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Fixing those unfixable sidewalls
I wonder if any of you guys have the problems I have when it comes to fixing my tires. I figured I'd show you some of what I've done to make those tires run when the tire man says he can't do anything. Both of these methods rely on the use of some kind of tire sealant after the repair. Most brands work well, currently I'm using slime and I'm very pleased with it.
For holes that are caused by a puncture of some sort and are to big for plugs to hold, I have used carriage bolts with washers with great success. Use a bolt about the size of the hole with a washer on either side of the sidewall. The washer on the outside should be the next size larger than the carriage bolt. That way it will go tight to the top of the bolt without getting hung up on the square part of the bolt located right beneath the head.On the inside I use a lock washer too. Tighten it up until the sidewall is sandwiched between the washers nice and tight. Don't use bolts that are too long, an inch to inch and a half is plenty. That saves you from having long bolts sticking inside your tire and causing problems. Remount the tire, put the sealant in it and inflate it to about 10 lbs. or so. It'll probably be leaking air. Thats OK, put it on the machine and run it like usual. Check it every so often and pretty soon you'l notice that the leak stopped. After the leak stops you can return to the normal tire pressure of 3-5 lbs. If the leak doesn't stop when doing this put more air in and maybe more sealant and run it some more. It will seal up.
For cuts on the sidewall that are to long for a bolt you can use what I call a Frankenpatch. Get a junk tire with sidewalls that you can cut. Cut 2 pieces of sidewall about an inch and a half bigger than the cut is in the tire you're trying to fix. Get a bunch of quarter inch carriage bolts with nuts and washers, enough to go around the Frankenpatch every inch or so. Drill holes with a quarter inch bit into the outside patch, the sidewall and the inside patch every inch or so the whole way around the cut. Insert and semi tighten the bolts as you go. When you're done tighten them up all the way and remount the tire and add sealant as above. The sealant will again seal the tire up as its being run.
It should be said right here neither of these methods should be used on any street tires, and I've never used them on 4 wheel ATV tires. Only the slow moving low pressure amphibious machines should attempt this. I'll put up some pictures of a tire that I own that has both types of this repair done to it. I use it as a spare now, but just the other day I had it on the Argo while I was repairing the regular tire. It ran fine and has for a long time. The Frankenpatch was put on because of a cut in the sidewall about 2 inches long caused by barbed wire getting wrapped around the axel and still being fastened to the fence. When it pulled tight the cut resulted.
A couple of lst notes. I use carriage bolts because the rounded head catches on less stuff as you drive. Also if you have ever tried to break the bead of an Argo tire with hand tools you will find it to be almost impossible. Take it to a tire shop and they can do it in a minute. Many times they won't even charge you. Or if you are a true do it yourselfer, northern tool used to sell a little tire changer that cost about 40-50 bucks. It was well worth the money and very easy to use.
If I can help anyone out, drop me a line. I'll do what I can. Phill
Sorry about the pictures with the first post. These are better and will show you what I'm talking about. Phill
Last edited by Mike; 02-11-2010 at 10:03 PM.
Reason: merged two posts