After getting burned several times having shops mount my racing tires, I
bought a RC10A rim-clamp machine for $300. I've certainly gotten my
money's worth from it. It's nice to be able to buy tires anywhere and
mount them when you need them, rather than wait around hat in hand while
the pros bend your rims, shred your beads, and destroy your TPMS
sensors, all at your cost.
I maybe use it once a year now that I've gotten lazier and racing
less, so I'm thinking of selling it. But not yet.
the electronic balancer though will probably go. Bubble balance
works just as well, and it's much smaller. That big hood on the balancer
just gets in the way. Now, if I could find one of those little
"sawhorse" Snap-On units...
It is to me, particularly since I got my changer for free. Saves
waiting in line for a grunt to scratch my wheel, or lift my car by its
muffler, or open the door against the lift post, or install free
grease on my seats and steering wheel, or balance my wheel while it's
caked in mud on the inside.
I get lots of flats, mostly due to trash on the road dropped by desert
rat pickups. When needed I'd do the changes myself and only hand over
the wheel for balancing. On one mission a year or so ago I changed the
tire, but put it back on the car for the drive to the tire shop. It
worked perfectly as far as I could tell both before and after
balancing. My conclusion is that modern lower-profile tires and alloy
wheels have less need of balancing, so I'm not going to bother anymore
on that vehicle unless I can detect a problem.
stryped on Thu, 10 Jun 2010 06:04:18 -0700 (PDT)
typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:
Depends on how often you need to change tires, and how much you
would save (do not include your time and effort in that calculation.)
That said, buying your own tire changer setup leads to the
situation where you think "what the hey ... we'll just change the
tires; we've got the machine."
For me, it's being able to drive into my shop after work, change
clothes, and change out the tires I got a great deal on a few months
before. Otherwise, I'm taking off work or spending a boring Saturday AM
in the waiting area, to pay retail price plus mounting and balance "Oh,
and you ought to change those stems "... "Road Hazard warranty? Just
$5 more per tire".
Everyone seems to be missing the point that this is Stryped asking.
Tire machines take fingers off of the incautious operator.
We don't want him losing fingers.
I say, "NO" Stryped. Let the tire guys change your tires.
I bought a little cheap (on clearance) tire changer from tractor supply, but
still haven't used it. It's a manual changer, my brother worked at a gas
station back in the day filling stations had full service, changed tires,
fixed flats, wash & wax, etc... I changed some tires with their manual
changer, wasn't difficult, the lube made a huge difference.
Then there's balancing... I wonder if a person made a spindle with encoder,
mounted some load cells, and a motor to spin it up... with a microcontroller
and a few hundred dollars worth of parts you might have an awesome spin
balancer, and could even be cheaper with eBay parts.
I work in a tire factory and can get a significant discount on tires but the
company has it worked out so we get our discount buying their brand tires
from tirerack.com, then we have shipping and mounting and balancing. One of
the local car dealers will mount and balance the tires for us for $10 per
tire, the car dealer was cheaper than Wal-Mart, who'd have guessed? At work
we have automatic dynamic balancers and I've worked on them for a few years,
they have load cells on the spindle. The old version uses an airplane tire
that is spun up with an electric motor and engages a wheel on the spindle.
Then an air cylinder disengages the airplane tire so the tire and spindle is
spinning freely on bearings and held in place with load cells. An encoder
tracks the spindle position, etc. Anyway, I think with spindle bearings
mounted on load cells and a little experimenting to see how weights affect
the balance, a home made spin balancer would be a realistic home project.
Largely due to the fact you can get hobbyist microcontrollers to do the
That's an argument against pretty much all power tools, and even DIY.
Besides which, I wouldn't be surprised if more people have been run
over or dropped their car on themselves while changing a flat with a
jack and a lug wrench than have been maimed changing their own tires
at home with a machine.
firstname.lastname@example.org fired this volley in
We frequently try to discourage Stryped from using anything A)heavy enough
to drop and hurt himself, or B)with sharp edges or points, or C)Powered (by
You must not know the history here...
If you feel that way then the best thing to do is let him learn the
hard way. Although you might want to recommend a radial arm saw rather
than a tire changer, which would likely take many lifetimes of home
use to generate a bruise, much less a severed appendage. :-)
Still, best to make it clear that DIY dangers tend to be wildly
BTW, I got a nasty bruise from my abrasive chop saw last week. It was
on the floor in the raised position, I bumped into it, and it fell
over and pranged my ankle. I wouldn't have guessed it was even
possible. I've probably worn out a 100 blades using that thing without
a problem, and then it bites me when it wasn't even plugged in!