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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm seriously considering getting a manual tire changer and balancer. Anyone do this job? It looks pretty easy to be honest.

So I have the 16" OEM alloy wheels and another set of 16" steels for winter tires for my 3. The wife also has a Toyota rav4 with two sets of 17" wheels. I know the manual bar might scuff my alloys a little....i probably won't care.

I was considering getting the stick on weights for balancing, but not sure how those are long term?

Since its going to be asked, here's why I may do this:
- save some money
- no waiting on shops
- most shops can't handle doing their job right.

No offense to any mechanics here. I don't know if you're good at your job or not. There are great shops out there. There's also a lot of terrible ones.

Any advice would be helpful before I dive in and buy tools. Thanks.
 

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I used to change my own motorcycle tires on sport bikes with just a couple tire irons and a home made 2x4 contraption to break the bead.

The stick on weights work fine as long as you clean the wheel before you stick them on. Most alloy wheels use sticky weights. My only concern would be balancing. I’m assuming whatever diy balancer you get is only going to do a static balance, not a dynamic balance. It would suck to invest the time and money and not be able to get the tires properly balanced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys,I've decided not to go down this road. The work itself isn't bad, but getting the equipment and setting it up right is. I'd have to bolt the tire changer to the floor in the garage and there's nowhere to leave it permanently. That means installing female threaded anchors. Getting those is a pain, not so cheap, and I'd expect them to wear out easily. I'd have to keep moisture and salt out as I park my 3 in the garage.

And then the balancer....yeah it would be a static balancer. Not so expensive or difficult to use, but from what I understand now getting a dynamic balance is far better for the wider tires we use now compared to many years ago when all they had was static. A dynamic balancer is going to cost me $2k at best, probably used. Not worth the investment. Again, space is also an issue.

As for a brake lathe, I like the idea but again I don't feel its worth the investment for how little I'd do it. And the space problem again...

I've managed to cram 3 work benches, a large tool box, a LOT of tools, an engine stand, shop crane, lawn equipment, 2 sets of tires and my 3 into an old single car garage. I'm pretty well at maximum capacity here. The tire idea was because with manual tools I'd be able to disassemble and store them.
 

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No. Too much trouble.
 

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I have a reasonably well-equipped home garage (rebuilt the engine in my old diesel Mercedes, and kept up my BMW for 240k miles) ... and the only things I don't do at home are tires, A/C, and alignment. Mounting and balancing tires really needs that dedicated equipment, especially on the wide low-profile tires that sporty cars have these days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have a reasonably well-equipped home garage (rebuilt the engine in my old diesel Mercedes, and kept up my BMW for 240k miles) ... and the only things I don't do at home are tires, A/C, and alignment. Mounting and balancing tires really needs that dedicated equipment, especially on the wide low-profile tires that sporty cars have these days.
I'm at the same spot as you I think. The A/C I'd do if it weren't for storage of waste refrigerant and the laws where I live. Licence required.

I'm always surprised at how most won't touch bearings without a shop press. It would be nice, but I have yet to require one. Done wheel bearings, transmission, and a differential. Just have to be creative with hand tools and a vise is all.
 

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Well, I installed some snow tires using levers. I got all 4 on in about an hour of very tough work. Bead seating to allow inflation was an issue. Gotta lube the beads for sure. No rim leaks! But then I realize I forgot to change the valve stems, so one leaks.

I made a static balancer. Basically I created a plate with a protrusion (of bondo putty) that fits perfectly in the wheel bore. Then I determined the exact center of the plate on the bottom and made a dimple. Then the plate goes on a big spike nail through a 2x4 on the ground, with the tire on the plate. I grease the dimple/spike point. I put a little round bubble level at the center on the bondo - carefully levelled. So now I can quickly throw tires on it to check for approx. balance. Great if you think you may have lost a weight. Wheels I've balanced from scratch with it don't vibrate noticeably. I like to check all wheels whenever I do seasonal tire swap.
 

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Disk Brake Lathe Machine would be a better investment. Tires usually last 2-3 yrs per set.
Honestly, discs are so cheap, plus the more meat the better, that buying a disc lathe is a waste of time and money.
 

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I used to change tires quite a bit in auto shop in high school. We had an old/antiquated balancing tool that I used for a year, and then the shop upgraded to a very modern/fancy tool. The new machine advised for better and more varied placement of the wheel weights.

I wouldn't buy a home tire changing machine and balancing machine because it just wouldn't be very accurate since it cannot do high speed spin balancing. I use dedicated winter tires (on some cars) on their own wheels, so I never have to swap tires in winter & summer. I'm swapping out wheels + tires. A balancing machine in our house would get used less than once per year.

I'd rather put money into a shop press. I wouldn't buy a lathe either. And I'd REALLY like to have a lift in my garage.
 

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Used brake lathe, tire balance and lift is a bit of old school. The savings would add up with a home/family fleet of vehicles.
 
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