? about changing own tires on rims.

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by r.h. in okla., Jan 1, 2005.

  1. I've noticed in the past that Northern tool cataloge has equipment you can buy to change your own tires and balance them yourself. I've been thinking about buying them to save myself money whenever I need new tires put on. Looks to me they would pay for thereself just after a few changes. I know it beats buying $75 tires and by the time they are installed it cost you $100 or more each after adding road hazard, balancing fees, etc, etc,. I personally have never had to use my road hazard insurance. Not to say I might need it tomorrow but I think in the long run it would still pay off by changing my own. Plus, fixing my own flats if needed.

    So I guess my question is, Do any of you do your own tires? What are the pro's and con's?
     
  2. paden

    paden Well-Known Member

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    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    North Central Montana
    I'm a mechanic on a large farm in Montana and I mount and diismont hundreds of tires by hand every year.

    The only thing I don't do is balance them. We don't balance most of the tires on the farm(most never see pavement), just the highway vehicles and usually only the front of them. I just take the vehicle or tires into a tire shop to do it, they charge a couple bucks each to balance.

    The shops I know charge around $7-10 to mount but I am in a very rural area and they don't get city prices. So say you save $10 mounting and the cost of an average 2 patches in the life of a tire (maybe $10 each) and have to have it balnced for $5. You might save $25 for the life of the tire. If you are talking truck tires the savings become much more.

    So, I do think it is well worth the effort to mount and fix your own tires. Maybe you can go to an old fashioned tire shop and someone can show you how to mount them by hand. I can dismount and mount a new tire in just a couple minutes. All you need is a tire hammer, 2 long tire irons (from a farm supply store) and some spray lube (WD40). To patch a tire you need patches, a buffer (hand, air or electric), liquid buffer, glue and a roller.

    Hope this helps.
     

  3. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    East TN
    The hardest part of dismounting and mounting tires is breaking the bead. After the air is removed you have to get the sides of the tire to release from the rim. They do make hand bead breakers but they can be tough to break the bead with. Removing and installing a tire requires nothing more than a big hammer and a tire iron or two. I have one of those cheap bubble balancers and they work fine.
    The other part of the job that's tough can be trying to get the beads to seat when you mount the new tire. New tires are usually collapsed from being stacked and the beads don't stay spread out so the air will stay in the tire.
    All that said I have the tools to mount by hand, and have done plenty. The only ones I do now are specialty tires like on my race car. I'll let the tire store make a few bucks and save myself the grief.
     
  4. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    When changing tires by hand some times the larger ones need a controled explosion to get seated. This is accomplished with starting fluid and entering a burning soft material such as toilet paper. The results is a tire that slams to the bead seat. A 15 inch truck tire requires about a one second spraying inside the tire before entering the fire; a tractor tire could require up to a 3 second amount of spray. If your fingers are in the wrong place when the tire seats your in real trouble. Get an old timer to show you how before trying this method.
     
  5. paden

    paden Well-Known Member

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    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    North Central Montana
    To seat tough beads we use a modified air tank. It is probably a 5-7 gallon portable air tank, it has a 2" hole in the side with a 2" pipe welded to it, then a 2" 1/4 turn valve and another short piece of pipe that has been crushed in the vice to make an outlet that is maybe 1/2 inch tall and 2 1/2 inches wide.

    To use it, lean the tire against a solid object, push the tire back against the back of the rim so it is sealed. Hook up a good air supply to the stem, then place the bead seater thing against the rim pointing in, brace yourself (tie a rope around your waist and to a post if you are tiny), then let loose the air. Most times the bead will seat this way and is safer than ether.
     
  6. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    I saw a good-sized guy go flying across the shop backwards after using one of those Cheetah tire inflators. I was impressed. All that for a 14" trailer tire. I defintely got my money's worth that day. Everybody in the shop was laughing. The guy wasn't hurt but he wasn't laugfhing either.
     
  7. Critter183

    Critter183 Well-Known Member

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  8. Hey critter, that was a good site there. That would be one peice of equipment I wouldn't have to buy. Just build my own. Thanks for the info.
     
  9. pjd

    pjd Well-Known Member

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    Dec 17, 2004
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    My husband bought one of those tire changers from Harbor Freights in Tulsa and it works good. We have a trash route and our one ton truck sees all the bad roads. We buy used tires at auctions for $1.00 to 25.00 load range E and he mounts them. He uses the starting fluid on occasion. If you watch the ads sometimes it is half price for $35.00. They will also honor the catalog and internet prices at the store if you print it out and take it in or bring your catalog. I think they also have a store in OKC. He built an adapter on top of it to do the lawn mower tires. Sure beats $125 per tire at the shop.
     
  10. dreadstalker

    dreadstalker Well-Known Member

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    central nebraska
    a slide hammer type bead breaker is pretty easy to build
     
  11. pjd

    pjd Well-Known Member

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    Dec 17, 2004
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    Oklahoma
    Do you have a good directions to build one. My husband mentioned he was going to build one for his 1200r24 packer tires. If you do I would appreciate it and pass it on to him. Thanks.
     
  12. dreadstalker

    dreadstalker Well-Known Member

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    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    central nebraska
    basically its just a spoon shape welded to a pipe with a weighted shaft that slides in it(i used a piece of axle shaft).if you have a farm supply center around(here it's ORSCHELINS formaly WHEELERS)he can see how their put together.i realize thats not much of a description(maybe this will help)you put the spoon shape(wedge)against the bead up by the rim and use the slide to beat the bead down
     
  13. BobBoyce

    BobBoyce Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    SE TN/SW NC
    I know a guy that used to toss his wheels in a fire to burn off the old tires. Of course he was also the same guy that would gas weld stuff to the frame on his later model pickup truck. He kept complaining about how his pickup truck frame and rims would bend when he put on a heavy load of scrapmetal.

    I asked him if he knew anything about tempering metal, and he said he didn't know how so he never bothered.

    He wanted to help me build a tow dolly. He thought I was nuts when I told him not to get his torch near some new I-beam I was building the tow dolly out of. He kept wanting to take the easy way out and use the torch to make cuts and holes. While I wasn't home, he ruined one piece by cutting a hole for the platform spindle bearing. He became real upset when I tossed that piece aside and refused to use it. It was to be the tray that held the front wheels, hence the weight and inertia, of the towed vehicle. That's all I needed, to have that piece fold up when I applied brakes, or was on a steep grade. I told him I didn't spend all that time designing and engineering the darned thing, just so it could be botched by construction mistakes. I took his copy of the plans away after that.

    The only thing I let him use his torch on was for fabricating angle iron brackets to bolt the fenders on with, and that was a big mistake. As easy as it should have been to make a reinforced double "T" bracket, it wasn't too hard for him to mess that up. They turned out so weak that they would bend just from the weight of those light guage stamped steel fenders. He had heated the angle iron so hot that it was about as strong as butter afterwards.

    I could never get it into his head that it was about more than just strength, it was also about safety. If anything structural failed, then the towed vehicle would become an unguided missile. I would be the responsible party by having built and operated the tow dolly.

    I have used it to tow vehicles from several states away. It's held up very well, except for those darned fender brackets. :haha:

    I'll get around to replacing them some day.

    Bob
     
  14. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

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    SouthEastern Illinois
    A local shop as the same setup.
     
  15. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...........

    ..............Being ignorant is correctable with education and experience .
    ..............Being Stupid , is NOT Correctable :eek: and when combined with the attitude of Stubborn(ness) , is generally ....Fatal...over time , fordy.. :)