What is a flipper and what is it for

Flipper on wheels, what are they?

Flipper on the wheels, what are they and what are they needed for

History moves in a spiral. Often the long forgotten becomes popular. The fashion for retro things has reached into auto design. Car enthusiasts who follow fashion trends are increasingly using the words “Whitewall” and “flipper.”

Whitewall is a tire with an inner side white ring, and these days they install a flipper on the wheels. So a flipper is a white overlay mounted around the edge of the rubber rim and attached to the rim. If we continue to talk about whitewall, there are no dyes used in this case. It really is a rubber that is white in color. Natural rubber was used to make the first tires. That’s why they were white all over.

Since natural rubber had poor friction and wore out quickly, it was improved by adding carbon fillers. The additives made production much more expensive. Therefore, they were used only in the outer layer. The inner ring remained naturally white.

The quality, price and prestige of the wheel could be judged by the width of the white stripe. The highest quality was the all-black tires. At that time, whitewall had the opposite meaning than it does now.

Revolutionary advances in hydrocarbon chemistry and the production of synthetic rubber finally changed the color of tires. In today’s context, the white stripe on the tires is an element of retro car tuning.

In the world of cheap carbon tires, whitewalls accentuate the car’s tuning style. Manufacturers produce exclusive series for their models. On the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, the white stripe is complemented by an inner black stripe. Codillacs, Lincolns and Imperials had a triple white ring. Vogue Tyre Company tires had a gold stripe inserted.

To mimic real Whitewalls, modern tuning enthusiasts use flippers – white wheel covers. The pads – imitators are placed on the wheel with the winding under the rim of the deflated wheel. When the wheel is inflated, the flipper is pressed against the wheel.

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Flippers are rubber rings: thickness up to 2-3 mm, diameter varies by choice from 12 to 19 inches. Manufacturers produce not only white, but also other colors. Wide overlays can decorate old diagonal tires from Moskvich, Volga, Chaika 50-70 years.

Flippers are bad on narrow tires on wide rims. The sides of the tire should be slightly convex for a firm grip. Because of the insert, the tire will hold less pressure, so experts recommend using flippers in tubeless tires as well. Using a flipper on wheels requires monitoring the tire pressure. If the pressure is low, the liner does not lock properly and “eats” the rubber.

Optimal for flipper use is hard diagonal rubber. Due to the delamination micro pockets are formed on soft radial rubber, which over time, under the influence of water seepage, getting small stones will grow into large defects.

Additional gluing of the flipper during installation will help partially solve this problem. The threat to the overlays are kerbs and so bumps and side impacts.

Even a minimally damaged flipper requires replacement. A lining that starts to come out, requires a complete reinstallation. Dynamic driving and critical braking can tear it to pieces, which is not safe while driving. In the recommendations for use, the manufacturers specify a maximum speed of 95 km / hr.

Installing the flipper on the wheels

If the decision to install it is made, then follow the following algorithm.

1. Immediately before the work wash the wheels, remove dust and dirt from the wheels, balance them.

2. Place the wheel to be treated on a clean, flat surface, face up and deflate.

3. press the tire off the rim until a gap is formed.

4. Place the flipper into the gap and place it over the tire.

5. Partially inflate the wheel and check that the flipper is correctly positioned. The inside should be completely covered by the rim edge. If anything is wrong, deflate the wheel and repeat from point 2.

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6. If the liner is positioned correctly. Inflate the wheel to the normal pressure. Check that it is tight against the disk.

7. 7. Mounting the wheel on the car.

Application of retro elements must be combined with the overall style of the car. Evaluate the necessity and expediency of this tuning device on your car.

Car wheel flipper – retro style tuning

At all times there have been fans of retro cars among motorists. Today there are many vehicle owners who are trying to give a slight touch of “antiquity” to brand new models of cars. This effect is often achieved by different types of tuning. Exactly to this category can be attributed the so-called “flippers” or “vytvols” on the wheels.

Car wheel flipper

Flipper – what is it

A flipper on a wheel is a tire cover that is attached to the side surface. It can be quite different sizes, the thickness usually varies around 2-3 cm, and the diameter ranges from 12 to 19 inches. Such pads, motorists use, as a decoration of the wheels and in order to protect the tires and even disks from damage that can be obtained when hitting various kinds of obstacles.

