How to identify whether tube or tubeless wheel

Trying to figure out if I have wheels that can be used tubeless. The car XK140 is new to me. Right now the wheels are fitted with 185VR16 Vredestein as tube type.

I read that the 60 spoke wheels were designed as tubeless unless fitted with tube type tires. But can’t find a definitive answer. Is there a way to identify this without breaking down the wheel and tire.

I do not know when these wheels were purchased by the PO. I could guess by date code on tires but that would only be a guess too. Thanks, Dan

Hi Dan…a tubeless wheel has a metal valve thats retained by a nut…if you useing tubes you will see the rubber valve of the tube through the wheel…Steve

My bad. I went to look at valve stem and then counted the spokes also. There are only 54 spokes, so are these original Jag wheels. Here is a picture of valve stem which looks like tube to me.

I am assuming all 54 spoke wheels are tube only.

Have a look at the rear of the wheel for a stamped in code…they look too good to be original

No stamping or marks that I can see.

So am I correct that a 54 spoke wheel is not a tubeless wheel.

Hi Dan… if they are original wheels they would not be tubeless…Steve

I’m not aware that any spoked wheels can be tubeless as there is an air leakage path at every nipple and thread. Maybe it is possible if a substantial sealing strip like a special rust band can be glued over the top of the nipples.

Tubeless wire wheels are common place sold by all the usuals suppliers and used by many Jag owners…yes spokes and nipples are sealed and they have a safety rim…Steve

Thanks Steve. I only have older ones so I’ve been oblivious to the method used.

Well, I looked at both wheels I have off while doing the disc brake conversion. I can find no markings at all, did find date code on tires and they are 09/03. So I would guess the wheels are either original or were replaced when these tires were purchased. The car is a 140MC so it would have had chrome wires if my understanding is correct.

Either way it is time for tires, so now the decision on what to get and do I bite the bullet and get wheels so I can run tubless.

Thanks for all the input,

Painted 54 spoke wires were a factory option on 140, but chrome wires would have been a dealer added accessory. 60 spoke chrome wires as a factory option came along with the 150.
There’s nothing wrong with running tubes.
I have American Classic radials from Coker and they required tubes.

When I replaced the original 16"x5" 54-spoke wire wheels on my XK140MC a couple of years ago I searched for tubeless 54-spoke chrome wheels. I did not find any, and decided that tubeless was more important to me than 54-spoke, so I bought MWS tubeless 60-spoke chrome wheels from Classic Car Performance. 54-spoke wheels are available from Dayton but not tubeless, unless something has changed in the past 2 years.

Thanks again for the replies.

I did the same thing last night. I searched and searched and the 60 spoke from Classic Car was the best deal I could find. Now I have to decide on the tires. I am sure there are a lot of opinions out there. Let’s hear them.
Thanks again,

A few comments,

XK120SE and XK140SE came standard with 54-spoke body-colour painted 16in wire wheels. 54-spoke CHROMIUM PLATED wire wheels were an extra cost option, but definately available from the whole period of XK120/140 54-spoke wire wheels. Plenty of pictures available (now) of factory original chromium plated 54-spoke wire wheels, albeit in their day, they were exceedingly rarely optioned - with the body coloured painted wire-wheels the norm. 54-spoke wire wheels continued into early XK150, but were soon superseded (exact Chassis Numbers known) with 60-spoke wire wheels. These were not body colour painted, but instead the standard supply was SILVER Painted regardless of body colour. Chromium Plated 60-spoke wire wheels were also available as an extra cost optional extra, and indeed although rarely optioned in UK and RHD markets, they were becoming very common in the North American market. These days however, most restorers fit Chromium Plated wire wheels regardless of whether body colour, silver painted or chromium plated were fitted originally, albeit many of us - including me - will have nothing other than the original body-colour painted 54 spoke wheels…

For many years in Australia, we would always prefer to buy reproduction DUNLOP 60-spoke wire wheels if the originals had excessively worn splines - rims and spokes could be economically restored/repaired/replaced but new hubs made it more economically feasible to buy new DUNLOP wire wheels. DUNLOP was always preferable to DAYTON wheels from an authenticity perspective, with experieced Concours judges always debiting DAYTONs due to differences in hub shape, spokes and nipple shape - and indeed whether correct or not, there was a general view that the DUNLOPs were better made… DUNLOP wheels went through a quality control problem for a period, but eventually got on top of that, so back then to the status quo, but in all of this period there was no source of 54 spoke 16in wheels apart from rebuilding originals. There was a short lived supplier in UK, but I never saw - first hand - an example, albeit they were reputedly excellent, and as good as the DUNLOPs…

These days, its now a dilemma - due to UK legislation all DUNLOP repro wire wheels as made by MWS now have an ugly and prominent raised bead prominently visible around the outside surface of the inner-rim, and heaven forbid MADE IN INDIA stamped prominently adjacent to this raised bead. The earlier wheels had their MADE IN INDIA stamped inside the rim, so invisible once a tyre had been fitted. So again, our more dedicated/anal restorers would buy new DUNLOP wire wheels, get an original rim restored/rechromed, disassemble the new DUNLOP, use the new Hub and spokes, but fit the restored original rim. Not an easy nor cheap exercise, but still a solution if you want 100% authenticity…

So these days, you can now buy DAYTON 54-spoke and 60-spoke 16in reproduction XK wheels, painted silver, or chrome plated, or apparently to order body colour painted - if you are game regarding colour match. These still have the slight problem with hub shape, spokes and nipple shape, but dont have the ugly conspicuous added rim bead and glaring MADE IN INDIA stamping…
So in response to a local friend asking for advice - knowing his priorities - I recommended him buying DAYTON painted 54-spoke 16in for his XK140 FHC - was happy initially with them being Silver (his choice, not mine), but on arrival, totally happy with the wheels themselves, but many flaws and problems with the DAYTON painting - quite staggering really for their market !
So latest info is he will now strip his new silver-painted DAYTON 54-spoke ww, and repaint them properly in BODY COLOUR. Not 100%, but in the scheme of things an excellent end result. Note, I don’t care about tubeless or not, as I always fit TUBES regardless. I strongly recommend MICHELIN tubes being continuously/always of superior quality, regardless of whether wheel claims to be tubeless or not, and regardless of whether you intend fitting radial tyres (non-original) or cross ply tyres as per original, and never overwidth, or lower profile than factory originals… I wont get into brand of Tyres as that’s a case of horses for courses…
And one thing you need to be careful about is having the correct diameter hole in the rim, for the correct diameter valve stem - there are two diameter valve stems, so if you buy tubes with the smaller diameter valve stem, you must fit the readily available plastic collar for practical/safety reasons, even if ugly… as per Dan’s close up picture of a valve stem.