Lawn tractor tire problem

Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: MarkV On: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:38 pm

Need some advice. The front tire of my lawn tractor developed a slow leak last fall. I pumped it up about every 3 weeks or so thinking I'd get it fixed over the winter.

After calling around, I learned no auto tire places will repair a tractor tire. Apparently their tire mounting gear won't work on that small a tire or rim. There's only one lawn and garden dealer (John Deere) nearby, and I won't go there--they get really snotty with anyone who doesn't own one of their JD tractors. Sorta stupid on their part because a might consider a JD next time if not for that.

One of the auto tire guys recommended trying to seal the tire with Green Slime. I bought some, along with a valve stem core kit, with a tool and cores.

I checked the tire to make sure their were no obvious metal objects through the tread--there weren't. So I assume the problem is either the tire seal against the wheel, or the valve stem.

When I went to remove the stem core, it seemed loose, and I think that may have been where it was leaking. Put in a new stem core and tightened it up good, then refilled the tire...so far, so good.

If it 's still leaking, I'll go ahead with the slime. But I'm curious...is there any way to remove a tractor tire from the rim and reseal it, using commonly available hand tools?
MarkV
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: Carbon12 On: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:59 pm

I am by no way recommending this but i saw on Ice Road Truckers once they had to re seal a tire on the truck. They sprayed some starter fluid in the tire and lit it. BOOM! The expanding, burning gas sealed the tire to the rim. :shock:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0K1V00yUe6o
Carbon12
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: jpete On: Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:17 am

You can pop the bead by deflating the tire and using pry bars and hammers to knock it off. Seal the bead area with whatever glue you plan on using then wrap a ratchet strap or something similar around the tire. Tighten it as much as you can. Squeezing the middle will force the sides out close to the rim. In a pinch, you can use rope and a bar to twist the rope and get to the same point. Then take the valve core out and blast air in to seat the bead. I used a rubber tipped air nozzle. Anything that will allow full air flow.

I did this once on a Bobcat tire my neighbor unseated while abusing the rental machine. :)
jpete
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: Wanna Bee On: Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:19 am

Standard tire irons should make it a piece of cake. You need to have an idea how to break tires down though. Small ones are a bit harder than large ones too.

Slime should do the trick if you use it. I've had it in tires on construction equipment for years without any problems. Works every time too.
Wanna Bee
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: cabinover On: Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:58 am

Piece of cake? Huh, I've never seen a small tire I liked working on and I've changed hundreds of truck tires over the years.

As for ether.....don't use it on your small tractor tire.

The slime works great if you do what the directions say. Put it in and drive it for about two beers around your block. Had a friend do it last year here with his tire. The tire still holds air but he lost his buzz pretty quickly. :lol:
cabinover
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:27 am

cabinover wrote:Piece of cake? Huh, I've never seen a small tire I liked working on and I've changed hundreds of truck tires over the years.


Same here, I'd rather change 5 22.5's than one small lawn mower tire.

Sounds like the valve stem may have been the problem all along, but if it continues to leak it won't hurt to put the Slime in. I use a commercial grade tire sealant in nearly everything that runs off road.
Rob R.
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: Freddy On: Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:32 am

Other than auto, I change all my own tires.... lawn & garden, bicycle, even changed a rear tire on my backhoe once. Small tires I break the bead by stepping on them, larger ones I use a sledge hammer. You are not allowed to hit the rim! Once in a great while I'll use my wood splitter & chunks of two by fours. First, remove the valve stem. Don't put it back until you are ready to inflate the tire. Tire irons and large screw drivers are a must. Dish soap & water makes for good lube. Always start at the stem when removing, and end at the stem when putting back on. The edge of the tire away from the first tire iron must be pushed in the center of the wheel. That's what gives slack to allow it to start over the rim. Here's a pretty good u-tube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlePZIlRG4c

I got a kick out of how he talks about not telling how much pressure it takes to seat the bead. Even I have to say never put more then the manufacturer recommends, but I personally never put over 80PSI in a NEW tire....used ones less. Do not have your body near a tire when it's heavy on air....ever! I have let one set for 10 minutes at 80 before "POW!" it seated itself.

For my lawn & garden stuff I buy tubes and use nitrogen to fill 'em. With nitrogen they stay inflated 6 months easy.

I don't use slime any more. Yuccccck. If you ever change a tire that has slime in it I think you'll shy away too....but... lot's of people have good luck with it.
Freddy
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:00 am

DO NOT PUT MORE THAN THE RECOMMENDED PSI IN A LAWN TRACTOR TIRE !!!! If you put green slime in your tire & then bring it to my shop for repair you will PAY : for each minute it takes me to clean the crap off the rim ,my shop floor ,my tools ,my clothes ,can you tell that i utterly despise that crap known as tire sealant ??? Got a leaky tire ?? first determine where the leak is ,a thorn hole can easily be plugged,dry rotted tire if not cracked thru from outside to inside will benefit from a tube installation ,or put a new tire on,NEVER use that sealant crap !!! Did i mention it also is a skin irritant ?? oh & irritating all around ,so use sealant & when the tire goes flat again throw the rim & tire away & buy a whole new assembly,or do it the smart way ,no sealant !!! :mad3: :!:
windyhill4.2
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: tjnamtiw On: Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:19 am

