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Have you ever wondered if you can change your own tractor tires?
Or, do you already change your own tires and wonder if there is an easier way to do it?
The answer is YES and YES.
You can take your tires to the shop and let them do it for you, but that means accommodating their schedule, not yours. And if you like to do your own work, what’s the sense in paying someone else when you can do it yourself, when you want and where you want?

Here is a list of tools that you need to change tires:
1. Valve stem core tool


2. Bead Breaker


3. Tire mount lube or soapy water.


4. Tire spoons. Some folks use screwdrivers or pry bars, but these don’t really work as well. And can damage your rim


Here are the 6 steps to changing a tire:
1. Remove the valve stem core.
This will ensure there is no pressure in the tire while you are trying collapse it.

2. Break the tire bead.
This is usually the most difficult step in the process. Depending the type of rims, tires and how long the tire has been on the rim, breaking the bead can be VERY difficult. Old tractor tires seem to become 'welded' to the rim. There are several ways to break the bead. Some DIY methods include putting a 2x10 on the side wall and driving over it with a truck, or using a loader bucket to apply force on the side wall.

These methods can be effective if it’s an easy tire to break the bead on. There are also several types of bead breaker tools readily available.

A) The shoe & lever type that Harbor Freight sells is very low cost but will not work on stubborn beads and it must be bolted down to the floor which means it’s not portable and takes up valuable space in your shop.


B) The plier type bead breaker is portable, but will not work on large tires.


C) The Clamp & Ram type bead breaker is about the size of a hand gun (6”x 6”x1.5”) and therefore very portable. It is also very powerful which means it will work on even the most stubborn tires. Many tire dealers buy these to use when their large floor mounted machines can’t break the bead. The Clamp & Ram type bead breaker is available from BeadBuster.com


For most tractors in the sub-compact utility class and smaller, you can use the standard size (45x-series) BeadBuster tools such as XB-450 or XB-455. However, if you are working on something larger like a Ford 8N or other large farm tractors, you should consider using the XB-550 HD. This is a larger tool with the additional throw that is needed to push the tire further from the rim edge. It has the muscle needed to break the bead on 24-50 inch rims, and in many cases even larger diamter tires. The BeadBuster is not limited to a certain diameter, but really the geometry of the rim lip profile, and specific rim code. More detail can be found here. The XB-550 is 10"x9"x3" and weighs 7lbs.


Once you have a bead breaker in hand, apply tire lube or soapy water to a section of the sidewall right next to the rim.
Always start with the side of the wheel nearest the drop center, which is usually the outside of the wheel.

Use the tool per the manufacturer’s instructions to press the tire bead down about one inch. Remove the tool and reposition it about three inches from the first application point after spraying the surface with tire lube. Again, press the bead down about an inch. Repeat this process until the tire moves inward and can be pushed into the drop center on the rim.
Bead Breaking Demo on YouTube

3. Flip the tire over and repeat the process on the other side.

4. Once the bead has been broken on both sides and the tire is loose on the rim, you can use tire spoons to remove the tire from the rim.
The secret to making this step easy is lubrication. BeadBuster also sells an outstanding Tire Mount Lubricant Paste that comes in convenient pint containers. It can be diluted down in a spray bottle or applied directly. Apply a lot of lube to the tire bead and edge of the rim to help the tire to slide easily over the rim surface. Start on the side of rim which is closest to the drop center. On the side of the rim closest to yourself, push on the sidewall down so the tire can slide in to the drop center. Using your knee may help with this task and leave your hands free to use the tire spoons. Then use a tire spoon on the opposite side to pry the bead up over the rim. Insert a second tire spoon as close to the first one as possible, and again pry the bead up over the rim. Repeat this process until the first side of the tire is off the rim. Usually, it is very difficult to use the same process on the second side of the tire. One way to remove the second side of the tire is to make sure there is plenty of lube on the bead and rim, then push one section of the tire into drop center, while pulling the opposite side of tire off the rim. Once it starts to slide over the rim, it will become easy. ATV’s require sturdy spoons with a good curved shape. BeadBuster sells a 3-pc Tire Iron set that is perfect for Tractor tires, ATV’s, off-road trucks, and other stubborn tires.

