Tyre Changing Tip for Tubeless Tyres

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 19:49
ThreadID: 56936 Views:7496 Replies:13 FollowUps:6
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What to do if you can’t get the tyre bead to seal when trying to re-inflate a tubeless tyre?
Its’ 35 degrees in the shade, you’ve just spent the last 20 minutes or so getting the damaged tyre off the rim and putting the new tyre on to the rim.
You fire up your 12v compressor and have a go trying to get enough air into the tyre to get the bead to seal on to the rim, no luck, so you put a strap around the outside of the tyre and try to ‘squeeze’ the walls of the tire out so the bead seals on the rim – no matter what you do, your compressor just can’t get enough air into the tyre to make a difference!!
What do you do now?
Here is a tip that I learned from a professional tyre-fitter, and I have heard that they use it in Canada to re-fit snowmobile tyres.
You get a SMALL amount of petrol, about a ¼ of a cup or less, and pour it around the tyre bead, so a small amount goes into the tyre.
Move yourself and the tyre well clear of your vehicle and any nearby vegetation.
Do not have your jerry can anywhere near where you are working - it must be closed and at least 15 metres away from where you are working.
Do not have any spilt petrol on yourself or anywhere nearby to your work area.
Do not have any bystanders nearby.
Take the empty container that you had the petrol in, and put it about twenty metres away from your work area.
The next part of the operation, is to throw a lighted match at the tyre, the petrol and vapours around the tyre will explode with a ‘Whoosh’, and the tyre will inflate to about 30 psi and seal the bead instantly.
I have used this trick a number of times and it has always been successful, but it is very important to follow the safety directions that I have given, and only use a very small amount of petrol or gasoline on the tyre.
This trick can also be used if your compressor or pump fails and you have no other way of re-inflating a tyre.
It may be just the one tip that gets you out of a life-threatening situation in ‘The Outback’ one day!

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Reply By: gary - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:14

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:14
Sounds like a great way to end up in the Darwin Awards 2008.
AnswerID: 300148

Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 23:24

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 23:24
There's a video showing how to do it. It did the rounds last year.
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Reply By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:17

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:17
Funny you should mention that, I saw someone (in the States) doing it on a TV show the other night. Apart from the obvious safety precautions, it seemed to work a treat.

Anyone tried it?
AnswerID: 300150

Reply By: Willem - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:20

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:20
I hate to steal your thunder but unfortunately that reseating the tyre with petrol stuff has been on this forum a number of times since around 2003. You can even find a demo on Youtube somewhere.

Yes it's do-able and it works....as long as Murphy is'nt there watching you....lol
AnswerID: 300153

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:35

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:35
Us old timers (on EO) have seen all these threads a number of times, eh Willie??!!

It's good to know, for sure, but it'd be a last resort as far as I'm concerned.

It pays to have a good quality compressor and a air receiver tank so you can give the tyre a quick blast of compressed air ..... and make sure you take the valve out before you try to reinflate....

FollowupID: 566302

Reply By: Member - Jack - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:27

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:27
You can also put a lot of soapy water around the bead, then wrap a ratchet strap around the tyre and tighten...worked for me. Not as much fun, but it does work.

When re-inflating, I remove the valve until I have a seal, then replace it.

Instead of petrol, I have seen some footage of someone spraying the inside of the tyre with spray-on deodorant and light that, with the same results.

I think I will stick with the ratchet strap ... fewer casualties.


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AnswerID: 300159

Reply By: mfewster - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:30

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:30
Sorry Aw, I think I made the first post on this, around 2003, when I was living in Alice and saw it being used around the Centre. There was quite a bit of scepticism about it at first, then some video clips turned up showing it being done. Also a clip of some idiots trying to do it with diesel instead of petrol. Burning slower, it simply destroyed the tyre. It's really quite safe, as long as you stand clear of the tyre as it jumps in the air and your source of ignition is nowhere near your can of fuel when you open it. Good idea to make sure the can is well sealed and well away from the action before proceeding to the next step.It wont inflate the tyre however, only seal the bead onto the rim.
AnswerID: 300160

Follow Up By: macbushy - Saturday, Apr 26, 2008 at 19:40

Saturday, Apr 26, 2008 at 19:40
LOL I was thinkin bloody good idea.... those idiots...lol then deeerrr I only have diesel. LOL
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Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:44

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:44
One additional precaution is to remove the valve before lighting. Apparently not only will it seat the bead but can inflate the tyre to quite high pressures, one example being over 100psi.
Instead of petrol, lighter fluid is what the Arctic trucks have used on their monster tyres for years.
Cheers Craig............
AnswerID: 300166

Reply By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:56

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 20:56
In Iceland they use lighter gas to do the same...seen it on Foxtel about 2 years ago.

