How to Install a Valve Stem

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Tubeless inflatable wheels give you a safe, comfortable ride in your car. The same is true for your riding mower. This type of wheel assembly also makes repairs easier to diagnose and perform. A tubeless tire consists only of a metal wheel rim, a rubber tire and a valve stem. A quick squirt of some soapy water will tell you for sure where your leak is located. Once you know your valve stem is leaking, all you need to do is remove the wheel from your mower and replace the valve stem.

Things You'll Need

  • Valve stem tool
  • Razor knife
  • Large flat screwdriver
  • Soapy water
  • Rags
  • Valve stem
  • Compressor with tire fill nozzle
  • Tire gauge
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Lay your wheel valve side up on a flat surface. Unscrew and discard the valve cap. Slide the notch of the valve stem tool into the opening on the valve and twist the tool counterclockwise ½ turn. Allow all of the air to escape from the tire. Remove and discard the valve.

  • Push the valve sideways until the metal threads touch the rim of the wheel. Cut through the base of the valve stem with your razor knife. Discard the valve stem.

  • Place your hand on the sidewall of the tire. Lean so that your body weight pushes the tire down. Gently insert the tip of your screwdriver between the rubber tire and the metal rim. Twist the screwdriver to pull the two materials apart. Work your way around the entire wheel to completely break the seal.

  • Reach inside of the tire and locate the rubber knob that is left over from your valve stem. Remove and discard this piece.

  • Slide your new valve stem into the wheel and up through the valve stem hole in the rim. Grasp the end of the valve stem outside of the rim. Pull the valve stem up and push it gently from side to side to seat the stem into place in the rim.

  • Wet a rag with soapy water. Rub the rag around the inner edge of the rubber wheel. Coat the inner edge of the wheel thoroughly with the soapy water. Wipe away any excess water from the wheel with a dry rag.

  • Remove the valve cap from your new stem. Turn on your compressor. Press the tire fill nozzle on the compressor onto the tire stem and fill the tire with air. The inner edge of the rubber wheel should pop, signifying a proper seal. Check the air pressure in your wheel periodically with the tire gauge so you do not overfill the tire. Add the amount of air recommended on the sidewall of your tire, twist the valve cap onto the valve and turn off your compressor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Overfilling a tire with too much air poses a lethal explosion hazard. Do not add more air to a tire than is recommended by the manufacturer. This recommendation is listed on the sidewall of your tire.
  • Work gloves and safety glasses are necessary when doing any type of work with tires and hand tools.

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References

  • Photo Credit lawnmower man image by feisty from Fotolia.com
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