12_Guy

Small tire foaming

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I have several small tires around here. 3.50/4.00x4-8 up to wheelbarrow size. The problem is that it seems that they are always flat. I am considering filling them with foam. I think this could be done professionally, like skid steer tires, but I don't know anybody who can around here. Even if someone did, it would probably not be cost effective. I can buy new flat free tires for $10 each. I am thinking about cutting off the valve stem and trying to fill the tire with a can of spray foam. Anyone ever try something like this? Have another idea for a permanent fix?  I have taken the tubes out and can never find any leaks. Fill it up and next time it is flat again. Thanks in advance. 

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Watching this with interest.  I have the same problem on moving type dollies.  Cheap tires and rims from china is my bet.

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These are most certainly "cheap tires and rims from China". Can you buy anything else?

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I was struggling with the same problems on two power feed carts.  I bought solid tires from a place called forklift tires inc.  They are the guys who make the claw daddy skid loader tires.  They sell you the tire and rim with the bearings in it.  They worked really well.  We have since traded one of the carts and Rissler’s put solid tires on the new  one for us also.  I recently bought a four wheel wagon to feed calves with and was able to buy that with solid tires as well.  It is great not having to fool around with the endless flat tires. 

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Nope they are all a problem. My jackson wheel barrow holds air fine.  Without looking I dont know if it has a higher quality wheel or tire.

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One of the local tire shops here does it, have you tried calling around?

 

but if you do the foam yourself let us know how it works

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ever tried the tire slime in it? Supposed to help but I've always kind of wondered. Our pressure washer has the small tires on it that are always flat too. Annoying when you want to move it even a short distance.

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At work they have a Billy Goat mower. It was constantly getting flat tires from blackberrys, tried slime and other tire sealers. It just leaked out the holes. Got new tires with tractor tread and had them foam filled. They are considerably heavier and it as better traction now.

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Dont know if they still sell it but napa had a silicone based tire sealer with beads of some kind in it. Not suppose to rust your rims and washed out with water. It does help but not a cure all.

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The problem with spray foam is that it degrades. Put some weight on it and it collapses thus leaving you with a flat that cannot be fixed. Ask your tire shop. If they can't foam it, they know who can.

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I tried it 10 years ago and it was a failure.  I could not get the foam to consistently fill the tire.  The stuff in the cans is too sticky to distribute.  If you buy some of the slow expanding liquid foam with the two part mix it might work, if you can figure the right amount to put in.  Too little an you have a soft spot, too much and it blows the tire off the rim.

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Putting foam in means having a way for air to get out. If I were going to do it, I would pull the valve stem and then inject the foam through a hole in the tread on the opposite side of the tire. When the foam comes out the valve stem hole, you're done. And, I would use the white foam, not the great stuff as it doesn't harden as much. 

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I would like try flotation foam for  boat,  the problem is that it is not cheap.

The foam is urethane so it is pliable when installed.

Yep, none of those d!@ Chinese tires will hold air over time.  The 8-12" boat trailer tires are fine season to season. Riding lawnmower tires are constantly low.

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Local shop was doing it , they would only do new tire you got from them only did it one day every couple of weeks charged more than tire I passed

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I would think any weight at all and that foam would crush and squash and be like it's half flat. I have 2 wheel barrows with airless tires and I love them. I think mine are foam of some type. I put 200lbs of wood in them all winter and never have a flat. Heck as cheap as it would be give it a whirl. Worst case it don't work and you buy a new one. 

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On 10/23/2017 at 10:51 PM, poor farmer/logger said:

ever tried the tire slime in it? Supposed to help but I've always kind of wondered. Our pressure washer has the small tires on it that are always flat too. Annoying when you want to move it even a short distance.

I tried slime on wheelbarrow and pressure washer tires and had no success.

Put a solid tire from Rural King on the wheelbarrow - think it was around $20 - and it works great. Don't have a pressure washer any more, and don't want another one.

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I think with Slime it has to be  a tire that moves enough to distribute the product around the inside of the tire.  I doubt a pressure washer gets moved enough for it to be effective.

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This had foam filled tires when I brought it home.  Five on each side. It had sat for several years and every one of them had turned egg shaped from sitting in one spot.

Groomers,  as they are commonly called, are almost always foam filled. Its still a common practice.The ski slopes run all night and don't want to have any down time from a flat.

When I replaced them I did not choose to fill the new ones with foam.  Its just a toy so I can check the air pressure before use.

The foam filled tires I removed were very heavy.

59f08dec3056a_Image8-14-17at11.03AM(2).jpg.387a203960f76bd8372f2913715341e0.jpg

 

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12 hours ago, Rawleigh99 said:

I think with Slime it has to be  a tire that moves enough to distribute the product around the inside of the tire.  I doubt a pressure washer gets moved enough for it to be effective.

Yes, it worked pretty well in my Kubota mower.

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12 hours ago, lorenzo said:

This had foam filled tires when I brought it home.  Five on each side. It had sat for several years and every one of them had turned egg shaped from sitting in one spot.

Groomers,  as they are commonly called, are almost always foam filled. Its still a common practice.The ski slopes run all night and don't want to have any down time from a flat.

When I replaced them I did not choose to fill the new ones with foam.  Its just a toy so I can check the air pressure before use.

The foam filled tires I removed were very heavy.

59f08dec3056a_Image8-14-17at11.03AM(2).jpg.387a203960f76bd8372f2913715341e0.jpg

 

Is that an Imp?  Or a Sprite?

I have some time in an Imp and under the hoods of Imps and Sprites.

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  1980 Thiokol  Super Imp with a 6 clyinder Ford

Its missing the badges like this picture I found on the WWW

59f140bc3601f_Image9-6-17at10_18PM.jpg.160f4a087ece34039a8e7e49f4102afd.jpg

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I'm ok with filling wheel boarrow tired every time i need it every 4 years or so....

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Thanks for all of your comments and interest. I was sure that I wasn't the only one that had this problem. I have decided to try 6 tires : 4 on my generator and 2 on the pressure washer. These are all lightly loaded, probably less than 50 lbs each. I will wait to see how it works out before I try the wheelbarrow or 2 wheeler. They get much more weight. My plan is to cut off the valve stem and insert the straw through a hole on the opposite side. As someone said I don't have much to loose. Thanks again, Mark. 

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I have read about someone cutting a hole in tire with a hole saw and pouring in concrete in tires such as wheelbarrows and the like. I have an old 15 ft batwing mower and it has the aircraft tires on the outside wings and I'm going to try it on them before I pay the 250-350$ for such a small tire. Either that or I'm going to a different size and do my best to adjust it to still have a level cut. Just remembered the article I read about putting concrete in certain tires was in Farm Show magazine a month or so back, I believe a man did it on the back tires of his lawn mower after dry rot problems or something like that.

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So after reading all of your comments, I went ahead with this experiment. I am sad to report that it was a complete failure. I removed the tube and made a small hole on the sidewall opposite the stem hole. I applied foam on both sides of the rim and into the hole in the wheel. Everything seemed to be fine. Foam pushed out of both holes, the tire felt somewhat hard and even seemed to be seated on the rim. When I checked it tonight however, the tire was not as tight on the rim and the tire was not inflated at all. The squeeze out cured fine but the foam inside did not cure at all. Based on how it looked last night, l was hopeful for a good result. Tonight was disappointing. I'm $5 poorer and still have flat tires. I am assuming that the foam needs contact with air or the moisture in the air to cure. I may try to fill up the tire now that the rim is removed and then reinstall the rim. Nothing to loose at this point. 

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