bobknh
I've been having trouble seating an old pair of Compass 35mm Compass Bon Jon tubeless compatible tires- even with a 140-150 PSI blast from my compressor. Could be that the tires are too old and worn, or the the HED Ardennes rim doesn't work that well for tubeless. JOM, the editor of Gravel Cyclist, recommends using Sleek Beeswax furniture polish on difficult tires, to help it seat. The Sleek beeswax comes in aerosol bottles, which makes it easy to apply a thin coat to the beads. I've been shopping around online to buy a can of the stuff, but so far, the only sources are janitorial supply house with minimum case size orders. Has anyone found a place to buy this product in single can orders? Or is there some other product, besides soapy water, that works as well as the Sleek Beeswax. I bought a can this stuff: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0046VZG30/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1  . But it is in solid form- not aerosol. Would it work? Van's seems to fairly benign chemically, and I would rub it on the bead with a rag or my fingers. 
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dangle
bobknh wrote:
I've been having trouble seating an old pair of Compass 35mm Compass Bon Jon tubeless compatible tires- even with a 140-150 PSI blast from my compressor. Could be that the tires are too old and worn, or the the HED Ardennes rim doesn't work that well for tubeless. JOM, the editor of Gravel Cyclist, recommends using Sleek Beeswax furniture polish on difficult tires, to help it seat. The Sleek beeswax comes in aerosol bottles, which makes it easy to apply a thin coat to the beads. I've been shopping around online to buy a can of the stuff, but so far, the only sources are janitorial supply house with minimum case size orders. Has anyone found a place to buy this product in single can orders? Or is there some other product, besides soapy water, that works as well as the Sleek Beeswax. I bought a can this stuff: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0046VZG30/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1  . But it is in solid form- not aerosol. Would it work? Van's seems to fairly benign chemically, and I would rub it on the bead with a rag or my fingers. 


I'm not sure if there's an actual question in here. The 'beeswax' is typically used to lube the bead to get it onto/into the rim easier. Not necessarily to 'seat' the tire. It sound like you're able to do that.

If you are getting the tires onto the rim, into the center channel (The HED Ardennese are great tubeless rims), and the valve stem is pointed into the tire then it sounds like you need more tape. You appear to pop up in the discussions about tubeless tape. I would recommend a couple more layers of tubeless tape. The 3m tape is thinner than just about every other tape recommended for tubeless conversions. See if a few more wraps does the trick. The tire should not fit loosely whatsoever on the rim. That's why people use lubricant of sorts (plain ol' dish soap has been my choice for years) to push that tire onto the rim. It *may* help the tire catch air from the compressor and fill up, but I don't think anybody can say that definitively. An ideal tubeless rim/tire interface would fit tight enough that it could be pumped up with a hand pump.
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bobknh
dangle wrote:


I'm not sure if there's an actual question in here. The 'beeswax' is typically used to lube the bead to get it onto/into the rim easier. Not necessarily to 'seat' the tire. It sound like you're able to do that.

If you are getting the tires onto the rim, into the center channel (The HED Ardennese are great tubeless rims), and the valve stem is pointed into the tire then it sounds like you need more tape. You appear to pop up in the discussions about tubeless tape. I would recommend a couple more layers of tubeless tape. The 3m tape is thinner than just about every other tape recommended for tubeless conversions. See if a few more wraps does the trick. The tire should not fit loosely whatsoever on the rim. That's why people use lubricant of sorts (plain ol' dish soap has been my choice for years) to push that tire onto the rim. It *may* help the tire catch air from the compressor and fill up, but I don't think anybody can say that definitively. An ideal tubeless rim/tire interface would fit tight enough that it could be pumped up with a hand pump.

