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  1. #1
    Gold Member
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    Dec 2004
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    407
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    Andice, Texas

    Default Fixing Flats

    I took in the front tire from my JD5420 to get a patch put on it. It's a 11.4x24 tubless. I had put a plug in it, but it was leaking very slowly. Anyway, the guy charged me almost $50 to put a patch in it. This is a place that regularly fixes tractor tires and has been in business for many years. I thought the price was just a tad high.

    I know my grandfather changed tractor tires by hand, but he's long gone from this earth now. At $50 a pop, I'm thinking this might be a good thing to learn to do myself.

    Anyone have any words of wisdom for me? Any "how to change a tractor tire by hand" tutorials out there?

  2. #2
    Super Member ronjhall's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    7,448
    Location
    SE Michigan, TX when its cold in MI.
    Tractor
    Kubota 2910 HST

    Default Re: Fixing Flats

    Couple of words. Tire Irons. I got mine at TSC. Also bought a complete patch kit from them. I purchased a tire bead tool from Harbor Freight for $35 last year. I have not used it yet. Nothing worse than having a flat on a weekend and not being able to repair it.
    http://www.gemplers.com has section on changing a tire. I do not have big tires like they show. But the idea is the same.
    In my previous life before retirement one of the product lines I installed and serviced was automatic tire mounting and inflating equipment for the auto industry. You will spend much more time doing one repair than these machines do. One tire was mounted and inflated every 9 seconds.

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    37,779
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    Texas

    Default Re: Fixing Flats

    Was that a liquid filled tire? The only way I can imagine it costing that much would be if it were liquid filled with something that was very difficult to clean out to make a patch stick, or maybe if it had one of the "stop leak" products in it that was propelled by LPG.

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    48,804
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    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Fixing Flats

    Like Bird said.. unless there was somehting special.. like goop.. etc.. I hope you at least got a kiss or reach around after that price.

    My local mom-n-pop tire place charges 12$ for a car tir patch and 18$ for a tractor tire patch. Sometimes on small front tractor tires like 5.5-16 they will treat it like a car tire for 12$ etc.

    As for doing it yourself... boy.. ya gotta like to do it [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]. I've changed a few fronts using various spoons and irons like the other poster mentioned.. not too bad... Just keep a valve fishing tool valves and vegi-lube on hand for tube tires.. etc..

    For rears.. I think it would be almost a given to have a bead tool. I personally tote all mine down to the tire store.. I figure the 12-18$ is worth my time and there is less cussing [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    Soundguy

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    588
    Location
    Central Mississippi, USA
    Tractor
    Case-International 385, Kubota L5450 w/LA1150A loader

    Default Re: Fixing Flats

    I repair all my tractor flats and change my tires, too. Of course, my largest tire is 13.6X28. Breaking the bead is the worst part. I use a tire spoon that is flat on the leading edge, and not too sharp. I use a sledge hammer to drive the spoon between the bead on the rim and the tire. This has to be done several times, each one about 4 inches from the last. A little diluted dish soap squirted around seems to help. Eventually the tire will separate from the rim bead in that location.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    141
    Location
    Maysville, KY
    Tractor
    Case IH DC 33

    Default Re: Fixing Flats

    If itís a small leak in the tread area, and itís not filled with fluid, I use the fix-a-flat that you get at TSC. I get it in the gallon jug that you pump in. Just take the valve core out, let it air down, and pump a few squirts in. Put the valve core back in and pump it up and go for a drive. I find it works wonders on those small holes put in there by thorns. I even have one front tractor tire with three plugs in it. It started seeping around the plugs. Fix-a-flat took care of that.

  7. #7
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    2,711
    Location
    Catt county New York
    Tractor
    Kioti DK35, Ford 8N, Oliver Cletrac

    Default Re: Fixing Flats

    With 2 tractors when I get a flat I take the rim off and lay it on the ground. Take the stem out and line up the tractor with the edge of the flat and drive the other tractor over the flat to brake the bead. Then it's the old tire irons to take it off the rim and patch.