Flippers for car tires appeared on the automotive market a very long time ago, around the 1930s. Initially, all tires were made of natural rubber, which was colorless, and the tires came out pure white. This rubber had one, but very significant disadvantage – it wore out too quickly and fell into complete disrepair.

Car wheel flipper

Manufacturers began to improve the rubber tires by adding a filler, which included carbon. This method significantly increased the resistance of rubber to wear and colored it black, but at the same time the cost of this material increased dramatically. Because the cost was too high, manufacturers began to use the new material only for the treads themselves, while the side of the tire was still white. By such a tire, you could determine its quality and cost with confidence – the narrower the white stripe, the more expensive and higher quality products. As the years passed, the tires became completely black and the white stripes seemed to disappear forever.

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The white stripes appeared again around the 1930s, on American cars. They were supposed to direct dirt and spray from the body of the vehicle onto the road. Gradually, such an improvement on the wheel became considered a very prestigious and stylish decoration. This design reached its greatest popularity in 1957, when Cadillacs with 1-inch flippers hit the market. Since the mid-’60s, multicolored whitewalls began to appear on the market – a combination of white and red, a combination of several white and black rings, rings of gold color. Tires of Fords, Lincolns, Cadillacs and some other luxury car brands were decorated in such a way.

Today, it is very common to see a cheaper imitation of the real “whitewalls” – colored pads that are wound under the wheel rim.

Types of whitewalls

Flippers can vary somewhat. This will depend on the size and color of the rubber pad. The types that can be distinguished here are:

  • One-color whitewalls.
  • Two-color whitewalls.
  • Whitewalls for motorcycles.
  • Standard whitewalls.
  • Wide whitewalls designed for diagonal tires.


Today such inserts are used not only as a decorative element, but also as protection. This is especially true for the wheels of motorcycles and trucks.

All flippers have a certain marking, which is placed directly on the model itself. Here you can read:

  • Manufacturer’s name.
  • Product dimensions – width, seating diameter.
  • The maximum permissible pressure ratings.
  • Date of production.

What you should pay attention to

Before finally deciding to decorate your car with such tuning, you should take into account several nuances:

  • Flippers are most poorly attached to narrow tires on wide rims.
  • That the grip would be strong you need to have tires that are slightly convex.
  • These inserts are best used on wheels that have cameras in them. This is due to the fact that the insert reduces the degree of pressure containment. If this point is ignored, when the pressure in the wheel decreases. The insert will be poorly fixed and will simply eat the rubber.
  • It is best to install flippers on wheels with hard diagonal rubber. If the rubber is soft, there is a risk that small pockets will be created, in which pebbles and water will get in. This will lead to more problems later on.
  • Flippers can be glued to improve results, but this will not solve the problem completely and any curbs, side bumps and large bumps can be a threat.
  • At the slightest damage to the flipper, this decorative overlay must be replaced immediately. This is very important because if you brake hard or even drive fast, a damaged flipper can tear, which would not be safe.
  • In the event that the wheels have such an ornament, experts strongly recommend not exceeding the speed of 95 km/h.
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How to make the installation by yourself

If the decision is made, then the question arises – how to install the whitewalls with your own hands. It is quite simple and does not require a long time, you just need to perform the following steps.

  1. Very well wash the wheels and dry them.
  2. Lay the wheel on a flat and clean surface with the front side up and deflate it quite strongly.
  3. Next, you need to squeeze the tire until a gap is formed between the tire and the disc.
  4. Insert a decorative gasket into the gap, distributing it carefully around the entire diameter.
  5. Inflate the wheel a little and check how the wheel flipper feels. If there are no defects, inflate the wheel to normal and check how tightly the gasket fits to the disc.
  6. In case even very small defects are found, all the work will have to be done again, starting from the second point.
  7. The wheel must be installed on the vehicle.

Make your own installation

Carrying out tuning with the help of flippers on the wheels of the car, this is quite a spectacular technique. But before you decide to take such action, you should consider all possible disadvantages of such an improvement and see if such “beauty” will not worsen the quality of car control. Driving safety is the main thing for every driver.

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