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I got an unexpected deal on chrome exchange wheels from a high end specialty tire and wheel dealer here in Atlanta (Butler Tire), who I got introduced to at the recent Atlanta auto show.

In addition, they actually got the chromed wheels in-house in exactly 1 week! I literally just had to go in for an hour and a quarter tonight after work, and they did the exchange, a dynamic on-the-vehicle wheel balancing, and nitrogen fill. No hassle and a remarkabky short wait. Barry at Butler explained this is NOT typical. It usually takes up to 4 weeks because of the shipping logistics and small number of "cores" kept by suppliers due to the low volume demand for SSR wheels!

But the best part is the quality of the chroming. They apparently use Globe in California, and the wheels are so finely done that you literally can't look at them in bright sunlight without sunglasses on!! And, no visible flaws of any kind evident anywhere in the finish. Three different obseevers at the parking area of my hotel said "Gosh those wheels are bright!"

To answer the inevitable questions:

1. Globe chromes only the outside surfaces, not the whole wheel (others on the board have explained why this is the right way to do it, to prevent corrosion issues on the less accessible surfaces)

2. The Butler contact is "Barry" at 404-303-1114.

3. The supposed advantages of nitrogen in the tires versus normal air are (Butler's claims, not mine!):

(a) Far less expansion with increased temperatures, so tire shape stays consistent, for more consistent traction and handling, AND longer tire life (heat is what kills tires over time)

(b) Far less potential for corrosion on either steel or aluminum wheels, since little or no oxygen present. (THere IS some, as they cannot literally draw a true "vacuum" before filling with nitrogen. They fill and empty multiple times to get close via "dilution")

(c) Less leakage, as the nitrogen molecules are larger than the other molecules found in typical "air" (oxygen, and small amounts of other molecules)

Barry claims that along with the mandatory tire pressure systems coming by 2007 by law, thee is an industry drive to implement nitrogen fills as the standard for consumer vehicles, particularly SUVs, because of (a) and (c) above, which greatly reduce the likelihood of tire-related accidents due to inadequatre owner maintenance.

Jim G
 

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Laugh Factor...

Jim, Fess up. You put that post in just for the laugh factor with respect to the claims about Nitrogen. Didn't you.

I suspect the principle difference is that Butler can charge quite a bit more for Nitrogen than plain old air. Which if, I remember correctly, is 78% Nitrogen to start with.

:lol
 

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beer100: Yes, Butler normally charges $30 to $40 for an initial nitrogen fillup, and then provides lifetime free top-ups as needed. The initial charge is mostly for the labor needed to repetitively fill and empty all 4 tires in order to achieve substantially close to 100% nitrogen via repetitive dilution. (Because you can't just truly "empty" a tire - even with zero psi in it relative to ambient, it still has 14.9 psi in it (normal air pressure) of normal-mix "air", which as you correctly point out is 78% Nitrogen, but is also 21% oxygen which is both corrosive and has a high temperature expansion coefficient. (The balance of 1% is a mix of interesting gases). You can't draw a "vacuum" on a tire!!

Sure the claims can (and should) be questioned, just like any claims by header, exhaust, and cold air intake vendors, but I love the opportunity to be able to do my own quantitative testing.

I'll report back any notable findings.

Jim G
 

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That is why Nascar runs Nitrogen inall the tires..More control of air pressure through out any heat range. Great Post Jim.....
 

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And all high performance business jets use Nitrogen in thier tires!!! :thumbs
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Reading the NASCAR and jet comments above, I am starting to wonder if there is more nitrogen usage than any of us were aware of.

The jet thing makes perfect sense when you think about it. A jet would go from 30,000 feet to ground, with a temperature difference that is HUGE, in just a few minutes. The cold air at high altitude in the unheated and unpressurized wheel compartments would get the air pressure in the tires VERY low, and there just isn't high enough of a thermal transfer rate for air, through the insulating tire rubber, to heat that air back up to ground temperature in just a few minutes, so the tires would be "underinflated" during a VERY high stress time period: the landing! You cannot just compensate by overfilling the tires initially before the flight, because they are then overpressured at gorund level and more so when the ambient gorund temperature is high.

There really could be something to this. Maybe I 'll do some actual research on-line.

Jim G
 

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Nitrogen

JimGnitecki said:
A nitrogen-filling industry specifically for tires apparently exists:

http://www.airliquide.com/en/medias/pdf/business/gases/supply/tires_filling.pdf

Jim G
Air Liguide is a great company. 2 of their local stores on the central coast of CA were sponsors of our dirt late models and dirt modifieds for 7 years. They furnished all of our welding supplies( welders, plasma cutter, saws,etc), and of course nitrogen. We have used it for years, in our tires, and mostly a large bottle to power our air tools at the track. The first week I had the SSR went to my son's and put nitrogen in the tires. Had to redo when I mounted the chrome's, and I'm certain I didn't get them purged as well as mentioned here, but enough to help for normal :reddevil driving conditions.
 

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I've been looking at Nitrogen fill for some time - I'm installing a tire pressure monitoring system, and the non-corrosive nature of a nitrogen fill appealed to me. It is a standard on virtually all commercial and military aircraft, and auto racing.

So there you go, Beer - 3 lashes with a wet noodle for you!!!!

:lol :lol

Ray
 

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JimGnitecki said:
Reading the NASCAR and jet comments above, I am starting to wonder if there is more nitrogen usage than any of us were aware of.

