Question regarding wheel ballast

Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:27 pm

Howdy,

Newber post here.

We have an old 140 here, that we've used for about 40 around the farm, as a cultivating,and general usage tractor. The engine has been rebuilt 3 times now, but it still works like a charm.

My question is regarding the use/need for ballast in the right had tire.

The original tire, (right hand side) finally bit the dust, and I noticed it had calcium coming out of the crack in the tire. This is the side with the big thick cast rim center. Got the wheel off to the tire shop for repair,and the shop owner wondered if we really needed calcium in that side, considering the big cast center already in the wheel. I wasn't sure, so I figured I'd come and ask the experts.

The tractor doesn't do any heavy work, like plowing, or discing, or any winter work with a blade or anything. Just mainly pulling wagons,and a bit of light cultivating.

Appreciate any input.

Frank

Re: Question regarding wheel ballast

Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:34 am

Try it without. You can always add. I'm not overly fond of loaded tires anyway. Prefer just more weight. Vern

Re: Question regarding wheel ballast

Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:02 am

It will ride different without ballast, more bounce, would probably still bounce with more weight. Water won't compress, air will. JMHO, and personal experience.

Re: Question regarding wheel ballast

Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:02 pm

That is true v w, the shop owner did remind me that down the road, if we decided to add calcium, he could stop by when he had his service truck in the area,and fill it.


I guess I never thought about the ride aspect danovercash. I'm more worried about it having an off kilter/tippy feel, with no calcium on the one side, where there used to be. The other (left) tire, is about 10 years old and it DOES have calcium in it.

Re: Question regarding wheel ballast

Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:01 pm

Put fluid back in the tire, you can use ethanol, do not use calcium chloride it is very corrosive but you need the weight on the light side , I am sure there is fluid in the other side. it will be easy for it to turn over without the fluid in the right side.
Boss

Re: Question regarding wheel ballast

Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:55 pm

I removed the calcium from mine while doing tire repairs, will probably put antifreeze and water back in when through painting, etc. presently making a device to inject antifreeze. Manifold is complete, waiting on tank from sandblaster. Fill tank three fourths full. Charge with air. Screw on large stem, open ball valve and inject! Pix when finished.

Re: Question regarding wheel ballast

Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:05 pm

Good info guys.

I think I will have some put back into the tire. He said next time he's in the area with the service truck he'll put the calcium back in,no extra charge.

Thanks for the feedback.


Frank

Re: Question regarding wheel ballast

Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:20 pm

Better have good tubes and excellent stem hardware. My rim rusted thru from the outside because of a bad stem. Inside still looked good. I will vote for anti-freeze since I can get all I need free.

Re: Question regarding wheel ballast

Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:53 pm

New tire and new tube and valve stem hardware for the old girl.
Tire, tube, install, environmental fee for the old tire (rip off), plus our beloved taxes, brought this project to just a few $$ under $500.
Tire Brand - American Farmer. $345 CND.

Couple things..

Asked him about using ethanol,and he said that could be poisonous to cats or dogs if it leaks. Same for anti-freeze.

While there was a bit of surface rust around the valve stem, the inside of the rim was clean. So they gave it a good wire wheel cleaning around the valve stem hole, and gave it a shot of primer. So that's a good thing.


The other thing was the height of the new tire once I installed it back on the 140. Much higher on that side! I know, the old tire had some wear, but I measure the new tire about 1.5" higher than the old one. I think the addition of fluid to the new tire will make it squat down a bit more,and get more in line with the old one.

They had 26lbs in it dry.

Thoughts?

Re: Question regarding wheel ballast

Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:22 pm

26 is probably too much, should be in the teens. The original rear tires are still on my Cub, the one with air only stands taller and looks bigger than the one with water.

Re: Question regarding wheel ballast

Mon Aug 12, 2013 8:32 pm

All we use is ethanol, much cheaper than antifreeze Have not used calcium in many years. And we fill many tractor tires being a tractor dealer
Boss

Re: Question regarding wheel ballast

Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:37 pm

He did mention that the option of using beet juice for ballast was available.
I guess it doesn't freeze either. But it's $3/gal.

Re: Question regarding wheel ballast

Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:37 pm

Gentle correction if I may. Ethanol (grain alcohol) is the stuff that some folks drink-- like vodka and the like. Heavily taxed if packaged for human consumption.
Methanol (wood alcohol) is the poisonous kind-- but excellent antifreeze. So the methanol is the additive used in tires. But beware-- if you have the tire repaired, they pump out your fluid and then pump it back in and it is then contaminated with whatever was in their reservoir. You will get some calcium chloride in the process.
Fluid makes a real difference in the traction achieved.
The heavy cast wheel on the right is to help offset the weight imbalance to the left of the engine and drivetrain-- but it does not fully do so.
Last edited by Bus Driver on Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Question regarding wheel ballast

Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:00 pm

Your height difference with the new tire is from the mold being different even though they are marked the same size. Add CaCl will not make it squat any. At least not unless you leave the air pressure a LOT lower than the other one.