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checksix

Tire Changing For Cheapskates

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I go through sets of tires fairly quickly and I like to change them myself, both to save money and for the convenience of doing it in my own garage. I'm also a cheapskate, so rather than buying a tire changing machine I just made some "tools" out of 2x4's. I figured they might be of interest, so I thought I'd post some pictures.

A simple box shaped stand keeps the wheel off the ground and protects the brake rotor while working on the tire.

The bead breaker is just a pair of 2x4's glued and screwed together, with a wedge shaped section at one end:

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Hose clamps prevent the wooden wedge from splitting:

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A handy minivan is used as the anchor of the lever arm (some people use a board bolted onto a wall):

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After breaking the bead, a few simple hand tools are used to remove and replace the tire. Tire irons, plastic rim protectors, and some tire lube get the job done. The real secret is the tire lube. It helps the rubber to slip on and off the rim of the wheel and makes things much easier. I got a jug of "RuGLYDE" at my local NAPA auto parts store. A small tin cup and paint brush are used as an applicator:

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I also made a balancing stand to hold a Marc Parnes balancer:

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The balancer comes with cones for standard wheels. He also sells a special large cone for the VFR rear wheel. Here's what the balancer looks like in use:

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It usually takes me about 3 hours to change a set of tires. That includes disassembly, cleaning, degreasing, inspecting, reassembly, and torquing everything. The actual bead braking and tire mounting goes quickly.

It took me awhile to learn how to use the tire irons. The first few attempts produced lots of airborne irons and cursing, but now I can get a tire on and off in just a minute or two. It helps to lay the tires out in the sun for a few minutes to warm up the rubber. Liberal use of the tire lube helps too.

The only "cost" for me was the tire balancer (about $100 if I remember correctly - I got it years ago). All the other materials were just laying around.

One advantage over a heavy dedicated tire changing machine bolted to the floor is that all the wood parts here are lightweight and store away in a corner or under my workbench when not in use.

Edited by checksix
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I simply jack the truck up by placing the jack on the tire with a couple of 2X4 to protect the rotor. The bead breaks easily.

If you shake the balancer and not spin the wheel, the heavy spot will drop like a rock and you don't have to waste time with the spin.

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I simply jack the truck up by placing the jack on the tire with a couple of 2X4 to protect the rotor. The bead breaks easily.

If you shake the balancer and not spin the wheel, the heavy spot will drop like a rock and you don't have to waste time with the spin.

The balancer has really good bearings and the heavy spot on the wheel settles at the bottom, no shaking or spinning needed.

Edited by checksix

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This is awesome. Thanks for sharing!! I'd love to do be able to do my own changes for the same reasons. This gives me inspiration. Think I may need gorilla hands to do this though.

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One trick a friend showed me is to get some of the extra large zip ties at H.F. and run a few around the tire then between the bead(s) and rim and cinch down tight. Getting the two beads down in the drop center of the rim makes it easier to get the tire off / on. He claimed he could remove a tire using just the zip ties - maybe 5 or 6, but I haven't tried that so far. Since I'm also a cheapskate I use a dental tool to pull back the latch on the zip tie so I can re-use them.

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One trick a friend showed me is to get some of the extra large zip ties at H.F. and run a few around the tire then between the bead(s) and rim and cinch down tight. Getting the two beads down in the drop center of the rim makes it easier to get the tire off / on. He claimed he could remove a tire using just the zip ties - maybe 5 or 6, but I haven't tried that so far. Since I'm also a cheapskate I use a dental tool to pull back the latch on the zip tie so I can re-use them.

There's a good video of that technique on youtube. Looks very simple, might try that oneday.

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Dang D-... You are cheap. :491:

I am here for you.

If you buy tires from me, I charge 10.00 per wheel. I sell tires at JakeWilson.com pricing or less.

You could ride down, get new tires and scrub them on the Gap during the way home.

http://www.ridewnc.net/services.html

I miss you guys. I haven't made it to the store in quite a while.

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Dang D-... You are cheap. :491:

I miss you guys. I haven't made it to the store in quite a while.

I stop in there once in a while, but mostly ride by. Most of the familiar faces seem to have been replaced by strangers these days :(

Can I ask how you balance the rear wheel please?

Using this:

http://www.marcparnes.com/Honda_Motorcycle_Wheel_Balancer.htm

Edited by checksix

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I have had success using the arbor press at work to break the beads on old tires! I also use ceramic balancing beads instead of weights. Just vibrate the beads in through the valve stem with the core removed after the new tire is on and seated. For the cost of the beads it makes it easier and faster and I have had no issues with balance on wheels on my F4i. No unsightly weights on the rims either. a few shops around here are not balancing at all, they just use the beads.

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Here is another way to break the beads, Irwin Hand Clamps, they work well after figuring out how to do it, took me 2 tires, now I can have one changed in about 20 minutes. Another trick for the front wheel is to use a milk crate as the work surface, keeps the disc's off the ground. I also use dyna beads with no issues for the past 75,000 miles. Check out you tube and study the tire positioning and follow that, you will find it incredibly fast and easy after the first one.

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