Wednesday, March 2, 2011
DIY Tire Mounting
Harbor Freight sells a cheap, manual tire machine for those who wish to mount their own tires rather than waiting in line at the tire store and paying $12 per tire or more for the service. This especially appeals to me because I often either buy used offroad tires for my Jeeps, or if I am really lucky, scrounge some for free. Lots of people, if they have a problem with one tire, throw away the 3 remaining good ones.
I actually have mounted a couple of tires on Jeep wheels using nothing more than a stout walking stick, but they were 235/75R15s, which are not very big. I just tried it with a 31-10.50x15, and while I did get the old one off the rim, I still don't have the "new" one mounted yet. I'll get it, don't worry. If it were that or walk home, I would already have it done. After all, I once changed a tire on a Jeep in the boonies, with no jack. But I'm looking for a better way to do it than using a walking stick. That is why I was watching this video. It needs better lighting, but you can see what is going on.
I'm not planning to actually buy one of these Harbor Freight rigs, no. I'm studying the video to get some ideas on how to build my own. Contrary to what the video says, breaking the bead is not the hard part. Lay the tire/wheel assembly under the bumper of your Jeep or truck, put the base of your handy hi-lift jack on the bead of the tire, start jacking up the bumper, and let the weight of your vehicle break the bead. Every old-school jeeper knows that trick.
If you are trying to be self-sufficient, it pays to think about stuff like this.