Tire plug repair kits vary in price and included parts. Years ago I bought one of the EXPENSIVE KITS, many parts in a durable plastic case for about $60.00. This SLIM KIT is one of the LEAST expensive ones, (~$8.00 ) but it has the parts necessary to accomplish a good...
Tire plug repair kits vary in price and included parts. Years ago I bought one of the EXPENSIVE KITS, many parts in a durable plastic case for about $60.00. This SLIM KIT is one of the LEAST expensive ones, (~$8.00 ) but it has the parts necessary to accomplish a good plug repair in an emergency. It''s small enough to fit in your glove compartment.
Somewhere along the line I learned that it''s recommended to use RUBBER CEMENT when the plug is inserted. Other instructions say nothing about rubber cement. The first time I used rubber cement I realized it acted as a lubricant. The cement allowed the insertion tool, loaded with a plug, to place that plug 2/3rds of the way into the reamed hole. WITHOUT CEMENT I FOUND MYSELF FIGHTING TO GET THAT PLUG IN DEEP ENOUGH TO SEAL THE HOLE.
This convenient kit includes everything EXCEPT RUBBER CEMENT. There''s no cutting blade or single edged razor either, but despite directions telling me to cut off the excess after the plug is seated, I''ve NEVER been able to cut a plug, excess or not. THESE PLUGS ARE ALMOST AS TOUGH AS THE TIRE BEING REPAIRED. After insertion I push some of the excess back into the hole until I feel everything is seated and well-sealed, making sure I don''t dislodge the plug.
After doing several tire repair plugs over the years, I MODIFIED THE DIRECTIONS TO MAKE THE TASK easier for me. The rasp tool smooths off the hole but it would take me ALL DAY to make that hole large enough using a rasp or any hand held tool to take a sufficient plug. I use MICHELIN HIGH PERFORMANCE STEEL-BELTED RADIALS, multiple bias ply tires, GUARANTEED to last from 60,000 TO 90,000 MILES at sustained high speeds of 130 MPH. These are not the easiest tires to work with and plug as they are EXTRA STRONG.
I have to SQUISH the end of the plug with pliers to get it to fit through the slot of the insertion tool. Once it''s in, I have to PULL THE PLUG THROUGH TO HALFWAY., where both ends are equal length I NEED TO USE MY PLIERS OR A WRENCH to grip the plug end to pull strongly enough to pull it halfway through.
This is where I improvise quite a bit. I''m a LITTLE OLD "CAT LADY". There''s NO WAY I can push the insertion tool with the loaded plug 2/3rds of the way into the hole. The loaded insertion tool is ALWAYS 3X bigger than the reamed hole. Perhaps these high performance steel belted Michelin''s are stronger than the average radial tire? I''m a loyal brand customer. My Michelin''s have ALWAYS outperformed any other tire I''ve used over the years. The multiple radial plies PUSH BACK. To deal with this, I use my Milwaukee power drill after the reamer tool and increase the size of the bits UNTIL I CAN GET THE INSERTION TOOL TO ENTER THE HOLE WITH MODERATE RESISTANCE. I did a dry run the first time and I STILL HAD A PROBLEM pushing the insertion tool + plug deep enough. While I''ll use a drill bit that looks up to TWICE THE DIAMETER of the reamer, the drilled hole DOES NOT LOOK APPRECIABLY LARGER. It eases the insertion of the tool very slightly but just enough to make it possible.
NOTE: ANY insertion tool from any kit is troublesome for me UNLESS i REAM OUT THE HOLE WITH A FEW SIZES LARGER DRILL BIT. Different insertion tools from different kits are all about the same standard size.
FOR THE FINAL INSERTION, after everything is adjusted properly, I added some old jeweler''s glue. It was almost bubble gum thick so I wrapped the strand of half-set glue around the plug and the insertion tool and seated the plug to the 2/3rds point. Without using the glue as lubricant, I may have been pushing on that plug forever, even after I enlarged the hole. With the lubricant it took me only ~5 minutes of struggling to reach the advised plug depth. The cement I used WAS NOT RUBBER CEMENT, but it could be used on rubber as well as multiple materials. As I said, for me the glue acts only as a lubricant. If I didn''t have this rubber-compatible cement I would have used DUCO CEMENT. After using lubricant the first time I''ll never struggle to insert a dry plug again. THINNER PLUGS ARE AVAILABLE but they don''t make the plugging procedure much easier. Maybe threading the insertion tool is less of a fight but using glue as a lubricant is essential for me and makes plugging tires a fairly easy procedure.
I would add a small tube of rubber cement into this kit. A sharp single edge razor could also fit if you''ve been able to cut excess from a plug. I prefer to tuck the ends in somewhat so any excess can be placed between the grooves of the tire.
For the price, this inexpensive Slime kit can''t be beat. I''ve successfully plugged holes deemed "too big" in the instructions (I inserted a double plug for these) and I''ve plugged a hole approaching the sidewall after a professional Tire Repair service said it couldn''t be done.
After I plug ANY tire, I NEVER use it as if it is OK. These plugs work well for spare tires to get you home. They will last well over the 100 miles recommended by the manufacturer. I NEVER exceed a speed limit with a plugged tire on my car. Plugs are to be used for temporary fixes or to buy you time to save up for replacement tires.
This review includes installation tips that make plugging tires easier - and safer in my opinion. I never had a plugged tire fail on me using this technique. The $8.00 SLIME KIT is inexpensive and WORKS JUST AS WELL as the fancy $60.00 kit.