View Full Version : Tire Changing - Tire Irons

Gary Pope
04-01-2003, 10:34 AM
Does anyone change their own tires with tire irons? is it worth while?
I remember my dad used to do it years ago with some degree of difficulty. But with modern tires with tight beads etc, is it easy or difficult?
Are there any particular tire iron that is better for the job.

Thanks ..

04-01-2003, 11:07 AM
I can get a tire changed at a local gas station, which amazingly enough still has a mechanic, for $2.50. not a chance I'd try to do it myself, even to save $20. I would like to find an old bubble balancer to balance wires on though

04-01-2003, 03:10 PM
Hello Gary,
The real problem in changing tyres is breaking the bead from the wheel rim, once that is accomplished, the rest is easy, particularly with radial tyres. (cross ply walls are much stiffer).
I would reckon on no more than a minute to remove a tyre from a rim once the bead is broken. But, and it is a big but, breaking the bead is nigh on impossible without the correct gear.
Alec graemlins/cheers.gif

04-01-2003, 03:59 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Gary Pope:
[QB]Does anyone change their own tires with tire irons? is it worth while?

If I knew where I'd put them, you could have mine. I gave up, too much sweat, too much blood.

Once, tire shops had notices that they were not responsible for damaged alloy wheels, so I did my own. No more such disclaimers, so I don't do my own mounting anymore.

04-01-2003, 05:23 PM
Aloha Gary,

I've been changing my tires with tire irons for about 25 years. Abinbton Spares has a pair of "dunlpop tire levers" for about $20 in the tools section of their catalog. I think thats were I bought mine. It is not a difficult job, but sometimes requires patience. I agree with Alec that breaking the bead is generally the most difficult problem, however with soapy water or Armoral as a lubricant I've always been sucessful. I started doing this because many tire changing machines use a peg to engage a lug hole on the wheel to keep the wheel from turning on the machine. With wire spoke wheels, this peg engenges a spoke(s) and usually bends them, affecting the tune and true of the wheel.

Chuck, Harbor Freight often has bubble tire balancers listed in there catalog. I haven't bought on yet, but I've often thought about. Freight is a real concern.

Safety Fast,

04-01-2003, 06:34 PM
Like Dave and Alec, I'm also a dedicated "tire iron" guy. My first streeet legal car was a wire wheel MGA (in '67) and tire machines were not an option (as Dave explained).

My tire irons are about 30 years old, so I'm not sure what brand they are.

I've hand-changed the tires on all my present cars (including the 2000 Miata and the 16.5" tires on my 1 ton StepVan)). Lots of soapy water and patience helps.

You also need to approach the tire from the correct side of the "drop-center".......sometimes a "tire-jockey" with a machine won't worry about this, resulting in a tear on the bead.

I have a bubble balancer form Northern Tool (similar to Harbor Freight)...costs about $60 (USD) and does a decent job. I also have access to a computer balancer, which I use on occasion.

Gary Pope
04-02-2003, 05:13 PM
Looks like we have split opinions on this one ..
Hmmm ... graemlins/computer.gif