On Mon, 12 Dec 2016 19:55:25 -0700, rbowman advised:
Just to let folks know what does *NOT* work, this black swan-neck bead
breaker bar from Harbor Freight is utterly useless also.
You can't get any purchase anywhere with it. You may as well use a butter
knife for all it does.
I'm a bit mad at HF because the ad says it's for cars but it's not:
The reviews tell us that it is only for certain types of trucks and
tractors with a "lock" bead (whatever that is).
REVIEW QUOTE: It is meant to break the bead from lock rings on a loader
I don't know what a "loader tire" is, nor what a "lock ring" is for such a
tire, but I do (now) know emphatically that this swan-neck bead breaker bar
is utterly useless for passenger car tires.
On Tue, 13 Dec 2016 19:02:06 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron
Your problems are 2, and only 2. You are CHEAP, and you don't have a
clue how to use the tools.
A cheap tool in the hands of a master can be made to work reasonably
well. In the hands of an amateur, it will very seldom do the job the
first time - much-less stand up long term. Much better to find an OLD
manual tire changer made for professional use, and have the old codger
that owned it and used it for 50 years show you how to use it. Don't
second guess the guy because he did it for a living, and therefore,
being a mechanic or technician, cannot be trusted.
I can even see you going to a Hunter rep and buying a real tire
changer and then not listening to him explain what options to buy and
how to use it (if you weren't so cheap)
Sorry - but I just don't see this going anywhere.
I learned a *lot*, so thanks for all your advice.
I'm gonna patch some tires today, for example but they will be so easy that
they don't count (since they are normal passenger car tires at 60 series
On 12/12/2016 5:45 PM, Frank Baron wrote:
at $60+/- at the moment...keep watching/looking and can eventually find
a usable changer that will actually work.
I found a way to shore up the harbor freight tire changer so that it works
on the tougher 75-series 108T SUV tires (60 series passenger tires would be
far easier) and posted that as a response to the original post.
One question though, is what tool do you guys recommend for removing the
old crimp on wheel weights?
On Wed, 14 Dec 2016 22:21:15 -0500, email@example.com advised:
Turns out, after some research and talking to the pros, there's really no
need for those wheel-weight pliers just as there is absolutely no need for
any special valve removal or insertion tools.
Still, some tools are just nice to have even if they're not necessary.
I already bought the valve-puller tool, for example, mainly because I
wanted to feel for myself how much easier it made an already easy task of
removing and inserting the valves.
I'll probably do the same experiment for the wheel weight puller tool:
On Thu, 15 Dec 2016 04:42:21 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron
You can use a sledge hammer or an axe if you like to put them on, and
you can beat them off with a chisel, but the proper tool as always it
much easier . And you asked "what tool do you use to remove the
weights. I, and most mechanics, use a weight pliers - so I answered
your question - didn't I???
On Thu, 15 Dec 2016 01:10:11 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org advised:
You are correct and I apologize for changing the rules mid thread.
Yes, I did ask. And I now know what tool they use.
I do like to use good tools, like everyone, and I am not the type normally
to use a hammer for everything, so I will "probably" get the wheel weight
I say probably because I may just use the stick-on weights for everything.
I don't know yet. It's also just as likely that I'll use the P-type
crimp-on weights for these steel wheels.
I'm looking at this catalog, for example, and what I "probably" should get
is the following on page 185:
A. Wheel weight pliers and hammer
B. Wheel weight scraper
C. Rim Gauge
On Thu, 15 Dec 2016 06:31:22 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron
If you are only going to static balance anyway, stock only the
stik-on weights and apply them to the CENTER of the rim. That way you
are not splitting weights and quite possibly making the dynamic
balance worse. It is also the onlr economical way of having the weight
you require for all situations. When "roughing" the balance plsce the
weighy at the point you will be installing it (an inch or two in from
the bead, on most of those rims) - it will take a wee bit more weight
in there, but you won't throw them nearly as easily, being held in
place by rotational force as well as the tape.
On Thu, 15 Dec 2016 02:00:51 -0500, email@example.com advised:
Clare, that's good advice.
The beauty of the stickon weights for home use is that they fit everything,
and they don't need special tools, and they can be easily stocked in
assorted sizes and they can be easily sliced in half if necessary, etc.
So, if stickon weights work for steel wheels, they should be given a chance
to work. The flat areas of the rim are gonna be along the inside anyway,
near to the center anyway, whereas the crimp-on weights would be along the
I already have plenty of stickon weights because I picked them up at HF
Thanks for the encouragement to use them, as the P-type weights (which
pretty much is what the Toyota steel wheels seem to use) would need to be
obtained in all sorts of sizes and they wouldn't work for all wheels like
the stickons can.
On Mon, 12 Dec 2016 23:45:12 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron advised:
The main problem is simply that I have a tough tire (a 108T, which is a
pretty thick SUV tire compared to much easier passenger car tires), and
that the harbor freight tire-changing tool requires modification to work on
such tough tires without bending.
