Is the purpose of the goop they slather around the bead of a tubeless tire to lubricate during installation, to help seal the tire rim interface, or both? I have a freebee dolly on which one of the tire has a very very slow leak at the interface. What is this goop? The local auto parts store was of no help.
Which goop? There are a couple. One is strictly a lube, it's basically water with some surfactant and water soluble oil. Then you have actual tire bead sealant. It is basically a thin rubber cement with carbon black as a thickening agent.
The first is used to slip the tire over the rim easier and reduce the possibility of bead damage. The second is used on pitted aluminum or steel rims to seal the pits and retain air.
If you only have a small tire then you could simply use a small amount of rubber cement around the bead. It will do the same thing as the tire sealant.
Second on the Slime. I've got a tubeless tire on one dolly that does exactly that, a short shot of the slime fixed it up.
I've only ever seen them use a swab with some tire soap on it when mounting my tires, comes in a bucket. Only for seating beads and keeping the rubber from tearing when stretching it over the rims. Lubricant only, no sealing properties.
Now if you've got a tube in your tire, the slime may just make a mess, you'd have to patch the tube.
The thing I can't understand, is why manufacturers insist on mounting tubeless tires on everything such as wheelbarrows, snowblowers and other low speed equipment. I can understand that tubless tires run cooler at high speed but on a wheelbarrow? snowblower? After ten years, the tires are checked and the rims are rusted, so the owner gets to install the tube that should have been there in the first place. The lawn tractor with low pressure tires does a sharp turn and catches some grass stems or twigs in the bead and developes a slow leak (I, personaly, traced this down and fixed it - the lady was using a bicycle pump every time she went to cut the grass). What is there for not installing tube type tires on low speed equipment? Gerry :-)} London, Canada
My understanding is the goop is vegetable oil. It acts as a lubricant which helps to get the bead seated on the rim.
Recently I came back to my truck and found it blocked in by a tire service truck. He was trying to get a truck tire seated on the rim. He had a little air tank with a one inch ball valve going to a bit of one inch pipe. The free end of the pipe was somewhat flattened. He would lubricate the bead and then slip the pipe between the bead and the rim. Hit the ball valve and the tire would almost seat. The pipe got pushed out of the way as the tire started to seat. The rim had a few rough spots and would not get a good seal.
After a few attempts that failed, he got a can of starter fluid and sprayed some inside the tire. Then tossed a match. There was a poof and the bead was seated.
There are two completely different kinds of "tire bead goop". One is the soap or glycerine lube (RuGlyde), which has minimal sealing qualities - the other is the black latex "bead sealer" that does a reasonable job of sealing a bead if it is clean and not too badly corroded.
As for tubeless low speed tires, it all comes down to PRICE. The majority of us North Americans are notoriously CHEEP critters, and the manufacturers won;t spend a penny more than necessary to get their product out the door, and, hopefully, through warranty.
Re-seating a wheelbarrow tire is simple. Spray some butane into the tire and throw a match at it. It'll pop right on, 9.9 times out of 10.
But putting in a tube is a much better solution. A "slimed" or self sealing tube is almost a requirement in misquite or cactus country, and a kevlar liner works wonders too. Wreaks havoc with balance, so not so good on high speed tires.