inflating a wheelbarrow tire

jester(central IN)October 13, 2005

I feel rather stupid posting a question such as this, but I am stymied. Our wheelbarrow has a tubeless tire, with an air valve through the metal rim. I went out to haul some stuff the other day, and the tire was dead flat. Now I cannot for the life of me figure out how to re-inflate the thing. There is no tube, and there is no seal between the tire and the rim, so what's to keep the air from escaping? Does anyone have a tip for this novice? I hope I will not have to go out and buy a new wheel everytime the old one goes flat.

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montesa_vr(Minnesota)

Jester, I had the same problem. I found a service station where the compressor was off to the side so I wouldn't have a big audience, and I finally got the tire inflated by simultaneously pressing the middle of the tread into the rim while blasting air through the valve. I'm sure it was an interesting spectacle.

After I got it filled it went flat again in less than a week. I went throught the routine about three more times before I bought an inner tube. Tear the valve stem out with a channelock pliers. It's a little tricky getting the tube evenly distributed in the tire and the tire beads inside the rim and the stem lined up through the hole in the rim, but once you pump it up at least it will hold air. Mine hasn't needed topping off in two months now.

I'm sure there is a way to apply some kind of adhesive to the tire bead and continue to run tubeless, but I was jammed for time.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 12:41PM
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jay_nj(Zone 6)

Wrap a piece of rope around the tire, tie a knot, place a stick between the rope an the tire tread and begin twisting. The rope will wind up and get tighter around the tire tread and force the side wall and bead outward against the rim..

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 12:51PM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

what Jay_NJ said. go around the circumference of the tire twist it tight, and air it up. a friend showed me this a few years back, up until then i would fight for 30 minutes to air a flat tire.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 1:37PM
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Jeffrey_(Upstate NY)

Took my wheel to the local Agway, and had them install a tube for $5.

Later did the same thing with my lawn mower wheel.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 1:59PM
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john_c(N.EAST GA.)

I'v found that a tie down strap used as Jay NJ described works a bit better, it's wider than a rope, and if you slip it back through the metal hook on the end it's easier to release quickly when the bead sets and the tire begins to inflate. I've also found the pre-slimed tubes at the hardware store (apprx $11)is an almost sure cure for the repeat offenders, that's what's in the fronts on my snapper RER after about the 3rd go around. For a wheelbarrow tire, have you thought about one of those solid never flat tires??

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 4:48PM
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brit101(Z3 Que.)

If the tourniquet technique does not work, cover the beads of the tire with dish detergent to make it more pliable and give a better seal. If this doesn't work remove the inner part of the tire valve, which is the actual valve and with a helper using the touniquet or pressing the tire on the tread part inflate the tire tire and quickly replace the tire valve.

Recently I experienced the same frustration you did with a garden cart tire. Usually the tourniquet method was all that was req'd, however this year not so. The mechanic who knew of the inner valve removal/method suggested to keep more pressure in the tire than the 5 lbs suggested because it makes the bead make better contact the rim, and therefore less leakage.

If all else fails, install a tube as others have suggested, but exhaust simpler suggestions first:o)

Post a followup to let us know of your results..success or lack of, good luck.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 4:57PM
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hydroharold(Hudson Vly NY)

Any handling of smaller tires and tubes goes far easier with a light application of plain ol' cheapo drugstore brand BABY POWDER. Just dust it on the tube and spread it around with your hands, takes the stickiness off the tube and the tube will expand more evenly inside the tire at low pressures. Bikes, wheelbarrows etc....

Regarding "Pre Slimed Tubes". In case some are not familiar with "SLIME", it's a liquid product that is installed in tubes/tires that prevents flats due to punctures. It goes by other brand names but it's generic name is "tire and tube sealant" and should be available at any good equipment dealer or agri-supply store (no tire dealers around here sell it). With tube type tires just mount wheel/tire and add the product as per instructions. With tubeless tires mount tire and seat bead correctly before adding product. IT WORKS!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 5:52PM
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nod702(z7Tenn.)

Walmart sells the Slime sealent for around 8 bucks. They sell another brand for around 5 bucks. I've used the cheaper version several times and have had no problems. They also sell a tube for wheel barrow tires that is supposed to be puncture proof. I haven't tried them yet but a friend bought one and said it worked great.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 6:16PM
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machiem(Z8 WA)

I suggest a solid tire for about $40. You'll never get another flat. Your local tire shop will install for free when you purchase it from them.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 10:56PM
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gooseberry_guy(MI)

The tire sealants work well for rim leaks and tires that really aren't airtight, such as from age or a pinhole leak.

