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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Quick and dirty question: how big an air compressor tank do I need to seat a bead on a tire? Will a 1 gallon or 3 gallon tank get the job done, or will it not have the oomph to fill the tire rapidly to any pressure to get that bead set? I don't have the cash for a large tank, but smaller ones cost about what mounting tires costs at a shop...

Backstory for others interested in the topic:

I had to get new wheels after mine were bent from all of the nasty potholes... and after taking it to a shop to get the wheels mounted, and finding out I have to buy my own TPMS mounting bands, I decided I might rather save a little money on the mounting and do it myself.

I used to mount semi truck tires at my dad's trucking company when I was a teenager. It's not hard-- my main concern being how to get the tire onto my nice Motegi 117's without scratching the paint-- and youtube is a great thing. Dish soap and some screwdrivers (we used to pound the semi wheels with a sledge...)

I'm going to build myself this to break the beads, by the way
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztYmUgGBObk

Local shop balances tires for $8 a tire... but they also make bubble balancers for DIY (not sure I wanna spend it yet).

I may yet pay the $60 to just get them put on at a shop I have a friend at, but this is more fun and an excuse to buy an air compressor :p
 

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Jetsetter
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You are going to scratch the crap out of your wheels if you diy. Changing a semi truck tire is easy peasy compared to a low aspect ratio passenger tire.

save yourself the headache now and spend the $60, you already have to spend $32 to get them balanced and a trip to the shop for that to happen, whats $28 more bucks?
 

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I will admit that I have broken the bead using a cheap jack and careful placement under a car's frame rail, then seated the bead on the "new" tire using starting fluid and an aim-n-flame lighter. I would have much rather just paid a tire shop to do the work.
 

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Do this



so the bead makes some sort of contact to the rim.


It will still leak, but hopefully slower than the air going in.......
 

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Even that won't help if they're pried on with screwdrivers, distorts the bead even if it doesn't damage anything.
 

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Strichmädchen & Koks
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There's a reason (most) tire shops use cages to fill tires. You don't want to be near that, unprotected when it occurs.
 

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Cages are for tires usually on bigv equipment that has a ring. Not for pass/light truck tires. The industry is getting away from those type except for construction type vehicles. A 10 gallon compressor would be able to give the required air needed to seat a bead on most tires. The use of a strap would assist as well to make the job easier. Most shops have specialty equipment for the expensive rims to save them from damage. Like others have said. Save the money and let a shop that is equipped to do so do the tires.
 

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There's a reason (most) tire shops use cages to fill tires. You don't want to be near that, unprotected when it occurs.
Those are for "split rims" which are sketchy as hell during initial inflation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cages are for tires usually on bigv equipment that has a ring. Not for pass/light truck tires. The industry is getting away from those type except for construction type vehicles. A 10 gallon compressor would be able to give the required air needed to seat a bead on most tires. The use of a strap would assist as well to make the job easier. Most shops have specialty equipment for the expensive rims to save them from damage. Like others have said. Save the money and let a shop that is equipped to do so do the tires.
This.

I ended up deciding to take it to a shop (still waiting on the stupid TPMS bands to come via USPS), but I love doing my own work and I hate having to go to a shop and wait. So maybe next time. There's a way to do everything... and I really doubt I'd ruin the wheels, but the issue is finding the right way.

Watching an expensive tool do the job gives me lots of great ideas. You could build this thing as a hand-operated tool. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqMVprmn6Jw
 

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EVERY auto/truck tire machine used around here has some sort of user shield on it, the insurance company demands them........................safety issue, a car tire can easily kill you. Happened to one of my dad's friends' service station guys...........

You won't ruin wheel but you will scratch the edge up even with the most polished screwdrivers or dedicated tire tools. You can't replicate how that tire machine can closely follow the inner edge of wheel doing the work by hand, it's impossible unless using a dedicated tool for it. I've mounted my own before but the airing up can be radically dangerous. I didn't bolt or weight the wheel down and stupidly kept on and the wheel bounced like six feet in the air when tire popped onto the wheel. Luckily I was out of the way. Yanked the hose end out of the compressor too, so more fun there.

I too do virtually 100% of all my work but not tire mounting, not enough throughput there to justify the expense.
 

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I knocked a bead off at a rally x. reseated it with a tiny 12v compressor. it took a long ass time and lots of manipulation to try and get it to seal before it seat itself.
 
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