Change own tire ?

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Feb 27, 2006
San Diego
anyone know of a site that tells you how to remove a tire from the rim and put a new one on? i know they need to be balanced and all that noise but for a quick fix.... couple tire irons and a ton of muscle?
Walmart mounts tires for free? so you're saying that if a tire costs $60, you walk out of the store with 4 new tires for $240 + tax and that's it? But I'm sure they include mounting costs into the cost of the tire, via Costco.
I would not recommend anyone try to dismount and mount their own tires without the proper equipment and proper training.

Aside from the equipment needed to make the job SOOOO much easier, there is some amount of danger involved which can be minimized by following established procedures. There have been cases where a poorly trained person overinflated a tire and it exploded, killing him. I don't want that to happen to anyone at BITOG.
They must've had one heck of an air compressor to overinflate a tire enough to cause it to explode. I change my own motorcycle tires and we usually take them up to around 80 psi to seat the beads (43 psi running). Even our 3 cyl shop compressors at the plant peak out at 130 psi.
I can't say for motorcycles, but in car tires 40 psi is the maximum allowable bead seating pressure. (with a few exceptions)

And 100 psi is enough to break the bead if it is trapped in the well. That's within the usual range for shop line pressure.

BTW, for those that work in a shop with tire equipment, please check your line pressure. I talked to a guy the other day, and his line pressure was unregulated and about 180 psi. The problem was his equipment was rated at 100 psi.

Very dangerous.
Hmmm. I remember working in a shop years ago and it took a lot more than 40psi to seat beads in car tires (technology must've changed) and well over 80 for light truck tires. Not having regs is big no-no.
I realize that seating pressure is different than running pressure. It's been awhile since I remember doing those tasks with auto tires so I may be mistaken. But when we seat moto tires it does take around 60-80psi to seat the beads.
Still do my own tires. I made a bead breaker a few years ago and that helps a bunch. Till that time, I would hammer them off with a hand sledge and a pry bar. It takes time and you have to be careful cuz you can loose a few teeth if that bar gets away from you. Putting a tire on the rim is a breeze with a hammer and a little liquid dish soap.
I bought a harbor freight wheel changer, and using it seems pretty safe. The tires I've done (14" rims / passenger tires) seat at about 15 - 20 psi.

I also bought a bubble balancer. My success in that department is somewhat limited.
Beads are the inner "edges" of a tire that make contact with the wheel lip.

The bead is made up of a ring of steel bands to hold its shape. When you seat the beat by inflating the tire, like a balloon essentially, your forcing the bead to meet with the wheel lip. 99% of shops will keep pumping air into the tire until it litterally "pops" (loud bang) into place, then let air out of the tire until it is at proper pressure.

Some links to have a look at for a better picture;


[ March 07, 2006, 06:35 PM: Message edited by: GMGuy ]
wow it's quite involved.... always wondered how, without a tube, the tire is filled up since theres a lot of space for air to escape...


I want to totally discourage all "explosion" tire mounting methods.

lol, didn't even know people did this
For the sake of safety, I won't tell you how to do it - but you can inflate a tire and make it take a bead with a can of starter fluid and a match or lighter. Very dangerous but it does work.
Road Rascal said:

".....took a lot more than 40psi to seat beads in car tires (technology must've changed) and well over 80 for light truck tires...."

Back the truck up!! This is exactly what I am talking about!!!

NO passenger or light truck tire should take more than 40 psi to seat the beads (OK there are a few exceptions). If it does, then you need to look at the lube, the placement of the lube, the condition of the rim, etc.

No, this is not new technology!!

Pontius Pilot said:

" g/f's tires say to inflate to like 50 psi.... mine are 35psi..."

The bead seating pressure is not the usage pressure. Even if the tire says 35 psi max on the sidewall, it's OK to use up to 40 psi to seat the beads, but a tire with 80 psi on the sidewall should also seat before 40 psi is reached.

Hope this helps.
I've started changing my own tires with the Harbor Freight unit. To seat the beads, I usually stand the tire upright for two reasons.... if the bead pops with the tire laying flat, there may be a chance the tire can jump up and hurt you.... and it's easier to center the rim for bead seating. Also, I remove the valve core and use an air gun to move a lot of air into the tire quicker than it can escape for seating.
"To seat the beads, I usually stand the tire upright "

With the HF changer, I've just been leaving the tire on the changer when seating/inflating. It can't jump that way.
If you leave it on the changer, the weight of the tire may sometimes leave a gap for air to escape. With the tire upright, you can jiggle the rim so both beads contact the inner rim surface.

All said, you should do whatever works.
This thread is absolute proof that *** watches over fools and small children!!!

Most of you guys will live longer if you go ahead and pay to have professionals do your tire service! Leave an oil plug or filter loose and you'lll only loose money,, get your head ripped off and you've left a #$ll of a mess for someone to clean up!

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