woody's wheel works
Built to Last
: Jun 2004
: 39*40'33.86N 104*59'54.69W
Woody's latest technique, thoughts and advice on sealing wire wheels.
Originally Posted by Chuckracer
Hmmm...there's food for thought. The wheels are 19/17 Excel rims w/ stainless spokes and nipples.
I stripped off all the Goop and Seal-All from both wheels last night...gonna start all over again, and this time pay more attention to prep.
I'm thinking about the paper dot over the spoke nipple technique now.
hope i catch you before you got tooo far...
just re-read the whole thread... and i'll try to give ya what works and what doesn't....
amazingly most every technique offered here works when done right...
in a nutshell....
1 ..CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS when using any of these techniques!!!!
...there can be NO oil residues on any spot you want to seal and have the sealants adhere to....
2,,,wheels that have ss spokes and ss nipples invariably have the brown anti-seize on the threads which by way of centrifugal force will work it's way out under the sealant,possibly softening it...this has to be stopped from spreading
3,,,the round paper sticky idea although neat in concept just doesn't cut it because you are removing the equivalent area from the sealers to do their job..fugget it
4,,,it is SUPER important to spray brake clean/acetone/alchohol ie a NON oil cleaner and compressed air that is CLEAN [we traced one sealant failure,ie the entire silicone seal came off in one piece
to an air line coming out directly from the compressor tank instead of through the airline oil/water filter system..the technician did all the cleaning and then added an oil film to the finished work...oooops]
5,, it is important to get the sealants way down into the spoke nipple cavity
6,, it is important this be filled and allowed to set/harden cure..
7,,we have found that the single item that affects the success or failure is giving each layer time to cure,,,and that does NOT mean dry to the touch...that skin that forms is like putting a lid on the sealant tube,,and then you put another layer lid on ..and the stuff underneath is still soft,,guys ,,40psi in your tire will force anything that can move out of it's way..air has a peculiar trait of finding it's way the tiniest weakest spot,,hence all the incidences of seeing little air bubbles from the spoke nipple junction....
a caveat i'm going to inject at this point before you even start...make sure your spokes are properly tensioned and your wheel is true so as to minimize the need to turn adjust the spokes ,,the main reason for ruining a seal job...hence we re-commend superlacing because it has the highest chance of not needing spoke tightened on a routine basis.....
use adequate ventilation so ya do not fry your brains or lungs...my technicians hated performing this task til i myself realized we're getting high/dizzy off this s___. now we have a fan going to blow all the vapors away...'mo betta,,,when they say well ventilated,,even doing this outside the shop [where they did it most of the time] didn't cut it ,,,being 1-2' away was still too close,,,hence using the fan to aggressively move the vapors
so here's what i've done to alleviate the time crunch,,,keep the air from getting seeping through the spoke threads and/or around the nipple rim junction
what ya need is the best of all the previous techniques PLUS what i am going to share...
here's the WWW Rx:
go to your hobby shop.,,,home-depot or whoever has:
1,, thin set superglue in bottle with thin nozzle
2,, a bottle of 'gap-filling superglue
3,, a bottle of accelerator we use a hypodermic needle to apply a tiny bit of the stuff to the right spot
4,, a tube of Silicone II
5,, a can of de-natured alchoho or acetone
6,, a role of 3/4'' wide nylon strapping tape
so having prepped your spoke/nipple rim interfaces
1,,start by filling the holes with the thin stuff and a touch of accelerator ..there!! instantly a non flexing plug,,,,if the holes are too deep don't fill all the way with the thin set ..you can fill up the rest in the next step
2,,now using the gap filler [it's thicker] go around the baseof nipple and apply a not to thick coat ,,just enough to see that the glue is settling nice all around the base ..no need to completely fill it ,,,while you are at it ,fill in the deep holes in your nipple if any ,,,now a touch of accelerator and BAM!!!,set done,,next...
3,,thoroughly wipe all accelerator residue off with acetone/alcohol swab and dry
4,,now we want to apply a nice layer of the Plumbers GOOP,,i start on the outside of the nipple in acircle and swirl toward center kinda like an ice cream cone topping,,,let it settle and cure,,again a nice medium film is better than slobbering all over the place...our tests confirm this stuff sticks better than Seal All,,let this cure overnight
5,,i believe we could apply another layer of goop that extends a lil further out than the last and cure another day and be done with it....i however have chosen an extra step to consist of ,,,
6,,applying a thin layer of silicone II that completely covers the nipples,,i let this cure for 2 days..done properly you will NOT be able to pull this stuff off,,a rotary stiff wire brush is our solution at ripping through the silicone....
7,,last but not least i apply two layers of nylon strapping tape in the appropriate widths as added insurance from errant tire irons
track record ??? 0 failures in the last year especially the ones around the spoke nipple or nipple rim interfaces..
other items that can snooker you,,,these are things found out ,,,from customers complaining of real slow air loss...we've learned to Rx em like this:
1,,make sure the weld divots on your rim are smoothed out or filled in with JB weld and machined down
2,,some new rims have exaggerated knurling on the sides,,if ya have slow leaks you'll see foam appearing real slowly,,,,after letting your wheel sit flat for awhile sometimes up to half hour later and there's the evidence of a leak,,,sanding the highest edges off will cure this...we have also run athin layer of silicone around the entire inside corner of the bead/lip
3,,depending on valve stem ,you may need to flatten the inside surface of the drop center to allow full contact for the o-ring under the metal valve stem.....
the above takes the best of all the previous techniques ,,reduces the time factor considerably ,,,eliminates the two chief air leak passageways by sealing them and providing a stable support for the next layers of sealant...that aren't prone to centrifugal forces or the oils in the nipple
now it's off to ride with mo betta peace of mind that that seal job is not going to let you down....
PS when you have someone do all of the above the parts/materials are circa $25-30/wheel including metal valve stem...the rest is carefull tedious labor.
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woody's wheel works screwed with this post 05-23-2012 at