Any Ideas about doing it with diesel! as I don't have petrol available.

Regards Richard
AnswerID: 300174

Follow Up By: Member - Matt (Perth-WA) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 10:02

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 10:02
Richard..dont stress being diesel...u can use flyspray, WD40, deoderant and most of these are easier and safer to apply too.

Diesel is too slow burning and has led to the tyre just burning away without the rather large and fast expansion that you require.

Also watch out for what contaminents are left over...they can be detrimental to the tyre compound in the long term.

All the best
FollowupID: 566382

Reply By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 21:01

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 21:01
Having spent a number of weeks in hospital with facial burns (when I was a stupid kid) I think I'll just stick with the cheese cutters/splits/skinnys etc......much less risk of further injury..... ;-)


AnswerID: 300177

Reply By: Peter 2 - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 21:25

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 21:25
Another and much safer way is this.
Obtain a bmx bike tube approx the same size as your rims, just a little bit smaller is better.
Apply plenty of tyre soap (mix it to a thickish consistency using Lux soap flakes and water) to the bike tube, rim and tyre wall.
Place the bike tube between the unseated tyre wall/bead and the rim and inflate until it seals the gap between tyre wall and rim.
Inflate the tyre on the rim and if enough tyre soap has been used the inflating tyre will push itself out onto the rim forcing the bike tube out and off.
Keep fingers and other objects well away!!
AnswerID: 300183

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 21:58

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 21:58
I've not bothered with butane (but like the videos), but the following are my experiences

The rope around the tyre used to work well with crossplies - but on the steel radials these days, doesn't seem to do anything until the tread buckles in.

But to get a whoosh of air is not hard. Theres 4 other air tanks on your vehicle. I inflate another tyre to 80psi, then I connect up an adapter I made using an ARB Ezyinflater and a length of tube and a tyre chuck with good flow. Make sure the valve is out of the flat tyre, hook up the Ezydeflater to the full tyre, then use the deflater to remove the valve and pour heaps of air to reseat the bead. Takes about 5-10 secs to reseat usually and you don't blow yourself up.

I also carry a small bike tube like Peter suggests above.

If you use a relatively wide tyre on your rims, you won't have a problem either - so 235's on 6" rims; 265's on 7" rims, 285's on 8 inch rims usually reinflate easily.
AnswerID: 300188

Follow Up By: Adventure Wild - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:33

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:33
Thanks for all the info, I've known about it for years but have not heard of anyone else doing it.

I agree, it is a good idea to remove the tyre valves - it does create a lot of pressure sometimes.

I've found it quite safe - if you're careful, just another one of the little tips to know when you're in 'The Outback'


FollowupID: 566342

Reply By: Top End Explorer Tours - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:43

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:43
Bilbo did it last year, on one of his trips.

I couldn't find his post.

Hey Adventure wild there are proper ways to Advertise on this site and your way is not one of them, please read the terms and conditions of advertising on this site. Ring Michelle and she will sort you out.

Cheers Steve.
AnswerID: 300196

Reply By: Oldman - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 18:26

Reply By: obee - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 20:31

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 20:31
An ex tyre fitter at work once told me that he was out on a farm faced with inflating a newly fitted tractor tyre. The farmer said it couldn't be done with the little compressor. The fitter said he produced a packet of soap flakes and made a paste which applied to the gap. It had enough resistance for pressure to build up and close the gap. But we are not dealing with tractor tyres tho it might be worth investigating.

I thought putty might do it too but I have never tried it. I carry tubes for the split rims anyway.

I like the bicycle tube trick as explained.

AnswerID: 300307

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