Tubes cheap redneck home made tire sealant for retro-grouches

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by happycheapskate, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Please don't spend 1000 posts telling me Slime brand is better, or tubeless UST is better. If that's true for you, great, have a good ride.

    Here is my home-made tire sealant, that I like and use on all my bikes (except the road racing bike on events, when being a weight weenie matters).

    This is cheap and easy, and I am not even saying I invented it or anything.
    (demo video to upload this week)

    Stuff you need:
    (I made a bunch of this stuff and share it with my fishing buddies and Friends of the Trail at my home trail)

    4 $1.25 Latex Caulk tubes from the Walmart home improvement
    1 gallon of Blue Window Wash ($1.50?) from automotive
    (OR, for frozen climates, 1 gallon of RV water tank antifreeze, pink usually, available for $5 or less at Tractor Supply Co. )
    a few feet of 1/4 ID plastic/vinyl water hose, often used as clear fuel line by MB riders
    a Bic ink pen
    Optional: old tire valve from dead tube, valve clip from dead tire pump or hardware store
    A couple of plastic applesauce jars or gatorade bottles (see photos)
    valve-core tool

    Make this device (jug for pumping tire sealant into tubes or tires)

    Tips: This works best with the "thorn proof tubes" because the thicker rubber gives more of a place to make the plug

    the ends of the hoses in the jar should be slash cut or have a small notch cut in them, or it can hydrolock to the bottle.

    The piece of bic pen used for the tire pump to fit on the 1/4 hose might have to be scraped or sanded down to fit.
    You can scrape the rubber off a dead tire/tube valve to use in place of the bick pen if you want. It doesn't have to take much pressure, so it's not important, but looks cool.

    The air hose should not be far down in the jar, or you might blow sealant into your pump or on your bike.

    The tire hose should be a couple feet long so you can put the jug on the ground.

    Use a measuring cup and water to mark 2, 4, 6 oz on the jug with a Magic Marker, and dump out the water.

    Make the sealant in the other jar using 1 part caulk and 1 part antifreeze/window wash, and shake really really well. This can be stored long term in a cool place, just shake up to use.

    Only put the amount in the jar that you want to put in the tire. Then pump slowly till its all pushed into the tube. Relieve the pressure by pulling the pump off the air hose side.

    You can even save old tubes from friends and the dumpsters at bike shops, patch them, and "pre slime them" then save them for spares to give out on group rides.

  2. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    If you want to be extra special, you can drill a 3rd hole in the pump jug, and run a hose alongside the tire hose, so you can use your finger to cap the end while pumping, and let go when you don't want any more fluid. The extra will run back into the jar.

    Even easier, drill a hole in the bic pen thing and cover with your finger when pumping, then release to stop pumping fluid.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  3. professor

    professor Active Member

    Very creative. Can you do it without getting the stuff all over?
    Oh, the blue windshield fluid is already good for cold temps because of the alcohol in it.
  4. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Yeah, I did it without getting it everywhere. I'll do a demo this week on video. I might even use an old bike and tire and poke it a few times. I've got an old BMX that will do. I still do it over some newspaper though because unless you use a pump-head (I just stick the hose end on the valve of tire), you might get a little on the tire or floor.

    No joke, this stuff is nasty, but if it's dried its no big deal, and if it is spilled outside, you can just wipe off of your bike and let it dry on the grass anywhere that some squirted. It is easiest to do it to tubes and then put them on the bike. If you don't wash out the pump jug, the residue will harden in there. I just rinse with water.

    But it's cheap and effective. I got the idea from some tubeless-conversion people who were making a Stan's knockoff. The blue stuff might actually freeze but maybe not in a tire. I haven't tried it in winter yet. I have seen the blue window wash freeze on the windows and mirrors of diesel trucks I was driving though! That is NOT FUN at all! I've been some places cold enough (colorado) that the truck heat didn't even heat the cab unless moving, even with radiator tarps. (gel city!)
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  5. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    I went biking this weekend and had some more experimenting with this. The sealant works best if it is kind of thick. I made it too watery on one bike.

    I ride around grassy areas and a lake park and a bicycle trail where I get thorn flats fairly often. fooey.

    It worked on my baby trailer (20" BMX wheels with 1.75 and a 2.1 tire). The tire went a little low and I aired it up and it held all afternoon. Some of the goo had squirted out near the rim, but it just made a white streak on the tire that could be brushed off later. It's kind of like latex paint.

    My BMX got a flat and I aired it up and rode it around.

    My cyclocross bike got a flat and it did not work. I think it is because of the thin tube that had to stretch even more to work in the 700x38 tire.

    This works if the tube is thick and does not have to stretch a lot, and the goo is thick (It has to circulate in the tire, but if too thin, may not work quickly.)

    It works great in tubeless mower and trailer tires. I do not know how it works in tubeless bicycle tires because I don't have any.
  6. fm2200

    fm2200 Member

    When are you gonna post video.
  7. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Probably tomorrow. Made a new batch, will try it on my old BMX or kid-trailer tire.

