Sidemount spare problems

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    Finally trying to trial install the sidemount tires and doesn’t seem to work as original. I obtained some barely used 20 year old Lester 700-17’s for the spares, I believe they are the only reproduction tires narrow enough to fit in the wells. They do fit in the wells but still wide enough such that if the the front snubber is screwed into its unadjustable fixed position the front tire is pushed out against the outer well leaving no clearance for the sidemount covers when I attempt that firedrill. It looks like the only solution is to leave the front snubber off. The picture shows the snubber loose and tilted to get some clearance.

    By the way, it looks like I will have a couple extra Lesters available when the dust settles.



    Just like squeezing a truck through the underpass by deflating the tires, will your Lester tire fit the well and use the cover if you let out enough of the air?  I understand that having a flat in the middle of nowhere is when you REALLY need a way to re-inflate that spare tire.  There have been too many bad jokes about the spare being flat to not have an answer. If there is a reliable way to re-inflate the spare when it is needed, then looking for a way to use your side-mount hardware may be a reasonable thing to investigate.

    Several hand held / battery operated tire pumps are available for reasonable prices.  Having a cordless battery powered one may solve the re-inflation issue.  Herb


    Just did a comparison of the max width of the Lester off the wheel, no inflation and the one on the wheel fully inflated. It was only 1/4″ difference, which surprised me it was so little. Although when I was trying to fit an old worn Denman in the well (bare) it wouldn’t go in at all but could be forced in deflated to about 10 psi.  Deflating might be enough to make it work, but seems just leaving off the fancy chrome plated snubber would be more straight forward. I lean a bit towards function over form.

    There isn’t much doubt how sidemount covers got tossed back then. It’s suprising my car still had them, no way they were installed on the bald 7:50-17 spare that came with the car.

    Thanks for the suggestion, Jim




    Bob Sands previously recommended using Firestones for spares under side mount covers; these were the OEM tires used.

    In our 1601, we have one newer (2012) Firestone 700×17 as spare and it fits under the side mount cover; the other spare is presumably an original Firestone which was a spare when we acquired the car.



    I wonder if Pierce increased the well width for “36-38 or changed the snubber? Or maybe the snubber I have isn’t original to the car, although it definitely fits down correctly to the well. It just pushes the tire too far out to the side when bolted down.  I currently have 700-17 Firestones on the road wheels of  my Packard wih Lesters in the sidemounts to fit the covers. The Denmans I was using to roll the Pierce around on were the first set of tires I wore out on the Packard, then a set of Lesters, now Firestones. I measure the max inflated width of the Firestones at about 8 1/8 wide and the Lester’s at 7 9/16, about a 1/2  inch narrower. The width of my ’35 845 fender well is 8 7/8″, my Packard is about a 1/2” wider. The issue on the Packard wasn’t fitting it in the well, it was the sidemount covers wouldn’t fit over Denmans or Firestones. Lesters are also a bit smaller in diameter.


    The Martin B-17 (7:00 x 17) is a smaller tire.  The problem is finding them.  They are in the spares on my 1935 and fit well under the tire covers and in the tire well.


    Yes, never heard of Martin tires, must be even narrower than Lester. I just managed to get one of the sidemount covers installed, the overcenter buckle clips would not close over the Lesters, I had to make little extension clips to add 1/2″ length for them.

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