Mysterious Rim Leaks - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2010, 4:58 pm Thread Starter
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Mysterious Rim Leaks

My K100 has a strange rim leak. It has newish Metzler tires put on the dealership. When I got the bike the front tire always leaked. I put Slime in the tire and it still leaked. So took the wheel off and dunked it into water and found 16 rim leaks!

I broke the bead and cleaned the rim and tire, remounted the tire and pumped it back and redunked it. NO rim leaks at all. Zero. It stayed that way for a couple months and held air perfectly. Today I went out to check tires (going for a ride tomorrow) and found the front tire FLAT. I couldn't believe it, but when I tested the bead with soapy water 3 rim leaks had reappeared as if by magic!

There must be a rational explanation for this but I don't know it. I just cleaned it up and fixed in a few weeks ago and now it has developed new rim leaks. That's crazy. Any idea what's going on?

Will remove wheel and break bead again tomorrow.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Aug 24th, 2010, 5:49 pm
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Scratches in the rim lip, or have they cut the bead on the tire with a sharp-edged iron?

I do my own tire changes using Primitive Pete tire irons and stuff (pure masochism I guess). I'd clean up your tire rim bead with a Scotchbright pad and some Simple Green. If nicked, you can repaint it with a filler/primer to fill any slight scratches or maybe even a touch-up paint pen from the auto store and dab the scratches.

Some stuff that seems to help is Yamaha Tire Mounting Lube in a spray can applied liberally around the perimeter of the tire when installing. It first begins as slippery, then it gets sort of sticky and gummy which may seal the rim to tire better. Good stuff and usually in the larger Yamaha dealerships.


Mack
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2010, 10:34 am Thread Starter
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Thanks. I think I found the cause...

Yesterday I popped the bead and found a white crusty oxidation around the leaky side of the rim. Must be cause of new leaks. That was also there last time when I fixed the 16 rim leaks back in June. But I cleaned that all up!

This time I'll clean it and lightly grease the rim. But why should it be oxidizing like that? I don't live near the ocean or anything like that. Bike is in a garage. Do K100 rims have tendency to oxidize/corrode for no good reason?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2010, 11:31 am
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Some soaps people use to mount tires will etch aluminum. Sodium hydroxide is one soap ingredient that will do it. It's not washed off, but highly concentrated and remains there to eat away at the aluminum rim and/or get chalky. Ever seen aluminum shower and bath enclosures eaten up by soap and water compounds? Those are diluted. Think about what remains behind on your newly mounted tire when a dealer uses something cheap and not really designed for tire changes and highly concentrated.

Alcoa (aluminum) has this in their wheel data: "Before mounting the tire, apply non-water-soluble grease on the bead sheet (rim) of the wheel and tire bead. Water-soluble grease causes corrosion on rim surface, so it should not be used. It is very important to use non-water-soluble grease to keep a good seal between tire bead and rim and prevent air leaks. Alcoa recommends and offers ALgrease as for this application."

That's why I like the Yamaha Tire Mounting Lube stuff, Murphy's Tire Paste, or similar rubber lubes: Slippery at first, then tacky and sticky a few minutes later.


Mack
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2010, 2:12 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks much for that info. Sounds like my greasing idea was on the right track.

I have wheel bearing grease and grease gun grease. I shouldn't think that either of those are water-soluable. That's what I'll use anyway...
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Aug 25th, 2010, 7:51 pm Thread Starter
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Fixed, but for how long?

Well, I cleaned the bead and rim. Definite white corrosion all around bead area. This occured in some two months time since I last cleaned it.

This time I put a coating of grease all around the bead area with wheel bearing grease and pumped it back up. Tested for leaks and found none. Wonder if the grease will prevent future corrosion?

Seemed real easy compared to last time.
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