My TC 33D goes in Tuesday to get the FEL put on (finally!) I had intended to fill the tires with Calcium Chloride. That seems pretty common in this area (Vermont). After reading some of the horror stories here about rusted out rims, I'm having second thoughts. The salesman (not the service guy) said they don't use tubes when they fill. He said rusting is not a problem, since they fill the tire to just above the rim (no air= no rust).
I'd appreciate any thoughts on this. Should I insist on tubes being installed? Or does this make matters worse (tube springs a slow leak, I little gets outside the tube and onto the rim ... with the little bit of air, it starts rusting)?
I don't envision the need to ever remove the weight (not concerned about turf damage). I'm running R4 tires on my TC33D. Mostly used for brush hogging, FEL work and eventually some landscaping/road work probably with a box scraper.
Re: Filled Tires?
John_Mc, Well, as you say this has been kicked around on this board. I guess it comes down to preference. Most of the rust damage I've seen has been on older tractors such as the 9/8 N's. The worst being on the front wheels of these tractors. And because of the age, wheels in good condition are hard to find. I've seen some unbeleavable feats of "engineering" done to put front wheels on these tractors.
In my mind it comes down to how long you intend to keep your tractor, and how willing you are to replace the wheels in your golden years.
Re: Filled Tires?
John, I am currently considering Arnco Superflex filling for my fronts, and I was at one of the oldest tire dealers in CT the other day discussing foam and liquid fill processes. In the process, I picked up the Goodyear Farm Tire Handbook (which is also available online). From these sources and these forums, I see five questions related to hydroinflation.
1. How much weight does it add? Mixed at 3.5 lbs per gallon of water, Ca adds 20% more weight than the water alone. Mixed at 5 lbs. per gallon, it adds 28% more weight. I dont know whether antifreeze adds any additional weight at all. For a 75% hydrofill in the 15x19.5 R4 rear tires on a TC33, the Goodyear charts give the following weights per tire: water alone, 240 lbs; Ca, 294 or 320 lbs, depending on the mixture strength.
2. Does Ca hurt the rim while it is in the tire? Goodyear says: "Either tube-type or tubeless tires may be filled with calcium chloride solution. Rim corrosion is not a problem with tubeless tires as long as the tire is always kept inflated. This keeps the outside air sealed away from the rim and restrains corrosion."
3. What happens to the rim if the tire leaks? Goodyear says: "A rim used tubeless with calcium chloride solution must be rinsed with tap water immediately after dismounting to prevent extremely rapid corrosion." I used a tube with my Ca so I could voluntarily add or remove the solution without worrying about it touching my rims. As to involuntary leaks, whether tubed or tubeless, I guess you have to detect it right away and take quick steps to wash the rim. This may not be practical in a field situation, and would not be an issue with antifreeze.
4. What is the liklihood of getting a leak or flat? Depends. Certainly is more likely with a turf tire than an R4. It's a lot more likely on the fronts than the rears. It would be a lot more likely on a construction site (nails) than on a lawn. It is more likely in thorny brush field than in a grass field. I concluded that, for the Ca weight gain in my R4 rears, the flat risk was worth taking.
5. What happens to the environment in the event of a spill? My understanding is that Ca will burn vegetation but, as a salt, is completely biodegradable. My further understanding is that antifreeze is not biodegradable, and that it can kill, although not burn, vegetation.
The ultimate solution is the Arnco Superflex filling. This would add 370 lbs to each of your rears, prevents flats, cant leak, keeps your tire always at proper inflation pressure, absorbs shock, and supposedly rides just like air. If you have to ask what it costs, you cant afford it.
Re: Filled Tires?
I guess it is a matter of personal preferance but... I would at the very least insist on tubes if you go with the calcium chloride. I had it in the tires on my last tractor & vowed never again. The stuff is caustic - its as simple as that. I had to replace the valve stem cores at least once a year because they would start to leak. Eventually it ate right through the valve stem itself!! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img] I spoke with other people that used it & they had similar experiences. It is great if you don't mind a little extra maint. That reminds me - when you need to remove your wheels remember how heavy they will be - makes it very hard for a do-it-yourselfer. I went for the steel wheel weights this time around to save myself the headaches.