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Deflating Bladder

 
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flipper

Since 17 Oct 2011
274 Posts

Obsessed



PostSat May 02, 20 11:07 am    Deflating Bladder Reply with quote

I have 6 & 8m RPMs with the smaller bladder air valves (similar to a beach ball). When I crash the kite, sometimes, the bladder valve will pop open and the whole kite deflates, except the struts. The kites are still in really good condition. I know this is kind of a n00b question, but can the valves be replaced with the newer bigger valve version?

I am using the velcro closure over the valve, but that doesn't seem to be enough force to keep them from popping open.

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ldhr

Since 21 Jul 2009
1228 Posts
Hood River
XTreme Poster



PostSat May 02, 20 1:02 pm     Reply with quote

The valves are worn out.
You can get new ones from Airtme in Hood River and install them yourselves.
Better yet - drop them off and have them do it.
They are a family business, do A+ excellent work, and they are very reasonable $$.
You might even be able to upgrade to the modern wide valve?

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wylieflyote

Since 30 Jun 2006
1456 Posts
Puget Sound & Wa. Coast
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PostSat May 02, 20 2:43 pm     Reply with quote

In a pinch DIY I've heard of people placing a small zip-ties around the OD of the inflation port and making it a tighter squeeze.
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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
3838 Posts
Camas
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PostSat May 02, 20 4:08 pm    Re: Deflating Bladder Reply with quote

flipper wrote:
but can the valves be replaced with the newer bigger valve version?


Yes they can. Airtime did this for me on my 2012 Rally's and my 2012 17m Turbine. (Still the best lightwind kite for a twintip ever made.) If you do this, spend the money on a completely new bladder from Airtime. If you just modify the old bladder, the nipples going to the bladders will fail soon. 2014 kites are old kites and all the valves will fail soon. If you like your old kites, get new bladders with the new inflation system. Best update ever. The only thing to consider is that 2016 kites are pretty cheap these days... 2015 RPMs have issues with the Inflate valve to LEI interface. (This is not unique to SS. Other brands early large valves also have issues.) Either mod your old kite, or get a 2016 or newer new kite.

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
3838 Posts
Camas
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PostSat May 02, 20 4:09 pm     Reply with quote

wylieflyote wrote:
In a pinch DIY I've heard of people placing a small zip-ties around the OD of the inflation port and making it a tighter squeeze.


Yes. This works well.

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windfun7

Since 23 Aug 2015
37 Posts

 



PostSat May 02, 20 4:29 pm     Reply with quote

I just replaced the standard 9 mm inflate valve on a 2013 with a self stick replacement (no need for glue). You can buy online or pick up at local shop. I don't think you can upgrade to the bigger screw on valve because it requires a bigger hole on the leading edge.

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
3838 Posts
Camas
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PostSat May 02, 20 5:49 pm     Reply with quote

windfun7 wrote:
I don't think you can upgrade to the bigger screw on valve because it requires a bigger hole on the leading edge.


Airtime will enlarge the hole in the LEI and reinforce it as well as modifying your bladder or building a new one.

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
525 Posts

Addicted



PostSat May 02, 20 7:11 pm     Reply with quote

Nak wrote:
windfun7 wrote:
I don't think you can upgrade to the bigger screw on valve because it requires a bigger hole on the leading edge.


Airtime will enlarge the hole in the LEI and reinforce it as well as modifying your bladder or building a new one.


I think Nak hit the nail on the head.
I do a lot of DIY repair but I don't sew.
I think the key to expanding the port hole is to make sure there is enough structural support. At minimum this will require sewing.

Take it to a professional.

The guys who fix kites regularly can make it work. My guy always amazes me with regards to the stuff he is able to fix. He has completely rebuilt kites that I have totally shreded. It may not be rocket science, but it does require knowledge and experience.


***Edit Another point is I have replaced the valves on a lot of older RPMs. The replacement valves I have used do not have the stopper ball and do not work as well. I have had the same thoughts as the original poster that it makes sense to change these kites over to the newer larger valves rather than repairing to a lessor quality***

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west

Since 09 Oct 2008
116 Posts
Lake Michigan
Stoked



PostSun May 03, 20 9:34 am     Reply with quote

I just replaced the LE bladder in a 2010 kite, actually I replaced all bladders in that kite. Bladders from Airtime. I’ve done that several times over the years with usedkites that I absolutely like to fly.

I don’t see the need to alter the size hole on LE to accommodate a new supersize inflate/deflate, just get the proper replacement bladder for the kite from Airtime. Replace it yourself so you know the intricacies of the process for future maintenance issues.

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JT

Since 04 Jun 2007
14 Posts

 



PostSun May 03, 20 3:31 pm     Reply with quote

Remove stopper from Velcro retainer.
Submerse stopper in boiling water until it softens up.
Insert slightly larger object than the inside of stopper, (I think I have used the non-writing end of a sharpie or pen), while still hot, then let cool or dunk in cold water, remove object.
Replace stopper in Velcro retainer.

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chrissmack

Since 08 Jun 2005
475 Posts
portland
Obsessed



PostSun May 03, 20 3:52 pm    trick Reply with quote

i like to store my kites with the inflate valve plugs not inserted. i.e. whenever i deflate a kite i open both the dump valve and the inflate valve.

that way, while the kite is sitting in the basement the valve is not being stretched and the plug fits much tighter

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