I looked around the HEF site and elsewhere on the internet and can't find much on repairing and installing loader tires.
My 966C with 23.5 x 25 tubeless bias tires has a slow leak on one tire. It needs air every week or two. So far I haven't figured out where it is leaking from; there's snow on the ground and I may not tackle a fix until spring. The valve and valve stem isn't leaking, so it either has a small puncture or is leaking from where the tire meets the rim.
In the meantime, I'd like to learn a bit about how to fix and install these tires. OK, I could call a tire shop and have them come out. But I'd rather not spend the $600 on a service call if I can do it safely myself.
The loader has three piece Cat rims. I assume it must have a rubber O ring to seal the metal ring to the rim.
I know that safety is a big issue with installing or inflating these tires. I probably would leave the rim on the machine when working on the tire. When reinflating, I would use a clip on chuck and stand to the side or behind the loader. And I would put the bucket of another machine up close to the rim or align a fork fastened to the bucket on the other machine inside the rings. That way if the rings blow off the bucket or fork should catch them. Or is that a bad idea?
Any tips on how to go about working on this? Or links to information?
Last edited by swampdog; 02-11-2009 at 12:47 PM.
Thanks Rob, I tried that in the area of the valve stem and on the beads on both sides. Nothing showed up there, although the soapy water was freezing a bit as I applied it. It's still below freezing most days and we have snow on the ground; the loader is outside. So I can't really do a proper job of checking the tire with soapy water until it warms up.
I guess I'm thinking ahead and trying to gather information, in case it does have to come apart. It also never hurts to know a little more about this in the event of future problems.
It takes special jacks to break the bead and clear the rims. After that you have to have something to lift with.
I've done tires because I've not had any choice. I would recommend you have a tire guy do this one while you watch. After that you can make an intelligent decision as to whether you want to do one yourself.
swampdog, my advice is to ring up the tyre service shop, pay the money and hate it, mind you, $600 sounds a lot of money just to remove, repair and re-fit a loader tyre. I guess it depends on how far they have to travel. You need an air operated bead breaker to push the tyre in off the sleeve on the outside and then push it off the rim on the inside of the wheel. I presume Cat uses the same system as other wheel loaders. I am not saying it can't be done manually, but with a wheel that size, you would have your work cut out. We run quite a few 23.5 x 25 tyres and with the right equipment it is not hard to take them off. We repaired one with a leak in it a few days ago and with two of us, we did it in a little over an hour, not that I did a lot. You will probably need a new "O" ring, because once it is disturbed, it will be hard to get it to seal again. Getting the tubeless tyre to seal again when pumping it up can be a problem. We smear a sealing compound that tyre fitters use around both sides of the tyre to stop the air coming out, until it pushes the tyre out and seals on the rim. If the tyre only has a small leak, it can be repaired the same as a tubeless car or truck tyre, but using a larger patch and it is much easier to repair the tyre on the machine. The front tyres are easier, because you can use the hydraulics to lift the machine. You may be a little paranoid about the ring blowing off, I have never seen one blow off yet, just make sure it is locked in properly and exercise caution when inflating the tyre, don't stand in front of it.
Hope this helps.
Ditto to what the others said, call a tire guy, without the right tools you won't get it done. To switchout 4 tires on my kawasaki a few months ago the tire guy was here for 7.5 hrs and he knew what he was doing with the the right tools
A bunch of trucks, cans and equipment
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You all might be right about having a service truck come out if this does have to come off. I'm kind of stubborn and try to do things myself; almost always, it turns out that I can find a way to do things. On the other hand, occasionally I screw things up.
A neighbor had a flat on his tractor last fall and called the service truck. It cost him six or seven hundred and the tire was flat again the next morning. I'm not sure if they charged him again the second time.
Has anyone tried those products to fix leaks that one can put into the tire through the valve stem? Bars and other companies make products and put out great claims for them. Wondering if they are a waste of time and money.
Here are a couple of videos of an experienced fellow removing and reinstalling a 26.5x25 tire. He has it off in about four minutes. Reinstallation takes about ten minutes. He seems to use an air operated bead breaker on the back side. The video doesn't show it, but I assume that he is placing the air operated bead breaker against the loader frame and then exerting pressure on the tire. I'm wondering if too much pressure there might not damage bearings or planetaries, etc?? If that's not a concern, a hydraulic jack and blocks should work to break the bead.
Video removing tire:
Video reinstalling tire:
Ignore that idea about using a hydraulic jack against the loader frame. I just looked at a few bead breakers on the web. It seems that they work by just clamping onto the rim, without placing any pressure on the loader. Not having a bead breaker looks like the main obstacle.
