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JCM

Harbor Freight Mini Tire Changer

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JCM

Having 5 WH working tractors I feel it is time to invest in a tire changer instead of bringing it somewhere to have it done.Today i removed the chains & weights on the 520-H because of a slow leak,I can;t complain because the tractor has 792 hours and the tires have not given me any trouble so far. I think the right thing to do would be to put a tube in it and keep on keeping on.Is there a certain model # for the tire changer or do they sell only 1 model. Also, is there a regular tube and a HD tube available or only 1 to choose from,and where is the best place to purchase a tube from,dealer?    Thanks.

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ebinmaine

Trina bought us a Harbor Freight manual tire changer. The larger one that will do full-size tires. I don't know if the mini tire changer will handle a 12" rim.

The larger tire changer will break the bead on smaller rims for you and then you have to go the old-fashioned way to remove the tire from the rim with large screwdrivers or whatever.

One trick I have seen but have not yet tried is to buy a large 3/4 inch bolt and lock it in a vise as your mini tire changer.

The best piece of advice I can give on that full-size tire changer is to bolt it directly through a floor joist or even to the concrete before you even start to use it.

HF normally sells a couple different model numbers of many of their items.

Best thing to do is check the reviews in the flyer or online and see if one is better than the other.

There were two available when she bought this one and they were basically identical except for that very model number.

 

As far as tubes go I think you'll find the quality to be reasonably similar across the board and that they are probably almost all imported now.

I don't know that I would spend the extra money for a tube at a dealer when you can probably get a two-for-one ratio online.

 

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JCM

Hey Eric thanks for the reply, I just went on the HF website and they have a mini tire changer that does up to 12'' rims made by Pittsburgh Automotive for $ 44.99 SKU #61179, may wait for someone  to chime in that may have one and their comments ?

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953 nut

I have a sturdy work bench attached to the wall and have a long piece of 3/4" all thread rod through the top of the bench. I use the large tire changer like Eric was talking about to break the bead. Once both sides are broken down the rim slides down over the all thread and a washer and nut secure it in place. Two tire irons (one on each side of the all thread) pulled toward each other will remove the tire with ease.

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jabelman

the mini changer is a bear with 12" rims, it's alot of strain on the cheap Chinese metal.  keep in mind it's a 40 a dollar changer.  buy a bunch of cheap dish soap.  I did a bunch of 6 and 8 front rims over the past winter.  I went tubeless, I painted the inside rims with rustoleum new valve stems all are holding up just fine.

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elcamino/wheelhorse

Don't buy the mini tire changer for the 12 inch rims. It does ok for the 6 inch rims . Trying to break the bead on larger size rims with tires that have been on for a long time is impossible. The mini changer will bend and the tire will be laughing at you . Voice of experience . I have floor model and it works great.

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formariz
Posted (edited)

I had the small tire changer for a while and it works well for me on the 12" rims. The secret to it, is attachment to whatever you are using on . It has to completely be firm on what ever you have it on which is hard. Because of its size it is convenient to put it on a table or something of that height. Usually that something is not sturdy enough. A very convenient way that I tried once after seeing another one is to make an adapter to a rear hitch on a tractor. When you need it just place it in the hitch . Sturdy enough and you can just remove it after. Perfect height and good access around it. No dedicated area to it. Let me see if I find a photo of it.

Here it is:

 

Edited by formariz
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roadapples

IMO better than nothing, but leaves a lot to be desired...

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OILUJ52

I have a Bishman tire machine, I have the harbor freight mini tire changer. and I have a 2 x 6 five foot long that I use my truck to back up in an break the beads.

I end up a lot of times using the small changer to put the tires on and off. The tool provided is handy.  I have a 24 inch high steel work bench with a 6 inch vise that holds the mini changer.

There are a lot of tricks, especially on the small tires 6 inch in particular. Usually popping the first bead over the rim goes pretty smooth. (I only lube the half of the tire that is going over the rim edge last) The other dry side helps grip the rim and deters the tire from rotating when working the tool around the rim on the back side. On these smaller tires the tool can be to thick and will interfere with the tire going over the rim. At that point I wiggle it back out and use the domed piece provided with the kit on the top under the nut. This  provides leverage with the tool. I will let the tool ride up on the top of the tire bead while applying lever to push it down. I will work both sides left and right till it goes over. Clear as mud.

I know if I had to change those small tires for a living I would starve to death!

