Wheels - split rims or not

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 27, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 883 Views:4744 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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My wife and I are planning a trip to the Kimberleys from Brisbane via Boulia, Alice Springs and the Tanami desert. We are interested in the pros and cons of split rims versus solid wheels from seasoned outback travellors who have tried both. Our solid wheels are 8 inch wide which I found difficult to change and run at lower pressures than narrower tyres fitted to 5.5 inch wide split rims.
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Reply By: P.G. (Tas) - Thursday, Mar 28, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Mar 28, 2002 at 01:00
Gordon, I have had both and without doubt the easiest (if that is the correct word?) to change/repair are the split rims, especially if you have stiff sided LT rated tyres. But the key to any sucessful change or repair is practice in the garage before you go! I have the tyre plyers kit with an ARB compressor and have had no problems what so ever. A side note - with split rims you must have tubes in the tyres. This is to advantage in most cases, because if you break both beads on the tyre, you can easily reseat them. Tubeless tyres can be a real pain in this area. I don't know what sort of vehicle you have but 6 or 6.5" split rims are generally available with a bit of searching, and remember you can get any size tyre you like out in the bush, so long as it's a 7.50X16 Light Truck tyre. Hope this helps. Cheers
AnswerID: 2536

Follow Up By: Gordon - Thursday, Mar 28, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Mar 28, 2002 at 01:00
PG
I have bought two sets of 5.5" split rims (cost $700) for my 80 series LC GXL TD and plan on picking out the best 6 tyres (Dunlop Road Grippers 7.50R16 LT's) and 5 best rims and fitting them myself before I go. I figure the net cost will be about $400.00 once I sell the remaining tyres and rims. I too have the Tyre Pliers and an ARB compressor under bonnet which both work well. Last time I had 31x10.5R15's and had 2 side wall blow-outs on hot rough roads which I put down to soft walls and the low pressures I was running (32 psi). I can confirm that these 15" tyres (even second hand) were like hens teeth out there (apart from Alice Springs) and it was even difficult to get 15" tubes. I also found those wide tyres very difficult to fit to the rim esp. when it's a hot day in the desert. This time I plan to run 40 psi which I have heard will give a slightly firmer ride but much less chance of blow-out. Again thanks for your thoughts.
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FollowupID: 944

Reply By: Steve Campbell - Thursday, Mar 28, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Mar 28, 2002 at 01:00
Ditto for me. Lots of outback driving and Split rims are easier fir me. However, normal rims with modern plug type repair kits can be just as easy to fix. The key is practice...practice.
AnswerID: 2538

Reply By: rich - Friday, Mar 29, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Mar 29, 2002 at 01:00
Gordon, i saw a most interesting demo at a 4wd show the other week, the 'instructor' showed the difference between splits and solids, and how to change each. He suggested splits can be v. dangerous if not seated properly before inflation and how easy it was to plug a radial on the solid rim. Personally, I don't think I'll be buying split rims in the future for my trip, tubes, plugs and tyre levers will do me. (and a sixth wheel to make life a little easier)
cheers
rich
AnswerID: 2552

Reply By: John R. - Friday, Mar 29, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Mar 29, 2002 at 01:00
As others suggest, it is a matter of practice.
Rich is right: split-rims can be dangerous if the locking ring is not seated correctly before inflating.
Having said that, back in my Army days I would much rather change the tyres with split-rims on the 6x6 Inters using a big hammer and screwdriver than Landrover tyres with beadbreaker and tyre levers.
Split-rims are fine if you seat them correctly and NEVER get yourself in a position where the lock ring can blow out and cut you in half......
John R.
AnswerID: 2560

Reply By: Rodger Tremlett - Sunday, Mar 31, 2002 at 01:00

Sunday, Mar 31, 2002 at 01:00
Boulia to Alice. Yuk, via the Plenty 'highway' I presume. Well expect a possible puncture. The road from the Qld border to Jervois is full of SHARP stones that can go through the tread. (we go one). From Jervois to Gem Tree is corregated. They are working on it in the worst bits but years of neglect are showing. Take it steady and enjoy the country side, its a great trip.
AnswerID: 2566

Reply By: Steve - Thursday, Apr 04, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 04, 2002 at 00:00
For my money split rims are a far better bet provided you use a good quality tyre, of a minimun 8 ply...and fit new tubes with new tyres and the chances of getting tyre trouble are greatly reduced, fancy lightweight bitumen tyres (tubeless) can easily be plugged with that 'string' that you saw at the show. But don't use this sort of quick fix if you are intending to travel outback roads and expect trouble free driving...it is possible but not recommended. As for low pressures over sand etc, you will be able to drop them safely to around 15 psi, and still the tyre will retain its shape and you will not be as likely to damage this type of tyre as easily as a tubeless 'fatty'
AnswerID: 2625

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