My immediate thought is a professional doing his job will make it look very easy , I know from watching different guys do duck tyres, some make a right meal of it, others just crack on and get it done. I can and have done them myself but not as a first choice
If you have seen the first video when he pulls up on site the tyre is well flat and off the bead at the front, I would hazard a guess that the back is probably the same and all he did was push the tyre forward with an air leg/jack.
Having said all that If you are as stubborn as you say you are and armed with those video clips I would say you have a very good chance of doing it yourself provided you have a lifting device, some assistance and plenty of cleaning/lube fluid
Your biggest problem will probably be breaking the bead, but as you suggest a jack and blocks should do it, just dont punch a block through the side of the tyre.
edit, you posted while I was waffling.
Last edited by AtlasRob; 02-12-2009 at 02:08 PM. Reason: too slow typing
Always fit in place pivot locks before you jack up a loader or Dump-truck, avoid "bits of wood" to help jack off the casing, as they often fly and hit you or someone, a puncture is fixed without removing the casing with an external plug on tube-less mountings, always inflate the tyre with the valve core removed, then you can deflate as fast as you inflate, most tyre fitters use a Hiab style loader crane to push off the beads, it is easy to do the same thing with an excavator but have timber under the axle/frame as it might move off the jack, obviously the more you do the simpler it gets, the right kit helps no end like the hydraulic bead breaker (if you dont have a Lorry loader/Hiab) make sure you assemble the lock, ring and flange together and in good alignment befor you inflate.
Heck, just go buy a used tire service truck and the tools. This way you stubborn folks , can save the $6-700 service call. LOL
Ah, just joking.
Maybe just go buy the service tools though.
Here's a site to look at.
Looks like that they, have, all you would need.
i don't wanna tell anyone how to run their business, but leave the tire work to the pros. those friggin things store a ton of energy and can and will hurt you.
SO MOTE IT BE.
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the qball youtube page
I have changed loader tires many times,it really goes pretty easy with the right tools)
The right tool is an excavator bucket.If you deflate the tire you can break the bead by curling out the bucket,be careful not to damage the "O" ring and in my experience just common tire changing tools will allow you to remove the split rim etc to slide the tire off of the wheel.
You can use pipe soap or what have you to reinstall it and a chain and binder might be needed to reset the bead but once you do a couple you will be surprised how easy it goes.
It is always nice to drop the dime but it is not always an option due to time constraints etc.Ron G
I dont feel quite so bad now for being maybe too vocal in the "give it a go mode" I would hate to think of somebody getting hurt.
I have installed and repaired a ton of these types of tires. I used to work as a tire tech for a goodyear dealer up here, and most of my work was done on large tires.
The rim is very easy to get apart once you have the air out of the tire. A hammer and bar will work for you there. A bead breaker is great if you have one (maybe you can borrow or rent one) but maybe you can get a slide hammer, or borrow one of those. If you cant find those, go buy yourself a bead breaker hammer. They can be used from car tires all the way up! Make sure you know how to swing a hammer, and you can aim the damn thing though! It can be alot of work to break the tire loose, but ive had to do it lots, so it can be done. Ive also had to use a bobcat with forks on the front on some really stubborn ones (out in the field).
The o-ring is pretty tough, and alot of times it can be reused, but inspect it carefully. Clean the area where the o-ring goes back into, and clean the rim really well.
To check for the leak you can over inflate it a little bit, and check for leaks with the soapy water. If you cant find it by doing that, most times you can take it apart and check the inside of the tire and you can see a nail or whatever that is causing your problem. The soapy water really is the best bet though.
If you take the tire apart, splurge and get a new valve stem. Clean it out the hole in the rim well. They can have small leaks that can be very tough to see.
Like the other fella said, the repair can be done with a normal tire patch. What you want to do is lightly grind the area around the leak, then clean the area. After its clean (and dry) apply the glue, let it sit for a minute or so, and stitch the patch on. I always used the rubber goopy crap ontop of the patch after (cant recall the technical name for it!)
When reinstalling your tire on the rim, you want to make sure the bead of the tire is clean. The rim should be clean, and you will need some tire mounting paste (we used murphy's) and smear some murphys around the inside edge of the time, and the bead of the tire. Take the o-ring and use a little murphys on it, install the ring. ALWAYS be careful though, those tires are heavy and can pinch your hand in a second! Tap the ring back into place, then add air. For the first little bit, take a hammer and tap the ring to make sure it seats properly. Then stand to the side and let it air up, periodically checking the pressure. Ive yet to see a ring blow off, but I wouldnt want to be standing in front of one either!