mower flat tire

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Old 08-10-18, 11:53 AM
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mower flat tire

My stepson called and said he had a flat tire on his craftsman riding mower [one of the smaller ones] so I took my air tank over there to air up the tire. After filling it with air I spun the tire around to see if I could find out why it went flat. It has a nail in the tread. It's a tubeless tire but the sidewall states 14 psi max pressure. I forgot to see what size rim it is. Can this type of tire be plugged? or does the tire need to come off for a vulcanized patch?
 
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Old 08-10-18, 12:14 PM
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It can be plugged, no problem. A plug would be less permanent than a patch though. These tires are thin and the plugged area cracks and leaks eventually.
 
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Old 08-10-18, 12:33 PM
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Thanks, I can do a plug .... I'll see what he wants to do.
 
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Old 08-10-18, 01:37 PM
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Tubes are available for tractor size tires in the 5-10 dollar range.
 
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Old 08-10-18, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by beelzeboob
Tubes are available for tractor size tires in the 5-10 dollar range
That's a good idea, especially because it's a "front" tire. Once the bead is disrupted on these, the tires, they often can't quite seal properly again; all the more so if the yard is rough and produces a lot of grit . . . . a tube brings that trouble to an end.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 08-10-18 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 08-10-18, 03:06 PM
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I just put tubes in several tires (two 2 wheeler trucks and a lawnmower). It's kind of tough but eventually I got them in. The big trick is not to puncture the tube on the process of installing the tire on the rim.
 
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Old 08-10-18, 03:15 PM
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If you go the tube route, a bench vise is handy to use to hold the hub while working with the tire and tube.
 
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Old 08-10-18, 05:44 PM
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Once the bead is broken, i screw the rim to a 2x6/8 using 2 lags thru the bolt holes, then place the 2 by in the vise to do the grunt work. Only need to remove 1 bead to install the tube. I use 2 small C clamps to hold one side of the bead down when reinstalling the tire. Otherwise, the task require 3 hands.
 
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Old 08-11-18, 04:26 AM
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I would check on a tube first too. I've successfully plugged a few, but, as mentioned, the rubber is not that thick, so have typically gone the tube route. It's not that bad of a job usually, although much easier if the rim halves happen to be bolted. Otherwise I clamp a bolt the size of the axle in a vise, and work it just like if it were on a tire changer.
 
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Old 08-11-18, 04:36 AM
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I've not talked to her son yet but my wife thinks I should just plug it and have him buy an air pump if it looses air. That would be the easiest solution for me although I do agree installing a tube sounds like the best fix.
 
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Old 08-11-18, 07:40 AM
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A plug in a thin wall tire might have a surprisingly short life. The seal is, just the edge of the hole making a ring around the plug. It is glued togehter and glue relies on stickiness compared with materials bonded or welded together. The surface area for the mating surfaces for the glue is very small. In addition the plug can rock and tilt back and forth in the hole and this makes the seal crack more easily.

In a car tire the thickness of the rubber makes for a greater mating surface area and also cuts down on rocking and tilting of the plug.
 
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Old 08-11-18, 01:46 PM
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I'm a bicyclist and a tire patch connoisseur. In the days before cell phones, a patch that failed meant a l-o-o-o-n-g walk home, so it was important to only get what you knew was going to work. Without fail. I'd recommend he go to the bicycle section at Wally World and look for a "Slime" brand of patch kit. According to the website, it's only $2.

For years I was devoted to 'Rema," a German brand of tire patch. One day I was out of Rema patches and happened to be walking through WW's bicycle section and thought what the heck, I'll try 'em. IMHO, they're every bit the match for my trusted Rema patches.

They work just like the old school filling station patch kit. Scruff up the surface, apply the glue sparingly, let it dry a bit, then apply the patch. When I put them on bicycle inner tubes, I clamp down the just-applied patch with an Irwin Quik-Grip, not too hard, just hard enough to ensure complete contact.

WW also sells Slime patch kits in the automotive section but they're larger patches and a more expensive kit. IMHO, the bike kit is cheaper and the patch sizes are adequate.

WW also carries Slime instant patches that go by the name 'Skabs.' Not recommended.

FWIW, all my mower's tires are old and leaky. Each spring I buy a bottle of Slime liquid sealant (~$9) and divide it up between the all four tires, a bit extra in the rears. Then I go all season only having to add air maybe three times.
 
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Old 08-11-18, 02:55 PM
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I've heard good and bad about the liquid slime. The bicycle experts here do not recommend it. But when I was having lost air in my ATV every few weeks the dealer (Cabela's) inserted Slime and I've had no problems since.
 
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Old 08-12-18, 02:30 PM
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Norm201:
I've heard good and bad about the liquid slime. The bicycle experts here do not recommend it. But when I was having lost air in my ATV every few weeks the dealer (Cabela's) inserted Slime and I've had no problems since.
A bicycle tire is a horse of another color from a lawn mower/garden tractor tire. As bike tires go, MTB tires are high volume and low pressure, but lawn mower tires are much higher volume and much lower pressure than MTB tires, which makes them a much less demanding application. I've used Slim-brand tubes (which come pre-loaded with their liquid sealant) on mountain bikes and found they have very good puncture resistance. But that also depends on the kind of debris you come across on your trails. You would expect any decent sealant to heal a small puncture but if you cut the tire's carcass on sharp rocks or trail debris, all bets are off.

All that said, I have tubeless tires on my best MTB and I prefer other than Slime-brand sealant in them (all tubeless bicycle tires use liquid sealant). Tubeless road bike tires are a much newer proposition and I don't yet like the variety or the price point they're offered at.

But the 'regular' Slime patch kit is as good as any I've ever used. And I've got near as makes no difference 200,000 miles logged on bicycles, mountain and road. With more than a few flats along the way.
 

Last edited by Fred_C_Dobbs; 08-12-18 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 09-22-18, 10:05 AM
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About a month ago, one of the 10-psi rear tires on the back of my riding mower started losing air fast enough that it needed pumping every week so I decided to put some Slime in it. I didn't know it at the time but it was leaking through a crease that had formed in the sidewall when the tire sat flat last winter. I had about 1/3rd of a bottle of Slime rmaining from the last time I had used it but it had been sitting on the shelf in an unheated, unairconditioned storage room for several years. I put that in the tire, inflated it and then spun it on its side like a spinning plate to make sure the inner sidewall was coated, just in case. By the time I got it remounted on the mower I noticed a small amount of Slime had blown through the crease in the sidewall, showing me where the leak had been.

But that did a pretty fair job of sealing it because I haven't needed to add air since. And that's been typical of my experience with Slime. It works pretty well in low pressure applications. I wouldn't have used it if I ever intended patching it but these tires are on their last legs, as is the mower, and I will be surprised if either survives next season.
 
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Old 09-23-18, 04:10 AM
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We put slime in one of my son's tires on his old lawnmower - he wasn't impressed - said he still had to air it up every month. I plugged my stepson's tire a month ago and he hasn't called back ........ well not exactly, he called the other night and said the engine would surge when you engaged the blade. Guess I'll have to go over there and check that out.
 
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