Have You Ever Tried To Get A Tire Off Of A Rim?

If you have, you will understand.

If you haven’t, you haven’t really lived yet.  It’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

They can be a real sonofabitch.

This is why tire machines were invented.


25 thoughts on “Have You Ever Tried To Get A Tire Off Of A Rim?

  1. Yeah, I did it with hand tools once. Getting another one on and filled was quite a trick. This was long before I saw the flammable aerosol trick.


      • I can remember beating on one for a half hour and couldn’t get the bead to break.
        I got pissed off and rolled it out next to my truck and , very carefully, drove up onto the side of the tire. Even that didn’t do it the first try but I finally got that dirty bastard broke loose.


        • “LUBE”
          It ain’t just for sex.
          Best lube I ever used is furniture polish.
          A good breakdown tool/wedge, a 30″ tire bar, a 10# marteau and a smooth tire spoon are essential for changing tires.
          I recall changing a bunch of the old two and three piece, 10.00-20 tires.
          After I fixed four or five, I pushed the next one away and let it fall on the floor.
          When it hit, the lock ring blew off and put a 3″ deep dent in the metal ceiling of the shop.
          My lucky day, I guess.


        • Had a 63 Ford F-100 way back, that’s how I did it. Laid the tire flat on the ground and used a second vehicle to drive up on it and pop the bead. Then carefully remove the inner tube, grease up the rim and then work the old tire off and new tire on. Had skinny highway tires on front, skinny mudgrips on back. Re-seating the bead was as simple as airing up the inner tube. Then drive around for a day or two to see how bad it shook to decide whether I needed to get the tires balanced. As slow and sloppy as that truck drove, usually didn’t bother. Wish I had it now. Repair kit was duct tape, bailing wire, Jack Daniels and a hammer, could fix anything that broke.


  2. Knew a guy back in Maine, had a divot in his forehead the length and width of a grown man’s middle finger. Lost his grip peeling a tire off a rim in the 50’s. Dad said he got knocked out, came to in about 10 minutes, and went back to work. ” knocked the sense right out him”


  3. Damn, I just changed out an inner tube on my wheelbarrow. I always remove
    a tire to inspect the tire for a complete inspection. The top bead broke easily,
    but this 8-inch tire was as stiff as sailors dick after 8-months at sea. Sometimes
    the little ones can be a bitch!

    PS It is as cold as witches titty out here in Burnt Scrotum CA, so that may
    account for it.


  4. The three worst I’ve ever done by hand , off the top of my head:

    A pair of E load range 235/85R16’s – absolutely refused to break the bead, then could not get the inch thick sidewall over the rim. Ended up cutting the bead with a sawzall.
    8.00 – 14.5 trailer tire. No center in the rim to use on the Coats. Sidewalls stiff as hell. Then it refused to bead up. Took a racthet strap, a three pound hammer, and a shot of ether to finally seat it.
    I forget the size, but the tire on a Knight / Khun manure spreader. It was an absolute bitch.

    That is why I bought a rim clamp tire machine last year. I’m getting too old to be humped over doing that crap!

    Whitehall, NY


  5. Done it on tractor tires.
    Even more fun is trying to re-inflate them without using ether.
    -vasaline and industrial cargo strength ratchet straps will work. Eventually.


  6. There’s a right way, a wrong way, an easy way, and a hard way (never mind the army way).

    It takes true genius to do it the wrong, hard way but I’ve been known to give it a shot anyway.


  7. “How to turn yourself into a Soprano in one easy lesson!”

    Except for really small tires, I’ve never had to do any major tire changes myself – that’s what Les Schwab is for! Now that I have a Motor Coach, ol’ Les is even more in demand.


  8. I change all my tires with hand tire spoons I made myself based on what the tire guys use for big rig bud wheels. Made mine 3 1/2 ft long. Use 3, and a soft dead blow hammer. Tire change lube is a great product, makes life real easy. I Road raced for 20 years, ended up learning out of necessity. Once you get the trick it’s super easy.
    One thing makes it easy is in winter I put them next to the wood stove to get nice and warm, or in the hot sun in warm weather, they slip on pretty easy of they are relatively warm.
    Another trick if you have a bead stuck on the rim is to use 2 pieces of 2×4, or anything really, you use as a lever and push rod, using the step bumper on your pick-up to anchor one end of your lever. Works real slick, 2×4’s are just the right size to make the bead break loose. Another nifty tool is a 4×4 wood frame, about 2 ft a side, with heavy carpet covering the 4×4’s. Gets your tire off the floor, much easier to slam the first bead right on without tools, or put you foot on the rim and yank the last bead right off without tools giving the tire a good hard quick reef.
    If I get a bead that won’t catch on the rim when inflating, like with a new set, I use a short spritz of ether starting fluid, great stuff for o many things, or propane, like half a second or less, it don’t take much, you can make a dandy bomb if you over do it, stand back a few feet and throw a just lit strike anywhere match at the gap, poof-pop! Tire nice and seated. Be sure to stand looking at the tread with the tire upright, NOT, from the sidewall side when you throw the match.


  9. Worst one I remember was an old tractor tire roughly 6 foot in diameter, calcium fluid filled and at least 5 years with no servicing.
    Slide hammer, 3 or 4 spoons, a ton of sweat and many new phrases.
    Rusty old rim was almost done but the owner didn’t have a spare.
    After that, a split rim and no cage was a piece of cake.


  10. I would like to know if the fellow in the video had words with the fellow who was recording his frustrations instead of helping him.

    For DC-3 wheels our shop had a pair of slide hammers that were about 6 ft long with a 20lb (I’m guesstimating) weight that were used to break the bead. Now the wheel shop has a press, you put the wheel on the platter, center the adapter ring on the bead and push the button to make the hydraulics do the work. The press is not there to make life easier for the mechanic, it’s there to prevent the expensive rim ($25,000US and up for each half) from being damaged.

    Here’s a bunch of beadbreakers, in case someone wants to weld one up for himself.



  11. Used to use a handyman jack to break beads. Push the base of the jack up into the rim on the tire, then start jacking up the bumper. Never had it not work. Except that vehicles now days aren’t made so you can use a bumper jack on them.


  12. First job was in a small fleet shop / gas station working for a frugal man. Didn’t realize how much exercise I got doing a set of 8 drive tires on a tractor by hand until I stopped doing it and started sitting at a desk more.

    If the guy in the video would have stood the tire up and used the weight of the wheel and tire to do the work he’d have been a lot better off.


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