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Red Tractor Fan
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Discussion Starter #1
Well I need something smaller than my Coat's 10-10 tire machine for the small tires. I can just work a 12" on my Coat's, but it will not break a bead and front tires are a no-go at all. So today (armed with my Harbor Freight Insider's Club Coupon for $29.99) I bought the last mini tire machine they had in stock. The are on sale for $39.99 and retail at $45.99
Oh, and I am up to $15.00 in savings on just two items now with the "Insiders Club" now. :fing32:



When I got home I opened up the typical Harbor Freight mangled box and took out my prize. While looking at it, I was dismayed at first not to see a way to break a bead... I mean, that is the one thing I NEED to swap some front tires! I have some tire irons already.... But wait! This DOES have that feature I thought. So I look at the manual and find that it appears that I am MISSING that part of the tool. :banghead3 So, as my review stands... it looked good sitting on my shop bench, but I have no clue how well it works yet. A 50 mile round trip will reveal that info to me tomorrow. :fing20:

I have a good pair of tires to test. I have some dead tires on my John Deere that just will NOT come off! (And I know the "tricks") I am one step away from cutting them, but they "could" be tubed for a trailer project, so I wait.

PS... does anyone else have one of these, and if so... how did you mount it?
 

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I'm away from home right now, so I cant take pics.
I bolted it to matching size plate, then welded the plate to a 2" receiver, so it's not only portable to where my truck is ( or any vehicle with a hitch) but its also not going to go anywhere while I'm wrastling with a tire.
I made it long enough so as not to even be close to the truck.
The one issue is the plastic sleeve that fits down on the tool so as not to mar the wheel. Didnt last after the first GT wheel, as tightening down the holder had the wheels sharp edge on the center's hole cut right into the plastic. I replaced it w/ a 1/2" piece of rubber with a hole in the center.
You arent going to easily get a 6ply tire on a 12" wheel manually, and you still have to set the bead. Several tricks for that too, but to a novice, it might just be better to run down to the local tire guy & have it done.
 

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Red Tractor Fan
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Discussion Starter #4
The 12's are not really a problem for me, I have a Coat's 10-10 tire machine in my basement. It works, but if the bead is stuck, the rim is a hair too small for the bead breaker to pop it off. That and the tire iron is hard to press onto the center shaft because it hits the tire on the other side!

She's not too pretty, but it was free! :thThumbsU


Funny you mention the hitch, this was what I thought of a little while back! I have a 24" extension hitch tube in my shop that I think I will bolt it on to. I may make a slide in receiver , but I think it will fit better on the OD of the 24" extension. Plus, I have not used it in over 6 years!
 

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That looks like a nice machine. I use use a shop made one.....4"x4" angle iron 1/4 thick, welded a 12" length of 3/4" thick-walled bar stock.

I put it in the vice, and it does tractor tire fine....but the bead braking needs the old "Under the car tire while jacked up" method.
 

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F.F. Emt
We have the same unit here badged "Northern Industrial". Ours bolts to the work bench, or a piece of 3/4" ply on saw horses.
We added a dozen 1/2" ID washers to get the spacing correct on certain rims.
We found the limit on the mini changer for anyone curious.
It was able to mount Kenda 23 x 8.50x12 4 ply Super Turfs, but our Carlisle Super Lug 23x10.50x12 4 plys were beyond its ability.
It works well, definitely worth the money.
DMAC
 

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Red Tractor Fan
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Well, I have the unit in my shop, and it has now been tested out. Although, I had to clamp it in my vice because my wife needed my "mounting bracket" (aka: her Suburban!) I think for smaller tires it was worth every penny I paid for it. The first two tires were over 35 years old and took a while to break the bead, but it was not too bad. Now the second set, made me fight for over an hour and a half just to break the 4 beads. These were replacement tires on 1972 JD front rims but I am pretty sure someone put something inside the tires like leak stop. Once the tire was off, I found that they were heavily rusted inside and the tires were locked on tight! :fing20: These were the ones I fought to break the bead before I bought this tool.

I did not use the supplied bar to dismount the tires that came with the changer, and I don't know it the tires would of come off with it. Do your self a favor and buy a pair of tire bars from HF for about $10 ($4.99 each) They are 24" long and designed to remove tires once the bead is broken. The stand made this VERY easy to do because the rim was held tight.

I have not tired to mount the tires yet, I need to sandblast and prime the JD rims so that I can mount the old school Massey tires. However, I "may" decide to buy new ribbed tires. (Wide ribs, not tri-ribs) I removed the Massey tires because they were the old school turf pattern to match the rear, but I am not sure if I plan to use them now... Either way, the JD tires are shot and need to be replaced.

