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Mounting/dismounting tires yourself

So my ol '78 F250 has the original 16.5" wheels. I may eventually switch to 16 or 17" wheels, but the tires still have lots of life in them, so I’m trying to work with what I have for another two or three years. I’m wanting to refurbish these wheels, partly for aesthetics, and partly because two of them suffer severe pressure loss in the winter. In the summer they all hold pressure just fine, but once the temp drops below 40 or so, those two wheels can lose 15+ psi overnight. I’ll reinflate them, then the next day, bam they’re low again.
I’m assuming it has something to do with “shrinkage”, either of the ancient original valve stems, or of the shallow bead these .5"ers have.

I’ve got new heavy duty metal valve stems ready to put in, and I’m gonna sand and paint the wheels and then apply some bead sealer on the tire/rim when I remount them. I’m hoping that’ll stop or at least minimize the winter pressure loss.

My question is, how hard are these tires going to be to take off the wheel? From what I’ve read, because of the shallow bead, they’re actually a lot easier to dismount than regular tires. But how easy is easier? I don’t want to damage the bead or the rim, so I’m contemplating buying a tire spoon, or possibly going to tractor supply and getting one of those cheap DIY tire changers if necessary.

If any of you have done it before, I’d like to have your thoughts on it. What would be the best/easiest way? OUTSIDE of driving to a tire shop and having them do it- as the only vehicle I have that could haul all those tires/wheels at once is currently WEARING those tires and wheels.

Your idea of removing all four tires and sanding and painting plus putting them back at home could be a weekend project and still not solve your problem.
I would suggest having a good tire shop check all the tires and rims to determine if the air lose is tire or rim. After that you can paint the wheels on the truck ( I did on a MBG GT once and they looked OK ) until you are ready to replace them. Certainly cheaper than buying a tire changer that you may only use one time.

At the very least you want a manual tire changer.

With one of these you can dismount and remount the tires.

But it needs to be affixed to something. Such a pallet shown in the video or bolted to a concrete floor.

I have one of these. And it’s a whole lot easier changing tires with it than using spoons and hammers.

Especially when mounting the tires.

What are you planning to do to balance the tires?



I’ll get right to the point

How old are these tires ?!

Are you able to decipher the tire’s date code(s) ?

If they’re ancient, it doesn’t matter how much tread depth you still have :tongue:

Here’s a rather simple way of determining if the tires or valve stems are the problem . . . the results aren’t 100% accurate, but better than nothing

Inflate the tires to the correct pressure

Spray any suspect areas . . . especially the valve stems . . . with WD40 or some other penetrating oil

If bubbles start to form, you’ve found a leak

You could also put the tires in a tire tank, and look for bubbles . . . but I doubt you have one

I once tried to get a car tire off a rim without a tire changer just to see if I could do it. I failed. Dismally. Didn’t even come close.

Volvo & db: I did take the truck back to the tire shop where I bought the tires a couple years ago and explained the issue. They dismounted the wheels in question, put them under water to check for leaks- found nothing; dismounted the tires and inspected them- found nothing, and took a wire brush to the inside of the rims to clear any debris.
I knew they weren’t going to find anything because by that time the tires and wheels and ambient temp were warmer than the point wherein they usually leak.

Tester: As for the balancing, I was planning on marking the tire and wheel where the weights are so I knew where they went. Taking into account I’d have to move the mark from the outside of the rim to the inside as I painted each side.

And ya, that was the tire changer I was looking at getting…if I needed to. Way easier with that eh? I’ve got a couple pallets layin’ around.

The tires are two years old. Not old. However the valve stems look to be original to the rims.

If you have been putting up with this for a couple of years why not just replace them now and remove a stress item from your life?

Every shop in my area replaces the valves with every tire change. However, if the rim is rusty it can be tough to get a good seal on the bead and/or the valve stem. Rust can even cause a loss of air due to porosity.


That’s what I do.

Mark the tire to the weight so the balance remains like when installing a patch for a leak.

Just make sure when dismounting and remounting the tire that weight location isn’t disturbed.



If the shop mounted new tires on the rims, but reused the old valve stems, then they’re not very professional, IMO

By reusing the old valve stems, they pretty much guaranteed future problems

I agree with the others . . . this would be a good project for you in your spare time

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Sometimes With Old Stems One Can Just Wiggle Them While Putting Air In The Tires And They’ll Just Break Off From Rot. Not To Mention There Was An Era Of Lots Of Defective Valve Stems Being Installed In Lots Of Vehicles. Those Puppies Could Be Leaking.