  8. #8
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    3,847
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 1025, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010

    Default Re: Fixing Flats

    For fronts, I'd have slimed it. That's what I did the first time one of my fronts went flat. Think a bottle of slime that'll do both front tires only costs about $12.

    I used to open my Dad's service station on Sunday afternoons, and he'd let me have all the profits. Biggest profit maker back in those days was flats by the Sunday drivers.

    Also back in those days, there were very few tire machines. So, I did everything with a bead breaker and a couple of tire irons. You can still buy those same bead breakers on the internet. They're just an L-shaped gizmo with the top part of the "L" having a projection on which there is a hinge. To that hinge is affixed a bar that goes down to a half-moon-looking piece of metal that mates up with the tire where the bead goes against the underside of the rim. All you do is let all the air out (usually flat already) and push down, rotate, push down, etc. until the bead comes loose from the rim. Do both sides. Prior to this, if you haven't located the leak, you need to reinflate the tire and find and mark the leak.

    You need a straight tire iron and one that looks a little curved on its flat end, like a spoon. Use the curved one to get behind the rim where the bead was and behind the rubber bead. Lever the tire bead up over the outside of the rim. Then use the straight tire iron to remove the rest of the bead, working your way in little bits around the bead. For bicycle tires, a couple big screwdrivers work fine.

    To remove the tire entirely from the rim now, position that curved iron again and either work your way around the bead with the straight one again OR you can whack the tire at the bead with a rubber mallet while you push the opposite direction on the rim. This was often faster than working your way around the rim with a tire iron, once you've mastered where to whack.

    Do your tire repair. This can be done with a cold patch or with a big "C" clamp to hold a hot patch in place over the leak spot.

    Now, to get the tire back on, I'd usually hold the rim in place with one foot with the tire held by both hands and whack it onto the rim to get it "stuck" to be able then to work my way around the bead with the straight or the curved irons. You can "stomp" it on, too, if you've big feet. With smaller tires, you can usually secure the bead in one spot with an iron and work it on with the other. The outer bead then is a bit easier to get started and levered back inside. It gets a whole lot more complicated if you have a tube. Gotta make sure you don't pinch the tube. May have to partly inflate the tube to keep it from getting pinched, etc. particularly if you've putting a split rim back together.

    With small tires, and even big ones, you can break the bead loose with a large chisel and a hammer or even a large screwdriver and hammer if the tire is really small. Then work around the bead with an iron to get it over the rim. We also had an impact chisel that was a huge long tube with a big chisel on the end and a cylindrical weight inside that we used to break beads, particularly on big truck tires.

    Really small tires sometimes are a "bitch" to get the bead broken and resealed. I've had to use a tension strap around some of these little buggers to get them to reseat. BE SURE and remove the tension on the strap before you get much pressure on the tire though. It often helps to remove the valve "core" (the Schrader valve inside the valve stem) when putting air into a tire to reseat it. Even helps to do this on tubes, remove core, inflate a bit, let out air, put core back in, inflate. This helps to keep the tube from being inflated with folds in it that can cause crease holes. (If there's a way of screwing up any of these operations, I've done them. What I'm telling you is ways to avoid the screwups. Having customers return after you've fixed their flats ain't too much fun.)

    Hope this helps. I made lots of money fixing flats on Sunday afternoons. Think little tires on either split or unsplit rims are almost the biggest challenge, particularly the ones on dollies or wheelbarrows.

    Ralph

  9. #9
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    3,847
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 1025, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010

    Default Re: Fixing Flats

    Here's an interesting bead breaker on http://www.tyrepliers.com.au/Products/breakers.htm

    Ralph
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    Oct 2004
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    2,923
    Location
    limerick pa lycoming county pa
    Tractor
    kubota bx23

    Default Re: Fixing Flats

    AS for bead breaking i use a short piece of 2x4 and the hoe or loader tooth let air out remove valve stem then put 2x4 by the rim lower tooth on it and push down should pop right down some times on bigger rims it mite take spinning rim a couple of times flip it over and pop the other bead then the tire irons can be used a jack and the vehichle weight will do in a pinch but hydraulics only take two fingers

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