Just make sure you rotate the tire to distribute the Slime all around the rim.

GG

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 12:20AM
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genesii(z5NYS)

I genererally use a bungi cord wrapped around the circumference of the tread area, this compresses the tread area and expands the bead to the rim.

I woundn't do this one myself, but I purchased a new tire one time and absoulutely could not get it to expand and seat, took it to my tire dealer, they sprayed in ether and ignited it, pushed the bead right out to the rim. To dangerous for me, but they did it for free.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 5:15PM
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davefr

Squirt a healthy dose of lighter fuid in the tire and light it. The explosion will seat the bead on the rim.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 5:44PM
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gooseberry_guy(MI)

Removing the valve core may allow more air to flow through the stem so that the larger volume of air will help blow the tire out to the rim. Once it seats on the rim, replace the core and inflate it to service pressure.

GG

    Bookmark   October 15, 2005 at 11:00PM
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Fisher

Wheelbarrow tires are not rigid enogh to mount in the standard way, and the rims are so that the bead will not seat and stay like a normal tire, so I just tube it.
Fish

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 9:09AM
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ohmyrakinback(KY)

a little grease around the whole bead will make it easier to seat,and also helps the beads seal.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 8:42PM
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hydroharold(Hudson Vly NY)

Omab, I have to take exception to using "grease" on tire rubber. Some greases are not compatable with rubber and will degrade it. A better formula is a mild dish soap solution or commercial "Ru-Glide". Both are safe on rubber and evaporate leaving nothing behind. Make the soap/water solution so it feels a bit slippery to your fingers and put it on with a cheap-o brush or sprayer. But if'n you don't have any soap use the baby powder on the bead. You'll be surprised how slippery it is on metal/rubber contact areas.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2005 at 11:34PM
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jester(central IN)

Thanks to all for the many suggestions. I was out of town for the weekend, so have not yet had the opportunity to try any of the remedies proposed. I will be sure to post my results.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 10:02AM
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ohmyrakinback(KY)

Grease has always worked best for me,and has never ate a tire.I dont go by the book,whatever works I do.Please dont take that as being rude or smart ass,cause its just my opinion on how to solve a problem.Thats whats so great about this forum,lots of different opinions.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 8:19PM
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snuffyinatl

My advice is to trash the regular tire, get a boat trailer tire and a tube, and never worry about a flat again. They seem to last forever this way.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 9:52PM
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jshort

Tube it.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2005 at 5:13PM
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keydelsys33(PA)

I've had tubes installed on all my hand trucks. I've never had a problems with flat tires since then. Nothing like getting a flat when you're trying to move something heavy.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 10:21AM
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hopdaddie(7)

I was able to use a long, thick leather belt tightly wrapped around the tire while inflating it. It worked great.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2005 at 1:33PM
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jester(central IN)

this past week end I went ahead and tried the 'tourniquet' method and the tire inflated nicely. It may also have had something to do with the fact that I bought a much nicer and easier to use air pump, too. We'll see how long this solution holds air. I will keep the forum informed of any further developments. Again, thanks to all who took the time to offer help. What did we do back in the dark ages, before the internet, when these kinds of questions arose?

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 2:18PM
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montesa_vr(Minnesota)

We asked Grandpa, who lived next door.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 2:31PM
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brit101(Z3 Que.)

Thank you for the followup. You asked what we did before the internet, paid for needless tubes, tires and other repairs at shops.:o)

Grampa was ok for a few things he knew about, however it is nice to tap into the internet for limiting the repairs on all our modern day tools, computers, automobiles etc. This thread is not only for your benefit but for others with the same problem. I enjoyed learning about the lighter fluid technique.Wish this site had an archive to benefit others better, however it is still a great service the way it is, with lots of knowledgeable people sharing like Butch and Fisher.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 2:09PM
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montesa_vr(Minnesota)

Yeah, the internet is an amazing resource. When my dryer started making a horrible noise I couldn't figure out how to get it apart. I found instructions, complete with photographs, on the net. I was ready to try to take the back off when I really needed to pop the top and tip the front out. It would have been a disaster without the information.

