Can you really use foam filled tires for a mower? If you are searching for an accurate answer to this question, you have come to the right place. The short answer to this question is Yes. But it’s crucial for you to understand the many factors that will go into the process required for you to achieve this feat. In the following sections, you will find everything that you need to know in order for you to successfully foam fill mower tires.
Understanding the Importance of Tire Maintenance
Mowers are the true epitome of convenience, power & efficiency. Bringing you the ultimate comfort in your work, these mowers are indeed a boon to the people who cannot spend hours cutting their yards or banks. But all is not a bed of roses with mowers. If taken care of being maintained, they can serve you for a long time. However, this maintenance has been known to be neglected by the people. This needs to be changed, and it is not that much difficult either.
Mower tires need to be checked regularly to see if they are in proper shape and condition. Prone to being punctured often as a result of stones on the yard, need to be taken care of. Contrary to their belief, maintenance of mower tires is not a tiresome job. It can be done with ease, and your mower will be back in action and serving you at its best – if you know how to correct the job yourself.
One of the most efficient but rarely known DIY techniques is that of foam-fill mower tires. This will not only ensure that your mower tires are restored to their original condition and give it a charm that will last long. It will also ensure durability, increase efficiency, and longevity.
However, before you pursue this method, you need to know every minute detail involved in the method. To assist you in your undertaking, we have taken it upon ourselves to research all about it, so you can just read this informative article and get to work.
Are Foam Filled Mower Tires Best for You?
Foam filled tires may not be the right choice for everyone. In fact, the majority of people, including “experts,” will recommend using tires with solid rubber cores. The truth is, for most people, foam filled tires are better suited for the task, especially for riding lawn mowers. Foam filled tires are harder, more durable, and can easily handle the rigors of a mechanical riding mower.
And because the tires are now inflated with foam instead of air, they will not deflate over time as the foam will not leak out. Meaning if your tires deflate every time you pull out of the garage, this might be the perfect solution for you. This is especially true if you have any type of riding lawn mower, whether it is a lawn tractor or a zero-turn.
Another key difference between foam filled and solid tires is that foam filled tires are more durable. There is very little reason to replace foam filled tires even if you only use them seasonally. Replace solid rubber tires every 1-2 years to protect yourself from an unexpected flat tire or blowout.
Another defining factor between solid rubber tires and foam filled tires is the cost. A new set of solid rubber tires will cost you well over $100 for each wheel. Adding up the cost of four tires to the cost of a new lawnmower is almost a deal-breaker for many people. A simple (albeit more labor-intensive) process of adding foam filled tires to existing solid tires will cost you no more than $40 for each tire. Adding just $15.49 in tire foam and another hour in labor can double your mower tire’s life. You can expect your new foam filled tires to last 3-5 years before you will need to do it again.
Pros & Cons of Foam Filled Mower Tires
- The extra weight added due to foam will improve the stability of the unit.
- The foam will not leak out, and the tires will remain solid for three years at least.
- These tires will provide the best possible safety for your mower.
- The mower will be free from wheel wobble and will be much more stable while rolling.
- No more flat tires before you mow.
- The foam may increase the wheel vibrations at higher speed, making the mower uncomfortable to drive.
- Less traction is a possibility.
Foam-filled tires are not flexible. Hence, less rubber comes into contact with the lawn, which leads to degraded traction. Most riding mowers weigh several hundred pounds, and you need traction to prevent wheel slippage. All traction comes from the tires themselves. If you lose traction, you could bottom out the mower, which could damage the frame or, even worse, cause a serious accident. So, you should be careful with the reduction of traction.
Are Foam Filled Tires Dangerous?
Foam-filled tires are similar to air-filled tires in a lot of ways. As long as you adhere to the proper filling procedure highlighted in this article, you should be fine. The key ingredient you need to keep in mind is bead sealer. Bead sealers are used to seal the tires from the outside elements. If you use any kind of tire sealer, please be sure to read the directions carefully.
You should also use foam-filled tires in cooler conditions. The heat will cause the rubber-based foam to expand and then contract as it is reheated. This will lead to cracking of the foam, causing your tire to become unsealed. As long as you use these tires under the proper conditions listed in your instructions, you should be fine.
Foam filling tires are easy to install and will rarely if ever blow out on you. They are a great choice if you are tired of your solid rubber tires leaking air & needing to be replaced every year. Pair these tires with a strong bead sealer & your riding mower tires will have a long service life about which you will be pleased.
How to Foam fill Mower Tires – 5 Important Steps
Foam-fill mower tires are easy to implement, but there are steps you need to follow to get the job done right. In the following sections, you will find these five important steps to ensure that your foam-fill mower tires go smoothly. But before we drive into the steps, let’s discuss the tools you’ll need.
Tools You’ll Need:
- Mower (obvious, I know, but good to mention)
- A valve stem tool
- A drill with a 3/8″ bit
- Premium quality, high density, minimally expanding tire foam sealant
- A hose tap (a hose-end or air chuck will do)
Note: Low-density foam is not as effective and will not inflate as much as a high-density foam sealant. Consider the fact that because of the weight added, foam-filled tires tend to make the wheel assembly heavier. Low-Density foam will not be able to handle the increased weight, and your tires will get damaged in a comparatively shorter amount of time.
Once you have assembled all necessary tools, be reminded that the foaming process should take between 20 minutes and 30 minutes and will involve four tires, so expect a total of four times that period. It is best to wear some goggles when filling tires with foam; secondly, get some rubber or nitrile gloves to protect your hands while you are doing this project. The following steps will outline exactly how to foam your lawnmower’s tires.
Since you want to ensure the longevity of the wheel/tire, you need to remove the valve from the wheel and throw it away because you’re not going to need it anymore. To remove this valve, you need to use the valve stem tool. Then attach the valve stem cap or air chuck, whichever you have, onto the valve stem.
With the foam can connected and the mask placed, the next step is to start drilling holes in your tire near the rim. Use a drill bit of the same measurement as the straw coming out of the foam can; I used a 3/8″ drill bit. It is best to keep the holes in the center of the tire as much as possible. The more even the holes are, the better.
Now it’s time to inject the foam. Make sure the tire is resting back against a solid object, such as an unmovable post. Then, insert the straw as far as it will go into the hole of the tire, pull the trigger, and hold the plunger for around 4–5 seconds. After waiting for four to five seconds, release the trigger and start over after five seconds. You need to repeat the process until you see some foam leaking from the tip of the hole. The foam should go in freely without sticking on the rim.
When you are finished filling the tires, it is important to let them “rest” for at least 24 to 48 hours to ensure that they are completely dry. You will know this happens when you take the cover off, and it won’t smell. Once this process happens, remove the sections that dried while in the bottom of the hole, and it should just flake or fall out. This is a good test that the tire has completely dried.
Now you can go ahead and put the wheels back on the mower. You may start mowing right away if you want to do so.
What If You Want to Revert Back to The Original Tires?
The difficulty of trying to reverse or convert the foam fill tires back to the old standard is that you’ve already ruined the tire’s natural tissue of rubber and inner material. It is best to take these tires to a reputable tire center for a re-inflate or to have new tires placed on the rims. They can handle this difficult conversion for you.
Foam-filling tires is not a hard process, and you can easily do this for yourself. However, taking great care and ensuring that the tires are properly dried are both important steps, both of which will determine the success of your tire projects. Thus, by following the steps listed above, you are sure to have a hassle-free foam-filling endeavor.