Tire Explosion Concern

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by sigpe57, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. sigpe57

    sigpe57 Been here awhile

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    There are few videos on YouTube regarding tire explosion during air-up or seating the tire bead.

    Is this a serous concern for changing an airehead tube tire? or it just for huge truck tire?

    Is 40psi the highest you want to go when seating the bead?


    Thank you for the reply,

    TT
    #1
  2. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

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    I sometimes have to go up to 70 to get the bead to seat, other times it will seat around 40-50 psi, been mounting tires for longer than I can remember, never had one blow up.
    #2
  3. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    I've never had to do it, but I've considered it a couple times when away from a high volume air source. Also, depending on the tire, you'll often need to juice it up well north of 40 to get it to seat. I've seen 80 before and it still wouldn't seat. If you get that high up though it's probably because you haven't lubed the bead/rim well enough (or at all).
    #3
  4. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    When I was 16 or 17 I had one of the first radial tractor trailer tires I had ever seen blow up on me while I was putting a little more air in it. Fortunately it was the inside dual or it probably would have killed me. My coworkers said it was a miracle that the explosion didn't blow out the gas station plate glass windows that were about 30 yards away. That and that I was still alive! They said the glass looked like it bowed four of five inches. I remember raising my head from flat on my back about seven feet from where I was a second earlier and hearing the explosion rolling away across the flat land like thunder. I always try to be careful around that stuff. I told my boss that day that I would check tire pressure from that day on but if they needed any air the drivers would have to put it in themselves. That or pay me to take the wheel off and put it in the cage and air it up. He looked at me and was real happy to say that would be just fine! I think he was just glad I wasn't dead. Having said all that, I put more air in motorcycle tires than you are suppose to all the time to get beads to seat.
    #4
  5. ericrat

    ericrat Long timer

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    I haven't had any trouble, like others said it is pretty common to need 60 or 70 pounds to seat the bead. That said, there is no point is having your face over the rim when airing up for the first time. It never hurts to consider where you body is at when in the shop.

    My buddies tire machine has a coiled hose with a locking tire chuck on the end. The valve and pressure gauge are back about three feet. I like using that setup when it is available to me. You can take a good step back and air up till the bead pops into place while still watching the pressure.

    I had a '71 Chevy with split rim wheels. I always took it to the semi truck guys for service. I think they appreciated the fact that I did not try to take it to standard tire shop. It was funny seeing my "little bitty" wheel in the great big cage.

    Eric
    #5
  6. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    It's not truck wheels per say although they are found on trucks. They are found on other vehicles too. I think they were once common on cars. They are split rims. A truck may have split rims but they aren't even as common any more these days on trucks. Split rims blow up not truck wheels, tires, whatever.

    People changing tires on split rims get killed if they make mistakes.

    I use lotsa pressure to seat tire beads. 80 lbs, maybe more.
    #6
  7. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    My uncle (self-employed truck driver) uses a large air canister with a butterfly valve and wide nozzle that he sets at the opening between the rim and the bead; while an air nozzle is attached to the valve stem. A flip of the butterfly seats the bead and the constant air from the valve stem keeps it pressurized enough to stay seated until it gets to an appropriate psi.

    As a self-employed lawncare guy, I've seated many beads with a ratchet strap around a tire as I fill it with air. A little wrestling usually gets it seated within a couple minutes. Although I heard a story of some guy leaving the strap on and having it blow up and take out his eye..

    I've never tried either method on a motorcycle, though.
    #7
  8. tommu56

    tommu56 Long timer

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    As one who had a wrist and thumb broken mounting a car tire with a stubborn bead it was air tight but wouldn't set on out side of the rim.

    I recommend a clip on valve type fitting or a screw on to a small 12v compressor.

    [​IMG]


    from http://www.gemplers.com/product/G27273/Clip-on-Air-Chuck
    with a street elbow to clear the spokes and hub

    [​IMG]


    and then a regulator and valve to control and set the pressure

    tom
    #8
  9. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

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    I have gone as high as 80-90 pounds to seat a bike tire, but that is really rare for me. I find that the beads will seat best if you clean the rim really well and use a proper lube. Usually pop or slide into place at around 45-50 pounds, max. I never leave the valve in the stem when I am seating the bead. I use a clip on style attachment on my air hose at home, with a big compressor. That way if things are not going as designed, I can flip the clip handle and it pops right off releasing pressure immediately.
    #9
  10. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    ? I have changed many a tire on split rims. Most of them were on tractor trailers. The explosion that I survived wasn't on a split rim. The tire blew up. It happens all the time. That particular tire was a tubeless radial on a regular rim. I have seen it happen twice out on the road myself and everyone sees the remains of tires exploding spread out all over the road all the time. That's usually not from the split rim letting loose. It's usually the tires.

    The best trick to reduce the pressure required for seating beads is to use a air chuck that flows a LOT of air with the valve core removed. They make ALL the difference in the world.
    #10
  11. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    Pardon my ignorance, but aren't those usually recaps separating from the original, rather than tires exploding due to over-pressurization to seat a bead?
    #11
  12. ME 109

    ME 109 Long timer

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    Nup, that's tyres exploding man.
    Usually the whole truck explodes too.
    :kboom
    #12
  13. tommu56

    tommu56 Long timer

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  14. blaine.hale

    blaine.hale Long timer

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    I hit 100 PSI on my last "bead seating" a couple weeks ago...seemed pretty scary while doing it but it worked and I'm still here in one piece. I learned on my second one and properly lubed that sucker up. It popped into the bead about half that pressure.
    #14
  15. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    That's what I thought too, that most, as in 99 % of those tire pieces on the highways are retreads separating.
    #15
  16. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

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    A friend has heavy equipment and I asked him that same question. He said recaps are perfectly safe and don't come apart. What normally happens is the tire loses air for whatever reason, heats up, then comes apart. Sometimes the rubbing with the dual next to it will create enough heat to start a fire. At fill-ups you'll see the driver whacking the tires with a tire iron, like ringing spokes, looking for the dull thud that indicates a deflated tire.
    #16
  17. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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  18. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

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    For starters it isn't split rims letting loose because there hardly isn't any split rims on the road anymore. Recaps come off all the time but usually don't leave the type of carnage I was talking about. Most the time explosions are caused by the tire next to it going flat. The flat tire rubs on the extra loaded tire and boom. Sometimes after they first catch fire. Split rim or not, most tractor trailer tire explosions have nothing to do with seating the bead. Sure, it does rarely happen but . . . .
    #18
  19. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

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    I've been in the tire biz for 23 years, and most of the tire debris you see on the road is from delaminated recaps. Sometimes the delam causes failure of the caracss, sometimes not. I've changed a ton of tires that were nothing but steel belts exposed, with 100 PSI still in them. :eek1 Not a comforting situation.
    I've never had a split rim come apart on me, and some of that is attributable to luck, most of it comes from knowing the wheel and lock ring compatability, and from careful inspection and cleaning of the parts prior to reassembly.

    As for the OP's questions: some of the advice here has been spot-on. Clean the bead area of the wheel very thoroughly, apply generous amounts of lube, and remove the core before you inflate the tire. Things should go smoothly at that point. Should the tire prove to be stubborn, deflate it completely and turn the tire in relation to the wheel. Reinflate.
    #19
  20. Schlivitz

    Schlivitz Mercury Freefall

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    Do what Bigger Al said. If you still have trouble, pump it up to about 60PSI and walk away. Listen for the loud pop (might take a few minutes). That means it seated. Then you can set it at desired pressure.
    #20