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I have recently written a "How To" article for Lawn And Garden Tractor Magazine (one of the site sponsors) on how to construct and use a low cost tire changer for changing tires on smaller lawn and garden tractors such as you would find on a Bolens 1050. They have granted me permission to share the information with the members here by posting a brief description and showing how it works. If you would like to obtain a copy of the complete article please contact Lawn And Garden Tractor Magazine - their website is http://www.lagtmag.com

Please Note: This information is presented as is - use at your own risk. Please wear and use protective equipment such as gloves and eye protection when making and using this.

If you have struggled with removing and installing small tires on front wheels of lawn and garden tractor then this tool may save you some pinched fingers, time and a lot of frustration. The tire changer can be made from low cost items that you should be able to purchase at a hardware store or lumber yard - you may already have most of the items on hand. If you are changing quite a few tires I would recommend you purchase a factory built tire changer but if you are like me and only do one or two tires a year and cannot justify the expense then this tool should do the job.

Items Required

Common Sense - Do Not Try And Use This On large Full Size Wheels

Short lengths of 2x4's - make sure the two used for breaking the bead do not have any large knots or major imperfections

Short piece of 1" x 1/8" angle iron approximately

Threaded Rod - ½" or larger that will fit through hole in centre of wheel as well as a few large washers and nuts

¼" x 2 bolt and 2 ¼" nuts to remove and install tire

Two wood screws to secure angle iron to 2x4

Electric drill to make holes in angle iron and 2 x 4's, 2 pry bars or large flat screwdrivers to pry tire away from edge of rim, and some basic hand tools (3/4" wrench (or larger) to tighten nut, driver to install wood screws, vise grips to hold bottom nut).

The wheel used for the demonstration is off of a Bolens 1050 parts tractor and the tire has been on the wheel for a while. The one wall of the tire has actually split (as you can see in the first picture) and there is no valve stem in the wheel. For the purpose of this demonstration I will not be installing a new valve stem or cleaning up the rim and the tire that I put on the rim is used.

The first step would be to remove the valve core and release the air but since there is no valve stem we will move on to breaking the bead. I would recommend that you secure the bottom 2x4 to something solid - I used two saw horses and four screw nails but the 2x4 could be clamped as well.

Mount the wheel as shown in the second picture and positon the 2x4's so that they will apply pressure on the side wall of the tire when the nut is tightened.
 

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A Little Off Plumb
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Tighten the nut on the threaded rod until the top 2x4 is pulled down against the top of the rim. Use caution and check to make sure that the 2x4's are not cracking or breaking - the compressed rubber will contain a lot of potential energy the same as a compressed spring would have. Using a flat screwdriver or pry bar work your way around the rim prying the rubber down away from the rim. Wear gloves and work safely - the tire should start to move - you may have to go around the rim a couple of times but the bead should eventually break.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can then remove the wheel and turn it over to break the bead on the other side. I used two pry bars side by side on this side to get the tire to move as it was a little tougher but it did break and the best part was no sweat worked up, no bad words said and no fingers pinched.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Now that the bead was broke I removed the wheel and reinstalled it with the valve stem side up to remove the tire. On this wheel the rim is symmetrical and as a result it really doesn't matter which side the tire comes off - some rims will only allow you to remove the tire on one side. I chose the valve stem side as this would be the side that would normally be in when the wheel is installed on the tractor and so if the rim got scratched the scratches would be hidden. Here is where the angle iron, bolt, nuts and screws come into play - you can see how they are mounted on a 2x4 abut 30" long to make a tire remover bar in the first picture. Place the bolt under the inside of the tire and pry the tire up over the rim by dropping the other end of the 2x4 (push down on the other side of the tire at the same time so that it is down on the smaller part of the rim) and begin pulling the 2x4 towards you so that it rotates in a clockwise motion to roll the tire up over the edge of the rim - you may want to use some dish washer soap to lubricate the rubber. Continue until you roll the tire over the rim all the way around. In this case I had part of the wall removed when I completed this step.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now we can do the same thing to the inner wall of the tire and the tire will be off of the rim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here I would normally clean up the rim, paint it if necessary and install a new valve stem and begin to install a new tire. For this demonstration I did not clean up the rim or install a valve stem and the tire I am putting on is used. You will need to change the position of the bolt to the other hole in the angle iron to turn it into a tire installer as shown in the first picture. Lubricate the inside edge of the tire with dishwasher soap and place it on top of the rim. Position the 2x4 with the bolt as shown and pull on the other end of the 2x4 to rotate it in a clockwise motion so the bolt rolls the tire under the edge of the rim. As you get the tire on about half way keep the part of the tire under the rim down on the smaller part of the rim and continue until the inner part of the tire is on the rim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Now you can lubricate the other edge of the tire and install it - make sure you keep the installed part of the tire down on the smaller part of the rim once you get tire on a bit of the way. Once the tire is installed you can remove the bolt by turning the 2x4 a little bit as shown in the last picture.
 

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You may find the threaded rod bent a little bit from the force of removing and installing the tire. This will make getting the nut off difficult and if this is the case a few light taps with one of the 2x4's will straighten the threaded rod without damaging the threads. You can then remove the nut and the wheel from the threaded rod and if it had a valve stem you could inflate the tire. Hopefully you managed to accomplish all this without pinching your fingers, saying bad words and chasing the wheel all over the place while it and the tire laughed at you. As I stated in the first post this is a condensed version of the complete article which has detailed instructions on how to make and use the tire changer and suggestions on how to modify and improve it depending on your needs and budget - please contact Lawn And Garden Tractor Magazine http://www.lagtmag.com if you would like a copy of the complete article.
 

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I picked up a tire slide hammer used for truck tires several years ago at an auction. Was in a wheel borrow with a bunch of garden hose and other junk. Usually makes short work of breaking about any bead loose that my Manual Coats Tire change won't do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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A friend suggested using our excavator to break the beads loose. It works BUT I can't see the wheel in front of the blade and I crushed one rim. :mad2: Fortunately I was able to straighten it out in the press.

Put the blade down on one side of the wheel and push down on the tire next to the rim with the bucket on the other side. It works but I don't think my friend had an 8" wheel in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just tried 29 Chev method. After 2 hours, and 2 tires, not one has broke the bead. Guess I'm going to the tire shop.
Sorry to hear that it did not work for you - I have used this method on several tires and had good sucess. Just wanted to check and make sure you had the two 2x4's that were cross wise right next to the edge of the rim as they are shown in the first two pictures - If they were away from the rim further they may not have put as much pressure on the side wall of the tire. The way that I did mine was I started with a medium size srewdriver as shown in the third picture next to where the 2x4 was and then worked my way around the front and back twisting the screwdriver a little bit to walk the tire away from the edge of the rim. The I used a larger flat srewdriver using the same method and worked the tire away from the edge of the rim as shown in the last picture. Then I went to the larger pry bar to move the tire further away from the edge untile the bead broke. As someone else mentioned a bit of WD40 might help the rubber slide on the rim. Another suggestion that might help would to be to use two short 2x4's at each side (one on top of the other) to get more side motion on the tire before the top 2x4 contacts the rim - I would suggest that they be held to the top 2x4 with wood screws so they don't move - spacer them so they are about 1/16" wider than the diameter of the rim (so they just clear the rim and are centred in relation to the hole where the threaded rod is.
 

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