Again confessing that I don't know WTF I'm talking about, here are some recent suggestions from JOM of Gravel Cyclist:

If you have trouble mounting a tubeless tire, these tips can help:

  • Always dry mount a tire first sans sealant, to ensure it will seat and hold air. That can save making a huge mess and losing a bunch of sealant.
  • Remove the valve core and inflate. This process allows a greater volume of air into the tire and most times, will pop the tire onto the bead.
  • If this doesn’t work, apply something like Sleek Beeswax & Mink Oil Furniture Polish to the sidewall. This product is far better than soap and water, and will help seat even the most stubborn of tires. This product can be purchased from your local furniture store or online.
  • Once the dry mount test has been passed, install your favorite sealant and inflate. Don’t forget to keep a fingertip over the valve if you removed the core. This simple step will retain the air you just inflated; if you’re good at juggling, you can quickly re-install the valve core and still keep some air inside the tire. Then, inflate to the desired pressure.
To me, these instructions imply that you apply the beeswax solution after you have mounted the tire. Not to help you get the tire on the rim; but rather, to help get the tire to seat, after it's been properly mounted. My guess is that JOM installs the tire. Then if it wont seat with a compressor, then he sprays the side walls with the beeswax which helps the tire seat. Since I can't seem to purchase the Sleek beeswax in small quantities, is there anything else that would work, besides soapy water, with similar ease of use and effectiveness?
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dangle
bobknh wrote:

Again confessing that I don't know WTF I'm talking about, here are some recent suggestions from JOM of Gravel Cyclist:

If you have trouble mounting a tubeless tire, these tips can help:

  • Always dry mount a tire first sans sealant, to ensure it will seat and hold air. That can save making a huge mess and losing a bunch of sealant.
  • Remove the valve core and inflate. This process allows a greater volume of air into the tire and most times, will pop the tire onto the bead.
  • If this doesn’t work, apply something like Sleek Beeswax & Mink Oil Furniture Polish to the sidewall. This product is far better than soap and water, and will help seat even the most stubborn of tires. This product can be purchased from your local furniture store or online.
  • Once the dry mount test has been passed, install your favorite sealant and inflate. Don’t forget to keep a fingertip over the valve if you removed the core. This simple step will retain the air you just inflated; if you’re good at juggling, you can quickly re-install the valve core and still keep some air inside the tire. Then, inflate to the desired pressure.
To me, these instructions imply that you apply the beeswax solution after you have mounted the tire. Not to help you get the tire on the rim; but rather, to help get the tire to seat, after it's been properly mounted. My guess is that JOM installs the tire. Then if it wont seat with a compressor, then he sprays the side walls with the beeswax which helps the tire seat. Since I can't seem to purchase the Sleek beeswax in small quantities, is there anything else that would work, besides soapy water, with similar ease of use and effectiveness?


Again, the 'beeswax' is just to help the tire beads slide.

Let's take a step backwards. Are your tires mounting on the rim and no matter how much air you're putting in, you can't get the tire to fill? i.e. The compressor's air is going in thru the valve stem, but coming back out all over along the tire/wheel.
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bobknh
dangle wrote:


Again, the 'beeswax' is just to help the tire beads slide.

Let's take a step backwards. Are your tires mounting on the rim and no matter how much air you're putting in, you can't get the tire to fill? i.e. The compressor's air is going in thru the valve stem, but coming back out all over along the tire/wheel.

Thanks for your looking into this. On my first try with the compressor, I left the valve cores in, and had poor inflation. On my second try, I removed the valve core and had a little better luck. The tire inflated, but never fully, and rapidly deflated because sections of the tire bead didn't seat. I guess your description of air coming out all along the tire best describes the problem.
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dangle
bobknh wrote:
 The tire inflated, but never fully, and rapidly deflated because sections of the tire bead didn't seat. I guess your description of air coming out all along the tire best describes the problem.


I'm still not entirely picturing what you're talking about. I don't know if you're describing a loose bead and the tire can't 'catch' the air to inflate properly or if you're filling the tire, but the beads are so tight they won't slide into place on the rim and 'seat' properly. One of those two things is going on here. They have completely opposite solutions.

