Long-Term storage and tires

tires

#1

My wife says I should put my project car up on blocks to keep the tires from rotting (this is a long-term project).



Comments?


#2

Tires rotting has nothing to do with whether they are up in the air or supporting the car. Today’s tires are made of synthetic rubber, which will deteriorate, but does not “rot”. The most important thing is to keep the sunlight away from the tires since ultraviolet rays will cause deterioration and cracking over the long term.

Other than that, just keep enough air in the tires. Today’s tires also don’t “flat spot” anymore.

Having said all that, in 10 years you need to carefully inspect the tires for cracks to ensure they are safe for highway driving.


#3

How old are the tires?


#4

Define "long term,’ and tell us how old the tires are now.

Tires more than 7 years old are questionable, even if they have very few miles on them. They deteriorate over time, whether they are used or not. Odds are you will need new tires when you complete this project, and it won’t matter whether the car is on blocks or not.


#5

What’s your definition of “long term”?

It’s almost never a good idea to block up a fully loaded frame for long periods. This is especially true if you’re doing it on anything but concrete. I’ve worked on enough distorted frames caused by well meaning owners not blocking them up correctly or having them droop/sag over time. The frame is meant to rest sprung on its suspension points. It’s usually difficult to mimic those positions on the frame and typically done inboard of the normal load points. Sometimes WAY inboard and this causes stress on the frame from cantilevered weight over time.

The tires won’t be hurt by resting on them. Over time they will dry rot. Look at it this way- if you’re really talking about long term, those tires will be junk anyway by the time it’s done and/or you’ll want fresh rubber to match your fresh ride. Let it sit on the tires as much as possible and forget about it.

I have one project car that’s been resting on casters (wheels on) for >4 years now. I can push it around the shop if need be to make room.

Edit: I meant to add- if the skins are really decent and worth some serious coin, I’d consider selling them to someone who can use them during their normal useful life. Then go to the junkyard and get some junker rims with tires on them for about $10 apiece. Then, when you go to work on it and later paint, you won’t care about hurting them. Just a thought…


#6

About 2 years old.


#7

Thanks. This was a most helpful reply. I could probably sell the current tires and get some “bad” ones for while the project is happening and then buy good ones again at completion.
Thanks again,
Owen


#8

Pump them up to their maximum allowable pressure and don’t worry about it. When the car is ready to drive, THEN worry about the tires.


#9

Referring to the post that said to be concerned about the frame is not something to be concerned about in my view. The frame is being stressed no matter if the tires are on the garage floor or if the tires are suspended above the garage floor. The frame is stressed to a much larger degree if the car is in motion while being driven over bumps. I have not ever heard of an antique car collection being ruined due to frame damage while stored. Metal, including springs, does not normally respond to stress in a static situation.

Tires can last for over 10 years as according to my particular experience. We had a motorhome with tires older than 10 years when we replaced them; had no flats prior to replacement. We have a car now with two tires that are 12 years old. I will replace them soon. Both were stored out of the sun which will degrade tires and also were located in the northern part of the US where the sunshine is less intense. I anticipate that your car will be stored in a garage, out of the sunlight.

The reason that tires no longer flat spot is because they have steel tread belts now. Tire flat spotting is fairly ancient history although I recall it well from the 1970s.

I agree with Caddyman; worry about the tires later. You have larger concerns and expenses for now with restoration.


#10

You can preserve the tires for decades if need be. Put the car up on blocks, remove the wheel assemblies, place each wheel/tire into a large trash bag, and liberally sprinkle baby powder all over the tire. Tie the bag up tight and stick it away in a dark corner somewhere.


#11

Tires will flat spot over time if loaded. The question is how prone is the tire to flat spotting, how much pressure and load you’re putting on them , and how long they long the tire is going to be loaded. Even tpodays tires will flatspott if left loaded long enough. I;ve heard of instances where 3 months was enough to cause a permanent flat spot.

Unless you completely elimnate oxygen from the storage environment, then the tire is going to oxidize - and that’s what causes tires to age. Even storing tires in a bag will not prevent the oxygen from attacking the rubber.

I like your first suggestion - sell the current tires, use old tires to hold the car up and buy new ones when the time comes.


#12

From CapriRacer: Tires will flat spot over time if loaded. The question is how prone is the tire to flat spotting, how much pressure and load you’re putting on them , and how long they long the tire is going to be loaded. Even tpodays tires will flatspott if left loaded long enough. I;ve heard of instances where 3 months was enough to cause a permanent flat spot. Unquote.

This is complete rubbish. Since 1996 I park a car from Nov to April and the other from April to Nov. Both have steel belted radial tires and neither gets flat spots. Now what have you heard?


#13

Sorry, Wha Who?, but modern steel belted radial tires DO flatspot. May be yours don’t, but…

I’m a tire engineer for a major tire manufacturer. We have a test fixture that is used to generate flat spots and then run them to see how long it takes to work the flat spot out. This is required by some vehicle manufacturers.

We also see flat spots on tires we get back from vehicle dealers where we know the length of time between the vehicle being made and the date the vehicle was sold. I’ve seen as little as 3 months in places like Texas.


#14

The frame is being stressed no matter if the tires are on the garage floor or if the tires are suspended above the garage floor

Read my post again. The problem is that the frame is designed to handle the load from particular points and those points are reinforced to distribute the load.

I have not ever heard of an antique car collection being ruined due to frame damage while stored.

And they’re not blocked up either, are they? No, they’re sitting on their wheels as they were intended to.

Metal, including springs, does not normally respond to stress in a static situation

Reinforcement is critical to counteract stress. If the bar were flat and a sufficient weight suspended from it, you do not believe it will droop over time? Of course, if something is DESIGNED to handle the load, it will not be affected by it. The point is, this is not how the frame is designed to work.

You have larger concerns and expenses for now with restoration

I’d prefer to put the money towards the restoration rather than simply wasting it because it appears small compared to the total expense. Then again, I don’t like to waste things that are useful. I’d rather give them to someone who can use them than to let them rot.


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