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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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gball7
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 43 North Carolina
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2008-04-16          153034


Folks,
I bought my new Kubota BX2350 a couple months ago and have done some good mowing and FEL'ing so far. Great machine.

But I took a nail in the tire last week, had it successfully plugged at a tire store, and have done more good work with the tractor since.

The situation though is that the tire was slightly underinflated from the tire store once I had the full weight of tractor, FEL, 60"MMM and rototiller on the back on the tire...so I went to top it off with a little more air this evening.

When I removed the tire pump hose, the valve (the rubber part where it meets the rim) made a slight hissing noise. It does it when I move the stem slightly off-center in any direction-- more hissing in a couple direcions around the clock- like 9 oclock and 12. The tire is not losing air as long as I don't touch the stem, but I'm still worried about longevity of the tire with this situation.

First off, anyone know if there's a way to 'plug' or repair a stem (the tight area where it goes through the little hole in the rim) at home (DIY)? If not, I assume I'll be getting out the jack and stands again, removing the wheel again, and having the tire re-stemmed in town.

Thoughts/ideas?
Thanks,
Mike in NC

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2008-04-16          153039


I worked in a tire store for a few years and leaky stems were always replaced. I've never heard of a way to repair them. ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7209 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-04-17          153058


Mike, Ken is on the right track, valve stems are both cheap and problematic, so it's best to just replace them.

In your case though it would be a PITA, and most likely the problem is a bit of rust or dirt around the opening in the rim where the stem comes through.

There is a trick that might fix it though, use the FEL to lift the weight off the front end, let all the air out of that tire and put some warm water with a little dish soap in it around the stem and then gently push the stem and pull it out a bit while you spin it around in the hole. This will often clear whatever it is that's letting the air leak past. After you've done this air it back up and look for any sign of bubbles in the soapy water, if there is repeat the process until there is none.

Best of luck. ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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gball7
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 43 North Carolina
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2008-04-17          153063


Thanks for the comments, guys. Murf, would doing this with the stem (twisting it around) mean that the stem would still need to be replaced afterwards? If flecks of metal exist in the stem hole, might they sever the rubber in the stem, causing it to leak more? Or you're saying that this could actually fix the problem?? How fragile is the rubber on these stems usually? Don't mean to question your methods, I just picture this thing being very fragile. ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2008-04-17          153067


Valve stems are pretty rugged, you won't do any more damage trying Murf's method unless the stem is so dried out and cracked it crumbles (and you'd have to replace it anyway if that's the case). ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2008-04-17          153069


By the way, if the hole is really corroded you could try a metal stem. They crank down with a nut and might seal where a rubber one wouldn't. I generally avoid metal stems, though, they have no resilience so if the stem hits a heavy branch or rock it could get damaged where a rubber one would bend and rebound. ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7209 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-04-17          153072


As Ken mentioned, the stems are pretty tough.

If the leak is at the stem, fixing it permanently doesn't have to be a tough job, especially on a front tire.

If the problem is just debris, my suggestion should work fine. If the problem is rust, you will need a more permanent solution, or get used to doing what I suggested every so often as more rust accumulates.

Some people have had good luck with those slime products you put in the tire, I've never had much luck with them personally, but then I've never given them a good try either.

If the problem is rust, to fix it properly the tire should be dismounted, the rim cleaned and the paint touched up, and the tire put back on with a new stem.

Best of luck. ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5242 South Carolina
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2008-04-17          153077


Ken, Murf, is the front tire so hard to break loose from the rim he could not do that and replace the valve stem with the tire still on the tractor? I have never broke loose a lug tire that small but would think he should be able to with large rubber hammer. Then he would have access to both sides of the rim to clean it or replace the valve stem. kt ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2008-04-17          153082


Quote:
Originally Posted by kthompson | view 153077
Ken, Murf, is the front tire so hard to break loose from the rim he could not do that and replace the valve stem with the tire still on the tractor? I have never broke loose a lug tire that small but would think he should be able to with large rubber hammer. Then he would have access to both sides of the rim to clean it or replace the valve stem. kt


My sense is that the beads on tractor tires don't seem to lock as tightly as automotive tires. The profile seems different but I haven't examined them in detail. So it might be possible to deflate the tire, break the bead and change the stem yourself. I've never changed a stem without the right tool, though, it might be a challenge without something that threads onto the stem to pull it through. And the idea of laying the tire flat and flailing away with a sledge to break the bead brings back too many memories of working with split rims. Then there's all the fun you might have spreading the beads and getting them seated again. If it were me, and Murf's simple solution didn't work, I'd take the mounted tire to a shop to have it fixed (if it's not loaded) or call an on-site tire service to fix if it is. But then again as the years have gone by I've become lazier :) ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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DennisCTB
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 2685 NorthWest NJ
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2008-04-17          153083


This a brand new tractor so rust or dry rot rubber should be an issue. ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7209 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-04-17          153084


Quote:
Originally Posted by kwschumm | view 153082
If it were me, and Murf's simple solution didn't work, I'd take the mounted tire to a shop to have it fixed (if it's not loaded) or call an on-site tire service to fix if it is. But then again as the years have gone by I've become lazier :)


Sorry, I was multi-tasking when I typed my post. Ok, truth be known it's 72 and sunny today up here and I'm working from the patio on my laptop while my gal putters in the yard.

