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26-Apr-00 Mounting the Tires Part 1

Mounting the Tires Part 1

ImageI was all set to mount the tires myself and then take them to someone to have them seated and balanced but I was pressed for time so I set out to find a shop with a “touch-less” tire mounting machine. With a set of beautiful wheels like these Billet Specialties Talladegas There was no way I was going to have some amateur tire-jockey with crap equipment possibly scratch or damage them. I checked out several shops that said they had a touch-less machine and after looking at their equipment I walked away. Some machines put little teeth marks in the inner rim - NOT cool! One place even turned me away after seeing the wheels. They didn't want to be responsible for them. They did me a big favor though by sending me to Sioux Falls Tire.

You can easily tell that Eric, the owner of Sioux Falls Tire, knows his stuff! His father was the previous owner so I'm guessing he grew up in the tire business. He was more than happy to mount them and he has the proper equipment to do the job right. So now the word is out on the street, here's a local tire store that LIKES working with nice wheels and tires, and can do it right. After my rave review of Sioux Falls Tire, my brother grabbed his drag slicks and headed over to have Eric mount them for him.
ImageThe mounting machine has 4 rubber-coated fingers that clamp the inside wheel lip. Many machines clamp the wheel from the inside. If the pressure is set too high you risk warping the rim. That's not the case with this system.
ImageIn this photo you can see the wheel being clamped in the machine.
ImageOnce the wheel is clamped in the mounting machine the tire bead is lubricated to make it easier to slip on the rim. This is basically like dish soap.
ImageThe tire is then slid on the rim. I don't have a photo to show how the “touch-less” part of this machine comes into play, but I can explain it. The bar you see in the photo that's coming down from the top of the picture is the guide used to “pry” the tire in place. It is set to hover about 1/8-inch above the rim so it never touches the rim.
ImageThe combination of the “touch-less” mounting arm and a roller basically roll the tire on the rim. This happens so fast that I had a hard time snapping photos!