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Flat Tire

Old 09-18-2010, 06:11 PM
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huck1199
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Default Flat Tire

I picked up an old SuperFli and the wheel pants are epoxied to the struts. The problem is one tire is flat. Has anyone devised a way to fill a tire with something to plump it up. I was thinking of injecting foam of some sort but can't find anything suitable. Any ideas? I don't want to try and remove the wheel and replace it. Thanks for any ideas.
Old 09-18-2010, 07:53 PM
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AH1G
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Default RE: Flat Tire

Are they balloon tires?
Old 09-18-2010, 08:32 PM
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Default RE: Flat Tire

If they are balloon tires somewhere under the rim should be a stem...I have a set of tires that has a fill valve on the sidewall.
If they are foam tires roll and squeeze the tire back into shape.
Old 09-18-2010, 09:16 PM
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Default RE: Flat Tire

If that SuperFli is from the Phil Kraft QuickFli and the Midwest FliFly family then likely that airplane is pretty old and tires flattened by sitting would never hold up to use even if injected with something.

I doubt they are inflatable Dubro balloons, I think they start at about four inchs. If its the nice vintage restoration I think it is then it deserves nice new wheels and a little simple surgery.

John
Old 09-18-2010, 10:17 PM
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AH1G
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Default RE: Flat Tire

Dubro's run from 3-6" & Trexler's (Trexler Rubber Co.) start at 1 3/8" to 4 1/2".
Old 09-18-2010, 11:35 PM
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Default RE: Flat Tire

They are balloon tires. Yes, it is a circa 70's Phil Kraft 48" ws version. I don't see any fill valve. The rubber is still soft and plyable. There does not seem to be and mfg id on the tires.
Old 09-19-2010, 12:05 AM
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Default RE: Flat Tire

Looks like a good place for a silicone implant.

[:-]
Old 09-19-2010, 12:32 AM
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Default RE: Flat Tire

I think I will slice a section of the tread and stuff it with foam rubber and glue it back together.
Old 09-19-2010, 07:29 AM
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Default RE: Flat Tire

They are smaller than any of the inflatables except the trexlers of course which are wood wheels and never would have been appropriate for this airplane. One candidate would be Veco which was an aluminum wheel with a hollow tire but was not an inflatible, These were very common all over the country. Original rubber on these would be extremely suspect for actual usage.

What is unknown is when the airplane was built maybe when it was a contemperary airplane of its time but possible built in much later years. That you probably will never know.

Anyway doing surgery on the tire itself while it is still mounted mostly enclosed in a wheel pant would seem a hugh effort thats likely to prove very frustrating to do and unreliable if the airplane is actually intended to be flown.

Seems to me that the airplane would deserve the effort to remove/replace the pants after replacing the wheels.

I have done a few restorations and trying to fly old rubber is frustrating and not often successful for any period of time.


John
Old 09-19-2010, 09:38 AM
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Default RE: Flat Tire

Haat will soften epoxy if you want to remove pants.

Gary
Old 09-19-2010, 11:37 AM
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Kimhoff
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Default RE: Flat Tire

heat
Old 09-19-2010, 02:35 PM
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Default RE: Flat Tire

Thanks for the input.
Old 09-19-2010, 03:39 PM
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landeck
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Default RE: Flat Tire


ORIGINAL: Roo Man

Haat will soften epoxy if you want to remove pants.

Gary
Be careful of using heat. If the wheel pants are plastic you will melt or distort them.

Bruce
Old 09-19-2010, 03:47 PM
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Default RE: Flat Tire

use a hot solder iron may work best for heating as what Bruce just said you don't want melt plastic or distort glass pants with the wrong method.

heating the gear lags themselves with an iron is about the safest bet.
Old 09-19-2010, 04:18 PM
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huck1199
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Default RE: Flat Tire

Since the tire is toast anyway, I'll try and stuff it with foam. If that doesn't work I'll pull it off and install a new wheel.  The wheel pants may not work too well on our grass field anyway, but I hate to lose them as they look pretty good. Thanks again for all your input.  I guess there is no easy way.
Old 09-20-2010, 09:57 AM
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Flyin Beagle
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Default RE: Flat Tire

Just an Idea, I have never done it, but could you just cut a tiny slit in the tire and fill it with some of the expanding foam for sealing windows. I know they make a low expansion kind that would flow pretty well into the tire but not put so much pressure as to damage it. You can get it at most any Lowes, Home Depot, or hardware store, I think even Wal-Mart carrys it.

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