DIY Setting Tire Bead

Messages
488
Location
Ohio
Hello All, I am looking into doing some DIY tire changing.. I was curious.. with the proper tire lube, and other tools, Is it possible to get a tire beat to set with a normal Road side emergency air pump? One that doesn't have any kind of tank just slowly fills, Or will I definitely need some kind of higher flow Air compressor? I am not interested in setting tire beads with starting fluid, because it just seems dangerous. I guess if my home air compressor wasn't enough, I could load the tires into the trunk of my (other)car and go to a gas station. Thanks all!
 
Messages
17,983
Location
NH
I've got like zero experience here. But I did try it myself this past weekend. I found that my tire inflator would not pump up a tire w/o having the valve core installed. Been years since I've watched someone bead tires in a shop, but I want to say they did it w/o the core. Get the air in faster. Anyhow, I was able to get three 195/65/15's and one 13" trailer tire to seat w/o issue. I used my compressor, but it never kicked on--set to around 90psi output, so that might be a factor--typical emergency pump won't have the reserve air like my 20(?) gallon tank has. BUT I will say, getting the tires to break bead was a massive headache. I don't think they were glued in place. But the first time I tried I had the Harbor Freight changer just staked to the ground, and it was horrible. I bolted it to my trailer, and that helped. But I had to keep turning the tire so as to work it. These tires had been in place for a long time, like four years or so. I didn't see rust in the bead area but by golly it was not a quick "pop and done" like you see in the videos. Granted, you can use a bumper jack or the like, and use the vehicle weight to break beads. My point is though on the side of the road with old tires it may be a non-trivial undertaking to get the bead to break in the first place. EDIT: I type too much, forgot to point out something: I'd try this at home first. My gut says it may work. Or may not. Depends upon how well the tire you have in your hands decides to bead on its own. I've heard of using a tie-down around the tire (on the tread) to try to force the bead outward, to get something of a seal.
 
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Messages
2,147
Location
Chicago, IL
It's possible. I've seen some good tips and tricks that help. The one that comes to mine is to use a ratchet strap around the tire in the middle of the tread. Compressing the middle helps center the tire on the wheel and keep it sealed while the small compressor can build up pressure. I think there are more tricks on youtube. I never got into the starting fluid thing either.
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
You'll need enough volume of compressed air to exceed the air that leaks past the bead while you're trying to seat it. The portable inflator is unlikely to work. A home air compressor combined with a portable air tank in-line to give more volume, and maybe a 3/8" I.D. hose no longer than necessary might work.
 
Messages
1,531
Location
iowa
Besides a big compressor and endless machines and tools, I still ended up having to spend $300 on a Cheetah bead blaster. Some tires are very difficult to seat. Any narrow tire on a wheel that is wider than the beads are when relaxed. Even a wheelbarrow tire will fight you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aub7b6_5vK4
 
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Messages
15,881
Location
NE,Ohio
pretty neat tool there, I have a 6gallon 150psi compressor with a 25ft hose. most OPE tires you can get by squishing them onto the rim.. a helper to inflate while you are doing that is good.. or a clip on inflater. I've had good luck with the ole ratchet strap around the tread for my personal tire issues. Talking about tractor tires, wheel barrow, lawn cart tires etc some bigger PITA tires obviously its much better to have specialized gear.
 
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Messages
1,520
Location
Dacono, CO
Originally Posted By: actionstan
Hello All, I am looking into doing some DIY tire changing.. I was curious.. with the proper tire lube, and other tools, Is it possible to get a tire beat to set with a normal Road side emergency air pump? One that doesn't have any kind of tank just slowly fills, Or will I definitely need some kind of higher flow Air compressor?
Depends on the tire you are installing. If they are soft, brand new or nearly new tires, with tall sidewalls, they most likely will seat. If they are old, worn, track day tires, probably not. In all the years of installing tires at home, I have only run into one that I couldn't do myself, and took it to a shop. They too had a hard time with the same tire, but they did eventually get it. BC.
 
Messages
29
Location
South Tx usa
I have used a 1/2" diaameter rope wrapped twice around the circumferance of the tire. tie it off, stick tire iron -or breaker bar into rope and twist/wind up as it knots up forcing the center of the tire down towards the rim.Then add air. start releasing/unwinding the rope. Hold on -if you let go it will unwind and damage you or something else-so I am not responsible if you screw something up.This process gives you a lot more leverage than a wrachet strap. BTW you can pull a stuck car out of the mud with this rope too=if it is long enough. Loop around a tree-back to your frame. put breaker bar, wood post , what ever-start twisting the rope in the middle/wind up. as it contracts-it will drag your car. Amazing amount of leverage this is capable of.
 
Messages
1,204
Location
Missouri
I've done the rope method as a last resort. Seems most tires these days seal pretty easily. More easily than when I worked in a tire store in a barn as a teen. The normal way I do it is to push the bead on one side while turning or twisting the tire. Try to get that side to stick. Then stand it up on the tread and push the wheel toward the other bead. Lots of air and no valve core helps. Be sure your fingers are clear when the bead pops. You'll only make this mistake once.
 
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