Expensive tractor tires dry rotting
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  1. #1
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    Default Expensive tractor tires dry rotting

    I've had to replace a couple large turf (wide) rear tractor tires recently at a cost of over $1k each because they develop small cracks/leaks around the "edge" where the sidewall meets the tread. Is there something I can do to prevent or delay this? They had plenty of tread left. These tractors are stored inside. I've been advised to spray them with "tire shine" but even those products' labels don't claim to prevent dry rot. Besides, if it has a picture of a corvette on the front of the bottle I'm pretty sure it's something that's formulated to just make the tire look wet and siphon money out of the pockets of idiots.

    I'm leaning towards spraying them periodically with biodegradable hydraulic oil (I have large quantities of that on hand). Anyone have any advise for me that's grounded in fact and not urban legend?

    Thanks,
    -Roland

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    a friend has had large cracks in his turf tires for more that 10 years. still uses it weekly

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    I think petroleum based oils would be a bad thing, so hold off on that one. I am in the same boat with new tires on my big tractor and many going to pot on a center pivot, so I will be watching this thread.

    They used to have tire paints for park model mobile homes, not sure if they are still available or desirable.

    In the old service stations we had a rubber bushing lubricant to stop squeaking on the suspension, but I doubt that is a preservative.

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    I have no idea, but I wonder if Fluid Film would help. It's lanolin-based.

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    Stop the Rot: What You Need to Know About Tire Dry Rot - Evans Tire & Service Centers

    What you need to do is to clean the tires and apply tire dressing. I happen to prefer French tire dressing, but many people like the Italian version. But don't use Russian tire dressing, the rot will accelerate!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    Stop the Rot: What You Need to Know About Tire Dry Rot - Evans Tire & Service Centers

    What you need to do is to clean the tires and apply tire dressing. I happen to prefer French tire dressing, but many people like the Italian version. But don't use Russian tire dressing, the rot will accelerate!
    The only thing that really works on tractors is Ranch dressing. Blu Cheese will make them mold faster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmcphearson View Post
    I've had to replace a couple large turf (wide) rear tractor tires recently at a cost of over $1k each because they develop small cracks/leaks around the "edge" where the sidewall meets the tread. Is there something I can do to prevent or delay this? ..................
    Not really. From the moment the tire comes out of the mold the rubber starts to oxidize. You could build a big sealed box, park the tractor inside and fill the box with an inert gas to drive out all the oxygen but that may not be practical.

    In the future the folks around here just put a tube in it when it will no longer hold air. Not much can go wrong if you have a tire failure at 10 mph. Getting ready to pull a tire soon and take it to get a tube on my machine.

    I did have a leaking problem on the bead of one of the tires on my zero turn mower. Folks here told me about "bead sealer" which fixed the problem and I have wondered if when those don't hold air anymore if I can remove the tire, paint the inside with something like Berryman's and see if that works instead of a tube.

    Steve

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    Oxygen and sun cause it

    I am a fan of silicone grease

    While it may have some restorative properties* for rubber, i think it is mostly keeping the air away from it.

    IF a tractor is not going more than 10 mph I would not be all worried about some dry rot. My 1972 garden tractor has original front tires that leak some air and are drastically dry rotted, but I will run em till they can't do it anymore
    Now if it is a backhoe with street plates that can go 30 mph, that is a different story

    *1984 restored the rear suspension out of the 1970 sports car I still own. The little rubber plugs that cover the access holes for the rear struts were hard as a rock. Soaked them in silicone spray then grease. Became supple and 'as new'. Last I checked they were still in better state than 30 some odd years ago. Treated new suspension bushes similarly, and tho oil covered as were the original rotten ones, remain in good shape. YMMV

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmcphearson View Post
    I've had to replace a couple large turf (wide) rear tractor tires recently at a cost of over $1k each because they develop small cracks/leaks around the "edge" where the sidewall meets the tread. Is there something I can do to prevent or delay this? They had plenty of tread left. These tractors are stored inside. I've been advised to spray them with "tire shine" but even those products' labels don't claim to prevent dry rot. Besides, if it has a picture of a corvette on the front of the bottle I'm pretty sure it's something that's formulated to just make the tire look wet and siphon money out of the pockets of idiots.

