Jump to content

Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay

- - - - -

Antifreeze in Tires for Ballast?

antifreeze kubota tire fill tire ballast ballast

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 ClinchMtnMan OFFLINE  

  • Member
  • Member No: 78030
  • 0 Thanks
  • 3 posts
  • Location: Southwest Virginia

Posted November 30, 2015 - 08:27 AM

Is antifreeze (straight out of the bottle) okay to use as tire ballast?  I've heard some say the chemicals will deteriorate the rubber and valve stem. Yet I've read several reports of folks using antifreeze.  Anyone know the facts? (FYI, I have a Kubota B5100E that I just bought for $300 and it seems to run fine. I plan to purchase a grader blade for snow removal and gravel.) Thanks.

#2 olcowhand ONLINE  


    Red Tractor Nut & Diesel Addict

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Sponsor
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 20
  • 42,898 Thanks
  • 31,941 posts
  • Location: South Central Kentucky

Posted November 30, 2015 - 09:05 AM

I use methyl alcohol (1 part alcohol to 4 parts water), but I also add at least 1/2 gallon of antifreeze per tire for the corrosion inhibitors it contains.  Had tires filled for years and no issues at all.  

#3 chieffan ONLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 62695
  • 11,352 Thanks
  • 7,112 posts
  • Location: SW Iowa

Posted November 30, 2015 - 09:15 AM

I would dilute the antifreeze down 50/50.  Straight antifreeze will freeze.  Windshield washer fluid or RV antifreeze is a lot cheaper that antifreeze.  RV antifreeze is just a little bit heavier but not enough to talk about in these smaller tires.

  • WNYTractorTinkerer said thank you

#4 Cat385B ONLINE  



  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 8002
  • 14,370 Thanks
  • 10,139 posts
  • Location: MN

Posted November 30, 2015 - 09:40 AM

RV antifreeze or windshield washer fluid is what I recommend. WWF is usually cheapest. Beet juice has the best qualities: heavy, doesn't freeze easy, non-corrosive, not harmful if spilled.


Beet juice as tire ballast is called Rim Guard. It is heavier than the alternatives I listed, but has limited availability. Closest to SW Virginia would be McQueen Equipment in Shady Valley, TN or Leslie Equipment in Cross Lanes, WV.


Depending on whether you have the 15" turfs or the 16" ag tire/rim combination, you will need 7-8 gallons per tire.

#5 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 8923
  • 13,552 Thanks
  • 9,427 posts
  • Location: N.E. Connecticut

Posted November 30, 2015 - 09:44 AM

Welcome to GTT. I use a 3ph counterweight and chains for plowing. In the spring I drop the counterweight for a york rake. A Snowplow in the front of the tractor is easier to use for snow removal and rough grading of gravel. Good Luck, Rick


Here is a manual for that tractor: http://gardentractor...-owners-manual/

Edited by boyscout862, November 30, 2015 - 09:46 AM.

#6 637Yeoman ONLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • GTt Junior
  • Member No: 77049
  • 1,571 Thanks
  • 1,273 posts
  • Location: SW Michigan

Posted November 30, 2015 - 01:29 PM

i would use windshield wiper fluid because its prolly cheaper. works just as good as antifreeze.

#7 Bill 76 OFFLINE  

Bill 76
  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 49625
  • 2,011 Thanks
  • 1,207 posts
  • Location: 5miles west of Milwaukee Wisconsin

Posted November 30, 2015 - 03:11 PM

Antifreeze won't hurt rubber---but as said there are other fluids that are much cheaper and safer on the environment to use.  

#8 EricFromPa OFFLINE  



  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 2135
  • 4,181 Thanks
  • 3,353 posts
  • Location: Bedford County Pa.

Posted November 30, 2015 - 03:43 PM

From my experience Green Antifreeze dries out the rubber and it cracks.


I had a set of new Deestone 2 ply 23 8.50 12 AG tires crack and blow the side wall out after 3 years.And I have 2 sets of Turf tires that have antifreeze in them and there both all cracked up and seeping.


Not sure if the RV antifreeze will do this to.These are a set of used Turf tires that Had Antifreeze in them.Valve stem fell off on 1 of them when i was putting a little air in it So I drained both.They still hold air but get a little soft after a couple months.



