By itself, the technology of flagellar repair of tubeless tires is very old. She was known abroad, and even in the USSR almost half a century ago. However, it spread massively (namely massively) among Russian car owners and hit the shelves of car dealerships only in the mid-2000s. Nevertheless, not all drivers are personally familiar with it even to this day, after a decade and a half. Many of those who are familiar theoretically have never put it into practice. And a huge number of drivers, having seen enough videos on the Internet, are afraid to use it … Let’s try once again to return to this seemingly repeatedly chewed story and dot the i’s on the issue of flagellar repair. We have already described the process itself in the material on how to repair tires, so let’s move on to common myths and useful tips.
Installing a harness permanently damages the wheel
A powerful misconception, replicated very widely. Its proponents claim that the helical awl to prepare the hole “breaks the cords, thereby creating a weakened zone in the tire.”
This legend is refuted quite simply. Since it is opposed to “correct repair” in the form of installing a “mushroom” with wheel disassembly and subsequent balancing, one should refer to the documents of companies that produce “mushrooms” and the regulations for their use. In these documents, you can find out that the processing of the hole and thus the spiral awl (which is used as an indicator of the angle of the puncture channel with respect to the plane of the tire surface, which is important when installing the “fungus”), and even with a drill-cutter installed in the spindle of a low-speed pneumatic – or electric drills – these are frequent steps in the installation process of the “fungus”! That is, the same measures take place as during the installation of the flagellum, and often even more aggressive! This happens because the tire does not experience critical damage from the preparation of the hole by probing and reaming it, and the cord is either not damaged at all, or it is damaged negligibly little, which is covered by the safety margin of the tire. Yes, it is possible, on wheels with maximum speed indexes (which are operated at such speeds), and for cars operated in really sporty conditions in track conditions, even such minor changes in the structure of the tire make a difference. But for the majority of ordinary car owners, the conditional harm from a quick repair with a flagellum is no higher than the harm from a more complex and expensive repair with a “fungus” with wheel parsing.
Flagella are placed only with glue
The need to use special glue (it is also called “activator glue”) when using the flagellar repair method is a question on which many copies have been broken on the Internet, and the final answer has not been found … Misunderstanding is mainly generated by the fact that they are sold as repair kits that are completed tube with glue, and sets without glue. Accordingly, in the instructions for the first, there is a clause on the use of glue, while the second does not. This could be attributed to different compositions of flagella, but the flagella are the same, the simplest butyl rubber ones.
In fact, the process of sealing a puncture with a butyl rubber band does not require glue for the so-called activation. The main role of glue here is not sealing, but lubricating. In the case of tires with high rigidity or a large thickness of the rubber-cord layer, even the strength of an adult male is often not enough to push the awl dry with a flagellum. The glue acts as a lubricant, and the flagellum enters the hole relatively easily.
In other words, repair with the help of flagella in the absence of glue is an absolutely working scheme. The main thing is to have enough hand strength – for summer tires with an elastic compound and for almost all winter tires, there is usually enough strength. If the flagellum does not enter, although you lean on the awl handle with all your strength and mass, lubrication is necessary.
Flagella – a temporary solution
Tire repair flagella are produced by countless rootless Asian manufacturers. But in their instructions you will not find a word that after you got home on a wheel plugged with a flagellum, you need to go to a tire shop to seal the puncture in a full-fledged way – from the inside, “fungus”, with a complete analysis of the wheel. But in the recommendations of major international brands that produce consumables for tire service, this can be surprisingly found. Actually, this information, pilfered over the Web, served as the source of the myth about the unreliability and temporary essence of flagellar repair.
This myth has no absolute technical justification. Of course, a full-fledged “fungus” repair guarantees a more stable result, but the flagellar method is also reliable enough that the wheel can last for years. The strength of such a patch does not degrade over time. And the cautious recommendation of large manufacturers of materials for tire repair is quite understandable: firstly, they are used to reinsuring themselves with or without reason, and secondly, they are interested in stimulating demand for the entire range of their products. According to the plan of their marketers, the car owner who punctured the wheel will first use the flagellum in the field, and then, returning to civilization, will pay for work and consumables at the tire fitting.
How to improve the flagellate repair kit with your own hands?
The classic set for field repair of tires includes two awls with T-shaped handles (preparatory spiral + working with an eye), as well as a “clip” of 5-10 flagella, protected during storage by hard polyethylene plates stuck on them on both sides. However, even with such a set, you can suddenly find yourself in front of an unpleasant fact: the wheel cannot be repaired, even if you do it not for the first time and have the skills … To make the set fully functional, you can slightly supplement and improve it.
First and most important: seal the flagella with tape when storing. After about a year of storage in the trunk, the flagella lose their elasticity of the upper layer and, being installed in accordance with all the rules, poison the air. You need to store them by pasting them with ordinary tape on four sides of the standard protective film to isolate from the air. And even despite this, it’s not bad to refresh a set of flagella once a year, since they are not too expensive.
Second: put a half-liter PET bottle and an additional cork with a small hole in the set. Pour antifreeze windshield washer fluid into a bottle and add half a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent. This “device” will allow you to find the place of air leakage through the soap suds, if the puncture is not detected by the naked eye. By shaking the bottle and screwing a cork with a hole on it, you can pour soapy liquid over the surface of the tire in search of bubbles. We use anti-freeze instead of water so that the solution retains its consistency in the cold.
Third. The “glue activator”, which was discussed above, is sometimes highly desirable – albeit not as glue, but, as mentioned above, as a kind of lubricant. But even if it is present, an unpleasant surprise is not ruled out – it can dry out or leak out. If you do not have an “activator glue” or you are not sure of its condition, add a miniature container of gasoline to the kit, which can be used to moisten the flagellum if necessary.
Fourth. If you don’t carry a universal tool chest with you, add small side cutters or a mini multi-tool with built-in pliers to the repair kit. Such a tool is necessary to extract from the puncture site what caused it.
Fifth. Add a small utility knife to the kit (a knife with a narrow blade of 9 mm is enough) to cut off the ends of the flagellum after it has been installed in the tire.
Such an “additional and improved” set allows you to conveniently repair a tire with a tourniquet at any time of the year without outside help and loss of time.