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Tire Changing Tools

I had every intention of documenting my first Connie home tire changing adventure. I had the camera out, the lights on, and the production crew all lined up. But, like that first "experience" with a girl, it was over before it started. About the same level  of grunting and sweating though. Cigarette ?

You could go out and buy tools to break the bead and mount / demount your tires, but then again, you could make your own. If you're a half assed woodworker, it shouldn't cost any more than $5 and take about an hour. I watched Gene change two sets of tires in short order with nothing more than his tire irons, a store bought bead breaker, and a couple of saw horses. Less sweat, less vocabulary exercise.

The last time I changed a tire was 1975 in the gravel, on the side of the road, on my Honda 750. Fortunately, I didn't need a bead breaker.

Start by making a square frame out of 2 x 4's. Mine is 24" x 24". The center frame is just large enough for the brake disc to sit inside. That will protect that almighty expensive piece of tin. Yeah, I could have removed them but I'm lazy. With this little rig, I can stay lazy. It also stops the wheel / tire assembly from trying to migrate off the frame.

Do you remember Grade 8 Physics and the lesson on levers. One piece of 2 x 4 screwed into a wall stud. Another piece about 9" long with one end cut on an angle as shown and the all important lever which was about 4 feet but could have been much shorter.

Break the bead in a couple places about a foot apart and finish it off by hand. Flip the tire over and do it again. Simple.

Get 3 tire of these little gems. It'll make the whole job just a bit easier. About $20 each. I like the long ones because of the extra leverage you get. They had some nice short ones and others with shiny plastic handles. But these mothers get the job done in short order. You seem to get so much leverage, you're almost afraid to hurt the tires. Buy cheap shitty tools and you will never forget the "great" price you got. They'll be there to remind you.

I was going to get some rim protectors but with the width of these chaps, I didn't seem to need any. I had planned to cut some old rubber garden hose into 3" lengths and then slit them lengthwise. Probably would have worked too.

Tire balancer. I have a design in mind for that. But, I haven't quite got to it yet. Maybe next week. In the mean time, I'm off to Hyder on my new tire.  

Article By: David J. Morrow

 Updated January 2005

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