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Thread: Tire Plugging Pictorial

  1. #1
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Tire Plugging Pictorial

    Today while preparing to go for a cool ride, it was 30??, I found this!

    I was pissed, but not too bad. The tire was close to gone anyhow.





    Then I figured this would be a good time to demonstrate how to plug a tire. I am replacing this soon anyhow, the tires are on order, but I refuse to not ride just for something like this.


    So I whip out my tools. It doesnÔÇÖt take much, and I carry them all the time. Missing is the razor blade I use later.


    I use the small wire cutters to remove the nail, hoping it was just a very short one, but no luck.


    You can see the nail is plenty long enough to go all the way through, and in fact when it was pulled out allowed all the air to leak out quickly. Funny, there was no air leak prior to pulling it out.


    After pulling the nail, I use the reamer tool to make the hole ready for the plug by enlarging it slightly, and roughing up the sides of the hole.


    Here is the reamer all the way in. I had to push pretty hard, and I also twist it back and forth as I push it in and pull it out. I gave it 5 strokes.


    Squish the string plug flat and insert it into the tool. I used the cutters to pull it through since it can be stubborn. There are different types of installer tools, and some have an opening that makes installing the string easier.


    Then I put glue on the string and tool. This not only halps make a more permanent seal, but lubricates it for easier installation.


    I also put a little glue on the hole for the same reasons. Sorry for the fuzzy picture.


    I start pushing in the plug. It is pretty hard to get in, as it should be for a good seal.


    When you get it in this far you stop. Pull the tool straight out as firmly as you can. No twisting. The tool comes out easier than it goes in.


    Here is the plug all the way in. Note, make sure you leave at least half an inch. You do this to ensure you donÔÇÖt accidentally push the plug all the way through, and so both sides of the plug remain above the tread.


    Use a razor blade, or similar tool, to cut the plug level with the tread. DonÔÇÖt let it be higher than the tread or it could pull itself out when riding.


    Here is the trimmed down plug. Note that it doesnÔÇÖt have to look good, just be trimmed flush as much as possible.

    I let the tire sit for 5 minutes with no air in it before I start inflating. This allows the glue to set up some.


    I added a Gerbing style plug to my pump to make it easier to use without removing the seat. I also start the motor before using the pump to ensure I donÔÇÖt run the battery down too much to start it when I am done. I also use my throttle lock to up the RPMs to 2000 to give it a bit more charge. I donÔÇÖt know if this is necessary, but it canÔÇÖt hurt. (NOTE: Do not do this on a bike with a fairing around the exhaust!)


    I plug the tire pump into the tire and turn it on. Five minutes later the tire is full.

    I know it takes a while, but it gives you a chance to clean up the tools anyhow.


    Check the tire pressure.


    Test the tire for leaks. I used spit, so it looks bubbly, but it isnÔÇÖt, and you can easily see that there are no leaks.

    I also like to wait another 10-15 minutes to let the glue set before riding.

    Test your tire pressure often, and watch the plug to ensure it stays.

    Lastly, those of you with the factory BMW kit might want to look at the string plugs. In my experience the rubber plugs, BMW and others, donÔÇÖt hold up to steel belted tires too well. The belts tend to cut the plugs. Also I would suggest a tire pump over the CO2 cartridges. It would take 6 or more cartridges to get 20 psi, and the three might not even get you ten.

    I will ride this tire for at least a thousand miles before I have a chance to install new tires, and have complete confidence that the plug will hold! YMMV!

    Jim

  2. #2
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    Nice job on the photos.

    I've heard some folks say to let the plug stick out a little bit so it mashes a little. Has anybody else heard that?
    Frank G.
    Hattiesburg, Mississippi
    2004 R1150RT

  3. #3
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFrank View Post
    Nice job on the photos.

    I've heard some folks say to let the plug stick out a little bit so it mashes a little. Has anybody else heard that?

    I understand the concept, but would prefer not to have it sticking out. If the tire slips a little it could catch and rip the plug out.

    Jim

  4. #4
    25-MPH NEXT 1OO MILES PacWestGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFrank View Post
    Nice job on the photos.

    I've heard some folks say to let the plug stick out a little bit so it mashes a little. Has anybody else heard that?
    Nope, cut it as close to flush as possible. Nothing on the outside is doing anything to stop the leak. Once pressurized it should not push in and like Jim says can only get pulled out.

    Most of the plugs are designed to melt somewhat under tire heat and will become a permanent fix bonding to the tire. Even though some people swear by replacing a tire after a plug/patch fix. (I) only replace if the cords were cut or I planned on a long highspeed tour, or the plug didn't fix the flat.

