Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Split Rims

I have recently become the proud owner of a 1965 IH D-1200 pick up truck. It’s in fine shape and runs good and I picked it up for next to nothing. The problem is that it has split rims on it and I know they need to be replaced but I am on a very limited budget and barely qualify for “shadetree” status. does anyone have an inexpensive solution to my dilemma? The truck is tagged and my only transportation to work.

I’m not clear why you need to replace them. Just make sure whenever you get tires that whoever is installing them knows how to handle them, because they can be dangerous (to the tire installer) if the tire installer screws up.

Why do they have to be replaced? OK, maybe they’re bent up from people breaking them down with duckbill hammers over the years. If not, just take your tire work to a place that does truck as well as passenger car tires.

As the other responses indicated,find a tire shop that specializes in truck tires. They usually put the tire in a cage after mounting a new tire before inflating the tire. This is the only time the tire may blow the rim apart and injur someone. I had a 1 ton 1950 Chevrolet pickup truck with the split rims. I had an independent tire shop that handled truck tires do my work.

Have you asked on an IH forum what rims might exchange with yours? Here’s one:

The best long term is to replace them all with tubeless regular rims. = dollars.
No more split rims…priceless.

What size are your tires?? 700x16 ? The reason IHC used split rims is because farmers LOVED them. The could fix flats and replace tires themselves with just two simple tools, a heavy hammer and a tire iron. If they could do it, so can you…

Today’s urban tire stores lack the skills or the will to mess with them. Although a small independent shop run by a Mexican will be glad to take care of any tire service problems you may have…

To replace them with drop-center wheels, you will need to determine the diameter of the bolt circle and the number of lugs. New steel wheels for your truck will cost $60-$75 each…

Children, please know that Caddyman’s kidding about doing it yourself…do it wrong, lose an arm…

Any junkyard, excuse me recycled auto parts center will supply you with rims and/or tires for a reasonable price.

There are several types of split rims… Budd and Firestone… The Budd type are two piece, the outer lip or flange which holds the tire on, snaps into, locks into, the main body of the wheel. If undamaged and clean, they are safe enough. The three piece Firestone design uses an “un-split” outer flange held in place with a split locking ring. THOSE puppies can indeed kill you, especially when some meat-head has pounded on them with a sledge hammer and deformed the flange, ring, or both…Any damage to a split rim renders them scrap metal…And yes, some sort of inflation cage and a remotely operated inflator with a lock-on chuck should be used.

Mr. Harman–PLEASE, PLEASE don’t try to change these tires/wheels yourself. It doesn’t sound like you are intending to, but I’m just trying to err on the safe side.

No, this is safe (removing the wheel and replacing with a standard rim and tire). It’s changing the tire on the split rim that is dangerous

“It’s changing the tire on the split rim that is dangerous”

Well, that’s exactly the point I was making.

I just bought a 1951 Chevrolet 1 ton Farm Truck- which has original split rims- Just curious as to what tires you ran on your 1950 truck?? I’m thinking I will be facing replacement of tires currently on my truck soon- They are 7.5 x 17 in rear and 7.0 x 17 in front-They look great and I would love to stay original as long as possible

Prarie girl,

You will not find tires of this size at the usual tire stores. Perhaps Coker Tire will have them, but they will be expensive and of mediocre quality (compared to today’s tires).

(Followup: Coker does indeed have tires of this size, but they are over $180 EACH!)

The best you can hope for is to find tubeless rims that will fit your vehicle so you can use modern sized tires - and this is going to require someone who is knowledgeable about both tires and your vehicle - a pretty rare combination.

I suggest finding a web site devoted to vehicles like yours and ask there. Be very careful as there are many folks who poulate these web sites who know very little about tires, but don’t recognize this as a limitation when it comes to posting what they consider to be "factual’ information.

Prarie Girl,

The picture of your truck really brings back memories. I had the exact same model (one ton 3800 series) but mine was a 1950. They did make an improvement for 1951–yours has the vent windows in the front doors, while mine did not. This was the Chevrolet truck improvement for 1951. Unfortunately, this feature has been removed from modern trucks.

I had 7.50 x 17 tire. They weren’t all that easy to find in 1973. There was one store in my community which is long gone that did have recap tires of this size and I bought two for the truck. I sold the truck in 1975, so I haven’t had to tire shop for this size. You might find a tire store that handles truck tires and see what they recommend.

I bought the truck when I moved to a 5 acre plot in the country after finishing my education. I had a house built and a pole barn erected. I fenced 4 acres for horses and used the truck to stretch the fence. In its extra low gear (granny gear) I could stretch the fence so tight that one could play tunes on the fence. In the fall, I would go buy hay out of the field–with careful stacking, I could haul 50 bales on the truck. I paid $120 for the truck in 1972 and sold it in 1975 for $110–rather steep depreciation!

Capri Racer-

Thank you- I will check out Coker’s site- I will also start haunting the web for more ideas and parts- Couldn’t resist this Truck even with all it’s rare body parts.
Thank you for your info and research on this


I’m still smiling at your post- What a great memory! Wish we could go back to 1973 so I could by this one for $120! I can’t even buy a tire it seems for the same… Yikes, We already stretched our fences but you have inspired me to use it to drag a harrow around the Horse arena a few times- You must have been quite a site rolling down the back roads with 50 bales loaded to the sky on this beauty- I think that Chevrolet really knew how to build a truck back then- I love the sound of the 216 engine - it’s more like a tractor- I’m 4th owner and I guess this 51 was used for hauling Corn in IL- Thanks for sharing your story of a musical fence! A tight fence is the only kind to have!

A damaged split rim is dangerous once inflated. It can blow the removable rim off at any time. If the wheels are in good condition and assembled correctly they can be safe and reliable and for the sake of being original I can understand using them. When there is a flat, there is usually a blow out though.

I get tired thinking about how much work that 1950 Chevrolet truck and I did back in those years. I spent my mornings driving steel fence posts into the ground and my afternoons and evenings finishing my doctoral dissertation. Now I am content to have a small vegetable garden in my back yard on a city lot. I may buy a small pickup truck next spring when I retire. We have a volunteer organization in our community that does home repairs for seniors on fixed incomes so that they can stay in their houses. However, the truck I buy will not be anything like the Chevrolet work horse of the 1950’s.