Tire Bead Won't Seal... Non-Wing
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    Seasoned Member ATCguy's Avatar
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    Default Tire Bead Won't Seal... Non-Wing

    For you guys that mount your own tires on other bikes besides Wings... have you ever run across a set of tires that you couldn't get the bead to set?

    If so...

    * What did you discover the problem was, and...

    * How did you solve the problem?

    Here's what I've got:

    I'm trying to mount a pair of off-road Continental TKC 80 tubeless tires on a brand new set of BMW spoke-wheels for an R1200GS. And yes, I said SPOKE wheels. The BMW spoke wheels are made for tubeless tires by lacing the wheel to the outside edge of the rim. You can see the tire & type wheel in the picture below:




    Mounting the tires was simple enough, and I'm using a Craftsman 30 gal compressor set at 90psi to inflate them... as I've used successfully on at least 20 other sets of tires.

    But for some reason, I just can't get these babies to seal. I can't even get the bead to set good enough to get 15 lbs of pressure in them. I've run my hand all over & under the tire while trying to inflate it, and can't feel any significant air leaks. I've tried using 2 ratchet straps across the tires at the 12 & 9 o'clock and 3 & 9 o'clock positions. I've tried different valve cores. All to no avail.

    As of now, I'm out of ideas... except to break down and take them to a garage with a higher, commercial grade compressor.

    Any other ideas?
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    Seasoned Member Kit Carson's Avatar
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    Take those straps and run them around the outside diameter of the tire. Pull the tire down into the wheel, pretty sure it will seat that way .
    " The GL1800 " A grand motorcycle it is. For touring,fun and to see the world there is no other like it. Big and powerful and comfortable for those cross country rides. Also perhaps the very ultimate ambassador to itself and to those who ride it and meet new friends at the many meets and activities this machine brings to the equation.

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    Seasoned Member wingwing's Avatar
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    squirt some "ether" or starting fluid inside the tire..
    (anything highly volatile)
    .. just a bit, you don't want to attract homeland security...

    .. light it and IT WILL seat.

    no joke, it works.

    Dennis
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    Seasoned Member illusionblue_wing's Avatar
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    I would try a ratchet strap,if that dosen't work you could always go the wd40 route
    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyuHco1Z12Y[/ame]

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    take the valve core OUT until you have it seated!!! then deflate & install
    chuck

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    You might just need some more air?

    Larger hose, larger did air chuck, take stem out.

    If all else fails you can use the lighter fluid route. WD40 does not work anymore. It is not flammable enough.
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    Seasoned Member SneakySnake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kit Carson View Post
    Take those straps and run them around the outside diameter of the tire. Pull the tire down into the wheel, pretty sure it will seat that way .
    That is the way I do it. If you still have problems try bouncing it on the floor while rotating it.
    2002 Orange Goldwing DFT Trike

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    Here's a video of wingwing's method of seating a tire [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7owrxqMFSy8"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7owrxqMFSy8[/ame] .
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    Seasoned Member DBohrer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wingwing View Post
    squirt some "ether" or starting fluid inside the tire..
    (anything highly volatile)
    .. just a bit, you don't want to attract homeland security...

    .. light it and IT WILL seat.

    no joke, it works.

    Dennis

    Dennis, You must have watched the IRT (Ice Road Truckers) show. They did that to get an 18-wheeler tire to seat. It worked well........!

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    Seasoned Member wingwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBohrer View Post
    Dennis, You must have watched the IRT (Ice Road Truckers) show. They did that to get an 18-wheeler tire to seat. It worked well........!
    actually, used to race stock cars as a kid... (back in the '60's)
    ... sometimes used the starting fluid "trick" to change tires in the pits

    .... didn't have no fancy tools.

    Dennis
    Last edited by wingwing; 09-22-2011 at 10:13 PM.
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    You are putting some kind of lube on the tire beads so they slide on the rim, right?
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    Agree with others, use a decent tire bead lube and remove the valve stem. the lube works as a sealant as well. if you can't find tire lube, i've used a bit of grease in a pinch.
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    Seasoned Member ATCguy's Avatar
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    Thanks guys... Got the rear wheel done, but still no joy on the front. And yes, I did use lube.

    Tried running the ratchet strap around the circumference of the tire... did nothing.

    Finally began spraying ether (starting fluid) into the rear. Almost singed my eyebrows off, but the bead set and I got it inflated.

    Began on the front. Sprayed the ether... lit it... and all it did was burn around the rim of the wheel. Thinking I must not have gotten the ether into the tire, I pressed down on the sidewall and made sure this time I sprayed inside the tire. Lit it again and got the same result. When I pressed down on the sidewall, the flame just got a little higher is all, until I eventually blew it out.

    Tried it again... same result.

