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Thread: "Old school" tire mounting/balancing: Anyone here have experience?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    "Old school" tire mounting/balancing: Anyone here have experience?

    So it just ticks me off having to go to a tire shop to have tires I already have mounted and balanced, often to the tune of $100+. Our friends at Harbor Freight Tools offer low cost options for doing both.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/manual-...ger-69686.html

    http://www.harborfreight.com/portabl...cer-39741.html

    Before the advent of the big, heavy, expensive pro-grade tire-changing machines and digital spin-balancers used by shops, this is how tire installation and balancing was done. Well, tires are still round, and still rubber. I figure the wheels and tires on the Mirage are small enough that using these old-tech methods and a little elbow grease might be worth the meager investment.

    Thoughts? Anyone here have experience doing this?

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    Senior Member Charlie's Avatar
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    I was definitely looking into getting those things for when my tires needed changing! Alas, my car getting totaled before 30K miles changed this.

    Apparently, dynamic balancing such that is done with the 'real' machines is superior to the static balancing that would be attained with the machine you posted the link for. However, anything you can do yourself and not have to go to a shop for is worth it in my book.

    Only thing may be that the tires don't last as long with the static balancing vs dynamic way. I'm hoping that it's not a huge difference b/c I'm still interested in getting those things.

    Go for it and let us now how it goes!

    -Charlie-

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    Senior Member MightyMirageMpg's Avatar
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    My neighbor has the tire changer. I got him a really heavy duty pallet and mounted it down on it. Neither one of us were able to successfully remove a Jeep tire. He's 6'7" and just big, and i work out and am in decent shape, too. It's not easy labor.

    I watched him swap a tire around (smaller, normal size) for a car though, and it looked mildly difficult but do-able. It sounds great in theory, and maybe for smaller tires it's easy, but don't expect to do anything major unless you have the ability to turn green!! Go for it!

    Never seen the balancer in action but I think hehas it too. be interested to know how functional it is.

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    Member daleWV's Avatar
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    I have both of those items and used them to mount and balance winter tires for my Mirage. I didn't have any difficulties and the tires seemed to be well balanced, I haven't noticed any vibrations or shaking. Don't forget you'll need an air compressor or source of air, and balancing weights too. The tire changer device should really be mounted to your garage floor although some people have had success mounting it to a wooden pallet. A couple of tire irons come in really handy too.

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    Senior Member Cani Lupine's Avatar
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    I don't have any experience with the old school method (aside from bike tires), but I have mounted/balanced countless tires on professional shop equipment. I do like Hunter's RoadForce balancer. While it can be a pain to use, it actually simulates the weight of the car on a drum and checks for roundness issues in the tire, and will instruct you to remount the tire until it gets it in right.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 49.2 mpg (US) ... 20.9 km/L ... 4.8 L/100 km ... 59.1 mpg (Imp)


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    Don't have a mirage, but have 5 cars I do my own tires with, 3 with 195-65-15, 205-60-16 and 225-60-16 with the HF machine. I balance using counteract balance beads. Counteract beads and filtered cores are available at ebay or Orielys. I did have to reinforce the shackle like part that is used to break the beads, but if I was more careful and patient it probably would have been OK.

    On my car's with TPMS sensors attached to the valve stem I have had better luck adding 1 oz of stick on lead opposite side of the wheel. There's been a discussion of on ecomodder.

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    Uber Mirage alex16's Avatar
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    I've mounted and balanced 100s of tires. From 13" to 20". I've used coats 40-40a coats swing arm and other brands of tire mounting machines.

    I recently purchased a hf tire mounter. I used it and it's poor at best. I can remove and mount tires with it but it's very difficult. Breaking the bead is very hard at times, there's how to videos on how to weld extra plates to help make it better. Removing a broken bead tire is easy, I ended up driving a heavy car on the tires to break the bead (note mirage will not break the bead... It's too light)

    Installing a new tire isn't too difficult but it's also a challenge. I resorted to using two pry bars to work the tire over the lip.

    Not worth $30 I paid for it.

    I am saving for a coats 40-40a which can be found for $300-500 on Craigslist. I also want a balancer.
    2014 ES F5MBD aka 5MT. I am a full time Uber driver, if you want to drive for uber DO not sign up without my referral code for a bonus .

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2014 Mirage ES 1.2 manual: 44.8 mpg (US) ... 19.1 km/L ... 5.2 L/100 km ... 53.9 mpg (Imp)


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    Lol the freight harbor tool will do the job, but it will scretch and leave paint marks on your rims. If you want to avoid it you'd need to buy No-Mar bar which is another $120. And you need to anchor it to garage floor property, otherwise it will not work.

    I have looked at this for motorcycle tire, which need to be changed mich more often, but then $20 set of tire spoons and a couple of shields cut out of milk gallon jars will do the same. I have also used 2x4 and zip-tie method (look it up on YouTube) with varioing degree of success, not sure if it will work on car tires.

    But this is for motorcycle where they charge $40 to mount tire and you need it every 5-12,000mi. And rim is shallow so simple balance will do. For car tires it doesn't make sense, many places do it for free with purchase, and Costco will mount and balance tire for $15, even if you bring your own good luck.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 46.4 mpg (US) ... 19.7 km/L ... 5.1 L/100 km ... 55.7 mpg (Imp)


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    Senior Member Cobrajet's Avatar
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    Well, I got the stuff. To me, it is worth $130 just to try it. The consensus here about doing this is the same as....well, everywhere else. From 'works great' to 'waste of time'.

    The big thing with the changer seems to be making sure it is mounted very solidly. Like, to concrete. I am going to mount it on my garage floor with drop-in concrete anchors, which should allow me to really lean into it. That way I can use it, unbolt it, and put it away. I have seen people mount lumber to the 'legs' or bolt them onto shipping pallets, but I think this is the way to go.

    With the balancer, it seems to be important to get it zeroed right...and take your time. I have read that dynamic balancing, while great, isn't necessary about 90% of the time. And we all know that if it's on the internet, it MUST be true! :lol

    Our Mirages are city cars anyway, and never go over 50 mph. I'd do this on them and my old '78 Ford truck, but for the Benz and the BMW I will hit the tire shop...unless I become really confident and comfortable with this process.

    I will report back.

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  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cobrajet View Post
    Our Mirages are city cars anyway, and never go over 50 mph. I'd do this on them and my old '78 Ford truck, but for the Benz and the BMW I will hit the tire shop...unless I become really confident and comfortable with this process.

    I will report back.
    As I said I considered this for MC, but the zip-tie or spoons work good enough. I do have the MC tire balancer, the bearing type and no issues to 100mph (don't care much above).

    Try to fashion some kind of shield from milk gallon or hard pvc tubing to avoid scretching rims good luck.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Mirage DE 1.2 manual: 46.4 mpg (US) ... 19.7 km/L ... 5.1 L/100 km ... 55.7 mpg (Imp)


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