If you’ve ever wondered how violently a tire can explode if it’s way, way over-inflated, one Russian man decided to give it a shot. He placed a wheel and tire in an old Russian sedan, rigged up some copper tubing between the pump and the wheel, and began inflating. The results are surprisingly violent.
It’s been a full week since I’ve shared something from the wacky automobile experimenters at the YouTube channel Garage 54, so to avoid starving Jalops of the brilliant concoction of automotive ingenuity and idiocity that only a man named Vlad can provide, behold a video of a tire blowing up and destroying an old Lada sedan:
The Garage 54 team took a wheel from a UAZ (a company that builds mostly off-road SUVs and trucks), installed a fitting, and soldered on some copper tubing to that fitting, since a standard valve stem and a regular rubber fill hose can’t handle particularly high pressures. Those high pressures were generated at the other end of the copper tubing via a gas-powered air compressor with a capacity of 4,500 PSI, according to Vlad.
The tire pressure never actually got anywhere close to that figure, with the rubber donut bursting spectacularly at 300 psi. Vlad says the 16-inch ID tire should have been able to hold 660 and 730 psi, so clearly this wasn’t the greatest tire to start with. (It’s worth noting that many SUV tires recommend a maximum pressure between 35 PSI and 50 PSI).
Not only did the explosion blow most of the windows out, sending their rubber weather seals flying far through the air, but the roof was folded into the shape of a church steeple, and the D-pillars were bent inwards. Also, the doors ballooned outward, part of a rear fender sheared, the underbody caved in, and Vlad even says that the frame rails were almost ripped off.
We’ve seen how violently tires can burst, but I can’t say I expected the pressure from a single one to do this much damage—especially in a Russian sedan that I assume isn’t the most air-tight of vehicles ever manufactured.