Understanding Tire Changers
First, before you can get to operating tire changer machine, you should first learn about the types and their different specialized functions:
Tilt Back Tire Changers
They usually have an external clamping capacity of 28" and an internal clamping capacity of 30". This makes tilt back tire changers easier to use and more practical options for bigger tires, especially since you won't have to keep on screwing and unscrewing the head.
Swing Arm Tire Changers
This type of tire changer is most common in commercial tire shops. It's designed with 4 adjustable tabletop jaws providing a wider clamping range. All four tabletop jaws can be simultaneously adjusted for mistake-free clamping.
The hi-grip jaw covers provide sufficient mounting torque to protect your wheels.
The only disadvantage of the swing arm changer is that you have to constantly unscrew the machine's head to fit different sizes of tires. However, this can be overlooked as they are easier to use, efficient, and more affordable in the long run.
Leverless/Touchless Tire Changers
Better suited for low-profile tires.
Leverless tire machines are the most common type you will find in automotive shops. They are top of the line and cost more than the tilt back and swing arm changers.
However, the value of investing in a leverless tire machine is totally worth it. They require very little training to use and are more efficient in removing the tire and re-mounting it back (without bead damage if you are only rotating/switching tires between wheels).
Before doing anything, you should always put on safety glasses and avoid wearing anything that could dangle and get caught up around the machine.
Gloves are also great but depending on the type of machine you are using and whether you'll be manipulating the tire a lot, they are not an absolute necessity.
Familiarize With The Equipment.
Learn about what parts do what functions and be comfortable and confident with your actions.
Inspecting the Tire and Wheel
If not replacing the tire.
Make sure you inspect the inside for damage, cuts, penetrating objects, loose cords, etc. Inspect the condition of the bead lining and if there are any sharp bends in the bead, DO NOT re-mount worn tires. Replace.
If installing a new tire.
Inspect the condition of your rims on the inside but most importantly on the outside flange. Check for sharp edges, dents, rust, cracks, and any other significant damage. Minor dents and edges can easily be straightened. However, larger dents must be checked for radial and lateral runout with a dial indicator. Use a brush to remove rust and smoothen the surface of the bead seat to prevent slow leaks.
Valve Stem Replacement
Use a valve step puller to remove the old worn-out valve stem. If you don't have the puller, you can cut it off with a knife.
Remember to install a new valve stem before mounting the tire.
Thread the new valve stem into the installation tool, lubricate it with rubber tire lube and pull it into the hole. Be sure it is properly seated.
Before attempting to inflate the tire, remove the valve core.
Re-mounting/Mounting A New Tire
Correctly place the tire on the rim when you're ready to mount it.
Make sure the correct side of the tire is facing out. Especially be extra keen with directional tires, which are designed to only run in one direction.
Add a generous amount of tire lubricant to the circumference of both the top and bottom bead.
Slightly twist the tire to place the bottom bead at an angle to the rim before activating the turntable pedal. Repeat this process for the top bead as well.
Inflate The Tire
Inflating the tire comes with a twist. It's the easiest part of demounting/mounting a tire, but it can be the most dangerous.
•Unclamp the wheel when inflating. ONLY unclamp if the beads have been seated.
•If the rim is clamped on the outside, release the clamp and move it to the center of the tabletop for the bead seal operation.
Check your equipment operations guidelines for complete and proper inflation gauge operation.
To set the bead and inflate the tire, insert the air hose to the valve stem and depress the air inflation pedal. Most tire-changing equipments have a dial indicator to show the amount of air being pumped into the tire.
Using a tire changer machine is easy, and it's important to follow all safety precautions before you begin using it.