The SLIME works great on small tires for low rpm's BUT like someone said, you need to drive it around for a while to distribute the stuff to all areas of the inside. Yep, who ever has to finally change the tire when it wears our or dry rots will be cussing but that's down the road. Use the Slime.
To seat the bead on small tires like lawn mowers and wheelbarrows, I just take a length of rope, tie it around the tire, and then take a big screwdriver and twist the rope like a tourniquet until it collapses the center and pushes out against the bead. Hit it with a puff of air and voila, it's sealed. Remove the rope and inflate all the way.

Never use Slime in car tires though as it will REALLY throw it out of balance.
tjnamtiw
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: mozz On: Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:47 am

It think a small bottle of slime is about $10. Like others have said, it makes a mess if the tire does ever have to come off the rim. I change all my own tires, lawn tractors, cars, with a set of my dads old tire irons, rubber mallet, hammer and whatever else i need(swearing included). Take them to sams club for balancing. You can pick up a new tire and get 4 ply if you look around. Put it in a bucket of water and look for leaks, it may need a plug, thorns will go right through 2 ply.
mozz
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:54 am

Well,take it from someone who works on lawn & garden equipment full time,all year long,tire sealant is not worth the aggravation,it is a short term,quick fix that really does not fix the problem,just prolongs it & worsens it,causing the rim to rust & that is why i stated earlier if you use sealant you can eventually throw the rim & tire away & buy a new assembly.That is my opinion based on years of experience with tire issues. I break the beads down with a 1" wide DULL chisel ,dull as in flat on the end dull,seating the bead is rarely a problem ( i do these all the time so easy for me to say that) remove the core from the stem & use air nozzle or stick the air coupler right on the stem for max air (have to be able to pull it off quickly so as not to blow the tire off the rim),i use screwdrivers or pry bars to mount the tire on the rim,as most tire irons are to wide to use for the small steps needed with these small tires. Sams club balances lawn tractor tires :shock: what on earth for :?: how fast does yours go on your super speedway smooth lawn ?? :shock:
windyhill4.2
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: Lu47Dan On: Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:54 am

Since it is a small tire, you can submerge it in a tank or tub and look to see where it is leaking. Or use soapy water in a spray bottle to find them. If the leak is on one of the beads than, most likely it has rust or dirt in it. If the leak is in the tread than I would use a rope plug instead of Slime. If it is multiple small leaks in the tread than a tube will fix that.
I picked up a newer Cub Cadet (MTD) lawn tractor at a yard sale for $100 that the owner was selling because he was tired of chasing leaks on the tires. I pulled the tires of the tractor, dismounted them and sandblasted and repainted the insides of the wheel. Once the paint was dry I remounted the tires and aired them up. Checked the tires for leaks and fixed two small ones. Put them back on and sold the tractor for $600. The old owner never used soapy water to find the leaks before he aired them back up.
Buying four new tires would have been in the range of $300, they were odd sized and only available through the CUB dealer at the time.
I have fixed a lot of L/G tires over the years, but sometimes it is better to replace them than fit with them.
Dan.
Lu47Dan
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:48 pm

windyhill4.2 wrote:Well,take it from someone who works on lawn & garden equipment full time,all year long,tire sealant is not worth the aggravation,it is a short term,quick fix that really does not fix the problem,just prolongs it & worsens it,causing the rim to rust & that is why i stated earlier if you use sealant you can eventually throw the rim & tire away & buy a new assembly.That is my opinion based on years of experience with tire issues.


It is too bad that "Slime" is the only on the shelf tire sealant in most stores...it gives the "real" tire sealants a very bad name. I suppose on lawn equipment the math is a lot different (cheap tires), but I have never seen anything save a large farm thousands faster than a quality tire sealant. The commercial products have corrosion inhibitors so the wheel won't rust, they don't separate, they allow the bead to release easily, and the best part...the good ones clean up easily with water. This one is the real deal: http://www.texasrefinery.com/images/lb-tireseal.pdf When you take off some tires costing thousands each that haven't needed any air in years...and you find nails and thorns sticking right through the tire....you just smile about all those service calls you saved. We saved thousands of dollars on our farm in just a few years. Manure tanker tires, skidsteer tires, and loader tires seem to benefit the most.
Rob R.
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: theo On: Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:01 pm

before breaking tire off the rim use soapy water and go around the rim and tire to verirfy that is where it is leaking from before all the hassle
theo
 
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Re: Lawn tractor tire problem

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:04 pm

Well Rob,we never get to see a quality sealant like that,the crap we see will badly irritate your skin & stink up the shop,it does not wash off,it has to be scrapped off or even power wire brushed off,i will definitely check into that product & see if it is economically viable for our use,thank you! As theo says it would only be common sense to check for leaks b4 taking the tire off the rim.
windyhill4.2
 
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