5. Install the new tire.
Starting with the side of rim closest to the drop center, lubricate the rim and tire bead and press the tire on over the lip of the rim. This is often easy to do by hand, without the use of tire spoons. Then lubricate the other side of the tire and install it using the tire spoons.

6. Inflate the new tire.
This may sound easy but sometimes it isn’t. Often times new tires are shipped “flat packed”, and wrapped with plastic to reduce the bulk. That’s great for the shipper but makes things difficult when trying to inflate the tire. If the tire bead is not in contact with the rim during inflation, air may blow past the gap and escape. Things you can do to help this situation include applying tire lube too the mating surfaces, wrapping a strap around the center of the tire and applying tension, and use a blow gun to push high volumes of air directly through the valve stem while the valve core is still removed. We have seen many folks use starter fluid and a lighter to create a blast of air inside the tire. This technique is certainly effective but we can’t recommend it because it is dangerous.

NOTES:
Tires can suffer from dry rot from aging. This is often the case with tractors tires which don’t wear down the tread quickly and get old and leaky before they wear out. The rubber on old tires loses its strength and becomes very difficult to work with while attempting to remove from an old rim. In this case, it is really important to use a bead breaker that applies pressure to the steel bead bundle inside the tire and not the sidewall. The BeadBuster tools apply force directly against the steel bead bundle and are very effective on dry rotted tractor tires.

Leaving a tire installed on a rim for an extended period of time can create an effective bond at the tire/rim contact surfaces. It’s almost as if the rusty steel surface is like an adhesive with the rubber. It can be very difficult to get the tire to slide against the rim surface on old rims as needed to break the bead. Only a strong bead breaker capable of high forces can be effective in these cases.
 

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Thanks, but you don't mention anything about the cost of these tools. Also I have a tractor that is now, going on 29 + years old. It's a large frame utility tractor Model 855. It still has the original tires on it all around. They have never been removed off the rims. After 29 years, I don't see where it pays for the DIY'er to get involved in doing this job. When you consider the cost of quality tools for the job or the hours it could take to demount tires & install new ones it becomes questionable if you want to make this a DIY job. Perhaps if your a farmer it might make sense to DIY. Beyond that, I don't really see the value in a DIY here.

In all honesty, I've had two negative experiences with this subject. A while ago, it took me about six hours to break the beads & remove tires & install new ones on a stupid 210 tractor. Never again. Then I had another tractor which I brought the tires & wheels to my garage mechanic who could not use his tire change machine because of wheel sizes & configuration. He had one of his mechanics do the change by hand. It took him four hours. Fortunately for me, the garage owner was also a customer of mine so he did it as a favor for me with a warning to me never to bring him tractor tires again for a change out.
 

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A) The shoe & lever type that Harbor Freight sells is very low cost but will not work on stubborn beads and it must be bolted down to the floor which means it’s not portable and takes up valuable space in your shop.
you can bolt this to a doubled piece of 3/4" plywood in one corner of a section that is at least a little larger than the size of the tire and wheel you're working on. That makes it more portable, but that changer doesn't work well with tires on less than about 12" wheels. There's another changer for smaller stuff, like the front tires on garden tractors.
https://www.harborfreight.com/mini-tire-changer-61179.html

In all honesty, I've had two negative experiences with this subject. A while ago, it took me about six hours to break the beads & remove tires & install new ones on a stupid 210 tractor. Never again. Then I had another tractor which I brought the tires & wheels to my garage mechanic who could not use his tire change machine because of wheel sizes & configuration. He had one of his mechanics do the change by hand. It took him four hours. Fortunately for me, the garage owner was also a customer of mine so he did it as a favor for me with a warning to me never to bring him tractor tires again for a change out.
Small diameter wheels are notoriously difficult to change by hand, unless you have some means to secure the wheel in such a way you can still apply tools to the rim, like bead breakers or spoons. Most tire stores don't have a changer that a wheel smaller than 12 " will fit. I agree, those small GT wheels are terrible. I have four GT's and have changed the fronts on all of them. I think I'd rather sell the tractors than have to do it again. The rear tires depend on how heavy-duty they are. 2- and 4- ply aren't too bad, but 6-ply on a 12" inch wheel can wear you out.
 

