The bead of a lawn mower tire is the area on both sides where the tire meets the rim. If the tire is not on bead, it will not hold air and will continue to deflate while mowing the lawn. Seating the bead is not difficult and does not require expensive, specialized tools. Always park the lawn mower on a level, solid surface when performing maintenance.
Things You'll Need
- Wheel blocks
- Small scrub brush
- 180-grit sandpaper
- Liquid soap
- Cargo strap with ratchet assembly
Place wheel blocks either in front or behind two tires on the opposite side of the lawn mower. Place the blocks in front of the front wheels if working on a back tire or behind the back wheels if working on a front tire.
Jack the lawn mower up by placing the jack securely on the frame beside the wheel that needs the bead seated.
Clean the inside of the rim with a small scrub brush to remove all dirt and debris such as soil or grass clippings. Carefully and slowly, rub your finger around the inner edge of the rim to check for burrs or rough spots. Do not press down hard or a rough metal area can cut your fingers. If you notice any rough areas or burrs, sand the area with 180-grit sandpaper until smooth.
Saturate the edge of the rim with liquid soap. Rub the soap all over the edge of the rim so there is a thick coating of dish soap.
Wrap the cargo strap around the center of the tire with the ratchet assemble in a location where you have enough room to tighten the strap.
Tighten the strap until the compressed tire pushes up against the rim with a gap of about ¼ to ½ inch. Saturate the space with liquid dish soap. The liquid soap is a lubricant and will help to seal the tire against the rim.
Tighten the cargo strap until the tire pops into position.
Begin filling the tire with air. When there are no more bubbles created by air leaking around the rim, slowly release the cargo strap. If you release it too quickly, before the tire has enough air pressure to hold it against the rim, the bead will pop back off the rim.
Remove the cargo strap. Remove the jack. Remove the wheel blocks.
Tips & Warnings
- Keep lawn mower tires properly inflated to reduce the risk of the tire coming off the bead.
- Some people recommend using a belt to compress the tire. The belt can break and fly off the wheel. Use a cargo strap for safety.
- Photo Credit roue image by Jacques PALUT from Fotolia.com
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