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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just to vent for a moment, I had a valve stem break by simply removing the cap! No pliers. No pressure. Just removed the valve stem cap and it broke off! Out came all my ballast and in rushed my temper!!! At any rate, my dealer sent over a new valve stem and luckily I just needed the top part to screw back in. Since the dealer uses water as ballast, they also sent over a water fill kit which worked very well for $10! But now the age old question about ballast. I know that beet juice is great but what if I just stayed with water? How long will the rim last? I dont get hard freezes here and the water has been fine so far.
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That looks like you unscrewed the top part of the valve stem and not just the cap. I’ve been running water in my tires for the better part of 40 years. My father longer than that and my grandfather before him. Granted we run tubes in the rears. We’ve never had a rim to present any rust issues even on our 1954 TO-35 that has had water filled rears since new. We don’t have to worry much about freezing tires as we live in the south.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That looks like you unscrewed the top part of the valve stem and not just the cap. I’ve been running water in my tires for the better part of 40 years. My father longer than that and my grandfather before him. Granted we run tubes in the rears. We’ve never had a rim to present any rust issues even on our 1954 TO-35 that has had water filled rears since new. We don’t have to worry much about freezing tires as we live in the south.
Thanks for the input. I don’t have a tube in these tires. I did unscrew the whole top part to drain out. But you can see the broken thread on the first picture if you look close on the right. Un- pictured is the broken brass in the valve stem cap. Can’t believe it happened.
 

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Fluid filled tires generally rust the rims out when they’re filled with calcium chloride which is very corrosive. I would think water would take a very long time to have any adverse effects. I live in the Midwest so no water filled tires around here.
 

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The key to minimizing rust on the rims is to ensure the level of fluid is high enough to keep the rim completely submerged in liquid. This applies to Calcium Chloride and water. By keeping the rim submerged you minimize exposure to oxygen which helps slow down any rusting. This is clearly outlined in most tractor Owner's Manuals.
 

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I agree with Jgayman that if the water level does not allow air to the rim, corrosion will be minimized. If you want more protection you could add something like Liquitube for ballasted tires which has both corrosion protection and sealant properties. I think there are other compounds for corrosion protection as well, Liquitube is just the product I'm familiar with. I would get a product that's labelled for ballasted tires instead of adding something on the off chance it would work. As usual, a tire rim combo is more involved than it seems so you want something that protects against corrosion for both steel and brass (valve stem) and won't harm rubber compounds in the tire and valve. Non-toxic would be preferred as well.

Treefarmer
 
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There is only so much dissolved oxygen in water. Once that is used to create rust no more rust will occur so as long as you don't drain and replace the water or air in your tires on a regular basis there should not be any ongoing rust caused by the water. You have the same situation with cast iron radiators used to heat homes and sprinkler systems throughout buildings around the world. These systems are filled with water. What keeps them from rusting through is the water does not get replaced very often, if ever.
 

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There is only so much dissolved oxygen in water. Once that is used to create rust no more rust will occur so as long as you don't drain and replace the water or air in your tires on a regular basis there should not be any ongoing rust caused by the water. You have the same situation with cast iron radiators used to heat homes and sprinkler systems throughout buildings around the world. These systems are filled with water. What keeps them from rusting through is the water does not get replaced very often, if ever.
True enough but most of the time a little air space is left in the tire so there is some give and the ride isn't so rough. As the tire rolls and rotates, it sloshes so over time the oxygen in the air does get to the rim. Pure water is certainly less likely to rust a rim than a calcium mix but more likely than water with corrosion inhibitor.

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I wouldn’t worry too much about plain water rusting out rims. But, it really depends on what’s in your water. Some well water can have stuff in it thats very corrosive.

It probably best to use a little antifreeze, more for the corrosion additives than the freeze protection.
 

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Calcium chloride usually eats the rim at the valve stem hole first. Straight water would take a long time to rust through a steel rim.
 

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Some towns or cities water can cause issues too. The stuff they treat the water with can cause MIC, and then you got pin holes and rotten valve stems. Although this is rare it can happen.
 

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Here is a similar thread on tire ballast.
I read about a product called Rim Guard. It is Beet juice.



Charlie
 
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