Ok, time for a another Newby question. Maybe
this belongs in the Tech section, I donno.....
We have a Ford Exploder that used to have a set
of Firerock tires on it so I may be slightly
more air-pressure-paranoid than other people.
The Beast is on a ~2001 Ford chassis, donno
which exact chassis but the whole monster is
~33' long with a front-mounted V-10, dualing wheels on rear single axle. Standard beasty. I'm trying to find some valve stems that'll extend
the inner rear wheel stem out to the outside of the outty wheels. I can BARELY get the angled-head
tire gauge on the inner stems now as they bind
when trying to use the tire gauge. No way can
I get some air into those tires. I can't believe
that no one has not yet gone through this.
The ~7" braid-covered hose extenders with spring
clip-in-wheel-slot do work....'cept the wheel
cover slotted holes are smaller and cannot then
be put back on the wheel. I'd rather not have
to screw a mongo extension hose to the center
of the wheel cover as another brand wants me
Is there not a simple 3", or so, slightly angled,
maybe offset by 1/2" extender? Could it be that
they do exist and are one of the "not shown" in
Outdoor World's catalog and they were out of them
the three times we've been in the store? I called
a Ford truck service center and they send people
to Outdoor World for stem extenders!
There are a lot of dually tires/wheels out there
so SOMEthing must exist that works. Yes, if I
HAVE to, I can barely get my hand through the
outside wheel slot (sans wheelcover) to get to
the inner stem but am unable to do much in there,
due to cramped finger space, to fill up and check
the tires. Without extender stems, it will be
really cute when I get my hand stuck in that
slot while we're out in the middle of Nowhere.
Besides, it is a pain removing the wheel cover
to try to check tire pressures. I'm going to take
the suggestion of one poster and just get my own
compressor to use on the MH since the gas station
air fills around here are those stand-alone jokes
that sound like an old bilge pump with half its
seals blown out.
Ok, tell me I've missed something or not yet
found the Mecca of tire stems, please?
Start looking in Auto Parts and RV Parts stores, you will find all sorts of valve stem extenders. I have flex steel jacketed extenders on the inside duals that are about 4 or so inches long. There also is a "spring clip" which secures them to the wheel. They ARE NOT a cure all. They don't always work. If not positioned just right, centrifugal force can tear them off at the rubber valve stem. I use a pair of needle-nose Vise Grips to firmly secure them when I put the pressure gage on them.
On the outer duals, the valve stem points inward in a very tight space. I added short rigid valve stem extenders that were bent more or less in a U shape. Again, I hold on to them with a Vise Grip when using the gage.
You will find what you're looking for.
You are also correct that we all have become more and more paranoid about tire pressures. But, when you realize that MOST folks never check the oil level nor the tire pressure, we can begin to understand why the problems.... "Since when did they put air in tires???"
You could get brass tire valves made for the inner duals from the Tire Man since yo live in Ca. and not need extenders at all. I've heard they don't sell them mailorder/internet at this time since Ford did a change to the hole in the rim. That is supposed to change soon though. www.ridgecrest.ca.us/~tire-man/valve.html
Jae Enterprises also makes a good valve extender that has a bracket held in place by a lug nut or the lug nut covers that hold on some wheel liners. They have a picture of them on their website http://www.jaeeagle.com
About the only other choice is to drill a couple small holes into the wheel cover/liner to put the bracket for the ones from Wheel Masters on with the pop rivets or screws they come with. If you go that route it's best to get the zero pressure type for the little extra they cost.
It is best to have stainless steel valve stems to attach extenders to rather than the stock rubber ones. You can attach to the rubber ones if you do it yourself, but many tire and RV places will not put them on for you if you have the stock rubber valve stems on.
The stainless steel valve stems won't rip or tear open as the rubber ones can. I know CW won't install on vehicles with rubber stems from a post on another forum. Though why someone would need them installed for them is odd anyway if they ever tried chacking or adjusting pressure without them. I know many people that have done it with no problems, but many rv places don't recommend it unless you have stainless steel or brass valve stems. I've used extenders on rubber valve stems myself with no problems. They can sometimes fail, but so can extenders or any valve stem for that matter.
With dual rear wheels many mfgs do not recommend rotating them except from left to right side leaving inside and outside in that position on the new side. The reason is all tires wear differently and the size is critical in dual applications. If the diameter size is more than 1/4" different you are setting yourself up for disasterous results since one tire will be carring more load than it's rated for. The smaller tire will also overheat making for a bad situation. Since most motorhomes and RVs rarely ever wearout the tires before needing replacement rotation of them is not needed. You should check with the chassis mfg or their manual to see if they have a rotation sequence recommended if you have duals before rotating them. Ford does not recommend it on any of there motorhome chassis. I don't know about their dually pick-ups since I don't own one, but if anyone does they should consult the manual or Ford or whatever mfg it is before rotating the duals.
Hope that answers your questions.
Check an 18 wheeler, notice that they don't have any extenders? Now, notice that they probably have brass valve tubes that extend out. Now, ask the driver why they use them rather than the fancy braided extensions. Guess what? They don't use them because of the constant leaking problems they experience. I know, I know!! there are hundreds of you out there that have the extensions and they work fine for you. But the professional don't use them, for a good reason.
I use an extra long (truck type) air guage and am able to check my tires without too much difficulty. I fill my tires with my own air compressor (either a 3 HP at home or a 3/4 go I carry on the road). The only place I've found suitable air on the road is at truck stops. They have long chucks that will with some difficulty reach both the inside wheels and the outside ones. I use a piece of hose the size of a valve cap to remove the caps from the inside wheels. The outside ones are reachable with the fingers and I carefully remove them and hope I don't drop any. Good Luck
I had to install 1 1/4" valve stem extensions on my just purchased 2002 Hurricane with the Ford chassis in order to check or add air with a normal tire pressure gauge or filler fittings. One would think that Ford would provide a system that would allow checking and adding of air to tires "off the assembly line" Not so folks....
*This Message was edited on 13-Sep-01 01:25 PM by w4phj*
I have a 2001 Ford. I have braided steel extenders and had the same problem you had with the small holes in the wheel cover. The vibration on the road caused the extender to be cut by the sharp edges of the wheel cover where the extender came through, causing a flat tire and requiring a replacement tire. I replaced the extender and built a gasket around the hole with 1/4 in. fuel line that I slit lengthwise and pressed on to the hole edges. That gave me a rubber surface for the extender to rub on and that prevents the extender from being cut.