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Old 11-06-2019, 07:52 PM   #1
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Broke bead on tire. How do I set it?

I did something stupid.


Was prepping interior floor for paint using a power washer, & with the bus gutted, all the water was running forward instead of back. So I got the genius idea to level it out by deflating the rear tires. Long story short, one of the inner tires on the rear axle broke the bead.


Any ideas on how to get it to set? All others are fine & back to proper pressure. But even w/ a big compressor the air's just pouring out the gap between tire & rim. If I had it off the bus I'm sure I could get it, but...
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:00 PM   #2
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im assuming youve tried big compressor big hose and the valve stem core removed?

its tough on an inner tire because you cant be next to it to try and hike it up on the rim.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:07 PM   #3
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I don't know much about it but I have seen folks use a propane torch, not lit, to put propane in the tire. Then used a cigarette lighter to set it off.

The other method I have seen using a special air tank with a large outlet that filled the tire very quickly and set the bead.

Personally, I keep two tools on hand for tire problems. A cell phone and a credit card. I don't have the physical ability to wrestle around 22.5 or 24.5 tires and wheels. Up until about six months ago one tire and wheel on my truck weighed as much as I did.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:08 PM   #4
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im assuming youve tried big compressor big hose and the valve stem core removed?

its tough on an inner tire because you cant be next to it to try and hike it up on the rim.
I could try a larger hose (3/8 now), but everything else I did.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:17 PM   #5
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I don't know much about it but I have seen folks use a propane torch, not lit, to put propane in the tire. Then used a cigarette lighter to set it off.

The other method I have seen using a special air tank with a large outlet that filled the tire very quickly and set the bead.

Personally, I keep two tools on hand for tire problems. A cell phone and a credit card. I don't have the physical ability to wrestle around 22.5 or 24.5 tires and wheels. Up until about six months ago one tire and wheel on my truck weighed as much as I did.

Yeah... I'm not filling the tire with anything flammable. I like all the parts I've got at the moment



If I can't do it with what I've got (30 gallon compressor), might have to use the last tools you mentioned.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:22 PM   #6
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Might save a few geeders if you take the wheel/tire off and bring it to a tire shop to have it reset.
Good time to check the tire closely for dry rot while its off, too...?
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:38 PM   #7
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You are going to have to pull the wheel to reseat the tire safely. There are several methods that can be used once the wheel is off the bus.

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Old 11-06-2019, 09:05 PM   #8
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Yeah... I'm not filling the tire with anything flammable. I like all the parts I've got at the moment



If I can't do it with what I've got (30 gallon compressor), might have to use the last tools you mentioned.
Which is why I didn't recommend this to you. Though I have done it many times, and seen it done many times and it has never turned out like everyone makes it sound like it will everytime. But I understand the implications.
On a bus tire this big, I wouldn't think twice about getting the can of starting fluid out and being back on the road in minutes.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:13 PM   #9
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Try a big ratchet strap around the circumference of the tire. I've done that with lots of tires never had to try it on anything huge yet.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:15 PM   #10
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It's not hard (necessarily). Being an inner definitely makes it challenging.. hopefully the inside bead is the one that slipped out, rather than the bead that's facing the other tire.

First thing you HAVE to do is pull the valve core. You just can't get air into the tire fast enough with the core in place.

Next is to get the weight off that tire. Best thing is to use a jack to lift that end of the axle. Some would suggest driving the one inflated tire up onto wood blocks or something. That'll put more load on that tire.. although realistically, that tire is already carrying all the load anyway so what difference does it make..?

Lubricating the bead makes a big difference. I have a gallon jug of "slip tac" lube I bought years ago. Maybe you could take a little plastic bowl to a tire shop and beg them to give you some lubricant, or search online and figure out a substitute. IIRC liquid dish soap isn't good for the rubber but I'm not sure.

Get a clip-on air chuck, or an assistant with a strong hand and plenty of patience. They'll be holding that chuck onto the valve stem for a looong time.

With all the preparations made the process is this. Lube the bead and the shoulder inside the wheel as well as you can. Clip the chuck onto the valve stem. While air runs into the tire, manipulate the tire to minimize the sound of air leaking out. If you're living right (or lucky, or whatever) air will go in faster than it escapes, pressure will build inside the tire, and the bead will slowly slide back into place and the air leakage will stop.

If that doesn't work you can use a bicycle inner tube to ease things along. I used a tube from a 26" wheel when I did this. Inflate it just enough to give it form, lubricate it, and tuck it into the gap between the tire sidewall and wheel. It'll dramatically reduce the air leaking out of the tire. Sometimes the tube pops out of the gap between the sidewall and the wheel as the bead moves into place, but more often than not the tube getting pinched in the gap. When that happens it's a delicate balance between adding (or even removing) air in the tire, tugging the tube out of the gap, pushing it back in to limit the air escaping..