Agree on Butch and Fish, also would add Canguy, and Slammer and John Deere on the tractor forum have been a wealth of information. And a bunch more of you that deserve recognition but don't come to mind now.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 10:52AM
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brit101(Z3 Que.)

Montesa when you mentioned solving your dryer problem it made me recall my washing machine problem. Found the site and ordered the part and installed it.

Fixing a washing machine was something I had never experienced, however with the symptoms, suggestions the plus the diagrams,the repair was a snap. Far quicker than waiting for the repairman, or dealing with granpa:o)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 11:00AM
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Socalinspector

Ether or Starting fluid has always worked for me. 3 easy steps, 1. spray 2. light match & throw into tire 3. BOOM, bead is now set :>)

    Bookmark   October 27, 2005 at 10:43PM
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obio3(NW MT)

Here's one works great and is cheap > Rubber cement on both tire bead and rim seat > Don't matter how long it takes to get it to inflat but with a strap it should go quick > I had a golf car repair business for many years > No winter golf in Montana lol and those golf car tires were bad for slow leak beads > lots of flats in the spring > I never had a tire leak down after this aplication again and in the event of a flat taking the tire apart was no problem

    Bookmark   October 28, 2005 at 4:34PM
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montesa_vr(Minnesota)

Two week ago I wrote, "I'm sure there is a way to apply some kind of adhesive to the tire bead and continue to run tubeless..."

Yesterday, OBIO3 comes up with the answer: rubber cement. The Tool Shed forum comes through again. Hooray for OBIO3. For anyone who want to continue to run tubeless, here is a tested method.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 11:35AM
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hydroharold(Hudson Vly NY)

"Ether or Starting fluid has always worked for me. 3 easy steps, 1. spray 2. light match & throw into tire 3. BOOM, bead is now set :>)"

Oh, yeah? Well I lost a good maintainence job for a construction outfit using that method! Since it takes about five gallons of gas for a Euclid pan tire I blew all the windows out of shop, office and four nearby houses... :)

    Bookmark   October 29, 2005 at 10:30PM
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jammer1(mass)

I prefer all steel wheels--I never get a flat,and the wheelbarrow is always ready to work....................quite a few years back,I found 1 at an antique store and I love it!........Other than that,I would clean the bead,and apply some form of lubricant/sealer........just to be sure,I would paint the inside of the wheel,to seal any slow leaks,before I did that.............good luck

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 7:17PM
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brit101(Z3 Que.)

HydroHarold, does one lay the tire on the side, suspect so, however since we are on the subject thought now is a good time to ask? Safety glasses, ear muffs and a cap to reduce singed hair seems the appropriate dress code?

Euclid tires I assume would be quite trying, not many larger, thank you for sharing the incident, naturally got a laugh from the "blown out windows":o) but sorry about the job.:o(, guess a tad heavy on the gasoline charge.:o)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 8:22PM
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hydroharold(Hudson Vly NY)

Brit,
2.5 (Imp.) gallons is plenty for anything biggeer than a road grader tire! As far as safety proceedures, as the lit match is in the air close eyes tight while putting fingers in BOTH ears! :)>

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 11:02PM
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schammy(92646)

I have a hand cart/dolly with two flat tubeless tires. After reading this very informative post, i lubed the bead with a dish soap and water solution. Then used a ratcheting tie-down around the 10" diameter tire and sinched it snug to the hub. Then used a regualr bicycle pump to inflate. It worked perfectly! Thanks.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2005 at 7:13PM
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happygilx(z6 PA)

I just found my 1 yr old snow blower had a flat and had to hand shovel my large driveway. I Googled "inflate tubeless tire" and found this page.

I will be trying the advice this afternoon.
Thanks!!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2005 at 3:15PM
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cato42_mac_com

OK, so I tried the "pump really fast method"--hey, it's worked before!--but with no luck this go-round. So I came here, got educated, and tried a combination of the rope and soap, and, voila! My variation/contribution is to tie a small fixed loop in one end of the rope--a bowline is great for this. First, soap the inner rim to help the bead seal, then wrap the rope 'round the outer circumference of the tire/wheel assembly, and pass the free end of the rope through the fixed loop, then pull back in the opposite direction, really scrunching down on the tire, and then inflate. I was able to hold the rope/tire in one hand and pump a regular ol' bicycle pump with the other, and feel the pull on the rope as the tire inflated--ah, talk about gratifying! Now I'm up and rollin' along again. Yeehaw!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 6:55PM
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cato_the_younger(5-6)

