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Leaky Valve Stem F350 Dually

Old 08-14-2006, 04:44 AM
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Leaky Valve Stem F350 Dually

Just as I'm getting ready for a trip, I visited a local name brand truck tire shop to fix a slow leak with one of my steering tires (2005 factory 17" aluminum wheels). They showed me the leak was the stem and they didn't have one as it was something special. It appeared to be leaking from the base of the valve cap threads. I went to the local Ford dealer and found that there were only 3 stems in the Chicago metropolitan area (and they were not one of them) and perhaps a dozen within a 1000 miles - none near the route I was taking. And, they are $35 and change for each. What is so special about these valve stems? I've got to special order them now and try to find someone who can install them... probably needs special tools...


Old 08-14-2006, 02:23 PM
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All about valve stems

I saved this post from years ago on a competing Ford diesel truck web forum. Sorry I can't tell you the name because my post will get edited or deleted. Hopefully I can at least give credit to the original poster, Robyn, on that web forum. Anyway, here's all you need to know about valve stems:

Common rubber valve stems are called "snap-in" valves in the tire industry, and usually are rated up to 60 PSI. Some go to 65 PSI. They are catagorized by trade number, ie TR412, TR413, TR414, TR415, TR418, TR423 and TR425. The differences between these valves lie in the rim hole diameter and the effective length.
The rubber snap-in valves in a Superduty dually are not uniquely manufactured for Ford per se, as these also are catagorized by common trade numbers: TR600HP and TR602HP. The "HP" stands for (you guessed it) "high pressure," as these valves are rated to 100 PSI. The rim hole diameter (.453) is the same on both the 600 and 602, therefore the only difference between the two is the effective length. (1.5" vs 2")
Since a TR418, which is a 2" low pressure valve, is the same effective length as a TR602, a 2" high pressure valve, length alone is not a good way to determine if a truck's tires were refitted with high pressure snap in valves. In fact, the TR418 is longer than the 1.5" TR600, and the TR423 (a 2.5" low pressure valve) is even longer than the TR602!
So while length alone is no way to judge, there are still two tell-tale characteristics unique to the high-pressure snap-in valves: 1) the base of the valve stem (only visible when no tire is present, or the valve is loose) is not rounded over like the TR4xx series. The base is thus that much thicker. 2) In a TR600/602HP, a portion of the brass tube/cylinder that holds the stem is visible, whereas a TR4xx is black rubber all the way from the rim hole to the base of the valve cap. To repeat in different words, only the brass of the cap threads are visible in a TR4xx, whereas a TR600/602HP will have at least a 1/2" portion of visible brass below the cap threads. This second characteristic is the easiest to spot to confirm the presence of High Pressure snap in valves on a truck, as it is very visible on a completed tire/wheel assembly.
As to availability of the TR600 and TR602HP, all the major tire valve suppliers manufacture and/or distribute them, including Schrader, Dill, Amflo/Bridgeport/ Camel, Myers, etc. The only problem I've run into is the bewildered look wrinkling the dirt smudged, yet innocent face the 18 year old tire buster, who never thought more than to just reach into the bin of all black passenger tire valves like normal.
As to inside dually inflation extenders, these generally should not be used with snap in valves, even the high pressure kind. The leverage effect of the relatively heavy stainless braided hose, made heavier by being whipped around at speed, wobbling within the hand hole of the wheel when the spring clip, lost to the highway from the beating, is no longer there to limit the oscillations of the extension... all the while yanking on a rubber based valve that is only "snapped in" at that, combined with the heat generated by the tire in usage making that rubber all the more pliable...
Well, I think the results of this recipe were well explained with anecdotal experiences descriped above at the beginning of this thread. Clamp-in valves (all metal with a nut that "clamps in" the base around the grommet land at the rim hole) are preferred if extenders are to be used.
I am not a fan of extenders at all... why go through all the work of balancing a truck tire at a special shop... only to stick on a 12 inch long, 1/2 inch thick steel braided hose to one point in the circle? Why risk having the 60-100 psi inflation pressure of a light truck inside dual bridged across the vulnerable open space between the tires, rotating at speed? I would lean towards having a good Milton truck tire inflator in the truck at all times.
Nevertheless, with service station air chucks such as they are, I can completely understand the desire for dually extenders, and have found only one style that I like. Instead of being big and thick, these extenders are thin and light. But here again, size alone is not an indicator of quality. The big thick stainless steel braided extenders are ususally rated anywhere from 150 to 300 PSI, as they use heavy duty air line. Not so with the scrawny little extenders I like. The thin light extenders, which by the way are also stainless steel braided, use HYDRAULIC line, rated to 3,000 PSI. That's what I'm talking about... less is more (wish I could apply that to my writing style )
Even with that 10-fold increase in PSI rating, the extenders I like are not designed to hold the tire's air pressure while the tire is in use! There instead is a stem actuator strecthed within the entire length of the extender, which depresses the valve core on the recieving tire only when inflating or deflating, not all the time. This allows the original valve core to remain the first line of defense against loss in pressure.
The combination of the actuator rod within this extender, the smaller diameter of this extender, and the inherent rigidity of the higher pressure hydaulic line that makes up the extender... all make for a stiffer, lighter extension less apt to whip around and act upon the valve stem to which it is attached.
Midnight? Geez, this was probably just a wee bit more about valve stems than you wanted to know about, but I hope it helps. Just think, I didn't even get into my vitriol about the differences in tire valve cores, the different color bands, the nitrile vs the teflon rings... ah well, better leave room for someone else to get a word in edgeways.
PS... Both Dicor and Wheelmaster make the this light "live stem" extender, along with the heavier, thicker, traditional extender, so shop carefully when reviewing their products. I happen to have the Dicor brand on my motorhome. I do not have any extenders on my truck.
Finally, the recall mentioned for "people with duallies" only applies to F-450/550 owners, whose tires and wheels are higher pressure than those of an F-350 dually.
Old 08-14-2006, 03:47 PM
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2 in 1

