How to Inflate a Tubeless Wheelbarrow Tire That Defies Inflation





Introduction: How to Inflate a Tubeless Wheelbarrow Tire That Defies Inflation

About: Hello Instructables community! Even though I've been a member since 2012, I just started submitting my own Instructables this year, 2017! I enjoy taking things apart and building new things with the parts. I...

Materials needed for project:

1. hand pump or air compressor

2. dowel or stick approximately 12" or longer

3. rope/chord - with a length of at least the circumference of the wheelbarrow tire + 6" to 8" extra

Hello Instructables community!

This Instructable was submitted to the "MacGyver" contest. It's based, on the 80s television show named "MacGyver". There's a new re-make of the show currently on TV.

My project was created to show a quick creative solution to a challenge using available materials like something "MacGyver" would do to solve the same problem.

"MacGyver" needs to haul a heavy pile of materials 2 miles down a dirt road and it needs to arrive quickly to continue his mission. He notices a wheelbarrow that he can use but the tire is flat! He finds an old bicycle pump nearby that works so he begins to attempt to inflate the tire.

First, BE SAFE. There's only one step that could result in injury and that's during the inflation of the tubeless tire. Please DON'T over inflate it! If you don't have a tire gauge then it's best to leave it slightly under-inflated to prevent it from bursting.

See my video, in the last step, to see the simplification of inflating an otherwise un-inflatable tubeless tire!

Step 1: A Gary Solution That MacGyver Could Use...

In his attempt to inflate the tubeless tire, he notices that air keeps leaking around the rim of each side of the tire. He presses, with one hand, down on the tire and he's able to block the air from escaping on one side but not both at the same time. He needs a solution to prevent the tire from losing air during the inflation process.

Step 2: Find the Needed Materials for the Solution...

He searches the area, for possible materials, that will help him solve his problem. He goes through an old barn and finds a piece, of rope approximately 6 ft in length, and also a stick with an approximate length of 14".

Step 3: Just the Beginning...

He flips the wheelbarrow over so that the tire is easily accessible . He takes the rope and loops it under the tire and pulls it around the outer edge or circumference of the tire. He ties one end of the rope around the stick by using a simple square knot.

Step 4: Here We Go Loop De Loop...

He centers the rope around the circumferenceof the tire and holds it in place. Holding the stick, perpendicular to the tire, he proceeds to wrap the other end of the rope around the stick with 3 to 4 loops.

Step 5: The Home Stretch...

Holding the stick and the rope securely, he begins to rotate or twist the stick, in a clockwise direction, compressing the center of the tire which results in pushing the sides of the tire simultaneously outward firmly against the rim of the wheel on both sides. Now the tire is sealed so that no air can escape. He then begins to inflate the tire.

Step 6: It's Quickly Fixed...we're on Our Way!

As the tire begins to inflate, he relaxes the tension on the stick and rope allowing the tire to fully inflate! It's quickly fixed within 1 to 2 minutes! He removes the stick and rope, loads the wheelbarrow, and continues on his mission!

What a guy!

Step 7: Video of How the Un-inflatable Tubeless Tire Becomes Inflatable!

This video, of all the steps, simplifies the process of inflating an otherwise un-inflatable tubeless wheelbarrow tire!



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    9 Discussions

    This might sound dangerous...I was scared big time the first time I tried this, but, it worked and didn't make much sound at all. After cleaning rust from the rim, squirt a LITTLE but if starting fluid or carb cleaner in to the tire. Too much and it won't work. Using a long tipped lighter, light it. It will explode and seat the bead. Use gloves, ear plugs and eye protection and anything else that will make you comfortable. It's scary, but works like a charm.

    2 replies

    WARNING! PLEASE DO NOT try this method!

    Wow! You like to live dangerously John! Glad that method worked for you and you're still with us in one piece. It's not one that I would endorse or encourage people to use. Any volatile liquids or gases trapped in an isolated space can easily explode and of course explosions can cause bodily injury or injuries.

    I've been using this trick for years. It only generates enough pressure to set the bead or sometimes, just start to set the bead. I have never seen a tire end up with more than 10 psi, usually less. The pop sound is the bead setting just as it would sound with 10 pounds of air pressure. The 'explosion' goes ppfffft. There is just not enough oxygen for a strong explosion, no matter how much ethanol you use. In fact, less is better. Too much starter fluid evaporates and displaces too much oxygen.

    Been there... done that... :-)

    1 reply

    Great minds think alike!

    Wow! It's interesting how us humans think alike. Your instructable is a perfect example!

    Thanks for your comment.

    the wrap around the stick is a good idea... i've used an old leather belt to do this, but sometimes it's a little hard to pull it up tight enough. the dowel would help that.

    1 reply

    Great idea!

    It's interesting to hear how other people would solve the same problem.


    10 months ago

    Same idea a lot of tire places have used. If the rim is really dry and/or rusty, that needs cleaned off first. Then you can use some soapy water to aid in sealing the ridge on the rim easier. Nice project idea though. Thumbs Up!

    1 reply

    Thanks for your positive comment!

    In my rush to get this Instructable written up in order to enter it in the "MacGyver" contest, I left out the clean up around the rim and removal of any rust. Thanks for reminding me of that step. That's something that should be looked at before inflating the tire.

    I hadn't seen or searched this method of inflating a small tubeless tire in the past. It's an original idea for me and became a solution when I had this problem with a wheelbarrow tubeless tire about 3 or 4 years ago.

    Unfortunately, there are so many people in the world that the odds of someone coming up with the same or similar idea is extremely high especially with today's world populations. That makes it difficult to come up with an "original" idea before someone else.

    An example is a man by the name of Elisha Gray. He invented a "harmonic telegraph" that could transmit musical tones but not speech. This was at the same time Alexander Graham Bell invented his "harmonic telegraph" which could also transmit musical tones but in addition it could transmit "vocal sounds".

    That was a close call on who got the patent. Had Gray's invention been able to transmit "vocal sounds" then we all would have been talking on a Gray telephone instead of a Bell Telephone! It would have been Ma Gray instead of Ma Bell and the rest is history!