"Tar" Changing Questions for "Tar" Chang

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"Tar" Changing Questions for "Tar" Chang

Postby Ben_Ricci on Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:43 am

EDIT: I was trying to be cute, but ran out of characters. The subject should say, "Tar Changing Questions for Tar Changing Gurus." I don't know who Tar Chang is :lol: :lol: :lol: Sorry about that.

I read through JVB's tire changing tutorial last night. I noticed he removed the valve stem cores, which is something I've never done. (1) How critical is this?; (2) Do I need a special tool to do it?; and (3), How easy is screwing up this aspect of the job?

I have the Harbor Freight tire changer, Mojo levers and Marc Parne's balancer, and of course a compressor. I plan to use dish soap for the bead lubricant.

Jim's tutorial looked sufficently detailed. What else do I need to have/know?

I'm changing both front and rear tars ( :D ) at the same time.

Thanks in advance.

Ben
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Postby Bicyclist on Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:56 am

1) It isn't critical, it just lets the air out more easily.

2) Yes, although certain valve caps on older BMWs had the tool built in.

3) It would be really difficult to screw up. The greatest danger is that when you unscrew the core, it will shoot off like a rocket and be lost forever.

You should have something to protect the rim from being gouged or scratched by the lever. You should also be prepared to sweat. You should realize that it will take more time than you expect the first time. Patience is a virtue. :wink:
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Postby Ben_Ricci on Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:08 pm

Bicyclist wrote:You should also be prepared to sweat.


That's what I really needed to know. :lol: Sounds like fun. :cry: Thanks! :wink:
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Postby MrE on Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:11 pm

Bicyclist wrote:3) It would be really difficult to screw up. The greatest danger is that when you unscrew the core, it will shoot off like a rocket and be lost forever.


Don't poke your eye out either.

Also be careful when reinstalling. Make sure the valve core and stem is clean and that you don't cross thread. Not a huge issue, just pay attention.
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Re: "Tar" Changing Questions for "Tar" C

Postby Patryk on Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:55 pm

Ben_Ricci wrote:EDIT: I was trying to be cute, but ran out of characters. The subject should say, "Tar Changing Questions for Tar Changing Gurus." I don't know who Tar Chang is :lol: :lol: :lol: Sorry about that.

I read through JVB's tire changing tutorial last night. I noticed he removed the valve stem cores, which is something I've never done. (1) How critical is this?; (2) Do I need a special tool to do it?; and (3), How easy is screwing up this aspect of the job?

I have the Harbor Freight tire changer, Mojo levers and Marc Parne's balancer, and of course a compressor. I plan to use dish soap for the bead lubricant.

Jim's tutorial looked sufficently detailed. What else do I need to have/know?

I'm changing both front and rear tars ( :D ) at the same time.

Thanks in advance.

Ben


Here's an excerpt from a tar manpage, with some examples.. could come in handy.. :-)

User Commands tar(1)

NAME
tar - create tape archives and add or extract files


DESCRIPTION
The tar command archives and extracts files to and from a
single file called a tarfile. A tarfile is usually a mag-
netic tape, but it can be any file. tar's actions are con-
trolled by the key argument.

EXAMPLES
Example 1: Creating an archive of your home directory

The following is an example using tar to create an archive
of your home directory on a tape mounted on drive
/dev/rmt/0:

example% cd
example% tar cvf /dev/rmt/0 .
messages from tar
1996 R1100RT


"The only true currency in this bankrupt world, is what we share with someone else when we're uncool. " Lester Bangs
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Postby DiscoPete on Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:02 pm

Valve stem caps with the core tool built in are easy to find. I bough a pack at Wal*Mart a few weeks back.

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Postby Bicyclist on Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:01 pm

DiscoPete wrote:Valve stem caps with the core tool built in are easy to find. I bough a pack at Wal*Mart a few weeks back.

Image


Oooo! Guess I need to pay a visit to *Mart. I'm running low on them. I like to have at least one on each bike.

