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rim problems

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Old 11-13-2018, 11:20 PM
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The saga continues with my 2000 grizzly 600. Today I discovered why the brand new tires would be low every day or two. The center part of the aluminum rims have pinhole leaks in 1 or 2 places. I have never in 50 years of running aluminum rims seen anything like this. The guy at the local dealership was not that surprised, especially if the previous owner had ever used any of the stop leak chemicals sold to seal bead leaks or small punctures. He said that stuff is not good for aluminum and should only be used in an emergency and must be completely removed as soon as you can after getting home. I broke the bead on one of my leaking wheels and there was pitting all around the aluminum surfaces inside the tire. This pitting is where the pinholes start. I could feel the pinholes on the outside where the leaks were. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can solve this problem? I am thinking of maybe a JB Weld type of patch on the inside for the existing holes and then coat or paint the complete inside with something that would prevent anymore pinholes from showing up. I just don't know what coating to use. Any ideas?
 
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:24 AM
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Put inner tubes in, like everyone else.
 
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:32 AM
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Unfortunately this is typical of aluminum wheels. Yes there are coatings to slow this down but not a cure all. This is the reason I stay away from expensive alum wheels. Road chemicals like salt and now the salt spray that is used is very bad on alum wheels, even moisture condensation can cause pitting. Most wheels are cast, not machined from alum stock. The casting process adds tiny pinholes to start, then other chemicals just make them bigger.
 
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:17 AM
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Kymco 450i - the pinholes are from the inside. This quad has never seen salt on any road. These are plain factory original cheap painted black aluminum wheels.

merryman - My first thought was to put in tubes. The service guy at the yamaha stealership here recommended against it due to the dynamics of them in a low pressure tire. He was not pushing their new rims and gave me the name of another out of state dealer to check with for more reasonably priced rims. If that is what most guys here use and recommend, I will go that route until I find some steel rims.
 
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:28 AM
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I had somebody put some sort of stop leak in my aluminum rim without me knowing and it caused a pin hole. I just threw a tube in the and that solved it for good. I JB welded the pin holes so not water would get inside so yeah.
 
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by roy67ss View Post
He said that stuff is not good for aluminum and should only be used in an emergency and must be completely removed as soon as you can after getting home.
I imagine that some of the stop-leak products could be corrosive. The only stuff that I use is Slime, and it seems OK in that dept.

The problem with tubes, which I have used at times, is that if you get another flat, they can not be plugged. You have to remove and patch.

Since you have been able to dismount the tire, I would clean, prime and paint the insides and remount tubeless.

 
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:43 PM
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Because they are cast aluminum, they could have small pin holes, cheaper castings have even more holes or bigger ones, part of being cheap. A good thorough cleaning of the inside of the rim and coat with a rubber type coating may very well solve your problem but getting them nice and clean is key for the coating to stick. Petroleum products should be fine with aluminum, but stay away from ammonia based coatings on aluminum, also read labels to see if compatible. My first thought would also be a tube but you make a good point about repairing on trail. Another good idea is to go 6-8 ply tires, far less punctures! Can't tell you exactly what coating to use but there are many things that would work such as a rubberized roof coating, just stay away from water based coatings as many contain ammonia based solvents. Let us know what you find....I just use plain old stock steel wheels and have for many years, have never had an issue! Being pretty is not better than durable to me.
 
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:56 PM
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Thanks for the opinions guys.

If I were to try anything on the rims now, I think I would opt for a rubberized undercoating or rocker panel coating, I would clean up the rims and sand them with a 60 or 80 grit sandpaper then spray them with the rocker panel coating, let it 3/4 dry and mount the tire. I think that then I may not have to deal with pinhole leaks for at least a year or lwo.

I have decided to go with the tubes. The biggest reason is that although I may think I have cleaned and sealed the wheels, unless the chemical reaction between the aluminum and the stop leak used on these rims can be completely stopped, I think I will be chasing the pinhole leaks forever. I do not race or anything crazy. Even if I get a flat on the trail, a plug will still get me home because the tires now hold air for a day or 2 so, even if the tube has a leak it will only leak into the existing tubeless tire with the pinhole wheel leaks.
 
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Old 11-15-2018, 03:26 AM
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"even if the tube has a leak it will only leak into the existing tubeless tire with the pinhole wheel leaks".

Not quite true, as air can leak round the valve stem. We plug tyres as a rule, but if they persist in going down, we fit tubes, slightly more prone to punctures due to thorns etc, but cheaper than fitting a new tyre if the old one still has lots of tread. There is a sort of black gunge called bead sealer (liquid rubber I think) that tyre depots use to seal rims. I have tried it on car tyres when they refuse to seal on the rim, but have had little success with it.
 
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:31 AM
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Of course, you are right that air will still leak out. I had a bit of a brain fart there.
 

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