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Tractor battery

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Adios Pantalones, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Why? I've owned several garden tractors and two CUT's, and the only time I've ever put a tube in a tire was when a tire was damaged, and I didn't feel like replacing it.

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  2. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I hate tubes in drive tires. Especially low-pressure tires like what's commonly on these little tractors. Tubes in non-drive tires are fine, although I will still stay tubeless unless all other options (short of replacing an $$ tire) have been exhausted. I will replace a $30 tire before I throw a tube in it. Some folks will put 4-5 $10, $15, $20 tubes in a $50 tire before they see the light. Worse yet is that they will pay somebody to do it.

    Why the vendetta against tubes? Because they do nothing to improve the overall reliability of the Tire/Tube/Wheel system. Often the valve stem doesn't fit perfectly through the hole in the rim, creating a stress point on the tube, or allows dirt in via the hole that later wears through or punctures the tube. Moisture can also get through that imperfect seal and then that rusts the wheel, creating a lot more work to go back to tubeless or completely ruining the wheel for use with a tubeless tire. And just because you have the right size tube in the tire, with the right type and location of the valve stem, doesn't mean that it will STAY PUT in there once the tire is returned to service. Drive tires that are exposed to high torque loads, will often shift position on the rim. This can happen gradually or all at once, depending on the load applied. The tube will shift position with the tire, creating stress at the valve stem, tearing it, or worse, just pulling the whole ^&%^$ing stem back inside the wheel. Remember, these are not car tires inflated to 30+ psi (not that ANY reputable tire shop would put a tube in a car tire) and not bicycle tires inflated to crazy pressures with rims that require tubes to seal. These tires are typically inflated to 8-14 psi and it's pretty easy to shift one on the rim.

    I do like slime tubes (or adding my own slime to tubes) for small tires like those on hand trucks, walk behind blowers, dump carts, wheelbarrows, etc. But that's about it. There ARE exceptions to my rule ;lol like the guys that run corrosive tire ballast in larger tractors with big $$ rims. But those tubes are typically installed as such that they seal up pretty good. I'd prefer non-corrosive ballast but that's a whole 'nother thread.

    My main gripe is that 90% of the time, tubes are installed to save a chitty tire that needs to be replaced regardless, or installed as a "go to" solution for minor conditions that are easily corrected, often without removing the tire from the rim, and then it's often installed incorrectly or in a tire that's used in applications that are inappropriate for a tube.

    Tubes are for bicycles. ::P
    semipro and Joful like this.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    You feel better now?;lol (by the way, I feel the same for drive tires on traction machines).

    (Hey - AP - for the front tires on your little lawn mower, the tube will work just fine.)::-);lol
    MasterMech likes this.
  4. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Well said! I've only ever been talked into putting a tube in a tractor tire once, and ended up regretting it. It was the front tire on a 4wd CUT, tire was still in good shape (minus a rose thorn hole in the side-wall, causing a slow leak), and the tire shop talked me into tubing it when I saw the cost of a replacement (odd size). It was nothing but problems, of course most of those problems involved keeping the stem from chafing in the valve stem hole.
  5. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    HEY, Master Mech what do you really think about putting tubes in tires???????.............................................

    I thought this thread was about batterys.
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Shop I worked for would push tubes in anything and everything. Duh, sell the tube AND the labor right? ;)

    Vulcanizing cement and an interior patch? Crazy talk I tell ya.
  7. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Hey c'mon now, it's a short list of things that set me off...... ;lol

    Overloaded trailers with no brakes and a Toyota Matrix as a tow vehicle
    Tubes in drive tires

    Who's next?! ::-) (I'm kidding!)
    Jags likes this.
  8. mithesaint

    mithesaint Feeling the Heat

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    LOL. Saw a Chrysler Sebring towing a JD A the other day. I cried a tear for the transmission. Sadly, it was going the opposite direction so I didn't get to follow it and watch it shed gears onto the road.
  9. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Best way to test a battery is check voltage across terminals and crank the starter.
    If it drops excessively (seen a 12V go to 2V) battery is shot. Either the lead sulfate has shorted a couple cells or internal terminations/connections are broken

    The more expensive the battery - the deeper the space under the cells, and thickness of connections/plates.
  10. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Saw a Corvette towing a small single axle trailer loaded with a lawn tractor and a push mower. Don't see that every day. ;lol
  11. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Everything you ever wanted to know about lead acid batteries:

    http://www.batteryfaq.org

    http://www.solar-electric.com/deep-cycle-battery-faq.html

    If the battery is going bad because its sitting for long periods without use its sulfating. The fix is to keep it maintained at full charge on a float/trickle charger. If its stored indoors you want a battery minder. If its stored outdoors you can use a small solar cell. A 12v cell with an amp rating 1/300 to 1/500 of the amp hour capacity of the battery can be connected directly and left indefinitely.
  12. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Call me lucky, but my mower battery gets used to start the mower once per week all summer, and then just sits all winter. No maintenance or battery minder, no heat in the building where it is stored. It just starts right up every spring, after sitting 6 months in the cold. It's 6 years old now, so it's paid its dues if it fails today, but I suspect it may go several more years like that before it does.

    Now before anyone says, "yeah, but it's just a little lawn mower engine," my mower is larger than the OP's tractor.

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