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Thread: Changing trailer tires

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Default Changing trailer tires

    I got a flat on my trailer. It was a challenging evening. The trailer was loaded and the back end of the jeep was loaded. Getting to the jack was not in plan.

    Fortunately, I was close to home and managed to limp back.

    My tires are new and the spare is a older. And the valve stem on my spare leaks.

    I set out this morning to rehab a couple of spares. They both will get new valve stems and one will get a new tire (maybe). I’ve actually got several old tires and wheels and I’d like to be able to change the tires on the wheels.

    I realize nobody does this anymore but it seems like the right way to live.

    edit-To make this make more sense, I’d like to have some metal valve stems, reuse my galvanized wheels, and put some higher rated tires on. Just buying another set of tires doesn’t really get me where I want to be.

    I went out this morning knowing it would be difficult to get the tire off a wheel but jeeze.

    The first one was ridiculously difficult and I ended up damaging the tire where it seats on the rim. The second one is proven equally difficult. Is there a good way to break the seal on trailer tires? I’ve tried big c-clamps and a variety of prybar’s screwdrivers etc. there has to be a better way short of buying a formal tire changing station.

    Any old timey tricks or tips appreciated. After lunch, I’m going to sandwich the tire between two 2x4 and drive over it with the jeep.
    Last edited by bluedog225; 11-22-2020 at 01:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Changing trailer tires

    Tom, you may have some rust in the area between the wheel and the tire bead. . . On another point do you remove the valve stem to release all the pressure in the old tire ?





    Rick

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Central Coast, Ca
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    29,645

    Default Re: Changing trailer tires

    Tubeless tires only come off the rim on one side...
    Try driving a truck up on the wheel/tire to break the bead.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Queens, NY
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    Default Re: Changing trailer tires

    lots of designs available online for homemade bead breakers along these lines:
    i also wonder if you checked the valve cores for leaks first, that would be a lot easier than defaulting to replace the whole stem




  5. #5
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    Default Re: Changing trailer tires

    Thank. I ended up doing something like shown with a 6 foot steel bar and some wood. The stem was split (cheap).

    In hindsight, I probably should have left the tire on the one wheel/tire I intended to keep as a spare. But nope, took it all the way off.

    I’ve been trying to put the tire back on. It mocks me. Seems like a contraption isn’t going to work. But maybe.

    I’ll face the same issue when I get a new tire.

  6. #6
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    UK. Cornwall, Suffolk.
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    Default Re: Changing trailer tires

    Because you don't have a tire merchant near you?

    There's a reason they have solid tire changer machines, and it's not just for speed.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Changing trailer tires

    Life is too short to deal with peeling tires off a rim.. Anyway, how does one have valve stems go bad? I've owned a bunch of trailers, some for decades, and never had a stem go bad.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Changing trailer tires

    Cheap stuff manufactured without care or accountability. They can split and leak at the wheel.

    I wonder if I need bead sealant? Or is that optional.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Changing trailer tires

    Well I spent all day on it. It was fun in a strange way. But not for everyone.

    Got the tire off, and back on, got a new valve stem installed. But no joy in getting it to seat. Tried a strap, tried a bigger strap, tried brake cleaner but it is not flashy enough. May try starter fluid but don’t have any here. May end up taking to a garage somewhere. I guess I could put a tube in there.

    Thanks for the tips.

    Good to know my limitations.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Hills of Vermont, USA
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    Default Re: Changing trailer tires

    Changing tires just ain't worth it for me without a machine. OK - motorcycle, but not car or trailer.

    A ratchet strap should get the tire close enough to the rim - but you'll need a lot of air (high volume). Leave the core out of the valve stem to allow the air to come in faster. Once it's seated, you can put it back in & inflate.

    Valve stems go bad all the time: salt, sun, bumping it. On snow tire changeover every garage I know puts on new ones.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Changing trailer tires

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    Well I spent all day on it. It was fun in a strange way. But not for everyone.

    Got the tire off, and back on, got a new valve stem installed. But no joy in getting it to seat. Tried a strap, tried a bigger strap, tried brake cleaner but it is not flashy enough. May try starter fluid but don’t have any here. May end up taking to a garage somewhere. I guess I could put a tube in there.

    Thanks for the tips.

    Good to know my limitations.
    Do you have any hand cleaner(non pumice) or liquid soap laying around?
    A couple of healthy blobs around the bead will help seal it without eating the rubber.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Changing trailer tires

    Yeah. I had it dripping with liquid soap, and strapped almost to the rim. No joy. May try again tomorrow. Maybe my little compressor isn’t up to it.

    Ordered two new tires with wheels from Amazon, eighty bucks total.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Changing trailer tires

    update-Finally got it seated. Was about to give up. I went through most of a can of starter fluid. Lots of fire but would not seat.

    Strapped it again, to within an inch of its life. Still would not seat.

    Tried the starter fluid one last time while the strap was on. Pop. Success.

    Lessons learned:

    1. Put the wheel on the trailer before you light it up. It can travel. At least don’t leave it on the ground, put it up on a bucket. But bolted to the trailer is much safer.
    2. It won’t pop the way you want it after the first attempt. All the 02 is gone from inside the tire. Wait a while or compress and expand the tire to bring in fresh combustion air.
    3. Spray the starter fluid inside the wheel, not on the side wall. Does no good on the outside.
    4. Wait a bit, 30 seconds for the starter fluid to evaporate inside the tire. Then spray some on the outside and light. Like a fuse.
    5. Don’t stand in front of the face of the wheel. Up on the trailer, behind the fender seems better.
    6. If you try this without the strap, it may be wise to remove the stem core. That way, after the fire burns out, it will not contract the tire bead back off the wheel.

  14. #14
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    Mar 2017
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    Default Re: Changing trailer tires

    Tom, reason #5 is why the trucking companies and fleet service companies use a cage around the tire when working on it . . . . .

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