If you are looking for a bead seater you’ve come to the right place! Below is all you need to know to make the right decision on your tire bead seater purchase.
When working with your vehicle, making sure the bead of the tire is properly seated on the wheel is very important to ensure optimal safety and for getting top performance out of your vehicle.
The bead lies on the edge of the tire, and when properly seated and with sufficient air pressure, locks the tire onto a groove on the wheel. It is usually made of a high-strength steel and coated with rubber, so as to sustain all the force placed on your wheels. Needless to say, having a tire bead lose its seating and pop out while operating your vehicle is a very bad thing; in the best case scenario, your tire will quickly start leaking air pressure, if it remains somewhat securely on the wheel at all.
While beads do become unseated at times even with higher air pressures, many times a bead is unseated due to a combination of rough terrain and low air pressure. As it happens, low air pressure is one of the better ways to get the most performance from your vehicle when going at all off-road. Lower air pressure means more of the tire will make contact with the ground, which gives you a better grip ground and more traction with which to effectively control your vehicle. A tire at normal road air pressure will give significantly less traction than one at half (or less) that PSI measure.
Losing a bead, then, is not a very rare occurrence, so people have devised a number of ways to try and seat the bead themselves. Many involve attempting to inflate the tire while placing a significant weight on it, such as sitting or standing on the tire. Besides the obvious risk of losing your balance as someone else is attempting to pump air into the tire, this method of seating the bead is often ineffective and leads to hours of frustration before giving up and taking it to a tire shop.
The WRONG Way to Seat the Bead!
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Another common method is a bit more dangerous: lighter fluid, WD40, or some other high flammable liquid is applied just on the inside of a tire sitting on the wheel, but not fully inflated. An open flame is then used to ignite the liquid inside of the tire, causing it to quickly burn and expand and fill the tire explosively, hopefully seating the bead. Hopefully, the risks involved in igniting a high flammable substance with an open flame with the intent to cause an explosion are evident. The slightest mistake could cause serious harm to yourself or your property.
So, what’s a reliable and quick method to seating a tire bead that doesn’t involve possibly singing off your eyebrows? A beat seater is a specially made device perfect for doing just that job. The most popular size of bead seater include a 5 gallon air tank, though an 11 gallon variety is also available for especially large and difficult tires. All sizes of bead seater have a safety release valve and air gauge for safe and effective control of air pressure, and a ball valve to easily control filling. A welded tab at the end of the nozzle on the tank allows for quick and safe positioning on the tire.
The RIGHT Way to Seat the Bead!
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Once the bead seater is fixed on the tire, releasing the valve will immediately inflate the tire and seat the bead perfectly in the ridge. That’s all there is to it: inflate the tank to the proper PSI for your tire (about 75 for many light trucks, up to about 110 for heavy truck tires), seat it using the special welded tab on the nozzle, and release the valve. Remember the tire shop from earlier, where many who attempt to seat the bead on their tire with more difficult methods end up going? Many use a very similar device, though their varieties often cost considerably more for the same effect. Having a bead seater at hand can make even the most troublesome bead trivial to seat so you can get back to getting the most out of your vehicle.