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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've uploaded some pics (which hopefully will find their way to the right place) of sealing my wheel spokes & nipples with an aircraft fuel tank sealer.
before,
sealer,
after,
wheel balancer,
bead breaker
I haven't ridden the bike yet but both tyre pressures have stayed rock steady for a couple of weeks now.


[ This message was edited by: iansoady on 2007-01-25 10:09 ]
 

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Very interesting. Can you give a little more detail on what was involved in getting this to hold? Cleaning the surface or prep that is required. I have wanted to get this done, but the only place in the US is in CA and I am in TX.
I'll be interested in your results after you start riding also.

Has anyone else tried this themselves, guess I'll have to do a search.

Thanks for the input.
 

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This REALLY is not something to be messing around with. Get it wrong and you could end up with the equivalent of a high speed blowout, which could lead to serious injury or death!

Seriously, it isn't worth it!

The product you are using not designed for this use, it is also past its use by date!

If you want to get the spokes sealed get it done PROFESSIONALLY there are companies that do it. Otherwise convert to mag wheels.



[ This message was edited by: MickMaguire on 2007-01-19 10:24 ]
 

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Russ,

Woody's Wheels in CO does this as well. It not really all that hard. He does do it a little differently tho.

I'd have probably used PS 890 B1/2 or B2 instead of PR1422, but that's personal preference. Also, you can buy the stuff in tubes that already has the correct ratio of sealant to hardener. All you have to do is mix them together and squeeze out of the tube. Otherwise, if you use the tubs like that, you have to use a small scale to get the ratio right.

There are a couple of different ways I've seen it done. 1st is like Ian did. 2nd is if you seal the entire flat area from bead seat to bead seat. The latter is probably more difficult, but would probably yeild a slightly better result, I do mean slightly. One idea I had thougt of was to reuse the rim rubber, and just seal it on the edges. Would save cleanup of the spokes areas, and the rubber is usually pretty thick. Downside, don't know how many years they are good for tho. The sealant is probably good for 20+years.

If you decide to do it, rough up the area you're sealing with scotch bright or sandpaper. Gives the sealant better adhesion. Next clean the area well with alcohol or MEK/MPK. Seal the spoke ends and smooth just enough so there's not alot of excess with a tongue depresser, ensuring there are no air bubbles. Let the sealer cure. Install tubeless valve stem. Install tire, inflate, check for leaks. Redo if necessary.

I've been working with PS products for years, and can tell you that I think this product will work, and work well. The only way a spoke will puncture the sealant is if you hit something REALLY hard and break a spoke off. Same thing happens if you still had a tube. The sealant isn't going to "fly" off due to rotational forces if you've prepped the area correctly. Even then, this stuff is SO strong, I don't know if it would come off, might have a small leak tho.

One thing to consider. If you have to replace spokes, this stuff is going to have to be cleaned off and reapplied. No biggie tho. Good luck Russ, and Ian, NICE JOB!!!



Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
On 2007-01-19 09:42, TexasTri wrote:
Has anyone else tried this themselves, guess I'll have to do a search.
There's loads of stuff on one of the Yahoo forums......

MickMaguire wrote:

This REALLY is not something to be messing around with. Get it wrong and you could end up with the equivalent of a high speed blowout, which could lead to serious injury or death!
You mean exactly the same as when I get a screw through an inner tube? That happened to me at around 60 on my Commando and the rider following was astonished I managed to stay on, with the back wheel trying to overtake the front (alternating which side it wanted to be). I reckon the worst that will happen is that I may get a slow leak. Remember all the pressure is pushing the sealant against the joint.

Tubeless punctures are far easier to deal with on the road than are tubes, and given the struggle I had breaking beads it's not something I'd want to try outside the workshop.

Oh, and close reading of the web site of the company you may be referring to (wheel works) shows me they use exactly the same product......

I had extensive conversations with an expert consultant at the supplier, who was quite happy with my proposed use of his product. Oh, and he gave me it free as it was slightly out of date.....

speedjunkie wrote:
If you decide to do it, rough up the area you're sealing with scotch bright or sandpaper. Gives the sealant better adhesion. Next clean the area well with alcohol or MEK/MPK. Seal the spoke ends and smooth just enough so there's not alot of excess with a tongue depresser, ensuring there are no air bubbles. Let the sealer cure. Install tubeless valve stem. Install tire, inflate, check for leaks. Redo if necessary.
That's exactly what I did, but used a small wire brush in a Dremel to clean up, followed by MEK (again supplied by my friendly consultant). There was a fair amount of powdery corrosion around the place.

I used two coats of sealant, the first quite thin to ensure penetration into the spoke end and around the nipple, following up when that had cured (which took a couple of days) with another to ensure any slight gaps were filled. I applied both coats with a small brush to make sure I got it well into gaps.

TBH the hardest part was breaking the bead on the rear tyre.

I will indeed provide an update later in the year.


<edit> Oh, and of course I am not advocating anyone else does this.......</edit>





[ This message was edited by: iansoady on 2007-01-20 06:43 ]
 

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Interesting. Would like to see the long term results. Ought to have no problems with compatibility (aviation fuels are ugly things).
 

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Sealer is tough stuff. It's used to seal up the pressure vessel on aircraft as well. Seams, windows, bulkheads, everything. I guess the optimum thing would have been to remount the tire and put 1-2psi in the tire while the sealer was still wet, forcing sealer into all the voids. Then remove tire and touch up sealer as required. Lot of work, but doable.




Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I did consider something like that (especially as I read the people who do it in California use some sort of vacuum process) but decided that as the gaps are going to be tiny it wouldn't really achieve anything much. And as the sealant is such messy stuff I'd have it all over the tyre, and fitting / removing it was likely to disturb the seal anyway.
 

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My 02 came with the rear wheel spokes already sealed, and I'd like to do the front. Both wheels have always run tubes though so I would like to know what you used for valve stems.

Thanks, Rainycoastguy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I just bought a pair from ebay. I believe they're BMW standard fitting - 8mm diameter, so probably available from BMW spares places. Cost me around £3 for two IIRC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update:

Now done a couple of hundred miles or so on the modified rims with no problems whatsoever. The nice thing is that the pressure hasn't budged in around 2 months - tubes always lose a pound or so a week (at best). No detectable difference in handling or anything else (up to 95 anyway).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No problems 5,000 miles on

I've just changed the back tyre which was squaring off at about 9,000 miles, which gave me an opportunity to look at the spoke sealing. Still as sound as a bell and over the 10 months or so since I did the job has lost no more than 1psi per month - mostly due to putting the gauge on I reckon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
They look very similar to the stuff I used. The key is the spec: MIL-S-8802E, Type II, Class B-2. The nozzle probably makes them easier to apply & mix than what I used.

Oh, by the way still working fine with no problems.
 

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Thanks for the info guys. Will check it out. Actually looking for something to seal the plastic gas tank on my 98 with. Found some plastic two-part sealer similar to Quick Steel at the local auto store. Works great to seal the tank but seems to be affecting the gas after 24 hours of exposure. It's a headache to have to keep exchanging the gas after only one day of use! :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
No, no bubbles or shrinkage at all. I used the sealant on the (strictly off the record) advice of the applications consultant at the supplier. It sticks really well to the alloy - in fact it's hard to scrape off the odd surplus bits.
 
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