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A Morning Not Gone to Plan

The intention: Mow the grass, finish up shortly before lunch, have the rest of the day to relax.

The actuality:

Tractor had a flat tire. “Darn” I said, as this was a wheel I’d already put a tube in a couple years ago (originally tubeless... 35+ years ago, dry rotted into leakyness). Being on the front, I was able to limp it over to the garage to put air in it, figuring I’d mow and make note to buy a tube this week.

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Very flat, but the immense bead on these tires kept it together for the ~65 feet shed-to-within-reach-of-air-hose
Very flat, but the immense bead on these tires kept it together for the ~65 feet shed-to-within-reach-of-air-hose
Photo: MM54

Alas the air came back out as quickly as I put it in. The tube needed to come out now if I was going to mow, or even make it back into the shed.

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Vise is a good bead breaker
Vise is a good bead breaker
Photo: MM54

I hate doing tubes in these tires, they’re very old and thus hard, and seem to have the thickest bead in the world.

Insert not-tire-irons side by side, pry up, cross, and pry against center pole to slide them around and free the bead from the wheel.
Insert not-tire-irons side by side, pry up, cross, and pry against center pole to slide them around and free the bead from the wheel.
Photo: MM54

Putting an appropriate sized bar in the bench vise makes a convenient not-really-tire-machine to work on, and something to pry against to get the (now-lubricated) tire off the wheel on this side with the wrong tools.

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The new tube came with goop in it to supposedly fix any future leaks, so maybe it’ll last a long time. We’ll see. Washer between valve stem and cap keeps it from pulling back down into the wheel while getting the tire back on.
The new tube came with goop in it to supposedly fix any future leaks, so maybe it’ll last a long time. We’ll see. Washer between valve stem and cap keeps it from pulling back down into the wheel while getting the tire back on.
Photo: MM54

The old tube came out and had a tear near the valve stem. I couldn’t find a corresponding defect on the wheel, so this was either damage from installation or a defect in the tube which, in either case, finally flexed enough to become a big leak.

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I don’t have any pictures of putting the tire back over the bead because it was very difficult and involved a second set of hands, thus leaving -3 available to take a picture.

Back where it belongs
Back where it belongs
Photo: MM54
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The grass has all now been cut, I skipped lunch, and my “rest of the day” to relax is greatly truncated, but at least it’s done (and I was able to get the right size tube locally!). When I did this one previously, I did both fronts. Time will tell if the other one will need re-done soon or if this was a fluke.

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