String Plug Tire Repair

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Poolside, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

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    <BR><BR>String Plug Tire Repair

    I end up doing this more than a few times a year and I hope you find this photo essay informative. It may allow some riders to view a string plug as an excellent and permanent repair choice.

    - Jim



    --------------------------


    A couple of weeks ago I found this screw in the rear tire. I don't know how long it was in there.

    Unless the tire is flat when I find it, I leave things like this in the tire for a while. And instead monitor the tire pressure.

    While I monitored the tire pressure, this screw remained in the tire for two additional tanks of gas. The tire lost 3 pounds of air pressure over ten days. Based on that leak rate, the screw had been in the tire for no more than a week before it was discovered.

    [​IMG]



    These pieces of road debris made holes in this tire and the last tire. Two each. All four holes were string plugged. Every string plug-repaired tire has remained in service until worn smooth. I have never worn out a rear tire without first getting at least one hole in it, and repairing it with some type of plug or patch.

    [​IMG]



    This will be the second string plug repair for this tire. Here are two views of the first string plug repair, after 5000 miles.

    [​IMG]

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    Typical string plug repair supplies. These are from Camel. I have used Monkey Grip brand with equal results.

    [​IMG]



    Different brands of string plugs have different instructions. (The Monkey Grip brand says not to use rubber cement on their string plugs.)

    [​IMG]



    Unscrew with pliers.

    [​IMG]



    Once the 'temporary plug' is removed the hole starts leaking.

    [​IMG]


    Placing the burr in the hole will stop the air leak. Or, let the tire depressurize. Neither makes any difference to the repair. But if your bike does not have a center stand, maybe you do not want to let the tire go fully flat.

    [​IMG]



    Two strokes with the burr. Without cement.

    [​IMG]



    Add some cement to 'flush' the rubber particles.

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    Coating the plug with rubber cement makes installation easier. Rubber cement can be used with Camel string plugs. The Monkey Grip brand instructs not to use rubber cement with their string plugs. With Camel string plugs, use rubber cement or not.

    The rubber cement is neither sealing the hole, nor holding the string plug in place. The string plug is made of viscous 'goop', and this 'goop' is doing both those jobs. The string serves to get the viscous 'goop' into the hole. Using rubber cement is fully optional.

    [​IMG]



    Insert the string plug to the depth in the instructions. If you make a mistake and push the plug all the way into the tire, just put in another plug.

    [​IMG]



    Trim to fit.

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    And refill tire.

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    As you like it.

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    The plug may bulge small bit after airing the tire up. And it can be trimmed flush with a razor. If the hole is on a tread block as this one was, trimming the plug flush is important.

    If the string plug is placed in the tread siping, trimming the string flush is not as important. The other string plug in this tire is in the siping. And it was trimmed to the tread depth at the time. (see images 3 and 4 above)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    It's fixed. Let's go for a ride.

    [​IMG]



    After about 20 miles, the plug looks like this. Riding pushes the excess 'goop' to the side.

    [​IMG]



    I rubbed the excess off so you can see.

    [​IMG]



    That's it. Good as new.

    [​IMG]
    <BR><BR>
    #1
  2. The Walrus

    The Walrus Gone and back again.

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    Yup, I've had to do this before and you've got it nailed.
    :rofl





    I hope you know that there's some flames coming from the crowd who NEVER will condone fixing a flat and then actually using that tire.

    :freaky
    #2
  3. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

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    I had to use a plug recently and it got me home from out in the middle of nowhere. My tire was flat a week later when I went out to check it. I don't think I used enough glue. I keep the kit with me all the time.

    I found these tire tips from Dunlop TIPS . They say max speed after a repair should be 75 with a plug patch.

    The subject of Tire Patches is probably as touchey as OIL. I probably had a thousand miles left on my Tourance when I plugged it but I replaced it anyway. I figure a new Tourance is $100, medical expenses can add up quickly so I go conservative.
    #3
  4. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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    You might want to add some disclaimers. It is possible that the cords are damaged so I wouldn't treat it like new until I had at least 1k miles on it which should allow a separation to show itself. Also it is probably a bad idea to leave the puncture causing item in the tire once you find it because it might locally overheat the tire carcass through more flexing. Having said that I have used string plugs many times on car tires and a few on bikes with no ill effects. On bikes though I feel much more comfortable with the internal patch because the air pressure inside the tire will tend to force it against the liner of the tire.
    #4
  5. Frank Warner

    Frank Warner Traveller

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    Some people like to flatten the tyre befor inserting the string.

    I prefer to get the string in there as quick as possible - less pumping up afterwards. So I generally have everything ready to use before removing the offending nail/screw/bit of wood/metal. Oh and I think the string acts as a filler, not just to carry the glue.

    Interbnal patches = dissmounting the tyre and putin it back on. Not something i can do beside the road easily.

    I too usually run the tyre to its rubber end. It is my life and I take reasonable precautions.
    #5
  6. JohnTM

    JohnTM I suck toes

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    I can't believe you would ride on a tire with a plug patch!


    I thought I was the only one who did that.

