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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Synopsis: New tube seems to leak high (guessing above about a few pounds psi) pressure air, but not low pressure (value doesn't even show on filler gauge, as in before tube goes into tire).

Expanded: Reacquainting myself w/ bikes in my 50's. Rode a year or two on a small Suzuki as a teenager. Just bought a VL800K3, but have been afraid to take it to speed due to tires on it when I bought it. Bought new tires over the net, and tubes and a rim strip locally. Frustrated myself, banged up my hands, punctured the new rear tube in many places, had to do the work twice, but got the new rear on the bike. Moved on to the front, expecting it would go smoother w/ my recent experience on the rear. It kinda did, until I charged it up w/ air about to balance it. It appeared to leak fiercely thru valve under high pressure, though it held low pressure I used to unwrinkle it in the tire before seating the bead and topping it off. I have tried 2 new and one old valve, all leak. I unmounted and examined the tube after the 1st failure. Found no issues and reinstalled. NoJoy. Same issue on reinstall.

Bottom line, I don't understand how a threaded tube, the stem, could be bad. The former statement predicated on the belief that the odds the 3 valves I've tried could all be bad. I apparently put a couple puntures in the tube at some point and have patched them, tire holding low pressure air. Unsure of next step.

Anyone run into a "bad stem"?

Side note. The tires coming off were obviously not the originals, but I think the tubes were. Brushed up rust in rim and hit it w/ a few coats of Rostoleum Rust Reformer. Does that stuff really work, or is it just paint?
I also Gorilla Taped the rear rim, cleaned up and reinstalled the original rim strip as the local shop didn't have one to fit.

Thanx in advance.
 

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Are You certain that You haven't pinched the inner tube elsewhere, or tore it near the valve stem?
Never use a patched inner tube on a motorcycle....it is suicide.
 

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This is why I take mine to the shop and pay them $25 to deal with the headaches for me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It would have been worth the shop cost to save the frustration and banged up hands, but one never knows when one may not have that option. The education/experience is worth much more.

I was pretty certain that the leak was out the valve stem, but my inability to understand how the threaded tube could be bad, even after retapping the threads, has me questioning my observations. My work schedule means a few days before I readdress the task. I think at this point, I'm going to order another tube, reinstall the patched failing tube, and take some more time to be more certain of my observations. Anyone know how much pressure I can put in a tube without being installed in the tire?
 

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It would have been worth the shop cost to save the frustration and banged up hands, but one never knows when one may not have that option. The education/experience is worth much more.

I was pretty certain that the leak was out the valve stem, but my inability to understand how the threaded tube could be bad, even after retapping the threads, has me questioning my observations. My work schedule means a few days before I readdress the task. I think at this point, I'm going to order another tube, reinstall the patched failing tube, and take some more time to be more certain of my observations. Anyone know how much pressure I can put in a tube without being installed in the tire?
When You inflate an inner tube outside of a tire, the rubber stretches, hence, it's better to leave a new inner tube deflated.
If patching a leaky tube to save either as a spare, or for swimming pool duty, keep the pressure reasonable, or the tube will blow out.

Another thing, use either tire lubricant, or the old stand-by, non-gritty hand cleaner (D&L, or Go-Jo etc), and lube just one bead to install the tire onto the wheel.

Next, start the inner tube into the tire casing, left and right of the valve stem.
Slide the valve stem into the hole designated for it, and thread the securing nut part way down the stem.

Carefully pack the balance of the inner tube into the tire, being certain that it is completely down into the tire, and NOT twisted.

Lube the unseated tire bead with the lubricant, and using tire irons (never use screwdrivers!), seat the bead while progressing along, about an inch at a time, until totally seated.

The final 12-16 inches are tough to seat, so go easy, and be sure the tire bead at 180 degrees (opposite of the unseated area), is pulling into the center of the wheel. (Notice that it is deeper than where the tire normally seats within the wheel)

Using a piece of 2x4 wood and Your knee, try to compress that seated bead, so that when You push the tire iron, the seated bead does pull into the center of the wheel.
Otherwise, You'll damage the tire, and possibly damage the inner tube as well.

It's a good idea to fill the tire/tube in several stages, while working the tire with Your hands to help it seat properly....a rubber mallet, lightly used to bonk the tire is helpful.

Inflate to about 50lbs or less to finish seating the tire beads, and be sure to wiggle or guide the valve stem to it's proper positioning as You add air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Another thought on the "shop" option. Though the shop would save frustration and knuckles, it would deprive the rider of the knowledge/experience of the task, as already stated. Beyond that, it drives up demand and therefore ultimately cost of shop time for everyone. So when really needed, the shop cost is more expensive than it would be if more people self-relied. I understand the appeal of the alternate route, however.
 

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Another thought on the "shop" option. Though the shop would save frustration and knuckles, it would deprive the rider of the knowledge/experience of the task, as already stated. Beyond that, it drives up demand and therefore ultimately cost of shop time for everyone. So when really needed, the shop cost is more expensive than it would be if more people self-relied. I understand the appeal of the alternate route, however.

Some things are better left to experts - like tires and brakes. I'd do an oil change and other basic wrenching but when it comes to safety items I rely on the shop. Don't have the tools or know how. The last thing you want to be thinking is "wow - should have gone to the shop" as you're sailing through the air because your tire exploded.


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That and I've changed my own tires before... With spoons, a lot of dawn dish soap and a whole lot of grunt and effort. I found no pleasure in the task, or satisfaction at its conclusion. Nope. I'll pay whatever the shop cares to charge for the job. I have no interest in doing it myself ever again....
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I appreciate the input. I've been doing my car brakes all my life, but I've often heard the same thing relating to them. When one takes "it" to the shop, one never really knows what gets done or how. I've heard many stories where ppl have had issues after having taken their "it" to the shop, and the task was either done poorly, or not at all, just "charged". I read a story recently, where someone's new car's engine siezed a few miles after the shop oil change. I'm sure you've already guessed; no oil was replaced. I happen also to be a pilot and a diver. I'm incredibly safety-conscious. And the "leave it to the experts" attitude is even more pervasive in those endeavors.

You mention not having the tools or knowledge. Both easily correctable conditions. Again, I understand the appeal of letting the shop do it. I just generally endorse the self-reliance position. The shop may not always be an option, nor the best.
 
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