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Space Saver Tire Inflator - How-to-restore-tutorial...
Hey guys,

in this little tutorial I will show you my restauration of my original Ford space saver tire inflator bottle so you could do it by your own.

You need:

space saver tire inflator bottle with cardboard

[Image: _57ppspy.jpg]

Repopped decal for the space saver tire inflator bottle

[Image: dsc_1228fmui3.jpg]



Sandpaper (300-400 and 800-1000)

Boiling water


You need a space saver tire inflator bottle with an intact cardboard around it.

I had the luck to find an original Ford dealer replacement bottle from 1975 for 50 bucks on Epay US by bidding on it - strike! It's decal was a little damaged and it was empty so that's the reason of this price. NOS (dealer replacement) bottles from Ford are between 200-300 bucks. An original car-bottle I have never seen there...

[Image: _57ppspy.jpg]

[Image: _571essmu.jpg]

I never wanted to spend that much on a bottle! So I looked around - you could also go with a bottle Datsun, Nissan, AMX or GM - they are exactly the same in measurements and appearance and they are much cheaper to find! The most important is an intact cardboard and the little cap on top of it which has to come with it!


Take the carboard apart from the bottle - the best works a spray can with lid on it. So you could put the bottom of the inflator bottle on the spray can and strip off gently the cardboard. You have to go smoothly and slow over the seam in the middle of the bottle which holds the cardboard in place. Pushing from top to the bottom works best, don't try the other direction. After that it looks like this:

[Image: dsc_1225lluuy.jpg]

[Image: dsc_1226a0uye.jpg]

[Image: dsc_1227fsurn.jpg]

Here are some characteristics of an original Ford bottle:

One small hole and stamped "DG"

[Image: dsc_123248ucx.jpg]

[Image: dsc_1235tnuxb.jpg]

[Image: dsc_1236hbuw0.jpg]

[Image: dsc_1237rgucz.jpg]

[Image: dsc_1240iuuc3.jpg]

[Image: dsc_1241rru1e.jpg]

[Image: dsc_1243bfuzm.jpg]


Now take the repop decal and lay it around the cardboard in it's end position - fix it after that with scotch tape in this position.

[Image: dsc_1228fmui3.jpg]

[Image: dsc_1244v4ua3.jpg]

Important for the original look and to prepare:

Let a small cardboard edge free around it - approximiately 0,040 - 0,080 inches!


Take the pencil and mark it sharply around the decal

[Image: dsc_1245cfu33.jpg]

Add the bottom space to the top so if you cut it off you have enough space on both side of the decal to the cardboard - see also 3)

[Image: dsc_1246l7ut1.jpg]

After that take the decal apart and it has to look like that:

[Image: dsc_1247luuqg.jpg]


Take the little jigsaw and saw gently around the pencil marking on the cardboard! Have a look for an absolutely straight held saw blad. Little imperfections could be corrected on the next step...

[Image: dsc_1248kvukv.jpg]

[Image: dsc_1249i7uhk.jpg]


Now we need a sandpaper and lay it flat on a solid underground. Take the right cardboard half and lay it with the cut off side on the sandpaper with 300-400 grain. Then move it with light pressure in circles around till it seems to be fine for you and you have an even edge. For finishing take a finer piece of sandpaper (800 - 1000 grain) and treat the whole edge till it will be smooth like your baby's or girlfriend's butt Wink

[Image: dsc_125142uf5.jpg]


Now a test-fit - looks good Smile

[Image: dsc_1252jsssq.jpg]


It is time to get rid of the old decal! So prepare a little water in a pot and wait for boiling. If there is some steam take the cardboard and turn it around in the steam over the pot.

[Image: dsc_12532zsap.jpg]


And could ruin you cardboard if you hold it too long over the steam in one position. Take care!

After succes it looks like this:

[Image: dsc_1254fds6p.jpg]


Now it's time for sanding the loose rest of the decal away - first with the rough grain then with the finer one. Be careful and sand not to much. After that take a hair dryer and blew the dust away and make it bone-dry again!

[Image: dsc_125538srk.jpg]


Time to get ready!

Take on half of the decal and stick it slowly in place. Look for the right distance to the edge on both sides of the cardbord and look out for bubbles. If you were careful enough it should look like that:

[Image: dsc_125628sqr.jpg]


Put the cardboard careful from top to the bottom back on the bottle and let some space to the bottom space for an original look. If you had all done right the cardboard will be hold tightly by the seam in the middle of the bottle.

R E S U L T Big Grin

[Image: dsc_1271e4srz.jpg]

Have fun and success thumb


Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly Angel

The bottle looks great. Thanks for sharing this. Maybe I will send you mine...ha ha.

1972 Q Code Convertible
that come out great, thanks for sharing!!

1972 Mustang convertible run_horse  
Visit the Mustang Car Club of New England Facebook Page

Visit the Mustang Car Club of New England Web Page
jeff8877;229967 Wrote:Tim,

The bottle looks great. Thanks for sharing this. Maybe I will send you mine...ha ha.

imusa76;229968 Wrote:that come out great, thanks for sharing!!

Hey guys,

thank you - glad to share with you thumb

Jeff - why NOT Big Grin


Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly Angel
That is some great resto work you are doing. Those little details like you did will make your car special.
You got me thinking about mine in my Mach 1 that has been in the barn since 1983. I went down and took the lock off the spare tire and got the canister out. Time, bugs and I am sure moisture and temp changes have done the decal in for sure. The canister is empty I guess over time is just leaks out slowly I guess 42 years is a long time. I never used my spare and when I turned it over I saw my initials scratched on the rim when I took it in for the safety recall I wanted to be sure I got mine back. People were injured and maybe at least one killed by pumping the space saver spare up with air pressure and exploding them. Thus the recall to add the pop off valve. I do not know where the valve cap went maybe someone stole it at the MCA show just before I parked it, seems like it was white plastic. I hope you don't think I hijacked your post but just thought you would like to see what an original looked like. This car was only used for hot dates, autocross and street racing. I took it to Disney World once the year I bought it and that was the only trip it went on.
Some pictures from the time capsule trunk, canister and space saver spare.

Attached Files Thumbnail(s)

When a man is in the woods and talks and no women are there is he still wrong??

your addition to my thread makes it even more valuable. This is what I am asking you a few days before so thank you - this is perfect! So the interested people now know how it has too look when all the things are installed properly. You even have the original lock over the the spare tire and the whole assembly - what a great time capsule.

Thank you for sharing and the whole bunch of good pics thumb

Here you could buy some of the valve stem caps


They are correct and looked originally like that

[Image: spacersavercap3.jpg]

[Image: valvestem.jpg]

You could buy a set of four and send me one Big Grin

For refund of course...


Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly Angel
Great write up!
Don65Stang;230158 Wrote:Great write up!

Thanks, Don thumb


Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly Angel

c9zx's (Chuck) info is spot-on correct.
He originally posted some great tutorial info about how to take a small empty propane bottle and turn it onto a fake inflator bottle. But I STILL can't locate the posting!!


1971 Boss 351  
1972 Q code 4 speed convertible 
1971 Mustang Sportsroof  351-2V FMX 
1971 Hardtop (parts car)
1973 Mach 1 (parts car)
Thanks for the detailed write-up. I'm getting ready to do the same and your information makes the job easier.
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