You’ve identified the two alternatives: (1) $3 can of “Fix-A-Flat”, or
(2) $500 new/rebuilt wheel.
If you examine the leaking wheel carefully, you will probably find at
least one broken spoke. When the spoke breaks, usually at the “bent”
end at the hub, the adjuster nipple end at the rim can push through the
sealing gel on the tire side of the rim, causing an air leak that is
usually slow. Be aware that sometimes the spoke can push away a large
enough flap of the gel that the wheel will leak nearly all of its air
in ~ 5 miles of use. I once had a wheel that would hold air with the
car parked, but would leak very fast when driven.
Just curious as to the cause: was that wheel on the Right Rear (where
hitting curbs is most likely)? My theory is that spoke breakage doesn’t
occur unless there is some unusual impact to the rim, either from a bad
pothole or more likely, striking a curb.
I have 22-year-old 60-spoke Daytons on my 85, and 12-year-old 70-spoke
Daytons on my 89. I have had one leaking wheel on each (both from a
broken spoke), and have fixed both with a can of “Fix-A-Flat”. The key
is to roll the car ~ 5 - 10 mph, no faster, for a minute or two after
injecting the sealant (with tire pressure @ about 15 PSIG before
injecting) so that the sealant covers the spoke inside surface of the
rim as smoothly as possible and seals without collecting in one area.
Remember, you are trying to coat the inner part of the rim, NOT the
tire casing, so higher speed centrifugal force defeats your purpose.
Worst case scenario is that you will have to have the tire/wheel
rebalanced, as you may notice a slight change.
If you have/develop more than one broken spoke, then you should
probably have the wheel rebuilt/replaced for the sake of safety.
George Balthrop, Clifton, VA USA
85 & 89 XJ-S Coupes; 89 XJ40 VDP-----Original Message-----
I have a set of Dayton wires on my 87 XJS and one of them leaks
down very slowly over several days. Tires are new (P4000). and
the other three are fine. Dealer thinks wheel may be leaking.
Common problem with wire wheels?? I have had several sets over the
years and this is first problem! Any ideas on fixes, other than
sending back to Dayton for a 450.00 rebuild? Please don’t tell me
to shoot that ''Flat Fix Goop ‘’ into the tire.
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