Split Rims v. Tubeless

A cruiser with split rims.

A cruiser with split rims.

The remnants of a puncture on a split rim tyre with tube. This would not happen with a tubeless tyre.

The remnants of a puncture on a split rim tyre with tube. This would not happen with a tubeless tyre.

Split rim wheels have been around for a long time, especially on larger earth moving equipment, but didn't really see 4WDs till Toyota came out with them in the 60's. That's when Dunlop Road Track Majors were all the go.

With split rim wheels a challenge is breaking the bead and getting the split off.  If you don’t know what you are doing this is a dangerous exercise, people have been severely injured with the rim flying off.  Today’s 4WDs have a modified version, because they are easier to change in the bush?   

How come when the tyre is changed in the tyre shop, by someone who does many of them, have a cage to place the rim in when getting inflated. Why is this? Because the outer ring can fly off if not fitted properly. I've seen pictures of person implanted in the roof of a tyre shop. Get on any Work Safe site see the Bulletins on that stuff, bloody dangerous.


This is one of many articles on rims, go to GOOGLE, punch in 'Split Rims'

Why don't I like them? In the right application sure OK, mining, cattle stations, cross country stuff, but for the Recreation User, no way.

For a start, the tyres are too narrow, 7.50R16 went out with Noah. Straight line travel, ok but cornering, forget it.

They run a tube, the first little prick and they go flat. How many times have you seen a tech screw in a tubeless tyre, still inflated, get one with a tube flat straight away.

The Tube and liner, how heavy, and how much heat retention, like wearing an over coat in summer. Got to run high tyre pressures to keep them cool, like 53psi in the rear of a Land Cruiser, this makes a Q rated Tyre (160kmh) so thin in the side wall its a rock and stick paradise.

How heavy? 42 kg on an 100 series Land Cruise, OH&S say you shouldn’t lift more than 15 kg. Can you put a 42kg tyre on the tyre rack of a Troopie?

How much extra 'un sprung weight' going up and down, shocks fade ruff ride etc

Did they tell you they weren't 'safety rims' this was a big deal when they first came out, stop the bead from rolling off the rim easily. It is a raised section on the inside of the bead when placed on the tyre, also makes it harder to break the bead. Land Rover 110 & 130, non split rims were not safety rims either, last time we had one apart.

So, what do I use.  I say this because I want you to make up your own mind, not 'I told you so!' as you may have a different view. Mind you what I am saying comes from many days in the bush, not the bloke down the road 'reckons!' I get that all the time from the experts. ''Pump your tyres up, won't damage side walls'', what a crock, they do one trip and know everything, as I know all things about the city, well I don't and don't want to.

So back to what I use. I have two cars Falcon Outback Ute '95 model. I use 31X10.5R15 Cooper SST's on the back and 31X10.5R15 Cooper ATR's on the front, on Alloy rims.  These rims are off my '94 Falcon and doing just fine after +200,000 km mostly in the bush. No I haven't cracked one or rolled any tyres off rims either.  I run between 18 - 20 psi on the dirt 32 on the bitch of mine. My theory, 'If the tyres on your car don't scrape at some time, they are TOO SMALL'

The other car, an F150, '89 model, I use this in the bush when doing tours, its got 33X12.5R15 Cooper ST's on it. Guess what on Alloy Rims too. Wouldn't have anything other than Alloy Rims and Tubeless Tyres.

 What should you use, its up to you, or if you want my thoughts drop me a line or give me a shout. 08 8952 3359, 0408 485 641, or jol@direct4wd.com.au



Clare Fleming