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...knows the muffin man.
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Discussion Starter #1
But can someone help me with helpful tips on changing tires on my tractor. Tools you recommend, helpful tips that will keep me from poking a screwdriver through the sidewall... etc?
 

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The Magnificent
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20,952 Posts
Welcome seedspreader.

Northern Tool sells a small tire changer with tools for about $50.

You can do most 2-ply tires with just a couple of 12 inch tire "spoons" which are probably available at motorcycle or ATV dealers. M.E. miller tire company also sells the tools.

Basically to remove, you unscrew the valve stem core (with a special tool or a valve stem cap with a little fork on the top). Let the tire deflate, then break the bead (push the tire away from its seat on the rim) using a bead breaker or a flat metal bar and two of your largest friends. Do this for both sides of the tire. Then using a pair of spoons or flat, smooth, blunt iron bars, pry the tire up over the rim. Keep working your way around the rim until the tire is off.

To install, get plenty of lubrication on the bead of the tire (not grease, but think soapy water). Push the tire onto the rim and twist to get the rear bead somewhat seated on the back of the rim. Then lube the front bead and use your pair of spoons to work it over the rim.

Use compressed air to seat the bead, but do not exceed 30 psi. A rubber mallet and a rope tied around the circumference of the tire and twisted tight with one of your iron bars will help seat the bead.

Reinstall the valve stem core and inflate to proper pressure.
 

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I Love All Color Tractors
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I have to agree with the above posts. Leave the tires in the sun for a bit to soften them up and use plenty of lube.

I also agree with getting some tire spoons. I haven't simply because I don't change enough L&G tires to justify them. I just use a couple of large screwdrivers. Of course, I'll certainly change my tune when I poke one through a tire for the first time. :maddd:
 

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15,000 +posts!
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Usually breaking the bead loose is when I will wreck a tire thats old and dry rotted..most of the time once I get the beads unseated,I can get them off and on without destroying them..but if they are THAT brittle,its time to get rid of them anyway..I've had some tires stuck SO bad to the rims from age and rust,I had to use a hacksaw or sawsall to the them off !..and without ruining the original one of a kind rims too,it wasn't easy!.

I use a 1/4" or 3/8" extention ,a long one about 10"(for a ratchet) as a tire tool on small tractor tires,and on the larger ones like 12" rears I use a longer 3/8" solid round bar or a small pry bar to get the tires on and off--also a 5 lb.ball pein hammer is handy,once you get the beads part of the way off,you can usually get them off easily the rest of the way by whacking them with the hammer (with restraint of course,and be careful not to hit the RIM!)..

I find Ivory Liquid dishwashing soap to be your best friend when mounting and dismounting tires too,and searching for leaks in tires and tubes..the trick is patience,and only prying a small bit of the tire on at a time,no more than 1" "bites" or you'll risk stretching the bead wires out of shape or ripping the tire bead or sidewall..Always install and remove the tire from the narrowest side of the rim,usually the valve stem side..and keep the bead well down in the middle where the rim is skinniest,so it'll pry on easier..having three or four hands helps!.


I find the smaller the tire,the harder it is to remove and install,I'd rather do a 28" farm tractor tire than a 6" garden tractor tire--the big ones LOOK harder to change,but often aren't!..(as long as they aint loaded with calcium!)..

I wish more small tires had "split rims" held together with bolts,that let the rims come apart in two halves--they're a LOT easier to change,but NEVER remove all those bolts with the tire inflated,or the rims could fly apart and maim or kill you!..
 

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Another source for good tools for small tires is HarborFreight.com. They have a mini tire changer that sits nicely in a bench vice or bolted to the bench. It is good for tires with rims from 4 to 12 inches although it's pushing its limit with 12 inch rims. (The 12 inch wide tires from my DGT6000 are really too wide for it.) It has a breaker for loosening the tire from the rim plus regular type tools for removing/replacing the tire. It works great, better with a helper to keep the tire from sliding around the rim when you're trying to take it off, and you avoid those smashed fingers. It costs $39.99 plus shipping/tax if you don't have a local store. You can sign up for e-mail advertisements and get up to 20% off coupons. (This looks exactly like the same one Northern Tools sells for $49.99.)

They also have a regular size tire changer for $49.99 that is good for the larger tractor and auto tires, and it even has an add-on for motorcycle tires. You will need some place you can bolt it down to concrete or wood or pour a small concrete pad to hold it when you're changing tires. It has an adjustable built in breaker and will handle tires with from 8 to 16 inch rims.

I have both and they're a real time and money saver.