After a couple two three you will be a pro. I should have made a video last time but never thought about it till afterward.

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Achto
Posted (edited)

Never used the mini changer, I have the HF floor mount model. I have used it as a bead breaker for small rims and then used tire irons/spoons to get the tire off of the rim. As far as the floor mount model, I've used it for 12"  GT rims - 16" skid loader tires. I've had no problem with it, but it sure is not a professional pneumatic tire changer so don't expect it to be one.

Edited by Achto
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wallfish

Floor model for the 12" rims and the mini for the smaller fronts is my preferred method

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mmmmmdonuts

I have the big HF tire changer and bolted it to a pallet. Works great this way. The 12" is about as small as a tire it works on. It works great for breaking beads on all sizes though. For the front tires and rear I bought motorcycle spoons. This has helped my tire changing experience more than anything else. 

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cleat

I have swapped a lot of 12" tires out with the mini-changer and it works fine.

 

Most of mine are the deep ones from the 520 as well.

 

Biggest issue is keeping the wheel from rotating in the changer as it lacks any way to lock the wheel in place.

 

 

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pfrederi

I have had the HF mini for over 20 years.  Did 12 Inch on it but then got the bigger HF as I have a lot of tires and some big tractor front tires to deal with.  Just took the old mini up to my brothers to do a 24x12x12  on his zero turn.  I used my slide hammer to break the bead..

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ZXT
On 4/30/2019 at 3:35 PM, pfrederi said:

I have had the HF mini for over 20 years.  Did 12 Inch on it but then got the bigger HF as I have a lot of tires and some big tractor front tires to deal with.  Just took the old mini up to my brothers to do a 24x12x12  on his zero turn.  I used my slide hammer to break the bead..

 

How did you use a slide hammer to break the bead? Trying to visualize that in my head and it doesn't make much sense.

 

I have a big old bead breaker that does fine with wheels that have a large enough center hole in them, but for say the 8" wheels on the front of a WH, i've always used a high-lift jack and the bumper of a truck.. Lacks some to be desired, but it's never failed me.

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Lee1977
On 6/3/2019 at 11:30 PM, ZXT said:

 

How did you use a slide hammer to break the bead? Trying to visualize that in my head and it doesn't make much sense.

 

I have a big old bead breaker that does fine with wheels that have a large enough center hole in them, but for say the 8" wheels on the front of a WH, i've always used a high-lift jack and the bumper of a truck.. Lacks some to be desired, but it's never failed me.

I use a simular method to brake beads and have had one i could not get loose. It was a 8" two ply that had been glued on. I cut the tire off and cut the bead with a side grinder. was also hard to to sand the glue off the rim.  

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pfrederi
39 minutes ago, Lee1977 said:

I use a simular method to brake beads and have had one i could not get loose. It was a 8" two ply that had been glued on. I cut the tire off and cut the bead with a side grinder. was also hard to to sand the glue off the rim.  

 

 

I use one like this

bead.JPG

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ZXT
5 hours ago, Lee1977 said:

I use a simular method to brake beads and have had one i could not get loose. It was a 8" two ply that had been glued on. I cut the tire off and cut the bead with a side grinder. was also hard to to sand the glue off the rim.  

Yep - I've seen that goop used on automotive tires that wouldn't seal on the bead. Had a tire shop do that to me on a brand new tire once. The wheel was perfect but there was a defect in the bead. Needless to say, that didn't fly with me and they put another new tire on it.. and cleaned the wheel everywhere that it was stuck on! 

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ohiofarmer

  I did  about 40 tires front and back completely de-rusting and painting the rims as my big project two years ago. The things are easy enough to change with tire spoons--if you can get them broken free.  The sidewalls are rather thin and flexible and most bead breakers just slide off [for me anyway]

 

 What i do that works most of the time is pinch them in a big vise and then add heat to the rim if needed, Propane torch just to the point it is almost smoking and not catching stuff on fire. I also use vegetable oil to help out.  When the mother of All Stuck on Tires shows up, i just get out my 4x6 that is cut to about a 20 degree bevel and place it beveled point  against the bead. The 4x6 is about 3 to 4 feet long. i drive my truck up the 4x6 and then flip the tire over to do the other side. It has worked 100% of the time, but of course it is hard on tires. Even at that all of them so far work with tubes in them.

 

    Oh, and if you have a back hoe and the skills to run it, there is nothing easier to break beads with:bow-blue:

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