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#1
Old 06-01-2013, 12:32 PM
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Dolly tires don't hold air

I have a dolly for my kayak to make it easy to drag it down to the water. The tires don't hold air for extended periods. They'll hold it long enough, but when Summer rolls around again they're flat. I went to two hardware stores to look for solid tires. None had the proper size axle holes. See, someone at Ocean Kayak (when it was here) fabricated this custom dolly. It looks like they took the bearings out of the hubs so that they would fit on the 1" aluminum tube they used as an axle. So I'm stuck with these wheels. (I'd hate to spend tens of dollars on new wheels, take the bearings out, and then find that they are unusable.)

'Well, just pump up the tires, dummy!' Sadly, it's not that simple. A hand pump doesn't work. The air at the gas station doesn't work. Even my diving tank doesn't have enough pressure. So the drill is this: Tie a rope or ratchet strap around the circumference of the tire and cinch it down. This pushes the rubber edges agains the rim of the plastic hub. Then I can fill the tire with my tank. It's a PITA, I tells ya!

I'm going to try the cinch method, and this time use 'fix-a-flat'. I'm hoping that will solve the problem. But here's another idea: You know that expanding foam sealer you use to seal cracks in cabinets and whatnot? Suppose I remove the valve stem from the hub, and fill the tire with that? It should expand to make a solid tire.

Would that actually work? How much of this foam would I use?
#2
Old 06-01-2013, 03:01 PM
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I'm not sure if the expanding foam insulation would work, but I do know that tire companies that provide tires for industrial uses, such as fork lift tires and tractor tires, utilize a two part compound that they inject into tires to make them 'flat proof'.
You might call around and see if you can find a tire company that does this.
I had some wheelbarrow tires done about ten years ago, and so far they've outlasted two wheelbarrows. When the old barrows got holes in them and the handles finally broke, I bought new wheelbarrows and put the old tires on them.
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#3
Old 06-01-2013, 03:08 PM
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Looks like you can just get a whole new dolly for about the price of replacing the tires.
In any case, even if you don't go with the cheapest one, it would be certainly be worth not dealing with the aggravation.
#4
Old 06-01-2013, 03:21 PM
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I'd try putting an inter-tube in. A quick easy fix that lasts a long time.
You can find those hard to find small tubes here:
http://smalltires.com/categories...FZFcMgod5UwAUQ
#5
Old 06-01-2013, 03:41 PM
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I had the same trouble with a lawn tractor. A bottle of Slime brand tire sealant fixed it. Just lube up the tire beads with it before you fill them up with air. It's held for three years now on my tractor.
#6
Old 06-01-2013, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
Looks like you can just get a whole new dolly for about the price of replacing the tires.
In any case, even if you don't go with the cheapest one, it would be certainly be worth not dealing with the aggravation.
The one I have is similar in concept to this one. The uprights go through the scupper holes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxter's Dad View Post
I'd try putting an inter-tube in. A quick easy fix that lasts a long time.
You can find those hard to find small tubes here:
http://smalltires.com/categories...FZFcMgod5UwAUQ
I looked for inner tubes, but the smallest ones available locally are for 8" hubs. Mine are 4" or 5". Looks like they have what I need on the link.

The SO would strangle me if I bought a new dolly. I should try the inner tubes. I assume I just have to take the stem out of the hub. Tubes sound like a lot less trouble than cinching and attempting to seal with the fix-a-flat, and there's no guesswork trying to fill the tires with expanding foam.
#7
Old 06-01-2013, 03:57 PM
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I've measured the hubs. OD (to outside of rims) is about 5", and the ID (the middle bit) seems to be about 4". Am I correct that I would need the 4" tubes?
#8
Old 06-01-2013, 05:40 PM
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Try Harbor Freight also. They have a selection of small tubes. However, they tend to mark the sizes incorrectly on the boxes! They aren't listed by tire size (like motorcycle tires) but hub or something. Its been a while, I just remember it was all jacked-up and didn't work for my application.

I would try the expanding foam option, but only as a last resort, cause if it don't work, I think you'll be done. No cleaning that mess up!
#9
Old 06-01-2013, 06:13 PM
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I just had the tires on my finish mower foam filled. They are a 4.5 inch something. Cost was $100 for four tires. Local tire shop sent them out for me and it took about four days to get them back. They are heavier of course.

I'd suggest checking with tractor or lawn equipment dealers in your area to find someone who can get it done.
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#10
Old 06-01-2013, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
I've measured the hubs. OD (to outside of rims) is about 5", and the ID (the middle bit) seems to be about 4". Am I correct that I would need the 4" tubes?
Is there a tire size molded into the sidewall of the tire?
Also the Green Slime tire sealant is good stuff and cam be squirted into the tube for extra resiliency.
#11
Old 06-02-2013, 02:40 AM
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Way back when, Yamaha used to make a tire mounting spray for ATV tires that reeked of linseed oil. With that in mind, I've successfully used linseed oil to seal the "beads" on hand dolly tires. I still had to use a ratchet strap to start inflating the tire.