1) The beads are too loose in relation to the rim. The air from the compressor has too much room to escape. Extra wraps of tape help this. This was extremely common before tubeless specific beads. Sometimes people would have to put many wraps of tape around a rim to get a nice seal on non-tubeless specific mt bike/cyclocross tires. The original Stan's tubeless kit was essentially a giant (thick) rim strip. Trying to distribute the tire as evenly as possible around the rim can help get the tire to 'catch' air and inflate, but "building up the rim bed" is a better long term solution.

2) The beads are too tight in relation to the rim. I have never used Compass's tubeless tires and do not know where they are on the spectrum of bead tightness. I am familiar with those HED wheels and did have to use some extra tape on mine for a cyclocross setup once. They aren't like a Stan's or American Classic rim where everything is tight. Anyhow, the fix here would be to use something slippery in the rim itself and on the tire. Sure, JOM's polish solution works, but so do a lot of things. After a dozen years of putzing around with tubeless setups, putting it on after mounting a tire seems weird to me. A good squeeze of dish soap in a little bit of water gives you a very slick solution that's virtually free. Apply it liberally along the inside of the rim and along the inside of the tire. Get the beads too. This should make it way easier to slide onto the rim. If you still can't get the tire beads to pop into place (due to it being too tight) you could try again with a little less tape or give up the idea entirely.

It's totally a guess based off other reading around here, but the Compass beads sound slightly more loose than other beads like a WTB bead. IF you get the tire to inflate with your compressor, don't keep inflating. You want high volume for inflating a tire tubeless, but you don't want high pressure. It's no joke blowing a tire off a rim and it sounds like some people have done that in the 60-70 psi range with Compass tires. That's pretty easy to hit when using a compressor. I blew off a Kenda tire at ~45 psi once trying to get the beads to sit. I had a headache for a bit and my hand hurt for most of a week. I count myself lucky that's all that happened. In short, as soon as you see that it's holding air, throw the valve stem back in there and finish with a hand pump.....or use the regulator on your compressor.
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bobknh
dangle wrote:


I'm still not entirely picturing what you're talking about. I don't know if you're describing a loose bead and the tire can't 'catch' the air to inflate properly or if you're filling the tire, but the beads are so tight they won't slide into place on the rim and 'seat' properly. One of those two things is going on here. They have completely opposite solutions.

1) The beads are too loose in relation to the rim. The air from the compressor has too much room to escape. Extra wraps of tape help this. This was extremely common before tubeless specific beads. Sometimes people would have to put many wraps of tape around a rim to get a nice seal on non-tubeless specific mt bike/cyclocross tires. The original Stan's tubeless kit was essentially a giant (thick) rim strip. Trying to distribute the tire as evenly as possible around the rim can help get the tire to 'catch' air and inflate, but "building up the rim bed" is a better long term solution.

2) The beads are too tight in relation to the rim. I have never used Compass's tubeless tires and do not know where they are on the spectrum of bead tightness. I am familiar with those HED wheels and did have to use some extra tape on mine for a cyclocross setup once. They aren't like a Stan's or American Classic rim where everything is tight. Anyhow, the fix here would be to use something slippery in the rim itself and on the tire. Sure, JOM's polish solution works, but so do a lot of things. After a dozen years of putzing around with tubeless setups, putting it on after mounting a tire seems weird to me. A good squeeze of dish soap in a little bit of water gives you a very slick solution that's virtually free. Apply it liberally along the inside of the rim and along the inside of the tire. Get the beads too. This should make it way easier to slide onto the rim. If you still can't get the tire beads to pop into place (due to it being too tight) you could try again with a little less tape or give up the idea entirely.