    Anyway, I never trim the plugs flush - they do fine. Mushroom a bit at first, but 50 miles smooths them right out.

    And string plugs are defn'tly the way to go. I've been through a bunch of the rubber plugs (the ones with the expensive plug gun) and they do not hold up reliably. If there is a cord pressing against the side of the rubber plug, it will shear off in no time.
    #6
  7. rideLD

    rideLD The further the better!

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    I have been using the progressive suspension style plug for the last 15 years or so. http://www.progressivesuspension.com/tire-repair-kits.html
    Every one that I have used have outlasted the tire. Never had one fail or any problems with cords cutting them. I have never really heard anyone recommend the string type before. What are the advantages of the string type over the progressive style? I'm guessing they are a lot cheaper, what else?
    #7
  8. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    I've always enjoyed your posts!
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  9. BiG DoM

    BiG DoM African Adventurer

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    OH - is that why you qouted the whole photo essay again??? :D
    #9
  10. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Long timer

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    They're cheap, they're available at every auto parts store in the country, and they're just about impossible to screw up. I give them a huge thumbs up. :thumb
    #10
  11. BeemerChef

    BeemerChef Wandering Homeless

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    Really!!! :cry :cry :cry
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  12. frazz

    frazz Slow & Easy

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    Good post... :thumb
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  13. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

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    <BR>Progressive Suspension plugs
    [​IMG]

    I took a look at the Prog. Susp. tire plug link, RC. This is the first time I've seen them. How are they installed?

    And sure, I realize that tire patching/plugging is a potentially volatile topic. This thread is not so much a recommendation of one type of plug over another as it is to offer some information. I mean, maybe a rider is strongly averse to string plugs. I remember when I first saw one, and thinking it was some kind of joke.

    At that time, I did not know what kind of joke they were. And was forced to try one because, if you have a tire puncture, they are surely better than no plug.

    I am glad that people liked the post. Thanks everyone.

    - Jim<BR><BR>
    #13
  14. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    These are the type of plugs to avoid. Get the string type.
    #14
  15. Frank Warner

    Frank Warner Traveller

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    Easier to fit. Smaller packed size. You can run the string through the hole a number of times if the hole is large - thus it fits various size holes. Over 'ere truckies use them. On Road Trains - the seen - tractor - 10 wheels - first traioler 8 wheels 2 & 3 trailer add 16 - total 34 wheels - that is a lot of potential flat tyres and they use string.
    #15
  16. Guzz

    Guzz Gutless wonder

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    Just want to add that sometimes you may need to ream out the hole it bit more than 2 strokes. If you notice that it takes an excessive amount of effort to put the string plug in, you might cut the string plug in half and you have to start over. If so, like I said before, just ream out the tire a bit more.

    I had this the last time I had to patch my tire, but I used the stock reamer from under the seat. And went through 2 of the plugs that came with the bike (they suck BTW).
    #16
  17. rideLD

    rideLD The further the better!

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    They come with a very small tool that doubles as a reamer and inserter. Its the same thing really you just ream out the hole and then push the plug in. They come with rubber cement but it is optional because they have the red goop under a plastic peel that you remove before inserting. Once installed and the tire is heat cycled a few times they acutally melt into the tire and become one with it. After a few hundred miles you can't even find where you plugged it.

    Great write up though. I am going to try the string type to see which I like better. I have some extra wheels for my VFR that I keep track rubber on. I have a worn our rear on my extra wheels that I could practice with and make some holes in.
    #17
  18. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

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    [​IMG]

    Here is the type of patch I think the tire manufacturers recommend.

    From Dunlop:
    Some punctures in motorcycle tires may be repaired.

    Dunlop recommends only permanent plug-patch repairs of small (maximum 1/4-inch diameter) tread area punctures from within the dismounted tire by a qualified tire repair shop or motorcycle dealer. Never perform an exterior repair and never use an inner tube as a substitute for a proper repair. Speed should not exceed 50 mph for the first 24 hours after repair and the repaired tire should never be used over 75 mph. Check inflation pressure after tire cools for at least three (3) hours following run-in, or sooner if air loss is suspected.

    No form of temporary repair should be attempted because secondary damage caused by a penetrating object may not be detected and tire or tube deflation may occur at a later date.

    Dunlop does not recommend the use of liquid sealants. These are a form of temporary repair, and they may adversely affect ply material and mask secondary damage caused by a penetrating object. Reliance upon sealants can result in sudden tire failure and accident.
    #18
  19. Andrew

    Andrew Optimus Primer Super Moderator

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    You want volatile, let's start talking about rubber cement! Anyway, I must be missing something, but how does the string stay in the tire when you pull out the insertion tool? Seems like you slip the string through the eye of the needle, but retracting the needle will pull out the string... :dunno
    #19
  20. johnjen

    johnjen I've Been Resigned

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    A half a twist of the insertion tool usually does the trick... Well it works on the insertion tool I use.

    I also like to leave at least an inch of the rope hanging out so I can move the rope around in the hole. Sometimes I even jam some of the rope back in the hole to help seal it. Especially if the hole isn't nice and round. A small bladed screwdrivers is my tool of choice...

    JJ
    #20