    I'm truing up a mtn bike wheel now and got the bicycle stuff out, maybe I can video today. Trying to figure out how to video tape it by myself. Guess I'll prop it up on my truck tailgate and give it a shot.
  8. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Oh well. I tried it on my BMX while attempting a video. I ran over a deck screw with it and it didn't work so well. Thin tubes again. I've had luck with it for thorn holes, but I guess the deck screw made too big a hole (s shaped hole about big as a pencil eraser).

    I know it works well in tubeless lawnmower tires, even old cracked up ones. But I guess there isn't much you can do with tube tires unless they are really thick tubes.

    Here is what the super tubes look like compared to the regular stuff. [​IMG]

    regular tube [​IMG]

    I'm going to try the old trick of heavy backwash hose as tire-liner. I am done messing with the goop. It's worked on some kids bikes here, that I've tried it on, but I guess I won't recommend it for high speed mbs. Try super tubes and if you can get it, tires with kevlar BELTS, not kevlar beads as that is only the beads that holds the tires on the rim not the tread.

    All in the name of science, right?
    Any ideas (besides buying thicker tubes and more rubber cement? lol)

    I don't want to be blamed for anyone making a mess of their tube or it not working for them, so I'm going to close this thread, but feel free to respond on my visitor page if you tried it or make something similar and it worked for your bike or mb.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  9. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    I pulled off the experiment tube and found it had sealed 2 holes from the deck screw (ran over 2 x) but the third was too big (screw poked through tube both sides) .

    For something that does work, surely, see the threads or PM me about the foam tires (Amerityre and Nutech). They are about $35 each, and you just install them once and ride the tread off them, then recycle them. A couple people on this board and motorbicycling have used them on mbs. I have some on a 26" bicycle and they are ok, feel kind of weird at first, but ride anywhere you want with no flats. You can search on google for this board and find threads on Mr. Tuffy, home made tire liners with pump hose, etc.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  10. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    the r.v. antifreeze has vegatable oil in it.
    windshield wash shouldn't freeze because it has alchol in it.
  11. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Well, I guess this thread still has some interest, so I'll keep it open. Cool.

    Here is the first video I made. (shows BMX bike front tire that had a wooden thorn in it. I don't know where the kid rode it to get that, but ok. )

    Here is a video I made where I deliberately puncture the tire (BMX front tire, same bike, with bald old tire) several times with a deck screw through a 2x4, to test.

    Result: 1 of the holes was too big or too high (close to rim strip) to get wet and seal good. Gave up and patched the tube conventionally. (scuff with boot knife, add tire glue and dry, add vulcanizing patch).
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  12. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    I'm making another batch for my junky old BMX bike and fishing trailer. I will try adding salt to the caulk and window wash (mostly water, with a little methanol and blue food coloring) or maybe just rubbing alcohol, to see if that plugs any better. People on a MTBreview forum about tubeless setups had some riders using rubber shavings, silica beads (sand for modeling or hobby), hobby beads, glitter, etc. They thought salt would maybe create corrosive gasses if the window wash has a lot of ammonia, but I think the $1 blue wash at Wmart doesn't have ammonia or much of it. Will post update.

    I will see if this caulk latex will dilute with rubbing alcohol. I know that can combine with table salt and not do anything. I use rubbing alcohol, salt, and dish soap as a spray to kill ants and scrub dirty pots.

    I'm trying to make something cheap and effective for kids bikes, trailers, and junk bikes so people don't have to buy Slime for everything.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  13. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    I got some thorns in my kid trailer again, and the old batch still works. I didn't even have to pump more air. The trailer tires run about 25-30psi. I noticed some white splashes on the sidewalls which is what happens when the sealant mashes between the poked tube and tire, till it seals the leak. Sometimes a little runs out near the tire bead. Thicker tubes are what makes it work.

    On my fishing trailer, I just replaced the tubes with foam pipe insulation (thickest one available. I wrapped it up like a cinnamon roll, taped it every 4" , and crammed it in the tire with a bunch of levers, like with real foam tubes. It seems like a 25psi tire, pretty cushy. The tires flex a lot. They are old junk tires so I don't care if they wear out faster. The rim had lots of pad. I could bounce the wheels off the pavement like a basketball.
  14. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    If you really want to redneck it, you can ask a mower shop or junkyard, and look for some wheels off a high-wheel push mower. The plastic kind would probably be best/cheapest because metal is worth scrap, and the plastic mags will have some damping function.

    MTD Mower Wheel plastic with metal bearings, $21 each

    You would need some All-Thread or long bolts, hardware like washers and nuts, etc to mount these where the standard QR BMX style wheels go. You will likely need to "flat" the axles with a grinder at the ends, where they go into the QR axle slots. (be sure to move several nuts down the thread first, so you can chase the threads after filing! )

    This would be a good option for a fishing trailer or something without a human or pet passenger. You could keep your regular wheels for road or passenger use.