100_1563.JPG   100_1564.JPG   100_1565.JPG



Might be ok for a long time in a 4 or 6 ply tire but I would not put it in a cheap 2 ply tire made by Deestone or Carlisle.


My uncle put Washer fluid in his 26 12 12 Vampire tires on his CC 1872 super over 10 years ago and they still look as good as the day he put them on.No rot cracks yet.

Edited by EricFromPa, November 30, 2015 - 03:50 PM.

#9 CanadianHobbyFarmer OFFLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 73571
  • 1,179 Thanks
  • 697 posts
  • Location: Coldwater, Ontario, Canada

Posted November 30, 2015 - 07:14 PM

I was just looking into this as well today. I contacted Rimguard and found out their nearest dealer to me is about a 2 hour drive away. I contacted that dealer and they want $1/liter (roughly 4 liters to a gallon), plus install and they have a guy come in to install it, they don't do it themselves. Obviously their tire guy does not want to come in for just a pair of GT tires. They did say that they would sell me just the fluid if I brought my own containers.


I think I am going to go with RV/plumbing anti-freeze because, like rimguard it is non-toxic. I am loading my tires to use with my plow, cultivator, tiller etc in my garden, so I don't want to risk dumping anything even mildly toxic, like washer fluid. Rv antifreeze is a bit more money , but it also has a lower freezing point than the cheap brands of washer fluid. The rimguard is actually a bit cheaper than the RV anti-freeze, but the 2 hour trip each way to get it, makes it not worth the trouble. Just my two cents.



  • KennyP said thank you

#10 MH81 OFFLINE  


    Proud to be Deplorable

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 802
  • 29,979 Thanks
  • 29,758 posts

Posted November 30, 2015 - 07:53 PM

Ryan's tractor has had Green Anti Freeze in Deestones for better than 4 years with no side effects. The antifreeze is almost as heavy as beet juice (significantly heavier than RV or WWF)

I think it may be a good idea to use it in rims that may have been exposed to CaCl as it should slow (not stop) the corrosion issues.
  • olcowhand said thank you

#11 CanadianHobbyFarmer OFFLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 73571
  • 1,179 Thanks
  • 697 posts
  • Location: Coldwater, Ontario, Canada

Posted December 03, 2015 - 05:05 PM

I had the day off today due to the weather, so I got around to filling my new tires with RV anti-freeze. They weighed in at 28lbs each to start with (tire, rim and tube) and ended up at 68lbs each filled as full as I could get them. The place I got the RV antifreeze from lists it at 8.68lbs/gal. which accordingly means I got 4.6 gallons in each tire. I am pretty sure that their weight includes the container though and I did have some spillage, so that does throw the math off a bit. They list 50/50 engine anti-freeze at 9.28lbs/ gal which would result in 42.76lbs of ballast. Straight up engine anti-freeze at 9.66lbs/gal would weigh in at 44.8lbs. Rimguard at 10.7lbs/gal would weigh 49.3 pounds. I am not trying to say that these calculations are exact, but it does give a rough idea of the differences.

#12 adamjd200 OFFLINE  

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 39654
  • 2,094 Thanks
  • 2,207 posts
  • Location: central Ny

Posted December 03, 2015 - 05:24 PM

Depends where you live if you have regular antifreeze in your tires you can get yourself in a lot of trouble if you blow a tire on the road or the like, and it can happen we lost a rear tire on our IH706 one time on the road, made it home but slung calcium for a 1/4 mile in the process. 

  • CanadianHobbyFarmer said thank you

#13 duckman903 OFFLINE  

  • Member
  • Member No: 55262
  • 0 Thanks
  • 1 posts
  • Location: MA

Posted January 06, 2016 - 11:21 PM

I just bought 4 new tires and rims for my BX23 (thought they were worn a lot more than they were) the old ones were calcium filled, but didn't want these to rust out, contacted Rim Guard for a dealer and had one 20 miles away took a 50 gal. plastic drum with me and got 17 gallons@$3/gal

beet juice weighs almost 11# per gallon each rear took 8+ gallons. I just used my little giant submersible pump to fill the tires, ran the pump till it wouldn't pump any more , turn off pump let it burp (pressure in tire blows back thru the pump) turn on and repeat I put the pump in a 5 gallon bucket filled the bucket pumped it in did each tire at the same time so the got the same amount . Filled to about 80% each tire weighs over 100#

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: antifreeze, kubota, tire fill, tire ballast, ballast