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MG MGA - wheels and tires

My 58 A needs new wire wheels and tires. I'm thinking 60-spoke 15X4.5 Dayton chrome wires with 165/80 tires. However, this wheel is not meant for tubeless tires, so my options seem to be to find a tire designed for a tube (I have not found any) or modify the wheels to accommodate tubeless tires (which some owners have done). Any advice from the group? Thanks.
J Plegue

Buy the MWS 60 spoke tubeless chrome wire wheels from Moss?

I have the painted version and they are an excellent quality wheel.
Neil McG

I am wrong. The 60-spoke Daytons are tubeless. Any recommendations on tires?
J Plegue

You can put a tube inside any tire.
Art Pearse

I hate tubes. If you put a tube inside of a tubeless tire, remove any stickers from, inside the tire the WILL play havoc with a tube. You should also power buff the entire inside surface or the tire to remove molding flash that could crease and puncture the tube.

Tubes inside of tubeless tires increase rolling resistance, generate a little extra heat, and reduce fuel mileage slightly. Did I tell you I hate tubes? If I had to run wire wheels I would do whatever is required to seal them and run tubeless.

By the way, don't let anyone tell you that J-style rims are a safety hazard with tubeless tires. Tubeless tires were commonly used for many years before safety rims became standard issue. The safety rim is supposed to help keep the tire on the rim (for while) if you insist on driving with a flat tire.
Barney Gaylord

I too have the MWS 15 60 spoke Tubeless Wires fitted with Vredenstein Classics 155x15 seem v good
P D Camp

I agree with Barney and am not that found of tubes myself but if you are as stupid as I was when restoring my car and converted a perfectly good disc wheel car to wires you have to get to know your tubes. Make sure that the tubes and tires match for type, radial for radial and bias ply for bias ply. Don't mix and match. MG wire wheels should have rubber liner bands around the inside rim and as Barney says check the inside of the tire for molding flash and stickers. Tubes too.
Keith Lowman

I have to disagree with Barney. Because the valves for the standard steel wheels rims are not available here, I have used tubes with radial tyres for 20 years, and have only one puncture which was caused by a nail in the tyre. I can only assume that the quality of US tyres or tubes is lower than those available in Europe if the problems he recounts are as serious a he makes out.

I drive my car often, sometimes long distances at prolonged high speed. I cover a minimum of 5000 km a year, and I break disc wheels too ( on average one a year) which shows that I don't drive like Miss Daisy is in the other seat. So I really can say that if you want to use tubes in radial tyres ( it's hard enough to find tubes these days anyway) then don't be put off and do what you need to do to make sure your wheels stay inflated.

On the other hand, those who go the wire wheel route have to reap the consequences. Steel wheels are much lower maintenance. I am practically the only one in our club without wires, and never have balancing problems, broken spokes, and (apart from one nail in twenty years) have never had to use the spare wheel. That one time I needed it was also the only time in twenty years that the spare was not in the boot. Go figure!
Dominic Clancy

I have a TF with the 60 spoke Chrome daytons you are considering. they were labeled tubeless. But, to accomplish this, they merely smeared a ton of black silicon over the nipples inside the rim. I tried them with out tubes and they worked for about 5 days and then started to leak. I put tubes in them and have been fine for three years since.

I love the way the 60 daytons are laced. it gives a dish look to the wheels rather than a cone look. It is very different than the dunlop brand (or whoever makes it) that moss sells (even those with the same number of spokes). I think the daytons are worth any extra cost.

Alex Waugh

Dominic. -- Tubeless valve stems come in two sizes, skinny and fat. The fat ones needed for the tube type wheels are commonly referred to here as "Ford" valve stems. Both sizes are available pretty much anywhere, including in bubble packs in the small auto department at the local discount department store. I bought some of the fat ones recently for my tubeless tire garden tractor, same valve stems I use in my MG wheels.
Barney Gaylord

It is safe to use a radial tube in a bias ply tire, but not the other way around. I am not sure where you would even find a bias type tube these days. Tubes are a pain in the neck, but not the end of the world if you know how to deal with them.

The main disadvantages of tubes are (1) that they need a clean, burr-free surface in order to survive. This was less critical back when tubes were constructed of thicker material, and used in bias-ply tires which flex less than radials. (2) The inside of the rim is no longer sealed against the environment with a tube, so they promote increased rusting if you operate in a corrosion prone environment, and (3) in the event of a puncture, a tubed tire will not hold air well enough to get you home, even if you you can keep adding air. Since the tube has no structural strength of its own to speak of and depends on the tire, the tube will stretch in the area of a puncture, increasing its effective size. With a punctured tubeless tire, the strength of the tire will keep the hole from increasing in size, and will often retain the object that caused it, slowing leakage further. A punctured tubeless tire will often get you home. With a tube you almost always have to change it right away.

Advantages of tubes include the ability to use rims that have rusted beyond being able to make a good seal at the bead or valve stem hole (or spoke rims that won't seal), and the ability to re-seat a bead if for some reason the tire pressure got low and slipped the bead, without the need for special equipment or other extreme measures. Many of our customers towing boats (mostly commercial fishermen) wanted tubes in their trailer tires, because the trailers would often sit neglected, and all tires will eventually lose pressure over time. If there was a boat on the trailer, it was often not practical to jack the axle and change a flat/low tire, but almost always possible to get air to it using a tank or portable compressor, wherever it happened to be sitting.
Del Rawlins

How about minilights?

I have the tubeless 72 spokes on my A and they are pretty but wish I went with the minilights as I drive my car and the potholes are tough on the wire wheels.

They smeered silicon like Alex Waugh states. Theyve been on the car for 14 years now and I dont have anything bad to say about them.

The picture below is a car I sold to a friend and he restored this with minilights and I thought it looked brilliant. It drove true on the road with no wiggles or vibration.

Just food for thought.

Steven Devine

Oh, I forgot....Barney did an article....The offset is wrong on these so do your research or if Barney would be so kind could give you the pittfalls. I still liked the way the car looked and handled though there might be better alternatives. Just my 2 cents.

Steven Devine

for Dominic
I found valves here in Switzerland that fit the Standard steel wheels.
They fit the valve hole (Felgenloch-Durchmesser)of 15.7mm (instead of 11.3mm as on modern wheels). Their domination is TR 415 and they can be obtained at Würth AG ( I run the Vredestein Classic tubeless and it works fine with these valves.

André M Kunz

Another image

André M Kunz

And one more

André M Kunz

Thanks André that's very useful. There's a branch near our office, and I need to order new fasteners as much of my stock has been used on the midget. Where are you based?

Dominic Clancy

send me an email
André M Kunz

This thread was discussed between 16/02/2014 and 20/02/2014

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