TIRE LEAKS AND BALANCING

TIRE LEAKS

Dear Sarge,

My ranch has an abundance of honey locust trees, and the thorns are really chewing up my OEM 2005 Ranger tires. I have tried Slime to seal the tire leaks, but it only slows them down, and it doesn’t even touch the sidewall thorns. Is there something else I can add to these tires? They have plenty of tread left, and I don’t want to have to replace them just yet.

Dennis Simpson,

Ripley, Colorado

Private Bart, you do realize your Zooter’s tires are 15 years old! Problems with tire leaks can be a mystery, but not when the tires are almost old enough to drive! The tread may still be good, but the rubber has hardened and you may well have dry rot; however, if you must keep the tires instead of requisitioning new eight-ply tires, then you need to dismount all four tires. With all four tires apart, you need to hose out all that green goo thoroughly. Back in the day, I would have recommended PJ1 Flat Seal, but since it is no longer produced, I am ordering you to requisition a gallon of Tire Sealant from Quadboss, because it is the closest to the old PJ1 sealant:https://quadboss.com/tire-wheel/tire-sealant. Since your tires are now dismounted, it will be far easier to just measure out 32 ounces and pour it into the open tires instead of remounting the tires and forcing the sealant through the tiny 1/8-inch Schrader valve. While the Quadboss sealant is permanent, I suspect your tires will fall apart much sooner! When you dismount that first tire/wheel assembly, I am ordering you to pick the assembly up over your head and run around your home three times screaming, “I will not replace my tires!”  When you decide to get new tires, study UTV Action’s Tire Buyer’s Guide before you buy: https://utvactionmag.com/buyers-guide-new-all-terrain-utv4x4-tires/ Dismissed!

I KNOW YOU THINK BOSS IS FULL OF IT, BUT…

Dear Sarge,

I would like an honest opinion from you concerning advice from another mechanical expert, Dirt Wheels magazine’s Winston “Boss” McCannick. What do you think of Boss’ reply to Kenny Berry’s “Tire Repairs Not So Permanent”? I have had good luck with simple external plugs, but I add a can of Fix-A-Flat as insurance against any future leaks. In my experience, I do not see the need to go to all the trouble of dismounting my RZR’s tire and repairing it. So, I think my way is cheaper and easier. So, who is right, Boss or me?

Cleve Richland

Nampa, Idaho

Private Cletus, as much as it pains me to admit it, the old man is correct! Following his instructions will result in a permanent tire repair. And you should know, Boot, that we share the same shop, and I have never ever seen him repair a flat! I do it or another editor ends up doing it! Those flat fixes in a can are temporary at best, and most times, if the hole in the tire is too large or not round, useless! These flat-fix cans contain a polymer that is combined with an acid solution. When exposed to oxygen as it is injected into a tire, a catalytic reaction takes place that turns the polymer into an epoxy that can seal a small nail hole. Being an epoxy, it will harden, and when it does harden, it cannot prevent future leaks. Also, with the inside of the tire coated in this epoxy, balance can be affected. Any liquid left over after the chemical reaction just flows around inside the tire, making a mess. I don’t recommend them, nor do I carry them with me. You need to count off at least 50 for using that stuff! Dismissed!

UNBALANCED IN WEST VIRGINA

Dear Sarge,

I have a 2018 Polaris General EPS with a SuperATV 3-inch lift kit. I ride extensively on the Hatfield-McCoy trail system. I recently installed new Maxxis Carnivore Radial Tires in 30×10-14 on bead lock rims. At speed, I am noticing a bit of imbalance. I have been told three different things: to have them balanced conventionally with stick-on weights, to use Dyna Beads, ceramic weight beads or not to worry about it because the Hatfield-McCoy isn’t exactly Baja! What method would you recommend, Sarge?

Brad Levine

Williamson, West Virginia

Private Turpentine, I wish I lived in the heart of Hatfield-McCoy! So, Boot, you have the lift kit and the jumbo aggressive tires on beadlock wheels, and you have a vibration problem you have traced to the tires. Most tire imbalances show up above 35 mph. I bet you rarely are above that speed for any length of time, so we are talking an annoyance factor here and not shaking your fillings out. I am assuming the tires were installed correctly with the balance point matching the valve stem. This works for the majority of people, but if you still have vibration, then I would recommend conventional balancing with a portable static bubble balancer and some stick-on weights. You can generally requisition the balancer and a box of weights for the cost of one balancing in the motor pool. I am not a fan of the balancing beads. In my opinion, the balancing beads only really work above 35 mph on Zooters. So, most of the time on the Hatfield-McCoy, they will not be effective. Plus, it is a bear forcing the BBs down through the Schrader valve. It is far easier to install them after the tire is broken down, and I have heard reports of them clumping together after extended high-speed operation. That, Private Turpentine, is my opinion! It is also my opinion that you should not be so sensitive. I think a crucible-like march is in order. And I bet, Boot, that by the time you reach “parade deck,” you will no longer be so sensitive! Dismissed!

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