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Old 05-29-2017, 04:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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DIY: un/mounting a car tire from the rim without special tools. (Have you?)


Flickr image "changing tire" by Crazy Boot

Have you ever un/mounted car tires on a wheel without special tools?

I've seen it done in pics like the one above (and in YT videos) and have always wanted to try it, just out of curiosity. I'm happy to report that last evening I succeeded in unmounting two 14" tires, using even less sophisticated equipment than the dudes in the above pic.

(Note the fancy manually operated bead-breaker in the lower right!)

Unsuitable Tools I Used:


- 1 small & 1 medium crow bar (tire irons)
- 1 large screwdriver
- a medium size mallet
- a ~2.5 foot length of 4x4 (bead breaker)
- soap & water
- 1 operational car (to break the bead)

Instructions (made up, based on watching 5 minutes of a YT video):

1) Deflate the tire. Open/remove valve.

2) Break the bead: I laid the wheel face up on the driveway & laid the 4x4 on the tire like a ramp, with the tire end close to but not overlapping with the rim edge.

3) Drive one wheel of a car up the piece of 4x4 until it's near the end of the 4x4. (A stout 2x6 might be better to distribute the car's weight across a wider section of the bead)

4) Smack vigorously on the deformed tire with the mallet until the bead breaks. (I tried just driving the car directly across the tire in question, and while is squashed it, it didn't break the bead.)

5) Flip the wheel over and repeat steps 2-4 to break the bead on the other side of the rim.

6) Lube the beads & rim with LOTS of soapy water (multiple times during the next steps)

7) Work the bead into the smaller diameter center channel of the wheel, so you will be able to...

8) Use the tire irons to pry the bead over the rim of the wheel. Repeat for 2nd bead.

Observations:

I haven't even mounted the replacement tires yet and I can say doing this without proper tools is a giant hassle.

That last step is by far the hardest part. It wasn't hot out, but I was sweating from the effort and sometimes saying bad words, like when the soapy tire irons slipped and fell out several times and I almost stabbed my own arm with one of them.

It took me 15-20 minutes to struggle to unmount each tire, which is entirely too long if you've ever watched someone do this efficiently in a tire shop.

Conclusion:

You would have to be flat broke and/or stuck in the middle of nowhere for this to appear to be a good idea, vs. just paying a shop to do it.

But it is doable, with incorrect tools, some gumption, and a general disregard for personal safety.

Exception: my late neighbour has an old tire changing stand bolted to the floor of his shop with a set of big pry bars designed for the job. I've seen him use it. If you're changing a lot of tires, possibly worth the investment. Maybe I should ask his widow if I can use it.



Motivation:

I'm mounting some LRR Dunlop Enasaves...



On the 14" wheels from the Swift GT parts car I junked last year...



So I can compare their rolling performance against some Insight Bridgestone RE92's and the stock Goodyear Invicta LRRs that came on the Firefly. EG. along the lines of...


From: http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...e92-19126.html

Only I'll be using the Firefly this time (because R.I.P. ForkenSwift).

===

PS: will update this post if/after I manage to mount the new tires on the rims using the same inadequate equipment.

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Old 05-29-2017, 06:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have done that before and used split rims too.
I suggest using normal wheels removing the wheel from the car and taking it to a tire shop.
Problem is tire shops hire some people who are kind of dumb, or don't care and they will put a jack under the quarter panel.
If you care about your car some you will jack from a structural point.
Trucks have frames that go from corner to corner so it's not a big deal.

I also recommend using a torque wrench to apply a recommend torque to each lug and apply it evenly.
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Last edited by oil pan 4; 05-29-2017 at 09:03 PM..
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Old 05-29-2017, 08:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
I suggest removing the wheel from the car and taking it to a tire shop.
Oh, definitely.

But if you should ever want to try it, it's doable. Finding that out was the goal of my little experiment.

Here's a question: I wonder if squishing a tire can damage it (like breaking the bead by putting a lot of weight on it)?
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't worry about hurting a tire.
When they are bulk shipped from factory they are packed into a tractor trailer then repeatedly rammed with a warehouse tug until no more tires will fit.

