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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Found this chart over at www.tractorsmart.com thought it might be of interest even though most of us are having a mild winter. The subject of adding washer fluid or rv antifreeze, calcium chloride or water for you guys where the temps never get too low, comes up from time to time and most of us want to know how much weight we'll actually get by doing it. These figures are based on water but should give a good range anyway.
I know this info would be useful to others besides Bolens owners but since I mod this forum I can make it a sticky and we won't have to search through countless forums and threads if the subject comes up again later.

http://www.tractorsmart.com/Farm_Tractor_Liquid_Tire_Ballast.htm
 

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Will loading tires with water etc... cause the rims to rust from the inside?
MOST PUT IN WINDSHIELD WASHER FLUID
 

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Will antifreeze eat up my rims? I have a buddy who has access to lotsa antifreeze.. and told me he could pick up buckets of it. They use it for something where he works... I assume it is automotive antifreeze since he works for an oilcompany?
 

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The Magnificent
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You do not want to use ethylene glycol in your rims. If it leaks it messes up your lawn, or can kill your pets.

Propylene glycol is a little more environmentally friendly.

I would tube any tire that is going to receive liquid.
 

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I put windshieldwasher fluid in both my Cub Cadets. The first one is a 1995 model and second one a 2003 model. Neither one has given me any troubles. I live in central NY and need the extra weight for plowing my driveway.
 

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9/17/2009
We at Trak n Seal manufacture (traknseal.com) a ballast and / or sealant product (dry material). Application of this great sealant treatment will protect against punctures (as large as 3/8 inch) in tube, or tubeless tires. Our product offers the highest density ballast in the marketplace at the lowest cost. TSP 5 ballast is available in dry powder so shipping cost is 1/10 the cost of solid fill or propylene/ ethylene glycol. Cost: (retail) for 50 lbs treats two 10 x 20 …. $400.00- if ordered in distributor quantities (fob San Antonio TX, or So Cal.) Ballast weight: variable, 9.4 lbs to 13.5. Dealerships available.

The powder is a bio-friendly (patented) blend that can be easily recaptured and reused. Can be easily washed (rinsed) off of equipment, or bodies, and down the drain. We have been in business for 29 years and have provided products to CAT, Lull, Pettibone, Trak Int'l and many other equipment suppliers in past years ....... 800-653-8800

1. Futhermore, using TSP 5 offers the user the choice of exact ballast weight, and therefore choice of “CG”, thus is offered. Offering a flexible tire with ballast is often very important to attain improved traction. TSP 5 also offers the user “Sidewall Rigidity” if desired. Simply fill the tire 95 % full and add increased stability, while adding weight and increased tire life. The foam filled option will wear out much quicker on blacktop or hard surfaces. TSP 5 may be easily retrieved and reused with minimal downtime (one hour per tire or less).
2. A sealant only application requires only 3 % fill so is very inexpensive compared to the ballast requirement. Retail cost of sealant only application, EST: 4 x 10 x 16.5 tires $99.00. Installation takes approx. 1hour for 4 tires. The liquid is made from mixing the powder (2lbs) with water and/or freeze protection for “only the extreme climate” of your area. Seals 3/8 inch punctures in 10 ply tires.
3. This same sealant will “balance tires” at highway speeds.Yep! Tis true. Trak n Seal tire treatment helps retain air pressure eliminating the need for tire pressure monitoring, thus increasing gas mileage, and extending tire life, while providing excellent tire flat protection. Tires will run 20 degrees cooler on the highway so is obviously a great advantage in warm or even cold climates.
 

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traknseal seems awfully expensive. I can buy tubes, the monkeygrip filler, and a liquid psi gauge, plus 30 gallons of washer fluid for under, way under $400. this doesn't seem like an affordable option for a homeowner with a garden tractor.

or, you could fill your tubes with beet juice...provided you have enough i guess.
 

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One tire shop near me uses Slime, but it's expensive too.
I was thinking about RV antifreeze? I was always afraid of the alcohol in windshield washer rotting the tires from the inside out?
Tubes are fine but it makes for a total failure if you do get a puncture. A nail hole in a tubeless tire can be plugged quickly, while a nail in a tube tire will go flat and leak till its fixed.

I'd say maybe just a good extra coat of paint or maybe epoxy paint to protect the inner rim and fill them with what you can afford?

I'm not a fan of used antifreeze since it can contain old oil and if it leaks, its too hard to clean up. I just dismounted a pair of tires which had tubes and auto A/F with water mixed, the rims were badly rusted, the tubes leaked and the tires were trashed from rot and age. It was a real mess to deal with just to get rid of the old wheels and tires without dumping it all over in the shop. I can't imagine what a mess 50lbs or so of slime would be in the event you need to change a tire again, with or without a tube.
 

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maybe this sounds silly, But what about filling with something other than a liquid? How about using sand? Maybe pack it full of marbles (kidding), I'm just trying to think outside the box here
 

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I changed tires on a small diesel tractor a few years ago, I believe the brand was a Satoh, on which the rims had lead rings on the inside. The lead was like a band around the middle of the rim. It was a royal pain to get the tire around the lead ring. It sort of reminded me of a run flat tire insert. It appeared to be molded right to the rim, there were no bolts or hardware on it and it didn't move around. The rims were tall and narrow and the lead rings were about 4" square going all around the middle of the rim. I didn't know they were in there when I dismounted the tires, I was surprised that the tire machine didn't destroy them. I guess I should have realized something was odd when I lifted the wheel onto the tire machine. I guess I figured someone had filled it with something that solidified after the weight didn't drain out the valve stem.

On top of that, the guy had double rear wheel weights and front wheel weights too. It had a snow plow on it about 7' wide and a rear brush system.
He was using it to clear a small parking lot. He had me install lug tires with studs in place of chains. He supplied the tires.
There was at least 150lbs of weight on each rear wheel in all and about 50 on each front wheel.

The part I didn't like was that the inner weight rings added load to the tires, where as a filled tire actually helps support weight. It wasn't a very big tractor, not much bigger than a Bolens large frame but it did have a diesel and four wheel drive.
 

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I avoid filling at all costs. Depending on what you use, I suppose some options won't eat the snot out of your rims. But, in my experience, anytime I've popped a tire off of the rim for replacement that was filled, the rim looked terrible.

I just stick with other options. Never really seemed like a gained a whole lot from having filled tires. Except a headache when I had to sand the cancerous rust off of the rims.
 

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maybe this sounds silly, But what about filling with something other than a liquid? How about using sand? Maybe pack it full of marbles (kidding), I'm just trying to think outside the box here
I've heard of cement being used. I'm not talking concrete, but rather the powdered ingredient used in the making of concrete.
 
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