BTW, to find out how to tie a bowline--ask Grandpa! Or a Boy Scout. And if either says he doesn't know how, tell him I said he needs to learn, right pronto.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 6:58PM
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ray_okla(oklahoma)

What is the active ingredient in tire sealant? Latex paint appears to work just fine in the Grandkid's bicycle tires but have not had nerve enough to try it in more expensive tires.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 9:27AM
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ujd100

Nice tips in this forum, but any on repairing a slow puncture. I inflated my wheelbarrow tire using plenty of soapy water, a waist leather belt to draw or flatten in the tire pushing the seam to the rims, used a std bicyle pump to inflate to 20psi. The soapy solution helped reseat the tire seam and ensure air tightness, but also revealed that I had 2 pin hole punctures in my tread. Soap bubbles started eminating from the holes. Now what? -- should I get a $5 tube or can I use a rubber adhesive/sealant to repair the punctures, and how?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 10:34PM
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groundhogva(z6 VA)

You will be able to get tire to seat and move on. But when you need it agian in a few months, it will be deflated. A tube is the best solution for a low pressure tire. The only other option is a solid tire. A tube is cheaper. Pinhole leaks, tube it.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2007 at 7:49AM
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sawdust_maker

Ah yes. I just had to re-discover the trick of wrapping a cord around the circumference of a tire to get it to seat. My approach was to use that common item in a garage nowadays - the bungee cord. My compressor is a decent one, but still not enough volume of air to get the tire to seat. Wrap a bungee cord under tension around the tread, and the tire walls spread out, neatly seating themselves. And it seems far safer than detonating an explosive mixture of gas and air as I had read about.

John

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 1:16PM
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dillybird

You guys saved my day with the soap and rope method. I didn't think I was going to ever get it, but finally it seated. I used a thin piece of rope- the fatter piece kept slipping off. I used a "stick" bike pump for the stick, and inflated with a scuba tank. I am so happy it worked!!

Thank you so much,

Nanci

    Bookmark   August 30, 2007 at 11:23AM
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frostythebear

While trying to inflate our snowblower tire, the first thing we tried was Slime and an air compressor, but we didn't have a good seal so the Slime just sprayed out between the tire and the wheel. After reading about the tourniquet method on this Forum, we gave that a try using an old jumprope and a small pry bar. After about five minutes of positioning and tightening, it worked like a charm. Thank you very much for the helpful information, because this problem was driving us crazy!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2007 at 9:56PM
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adrenalynn

I owe you guys a back, as you surely saved mine!

Moving, I pulled the trusty box dolly out and one tire was flat and unseated. I tried for 20mins to get it inflated before turning to GrandPaInternet. ;)

Browsed the thread, grabbed the nylon web shoulder strap off an old SuperSoaker that was near the dolly Wrapped it around the tire and "locked" one end underneat the other, gave it a couple twists with a handy screwdriver, put a little air in with a handpump and SNAP! Found the bead. Five seconds later, the dolly is good-to-go. AWESOME! Thank you all so much!

--- Jodie

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 1:51PM
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MLcom(z6NJ)

Ah so hope this works off to fix one tire.

ML

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 12:41AM
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woodchoke

The tips here are all good, but the rope and soap did not work for my tire. Tried to buy inner tube at Lowes, nogo they were out of the size I needed ( I guess there are a lot of people flattening there wheel barrel tires). Eventually I took some bathroom caulk, spread over the inside rim, put waist belt around tire to and started to (foot) pump up the tire. It worked! If it is really good for the tire I do not know, but it sits snug and inflated.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2009 at 2:59PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

The rope method worked like a charm for me, first time. Last time I drove it to the gas station to get more pressure. The rope way is much easier.

Scott

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 5:00PM
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rcmoser

Put a tube in it, that cheap china made tire just going to go flat again, besides the tube will help reenforce the dry rot.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 11:07AM
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big_al_grower(6)

The strap and liquid works. I was so frustrated with the tires on my wheel barrow and leaf blower I was looking for tubes or solid rubber replacements. I went to Ask.com and this forum came up. I put some liquid detergent on the rims and tires, pulled the strap tight and turned on my new Husky 1 gallon compressor. The compressor was about fifty dollars. All my tires are fixed and inflated. I'm ready to garden now. Thanks to all on the forum- it works real easy.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2010 at 3:33PM
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sreeniz