If the rim actually has a bead, then it may help to remove the valve core and inflate from an air tank or compressor with tank (Then again, if a dolly wheel had a bead then the tires would never come off the rims!)
#12
Old 06-02-2013, 01:34 PM
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Green Slime is the way to go for all your small-tire needs. Hand truck, pressure washer, mowers, etc.

If you foam your kayak dolly tire, they're going to float as you roll it into the water. Might make it harder to mount/demount the boat if they're both bobbing around in the waves!
#13
Old 06-02-2013, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxter's Dad View Post
Is there a tire size molded into the sidewall of the tire?
I should have thought of that!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ducati View Post
If you foam your kayak dolly tire, they're going to float as you roll it into the water. Might make it harder to mount/demount the boat if they're both bobbing around in the waves!
Not really a factor. The 'yak only weighs about 50 pounds, so the wheels are just used to get it to the water. Remove the dolly on shore, and then just slide the 'yak into the water.
#14
Old 06-02-2013, 02:23 PM
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Dolly tires don't hold air

...doo-dah, doo-day...
#15
Old 06-02-2013, 03:59 PM
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C'mon, you've owned enough British cars, surely you have a can of Lucas bottom air lying around.

(you only need the bottom air, there's plenty of top air left- that's why the bottom goes flat)
#16
Old 06-02-2013, 04:12 PM
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I have plenty of bottom air when I wear my windbreaker.
#17
Old 06-02-2013, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducati View Post
Green Slime is the way to go for all your small-tire needs. Hand truck, pressure washer, mowers, etc.

If you foam your kayak dolly tire, they're going to float as you roll it into the water. Might make it harder to mount/demount the boat if they're both bobbing around in the waves!
Do you think the foam weighs less than the air that's supposed to be in the tires?
#18
Old 06-02-2013, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
Do you think the foam weighs less than the air that's supposed to be in the tires?


I bet the foam doesn't weigh as much as the water that it displaces, therefore the wheels, (without any extra weight) would indeed, still float.
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#19
Old 06-02-2013, 06:13 PM
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The expanding foam trick won't work. Or rather, it will work briefly, then the foam will compress and break down. We tried this on a hand truck once, it failed miserably. The inner tube is a good call, and I've had good luck with Slime as well. Second Harbor Freight for your small tire needs.
#20
Old 06-03-2013, 09:56 AM
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Another vote for Slime. My vintage wheel barrow tire has stayed fully inflated going on 10 years now.
#21
Old 06-03-2013, 10:27 AM
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Looks like your problem is that the air leaks out before the tire has a chance to seal. I had the same problem on a dolly I own. Here is my solution, use at your own risk:

Get some highly flammable substance (I used gasoline)
Lay dolly down.
Pour about an ounce of gas into the tire.
Give it about 10 seconds to evaporate.
Light a piece of paper on fire and throw at tire from a few feet away

When the gasoline ignites and expands, it seals the tire. Ensure you also fill it to the proper pressure when you are done.
#22
Old 06-03-2013, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Door View Post
Do you think the foam weighs less than the air that's supposed to be in the tires?
#23
Old 06-03-2013, 11:29 AM
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Tubeless tires require a certain amount of pressure to keep the beed sealed, I would make sure the bead was "Very" clean and make sure enough pressure is added along with the green slime you should be ok.
#24
Old 06-03-2013, 11:52 AM
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using a flammable liquid explosion can be dangerous. what isn't put in the tire if left exposed and nearby is a fire hazard.

an ounce of gasoline is a large amount.

the liquid may be bad for the tire.

safer is a second or two spray of starting fluid from an aerosol can.
#25
Old 06-03-2013, 12:28 PM
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Wouldn't be good for the plastic hubs, either.
#26
Old 06-03-2013, 02:24 PM
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I would look for solid tires so you don't have that problem any more. That's what I did for my wheelbarrow.
#27
Old 06-14-2013, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by control-z View Post
I would look for solid tires so you don't have that problem any more. That's what I did for my wheelbarrow.
That was my first choice. None of the hardware stores have wheels with big enough hubs. As I said in the OP, the diameter of the tube upon which the tires rotate appears to be about the same as the bearings that are in such wheels.

As usual, I've been too busy to do anything about the wheels. I could use the cinch method, as I was going to; but I don't want to have to do it again later. I ordered some tubes from amazon (I hope they fit -- I haven't opened the package yet), and went to the hardware store to buy some tire irons. They didn't have any (they thought I was asking for a lug wrench), and sent me to the Napa store (which I didn't know was there). They verified I didn't want a lug wrench, and then said they don't carry tire irons. So tomorrow I'll take the wheels down to Les Schwab and have them put the tubes in. They just use screwdrivers, which I could do myself. But I know if I do it, I'll pinch the tube and poke a hole in it. And I can't tell you the last time I saw a tire patch kit!
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