Although liquid dishwashing soap is great for working with tires, you can find regular tire lubricant in stock at many automotive outlets or they can order it for you. It generally comes in gallon jugs. It rinses off better than detergent, doesn't corrode the rims and is still pretty cheap. It also makes removing the tire next time easier. A gallon of it will last forever and you won't get in hot water for using up the dishwashing soap. Most places also have the tire lub mops for getting the lub in the right place.

Runningbare
 

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ROJ
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murphys oil soap is good lube when putting the tire back on another wheel.we used it at a tire shop i worked at years ago and i use it now in my shop for changing tires.i have it in a thinner form about the same consistency as dish soap but we got it in buckets at the tire shop and it was thicker about the same consistency as bearing packing grease.we would also pack it between the rim and tire to help seal the tire,once the tire "beaded" with air we would scoop the thick soap back up and plop it back in the bucket.
 

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WD-40 works super for a lube also.

I use a Farmer's jack to break down the bead, just put the jack under my rear bumper of my truck and the foot of the jack on the bead, works like a charm. Works for all kinds of tires car, motorcycle, ATV and so on.
 

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If you dont have friends with the size and strenght of two mad gorillas, just take the tire to a local hardward or lawn service store. They will do it for about $5 per tire. Unless your an expert doing it with the right tools, it isnt worth the effort.
 

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I agree with dawgn86. In the heat of summer and having to change a flat tire too, that quick change out for $5 at the tire place looks pretty dang good.
 

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...knows the muffin man.
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks all! Great answers.

I would love to find a hardware or lawn place that would do it for $5. I'll check it out... then if all else fails... I may have to take a trip to Harbor Freight.
 

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the way i all ways break beads on everything from GT tires to my 38"s is a farm jack. I lay the tire under the bumper of my old jeep, set the base of the jack against the rim and start jacking doesn't take long and the bead is broke loose. to put em on i use a 4 foot crow bar to work the tire on and my right knee to hold it. the only tires I've ever had a hard time with are my 33x14-15 boggers, the bead is over an inch thick and makes em pretty tough to deal with certain tires.

THIS jack is what I have, most useful tool I've ever owned.

oh yeah, and if you need a REALLY slick lube, try that astroglide sex lube, some one suggested it for keeping squirrels from climbing bird feeders once, that has got to be the slickest stuff known to man. I use it changing dirt bike tires.
 

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im like you guys ; I love doing all the maintenance on my LT 1000, but the few times I had to get a tire fixed and after sweating like a rented mule, I found a hardware store that did them.
 

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Another way to break the bead is to put the tire on two concrete blocks and step on it. You put the blocks on each side of the tire, across from each other, right outside of the rim. when you step on the rim you should hear the "pop" of the bead breaking loose. Here is a crappy picture, but you get the idea of how it should be... (picture is an UNDERSIDE view) Be sure to take the valve out first.

 

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If your shop vise opens wide enough,you may be able to break tire beads loose with that also..

I used to run over car tires with my pickup to break the beads,but it can gouge up the asphalt ,and I ruined one sidewall on my truck tire doing it once too,the rim sliced it when the bead broke on the rim I was running over,it tends to tip upward as you drive over it slow,and using a plank doesn't always help..

I have a "manual" tire changer,but it broke,it can only break beads on smaller tires than car ones now,until I can possibly fix or find new parts for it..still works good on tractor tires though,so I'll keep it..
 

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...knows the muffin man.
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Discussion Starter #17
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone. I bought a $20.00 16x16.50 - 8 Carlisle from Walmart, popped my tire off and used a board on it and drove my truck up it on both sides to break the bead. After that, it was so loose it was easy to change.

~happily mowing along~
 

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Thanks all! Great answers.

I would love to find a hardware or lawn place that would do it for $5. I'll check it out... then if all else fails... I may have to take a trip to Harbor Freight.[/QUOTE\


HF is the king of junk tools but once in a while they have something of use. I just use small crow bars. They are not that sharp on the ends. Then again I have several dozen of them in all sizes. They do work well. You look large enough that you will have no problems chaing them. If they crack you need new tires. Small tires are simple to change. Just be careful.
 

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True, Harbor Freight does sell cheap tools, many made in China, but I have yet to break one. They're especially good for tools you don't use often so don't want to pay all outdoors for or tools that are going to be damaged in use.

As for the tire changers, I have had them for a couple of years, have changed many tires, and have had no problems. When tools break, it's many times the result of misuse, abuse or unreasonable expectations. It's like hooking a 3-bottom plow up to a lawn mower and expecting it to a good job for a long time.

Runningbare
 
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