Thanks to the suggestions in this forum, I tried the bungee cord technique and my portable car tire compressor. It worked like a charm and the wheelbarrow was good to go in less than a couple of minutes. The other options (both expensive) were a replacement tire from a leading home improvement store or having a tube inserted at a tire place.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 2:10PM
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doc88

Applying the soapy sealant and the bungee cord around the circumference of the tire did the trick for me: worked immediately.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 10:42PM
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wxdude99

BEWARE!!!!! Based on what i read in this forum, I thought using an inner tube sounded like an easy solution to a flat tire on riding more front wheel. I bought the inner tube, but I had a VERY hard time putting it inside the tire. I ended up using the rounded edge of a wrench to try to jam it in, and ending up slicing the tire against the rim. Waste of money and time. Now I'm going to do what I should've done in the first place. Take it to a tire repair place and pay 15 bucks to get it fixed by the pros.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 3:32PM
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ewalk

Some people just are not Mechanically Inclined lol .

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 6:52PM
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tesquizito_yahoo_com

Thanks for this thread.

I had ratchet straps, so I used that method. I had lighter fluid and propane torch on standby but I didn't need to use them.

Ratchet straps worked. Thanks everyone :-)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 9:49PM
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PWOZ

Thanks for the tips, I used a 1 inch nylon tie down strap. I wrapped it around the circumference of the tire, snugged it up and the tire seated as soon as I began to inflate it. My suggestion with this is, seat the tire and keep it soft (kind of flat), then remove the tie down before completing the inflation otherwise the tie down is on too snug to remove. It took about 1 minute.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 8:48AM
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yoppykyabetsu_hotmail_com

Thanks! The wife is gonna think I am real handy now!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 12:25AM
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joehandy_mailinator_com

Having young kids around I passed on the lighting technique. The soapy water and tightly wrapping technique did the trick just fine. Took me a couple of times but that only added like 2 minutes to it.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 5:53PM
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ofpete

Have just pulled one wheel off a log splitter the tire of which has sat flat for lord knows how long, probably through at least one winter and summer. Unfortunately we had to make the splitter roll about twenty feet, thus breaking the bead on one side. No way that I could see to reestablish the seal. Then, finding this thread I tried the ratchet trick, first putting dish detergent - maybe too much dish detergent - all around the circumference and then putting the air to it. Massive bubbles from a couple of locations, and the tire does not inflate. So I guess I will first take out the valve stem and see if the extra air will make it pop, andif that doesn's work then some silicone caulking the way someone suggested.Don't think I'll try the ether/lighter fluid trick, though.

One thing I am not clear about, and that is, does prolonged application of air result in a seal, like well over 5 minutes? I have a pretty good Campbell-Hausfeld compressor that should provide enough. maybe I should try that again

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 8:42PM
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Outdoorman136

What a brilliant forum. Thanks guys, had problem with inflating a flat tyre on a small trailer and your ideas/advice worked first time (rope & soap).
Just have one slight problem now, spilled my tea when I laughted so much about guy who blow out windows of four houses (great). Just have to Google how to clean tea off carpet!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 6:56PM
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MangoJazz

New member here, a friend told me what a great forum this is. Thanks for the great info!

Flat wheelbarrow tire. I tried a lot of this stuff, finally got it to work by greasing & caulking (bathroom caulk) the tire against the wheel, using a rope tourniquet and a floor bicycle pump.

I look forward to asking and hopefully answering more things in the future.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 8:50PM
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Khristov12

Great info. I went with the inner tube replacement after repeat rim leaks. Does anyone know how much PSI I fill the tube now that I have it installed? It's a "Tire Science Universal 4.80 x 4.00 for 8" rim.
Was a real bugger to install but I used a brake tool to ease it around the rim and shove it under the tire.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 3:31PM
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royw1376

I used the rope method on a new snowblower tire and it popped right out with my small compressor. Thanks a bunch! Roy

    Bookmark   December 28, 2013 at 5:22PM
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dunwurguy

No mention of wheelbarrows with the crappy plastic wheels that come with some of the newer cheap models like my wife purchased from Canadian tire a couple of years ago . The rim cracked on mine when the kids where using it with an underinflated tire . I guess it means a whole new ( steel ) rimmed wheel . My wife gave it to me for my birthday ( Honest ) . If she wasn't such a good cook ...............

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 3:54AM
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tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)

Or one of these things will get air in it

Band Clamp

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 8:25AM
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