Reseating a tubeless tyre using butane gas and other volatile substances - Safety advice edited 2015

Wednesday, Nov 10, 2010 at 01:00

Mick O



Reseating a tubeless tyre in outback conditions can often prove problematic, especially when using the stronger sidewall, 'Light Truck" construction type 4x4 tyres. Here is a method that I have used to great success on far too many occasions on recent outback trips. The usual disclaimer applies;

Your safety is of paramount importance and YOUR responsibility. Caution and common sense must be exercised at all times. If you use this method you do so at your own risk.




(This means: "Don't try this at home kids!"!!!)




Please note that tyre is firmly secured to the spare wheel mount on the trailer while executing this manouvre.

If you only have to re-seat one side of the tyre, use less gas than you would if reseating both. Remember that Butane is heavier than air and will pool in the bottom bottom of the tyre.

1. Take the can of butane out of your little camp cooker. Place the nozzle from a can of WD40 (flyspray can, anything) on the top.

2. Take the valve out of the tyre but keep it and the 'super-tool' handy.

3. Brush a little soapy water around the bead of the tire and make sure that the bead and rim is clear of any dirt, twigs etc.

4. With a packet of matches handy and one out ready to light, spay the butane inside the tyre and then stand back and light and throw match. KEEP YOUR FINGERS AWAY from the bead.

5. Stand well clear of the valve stem of the tyre. This method may cause the tyre valve or parts thereof to blow off the tyre. A folded towel or similar could be placed over the valve to contain such a situation but keep it clear of the bead. Another thing that can be dislodged at high velocity are the tyre weights used for balancing. These should be removed and replaced later or have a damper placed over them. This has occurred to others using expanding vapour ignition in this way.

6. Tyre will expand onto the rim due to the expanding vapour ignition. The tyre will suck the displaced air back through the valve. Allow it to do this then screw in the valve, attach your compressor and get pumping.

One other piece of advice, if it doesn't go 'pop' the first time, make sure the lit match that has fallen inside the tyre is out before you reapply the butane.


While this is an easy method and works well, I do not endorse it. It remains a bush remedy and technique for a difficult situation and NOT something to be used in the driveway at home when you have a tyre fitter just around the corner.








AND WHAT NOT TO DO........! Make sure the match is out!!!!





And just to prove the method works, here it is in the Gibson Desert this year.







Remember: Your safety is of paramount importance and your responsibility. Caution and common sense must be exercised at all times.












Using unleaded fuel in larger diameter tyres




Here are seven techniques we used over a morning trying to reseat a couple of big Michelins on Larry’s Unimog truck. Naturally, the successful one was the method first contemplated but last tried, principally because of the violence involved. It did work and work well however, as with the use of all flammable liquids and naked flames, there is an element risk involved.

Butane, my personal favourite, wouldn’t work on a tyre of this size as we were unable to get sufficient concentration of the gas into tyre to facilitate ignition.


We dont endorse the techniques but it does give you an idea of methods tried and discounted. Use at your own risk.











UPDATED: New video added 11/03/2013








''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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