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Old 08-07-2012, 05:46 PM   #1
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Year: 1946
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Regarding older rims & "Widowmakers"...

Howdy all --- there has a been much discussion about older rims, what's available, what's not, and what can kill you. The page below has about the best pix I've seen yet to positively ID several older rims including the infamous RH5's...aka; the Widowmakers.'s not urban legend...yes, they have indeed killed more than a few people, and there are still lots of them out there. My spare is just such a rim. I will NOT be working on it or keeping it. Trying to figure out how to deflate the tire and cut it up to avoid anyone else getting decapitated. If you own an older unit, or have some unfamiliar rims lying just might want to check it out.

Be careful out there.
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:06 PM   #2
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Re: Regarding older rims & "Widowmakers"...

Most people shouldn't change them. i don't worry about them as i have worked on them for about 50 yrs... They can injure or kill, but can also be changed out in the field...
Jesus Christ... Conversion in progress.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:29 PM   #3
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Re: Regarding older rims & "Widowmakers"...

Tango, A good heads up for all. Like '49 I have changed tires on many of these rims--one 3 part style once a week for about 3 months until I finally located the nail which had been recapped over and kept poking a new hole in the tube My opinion is that these wheels present their greatest danger when they are being reinflated followed by the ongoing period after inflation. The danger stems from incorrect reassembly and/or damaged parts with the 2 part rims being the most dangerous. Once the tire has been deflated it presents a much lesser risk of injury because there is no air pressure to drive parts into your face etc. This is not to say that reasonable safety practices needn't be followed as the several parts can still release a spring load on the unwary.

All that said, and despite the advantage afforded in field repair, I would no longer even consider using any of these rims--if only due to their age (metal fatigue). Besides, it is a real good work out changing a 10 ply tubless tire somewhere in Baja using three screw drivers, a hammer and a cyl driven air pump--yes I still have one
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