*Update* This is satire, not a tutorial, as some in the comments seem to have assumed. Don't take it as anything other than that. I went into it with the intention of writing this article and taking pictures and did not highlight every step because I wrote it in jest. Keep this in mind.
I am self-admittedly one of those people who has a stubborn streak of irrelevant stupidity concerning problem solving. What I mean by saying such a thing is that I will try whatever I can to avoid having someone fix an issue for me. This happens in my personal life as well as in the random, stupid instances which cannot be readily controlled. There are exceptions to this idea because I try very hard to only allow myself to be impacted by this mindset. The last thing I want to do is irritate another person because of my own lack of internal reasoning. Case in point? Car tires. Specifically, one car tire.
Dead-center, you can see a gouge in the tread of this otherwise solid Toyo tire that was on the front of my Thunderbird. What did I run over? I have no idea, but there is a slit big enough to shove a penny through which made it unusable.
Back in March of last year, I bought a cheap tire plug kit and tried to remedy the problem as I have done a few times in the past. The plug held for about two days and then blew out in Atlanta when the car was sitting in a parking lot. Strike one.
"Go get a new tire, Drew."
No, not yet, because I am a stubborn idiot.
I am also one of those car guys who completely hates space-saver donut-type spare tires you get in every car these days, so I keep a full-size spare in the trunk on a rim that does not match the others on the car, but is still the proper size (that awful factory spare doesn't match anyway). Running on a mismatched rim that had a good tire on it after the first one acquired a puncture never bothered me, but still, every now and then I would go back to that perfectly good tire and try to mend its only blemish - that rather large gash. Because, again, I am an idiot.
A few months, a few more attempts at plugging the gash, some rubber adhesives, and a bottle of "Slime Brand" tire sealant (For the love of God, NEVER put that stuff in a car tire. I knew better, really, but did it anyway.) I made the decision to take the tire off the rim to patch it from the inside as you are supposed to do in the first place. I took auto shop in high school, so I have changed my fair share of tires, but with the proper machine, of course about ten years ago. Breaking down a car tire without that magical machine though? Never. But instead of paying a few bucks to a tire shop, I grabbed some patches from the parts store and, well...
Yep, with my dad's help as a second hand to hold the thing down, we took the tire off the rim with a tire iron that I believe was factory equipment on a 1936 Mercury and a crowbar (for the record, he told me to take it to a shop, but being his offspring, he is well-versed in my occasionally questionable decisions). The tire was full of that Slime sealant also, but I spent some time cleaning all of that useless crap out of there and did not take any pictures - probably because I was covered in the nasty, green goo. I'll say it again: For the love of God, don't use that stuff in a car tire, ever.
Earlier that day, I had bought an internal, radial tire patch kit. This meant I was finally going to get the rubber donut of doom fixed and the stupid hole would be mended as I triumphantly conquered an issue I should not have been conquering myself in the first place. But, thrice now, I am an idiot.
See that? Can you see it? Patches installed after roughing the surface with a wire wheel on a drill. I used two patches because there was another small hole, which was no big deal, but, when in Rome, patch a tire? Right?
After a few choice words, we had the tire stretched back into place and also seated the bead "properly", meaning someone nearly lost a finger. Bazinga.
It held air! The patch worked and all was well! I drove home after work fully aware that my stupid car tire issue which I had allowed to consume random intervals of my spare time and resulted in many unnecessary roadside tire changes had been addressed and remedied. Such an accomplishment. With a little effort and...
It went flat. My patch gave out in less than twenty-four hours.
Sometimes I try too hard and take the most difficult path in life that I can just for the challenge, because I thrive on silly things that most people find annoying. I see all of this from a viewpoint of principal and personal resilience, while others see it as stupid and unnecessary. I was testing my own patience through it all and was determined to not be shown up by a tire of all things. Yet, in the end, I put my tail between my legs and bought a new Bridgestone tire over the weekend...
The old tire with the hole in it? It is in my garage right now. I am no hoarder, but I will not be satisfied until I find a solution to the problem. Again, because for the fourth time now, I am an admittedly stubborn, stupid, unnecessarily resilient idiot.
So, should you break down and mount a tire without the proper tools? If it is a performance tire with a stiff sidewall, probably not. Something with a tall sidewall, like a truck or SUV tire though? Maybe. But you would still probably need to have them balanced.
For the record, this is the only time I have not yet succeeded in an automotive repair endeavor. If I can convert a car from an automatic to a manual transmission, rebuild an engine, and build a fully-functioning race car in my garage, this stupid tire will not prevail...
Grace and Peace,
J. Drew Silvers