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you can bolt this to a doubled piece of 3/4" plywood in one corner of a section that is at least a little larger than the size of the tire and wheel you're working on. That makes it more portable, but that changer doesn't work well with tires on less than about 12" wheels. There's another changer for smaller stuff, like the front tires on garden tractors.
https://www.harborfreight.com/mini-tire-changer-61179.html


Small diameter wheels are notoriously difficult to change by hand, unless you have some means to secure the wheel in such a way you can still apply tools to the rim, like bead breakers or spoons. Most tire stores don't have a changer that a wheel smaller than 12 " will fit. I agree, those small GT wheels are terrible. I have four GT's and have changed the fronts on all of them. I think I'd rather sell the tractors than have to do it again. The rear tires depend on how heavy-duty they are. 2- and 4- ply aren't too bad, but 6-ply on a 12" inch wheel can wear you out.
I've looked at those tire changers at HF a number of times & I've been tempted to buy. But then thinking about it I decided Not to buy that stuff. Poorly made. It might work well on tires & rims that have been changed a number of times & beads that are not frozen by time, etc. Better to find an independent tire shop that is willing to do small tractor & utility tractor changes. You may have to pay more, but its worth it if its something you hardly ever do. But if you do a lot of changes then investing in decent tire tools (not HF) would be the way to go.
 

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I just replaced the front tires on my 4100 tractor. Took the wheels and tires to a local tire shop. They quotes me $28 installed for the pair, including old tire disposal, and they were going to do it that afternoon. They called me late in the day, and said the tire guy was unable to get them seated on the rim, to inflate, and they wouldn't be done until morning.

I went back next day, and got them. They charged the same price quoted, but the tire guy told me he had a heck of a time with them. I was glad I didn't try doing these myself.
 
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Almost all the larger tractor tires are changed on the machine in our area. The tire guys would rather do that than fight a 500-1,000 lb tire rim combo. It does involve a service call but it's a lot quicker than taking the rim off and hauling the tire/rim to the shop, having them change it and then taking it back to the tractor and fighting getting it back on the tractor. If you have a bead breaker, DIYs can do the same thing unless you are dealing with fluid in the tires where you have to pump the fluid out and reuse it. The pumps for that are pretty pricey. Tractors with duals are also a challenge as 9 times out of 10 it's the inside tire with a problem. So even if you change the tire on the machine, you're still pulling one tire/rim off.

The only issue is there are a limited number of shops offering road/field service but those guys will travel as necessary. I know quite a few farmers that change the tires themselves but only because they want the least downtime possible.

Treefarmer
 

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I've looked at those tire changers at HF a number of times & I've been tempted to buy. But then thinking about it I decided Not to buy that stuff. Poorly made. It might work well on tires & rims that have been changed a number of times & beads that are not frozen by time, etc. Better to find an independent tire shop that is willing to do small tractor & utility tractor changes. You may have to pay more, but its worth it if its something you hardly ever do. But if you do a lot of changes then investing in decent tire tools (not HF) would be the way to go.
Those little HF tire changers aren't bad for changing car tires or lawn and garden equipment tires but they usually aren't up to the task when dealing with 6 to 10 ply tractor tires. For those you really need a pneumatic tire machine. Then again, I've seen mobile AG service trucks change big tractor tires by hand but they usually have HUGE tire irons and bead breakers and know how to use them. :)
 

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I change the tires on my two tandem axle trailers every five years. I have 2 sets of rims for each trailer to minimize trailer down time, and I order the new tires on line. This year, after reading about the Bead Buster, I bought one. Depending on size the price ranges fro $100 up to $150. It beats the heck out of using the bead breaker on my Harbor Freight tire changer. It is worth every penny I spent. The Bead Buster tire lube is also a real step up from soapy water, WD40, and such.

This is an unsolicited review.

I also just bought a tire cart from Tirerack.com. It is heavy duty, well made, has great casters, and storage baskets for all those tire changing odds and ends like wheel weights, and valve stems.

Tire Rack Rolling Tire Storage Rack
 
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