It's totally a guess based off other reading around here, but the Compass beads sound slightly more loose than other beads like a WTB bead. IF you get the tire to inflate with your compressor, don't keep inflating. You want high volume for inflating a tire tubeless, but you don't want high pressure. It's no joke blowing a tire off a rim and it sounds like some people have done that in the 60-70 psi range with Compass tires. That's pretty easy to hit when using a compressor. I blew off a Kenda tire at ~45 psi once trying to get the beads to sit. I had a headache for a bit and my hand hurt for most of a week. I count myself lucky that's all that happened. In short, as soon as you see that it's holding air, throw the valve stem back in there and finish with a hand pump.....or use the regulator on your compressor.

Wow - first thanks for your patience - corresponding with a tubeless idiot like me can be very frustrating! But, after reading your scenarios, I think that my problem is more like #2. It is fairly hard to mount these tires -- implying tight fit. I'll try the dish soap solution. It's inexpensive. I'll also set my compressor output lower - just in case. Actually, I'm happy running these puppies with latex tubes; but my new ride and wheels deserve tubeless. I'll keep trying to make it work.
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dangle
What's your current tape on there now? How many layers?
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bobknh
dangle wrote:
What's your current tape on there now? How many layers?

Scotch 8898 strapping tape - 2 layers.
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dangle
bobknh wrote:

Scotch 8898 strapping tape - 2 layers.


That's about the thinnest tape out there. I certainly wouldn't go less than two layers. Next step is make the rim bed and tire bead pretty slippery. Put in the max (tubeless) pressure and let it sit. If the beads aren't in place by morning then I am out of ideas. It's super strange that you can mount them with tubes, but the beads won't go into that same spot tubeless.
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owly
I'm new to tubeless setup so I did a lot of reading prior.

I kind of understand building up the tape layer, so the height of that layer raises up the tire bead toward the lip. As that tape area thickens you can pull up the tire/bead edges onto that tape shelf, which minimizes any opening for air to escape through. However I only wanted to wrap one layer, as I'm only running 45psi max.

Did the install first with a tube. Pumped up until I heard both beads set.

Released air from the valve/tube. Broke the bead seal along one rim edge and removed the tube (the other tire side remains seated).

Fitted the tubeless valve. You can place the sealant in the tire then, or later through the valve after removing the core.

Manually fitted the loose side of the tire back into the rim/channel (outer edge close to bead on that side). Ran some thick soapy water along that same bead for good measure.

I've got a loose fit there, as I'm only running one layer of tape. So what I do is get a thin length of cord and carefully wrap a torniquet around the tire diameter, which closes up the tire/bead diameter a bit and also (with a little hand lifting) keeps the tire bead edge at the channel edge (closes the air gap). 

Then use my small hand pump and after three pumps or so, the tire seal closes (no air escapes) and I can pump up until that bead seats.

Pretty easy after I do it a couple of times.
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RoverAl
Bob, A couple of things I picked up here and there might help.  

Apply your soapy mixture not only to the beads but slather it sloppy wet to the rim tape as well. Dawn dish soap is a good lubricant, I use it on my sliding glass door trax.

Air up the wheel in the horizontal position, as on top of a bucket, this allows gravity to seat the bottom bead (hopefully) then sometimes you just need to gently lift/nudge the top bead to seat. 

You can also tie a cord/rope around the tire and tighten it to make it rise into the rim well while airing up. Tricky,might need 2 people.


Personally I wouldn't get hung up on the furniture polish to much, I would try good old pledge until you score the beeswax stuff. 


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bobknh
dangle wrote:
That's about the thinnest tape out there. I certainly wouldn't go less than two layers. Next step is make the rim bed and tire bead pretty slippery. Put in the max (tubeless) pressure and let it sit. If the beads aren't in place by morning then I am out of ideas. It's super strange that you can mount them with tubes, but the beads won't go into that same spot tubeless.

