Your thoughts? DIY tire changing: yea or nay? (1 Viewer)

e9999

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Been wondering whether I should be trying to change my tires myself or not.

My limited experience has been that it seems quite difficult in actuality to change a largish tire. As in, it's not physically easy, there are large awkward forces involved, and the risk of damaging expensive alloy rims.
I do enjoy a challenge, but I also want to be realistic. I suspect YT makes it look much easier than reality.
Seems like good tools to make this reasonably feasible would be a couple of hundred bucks at least. And from what I can tell, it's still an ordeal even with good tools. After all, seems like all the pros in the US use a fancy rugged machine to do that.

For context, I can probably have a tire changed in a back alley for $15 or $20. I can afford that, but don't like the idea of somebody else doing the work for me. And I can see that it would feel good to manage to do it myself.

I do foresee having to change at least 7 or 8 in the next year or two, including 5 larger truck tires, so I may already be half way through the cost of a set of tools if I farmed it out. The truck tires would be 33" on a 16" rim. The trailer tires would be more like 27" on a 15" rim.
I do have a cheap manual HF tire changing "stand" but it seems wildly outclassed by truck size tires, and likely even trailer tires. So probably worthless.

So my question is: is it worth investing in the tools and the learning if I only were typically to change, say, a couple of tires a year on average, but maybe several in the beginning? Some may be smaller trailer tires, though, surely those are easier.

Does it become straightforward with good tools or is still an iffy proposition best to stay away from for the average DIYer? Is the learning curve steep?

Advice? Worth trying? Or just pay the $20 and forget it all? Clearly the easiest way to go.

TIA
 
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Spend the money and get it done at a tyre shop. You can then also get the wheel(s) balanced once done.

I have a mate (loves make work projects) and he will change tyres using one of the common floor mount manual units. Please don't become like him :)

The only reason to be able to pull a tyre is for a repair out in the sticks.

cheers,
george.
 

e9999

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ah, good point about the balancing. Did not think about that. That may be a good idea for the truck tires and I would then have to go to a shop anyway. (Although some folks will argue that it can be done easily at home). But I don't think there is much need to balance my trailer tires.

Perhaps ironically, one of the reasons that makes me think about doing it myself is that I want to switch all my trailer tires to LC bolt pattern rims, to decrease the possibility of being stranded out there. Then again, the sticks for you is 3000 miles, for me it's 50....
 
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So I did the experiment. Harbor Freight all the way.

IMG_20190815_195734617 (1).gif


Did the well documented mod to add the piece on top with the plastic "duck tail" I think it's called to help with the job. (In this photo the bead breaker function had not yet been destroyed. That happened which removing Chinese tires from my other set of rims. As bought that part of the tool is worthless.)

Mounted Cooper ST MAXX 235/85-16 onto Tundra steelies. Given the E rating and all that the mounting wasn't that bad. It was my attempt at static balancing with the HF balancer that was a total failure. No matter what I did I couldn't get the balance right. Each time I got a little better but it was getting ridiculous. Given these are big heavy tires on a little truck but still.

Finally gave in and took the truck to the shop to get the tires balanced. They had to use a stupid amount of weight both inside and out. So I don't think I had a chance. I've got an old Mk1 VW Pickup that needs 13" tires. Going to try that I'm sure it will go much better.

Is it worth it - not really. I like to have as broad a skill set as possible but this was a little silly especially the balancing. I can see it if all shops around you refuse to mount your tires - but then maybe you shouldn't be mounting them in the first place.

tmp-cam-2860181879436128758 (2).jpg


(In this pic the weights shown are my first attempt at balancing. Today they carry WAY more weights - like 3 or 4 times the weight.)
 

Mauser

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I always mount and fix my own tires. I can dismount and mount a new tire faster than a machine. I buy tires online and mount them myself then drive to Sam's Club where they balance them for free while I shop.

Mounting and dismounting tires requires plenty of lube Blackjack Tire lube is the best.
 

e9999

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^ well, that's impressive, but you may be the exceptionally handy or persistent guy out there. Do you think it's realistic for the rest of us to invest in the tools and try?

^^ nice job on the mod!
 

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