How to Put an Innertube in a Lawn Mower Tire

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When a lawnmower tire has plenty of tread left yet has a puncture or leak, it may be less expensive to put an inner tube in the tire to extend the life of the tire. To purchase an inner tube for a lawnmower tire, get the numbers on the side of the tire and call local tire shops for price and availability. Check for any glass, nails or other debris and remove before inserting the inner tube in the tire.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack, jack stand or concrete block
  • Crowbar
  • Hammer
  • Snips
  • Dish soap
  • Cornstarch
  • Vise grips
  • Heavy rope or belt
  • Put a jack, jack stand, concrete block or other stable wedge under the lawnmower to support the lawnmower.

  • Remove the tire and rim from the lawnmower. Lay the wheel on a solid surface.

  • Wedge a crowbar and hammer between the rim and tire. Hit the crowbar with the hammer to push the tire away from the rim to break the bead. Go all the way around the rim with the crowbar and hammer to push the tire totally away from the rim. Be careful not to damage the edge of the tire or the rim.

  • Push the tire down where the valve stem is protruding through the rim. Use a pair of sharp snips to cut the valve stem and remove.

  • Use the crowbar as a wedge to carefully slide the tire, one small section at a time, over the rim so the rim is under the lip of the tire.

  • Sprinkle cornstarch into the tire. This will help the inner tube move freely in the tire and make it easier to maneuver into position.

  • Lay the inner tube on the top and position it so that the valve stem on the inner tube is in the same position as the hole for the valve stem on the rim. Push the inner tube into the the tire and push the valve stem through the hole in the rim. Use a pair of vise grips to clamp the valve stem on the outside of the rim.

  • Push the inner tube onto the rim with your hands and move it into position in the tire. Make sure that the inner tube is not twisted in the tire.

  • Wash the edge of the tire and inner edge of the rim with hot, soapy water. Do not saturate. It is easier to reseat the bead when both the tire and rim are clean.

  • Lay the crowbar across the rim horizontally so that the hooked end can be inserted between the tire and the rim. Hook the end of the crowbar onto the rim under the edge of the tire that was removed from the rim. Be careful that you do not pinch the inner tube. Lift the end of the crowbar so the tire moves back into position on the inner side of the rim. Follow this procedure all the way around the rim, in small increments, until the entire tire has been moved back into position on the rim.

  • Remove vise grips from the valve stem and inflate the inner tube until the tire pushes against the rim. When the tire pushes against the rim, pour liquid dish soap between the edge of the tire and the rim. Wrap a heavy rope around the center of the perimeter of the tire and pull it tight. You can also use a clothing belt for this. The purpose of this is to push the edge of the tire as tight against the edge of the rim as possible with equal distribution all the way around. Pour more dish liquid all the way around the rim between the tire and the inner tube.

  • Continue inflating the inner tube until the tire is completely tight against the rim and there is no space between the edge of the tire and the rim. Deflate the inner tube and push on the tire where it meets the rim. If it pushes away from the rim, reinflate the inner tube. Repeat this process until the tire cannot move away from the rim when pressed.

  • Deflate the inner tube until it is inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure. Replace the rim on the lawnmower.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are special tools called spoons that you can use to remove the tire from the rim and replace the tire back over the rim. Using spoons can make the job a little easier.
  • When inflating the inner tube, stand away from the tire in case the tube ruptures. Inflate the tire only to the manufacturer's recommendation before replacing on the tire. Overinflating can cause the tire to burst.

References

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