The jet thing makes perfect sense when you think about it. A jet would go from 30,000 feet to ground, with a temperature difference that is HUGE, in just a few minutes. The cold air at high altitude in the unheated and unpressurized wheel compartments would get the air pressure in the tires VERY low, and there just isn't high enough of a thermal transfer rate for air, through the insulating tire rubber, to heat that air back up to ground temperature in just a few minutes, so the tires would be "underinflated" during a VERY high stress time period: the landing! You cannot just compensate by overfilling the tires initially before the flight, because they are then overpressured at gorund level and more so when the ambient gorund temperature is high.

There really could be something to this. Maybe I 'll do some actual research on-line.

Jim G
That argument goes both ways. Unless I'm planning on flying my SSR at 30,000 feet, I might not get the advantages of nitrogen a business jet gets. :)
 

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Flassh said:
I've been looking at Nitrogen fill for some time - I'm installing a tire pressure monitoring system, and the non-corrosive nature of a nitrogen fill appealed to me. It is a standard on virtually all commercial and military aircraft, and auto racing.

So there you go, Beer - 3 lashes with a wet noodle for you!!!!

:lol :lol

Ray
Can you explain this tire pressure measuring system a bit? Is there a need for it if you don't have run flats? How much, and where can you get it?
 

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Hi, Doug

Mine will be installed hopefully by May 20th - waiting for the wheels to get done by Colorado, tires and monitoring system on standby in Tennessee for mounting.

I'll give you a full description once I've got it here, but the concept is that a sender in each wheel sends pressure and temperature readings to a display - if any tire pressure drops 3 lbs below a pre-set threshold, the display blinks, and an alarm buzzer can be added.

I was thrown a bit on my plans - I wanted to replace the somewhat useless GPH gauge on the auxiliary gauge set with the monitor display, but the whole thing is on a printed circuit - don't know if I can make it work. I've got a black gauge mounting pod just in case - we'll see how it all works out.

What I'm looking for is an early warning of a tire leak, before permanent damage is caused.

Once I've got it here and tested it, I thought I would post the info and see if there was enough interest for a group purchase.

Ray
 
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I'm interested in a tire pressure monitoring system. Liked it on my vette and have been talking with my wife about finding something for the SSR. Keep us posted
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I can give you an experienced testimonial on the tire pressure monitoring systems. They are VERY good.

I had a diesel motorcoach for a while, and equipped it with one of those systems, because an underinflated or flat tire on a motorhome is a major safety problem.

The system I bought was available through Tire Rack I believe. It cost me (3 years ago, so price may have come down) about $300 or $400. MAY have been called "Smart Tire".

You get a sensor for each wheel that is coded for position (LF, RF, LR, RR). It is about 3" long and 1" wide and mounts onto the inside surface of the wheel, opposite the tire valve. It is lightweight, but you rebalance anyway for perfection. It is secured by a very long s.s. hose clamp that goes around the circumference of the wheel. It has a long life battery, but only turns "on" when the wheel is rotating, so no battery drain when parked. The battery is good for years. The snesor senses both air pressure AND temperature.

It transmits a coded signal (different code for each wheel) to a receiver you mount inside your vehicle. The receiver receives and decodes the 4 sets of signals (6 from a motorcoach!), and displays either all 4 air pressure readings or all 4 temperatures - your selectable choice. Regardless of what is being displayed, the receiver emits both visual and AUDIBLE alarms when it detects either a pressure reading or a temperature that is beyond a threshold YOU preset (or use defaults).

This is VERY accurate and reliable technology. You can watch the air temperature climb as your tires heat up from a cold start. The computer in the receiver is smart enough to know what temperature readings are normal when the tires get hot, even though the ideal temperature varies with psi!!

I never had a lick of trouble with mine, other than that:

1. sometimes the battery saving feature kept an individual sensor not transmitting for a minute or 2 until a motion sensor within the sensor unsticks, after lengthy storage (motorcoach!).

2. When changing tires or fixing flats, the technician MUST be warned in advance, so that he/she does not damage the sensor or ss band with a tire iron or spoon.

The system eliminates the need to check your air pressure manually regularly.

Cheaper, presumably less elegant versions of this sytem are now required by law to be installed on all consumer vehicles by model year 2007.

Jim G
 

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nitrogen

JimGnitecki said:
Reading the NASCAR and jet comments above, I am starting to wonder if there is more nitrogen usage than any of us were aware of.

The jet thing makes perfect sense when you think about it. A jet would go from 30,000 feet to ground, with a temperature difference that is HUGE, in just a few minutes. The cold air at high altitude in the unheated and unpressurized wheel compartments would get the air pressure in the tires VERY low, and there just isn't high enough of a thermal transfer rate for air, through the insulating tire rubber, to heat that air back up to ground temperature in just a few minutes, so the tires would be "underinflated" during a VERY high stress time period: the landing! You cannot just compensate by overfilling the tires initially before the flight, because they are then overpressured at gorund level and more so when the ambient gorund temperature is high.

There really could be something to this. Maybe I 'll do some actual research on-line.

Jim G

the other reason for nitrogen in aircraft tires is the moisture in air freezes at high altitude due to the great difference in temperatures at sea level versus 30,000 or 40,000 feet. an extended flight at this altitude would cause the tires to possibly freeze internally and shatter or fail on landing as they might not have time to thaw during descent. :flag
 

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Primary reason aircraft use nitrogen in their tires is lower risk of fire in them in case of blow-out. Aircraft wheel/brake assemblies get incredibly hot and that's the reason they use thermal plugs so tires can release the pressure in a controlled manner rather than risk a devastating blow-out due to overheating which creates excessive pressure. Nitrogen is less flameable than "normal" air containing some 20% oxygen.
 

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Do you have any info on the place that did your chrome plating, I am a long way from Atlanta, thought maybe I could contact them and do an exchange with them myself through my buiseness
 
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