Join Date: May 2002
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Re: can I mount tires myself?
BB is right, it can be done. Mounting a tire is easy, breaking the bead sometimes not. I do it all the time, because around here they charge too much for mounting and balancing. (Walmart wanted over $40 to do Cindy's mini van and I was buying the dang things from them!) For what its worth, Harbor freight sells a muscle power widget for getting the tires on and off, I don't know if it breaks beads.
Minimum special Tools:
o 2 tire irons or spoons.
o Soapy water in a spray bottle
o Somthing to break the bead
· The bitty wrench for removing the valve stem core.
I like having a heavy steel and rawhide mallet I own handy to persuade the tougher parts.
First let out all the air.
You can break the bead with a special hammer, a levering tool available from OZ, jacking up a truck tire and setting it down on the tire close to the rim. Driving over the tire just missing the rim (Don't hit the rim, it can bend), I use a tool specifically made for the job that has a cantilevered bead breaking uh, jaw with a lever that gives me enough omph to break the bead. My son just got big enough to manage it and he weighs under 130.
Break both sides.
Spray the rubber bead with soap.
Using the spoons begin to lever the bead over the rim. You need to put your knee down on the tire, to get the bead into the deep trough part of the rim. This makes it so the bead has enough length to come over the outside of the rim. Keep walking the bead off on one side while you hold the other with the second iron. Take small "bites", the tire bead WILL NOT STREACH. You nurse it off while the bead inside is in that deep section. Most rims mounting trough is nearer the outside not the backside. Take a look before you start, doing it backwards is a pain.
Once the first bead is off, repeat, or what I do is catch the rim with one spoon, Lever it completely over so the bead is well started and hit the tire bead with that heavy rawhide mallet. A couple of whacks and the rim usually pops loose.
Mounting is usually easier. Don't forget to replace the stem if needed. Just pull it out with vice grips, and pull in the new one using that stem wrench and pliers if needed
Wet the bead on the tire. Push and turn the first bead on, it will commonly twist on without the spoons.
Start the bead with the spoon and get your knee on the tire to get it down into the trough. As you get to the end, take smaller bites again.
All that's left is setting the bead. Put the rim on a plastic bucket and push the tire down. Lift carefully and gently push the rim to the other tire bead. Hit it with air. And try to get it to catch. Once started your home free.
After you get used to it a few times its fast. My son and I did the 4 van tires in about an hour, and that was with lesson time, showing him how, and letting him do some. The next weekend he did a friends trailer tire almost without supervision, almost as fast as I can.