Tire change equipment

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by mach1mustang351, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer Supporter

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    Everyone.

    I've read so much about tire machines and balancers the last couple weeks, I am looking for some opinions.

    I recently started a motorcycle repair business (I will also do cars, but prefer not to) and have been mainly taking on vintage bikes but I will work on anything.

    I am wanting to get tire equipment so I can try and get a little more work this spring and summer with the Alaska travelers coming to town.

    I have been looking at many machines and I am torn on a couple things. I usually subscribe to the "buy a tool once" mindset, and tend to want quality. But I have been drawn to some cheaper machines because they will likely get me by for a while and I will have more capital to invest in other things.

    I guess I would like opinions on what you guys have used, for tire machines and wheel balancers and where you think the best value is I am wanting something to do the bikes AND cars.
    #1
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  2. spokester

    spokester Long timer

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    I swear to God I've messed around with these things most of my life and there's really no substitute for an actual Coats machine although there are many knock offs. This keys in well with your "buy it once" philosophy.
    #2
  3. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer Supporter

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    I worked as a professional technician for years and I have tons of quality tools. I am leaning Hunter or Coats. I got a decent Snap on quote , but I had a couple friends say they are not impressed with snap On for the price.
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  4. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    I'm no pro but use a No-Mar(sp?) tire buster for personal/home/neighbor use. Works good for both mc and car wheels/tires.
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  5. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer Supporter

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    Looks like a decent machine, but I am looking for something powered, and full sized. At least a swingarm machine. Might be a great idea for my mobile van project
    #5
  6. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer Supporter

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    I always thought so, but according to Google... Snap On makes their own machines and also John Bean, Blackhawk, Hofmann and Kansas Jack.
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  7. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer Supporter

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    I'd be more concerned about a balancer being junk. I am contemplating buying a budget tire machine, and a good balancer. But still reading WAY too much about tire equipment
    #7
  8. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Long timer

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    I use a nomar and work for beers.

    With the nomar it’s all about technique, BUT you’re not going to tear up anyone’s rims if you do your job right. I’ve always wondered if the coats machines protect the finish somehow or if a careless operator could tear things up?
    #8
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  9. beemerphile

    beemerphile Unreconstructed Southerner Supporter

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    If the rim clamps are protected and the duckhead is adjusted with a bit of gap there should be no wheel damage. You can get plastic protectors for the duckhead, and even plastic ducks, but it shouldn't be necessary. I guess you could scratch a wheel on de-mount with the tire lever used to pull the bead over if you tried to remove the lever too soon.

    Re: Budget machines vs. the name brands, I've always heard to stick with the leaders but my inexpensive Weaver is doing everything I need it to do. I haven't had it long, so I don't know how well it will hold up, but every part on it is available to keep it running. The motor has plenty of torque and the arm is solid enough to hold the head rock steady. Bead breaker works fine. So far I'm a fan.

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    #9
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  10. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer Supporter

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    most of the rim damage I have seen has been from operator error. I am not the "tire whisperer " but I think you have to be a bit of a hack to do it . I think the issue at many shops is, they look at tire work as menial work and assign it to the shop kid that has no idea what's going on.

    Some of those guys can break an anvil with a rubber mallet.

    Not that you have to be a genius to run a tire machine, but you do have to be aware of what's going on
    #10
  11. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob Supporter

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    I got a No-Mar for free. I wouldn't have bought it again. It's ok for limp street tires, but not enough power for the 'GT' touring tires and no good for tubed tires. Often, it will take two people to run it.

    For you, I'd get a decent name brand. The new ones have an additional arm with a way to hold down the bead, some have two arms. Those work.

    For balancers you can spend a lot more. If you get an expensive one that does 'off center' dynamic tests, I'd still get a very simple bubble type as a back up. I'd probably say that you just get good quality bubble balancers at first. I have the old Coats motorcycle one. These will work very well, but just take a little more time and a minor amount of skill.
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  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Modified Harbor Freight has changed 300 sets of tires for me.
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    #12
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  13. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    #13
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  14. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer Supporter

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    I was looking at this machine. The cost is great. If it can hang tough for a few years, probably a good fit for me
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  15. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    It's well made. I've done about 25 tires in a year and it's time to change the plastic wear tips.
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  16. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer Supporter

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    views contemplating getting this machine and a nicer balancer.

    There is a bit less to go wrong in the tire machine than the balancer, so I feel like a cheap machine is less risk than a cheap balancer.

    Thanks for the review
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  17. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    I'm still not sold on a particular balancer yet, some brands motorcycle adapters are really funky looking.

    I'm watching Craigslist for an expensive balancer for cheap. Ideally I'd like a dedicated motorcycle wheel balancer and a separate car wheel balancer so I'm not switching adapters around.
    #17
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  18. mach1mustang351

    mach1mustang351 Long timer Supporter

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    I agree. I will that. Eventually, that is what I want, but with working out of my garage, I'll be up against space as it is. When I get a shop in the next year or two, I would want dedicated equipment... But I also don't want to do cars at all if I can avoid it. I like working on bikes much more
    #18
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  19. Deans BMW

    Deans BMW Granpa Hoon

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    This one has done a great job for me.

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    I have a Coats 220... everything from 8in wheels to my 20" truck tires. Works good. I use a plastic duck head on a bar vs the oem removal tool. A couple of these tire bead clamps help too.
    I have a manual motorcycle balancer.

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    #20
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