    Disgusted & pissed... I just walked away.

    The funny part of this whole thing is that I mounted an identical set of these tires on wheels like these last year with no problems at all. But these are kicking my ass so far.

    Another question since I'm here:

    I got a box of tire valves awhile back that are also giving me problems occasionally. They are stainless, and I bought an assortment of straight, 45-degree, and 90-degree valves. The problem appears to be with the valve cores.

    When I put air to them... occasionally I hear a distinct "POP" a half-second later, and then no air goes in. Most times I can remove the air chuck, start again, and air flows normally. But other times, no matter what I do or how many times I repeat applying air... I keep hearing the POP, and air flow stops. It's almost like there's a secondary or 1-way flap that won't let any air in. In a couple of cases, I've had to completely remove the new core, and put in an old one to make the thing work.

    I can hold one of these valve stems in my hand (not installed on a wheel), and get the same results. When removed, the cores look exactly the same as any other core I've seen, except these have a red-colored o-ring to seal them.

    Am I missing something? Are there different types of valve stems and/or cores that need special air chucks or something... or did I just get a bad batch of stems?
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    Seasoned Member Kit Carson's Avatar
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    Are you taking the valve core out to seat the bead?? Gotta have lots of air to pop some of then into place. Especially if the tires are a bit narrow for the rim.
    Last edited by Kit Carson; 09-23-2011 at 09:32 AM.
    " The GL1800 " A grand motorcycle it is. For touring,fun and to see the world there is no other like it. Big and powerful and comfortable for those cross country rides. Also perhaps the very ultimate ambassador to itself and to those who ride it and meet new friends at the many meets and activities this machine brings to the equation.

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    Seasoned Member ATCguy's Avatar
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    I've tried both ways... valve core in & out. Just a stubborn tire, I guess. Think I'll probably end up taking it over to my friend at the airport, and let him use their commercial compressor. I think the output on their machine is in the 175-psi range for aircraft tires, and that should do it.
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    One other way I have had luck with an agravating tire is to unmount one side and place a few wide short boards on edge under the edge of the tire to make it stretch out and leave it that way for a while where it is cool. (will not work with the tire warm) Then after the tire is stretched and will retain that shape, remount it then try inflating it. It has worked for me several times.
    Give me a crooked road and a good handling bike.

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    I had that happen with a set of car tires. I got 3 of them mounted with no problem, but the 4th wouldn't go on for the life of me. Tried everything mentioned here. I finally figured out that the distance between the tire beads was about 3 inches narrower than on the other tires. When I mounted that tire both beads were sitting in the lower part of the wheel center and those beads were not going to set...period. I bought the tires from Tire Rack, gave them a call and they replaced it. Mounted the new one with no problem. The guy I spoke with said every now and then this happens, could be from improper storeage or maunfacturing problem. If the tire is too narrow at the beads you may never get it on and if you do it may not hold air like a "good" tire. If you could measure the beads and compare that tire with a good one, you would probably find a big difference in the width between the beads.
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    ATCfguy, what I have done in the past is valve my wife hold the leaf blower blowing air into the tire at the rim. Then I hit it with the air from the compressor at the valve stem.
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    Bouncing it on the floor while pumping the air in has worked for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James I. Jones View Post
    One other way I have had luck with an agravating tire is to unmount one side and place a few wide short boards on edge under the edge of the tire to make it stretch out and leave it that way for a while where it is cool. (will not work with the tire warm) Then after the tire is stretched and will retain that shape, remount it then try inflating it. It has worked for me several times.
    had that problem with a front tire for a 1500 wing once, i think it was caused by shipping, they had 2 tires tied together so tight that it caused the beads to stay not in the normal position but way closer together, the rear tire gave me a little trouble but eventually i got it to seal, the front tire was way more trouble, i wound up taking it off the rim and using some wood blocks for spacers to hold the beads apart overnight, the next day i still had a little trouble getting it to seal but it worked
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    Have you tried leaving the tire in a closed vehicle in the sun to warm it up first then use the strap to draw it down?


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    Seasoned Member ATCguy's Avatar
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    Ok... took it to the aircraft hanger, and using their machine (at 120psi) and an extra set of hands to hold the tire tight against the rim... it finally began to hold air and sealed.

    What a PITA that was...
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    Seasoned Member ChrisE's Avatar
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    Sometimes, when I get tires delivered, they are often squashed a little flat by the zip ties on the packing. So the crown of the tires are a little pointy.

    I put an old inner tube inside the tires, inflate it a little bit wider than the beads would be on the rim and then sit it in the sun for a few hours. This is while the new tires are still off the bike. I'll leave it like this until minutes before I do the actual install.

    I also replaced all my 1/4" npt fittings with 3/8" fitting on my air hoses. You get more volume of air through quickly.
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