tire mounting (was home garage compressor)

Dan Cordon cord4530 at uidaho.edu
Mon Apr 21 00:56:17 EDT 2003

> Does the Harbor Freight stuff work?
I have one of those manual tire changers. Here's a few pointers for

-It needs to be bolted to something hefty. Preferably a concrete slab. I
built a longer leg I can drive a car on to, but it's barely enough.

-For regular car tires it's okay. Anything under 50 series, or over 31"
(truck tires) and it won't work great. Also, the metal bar rubs across
the front edge of the rim. You'll want to make something to protect your
rim, or just not mount on nice rims. I've used it on a lot of steel
wheels and it's just fine though. Dismounting some 195-50's on  older
alloys it chipped off the clear coat around the edge.

-Tire service prices vary a lot from region to region. Here in Idaho,
local shops charge about $11/tire to dismount, mount, and balance. After
buying my setup I found that local shops only charge around $1 to
dismount or mount, and $9/tire to balance. However, I know many regions
charge an arm and leg to mount tires that you don't buy there (or even
if you do sometimes!). I've heard people with Land Cruisers (other
hobby) paying up to $45 to dismount, mount and balance each tire!

In short, find out how much it costs locally to dismount, mount, and
balance, then see how much to just balance. At that point you can decide
if you'll do enough work to justify the the $50 machine.

Dan Cordon
Mechanical Engineer - Engine Research Facility
University of Idaho

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