Here are some action shots for y'all... It sure looks EASY in just three photos, but I have a blister on my hand from that handle!





Now you saw the nice original Massey tires and rims, here is the John Deere rim that I was not able to remove without this tire machine. Nice, Eh?


Here is the bead breaker attachment. I plan to round the tip with a concave curve to fit into rims better, as well as a slight bevel to the top edge. I will also round the corners a little. These are cue's from my big tire machine and it will make getting the flat stock into the tire bead better.


Here is the pair of tire irons I had picked up before this machine was bought.
A+ value on these and the fit and finish is a good solid B


Now here are the Harbor Freight 24" tire irons... VERY well made for $4.99 and I HIGHLY recommend these if you buy this tire machine. These can be used on car tires and the 12" rears too. So if you can break the bead on the 12" rims, this will allow you to change them without using this tire machine. I do think a 23" on a 12" rim is really pushing this tire machine. 8" and 10" seems like the ideal tire to work with. :fing32:

Note the two shapes on the ends, one is designed to hook the rim, the other is made to slip in and pull the tire off. Notice the tire machine makes for a good spot to hook the first bar to help start the tire. I used both bars to remove the second half of the tire as well.






This rubber cover did not hold up well, but I was spinning the rim around because it was in the vice. I plan to make a new one from some 3/4" nylon stock I have. IMHO, there is no way this machine will mount a tire without paint damage to a rim, so be warned... paint them AFTER the tire is mounted. It's the best way to do it anyway. :fing32:



So, for this first half of the review... I give it a thumb's up for the price. It's your typical Harbor Freight / China quality that makes you wince when you look at the fit and finish. The cast aluminum arm is pitiful... in fact, it's not even square! I may also take my 4.5' grinder with a flap wheel to it because it's so rough you can take skin off with it. Although, once you see past that, it does a very nice job and seems to hold up rather well. I have changed many tires and I have never had a set as stuck as those John Deere tires. And the HF unit came through without breaking or bending.

Build concept: B
Materials: C-
Fit & Finish: D
Value: B+
 

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I have a Larin tire remover that I bought from Tractor Supply Co. It isn't as easy as taking them to a tire shop, but it is cheaper! I need to solid mount this to the floor to be able to really use it properly though.
 

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Jack of All Trades
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I finally sprung for the Oregon Chain tire changer with optional Rim Clamp. I think if you wanted to you could add the rim clamp to your HF changer. It's a little pricey, but if you change lots of tires well worth the $$$.


 

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I might just have to pick one of those up!!

I have use of a tire machine at work, so the bigger 12" sizes I have coverd, but the little guys hae always been a real PITA!!! I might just pick on up for that price. AND th irons!!! And then I can retire [hee hee] my screwdrives that I ground down 100 years ago for that use. :D
 

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Cool, I like the look of that rim clamp!! where did you get it?? I have used the hyd. outrigger on my service truck to break beads before, but this little tire machine looks like I may have to get one!!!
 

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Jack of All Trades
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Cool, I like the look of that rim clamp!! where did you get it?? I have used the hyd. outrigger on my service truck to break beads before, but this little tire machine looks like I may have to get one!!!
I recently signed on to be an Oregon Chain dealer for aftermarket OPE parts and had to make a HEFTY initial parts order, so I figured tools would be a good place to spend some money. The HF model is great for the occasional DIY'er, but if you need one on a more regular basis, this one is the one to go with. It has a built in bead breaker, comes with a "duck bill" style mount/demount tool, the rim clamp is extra but well worth the money! PM me and I will give you some pricing and I am sure I can get it drop-shipped at a minimal charge, all in all the whole package cheaper than retail.
 

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Good thread.
 

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Blank Space
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Been looking at one of these little HF units. I counted and I have about 20 or so tires between the mowers, tiller, trailers, hand truck, etc.

I just cut down a couple of trees and decided to leave the stumps. Idea was to mount this HF unit to one of them where it would be much more solid than a bench vise. I could drill a drain hole in the base and leave it in place and just take the top portion inside out of the weather.
 

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Village Idiot
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I'm away from home right now, so I cant take pics.
I bolted it to matching size plate, then welded the plate to a 2" receiver, so it's not only portable to where my truck is (or any vehicle with a hitch) but its also not going to go anywhere while I'm wrastling with a tire.
I made it long enough so as not to even be close to the truck.


I like this Idea so that it can be portable. then mount one of these
http://www.midwayautosupply.com/showproduct.aspx?productid=108257&affiliateid=10050
under your work bench and you can use it in your shop with out your truck.
Show us what you come up with. :wwp::wwp:
 

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