So, Ben, didja getcher tars changed?
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Postby Ben_Ricci on Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:38 am

Bicyclist wrote:So, Ben, didja getcher tars changed?


Not yet. I planned on getting my tars from the dealer, but they didn't have them in stock. :cry: So I ordered them.
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Postby Unity on Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:47 pm

DiscoPete wrote:Image

It's a good idea to switch to these, or any metal cap, if you have plastic ones. (We all know how cheap plastic deteriorates in the presence of UV and oxygen.)

Something I didn't think much about until a couple months ago is replace your valve stems every two or three tire changes. I had one spring a leak, which fortunately was just slow enough that we could limp back to town with the periodic help of a CyclePump mini-compressor. :shock:

--John 8)
(I also recommend CyclePump's EZ-Air Tire Gauge, which puts an inline gauge between the tire and the pump.)
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Postby DiscoPete on Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:47 am

Unity wrote:
Something I didn't think much about until a couple months ago is replace your valve stems every two or three tire changes. I had one spring a leak, which fortunately was just slow enough that we could limp back to town with the periodic help of a CyclePump mini-compressor. :shock:

--John 8)
(I also recommend CyclePump's EZ-Air Tire Gauge, which puts an inline gauge between the tire and the pump.)


Good point.

A valve stem on my car once failed completely, producing an instant flat tire. Not a big deal on a 4-wheeler carrying a spare, but it would have been a memorable night on a bike.
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Postby Ben_Ricci on Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:51 am

Thanks for the tips Pete and John. I've acquired metal caps and a mini-pump--not the CyclePump (less expensive Slime PowerSport). However, I'm a firm believer in the talisman effect of certain items: buy a snow blower and it won't snow, carry tools and you won't break down, etc.

Here's something I find odd and perhaps someone will be willing to take a shot at explaining: The ST has a stock metal valve stem on the front wheel. It is capped (stock) with a plastic cap. The rear wheel has a garden variety rubber stem and it is capped (stock) with a rubber lined stainless cap. I ordered a metal valve stem (like Kermit and JVB have*) for my rear wheel (postponing for now my tire swap), but now I'm wondering if a metal cap on a metal stem is a superfluous belt and suspender approach? :-k


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Postby DiscoPete on Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:50 pm

Ben_Ricci wrote:...I'm wondering if a metal cap on a metal stem is a superfluous belt and suspender approach? :-k


*
Image


Not at all. Rather than being redundant, it is the finishing touch on the armored valve stem.

A plastic cap is still subject to the types of deterioration that John mentioned and would be the weak point.

That is one serious looking valve stem that you have there. 8)
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LONG, really freakin' LONG

Postby Ben_Ricci on Sat Oct 13, 2007 7:12 am

Some people make great musicians, some great chefs, others great athletes, lovers, adventurers, and a few great tire changers. Someday I might become a tire changer. 8)

My original plan was to acquire all the tools and gear necessary to change my own tires. You know, become a “tire changer.” My wife’s F800ST and my R12ST share common tire sizes, so there seemed to be much promise for the need and some potential savings over paying someone else to do it in the years to come. I had almost 10,000 miles on my ST’s tires, so I figured I’d change them prematurely so we’d have a spare set of heavily worn, but still serviceable tires should some unforeseen need arise. Sounds like a plan… :wink:

So I purchased all the stuff I thought I’d need and would make the job easier:

Harbor Freight Tire Changer for MCs $100
Marc Parnes Balancer for Both Bikes $175
Mojolever $101
Metal Valve Stems $ 35
Metzler Road Tec Z6s $365

I figured my $411 capital “investment” would be amortized over the years of scheduled and unforeseen tire changes, eventually bringing its cost of use down to a mere $20 per tire changed: 4 tires/year x 5 years = $900 at current dealer labor rates or $411 using my newly purchased tire changer’s gear (assuming my time has no value and there’s no opportunity cost). :roll:

