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Rock Grower
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341 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a Clear water pump from Harbor Freight laying around and was thinking I could use it for Ballasting my tractor tires but the directions state "Use on Clear Water Only".

Why couldn't it be used on other liquids that has no solid chunks, sand, or other pieces of solid material?

Brine is just water and other dissolved liquids.
Antifreeze is a little thicker than water until you mix it 50/50 with water.
Washer fluid is the same as water, I think.

None of them are Flammable so why not?

All suggestion welcome.
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Premium Member
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2,675 Posts
The tire ballast pumps are low pressure diaphragm positive displacement pumps that do not pump much pressure. They just slowly displace air with fluid. The tires have zero air pressure as they are filled with ballast

I would worry the pump you have would output too much pressure far too rapidly to allow the air to be displaced. You do not want more than approximately 10-15 psi applied during the fill process as the air is displaced or the fluid is forced out the beads.
 

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Retired Canadian
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916 Posts
This is where that 'spitter' valve comes in.The shop pump I worked with was a smallish, brass rotary one that you could hold in your hand. But then, the one you have will only put out the psi you set it for. The salt brine I am familiar with is 50lbs. salt to 45 Imperial gallons(55 U.S.gal.) water. Use cold water, the colder the better because salt dissolves more in cold. Your valve will be, should be, 'up' , so if you undo the filler line only air will come out and there won't be much air anyway because you will be starting with 0 psi.
 

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The Harbor Freight pump does not have an adjustable pressure feature, it is either on or off. And is a constant delivery design once turned on.

The proper tire fluid pump is demand driven, air compressor powered, and only provides delivery of ballast as the tire pressure equalizes as the air in the tire escapes through the tire air/liquid adapter.

The tire fill pump must be capable of stopping when the cut off pressure is reached to avoid tire and/or rim damage. The pressure in an agricultural R1 rear tractor tire runs between 10 to 20 psi. Greater pressures damage the tires and can result in rim explosions and injury.

There are low cost liquid transfer pumps such as offered by Gemplers such as their Diaphragm Liquid Ballast pump, #16788, for around $1,000 US.

My farm shop be red tagged and fined by Oregon OSHA if ever caught using an unsafe and unapproved pump system to transfer ballast, and rightfully so. No point in exposing people to potentially dangerous practices.

There are tire ballast systems that use pressure relief garden hose adapters on standard 3/4 inch residential garden hoses. The cost is around $10 for one of those. They squirt water and air out a button valve on the side of the adapter, but would be unsuitable for calcium chloride or the more modern environmentally friendly freeze proof solutions because of the waste.
 

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Super Moderator
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Have you thought of using external ballast for your tractor? Wheel weights can be installed and removed at you whim. Are you needing ballast to pull farm implements, or are you just ofsetting the weight of a loaded front end loader? If that's the case, perhaps a weight hung out back like a snow blower like I have in the winter, as I need it anyways, or a home made dohickey like I've seen around the net made with an oil drum and a few rocks, or some concrete.
 

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Retired Canadian
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916 Posts
You could use gravity alone to fill your tires with
The Harbor Freight pump does not have an adjustable pressure feature, it is either on or off. And is a constant delivery design once turned on.

The proper tire fluid pump is demand driven, air compressor powered, and only provides delivery of ballast as the tire pressure equalizes as the air in the tire escapes through the tire air/liquid adapter.

The tire fill pump must be capable of stopping when the cut off pressure is reached to avoid tire and/or rim damage. The pressure in an agricultural R1 rear tractor tire runs between 10 to 20 psi. Greater pressures damage the tires and can result in rim explosions and injury.

There are low cost liquid transfer pumps such as offered by Gemplers such as their Diaphragm Liquid Ballast pump, #16788, for around $1,000 US.

My farm shop be red tagged and fined by Oregon OSHA if ever caught using an unsafe and unapproved pump system to transfer ballast, and rightfully so. No point in exposing people to potentially dangerous practices.

There are tire ballast systems that use pressure relief garden hose adapters on standard 3/4 inch residential garden hoses. The cost is around $10 for one of those. They squirt water and air out a button valve on the side of the adapter, but would be unsuitable for calcium chloride or the more modern environmentally friendly freeze proof solutions because of the waste.
This "pressure relief garden hose adaptor" is what I referred to as a 'spitter' valve.
 

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I think that pump you show is Way too big. I used the water pump on my tile saw a couple of times to fill tires.
It took a couple of hours per tire but I just put the fluid in a clean trash can and would burp the tire every so often while I was doing other things. As said, gravity works fine too. Just burp it once in a while. As for adding ballast, remember, a tractor can Not put its full horsepower to the ground without added ballast. Ballast also makes for a more stable platform too. I also like cast iron wheel weights too but they can be harder to find. I was never much of a fan of putting weight on the 3 point except maybe on a loader tractor if you needed more weight to offset heavy loader work.
I borrowed a friend's loader tractor this fall to lift the trusses for my new garage and with the jerry rigged boom I made to go on the loader forks I just hung some wheel weights on the three point temporarily.

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I just use wheel weights on my rears, as I don't do any heavy plowing or anything like that. I do use my tractor for clearing land now and a again, snow removal and handling round bales to feed the equine crew. The tractor is heavy enough to do those sorts of things, but if I need to do something a bit heavier, I hook up my snow blower for added weight out the back.
 

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Rock Grower
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341 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
What size tires are you filling ??
I've got 15.5x38 tires and not sure if I'M going to ballast the tires or not.

This all started when my left(as in the controllers seat) tire was bulging and I checked the air pressure and found liquid in it and the right was fine and free of ballast.

The right tire has no ballast so I'm thinking the tractor was used by a road crew or something of that sort where only on tire was loaded to stay on the road?

I contacted you all to see if I should leave it/change it/ remove it.

Well 1st I think I will remove the Brine of calcium. Due you think I could sell it or someone would use it?

2nd I was thinking to half ballast the tires or one of the tires with Beet juice or whipper fluid. Would that give me more stability for cutting side ways on hills so it wouldn't be as easy to flip on its side?

If it would help should I fill one tire and should that be the tire on the top side of the hill or the bottom side of hill when i'm cutting?

Thoughts?

P.S. center of rims are cast weight.
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Looks like the ballast is taking it's toll on your wheel. Is the other side the same? I'd be concerned about removing the ballast and letting the air get at the metal rim and corrode even faster. You may want to consider removing the tires at some point, and restoring the rims. The wheel weights look good and if you are not really pulling anything heavy, they might be good enough. Your wheels are the adjustable type. When cutting on a hillside, which I wouldn't recommend, I'd pull the high side wheel in close to the tractor, and push the low side wheel out as wide as you can get it. I have no idea how steep these hills are you talk about, but I think if they are steep it would be best to mow down hill rather that across. So what exactly do you do, or plan on using the tractor for? I use mine for landscaping, clearing snow and hauling hay for the horses. Weights are good enough for me.
 
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