Dangle - thanks again for your patience. I do recall that when I first mounted the BJ's with tubes, I had to pump them up to about 90 PSI to make them seat -- which they did with a very loud pop. I'll do some experimenting with thicker Stan's tape and thick dish soap solution to see if I can get them to seat. Thanks for the warning about being careful with very high pressure. I'll set the output pressure on my compressor to a much lower level.
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dangle
bobknh wrote:

Dangle - thanks again for your patience. I do recall that when I first mounted the BJ's with tubes, I had to pump them up to about 90 PSI to make them seat -- which they did with a very loud pop. I'll do some experimenting with thicker Stan's tape and thick dish soap solution to see if I can get them to seat. Thanks for the warning about being careful with very high pressure. I'll set the output pressure on my compressor to a much lower level.


Don't make any tape changes. Thinner is better when the beads don't want to seat. That Scotch tape is pretty thin, so even two layers is pushing it for high pressure where a Stans or Tesa tape two layers will hold fine for 100+psi. I do three layers of that same Scotch tape for road tubeless. Two layers is perfect for your application. I think with a lubed rim bed/tire and 65 psi in the tires, you'll hear the beads go into place eventually.
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bobknh
Thanks everyone for the very helpful suggestions. Today I gave it one more try. This time with a thick solution of dish soap liberally applied to the tire bead, sidewall, and rim hook as well as the tape. All I got for my troubles were a lot of foamy soap bubbles oozing out from my tire bead all around both sides of the wheel. And a very clean wheel and tire, after hosing off the soap. At least, it wasn't tire sealant spraying all over my garage. There were no soap bubbles at the valve or any of the spoke nipples. The problem was the entire tire bead on both sides. My conclusion is that either the tire, the rim, or the combination of both, are simply not tubeless compatible. Since I'm not the first person to have problems with tubeless mounting of the Bon Jon's, I suspect that they are problematical for tubeless. They do work great with latex tubes, though. I'm giving up on them for tubeless application.
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bobknh
Please see my new posting today about mounting Compass tires tubeless. And, thanks again to everyone who shared advice and info. here.
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dangle
bobknh wrote:
Thanks everyone for the very helpful suggestions. Today I gave it one more try. This time with a thick solution of dish soap liberally applied to the tire bead, sidewall, and rim hook as well as the tape. All I got for my troubles were a lot of foamy soap bubbles oozing out from my tire bead all around both sides of the wheel. And a very clean wheel and tire, after hosing off the soap. At least, it wasn't tire sealant spraying all over my garage. There were no soap bubbles at the valve or any of the spoke nipples. The problem was the entire tire bead on both sides. My conclusion is that either the tire, the rim, or the combination of both, are simply not tubeless compatible. Since I'm not the first person to have problems with tubeless mounting of the Bon Jon's, I suspect that they are problematical for tubeless. They do work great with latex tubes, though. I'm giving up on them for tubeless application.


So you were able to fill them up with air and they just sat there in the center of the rim refusing to pop into place? What PSI were they sitting at?
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bobknh
dangle wrote:


So you were able to fill them up with air and they just sat there in the center of the rim refusing to pop into place? What PSI were they sitting at?

Not exactly. The tires would air up partially - the sidewalls contacted the rim  - but not with sufficient force to seat on the rim. But, the problem may be that the rim itself isn't designed for tubeless use. The the rim is the Ardennes FR, not the Ardennes +, which is tubeless compatible. Perhaps some other tubeless tires will seat on the Ardennes, but evidently, not the Compass Bon Jon's. I have an old Bontrager tubeless ready wheel. If I have the time, I may try to mount one of my old BJ's tubeless on it. Also, if you haven't done so, pls take a look at my posting today about using Compass tubeless ready tires. I've ordered a new pair of BJ's for my new custom frame and wheels soon to be built. The wheels are being built by Dustin Gaddis at Southern Wheel Works and are definitely tubeless ready - complete with tape and valves.
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dangle
bobknh wrote:

Not exactly. The tires would air up partially - the sidewalls contacted the rim  - but not with sufficient force to seat on the rim. But, the problem may be that the rim itself isn't designed for tubeless use. The the rim is the Ardennes FR, not the Ardennes +, which is tubeless compatible. Perhaps some other tubeless tires will seat on the Ardennes, but evidently, not the Compass Bon Jon's.