With all the assembled goodies and newly purchased rubber I set out on my tire changing adventure. And I hit my first snag early. A geometry problem of ancient proportions: the Harbor Freight tire changer is either too high or my basement ceiling is too low. :shock: Hmmm? I can’t raise the Mojolever high enough to get any degree of useable leverage. The project screeches to a halt and a search ensues for a better tire changing venue. Too bad, the basement had all-weather potential, despite its serviceable, but dungeon-like lighting. :cry:

I live in a small house with a small yard and a small garage. I’ve maximized my space utilization over the years and adding something new means a reshuffling of the random order of things. I liked the permanency of the basement installation, but now I’ll have to settle for a temporary location. I decide the sidewalk adjacent to my garage is ideal, so four holes and four lag screws later I’m back in business. :)

And I’m learning this isn’t so easy: This Mojolever could have a more tapered or narrow tip; this Harbor Freight tire changing stand is sort of rickety; it’s really difficult to stretch the tire bead with two pry bars while reaching for the Mojolever with your third arm… :x But finally I get it and two hours later (including prep time) I’m sliding that nylon tip around the tire bead like it’s a knife cutting through virgin wedding cake icing. Hot damn, I’m a TIRE CHANGER! :D What? What’s this? I’ve got to do the other side? :( Forty-five minutes later I’m sliding that Mojolever around the lower bead of the tire like it’s a hot knife slicing through butter. But now I’m not so happy. The Harbor Freight stand has once pulled from the cement anchors, the wheel has slipped out of the Harbor Freight stand, and my rear wheel is showing signs of my struggle: scratches, chips and smears. I decided to do the rear tire first because my bike could stay on the center stand and I could swap out the stock rubber valve stem for my fancy new metal one.

By now I’m thinking my time has some value. It’s my most precious and scarce resource. When it’s gone, it’s gone. It’s a beautiful cool and sunny October day. It’s going to be perfect for riding. It’s going on three hours and I’m just getting to my first naked wheel. Then the next snag abruptly surfaces. This is getting more and more chess-like by the minute. The consequences of failure are compounding. The fancy new metal valve stem isn’t fitting like I dreamed it would when I looked at pictures of it on the Internet. :oops: The instructions have given me stern warning not to tighten it past 7.8 Newton-Meters for fear of compromising the rubber gasket. It’s a critical part. It is the Jesus nut of the rear wheel. And I like to ride fast. I’ve taken heed but it’s still not snug and I can, we some modest resistance, freely rotate it. I can see it seals from the outside of the wheel only and the rubber gasket does not penetrate the depth of the wheel. The fastener on the inside of the wheel is already beginning to score the wheel’s surface. My confidence has been shaken. Left to my own devices, I’d tighten that mother until the sun doesn’t shine and forget about it, but the 7.8 Nm warning was in bold and upper case, so I make one of the hardest $35 decisions I’ve ever had to make. :cry: My fancy new metal valve stem quickly fails the sniff test and finds a home in the “no-go parts bin.” Now what? I’ve got two new unmounted tires and a wheel without a valve stem and a mostly fully amortized tire lying off to the side.

#-o Frustration is setting in. I’m dying for one of those Nat Shermans I tossed aside a few weeks ago. I’m ready for some hardcore contemplation and self pity that often accompanied a ten-minute smoke break during mechanical sessions like this in the past. The day is slipping past like a dagger sliding through a tightened painter’s canvas. Maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a tire changer after all? 8-[

