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Old 01-11-2013, 11:01 PM   #1
I Bought it I Broke it...
 
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1976 31' Sovereign
Migratory , North America
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Clear and definite Split Rim years?

Just bought a '76 Sovereign yesterday and have scoured the manual and searched the old Internet but alas, to little to no avail.

Is there a specific year or some other definite way to know if you've got split rims or not? The way some sites and threads talk about them, even looking at one the wrong way could result in immediate death.

I'm also curious at to whether folks think these hubcaps are originals or something else...but maybe the photo will clue someone in on the split rim status.

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My family and I have been full-timing via various modes of travel since 2008. Going on two years in our '76 Sovereign.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:28 AM   #2
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Unless its a dirt streak I think I see a split around 4 o'clock. The hubcaps are the same as my 81 Excella minus the blue center. Sal
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noreen&sal View Post
Unless its a dirt streak I think I see a split around 4 o'clock. The hubcaps are the same as my 81 Excella minus the blue center. Sal
oh thats just a wheel weight.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:07 AM   #4
I Bought it I Broke it...
 
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1976 31' Sovereign
Migratory , North America
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I haven't looked at them closely yet (headed back over today to do some work on her), but they may have been painted. There's a painted blue stripe on the AS which, looking at other Sovereigns from the era, I would imagine is not original.
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
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Doesn't look like a split rim. Split rims are a 2 piece construction which allowed side of the road tire changes for older vehicles. Very dangerous compared to modern designs since the rim flange can separate explosively when inflated if not seated properly. If you dont feel comfortable with your identification try looking at the valve stem, if its tubeless it's not a split rim. or you could take it to any local tire shop...
tim
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:10 PM   #6
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Not a split rim.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:23 PM   #7
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I don't know when they stopped using split rims, but my 1967 Trade Wind didn't come with them.

I have the same hubcaps on my Excella, minus the blue center. Someone has painted the wheel blue to match, too.

Congratulations on getting the Sovereign. We'll want to see lots of photo, inside and out.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:23 PM   #8
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2008 16' Safari
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There is almost no chance of having a split rim. The NTSB outlawed these in the 1960's. This is the famous "exploding tire" urban ledgend. It wasn't the tires that blew up it was the split rim failure. I believe there were even some deaths related to this problem.
No tire company or business would ever mount a tire on one of these rims. Unless yor tires date back to the 1960's, I wouldn't worry.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dlb435 View Post
There is almost no chance of having a split rim. The NTSB outlawed these in the 1960's. This is the famous "exploding tire" urban ledgend. It wasn't the tires that blew up it was the split rim failure. I believe there were even some deaths related to this problem.
No tire company or business would ever mount a tire on one of these rims. Unless yor tires date back to the 1960's, I wouldn't worry.
I had some 10.00x20 tires mounted on split rims 5 years ago. Not all shops will do it, but there are some who have a safety cage and suitable training who will, if the rims are in good condition.

Split rims are identifiable by a radial gap in the outermost portion of the rim.

I don't know what years they were used.

The hazard with them is during tire mounting and inflation. If you have tires in good condition under 10 years old on the rims I wouldn't worry too much until it is time to replace the tires. If you have split rims, a reputable tire shop will tell you what shape they're in and provide options for replacement.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:20 AM   #10
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I think this has been pretty well covered, but our 64 came with them. I would not use them even if the rubber is good- if something happened to a tire while on the road, you might be hard pressed to find someone who could fix it. In high school and a little afterward I worked in a gas station, in the late 70s, and repaired a lot of tires in those 4 years. I was warned by the station owner never, ever to work on a split rim as the rim could come off while inflating and decapitate someone. I found a pic that shows what a split looks like.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:00 AM   #11
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1961 24' Tradewind
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I don't know the exact years, but they were not on my 69 which was 3 years old when I bought it. They are/ were om my 64 and older trailers so the best I can do is that they stopped using them somewhere between 64 and 69.
A 76 would not have them
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:19 AM   #12
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60 minutes did an expose on split rims for tractor trailers many years ago.

It backed up what I'd heard from several mechanics. If a rim blows apart in a cage you're generally safe IF the rim stays in one piece. When the steel is old and rusty or has a hairline flaw/crack the rim can blow in several pieces. Back in the early 70's a local teenager was killed instantly when a piece of a rim blew out through the bars in the cage and went through his head.

"historically accurate" split rims? Worth the risk of hurting anyone? I'd opt for upgraded safe "in the spirit of".... (I also will opt to never use corncobs as "bathroom stationery" barring some event that ends civilization as we know it. Which would be really inconvenient as the computer revolution has done away with hard copy phone books and Sears Roebuck catalogs. )

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Old 01-13-2013, 03:09 AM   #13
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I can say my 66 has regular rims, this might be a more effectively answered by finding the few who had split rims and finding out what year trailer they were found on ?
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:45 AM   #14
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If any one wants to be historically accurate I have about a dozen split rims that came off my trailers. They are free after you sign all the waivers.
On a more serious note, Carol's Dad was severely injured when putting air in a tire on a 16 inch light truck rim. The ring came off striking him in the chest and breaking his arm. The fall as it knocked him backwards did additional damage. Had there been any more air in it when it let go or had it hit him a little higher it could have been fatal.
They are best sent to the scrap yard
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