On Fri, 30 Oct 2009 14:41:12 +0000 (UTC), GoHabsGo
Remove the wheels from the blower and dunk them under water to find
the leaks. Or pour soapy water on the rim with the wheel horizontal
and look for bubbles. If they are leaking from the rims you can push
the tire away from the rim, clean the rim surface with some emery
cloth and refill the tire pushing in from the tread as needed to
reseat the tire bead into the rim. All this would be kind of hard to
do though if you just have a bicycle pump but it can be done. Or you
could just remove the wheels and take them to a local tire shop. I've
seen them work on small wheels before. Can also take them to a
place who works on garden tractors and mowers.
And if you have a ratchet strap it sometimes helps to do this up tightly
around the tire's perimeter in the middle, as it helps the bead seat a
better as the tire's inflated.
If the snowblower is old and is anything like my ancient lawn tractor,
getting the wheel *off* in the first place might be an art in itself... :-)
(one of my lawn tractor ones leaks over a few weeks, but the wheel's
jammed solid on the axle so I just live with it)
How old are they? I just replaced mine this year because the side walls
were weather cracked and leaking air. I could have put a tube in but the
tires would have split in time. New ones are $17.00 each from Northern
tools. The new tires should last another 30 years.
That should say "no _visible_ sidewall cracks".
As somebody else noted, dunk 'em and see where the leak(s) are and go
from there. Tubes/foam/repair are all possible solutions but also as
noted it's quite possible simply new tires are as cheap a solution as
any of the above. But, w/o knowing what is the actual source of the
leak and condition of the tires, specifics aren't possible.
The generality that a bicycle pump is an inadequate air supply for most
other tires owing to them being for lower volume is another good
observation. It's quite possible you simply haven't put enough air into
them to make any discernible difference.
Kind of hard to diagnose over the internet. I'd guess that
rim leaks are very common.
The old country wisdom is to break down the tire, and then
sand the rim to remove rust. Apply lots of axle grease to
the rim, and blow the tire back up.
I've used motor oil with good results. Can't say it isn't harmful,
maybe I just wore out the tires before the oil harmed the tires? On a
trip 300 miles from home with a flat on a small trailer tire I found
that GoJo not only makes a good bead seal, but also helps clean your
hands! (I was lucky there was a Tractor Supply store within a mile of
my blowout.) Oh and no I had never seated those original tires.
No, the grease will soften the rubber bead enough to allow it to
conform to the pitted rim, and will also keep the rim from rusting
again. The tires are synthetic rebber and "fairly" resistant to oil
Soap does nothing beyond making the tire and rim slippery - does not
help the seal, or prevent further rust.
A good tubless tire rim sealer is better than grease, but there are a
lot of them out there that do NOT protect against rust - so you have
to do the job over again next year (water based latex products)
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