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Technical The bead leaking with alloy wheels ?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blazedogs, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 470


    Not sure I should be posting this, may get deleted. ? I'm sure most of you that have alloy ,mag wheels etc have trouble with the beads leaking in time between the tire and the rim, issues mainly with radials and tubeless tires. Leaking beads is a issue with the cold temps here in Mn Was at a tire shop yesterday. (Flat Tire) and learned something. I had been using the black bead sealer, putting it on the rims on the very edge where the tire beads on
    Well I was told that this is wrong,not to use the black rubbery bead sealer in a can use grease instead, it beads better and prevents corrosion. Have I been wrong this whole time ? gene
    oops forgot to mention yes I always cleans the rim with a HS bristle brush before mounting
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2020
  2. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,743


    I have never had a car, new or old, with alloys that didn't have at least one that leaked. And, as you pointed out, it was always worse in the winter. I don't mind checking the pressure and inflating them once a week during the summer, but don't enjoy it at all when it's -20.

    This is why "steelies" are so popular.:D
    LAROKE likes this.
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,918


    My experience as well.
  4. I’ve used the black bead sealer with success

    Spray paint works very well

    also the gel tire lube
    clem likes this.

  5. I have had some leak......crud build-up from water/road salt......cleaned the contact area real good (tire deflated and broke down) with a wire brush......solved the leak problems.
  6. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,338


    The only ones I've had that leaked, had porosity...can see air bubbles on the middle of the rim. Maybe it's because I live in an aluminum friendly environment? we don't get a lot of humidity here very often. Parts don't rot away, just from sitting outside.
    Johnny Gee likes this.
  7. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,169


    The wheel and tire manufacturers tell you that there should be nothing between the wheel and tire. They do not use bead sealer. However there is usually some type of paint on the wheel. Either color or clear. I have good luck using paint. I put it on from a spray can as thick as I can and put the tire on before it dries. I seldom have to do it again until I change tires.
  8. Phil P
    Joined: Jan 1, 2018
    Posts: 352

    Phil P

    I've had good luck with a light coat of Slime tire sealant painted on the bead when the rim wasn't perfect.

    blowby likes this.
  9. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 470


    Squirrel I have heard of that porosity with certain wheels In my cause submerged the wheel and bubbles coming from the bead
  10. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 470


    mmmmm Maybe steelies are the way to go I like the traditional look anyway
  11. Tickety Boo
    Joined: Feb 2, 2015
    Posts: 1,362

    Tickety Boo
    from Wisconsin

    In this cold weather got the same problem now with one wheel of my daily driver. :eek: Due for new tires, so been thinking about a coating with them P.O.R. :rolleyes:
  12. Ericnova72
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 463


    Permatex Aviation High Tack Gasket maker, the one that comes in a spray can, purple colored stuff, is what a lot of drag and circle track racers use to run tubeless. works well to prevent leaks and glue the bead to the rim to prevent it slipping under dead hook traction situation.
    Sprays on like spray paint, cleans off way easier though.
    Comes in a brush can too, a little messier to apply though.
    19Eddy30 likes this.
  13. tractorguy
    Joined: Jan 5, 2008
    Posts: 693


    Dealt with some of that in 1979-1980 on new Corvettes under warranty.......Service bulletin fix was to paint entire inside of wheel with epoxy paint. Have fun.
    Tickety Boo likes this.
  14. 19Eddy30
    Joined: Mar 27, 2011
    Posts: 1,294

    from VA

    Brush on Rubber contact cement ,
    X-cpe likes this.
  15. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 9,508

    jimmy six

    Dawn dish soap has always worked for me but a bitch to get off with a hand tire machine.
  16. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,338


    The aluminum wheels we don't have any trouble range in age from 2 to 50+ years old, and some of them we've had for decades, and they don't have any bead leaks.

    It's all very strange. I wonder what my magic trick is?
  17. Is there an expansion and contraction rate of aluminum vs rubber? Yes. This is why grease works. Sealant isn't designed for movement nor will if stop movement. It becomes a failed joint with an irregular surface by which air can escape.
  18. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,338


    I hope the tire bead is always in tension....otherwise, it's gonna leak air.
  19. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    from Ks

    Could you run tubes in them? Lippy
    squirrel likes this.
  20. I'm referring to radial movement against two surfaces. Not outward tension from pressures within.
  21. Greg Rogers
    Joined: Oct 11, 2016
    Posts: 427

    Greg Rogers

    I used to put grease on tire beads and it always worked.. But..this was always on old beaters and used tires that wouldn't be used for long. Have you ever seen old heater and radiator hoses on old 60's cars with leaking valve covers? The rubber swells up and becomes rotten/slimy. That is what I would be afraid grease will do to tires.
  22. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,764


    Spray them (the wheel) inside with good coat of wally world clear. Problem solved.
  23. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 3,160

    Dick Stevens

    I've had good luck brushing tire patch cement on the bead before airing up the tire
  24. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,769

    from Nicasio Ca

    Works for me.
  25. I was told by a tire guy that tubes will heat up inside a radial tire,
    how much I do not know.
    I got tired of airing up leaking aluminum wheels (road salt
    causes the clear coat to flake and weaken the seal)
    so I put steel rims on my daily winter beater, issue solved.
  26. Beanscoot
    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 2,053


    I use a small amount of heavy oil or grease when mounting tires, after cleaning up the rim mounting surface by hand with coarse sandpaper. I have never had a tire spin on the rim, but I'm not drag racing.
    After a few years when I take them off, the rubber at the bead (contacting) surface is nicely supple and fresh looking.
    The small amount of oil absorbed isn't enough to cause any noticeable swelling or harm to the rubber.

    It's a good use for that can of grease that had a few crumbs of dirt fall in it.
  27. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,031

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

    I worked at a garage for 2-1/2 years and probably changed or repaired over 1000 tires. The only bead leaks that a wire brush and black sealer with the brush in cap wouldn't fix was if there was major pitting or a crack, or if the tire bead was badly torn. We painted inside alloy wheels if they leaked, or put in a tube. We never used grease. That of course doesn't mean grease won't seal. Can't say why your sealer failed?
  28. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 4,414


    I keep my bead sealer hanging off the end of my tool box. It's my grease gun. A thin layer around the bead , inflate the tire wipe off the excess. no more leaks. Just fixed the granddaughter's tire the other day. She had been to 2 different tire stores, still had slow leak on her O/T Malibu stock alloy wheel
    Broke it down and greased it up blew it back up and no more leak.
    Worked in the early days of tubeless tires, still works today. Never had a tire pop off the rim even used it on some dirt track tires. Never had a bead eaten up by the grease.
    Won't use it on a drag car for obvious reasons.
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  29. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 470


    Very interesting topic... Something most of us have encountered with our cars
    19Eddy30 likes this.
  30. Mike51Merc
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 3,856


    I've had great success with green Slime sealer. First overinflate the tire and find the leak with some soapy water. Then just deflate the tire and push the bead in the leaky area down with a screwdriver and squirt some sealant in the gap. Wipe with a towel, let it set for 30 minutes or so and re-inflate. Lasts for years and relatively easy to remove when changing the tire later.

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