tire puncture repair

As a kid I repaired bicycle tire flats – check the tire stem is not leaking, remove tire, remove inner tube, pump and locate hole, buff the area around the puncture, apply glue, allow to tack, apply patch, reinstall inner tube and tire, and you are good to go.

The tires on my lawn tractor are bigger and wider and removing the rim/bead is more difficult.   The treads are worn and all 4 tires should be replaced.  The right rear tire is always flat.  I have a portable compressor (see above picture) so it is simple to inflate the tire every 4 weeks or so when I need to mow.  Time for a fix I thought and since I have never inserted a plug I decided to give it a try.

From the noise of the escaping air it was easy to locate the hole in the sidewall.  Mechanics will not repair the sidewall of a car tire but since my lawn tractor has a maximum speed of 5mph and I sit just a few feet off the ground, I decided to go ahead. 

the repair kit contains a rasper tool, a plugger tool, 3 plugs and rubber cement

The instructions are straight forward.

simple instructions, however using the rasp tool and the plugger tool require directed force

After plugging the sidewall I pumped the tire and decided to check back the next day.  Tire was flat.  I was puzzled – 3 possibilities – leakage through stem, leakage through repair, another puncture somewhere else.  Escaping air was not audible so I applied soapy water and discovered 2 punctures in the tread.  In for a penny, in for a pound I thought and plugged the other 2 holes and repumped.  A day later the tire was still fine.  Problem solved.  All that remains is to cut excess plug material flush with tire and see how well my repairs hold up with use.

the two tread plugs and one sidewall plug can be seen

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