Apr 11, 2009

A Cool Idea?

I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for video. In the last year, I've been sent at least a half-dozen YouTube clips that turned out to be phony; and I fell for all of them. This could be the same kind of scam, but it makes some sort of sense; at least, to me. It's a hell of an idea for those field repairs that require more time, tools, and patience than some of us have.


  1. Tom,

    For some odd reason I could not get the movie started, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this video and without seeing it, I think I know your question.

    This guy is spraying some flammable stuff inside the tire, tossing in a match, and “baawoooof” the tire re-seats itself on the rim.

    This is not pretend. Well, I’m not sure about this specific video, but I know a very few people who have done this. Steve Ahlers of Duluth (from the world round) has done it to motorcycle tires. I don’t know much about it with car tires, but some people say it works ok with motorcycle tires.

    Call me a chicken, but I’m never planning to go down that route, unless maybe I was stranded in the desert without water and the two choices were to die or fix the tire. I don’t recommend this to my friends.

    Seems that I recall that starting fluid is one weapon of choice, here. Those on a lower rung of the evolutionary ladder might actually use a bit of gas.

    I do have some tricks up my sleeve for seating tires on rims, and I use them fairly often cuz were’ always changing tubeless tires on the back of the trials bikes, and those suckers, designed to run at just a few pounds of air, are designed to hold that bead TIGHT. My method uses a round, squishy, rubber ring (but not a tube because it is solid). You place this between the tire and rim of an unseated tire and it creates enough of a seal so you can use fairly low air pressure to get the actual tire bead connected and eventually to fully seat. To make this work you need LOTS and LOTS and LOTS of soapy water so the rubber ring thingeey will squish or pop out as the tire seats.

    I’ve also perfected a neat way to break the bead. I lay the wheel flat (not vertical) under the back of the Pathfinder. The wheel is supported off the ground by strategically placed chunks of two by fours. I use the hydraulic jack from a deceased little pickup truck. The jack goes between the top of the side of the tire and the bottom of the trailer hitch. Actuallly, the jack rests on top of a block of two by four that sits on the side of the tire. With just a very little practice, you figure how to line everything up just right and then crank on the jack, and she pops right off. This method can work at the pits, too, cause you usually have a jack handy. Breaking beads on trials tires can drive you nuts cuz they hold so tight and the sidewalls are so flexible.

    There ya go. I’m hanging around campus today because we’re still looking for a student who likely slipped off a path and into the river last weekend.


  2. Sorry it didn't work for you. Are you on a Mac? The movie is an AVI, which seems to stump Quicktime, regardless of plugins.

    The vehicle is a can of WD-40. It looks pretty straight-forward, but I'd want to see an in-person demo before I'd put it in my bag of tricks.

    I suck at tire repairs. It takes me a long afternoon to replace the V-Strom's tires and about half that to do the Super Sherpa's tube tires. I could use a trick or two.

  3. Tom,
    Years ago,I saw this done in person and it works. I have not had to deal with a failed attempt or those that have failed using this. I have heard tell that there have been mild to severe mishaps in seating the bead in this way.



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