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Old 09-21-2007, 05:42 PM   #1
airperson
 
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Tire Valve Stems

Am I a newbie or what? Could someone please explain to me the difference in a rubber valve stem and a metal one. Which one is best?
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Old 09-21-2007, 06:48 PM   #2
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Metal stems are used in higher pressure tires. Supposedly tires carrying 65 lbs. of pressure or higher should be using metal stems.

Jack
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:12 PM   #3
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Thanks Jack for the quick reply. I will make sure I get the right ones. The guys at the tire stores are not up to speed.
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Old 09-21-2007, 07:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Airperson
Thanks Jack for the quick reply. I will make sure I get the right ones. The guys at the tire stores are not up to speed.
When I had the tires for my Liner mounted and when I had the PowerWagon wheels powdercoated and the tires remounted, I had to purchase the metal stems at NAPA since the tire store was unable to obtain the stems. My PowerWagon came with metal stems in 1972.

As I remember, the stems come in two diameters, check the holes in the wheels to make sure that you have the right size.

Bill
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkerfoot
When I had the tires for my Liner mounted and when I had the PowerWagon wheels powdercoated and the tires remounted, I had to purchase the metal stems at NAPA since the tire store was unable to obtain the stems. My PowerWagon came with metal stems in 1972.

As I remember, the stems come in two diameters, check the holes in the wheels to make sure that you have the right size.

Bill
Grab a couple of spares while you're getting them, and toss them in your "spare parts" area. That way, if anything ever happens on the road, and you need to replace a tire, you can hand the tire guy a new metal stem to go with it. No lost time on that Sunday afternoon. Ask how I learned to do this...
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Old 09-21-2007, 08:31 PM   #6
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I read somewhere (here, on the forums) that a lot of tire failures are actually rubber valve stem failures.
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:50 PM   #7
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All I have ever had on my cars, trucks, and trailers is rubber valve stems.

When I was in the Air Force we ran a fleet of 150 vehicles including a lot of heavy duty ones, that were routinely loaded to the max (probably we were overloading them, thinking back....). The 'tire shop' only used rubber stems, even on 5 ton trucks and diesel tractors. We went through several thousand tires a year, and the only valve stem failures we experienced came from a tech who wasn't fully seating the valve stem groove into the rim. Tire failures were not uncommon, but not typically related to the rubber valve stems

However, if metal stems reduce or eliminate a failure mode, I'm all for them - is this as simple as going to a tire shop and asking for metal stems to be installed in place of the rubber ones - no changes to the rims, etc?
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Old 09-21-2007, 09:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDM16CCD
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However, if metal stems reduce or eliminate a failure mode, I'm all for them - is this as simple as going to a tire shop and asking for metal stems to be installed in place of the rubber ones - no changes to the rims, etc?
Yes, however, as I stated, the tire store I used did not have them and I had to purchase them from NAPA. You may have the same problem.

Bill
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Old 09-21-2007, 10:15 PM   #9
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hi airperson....

the basic differences are...

---metal stems are tightened with a nut/washer into the valve opening and the stems are metal with rubber/metal core.

metal stems can be high or low pressure rated.

---rubber stems pop into the wheel from the inside and are held in place by a rubber flange/grommet.

the stems have a rubber housing and rubber/metal cores and again can be high pressure or low pressure rated.

so while metal valve stems are a nice thing...

not all are created equal, so IF using metal get GOOD ONES!

there are also metal/rubber combo stems

and RUBBER stems rated for up to 90 psi....

virtually every superduty comes with 80 psi tires and rubber valve stems.

they work fine, and there are not widespread (if any) reports of stem failures on these milliions of trucks....

many of the other 2500/3500 trucks also come with rubber stems and 80 psi tires.

again it is the QUALITY and specs of the stem that matter most...

also IF using high pressure stems (metal or rubber) any valve core replacements must be high pressure too...

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-22-2007, 07:57 AM   #10
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Safety information is the very best thing about this forum. Safety information that is not readily available elsewhere that could save lives or at the least someone’s rig. I will definitely go with the metal valve stems. When you stop and think about it; so much is riding on such a small piece of rubber and the difference in price is only a few cents. This is where personal knowledge is paramount.
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Old 09-22-2007, 08:09 AM   #11
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By the way, does anyone know which tires are still make in America. It is my understanding that most tires are now make outside the States. With the latest news reports of defective imports from overseas it doesn’t give me personal confidence in the quality of workmanship. Even if the price is a few dollars more I would feel more comfortable buying a reputable tire manufactured here in the States.
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:22 AM   #12
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Tire Valve Stems
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