I thought I could save some money by changing tires myself. I thought the task would be easy, considering the amount of car work I’ve done. I have changed 4 or so timing belts, swapped an engine, changed an axle, etc. A tire swap should be mince meat - I was wrong. I couldn’t believe how much of a bullfight this was. Tire irons feel like Stone Age type tools, and to be honest, I don’t have the artistic talent to use these things. I tried for 2 days to get the tire off the stupid rim. The first day I got the old tire off, the second day I got one side of the bead mounted and the other I just couldn’t finish.
With a dinged up rim, I must shamefully shamble into the dealer to get my tires swapped. But never again am I going into the bullring. It is not worth the $30 savings. Do you do it yourself? Is there some magical tool that makes unmounting and mounting work? I tried lube, lots of it. Breaking the bead was easy in comparison.
I've done countless - take your time, if you are forcing it, you're doing something wrong. I use 6'' levers, they are short and stop me forcing things. The only time I've had a shop fit a tyre for me was on my trials bike....a nice soft tube tyre, with 2 rim locks. The tyre fitter wasn't too pleased with that - but they offered the free fitting ! Rim locks make a tube tyre fitting a bit harder, 2 rim locks feels impossible at first.
I was shown how then tried out a few years ago. They were 10-12" tires for scca spec racer fords and a few formula continental race cars. The latter were a pain as the tire had to be stretched over the rim they almost balloon out. This was with a small stand and levers to pry the tires off the rim.
If at first you don't succeed fail fail again. (Waldorf and Statler.) 1997 Geo Prizm...DEAD 1984 Mazda RX-7 Spec 7 2005 Dodge Neon
What are you using for equipment? Good stuff is the key!
When I went to work with my dad in 1968, I started out changing tires and lube, oil & filter. He had the old style manual tire changer w/pneumatic bead breaker. This thing was mounted into the cement and very solid.
We did mostly all steelies(w/bias-ply-tires) as there were very few aluminum, magnesium or rally wheels that came in for tires...that I can remember.
The tools used were ancient but strong steel and very effective. However there was a knack to dismounting the tire from the wheel. And there was also a knack for getting a "too narrow of a tire" to take air on a wider wheel. Once mastered, I could do it with my eyes closed and one arm behind my back...well, you know!
Last edited by Char Baby; 03/18/2003:39 AM.
Retired 6 yrs now & lovin' it -----------------------------------
However there was a knack to dismounting the tire from the wheel. And there was also a knack for getting a "too narrow of a tire" to take air on a wider wheel. Once mastered, I could do it with my eyes closed and one arm behind my back...well, you know!
I took an entire day to swap all tires between 2 cars (175/65 R14C, half of them were Pirelli Commercial, the rest were Kleber Commercial), using an original Tyrepliers Bead breaker and some tyre levers. Even feeling doing it in the correct fashion, I'm not doing it again.
‘01 Peugeot Partner 1.9 D, 15W40 E7, 273000 Km, running on WVO Wife's '19 Suzuki Vitara 1.0 Boosterjet (TGDI), 5W40 A3/B4, 23000 Km Backup ‘01 Toyota RAV4 3-dr 2.0 VVTi, 5W40 A3/B4, 170000 Km
I somehow manage to end up doing it once or twice a year myself. It's definitely an art. Once you are shown how the drop center in the wheel works, it is much easier and once you find a good bead lube (coolant in my case). But this last year I got new wheels for the Jeep, I was going to swap the tires over myself but my shoulders are just getting too bad and it was proving to be too painful. For probably the last 7 years my strategy is to mount myself then bring to Walmart to balance.
Male egos can cause you to lose fingers...………..once I was a tire changer in a Goodyear store,,,I would have never thought not to use a tire changing machine, we would have been there all day....mercy me
I'd still like to have my 67 Beetle back....life was easy then..imho 2 quarts of oil roughly ,lol