    I'm leaning towards spraying them periodically with biodegradable hydraulic oil (I have large quantities of that on hand). Anyone have any advise for me that's grounded in fact and not urban legend?

    Thanks,
    -Roland
    I can see your effort to protect your investment. That said ozone attacks rubber and contributes to dry rot. Stored inside with electric motors in the vicinity? May want to relocate if so. Had farmer relatives that had tractors with 50+ year old tires mounted and used with exposed cord patches on the sidewalls. They are tractors and not apt to cause lose control from a flat. I would only grease that squeak when I HAD to.
    Joe

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    The story told about the invention of Armorall is that it was created to combat the effects of Los Angeles smog on automotive rubber body seals, don't know if today's product works the same. This is probably why you are told to use 'tire shine'.

    I have 50+ year old tires that still look good and 10 year old tires that are rotten so I think the formulation of the rubber is the biggest factor. I avoid Michelin tires for that reason, they are terrible for dry rot.

    +1 for the advice to run them until they fall off.

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    Tire shops sell the idea of nitrogen fill for tires. no moisture entrained to cause wheel rust and I suppose it is inert so internal rubber rot would be reduced. I bet co2 would be similar.
    Bill D

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    Store it inside, about the only remedy I know of, that only goes so far though.

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    You didn't say why you had to replace them....were they unable to hold air, or did they just not look pretty anymore?

    If they still held air, let 'em crack all they want. If they leaked, and you didn't say how old they are, tell the maker they are defective.

    They still had plenty of tread left? Hmmm....I see lots of 50 year old tractor tires with plenty of tread left...it's not like they see a lot of high speeds and highways. It sounds like you are using your Corvette as a go-by in this situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    .........
    If they still held air, let 'em crack all they want. If they leaked, and you didn't say how old they are, tell the maker they are defective.

    .............
    Just for laughs, let me listen in on your phone call to Goodyear to complain that your 15 year old farm tires won't hold air any more.

    Tires get old, old enough and they leak air. On trailers or farm equipment the tread is normally fine when this happens. That's why they put date codes on tires.

    Steve

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    i have a 84 yo customer that has about 50 restored massey ferguson tractors. last year i was over there and he was putting maybe the 25th patch on an original tube from an early 50's tractor that had the original tires - all cracked to hell
    must have been important to have all the original stuff

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    Put a gallon of antifreeze inside the tire to stop leaks.

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    Just go with a tube until the tire falls apart. Only a few bucks for the tube, it gives up the ghost put in a new one.

    Tom

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    My son is using a Massey-Fugerson tractor that I bought new in March, 1979. The nearly 40 year old rear tires look terrible from cracks, but they have most of the original tread and hold air. The front tires looked much worse and ceased to hold air a couple of years ago. Run those tires as long as they will hold air. The tire cord determines the strength of a tire.

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    Who uses tires anymore? My girl runs the hover tractors while I supervise using a drone. (BTW G007 in drone speak means bring me another vodka and water)

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  26. #20
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    "Just for laughs, let me listen in on your phone call to Goodyear to complain that your 15 year old farm tires won't hold air any more.

    Tires get old, old enough and they leak air. On trailers or farm equipment the tread is normally fine when this happens. That's why they put date codes on tires."

    Like I said, he didn't say how old they are. His post implies they are new...because who complains about old tires getting cracked? If they're new, therefore, he should complain about it to the maker.

    Tires get old and crack - but they don't automatically start leaking air. The OP is merely saying he had to replace them due to cracks...nowhere does he say those cracks leaked air or otherwise affected the performance of the tire. Read first, then post.


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