    Rope plugs (like Jim uses) will work better with small cuts and you can pack a few into the hole and hope. The little round rubber plugs like the "Stop-n-Go" plug kit work well for nails and screw holes only. (The application of the plugs are a bit different than Jim explains).

    Replacement is always your best answer for MC tires, you decide...

    Russ
    Russ
    "If you took the time to really get to know me...you'd be wasting your time, because I'm exactly who you think I am"

    (Life comes at you pretty fast "Pay it Forward" - Have no regrets when the end happens)

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    Smile great photos

    thanks, man; I have read of this procedure for many years but this is the first narrrative, photo how-to-do-it I have seen; thanks again...wj

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    AZ Peckerhead Jamming's Avatar
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    Jim, Nice write thanks.

    I keep both the sting plugs and a stop-n-go kit on the bike.

    I really like the idea of the Gerbing style plug. I made a female lighter plug that attaches to the battery with clips that my Sparrow pump plugs into, but I have to take off the seat. Can I steal your idea? I'll give you full credit

    Roger

  7. #7
    RK Ryder
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    Thanks for the photo display. I was planning on picking up a used tire from a local dealer this spring and practising the plugging technique. I will use your tutorial for my guide and if I should have bad luck on my summer trip, I should be able to handle a flat tire.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  8. #8
    Kool Aid Dispenser! jimvonbaden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamming View Post
    Jim, Nice write thanks.

    I keep both the sting plugs and a stop-n-go kit on the bike.

    I really like the idea of the Gerbing style plug. I made a female lighter plug that attaches to the battery with clips that my Sparrow pump plugs into, but I have to take off the seat. Can I steal your idea? I'll give you full credit

    Roger
    Be my guest!

    Jim

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    tire fix

    this was great.. Now I think I can duplicate your repair.............thanks

  10. #10
    Rally Rat CATHDEAC's Avatar
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    battery connection..

    GREAT patch job, especially pics and simple narrative!!!

    For a Battery Connection, here is what I have.. a FUSED, SAE connector that came with my DELTRAN battery charger. Look here for a pic of several DC CONNECTORS including the SAE style connector if you want to build your own:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DC_connector


    To "MINIMIZE" the possibility of "shorts", simply wire the "covered" connector to the POSITIVE battery terminal.

    You can also wire in "trouble" lights, or other accessories... good, reliable...

  11. #11
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Yeah, this thread should be permanently posted somewhere, if it isn't already.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  12. #12
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    I get my plugs at O'Reillys (and other places) and never ever use any glue and I have never had a problem or a leak. I fixed two flats on my CLC within the last couple of years and wore the tires out without losing any air. My Impala currently has two plugs in the tires and they never lose any air. The cord like plugs I use are really sticky and even the complete repair kit doesn't have any glue. The last tire shop that plugged a tire for me didn't use glue.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  13. #13
    jduke
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    Great pictorial.
    I've always wondered why the need to ream the hole out any larger, but that was a necessary evil so the string tool could be inserted.
    But I found an alternative, Dynaplug http://www.dynaplug.com
    No association, but I keep one in every car, both bikes and even my daughters cars. Haven't had to use one yet, so it's Karma is pretty good.

  14. #14
    copandengr
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    Tool kit addition

    Great tutorial. I spent much of my youth around a service station learning how to patch tubes and tires, starting way back when vulcanizing patches were used. One small addition to the tire patch kit (rope plug type) is to cut a piece of copper tubing with an ID that is as close as possible to fitting closely over the needle, and reaching from the handle to 1/2 " short of the eye. This will prevent inadvertantly pushing the plug in too far. It will work kind of like a drill stop on a drill. If you are really anal, you can use a piece of steel brake line tubing, and flare the end of it to avoid any possibility of cutting into the tire itself. If you do not havew a flaring tool, simply buy a short piece of straight steel tubing, which will already be flared at each end. Cut the line to length, and can the flare nut. You then have two tools to use.

  15. #15
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    Plug it

    "...I was planning on picking up a used tire ..."
    One thing to note, and Jim briefly touched on it - pushing that plug in can be a real beyotch... Trying to practice on a tire that is not mounted is a good idea, but will lead to much sweating, soreness and use of manly language. When practicing, it is best to drill a hole through the tire (you ever try to hammer a nail into a tire???) that is pretty big. That way you get the experience of plugging the tire without all the sweat.
    The use of the 'reamer' is two fold, one good, one not so good. The good: make the hole big enough to get that huge worm into the tire without having to be the Hulk; and the not so good: to get the (steel, aramid, whatever) belts out of the way. If you can get away with sticking the reamer into the hole without twisting it, it is mo better.

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