Author Topic: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer  (Read 266 times)

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Offline Nicklopic

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DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« on: March 22, 2020, 12:01:11 pm »
So i bought a new set of tires for my bike. I need to mount there rear tire at least so i can check fitment and modify some suspension stuff.

Does anyone have any tips and or experience mounting their own tires with spoons? As well as balancing them with the HF balancer.
NY is basically shutting down today and i have no idea if MC shops are considered essential so I have no idea when id be able to have tires mounted professionally and I'd like to stay busy. Harbor freight should remain open as I think they'd fall into a hardware store or the like.

They're modern aluminum sportbike wheels if that matters
80' CB650

Offline BenelliSEI

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Re: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2020, 12:22:28 pm »
You need spoons and rim protectors. I cut up a windshield washer fluid bottle, into small strips. Slip them between the spoons and rims. Make one for each spoon and make sure you have then all when you are done...... easy to leave in the rim.

Set up on a good work surface. I use a plastic garbage can and it works great. See photos. The towel is to catch the valve core (which is the FIRST step), when you drop it. Old tires can be a real pain to remove. I pop off one side first, pull out the tube (if you have one). I often go to the second sidewalk (old, stiff tire) and cut around the soft sidewall with a razor knife. Tire then falls off. The remaining “rubber band”, I cut through with a bolt cutter. Falls off.

Installation is the reverse. When popping the bead over the rim, make sure the other side is DEEP in th centre of the rim. Makes it easier to rollover. I often use a small piece of 1/2” plywood jammed in to hold the bead down in the well. Lubricate the bead with the correct tire lube. I use Windex in a pinch.

Your tires may have rotational arrow. Check and check again! If there is a yellow or orange  dot on the sidewalk, line it up with the valve stem...... this assumes no inner tubes?

Set the completed assembly in the balancer. Bolt back the disc if you removed it. The heaviest portion rolls to the bottom. I usually tape on the weights until I get it so the wheel stops in different places and if you stop it anywhere, it just sits still...... then peel and stick the weights. If you are using squeeze on spoke weights, same process just tape them on loosely, then crimp them in when you’re happy with the results.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2020, 12:33:34 pm by BenelliSEI »

Offline dusterdude

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Re: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2020, 12:39:34 pm »
Damn sure use rim protectors,I beat up my goldwing rims pretty good not using them.

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Offline rotortiller

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Re: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2020, 01:16:00 pm »
Break the bead on both sides of the tire. Lift or squeeze the tire bead into the valley at the rim center which gives the needed slack to correctly use tire irons. A bit of soapy water helps on the bead and rim. You do not need to be super man. Remove the tube and do the valley thing to get the tire off the rim. Old tires may require extreme measures to break the bead off the rim, sometimes a vise, sometimes C-clamps and blocks of wood-use what you have. I have seen guys drive over the tire edge with a car to break beads. Use CDF and don't be a little girl LOL.

Offline BenelliSEI

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Re: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2020, 02:42:50 pm »
.......all great points! The best part is that for a few dollars of tools and equipment, you avoid the shop trip and can buy your tires at the best price, on line! By the time you do two or three, it gets easier. Save a few bucks and lots of satisfaction. Check UTube for some great videos.

P.S. Don’t let your friends know. They’ll take advantage of you! This (and wheel building) Is not a skill  you want to publish.

« Last Edit: March 22, 2020, 04:57:08 pm by BenelliSEI »

Offline ckahleer

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Re: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2020, 07:19:40 pm »
I put the axle in the wheel and support it on two jack stands. Give it a slow spin. If it's balanced, it will stop in different spots each spin. If out of balance, it will rock back and fourth before settling on the heavy spot. Add weight as needed.
Many tires have a yellow dot on them. That is the tire's lightest spot. line it up with the wheels heavy spot, usually the valve stem but not always. I sometimes test the balance of the wheel without tire to find it's heavy spot and put the tire's dot there.

Offline Nicklopic

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Re: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2020, 08:40:04 pm »
Sickkkkkk
Thank you for all the advice guys. Should make life a little easier
80' CB650

Offline 70CB750

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Re: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2020, 05:44:43 am »
Dont try it with car tire irons, get proper size irons.  And don't ask me how i know  ;D ;D

Also tire lubricant - I use Ru-Glyde - it works for carb boots too.

As far as balancing i use two jack stands as mentioned above by ckahleer.

Offline pjlogue

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Re: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2020, 11:56:35 am »
What Benelli said is spot on.  Only thing I can add is make sure you have at least 3 tire irons (long ones) four is better.  I use soap to lube the rims/tire. 

Just be prepared for some work and it can be frustrating.  I have used a bench grinder with a scotch bright wheel on the ends of my irons to make sure they are smooth and no sharp edges. 

A word of caution with the HF balancer.  the one I got was not made well.  Cones fit loos on the shaft which induced a our of round when tightening the cone set screw.  The rollers were also out of round.  I bought a hardened ground rod and turned my own cones so the cones fit snug on the rod.  I then removed the bearings from the rollers and trued the rollers on my lathe.  Once this was done the balancer was perfect to both true a spokes wheel and balance it.  Just check your set up that you have no hop in the cone edges when the set screw is tightened and you turn the rod.

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Offline 754

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Re: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2020, 01:57:21 pm »
 If the cones are like I think they are, try this, pull out the binding bolt or screw, then insert a piece of brass or aluminium the size of the hole, by say 1/8  to 3/16 long or so.  Then when you clamp it down you don't put a divot in the shaft and the come can slide smoothly.
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Offline Don R

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Re: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2020, 06:15:22 pm »
 X2 on the lube, I use silicone rubber spray, and watch the youtube video of mounting tires with gorilla tape. It keeps the beads pinched together so they lay in the drop center of the rim.  I added a couple bolts, a magnet and dial indicator and made the balancer a truing stand too.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 06:17:12 pm by Don R »
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Offline Gitano

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Re: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2020, 08:47:22 pm »
As an option for balancing, have you considered using Dynabeads? All
you have to do is drop them into the tire when mounting or slip them in through the valve stem, and you’re done. I am using them on two of my bikes and it seems to work well. No noticeable balance issues, and the spokes and rims stay nice and clean with no weights visible.


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Offline Nicklopic

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Re: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2020, 08:58:04 pm »
Soooooo I may have wasted everyone's time with replies lol
Before I went shopping on Tuesday I figured why not call up a local place for the hell of it. Actually got an answer and he had them done for me in like an hour and a half-ish. I was happy about it lol
80' CB650

Offline PeWe

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Re: DIY tire mounting and harbor freight balancer
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2020, 09:10:02 pm »
I started to do the tire change after I got a rear rim scratched and dented by an idiot working at a tire shop.
I mount the tire's lightest spot where the valve is. No additional balancing last wheels that felt OK so far.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 09:12:26 pm by PeWe »
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