Failure is imminent. :-s I have no way to ride my bike because I can’t mount the new tire without a valve stem. But what are my options? So it’s 9:00 a.m. and I set out on a journey to the great tire changers to the south: Battley Cycles. Nearly two and a half hours later, in late morning rush hour traffic compounded by an accident and I’m greeting Lou at the service counter. My shoulders are slumped with the humility of a failed tire changer as I awkwardly mutter the details of my misfortune and say a gratuitous comment like “You guys are pros with this stuff. Some people like me have to learn the hard way.” :oops: Lou gives me a grin that tells me he’s encountered this scenario a few times in the past. I leave the dealership feeling liberated spiritually despite knowing my wallet is going to be further liberated of few bucks, too. Lou says they’ll be done by the end of the day. I’m off and I think I can make Noon Mass at the Grotto in Emmitsburg. The day appears to have redemption. I’m cruising up 270 and my Garmin is telling me I should be pulling into the Grotto parking lot at 11:57 a.m. Not perfect, but I’ll take it. With any luck I can grab lunch after mass and pick up a few odds and ends I need to install my new Sirius radio for the bike and truck to share. WHAT? “Road Construction Ahead,” the sign says. And traffic is again stalled. Barely crawling. True bumper to bumper. Garmin says it’s 11:57 a.m. and I’m just passing Frederick. Nuts. Noon Mass is going to be scratched from my reborn agenda. So I veer off toward Walkersville. I’ll head home to Littlestown, grab a bite to eat, give the dogs a break, regroup and try to hit mass at the Seton Shrine at 1:30 p.m. All is not lost. :D

I’m rolling into Littlestown after a long and somewhat tiresome pilgrimage to Battleys, when my cell phone rings. It’s Conway at Battley’s. “Your tires are done,” he says. “Great,” I respond. “I’ll be there soon to pick them up.” It’s now 1:00 p.m. :roll: I stop at the house grab the Sirius stuff I need to replicate for the bike and truck, and I’m southbound again. I decide I’ve got the time to attend mass and I do. Feeling invigorated, I’m cruising down Rt. 15, and then I-270 on my way to Rockville and traffic is flowing smoothly. It’s 3:30 p.m. and I can see traffic is building on 270 northbound. I know what that means. Rush hour is coming, sooner than I thought. And by the way, where did this day go? By now I was supposed to be cruising the countryside of Northern Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania on a newly shod R1200ST enjoying the rich blue autumn sky and sunshine scrubbing in my Metzlers. :twisted: I arrive at Battley’s at about 4:00 p.m. Lou is looking like a man who’s put in a full day of work and thinking about a nice cold beverage with dinner. I grab my wheels and $95 later I’m rolling northbound again. Maybe I can find a Radio Shack in Frederick? I ask my GPS enabled phone to find Radio Shack locations along the way. This will save me a little time I reassure myself. Indeed. There is a Radio Shack off Patrick Avenue. “Cool,” I say to myself. As I get closer I start following the directions being blurted out by my phone. After a while I’m noticing Michelle (the voice inside my phone) has been a little quiet lately. I hit the “talk” button to see if I can nudge her to consciousness. It has been a long day and running up and down 270 was tiresome. What? She’s dead. :shock: Michelle isn’t talking anymore because my cell phone battery expired sometime in the last few miles of my tutored journey to Radio Shack. “Oh well,” I think to myself. “It’s probably in the Frederick Towne Mall.” I pull in. Visit the store, which has little useable merchandise and appears to be a store in distress, like many of the mall’s other occupants. This Radio Shack is a few rungs above a kiosk. And they don’t have what I need. So resigned again, I head home. I’ll figure this out tomorrow. :(

When I pull into my driveway it’s almost 6:00 p.m. Nearly 12 hours since this adventure began. Still my ST, now balanced on its center stand, secured with straps suspended from my garage joists, is tire and wheel less. I’m fatigued and hungry, so I grab a quick bite to eat. After dinner I’m back in the garage, now easily 12 hours since this saga began and I’m finally installing my new Z6s on my ST. I can’t believe it. Add another $55 for gas plus the $95 for Battley’s labor (including sales tax) and the cost to use this new set of tires has hit a whopping $867.98. Let’s round it up to $900 because I know I bought a few odds and ends to install the tire changer and swap the tires out. I could have saved myself a lot of money if I had just asked the dealer to change them in the first place. :oops:

“Maybe someday I’ll learn to be a tire changer?” I say to myself. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Graybeard on Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:03 am

Ben,

You may never be a great tire-changer, but you're a pretty good story-teller and a super photographer!

Larry
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Postby BchrisL on Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:17 am

I cannot help shaking with laughter. Been there done that, had to teach myself not to do it again. It is the hardest thing I have had to teach to Geoff, and he still has not learned.


God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
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