We’ve all seen a bushel of articles on repairing a tire puncture: clean out the puncture, plug it (with maybe more than one plug), and then fill it back up with air. However, what if you damage or tear off the tire valve stem? There are valve stem core replacements, but that only works if the valve core has become plugged up by sand or other debris and the outer casing of the valve is still intact. If you’ve torn loose, bent, or busted off the valve stem, you’re not refilling that tire anytime soon. That’s not going to make your day on the trail a good one.
Well, we found an easy answer. Colby Valve makes its Emergency Tire Valve System, a complete and no-tools-required way to replace that busted up valve stem on your tire. Colby Valve also makes the XL Emergency Tire Valve, the Permanent Tire Valve System, and the Ultimate Tire Valve System. The Emergency system fits all standard 0.453-inch valve holes, is really meant to get you home where you can do a full repair, and can be installed by hand in the middle of nowhere without tools. The XL is for heavy-duty trucks like tractors and backhoes, fits all 0.625-inch valve holes, and needs a 9/16-inch socket wrench for installation; the Permanent fits all standard 0.453-inch valve holes and needs a 1/2-inch socket wrench for installation; and the Ultimate (which is a 1/2-inch shorter than the Permanent) fits most standard 0.453-inch valve holes, requiring a 7/16-inch socket wrench to install. All four can be done is less than 5 minutes.
We took a look at and installed the Emergency and the Ultimate. Of course, all require the complete removal of the broken or bent tire valve prior to installation. Removal should be done with care to not damage the inner surface or edges of the valve hole, as that is what the rubber outer casing of the Colby valve seals against. Read on to see how easy both the Colby Emergency Tire Valve System and Ultimate Tire Valve System were to install.
Colby Valve offers four different tire valve replacement kits: the Emergency Tire Valve System (far left), XL Emergency Tire Valve (center left), Permanent Tire Valve System (center right), and the Ultimate Tire Valve System (far right).
The Colby Emergency Tire Valve System replacement valve fits all 0.453-inch valve holes, and features a large plastic wing nut to make it easy to install the replacement valve by hand in the middle of nowhere.
Once fully inserted into the valve hole, the Colby Emergency Tire Valve System replacement valve was firmly pushed in, and while maintaining pressure, twisted until it was snugged down. As the plastic collar is turned down on the threaded inner core, the conical-bottomed brass core is pulled upward, spreading the rubber seal tightly inside the valve hole; and the lip of the rubber seal is seated against the flange on the outside of the valve hole.
Once the Colby Emergency Tire Valve System replacement valve was completely installed, and the tire reinflated, the replacement valve’s plastic wing nut was left on to keep the nylon washer underneath firmly pressed against the rubber seal. The bright red wing nut will also serve as reminder to make a permanent tire valve replacement once you’re home.
The Colby Ultimate Tire Valve System, on the other hand, is a permanent replacement, and requires the use of a 7/16-inch socket wrench for proper installation. It has a brass nut and washer. It also offers a sturdier and lower profile alternative to the factory tire valve. It seals in exactly the same manner as the Emergency replacement valve by drawing the conical-bottomed brass core up into the rubber seal, spreading the seal tightly inside the valve hole.
We firmly seated the Colby Ultimate Tire Valve System replacement valve’s seal lip against the flange on the outside of the valve hole before continuing with the installation.
Using a 7/16-inch deep socket to protect the tip of the brass valve core and its threads, we applied pressure as the brass nut was screwed down upon the threaded brass core of the Colby Ultimate Tire Valve System replacement valve. Pressure was maintained while turning the brass nut until it felt snug, but we were careful to not over-tighten the nut and spin the seal inside the valve hole. The final result was a better valve stem that stuck out 1/4-inch less than stock. Every little bit helps.
Included in all the Colby Valve kits are these high-end metal valve caps. We keep our tire valves capped at all times (except during air ups and downs, of course) to keep sand and other debris out of the valve cores.
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