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Got a Flat, Here's a "how to"

Discussion in 'Technical' started by AC1K, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. AC1K

    AC1K Member

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    Location:
    Calgary Alberta Canada
    Step 1) Get a patch kit (its like $8)
    2_resize.jpg

    Step 2) take the wheel off the car, find the nail
    1_resize.jpg

    Step 3) Deflate the tire at least down to 15psi so when you pull the nail out its not explosive
    3_resize.jpg

    Step 4) cleanse the area, and push the file tool into the puncture, work it so the puncture is clean of any rust and loose floating rubber bits, you want the rubber cement on the patch to contact only clean jagged rubber
    4_resize.jpg

    Step 5) thread the patch through the "needle" tool, use a heat gun to heat up the patch so its all sticky
    5_resize.jpg

    step 6) ram the patch into the puncture, you need probably more than ~150lbs of force,
    6_resize.jpg

    step 7) push the patch in so its like 2/3 of the way in, pull the needle tool out as FAST as you can, the patch should stay in place and not move
    7_resize.jpg

    Step 8) trim the excess off with a utility knife
    8_resize.jpg

    Step 9) re-inflate the tire to spec
    9_resize.jpg

    Step 10) check it every day for several days after to make sure its not losing air

    i've patched my 4th tire now and none of them have lost a single PSI even after several months,

    i dont trust any shop around me with a 30 series tire, they cant even mount a 45 series tire without scratching the hell out of my wheel.
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I've patched tires exactly as described over the years with excellent results. I keep those tools as well as a Slime compressor kit in the Model S trunk "just in case" since it doesn't have a spare.

    The only thing is, those patch repair kits always mention that they are supposed to be "temporary" and that the tire should be unmounted and patched from the inside. As I say, I've had excellent results and never followed up with the "professional" repair afterwards. Should I have?
     
  3. JST

    JST Active Member

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    Yes, you should; an internal patch is the "right" way to do it. Of course, I too have done any number of plugs without bothering to do the patch, and haven't had a problem. I wouldn't subject a plugged tire to high loads or high heat (like, e.g., the track), but for a daily driver? Probably not an issue.
     
  4. AC1K

    AC1K Member

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    Location:
    Calgary Alberta Canada

    No racing, i would not ask that simple plug to stand up, but daily driving under normal conditions, it should be okay.

    also keep in mind, plugs work where patches to not. the mushroom patch needs a bare minimum of 1" from the side wall or else it wont fit. (this is how i found out about tire plugs since the tech refused to patch the tire)
     
  5. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    This is what I use:
    Standard Model - Tire Plugger - Stop & Go International Inc Store

    Much better than the "sticky rope" plugs which are not good for high speed since there isn't much holding the plug in against the centrifugal force. The above kit has a mushroom head that seals against the inside of the tire. But it's only like 1/4" of "flare" so can still be done close to the edge. I've used this kit for years on my motorcycles and cars.

    Though keep in mind that as you get close to the edge of the tire that's where the steel belts are and the belts will cut the plug like a wire saw as the tire flexes. So if the hole is amongst the belts a plug won't work.
     
  6. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Remember that once patched even internally this tire is no longer speed rated.
     
  7. strider

    strider Active Member

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    True but the "sticky rope" plugs are meant for lawn mowers and ATVs. I wouldn't use them on a highway-capable vehicle. I wouldn't go 130mph on any patched or plugged tire but have done thousands of miles at 75-80mph on the Stop & Go plugs.
     
  8. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I had a flat last Friday. Hit a rock with the 21's and put a nasty gash in the sidewall. I was about 30 miles from service, or a tow. I tried the rope, and it blew it right out with about 30 lbs. of pressure. I tried slime, and that ran right out. Then a 2nd rope held for about 10 miles and had to replace it again to get home. New tire will arrive tomorrow. Nice CHP officer gave me an escort at 40 mph on the highway!

    IMG_0480[1].JPG
     
  9. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    I suggest carrying pliers with you as well. I had a screw in backwards. In the rain.
    (Posted elsewhere...)

    photo (21).JPG

    @AC1K - you're lucky it happened in your driveway!
    @Lloyd - what no fire/explosion? :)
     
  10. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    My kit in the trunk well has:

    12v compressor
    Plug kit with various size plugs, T handled reamer and plug installer
    Utility knife (to trim plugs)
    Pliers (to remove nail/screw)
    Tire marking crayon (to mark area before removing offending object)
    Work gloves

    Digital tire pressure gauge in glove box
     
  11. bluetinc

    bluetinc Member

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    What are you guys using for a jack? While I have the kit to take care of a nail, I don't yet have a great way to get the wheel off (on the side of a highway). I'm sure this means that the day I need it, I'll be in a suit, and the rain will be pouring down....


    Peter
     
  12. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    I called AAA and it took them forever and a half. It was raining, pouring but stopped just before he arrived.
    Of course he lectured me about the fact that AAA isn't allowed to plug tires...as he plugged the tire.
     
  13. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    I've seen a plug done with the wheel on (not off). You need to find the nail or screw and roll the car so it protrudes in an accessible location--and also set the ride height (if you have air) to very high. I haven't tried this yet personally (…frantically knocking on wood).
     
  14. jthompson

    jthompson JThompson

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    Lloyd, I had the exact same cut in my tire after hitting a huge pothole. But I was able to put a single patch in and it held for a few days until I could get the Service Center to replace the tire. The guys at the Service Center could not believe the plug held, and they were taking picture of the bulge in the sidewall with the plug sticking out (just like yours!)!
     
  15. linkster

    linkster Member

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    #15 linkster, Nov 1, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
    i am using a scissors jack with a 3,000lb rating. I place the 2x4 between the jack pad and the car. Since I am "old school", I don't travel without a spare in the event I can't perform a roadside tire puncture repair. I do, however, much prefer a patch-plug tire repair (which would require a tire shop to remove 1/2 of the tire from the rim) over the plug kit shown in the photo.
     

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  16. Geoff

    Geoff Member

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    Thanks for the info everyone!
     
  17. JST

    JST Active Member

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    Which space saver spare is that?
     
  18. Morristhecat

    Morristhecat Member

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    #18 Morristhecat, Nov 1, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
    @linkster, yeah, where did you get that spare?? And what size is it?
     
  19. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    What are the lug nuts torqued to at the factory.

    Are you able to break the nuts free by hand?
     
  20. strider

    strider Active Member

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    129lb-ft. I use a spider like that at home to break them free when rotating. No worries at all.
     

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