An ongoing concern of mine after I converted to non-demontable rims on two of my bass T's was how to inflate a repaired flat with just a tire pump. We're I 40 years younger it would not be quite the challenge, but now it certainly can be, especially in oppressively hot weather. Recently on this forum I came across information for using CO2 cartridges for inflating tubes and I purchased two sets and a quantity of spare CO2 cartridges. Reportedly, three of these cartridges will inflate a 30 x 3.5 tires to 60 pounds therefore solving my problem. However I have another concern which perhaps some of the chemists out there can answer for me. Is there any detriment to rubber tubes from having them inflated with carbon dioxide? Ordinary air is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and less than 1% carbon dioxide. Of course, the easy solution is as soon as possible to replace the CO2 with ordinary air. Problem solved. But would there be any future problem with leaving it in the tube?
I'm the pied piper that led you down this path. All I can say is that the tubes in my bicycles don't seem to mind being filled with CO2.
I did a little research online and there was some mention of CO2 gradually leaking through butyl rubber tubes faster than air does, so tires filled with CO2 won't hold their pressure as long as those filled with air.
If there is a concern, then using the CO2 to get home, then deflating the tire and refilling it with air is a reasonable solution.
I treat the CO2 as an emergency, continue on tour or get-home solution. Most of the time my T's tires are filled with air from the compressor in my garage.
By the way, I have not had to use my CO2 cartridges on my T yet (knock on wood).
Most of my bicycle CO2 cartridges get used up helping other bicyclists in distress with flat tires (it's amazing how many people ride with no spare tube, no patch kit, no pump).
(Message edited by cudaman on June 26, 2015)
Thanks for your suggestion and the warning about future leakage. The CO 2 will get me back on the road without an angina attack!
In Case of a fire you could always unscrew the valve and put out the fire.... Dual purpose!!
I'm absolutely a novice in this topic, but I do have 2 thoughts:
1. Doesn't CO2 produce extreme cold when released from a high pressure container? I'd be concerned more about cracks caused by freezing than I would about chemistry.
2. What about nitrogen? I have no idea if nitrogen is even available in the small quantities need for this application, but I do know it seems to be the preferred gas for modern tire applications due (I'm told) to the larger molecules not getting through the rubber as fast/easily as air molecules.
Mark, is that tire pump a Kellogg # 5 by any chance? I have one and am looking for cup washers to get it back in service.
I don't know, I bought that pump in fully refurbished condition, then later traded it to another member for a single tube pump that is more correct for my 1924 cut-off touring car.
Wasn't there a thread about cup washers a few days ago?
One of the major advantages of having CO2 in your inner-tubes is you'll never be confronted by the dreaded TIRE-FIRE!
You guys who have been filling your Firestones with pure H know what I'm talking about! _
Okay, I'll bite... why would you put Hydrogen in a tire in the first place? Doesn't anyone remember the Hindenburg???
I've learned about the Hindenburg. I've learned from the Hindenburg. However, I can't say I remember the Hindenburg.
Some people will do anything to reduce their car's unsprung weight!
I did a quick web search, apparently there are only two survivors of the Hindenburg disaster still alive:
"Though it may be hard to believe that people can survive being in an exploding blimp, most of the people on board the Hindenburg survived the disaster. Over 70 years later, two of the youngest survivors are still around to talk about it. Robert Buchanan, a 17-year-old ground crew member and Werner Doehner, an 8-year-old passenger, were among the survivors of the accident, and they were still alive 70 years later to tell their stories. In the aftermath of the crash, there were 35 dead passengers and one dead crew member; 62 passengers and crew members survived. These last 2 living survivors were interviewed in National Geographic's "Seconds From Disaster" program."
Henry, is correct. Nitrogen is the preferred gas and should be available at a tire store. KGB
Willard; I'd like to know more about the C02 setup. Manufacturer, model, cartridge size, how you determined 3 cartridges for the 30" tire. I have some of the same questions on long term issues but really like this as a short term fix. I suspect the cartridges are for paintball guns but am not sure.
Any details are appreciated.
Back to the question and I carry two spare tubes, tyre irons and a small 12V air compressor that cost $30 from K.Mart. This is powered by a motor cycle battery also under the back seat. Of course, a safe way of keeping the vehicle in the air while removing the tyre is paramount!
Alan in Western Australia
Gary, here are a couple of earlier threads on my CO2 setup:
My 1924 cut-off touring has demountable rims and I carry a fully inflated spare tire and rim, so I would only need to resort to the CO2 if I had multiple flats, or I was helping a fellow traveler in need.
Gary, you can PM Mark Strange, the first reply to my question in this post. Or check out his suggestion several months back on this forum. That is where I got all the information.
To others, I considered an electric pump but because my cars do not use 12 V that would not be feasible and I would not like to carry an extra 12 V battery with the capacity to run such a pump. But thanks for your suggestions.
CO2 cartridges do get very cold when being discharged, but the unit I bought through Amazon from Portland Design Works comes with a leather mitten that can be used when discharging the cylinder. Good idea also to have some extra CO2 around for that unwelcomed fire.
Any compressed gas will become cold when rapidly expanding. Some will disagree with this, but my opinion is that Nitrogen is a scam. The normal atmosphere is 71% Nitrogen anyway. Do the folks who fill a tire and or tube with nitrogen pull a vacuum in it before filling it? If not, there is still whatever is in the Earth's atmosphere in the tire as well as the Nitrogen.
Willard, as bob can attest to, we changed a flat on johns car one nite when we got home. he had a flat during the tour that day and installed his spare. so that night we installed a new tube and filled the tire with FACTORY AIR. that way when john goes to sell the car he can say it has factory air. ask bob and john about this.
I was there watching. Can' t carry an air tank in my car though.
Nitrogen is used to inflate aircraft tires because pure nitrogen contains no water. Water in aircraft tires is bad news because it can freeze in flight. When it does, and you land with ice in the tire, it causes a severe imbalance that can cause flat spots and ultimately a tire that is prematurely worn out.
I don't see any advantage to using nitrogen in automobile tires. Much hot air about nothing.
The Tire Rack agrees with you, Royce.
I would never use anything but NOS air, anything else is inviting trouble. KGB