I have used a 10,000lb flight line tug to run over the edge of a tire on a split rim to break the bead. Reused the tire, it needed a new tube and wouldn't come off the rim using conventional means.
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Good to know! I guess no worries doing the same thing with a little car then.
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
... PS: will update this post if/after I manage to mount the new tires on the rims using the same inadequate equipment.
All in the name of SCIENCE!
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Old 05-30-2017, 03:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I did that a lot in high school and college. But with a manual bead breaker. It had maybe a 3-4:1 lever arm and a 3" shoe that fit up against the rim, and it pushed the tire clear down into the drop center. I would think faking that with some home-made jury rig (under the edge of a workbench?) would be better than driving a car around.

A crow bar is not a tire iron, those have a rounded tip. Using them is similar to a bicycle tire — don't take too big a bite each time, protect any gain.

What's interesting is putting a narrow tire on a wide rim (for that eco profile with your Moons). I've seen a couple different techniques.
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Old 05-30-2017, 03:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have one of these. It's a lot better at removing tires than installing them.
https://www.harborfreight.com/manual...ger-69686.html
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have taken off tires and mounted tires probably a hundred times or more, from large tractor tires, my 2 ton logging truck to wheelbarrow tires, split rims split wheels (very tricky) and regular solid wheels. 6 ply and up are a challenge with hand tools.

ALWAYS start opposite the valve stem and FINISH mounting AT the valve stem. This is for steel wheels only, unless you have experience on alloy wheels, so you don't beat up the alloy.

Take a tire iron and beat it between the rim lip and the tire. Just go until you hear a solid sound, so you don't gouge up the wheel. Once in place, lift it up as much as possible and hit the iron with the hammer ( I use a 3 pounder) and watch the tire move slightly. Do not use soapy water. You want the tire to "stick" to the rim as you drive it down over the safety bead bump.

Proceed around the wheel in 2"-3" distances. Once you get the tire to show space between the rim edge and the tire bead, use your heel to mash down on the tire right at the bead. "Can't use flip flops here".

Unless the tire is "rusted fast" to the rim, it should nearly fall off by itself. Might need a few taps with the iron and hammer.

Now, turn the wheel over and do the same thing. When both beads are broken loose, use the 2 irons, large screwdriver, etc., and start prying the first bead off the rim a little at a time. It will quickly come off the rim. Then, insert the iron through the tire and hook it under the OUTSIDE of the wheel under the bead lip and while standing the wheel/tire upright, mash the tire down like you are going to just force it off the wheel. Take your 3 pound hammer and hit the TIRE bead, so it starts to come over the rim edge. Don't hit the rim. A few hits while prying down and the tire should fall off the wheel.

Now, clean the bead area of the wheel and soap it up and mount the replacement tire, using the 3 pound hammer. Just mash it onto the rim and once it gets tight, mash your heel onto it and strike the TIRE bead area and it will slip right into place..

Years ago, I knew a black guy that just used his hands and feet to remove and mount tires at a Goodyear tire shop. Anything bigger than a typical car/pickup, he used tools.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re-inflation tip

Something to add to this useful thread: re-seating and re-inflation.

To help in getting air to fill the tire and hopefully seat the beads properly, wrap a ratchet strap around the OD of the tire in the approximate center of the tread, and cinch it down pretty good, then monkey the tire around enough that the bead touches the rim all the way around. Cinch more if needed to help hold it in place. It'll help spread the sidewalls out and hold the tire bead against the rim well enough to hold air. Now you can use a regular air pump to re-inflate the tire. With soapy rims/beads and softish sidewalls this ought to work well. I've mostly used the trick on lawnmower tires, etc.

It also worked on a 31x10.5R15 Big O Radial AT tire that I got a sidewall cut in while off-road. The group I was with had a guy who was really experienced changing tires and he made quick work of demounting, patching, and remounting the tire. The sidewalls were so soft on that tire that he just "spun it on the rim" without any tools. He commented that it was the easiest tire he'd ever mounted. I believe we used the ratchet strap method on that tire. A different tire off another truck at another time, they used the "flammable spray inside the tire and toss a match" method. Foomp! Note: do *not* fall for the temptation to put your finger over the valve stem to try and catch the escaping pressure. You'll burn your finger (gases are hot) and if you did get the valve stem in the tire would just shrink back down and suck itself off the bead again as the expanded gas cooled off.

(Yes, I know you are not supposed to patch a hole in the sidewall of a tire. We did it anyway, it held, and I drove another ~15,000 miles on that tire. It was not the one that had a sidewall blowout at 65mph.)

Other method to break beads on tires: Use a jack under the frame of the truck to push down on the tire by the bead. Repeat as needed to get enough spots busted loose that you can work on the tire.

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