I took my time to document what I learned so that the next person who uses
the same equipment can benefit from the 20/20 hindsight this tutorial
provides them for how to use the harbor freight tire changer to:
a. Break the lower bead of the old tire away from the wheel
b. Break the upper bead of the old tire away from the wheel
c. Remove the upper bead of the old tire from the wheel
d. Remove the lower bead of the old tire from the wheel
e. Remove the old Schrader valve and stem assembly
f. Insert the new Schrader valve and stem assembly
g. Place the lower bead of the new tire on the wheel
h. Place the upper bead of the new tire on the wheel
i. Align the red (or yellow) dot to the valve stem (or to the wheel
j. Seat the beads by filling the tire with air
k. Check the valve stem clearance, match mounting marks, and adjust
pressure to normal psi
The goal is that they start knowing all the things that I just learned
today, which make the job far easier and which makes the tools work far
The first thing I did was straighten out the bent bead-breaking wedge bars,
which was so easy to do one might conclude that they're actually made of
What the bead breaker shovel needs, from the start, is a bit of support,
which is shown here (but after using it, I realized it needs to be about 2
inches from the top of the wedge to leave clearance for the rim of the
wheel when breaking beads).
Luckily this wedge simply moved out of the way because it was just press
fit in and wrapped with solid 120V copper wire. (Given more time, I would
not weaken the bars any further by drilling bolt holes - but - I would
strap in a rectangular block of wood instead of this fence post, which just
happened to be handy.)
I started on the inside bead, which I'm told, is the harder one to break.
By moving the Clovis pin to the outside adjustment hole (making the angle
about 90 degrees to the tire), and with this artificially strengthened
wedge, I was (finally) able to apply (far) more force on the 108T tire bead
without the wedge slipping off the bead itself.
The fence post got in the way of the rim as shown in this photo, so, if you
permanently mount it, make sure it's shorter by about 2 or 3 inches than
the space allotted, and make sure it's mounted up high and not low where
mine is now.
Notice how the wooden block hits the rim?
You don't want that.
You want the block to stay higher up, away from the rim by a couple of
But, in this case, it didn't matter because the block moved when pressure
was placed on it.
The stronger wedge plus the 90 degree angle from using the furthest-out of
the 3 adjustment pin holes allowed me to apply enough force to finally pop
the inside-rim bead of the admittedly strong 108T tire sidewall.
Only after I popped the underside tire bead did I try to remove the lever
arm, where I found that it bent at about a 10 or 15 degree angle. It took
that much force, but you have to also realize that this harbor freight
metal is soft as rubber.
After straightening the bent tire iron as much as I could, and after moving
the clovis pin to the center hole to get more of an angle, and using a tire
iron to keep a depressed bead down, I easily popped the upper bead.
Placing the tire iron flat step with the step side up, allowed me to start
spinning the top bead off the wheel rim without lubrication:
Adding dish detergent helped a lot to spin the top bead off, where I'd say
it's a requirement to have lubrication but everything gets slippery, even
the tools, so try to keep it off the tools.
You repeat the process for the lower bead, with the tire iron again going
in step-side up as in the first bead (the same way as it did for the upper
Once the tire was off the rim, I cut off the old 1-1/4 inch tire valve
from the underside with a utility knife, where the old valve was in
surprisingly good shape, so I might have kept it had I not wanted to test
out the 4-way valve-seating tool and the fit of the longer new 1-1/2 inch
long tire valves.
After lubricating the new 1-1/2 inch valve with dish soap, I threaded on
the 4-way tool and pulled it through so easily that it was shockingly
Later you'll see I have a much better idea to replace that silly 4-way tool
that I already have in my compressor toolbox, so I never needed the silly
4-way tool in the first place, but I didn't realize that until later.
Only later, when I was filling the tire with air, did I realize that a
handy tool for pulling the valve would have been my compressor
football/soccer-ball needle-valve tool, with the needle valve removed,
which spins onto the valve threads with ease and which has a nice trigger
handle to grab onto so that the valve can be pulled into place.
But I didn't think of this at the time I was seating the first valve, so,
it's just a lesson learned for the future, and for someone else who happens
to read this for hints on how to do the job without that silly 4-way valve
seating tool (which is never needed).
The bottom bead of the new tire went on 3/4 of the way by hand, and then
with a two-foot tire iron, the last quarter went on relatively easily.
It's important to remember to flip the tool and set the hook side
appropriately because you're not going to seat the top bead unless you have
the tool oriented this way exactly. (Lord knows what the other tip is use
You'll want to ensure you seat the bead at the tire-valve first because
that last quarter gets dicey where you have to use the most strength in the
whole job, and where a slippery bar gets obnoxious.
I had to vise grip the end of the bar that I was holding because it kept
twisting off the bead but with vise grips, it was manageable.
At the very least, you'll want to use vise grips to hold the slippery upper
bead from slipping off as you try to force the last 1/4 of the upper bead
onto the rim.
