Between flats, flat spots and squeaks, there’s a lot that can happen to your Billy Goat’s wheels and tires to keep you from getting your work done. How can you solve these problems, and what can you do to prevent them?
Protecting Your Wheels and Tires
When storing your equipment, place it on top of a sheet of cardboard. This reduces heat transfer between the tire and the cement that can damage the rubber.
Check the tire pressure at least once a week and air up tires monthly while your equipment is in storage. The recommended pressure printed on the sidewall.
Keep bearings and axles lubricated with quality waterproof grease. Even if the wheel rolls smoothly, replacing the grease each season will force out dirt that can wear down contact surfaces.
Maintenance on Solid, Semi-Pneumatic and Foam-Filled Tires
These tires are maintenance free. Both foam-filled and semi-pneumatic tires have air in them, but this air is in sealed chambers, so they can’t leak unless they’re damaged. Hate airing up your pneumatic tires? Billy Goat offers foam-filled replacements for some small tires, including those used on the front of their Force blowers.
Finding a Leak
Air up the tire and spray some soapy water on it. The leak will form soap bubbles.
If there’s a small leak is in the tire tread, it can be repaired using a flat kit. Remove any debris stuck in the leak, then use the reamer tool to create a smooth opening. Insert the plug using the included tool and cut off the end so it sits flush with the tire. Some kits include a glue that needs to be applied before inserting the plug.
If the leak is in the sidewall or it’s too big to be sealed with a patch, the tire should be replaced.
If the leak is coming from inside the valve stem, replace the core. Let the air out of the tire, then use a core tool to unscrew the old valve stem core and replace it with a new one. If the leak is coming from the outside of the valve stem, the stem needs to be replaced. Separate the tire from the bead, then cut away the back side of the old stem to remove it from the rim. Lubricate the new stem with some soapy water and use a four-way valve tool to pull the stem through the rim.
Removing Drive Wheels
Start by lifting your equipment high enough to raise the tire off of the ground.
Caster and non-drive wheels are usually held on with a bolt and nut. Pay attention to the placement of any washers when reinstalling the wheel.
Most drive wheels are held on using a cotter pin. Bend the ends of the pin down and pull the pin out. The wheel should now slide off of the axle. If the wheel doesn’t want to budge, apply a penetrating oil and rock the wheel left and right as you pull. When reinstalling the wheel, make sure the key on the inside of the rim lines up with the keyway on the axle. To make removal and installation easier in the future, apply some anti-seize to the shaft.
Removing a Tire from the Rim
Remove the wheel from the equipment. Set the wheel on its side on a flat work surface and let the air out of the tire.
Push down hard on the sidewalls to separate the bead from the rim. Pull one of the beads up past the rim. You can use a pry bar or a flathead screwdriver, but it will be easier on yourself and the wheel if you use a set of tire levers. Hold part of the bead up with one lever while working on the rest of the bead with the other lever. Once you have about half of the bead above the rim, the rest should slide up off of the wheel.
Pull the tire up toward the bead you just pulled and force it off of the rim.
Installing a Pneumatic Tire
Rub some soapy water on the beads. This will help them slip over the rim and make it easier to find the leaks if they don’t want to seat. Work the beads over the rim so that the tire is on the wheel. Air up the tire to seat the beads against the rim. If you’re having trouble getting the bead to mate with the rim, wrap a ratchet strap around the tire tread and tighten it down. As it squeezes on the tire, the sidewalls will be pushed out.
Get the Parts You Need to Keep Your Equipment Moving
BillyGoatParts.com is a certified Billy Goat dealer, letting us ship OEM parts for your equipment to any address in the U.S. or Canada. Browse our Wheels & Wheel Parts section or use our search engine to see parts for your specific model, complete with factory diagrams and descriptions.