mentioned, Firestone was having serious tire failure problems around this time. Could this be a Firestone engineering/manufacturing problem during this time frame as opposed to an age issue? It would be nice to know the date of manufacture of the tire that Dot reported in the other thread. Perhaps she knows if it was an early 2002 or not.

                            3. Is the inordinate amount of heat that builds up in these little trunks the main culprit? All three happened in cars that reside in extremely warm states. Is it the cyling of extreme heat that is the problem?

                            4. Mark, I agree that the Fix A Flat might indeed blow since it gets so hot back there. I've heard of soft drinks blowing up in these trunks, so it wouldn't surprise me if it did as well.

                            5. If this is really a big issue, after reading the Original Tire Pole answers, it is apparent a bunch of 2002 owners are running a double risk of tire troubles. Since all we have to go on is how the regular and spare tires "look", knowing when one will fail is impossible to predict. I inspected and checked the air in the spare during the week before left on the trip and it "looked" fine. Obviously, it wasn't, just a few days later.

                            6. Luck (or lack there of), seems to play an big role in all of this.
                            Last edited by 2K2BIRD; Sep 14, 2011, 06:22 AM.
                            15 years, 138K miles, 48 States & DC, 9 Canadian provinces, 8 European countries, 3 Caribbean Islands, 3 Hawaiian Islands, 100+ National Park locations, 100+ T-bird events, 160+ retrobird diecasts/models, 9 TOTM & some very special friends...THANKS to TBN !

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                            • #15
                              Re: Where's your Spare Tire?

                              Paul, I assume the first spare tire blowout is earlier than yours as his car was built in July 2001.
                              Dot from Texas
                              Porthole Authority
                              TBN 2017 Calendars free to download.

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