Maybe I misunderstood what you were talking about and the setup actually needed more tape to build up the rim so air can't escape. Or the Bon Jon bead is so loose that it's a lost cause no matter what. It initially sounded like the beads wouldn't move from the center of the rim to the sidewalls and 'seal' the rim/tire system. Or the compressor isn't pushing enough volume...which building up the rim bed could help with too. You really want to push as much air as possible through the valve stem (without the core removed) to get tires to seat.

I have 3 different sets of non-tubeless wheels set up with tubeless road tires right now. Even without any sealant, every tire I have ever mounted holds air for a bit. Some for only a few minutes, some indefinitely. It still sounds like the tires are a lost cause or the rim needed to be built up more. While tubeless specific rims are probably more ideal, it's certainly not a deal breaker.
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bobknh
dangle wrote:


Maybe I misunderstood what you were talking about and the setup actually needed more tape to build up the rim so air can't escape. Or the Bon Jon bead is so loose that it's a lost cause no matter what. It initially sounded like the beads wouldn't move from the center of the rim to the sidewalls and 'seal' the rim/tire system. Or the compressor isn't pushing enough volume...which building up the rim bed could help with too. You really want to push as much air as possible through the valve stem (without the core removed) to get tires to seat.

I have 3 different sets of non-tubeless wheels set up with tubeless road tires right now. Even without any sealant, every tire I have ever mounted holds air for a bit. Some for only a few minutes, some indefinitely. It still sounds like the tires are a lost cause or the rim needed to be built up more. While tubeless specific rims are probably more ideal, it's certainly not a deal breaker.

Hey Dangle - thanks for all your time and thought. I too have mounted tubeless gravel tires successfully on my HED Tomcat rims which aren't tubeless ready; and some Hutch. road tubeless on some old Bontrager non-tubeless ready wheels. After reading Jan Heine's  blog interview with Matt Surch which discussed his extensive experience of riding and racing Compass tires - especially the Bon Jon's, I'm fairly certain that the new Bon Jon's I just ordered will work well tubeless on my new tubeless ready gravel wheels being built for me by Dustin Gaddis at Southern Wheel Works.
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dangle
bobknh wrote:
 I'm fairly certain that the new Bon Jon's I just ordered will work well tubeless on my new tubeless ready gravel wheels being built for me by Dustin Gaddis at Southern Wheel Works.


I hope so. Report back and let us know how it works.
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Marinerecon
I use Simple Green
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Zurichman
bobknh I am probably a more newbie than you on tubeless tire set up as this gravel grinding/racing is an all new thingy to me. Have you searched the Stans shake set up here? I have the 2016 Raleigh Tamland 1 and I was able to get my non tubeless tires Clement mso xplor 40cm tubeless at least the front by doing the shake.  The rear tire actually seated but had so many small leaks in it that I didn't feel comfortable with it. Like other have set put the tire on a bucket and I bet if you put whatever sealant you are using and did the shake that you could get those tires to seal up. Good  luck

Zman
If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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dangle
Zurichman wrote:
bobknh I am probably a more newbie than you on tubeless tire set up as this gravel grinding/racing is an all new thingy to me. Have you searched the Stans shake set up here? I have the 2016 Raleigh Tamland 1 and I was able to get my non tubeless tires Clement mso xplor 40cm tubeless at least the front by doing the shake.  The rear tire actually seated but had so many small leaks in it that I didn't feel comfortable with it. Like other have set put the tire on a bucket and I bet if you put whatever sealant you are using and did the shake that you could get those tires to seal up. Good  luck

Zman


That's irrelevant when the tires won't even pop into place.
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Zurichman
dangle wrote:
That's irrelevant when the tires won't even pop into place.


That is why I am the newbie and we look for you guys for advice. [biggrin]

Zman
If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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