This is the point where you're extremely glad the tool is firmly bolted to
cement, as the force is as much as you can give it.
Even so, I found I had to ditch the slippery but huge red pry bar and
resort to two 24-inch tire irons to leverage the remaining upper bead over
onto the wheel rim.
It's at this point, before you fill the tire with air, that you line up the
red dot to the match-mounting marks, or, the yellow dot to the valve stem
(if there is no red dot) or if there is a red dot but no match mounting
marks, then you line up the red dot to the valve stem.
After doing that, I first removed the inner valve stem of the Schrader
valve and tried to use my latching air chuck, but without the valve stem,
the darn chuck wouldn't pass any air (so I gave up on this method).
It was dark and drizzly when I just decided to put the valve stem back in
and put the latching chuck back on (although later I found a neat trick
that I will try with the next tire).
It turns out that having the valve stem in or out really made no difference
whatsoever, it seems, with respect to getting the air inside and getting
the bead to seat.
The trick to seating the bead is really to have two hands free to hold the
tire edges and jiggle, wiggle, coerce, tug and jerk the tire as it's loose
when you're trying to get the bead to seat.
Once you get the tire in a certain position, you can just feel it starting
to blow up, where it seats and finally pops a few times as you work up the
pressure to 40, 50, and 60 psi.
Further proof that the silly 4-way tool is worthless is the fact that it
doesn't have a pin for letting the air out of the valve to drop the
pressure down from 60 psi back to 40 where it belongs.
Rummaging around in my compressor kit, I found this needle-valve which is
normally used to inflate footballs and soccer balls, but which deflates the
tire without sharp points like those that are on the silly and useless
It was at this point that I realized that the football/soccerball inflator
handle can be used for the next tire to inflate the tire quickly without
the schrader valve being in place, so I will try it this way on the next
tire to see if it works.
(It may require a third hand to press the trigger, but I can probably wire
the trigger pressed because both hands will be needed to coerce the tire
into momentarily seating while the air is filling it up.)
At this point it's time to make two checks of the valve stem.
Ensure the red (radial runout) dot is at the valve stem
Ensure with a straight edge that the valve doesn't stick out past the rim
Since it was dark, I didn't bother looking for match mounting marks on the
old rim, so, I simply lined up the red dot with the tire valve since the
red dot indicates the tire's high point for radial runout and radial force
variation, which takes precedence over the yellow dot which indicates the
tire's light spot which would have been paired with the valve stem on the
wheel which is the wheel's heavy spot had the red dot not existed.
On Wed, 14 Dec 2016 05:34:15 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron
By George - when he stops to think he actually CAN figure things
out!!!!!! From the questions origionally asked it appeared he could
not find his ass with both hands - He has surprised me. My appologies
but I'd still be wary of using THAT tire changer on the expensive
alloy rims without some more "modifications"
You really surprised me Frank -- Kudos.
I'm man enought o admit when I've been wrong.....
On Wed, 14 Dec 2016 22:19:12 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org advised:
I used the tire changer on 60-series 16-inch alloy wheels today because I
offered to fix a flat for a friend where I warned him it might be
This passenger tire was so easy, it made me look like a professional.
So, I think it's just that my testcase of the 75-series 108T sidewall
Optimo tires is just a more difficult case (by far) than a normal passenger
We didn't balance that alloy wheel because we didn't change the tire and
when I put it on the static balancer, it was fine.
But I'm going to have to balance the five steel wheels of the Toyota.
Right now, I'm looking at what wheel weight style to buy, since it's a
Toyota steel rim.
It seems from this PDF that the right type is the "P" type (whether PZU,
PZ, PST, or PSTU doesn't really matter) but I'm double checking that
assumption as we speak.
On Fri, 16 Dec 2016 20:51:18 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron
Proper "vegatable soap" tire lube does not allow the tire to slip on
the rim under accelleration or braking after it dries, unlike some
normal "dish soaps"
A proper bead lubricant like "RuGlyde" is most definitely recommended
Using the wrong soap increases the likelihood you will need to
re-balance the tire several times over it's lifespan.
On Sat, 17 Dec 2016 00:44:17 -0500, email@example.com advised:
Thank you for your advice not to use the wrong soap, as the tire may slip
on the rim, which would making all balancing off.
Here is the soap I used:
I did wash it off afterward (as I had also painted the rims black).
Interestingly, when I gave the SUV back to the owner, she didn't even
notice that the four rims went from silver to black!
Because of time constraints (it's not my car, it's that of a relative), I
wasn't able to test drive at speed (no highway nearby and I only had the
vehicle from about 10pm to dawn). So I told her to tell me if it vibrates
on the highway.
I accidentally left the PSI at my test pressure of 45psi (instead of 32psi)
but I don't think she'll even notice but I ask you if it matters?
Does it matter?
She drives like a little old lady, about 20 highway miles a day, and about
30 miles a day of mountain twisting single-lane but very steep (9% grade)
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