My last truck, a 99 f350 sd dually V10, had valve stem troubles. i used this truck as a catering truck, and one morning i got to my first stop and all of a sudden i hear air rushing out of the front tire, i examine and find it is coming from the valve stem, so i call one of my other accounts, a truck tire shop, and they send their truck out and remove my tire and replace the valve stem, i don't know if it was a special stem or what but they seemed to have plenty of them, and while he is doing this all of a sudden we hear the other front tire's valve stem let go! so we replaced that one too and never had another problem, but how weird is that, 2 within minutes of eachother?
Old 08-15-2006, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by harald
...Midnight? Geez, this was probably just a wee bit more about valve stems than you wanted to know about, but I hope it helps...
It does help... and I'm glad my tire guys were sharp enough not to just put something that fits in and send me on my way. It could have been a disaster.


Old 08-15-2006, 04:18 AM
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Both my front valve stems let go on me within day of each other. I dont have a dually though. It happend while getting on the highway, both times I was hard on the throttle and then all of a sudden I hear the air coming out of the tire. I had to change both tires on the highway "that was fun".
Old 08-23-2006, 04:21 AM
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Just to finish up this saga...

Once I got situated from our move, I visited the local Ford dealer to order a new valve stem. When it came in, it was obviously not the correct one - it was brass and looked nothing like the original (and $31.08). The parts guy contacted someone at Ford via e-mail and got an initial replay that the brass one was the correct part. He persisted and got another reply stating the valve stem is only available when buying a new aluminum wheel... sigh. The parts guy suggested going to a local truck tire shop, which I did. For $21.40, I got a new matching chrome valve stem installed and they mounted the wheel on the truck (it had been in the spare carrier).

Old 08-24-2006, 12:53 AM
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If the wheels you are running are manufactured by accuride, you might check at your local truckstop. I have had experience with these when I was working at a truckstop. I am now working at a Ford dealer. The Over-the road stems are a better design and are designed to run at 100 psi plus instead of 50-65.
Old 01-11-2011, 02:37 AM
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This was a very helpful page. Well I have incountered tire guys that don't have a clue and my local dealership is worthless !! So if you are looking for HP valve stems check these guys out Part # TV-416MC [TV-416MC] - $3.09 : PrierTireSupply.com, Setting the standard for service!
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