An air pumping tube and tire system and method of assembling is provided in which a tire groove is formed to extend into a flexing region of a tire sidewall and a complementary air pumping tube inserts into the tire groove. In the green, uncured air pumping tube condition, one or more check valves are assembled into the air pumping tube through access shafts and align with an internal air passageway of the air pumping tube. Plug components of the system enclose the check valves in the air pumping tube and the check valve-containing green air pumping tube is then cured.
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT FUNDING
 This invention was made with government support under contract number DE-EE0005447 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.