Tire mount, balance: DIY?

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  #1  
Old 12-07-16, 07:40 AM
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Tire mount, balance: DIY?

We had a flat tire at highway speed, and wound up damaging the tire beyond repair. I've been thinking about getting a manual tire changer and a bubble balancer (because my wife's rims are painted and need repainting), and this flat tire has raised the idea up on the priority list.

Cost of the Harbor Freight changer and balancer is about $100 (using their ubiquitous 20% coupon), and I have tire projects for two vehicles in mind. So the $ work out in my favor if I can do the work right.

I need to save the bucks wherever I can, but i don't want to be penny wise and pound foolish. Can a DIYer use the Harbor Freight changer and balancer to do a good job of this?

Thanks!
 
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Old 12-07-16, 08:54 AM
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While I've seen that tire changer advertised I've never used it. Hard to say if it works well or not.
Bubble balancers do a decent job but not as good as a spin balancer.
 
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Old 12-07-16, 09:29 AM
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So you would buy tires but just not pay the shop for mounting and balancing? Doesn't sound worth it to me. I fix my own flats but I don't mount and balance my own tires.
 
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Old 12-07-16, 09:46 AM
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I'd source the tires online. Turns out Amazon sells tire, who knew.
 
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Old 12-07-16, 10:01 AM
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So does Tire Rack, getting tires is not a problem. I'm saying that for what a tire shop typically charges to mount and balance, I would not buy equipment to DIY.
 
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Old 12-07-16, 10:21 AM
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Go to the Harbor Freight item page, click on Customer Reviews and then sort by Lowest Rated.

Read the reviews and then make a decision.
 
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Old 12-07-16, 01:08 PM
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I was a mechanic for many years, Started in 60's Newer car tires are VERY hard to get off and on rims. I would never think of doing them with hand equipment.
 
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Old 12-07-16, 01:28 PM
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Agree with pugsl, and it is especially hard with low aspect ratio tires.
 
  #9  
Old 12-11-16, 03:19 AM
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Thanks for your replies. I've been rethinking the whole deal, especially the difficulty of a manual machine on low aspect ratio tires. I found a place who'll mount and balance a tire for $17, which changes my math.
 
  #10  
Old 12-11-16, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by CycleZen
". . . I found a place who'll mount and balance a tire for $17 . . ."
If the garage doesn't have to hoist the car; but deal with just the wheels/tires, I only pay $10.00 for a dismount, mount. balance and a new valve stem. $35.00 for a set, if they can do it as filler work.

I guess that's a lot more than the $3.00 or $5.00 I grew up on.

I think it will pay to shop around.
 
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Old 12-11-16, 04:16 AM
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Stickshift mentioned Tire Rack as an economical source for tires. My go-to place is Discount Tires Direct. Been getting my wrecker tires from them for several years now, prices include shipping right to my door.
 
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