Just have a shop do it for heaven’s sake. The most I’ve ever done is a trailer tire. Getting them off and on again is one thing, but trying to expand the bead to seal again is something else again.
Until you can get the bead expanded, it won’t hold enough air to pop the bead back in. Bad idea. Yeah sure some people use lighter fluid and create an explosion to blow the bead back in place but who needs the hassle?

I go with Bing. This might be a good project for someone with another vehicle to use if something goes wrong but the OP doesn’t.

If the OP wants to do it themselves, I say good for them. But remember that the rim balance weights compensate both for variations in the rim and the tire. As a first guess putting the weights back on the rim in the same position is a good start. But you may still need some add’l balance adjustment due to the differences in the tires. Also, new tires often come w/marks on them showing where the valve stem point on the rim is supposed to align with the mark on the tire.

Volvo: Because I don’t feel like spending $1000+ dollars on rims and tires to replace relatively new $750 ten-ply tires that are, for approx. 9 months out of the year, perfectly fine. Luckily I live in a warm climate.

And I do have another vehicle- 1999 Honda Accord- which is my daily driver. So defaulting to the tire shop in case of my failure to succeed IS an option. I just don’t want to have to stick giant truck tires and rims in/on my pretty, minty, smally, Honda Accord. Obviously it would be multiple trips in any case. Sorry if I was unclear on that point in my initial post. I see how it can be read that way.

Mtnbk & db: Ya, I was surprised they didn’t replace the valve stems. They always have on every other vehicle I brought them. For some reason, on this truck, they didn’t. Even when I brought it back to them. I didn’t make a case of it because at the time I liked the super-solid look and feel of the originals. They’re clamp-on metal w/ the nut on the outside. I’ve only ever seen the shop install the snap-in variety.

Of course all of this is a case of Hindsight = 20/20. If I knew back when i got the tires that the bead for .5" tires was prone to sealing problems, I’d have gotten new 16" rims then. If I had known the rubber seal surrounding even heavy duty metal valve stems could be problematic over time, I would have insisted on new ones then.

I’ve learned a lot about tires and wheels because of this. And maybe some poor guy eyeballing an all original 30+yr old F-series will read this and learn before it’s too late for him.

But I’m looking to the future for the time being, and looking to, as db suggested, make a project out of this. I don’t want to involve the tire shop if I don’t have to, because as I’ve learned from this and many other occasions, if you want something done right, do it yourself. So I can take my time sanding and painting. So I know the new stems will be torqued right. So I know the bead sealer will be applied thoroughly and correctly.

I just want to go into this with as much knowledge about the actual act of mounting/dismounting tires as possible, hence I came here to hear what people knew about mounting/dismounting.

Bing: You bring up a good point about seating/inflating. I understand it can be difficult. But not impossible. And I’m inclined to give it a go. I do have a 5 gal./ 150psi air compressor, and I’ve read of people reseating a bead with the same or smaller.

George: Thanks for those tips. I’m going to mark both rim AND tire relation to the weights, as I’m not swapping tires with rims but keeping them with their original pairing, I imagine I should be ok on that front. Worse comes to worse I can always limp the truck over to the tire shop for new balancing once everything has been remounted.

Tester: Thanks for the tip on the manual tire changer! From what I gather they sell the cheap variety at Tractor Supply. Maybe not the best quality, but so long as it can get me through these four tires I’ll be happy. Then I guess I can toss it up on craigslist (free pallet mount included!) and get some of the cash back.

Thanks to everyone for all the replies! I’d forgotten just how active a forum this is.

Ok, you are keeping the same tires and rims, so that should work. If I had to remove a tire from the rim and didn’t have access to tire changing machine … hmmm … I think what I’d try as my first experiment is secure some good thick angle iron , like from an old bed frame maybe, drill some matching holes in a pair of those rails, and use some sturdy bolts and nuts positioned like bread on a sandwich, to tighten the bolts and slowly compress the tire enough so the bead pops off the rim. Whether that would work or not, it’s anybody’s guess … lol …

Ten ply tires? Ow. Those will be a load doing it by hand. When I was a punk back in high school a century ago I worked in a gas station and all of the tire breakdowns were done by hand on a manual tire machine. Passenger car tires were not too bad but the heavier truck tires were a royal pain in the axx.
By the time I would finish with one I felt like I had been in the ring for 20 minutes with a WWE wrestler.

It was worse than changing a tire on the ground with 2 tire spoons and a piece of 2 x 8.

Got a bead seating belt?

IMOO you will be beating a dead horse. After all your effort more than likely it will be for naught. But if you are successful I am sure in hindsight you will say it was not worth the effort.