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Old 10-06-2005, 10:00 PM   #1
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Tire inflation with nitrogen

I caught the end of a news story about Costco filling their customer tires with nitrogen instead of air. The reason being it was slower to leak out in a puncture and also helped improve gas mileage (don't know why). Anyone out there putting nitrogen in their tires? If so, has it helped out in these areas?
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:28 PM   #2
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Hiya -- Knew I'd seen this before. Actually quite a few responses come up if you search on 'nitrogen.' The following thread seems to have a lot of variety -- conclusions? You be the judge. http://www.airforums.com/forum...ead.php?t=4975
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Old 10-06-2005, 10:30 PM   #3
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I use plain old air, but you can find some links and info here on other gasses for inflation.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...light=nitrogen
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Old 10-06-2005, 11:06 PM   #4
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Being as air is about 73% (or something like that) nitrogen, I doubt that it will slow leaking down at all. But being as nitrogen is inert - it might slow down internal corrosion (if that makes a difference). Tires wear faster than they degrade anyway.
The only benefit I can see is that nitrogen would be dry - no moisture in the tire. Sure is a lot of expense and trouble to do that. Much easier to just put dry air in.
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Old 10-07-2005, 12:14 AM   #5
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Hey - if steel balls can help balance a tire - why not a cup of water??
(I don't remember where on the forums I read that putting steel balls in the tire makes them ride smoother. Did a search and found nothing).
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Old 10-07-2005, 06:08 AM   #6
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Buttah -- It was Pahaska that wrote about the steel balls. He really liked them. Probably in one of the numerous balancing threads. We'll keep this bouncing -- somebody will have the name...

Racing? You can get gas cylinders anywhere you travel. It might be more convenient than carrying your own compressor around the country, then stomping on another cord in the pits, etc.
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Old 10-07-2005, 06:56 AM   #7
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Here is the link to what Pahaska was talking about way back when:

http://www.centramatic.com/
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Old 10-07-2005, 08:03 AM   #8
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When I was in the Air Force, we used nitrogen in the aircraft tires. I would highly recomend it for anyone who plans to take their Airstream to 43,000 feet at supersonic speeds.
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:35 AM   #9
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How well do those tow? I'd worry about singeing the front window protector.
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Old 10-07-2005, 10:45 AM   #10
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Wouldn't it make the trailer lighter?
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Old 10-07-2005, 11:00 AM   #11
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Try helium.
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Old 10-07-2005, 11:53 AM   #12
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I took a look at that balancer - it looks like it would really work! I thought the balls went into the tire. That didn't make sense to me.

They have a nice video showing how the balancer works - pretty cool!!
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Old 10-07-2005, 02:03 PM   #13
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. . . . I thought the balls went into the tire. That didn't make sense to me.
It works if the balls are very small. Here is a link to balancing beads:http://www.innovativebalancing.com/service.htm
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Old 10-07-2005, 02:47 PM   #14
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O.K. - now this is one that I don't understand how it works. I'll have to look into it more.

Nice little piece about nitrogen there...
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Old 10-07-2005, 03:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Buttercup
O.K. - now this is one that I don't understand how it works. I'll have to look into it more.

Nice little piece about nitrogen there...
Buttercup,
In two words...centrifugal force...and FWIW my wife's uncle uses the same product on his big gravel trucks.

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Old 10-07-2005, 08:50 PM   #16
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Back in the 70’s, when I was working Daytona & Sebring as pit crew with a IMSA Porsche team out of Ft. Lauderdale, I provisioned multiple Nitrogen tanks for air tool operation, being told that it was dryer and didn’t foul the air tools. Further, the Nitrogen is inert and would not support combustion – a requirement in the pits. Additionally, becuase nitrogen has a much more consistent rate of expansion and contraction compared to normal air, tire pressures were staying more consistent; as 65GT pointed out.

Race teams used to bring their own cylinders to each track and sometime in the 80s’ a company called Air Products, in the North East, began selling a service to the IMSA teams and supplied ‘rental’ tanks on site. This was cool because we didn’t have to ‘schlepp’ these bulky cylinders around. Now they are available at all the racing tracks, as Canoe Stream has pointed out.

It is a common accepted belief of professional truckers that tires fatigue and fail from oxidation. By using nitrogen, the oxygen content in normal air is not attacking the tire from within, and therefore the tire service life is extended. Apparently, the tire body (not the tread life) is extended, resulting in fewer failures.

Further, relative to the maintenance of air pressure over time, the truckers claim that the water content in air causes rust (iron oxide or aluminum hydroxide) within the wheels. This becomes powdered quite fine and becomes trapped on the seal of the valve stem when air pressure is checked.

Personally I use air (with water – oh well!) and utilize a metal stem cap with rubber seal, on all my tires.
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Old 10-07-2005, 09:21 PM   #17
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We too have used nitrogen on aircraft and race car tires. For my good old common garden variety truck, trailer, and tractor tires I use air from my shop compressor which has an inline filter to catch water on it....so I guess I am using dry air But come to think of it...the tractor tires have a calcium chloride solution in them... I really believe that using Nitrogen for normal day to day use is a bunch of hype and a sales pitch. Face it most of our AS tires are going to die of dry rot from UV exposure and non use long before anything else.

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Old 10-08-2005, 01:22 AM   #18
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I swear I did a search on nitrogen and didn't find any meaningful threads.......sorry for the duplicate thread ! I also haven't been a member as long as some of you (that remembered the previous threads). I don't consider myself an autophile........I just drive the dang things.......and when I see a news story on something that may improve mileage and increase safety....I'm all ears! I wasn't thinking of putting nitrogen in my AS tires....but in my Tow Vehicle. I don't know how Costco rates for tire sales or quality of service because I've never bought my tires there. I agree it must be just a gimmick to boost their tire sales, which it probably did! I just wanted to find out if there was anything to this or not........I guess there isn't . Sooooooo, thanks for all your replies......you won't find me filling my tires with nitrogen!!
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Old 10-27-2005, 07:36 PM   #19
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Nitrogen

The NAVY has been using dry nitrogen in their aircraft tires for at least 20 years now. This I know first hand. The reason is because of the more consistant tire pressure between hot(after landing and after takeoff) and cold. When you run 22 ply tires inflated to better than 300 psi, it can make a difference. Also the nitrogen retards the corrosion in the wheels themselves. Also important on a high performance aircraft. The tire manufacturers tell us that the air in the tire actually passes through the sidewall (thinest part of the tire). As it passes through, it causes the rubber compounds to oxidize, thus decreasing the life of the tire body itself. The moisture in the air in the tire expands when heated. The more heat, the more the pressure in the tire rises. This is not a factor in a farm tractor tire, (rarely driven over 25 MPH) but it very well could be in a GoodYear Marathon cold inflated to 65 PSI and then driven on a hot interstate in the summer time for hours on end.
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Old 10-31-2005, 11:49 AM   #20
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Beginner,

The air you are breathing right now contains almost 75% nitrogen right now. Coupled with the less than 300 psi and less than 22 ply tires I have, I think I will stick with plain old air. This tends to simplify my life a bit. Course I only go about 65 tops on the freeway. And I have witnesses.

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