My Tractor Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Blank Space
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Before I commit to this, I want opinions and to know if anybody has any reason at all to NOT do this.

Both of my LTs are older, 8 years plus. All four front tires are showing age, dry rot, leaking, and so on. I generally have to air at least one of them up each time I use a machine. Also, both front ends are somewhat light. I have traction issues when turning on even a slight slope, especially when the ground is wet/soft.

Instead of replacing the tires to solve the age/leaking issues, I'm planning on having them foamed to solve that, plus add weight. I'm aware of the issue of bonding the whole thing to the wheel making it tougher to change back later. Other than that, are there any other potential problems?

Rear tires will be dealt with at another time. Plan is to replace with an ATV type tire for traction, then liquid fill for weight, but I can't do that all at once.
 

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
7,200 Posts
CaCl filled tubes might be more economical and add more weight than foam. Rims will be toast in several years with CaCl, foam they’ll be hosed immediately. If you don’t need weight, just slime or flat fixer sometimes will fix some leaking from light weather checking for a number of years.

If I were in your situation, I’d do liquid filled tubes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,007 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,789 Posts
When the tyres begin to show age by cracking, dry rot, etc., you need to change them out as they simply do not last forever. Likely the rubber compound of the tyre has hardened to where all elasticity is gone. Regardless of any tread left, that elasticity provides the grip for traction. With the cost of foaming, one could simply spend a couple of dollars more and get new tyres.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
21,518 Posts
Buy and install new turfs. If necessary after, build a heavy steel bumper for the front (30-40 lb). Note that this may take away some rear wheel traction.

Liquid ballast is more for the rear tires for drive traction. It's not worth the cost or trouble for the little bit of weight gained in the small front tires.

Foam filled tires have no give in them and make for a rough ride. The 'no give' part is why they are used on man lifts where the operator may be 20' in the air.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,462 Posts
Several of my 15-20 year old mowers have tires that no longer hold air. You can buy 2 front tubes on Amazon or Ebay for less than $20 and solve the air leaking problem. I don't worry about extra weight, I add that when I get on it.
Cannon
 

·
Blank Space
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'm not concerned with appearance. At all. I'm only concerned with function. I have lots of thorns, so new tires and/or liquid fill, even in tubes might not last long.

The only valid deterrent I've seen so far is the ride. I also have lots of divets, mole runs, roots and other surface issues, so I don't need to deal with a rougher ride, so sounds like foam isn't the best option. I need traction though and new turfs won't help there. Now I'm wondering if I can get knobbies in this size.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,007 Posts
What size are they?
 

·
Blank Space
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I see 13x5-6 knobbies or bars for about $20 each, so I may try those. I really don't want to hang weight on the bumper or frame since neither of these machines has bearings or any other substantial front suspension parts. I'd rather have weight on the ground. Maybe I'll try the WW Fluid or RV AF gig.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
368 Posts
The weight you gain by adding fluid in a 6" tire ( IMO) will be totally unnoticed.
I'd Slime them to get rid of existing leaks and help with future leaks..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,789 Posts

·
15,000 +posts!
Joined
·
19,772 Posts
Tires used on snowblowers with big knobbies work well on the front of lawn tractors to provide better steering traction..they have soft rubber compound too,which works better in the cold or on slick surfaces..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,874 Posts
Foaming tires does not destroy the rim. Simply, to replace the tire it needs to be cut off the rim. When we have tires sent out to be foamed, they do it all there...

However if we were talking about a 16.5" skid steer tire, I'd say yeah foaming is a good option but is $$$. But on a light LT, the foam will make the tire far too dense.. In general at the shop we would replace the tire with a Carslile Turf Trac RS or Turf Master ( No cheesy Turf Savers ) and fill it with WWF if it's needed on the repair bill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
thorns, divets, mole runs, roots
Oh my.....

Poor attempt at humor I'm sure but I tried...:)

I see two questions here,

1) Is there a different type of tire I can use on the front to improve traction on uneven, wet, mowing services? If so, can it be within a reasonable budget?

and,

2) For long term reliability and ease of use with thorns and such, should I fill my tires? If so, with what? (continue to be in line with the end of question #1)

I'm assuming this tractor is mainly for mowing and ground engaging attachments are not your ambition here. I did leave a tire fill guide in PDF (beet juice, 11lbs per gallon, won't freeze in most North American climates, and not corrosive).

I have goat heads (nasty thorns) I've dealt with in this way,

All my yard tires are 4-ply as a minimum (I include yard trailers, wood chippers, etc), 6-ply is better, 8-ply is more difficult to install, and having a more aggressive tread helps too. If the tread is deeper the thorns have no-chance of getting past them, If they did the extra ply's will stop them, problem solved! Right here I'm in favor of Turfs on your tractor such as Carlisle Turf Master, they have deeper lugs and softer compounds than the typical "plastic 2-ply's" that come stock.

Since all tires have a service life of roughly 5 to 10 years, including on the shelf time, congratulations, at 8 years, you got your money's worth. The tire manufacturers will list the service life as time and the better brands won't let their tires rot in a warehouse somewhere, they go bad even when never used.

Here's the tricky part, with uneven surfaces and traction issues on a light tractor, Again using Carlisle here (Kenda is another good tire) the Versa Turf and Fast Trax (even Xtrac) are the hybrid between full bars or chevrons and straight turfs. These tires will drastically improve traction and if you have "tight steering" will require more awareness of their divot producing capabilities but I wouldn't be afraid to use them at all, good traction is also a safer tractor. They are designed for increased traction on turf and if there is "use" on ice you want the tire with the most soft rubber on the surface (such as the better turfs or versa turf style). (I use chevrons, but I also don't have ice, chevrons won't work well on ice, snow, sure).

A light footprint on grass is good for your lawn overall, so filling the tires to force the tread into the lawn for traction may not actually give you the results you seek, it comes down to, tire patch, compound, depth of tread, # of ply's and air pressure that I think will maximize the kind of performance you are looking for.... and on a budget is very do-able!
 

Attachments

·
Blank Space
Joined
·
3,010 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I decided against foam since I don't want the rigid ride. All four front wheels are at the shop getting tubes. I wanted them to fill with the methanol mix they use or WW fluid, but they say they don't have the adapter to fill tubes. ?????

Am I nuts thinking there is such a thing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,874 Posts
I decided against foam since I don't want the rigid ride. All four front wheels are at the shop getting tubes. I wanted them to fill with the methanol mix they use or WW fluid, but they say they don't have the adapter to fill tubes. ?????

Am I nuts thinking there is such a thing?
There is such a thing.. Most farm tractor tubes are what they call liquiflate, where they take a special adapter to pump the liquid in along with a pump. looks like this which they probably have. But then there is another adapter which is the liquiflate end but screws onto a regular valve stem, since that is what your tire is. At my shop we have the adapter somewhere. Could probably find it if we really needed to but most times we put a tire on and dump the liquid through the bead on the smaller stuff.

Liquiflate valves are also available in a tubeless type
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top