That was my intention, to take it somewhere to get it fixed.

I highly doubt a tire on a BX would be a loaded tire. Then again, even if it was loaded, how much could that tire weigh? LOL

Best of luck. ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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gball7
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 43 North Carolina
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2008-04-17          153085


Dennis, you got it- it's a brand new tractor so shouldn't be a rust issue. I'll mess around with this this weekend (after I've mowed with hopefully still good air in the tire). Might be a fix it in the barn sort of scenario. The center floor of the barn where I keep the tractor is concrete, so I can jack it up there safely if I need to. I took the wheel off last week to have the tire plugged in town, but that's a last resort (having it professionally restemmed) if these thoughts don't work in the meantime.I used my hydraulic jack under the front edge of the tractor frame (just behind the FEL grill guard) and jackstands and it worked well.

How long can one safely use the FEL to lift the front (not going underneatht the tractor for any reason, obviously) before the bucket/hydro could sag/lower the tractor some? ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7209 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2008-04-18          153093


How long? Don't no, nor would I care to guess.

We use the FEL to lift the front end then slide a pair of jack stands under each end of the front axle and lower the tractor onto them.

A jack can easily slip, using the FEL to lift and lower the front end eliminates the possibility of a slipped jack, and keeps you well clear of any danger while it's moving.

Best of luck. ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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retcol
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 107 Barron,wi
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2008-04-26          153275


I bought a new L4330 last fall. During the winter when it was really cold the back tires kept going flat. I got sick of it so I had my tire dealer put tubes in the tires. I never had any problems after that. It is just another example of the Kubota company along with the other compact tractor manufacturers trying to go cheap. ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2008-04-27          153288


How long will the loader hold the fronts clear? Depends a little on how high you can clear them and mostly on how much internal hyd-fluid leakage there is. When mine was new it could keep it up overnight; 30 years later it's good for 5 minutes. Sort of like the owner. ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5242 South Carolina
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2008-04-28          153291


Quote:
Originally Posted by retcol | view 153275
I bought a new L4330 last fall. During the winter when it was really cold the back tires kept going flat. I got sick of it so I had my tire dealer put tubes in the tires. I never had any problems after that. It is just anotherexample of the Kubota company along with the other compact tractor manufacturers trying to go cheap.


I have two Kubota's. One came with tubes and the other without. Had Case that came without tubes. For my nickel I find tubeless are easier or less costly with repair. Nail in tubeless it never comes off the tractor, no tire truck called, very little down time with me able to plug the tire. Tube tire totally different experience work and cost wise. Did have a rear tubeless on Kubota come loose from rim all of sudden but when I checked the air in the other rear tire, wondered why it had not also. My poor maintance does not mean a bad product or cheap design. Now, tubes does take rim rust worry away with filled tires. kt ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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gball7
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 43 North Carolina
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2008-04-28          153294


Greetings, guys. I mowed bush-hog territory this weekend w/ the 60"MMM and it did actually an amazing job, considering the job was very heavy duty... grass 2 to 3 feet high along the pond, and in our wild back paddock. The engine lost probably 800rpm during one really thick spot, but came right back. I pre-walked the area to be sure I wasn't going to nail unseen debris. The grass was so out of control (high). The slope down to the pond is wild and a steady incline, and the tubeless tires held air, and tracked really well in 4-low through that area.

Also, re the FEL lifting the front-- jackstands are absolutely key to propping up the front once lifted, as at least one of y'all mentioned. And lifting with FEL would save jack dangers as noted. Good comments. ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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ammoagent
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 5 Elkton, Md.
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2008-05-12          153641


If this is a new tractor, then let the dealer deal with it! If not, then a new valve stem and use bead-sealer on it! I change my own tires and always use bead sealer whether it's tube or tubeless.After I saw a local tire shop tear up my trailer tire beads and could care less, I bought an old manual tire changer and do it myself. It;s not that big of a deal and you have confidence of it being done right.
Green-slime works very good also, I used it on my JD skid steer.
Good luck. Dave ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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gball7
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 43 North Carolina
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2008-05-12          153642


Thanks Dave,
It's all good to go. I had the tire plugged weeks ago and it's been doing fine. Didn't have it tubed at that time, but it's good. The stem isn't an issue turns out. Took the day off Friday and did some major clay diggin'/boxbladin' & backfilling of the front of the house to cut a slight rainwater seepage into the basement, and mowed a bunch of grass. Kubota makes a great machine. So happy with it. Think I'm approaching 20 hours on the engine in just over two months ownership! Mike in NC ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4293 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2008-05-31          154102


Its a little late now but for future reference, you might want to treat your tires with TRC tire seal. I put it in all of my ATV tires, F525, and front tires on the 4410. It works great and no more worries about flats. I have even repaired my neighbors John Deere 5425 front tire with it that had a slow leak.

http://www.texasrefinery.com/ ....

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Kubota tractor tire leaking only some of the time

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gball7
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 43 North Carolina
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2008-06-01          154136


Thanks Chief. Will keep this in mind.
Mike ....

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