As soon as the bead is in place disconnect the air chuck -- don't let it build any more pressure than necessary. You'll get lots of air blowing back in your face because the valve core isn't installed. Carefully insert the core into the valve stem and re-install it. The rushing air will send it flying if you lose your grip on it.

After the valve core is installed you can re-inflate the tire. I like to set the air regulator to the pressure I want in the tire, clip on the chuck, and walk away to do something else away from the blast zone.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:14 AM   #11
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Family wagons way is a reasonable and safe way to do it. I myself prefer to have the wheel and tire off the vehicle to work with. If off the vehicle and one bead is still holding then put the tire flat with the good bead down. then put wood blocks around the outer edge of the tire so that it is holding it off the ground. Weight ( i just stand in the middle of it) can then be put on the rim and this will push the tire closer to the rim often enough to reseat the bead while putting air in , again no valve in for this. I really would say to use weights of some sort rather then yourself. Once the bead reseats, continue as Family Wagon has suggested.

As for useing a ratchet strap that works great on non belted tires, like atv tires or tractor tires. Steel belted radials it is less effective on.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:19 AM   #12
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Thanks so much, guys! Gonna go to war with it today if I can find a clip-on chuck locally. I'll let you know how it goes.


Thankfully I already have a bottle of proper tire lube. I used to do a lot of motorcycle tires. But never 'on' a vehicle, and never when the vehicle was a bus!
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Old 11-26-2019, 02:59 PM   #13
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I DID IT!!!!!!

Muchisimas Gracias to @FamilyWagon!!!!!

The bicycle inner-tube tire trick worked!!!!!!!!

I aint gonna lie though, it wasn't easy. I can't count the times I had it then lost it, or finally got the tire to hold pressure after intense effort only to lose the bead when I tried to extricate the tube from where it was pinched between tire & rim. I have a few hours invested in this job lol. It being the inside rear was a true pain.

Honestly - towards the end - I was wondering if you sent me on a snipe hunt But everything you said was dead-on.
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Old 11-26-2019, 03:11 PM   #14
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At some point it would have been worth it - to me - to pay a tire shop to re-seat it.
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:03 PM   #15
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At some point it would have been worth it - to me - to pay a tire shop to re-seat it.
I passed that point some time ago. It came just after the point I realized it would have probably been easier to pull the whole wheel. But I refused to do either. I had made up my mind I was going to win this war, & didn't stop until I did

I'm now playing air-brake-leak wack-a-mole, so this was a good primer to dealing with frustration without throwing sh*t (disclaimer: I did throw sh*t).
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Old 11-26-2019, 04:22 PM   #16
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At some point it would have been worth it - to me - to pay a tire shop to re-seat it.
the most effective tools that I have for tire issues are my cell phone and my Visa.
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Old 11-26-2019, 07:19 PM   #17
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Glad to hear you were able to win the war even if (and I'm sorry that) it was torturous. It would have been an awful mean trick for me to invent all that detail just to send somebody on a snipe hunt! The truth is that the "real" tire shop tool is not a bicycle tube, it's actually a solid rubber ring. A giant o-ring, essentially. A solid rubber ring wouldn't get pinched the way the tube does. I used and suggested the tube only because I didn't want to wait for a few days for the solid rubber ring to arrive when I was struggling with my tires.

It definitely would have been easier to pay to have somebody fix it. Sometimes the lesson we learn is "never gonna attempt that again!" But surprisingly often I find the obscure tricks like using a tube to help seat a bead, or welding a nut to a bolt that's sheared or rounded off, come in handy again. In those moments of despair when time is short and it would be an ordeal to bring it to a pro, it's comforting to know "I solved something kinda like this once before and I can adapt what I learned then to overcome this problem myself right now."

Oh, and you got a nice new jack out of the deal, too!
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Old 11-26-2019, 07:49 PM   #18
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Just to be clear, I'm sincerely grateful. I knew going in it wouldn't be easy, I could have stopped at any time & pursued other options. And as you so eloquently put it, if I ever have to do it again, honestly, I could probably knock it out pretty quick now. And it feels good to have done it the first time

And yeah, I did get a sweet jack in the process

So what are these big magical o-rings called, & where are they sold?
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Old 11-27-2019, 10:53 AM   #19
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Looks like the industry calls them "bead seaters." Ken-Tool 31439, Myers 50963, etc. They come in several sizes to fit different wheel diameters.

Here's a video demonstrating the real tool:


And one demonstrating the bicycle tube alternative. This guy does it without any bead lubricant, although even done dry he makes the job look super easy. I should have searched for this before instead of writing the long explanation!
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Old 11-27-2019, 02:05 PM   #20
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Thank you again!


Looks like even if I had a proper bead seater, it wouldn't have done me any good, since the flat was on the inside tire of a dual rim. That looks a bit thick to be able to stretch across the diameter of the outside tire. The inner tube, however, had no problem getting around it. I do think a smaller tube would be better, though. One matched to the rim. For me, 26" was too large, which very well added to the difficulty.
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