Re-inflating a Tubeless Wheelbarrow or Hand Truck Tire (without Explosives)

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About: Love to tinker with wood and metal.

I have simplified a way to re-inflate small tires on around the house devices such as wheelbarrows and hand trucks with tubeless tires.
I had a hand truck sitting under my deck for several years and the tires subsequently went flat. 

After trying unsuccessfully trying to wrap the tire with a rope and twisting with a screwdriver, I decided to try a simpler method.

Enjoy.  

Step 1: Tools You Will Need

You will need the following tools

Deflated tubeless tire
Side cutters
Half a dozen zip ties.
Air pump

Step 2: Clean the Tire Rim Seal of Debris.

Remove any dirt, grass, bugs, etc from within the tire and from the rim seal.
After sitting for two years, my tire had all of the above.

Step 3: Attach Several Zip Ties Together Then Attach to Tire.

Attach several zip ties 3/4 the circumference of the tire
Surround the tire with the zip ties.
Add additional zip tie (if needed)  to completely surround tire with zip ties.

Step 4: Attach Zip Ties Around Tire and Secure With Additional Zip Tie

Tighten BY HAND the zip ties. I found that if I tightened two zip ties opposite each other, it was easier to tighten an additional zip tie without risking completely tightening one zip tie into one of the other zip ties.

Step 5: Tighten Zip Ties and Inflate

Tighten the zip ties while stepping on tire. This will allow for addtional tightening of the zip ties.The goal is to force the sidewalls of the tire against the rim.

Inflate tire with compressor or bike pump.

Step 6: Once Seal Has Been Established, Remove Zip Ties With Side Cutters

Once seal has been established, remove zip ties with side cutters, being sure to only cut the zip tie, and not the tire.
Enflate to desired pressure.

Step 7: Additional Help

I found that one of my tires needed a little "encouragement". I stomped down on the tire while my son pumped air. This helped make a seal and I was in business.

I also was able to reuse all but one zip tie for the second tire on my hand truck. Remember you only need to cut one of the zip ties to release the tire.

Save the zip ties that are attached to each other for future use on a similar project.

I apologize for the mediocre photos. When I took the photos I handed the camera to my son and said "take some photos". I was not sure it would work. When it did, I wished I had taken better photos ;)

My first publised Instructable! "Long time listener, first time caller".

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    68 Discussions

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    harry514

    4 years ago on Introduction

    I had tried everything and was ready to just go buy another tire for my hand truck when I came across this. Great idea that works like a charm! Within 5 minutes the truck was ready for use again. Thanks!

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    4u2charry514

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Good to hear, Harry. I added some of the green slime (slime.com) to the rim before applying the zip ties to increase the life of the seal. Some older tires suffer from aging in the elements, such is the case with mine.

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    calimann21

    2 months ago on Step 7

    This is great. I cleaned the tire wall and rim but since I didn’t have enough zip ties I used nylon rope, wrapped it around once, twisted the rope together tightly and did it a second time, then had my kids put pressure in and bam! Tires full. Thanks for the great idea. Much appreciated.

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    aWintersTale

    2 months ago on Introduction

    Thank you for the tip! I needed to take my hand truck to the post office to retrieve a heavy package containing a weighted vest, and my dolly had duo flats. The zip tie method worked first time, on both tires! My dolly is functional again. And I was just about to search Amazon for "inner tube for handtruck," to convert my tubeless tires to the tubed type!

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    4u2caWintersTale

    Reply 2 months ago

    Excellent! I still have the same hand truck from when I wrote this many years ago and just used it again a few weeks ago. Glad it helped.

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    JoshuaV59

    Tip 4 months ago on Step 7

    A good (perhaps better) alternative to the zip ties is a tie-down (ratchet) strap used in the same fashion - wrapped around the circumference of the tire.

    Thanks so much for this instructable. It got me out of trouble yesterday with my ride-on lawnmower tire.

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    4u2cJoshuaV59

    Reply 4 months ago

    Hello Josh. Many alternatives exist. We recently moved and ran into this problem again when we had packed away all of our tools and straps. I had a few zip ties, and sure enough it worked like magic again. The downside of using a ratchet strap I found was releasing the strap once the bead was re-seated. If you put to much air in before releasing the strap, when released the strap can slam back into your hand. Thanks for the comment :)

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    4u2cTjsawyer54

    Reply 9 months ago

    Great! I just recently used this technique on the same hand truck 7 years later.

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    4u2ctomg191

    Reply 1 year ago

    I've actually had to go back and do this several times to the same hand truck. It's over 10 years old now.

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    stack1

    Tip 1 year ago on Step 4

    I used pliers, to tighten, around in a circle...it worked fine.

    1 reply
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    4u2cstack1

    Reply 1 year ago

    Makes sense to me! Thanks for the tip.

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    stack1

    Tip 1 year ago on Step 5

    If you use a compressor (or air tank like me) the first burst of air may both seal the bead, and violently burst the zip-ties... stand clear, and use eye protection.

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    4u2cstack1

    Reply 1 year ago

    Good to know. I didn't have an air compressor at the time.

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    rohanc37

    1 year ago on Step 7

    I was just about to purchase new wheels for handtruck out of frustration of many failed attmpts to inflate tires.... this worked like a charm! Thank you!!

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    LaurieH59

    2 years ago

    I love fixing things myself but keep running into roadblocks. I'd watched a video on how to replace a truck tire that looked so easy & thought I'd be done in less than an hour. Guess I've lost strength in my old age. So, back to google & I found this. It inflated so quick one of the Ty-wraps slipped loose, they popped off & voila!! I have a functional wheelbarrow again. You saved the day! Thank you SO MUCH for your wonderful idea and your pictures were just fine. Laurie