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Loader Tire Repair Remove Install Tips Please

Discussion in 'Wheel Loaders' started by swampdog, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. swampdog

    swampdog Senior Member

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    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: Feb 11, 2009
  2. AtlasRob

    AtlasRob Senior Member

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    I cant help you on the repair front, BUT, :) a mix of soapy washing up liquid and water dispensed from a squeezy bottle in sections over the tyre and rim should show you exactly where your problem is. I would hate for you to strip the thing down only to find you have a tiny pin hole in the tyre.
     
  3. swampdog

    swampdog Senior Member

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    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.
     
  4. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    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.
     
  5. RocksnRoses

    RocksnRoses Senior Member

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    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.

    Rn'R.
     
  6. SunServicesLLC

    SunServicesLLC Well-Known Member

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    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
     
  7. swampdog

    swampdog Senior Member

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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:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WKFGFageXA

    Video reinstalling tire:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Hj3KfOky7M&feature=related
     
  8. swampdog

    swampdog Senior Member

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    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. :thumbdown
     
  9. AtlasRob

    AtlasRob Senior Member

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    A great find, thanks for posting the links.

    My immediate thought is a professional doing his job will make it look very easy :D, I know from watching different guys do duck tyres, some make a right meal of it, others just crack on and get it done. :notworthy I can and have done them myself but not as a first choice :mad:

    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 :rolleyes: 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 :D

    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. :ban

    edit, you posted while I was waffling.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  10. tctractors

    tctractors Senior Member

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    Be safe,

    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.

    tctractors
     
  11. Northart

    Northart Senior Member

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  12. qball

    qball Senior Member

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    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.
     
  13. RonG

    RonG Charter Member

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    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
     
  14. AtlasRob

    AtlasRob Senior Member

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    A very good point on the wooden blocks, I did wonder if the Hiab got used for that purpose ;)

    Also a very good point, but hes already confessed to being stubborn :D

    Nice to hear from somebody who has done it and got the T shirt, :drinkup

    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.
     
  15. Preppypyro

    Preppypyro Well-Known Member

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    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!
     
  16. swampdog

    swampdog Senior Member

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    Thanks for the great responses. That's very helpful. A couple of you mention using a machine - an excavator or bobcat - to break the bead. I assume this is done with the rim and tire still on the machine, by hooking the bucket or a fork in behind the tire to break the bead on the rear side of the tire.

    Does this mean that damaging wheel bearings or planetaries is not a concern? Are they tough enough to take considerable force without damage? A proper bead breaker exerts no pressure on the axle, bearings, or planetaries. Using an excavator or loader could put a lot of force on various parts other than the tire or rim.
     
  17. RonG

    RonG Charter Member

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    When you consider the weight that the wheel bearing is exposed to under normal load,breaking the bead is trivial.You can also use the swing motor to break the bead with the flat side of the bucket if you wanted to but the inside would still have to be pulled toward you.As long as you don't use just one tooth I don't think you could damage the tire.
    I would rather change a loader tire with an excavator than a danged truck tire with any combination of tire tools that I ever saw.That was my rainy day job for years...11:00x24s.LOL.Ron G
     
  18. surfer-joe

    surfer-joe Senior Member

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    In an emergency or if you just feel like it, you can release the air from the tire, start the loader, and carefully lower the front end down with the bucket so that there is some weight on the tire. Slowly move the machine ahead or back by skidding on the bucket while watching the tire flex carefully. You can also lower the wheel all the way down to the ground, again watching carefully. Quite often, the beads will break loose completely by doing this. It beats banging away with a hammer and is faster than using jacks or other machines.

    I've done this and removed and reinstalled 23.5X25 tires by myself. It doesn't always work for one reason or another: rust, paint, etc. But sometimes you get lucky. Don't let the tire fall over if you are by yourself. If you are strong you may be able to pick it back up on your own, but!!..... I've picked up just one tire and fully assembled wheel by myself in the bed of a pickup after it fell over back in the eighties, but I heard every joint in my body pop when I did it and I was sore for days. Bare tires aren't so bad, but still heavy if fairly unworn.

    You can also use just a tire plug kit if the hole or leak is very small, same as any tubeless tire. I never really liked using plugs on loader front tires though. The big advantage is that you don't need to break it down.

    Hmmm. You can also try some tire sealer if it's a really small leak, either the pink bubblegum type or the green. There are others. I've used both and either one of the two worked OK. About 2 1/2 gallons should do the trick. Stuff keeps your wheel clean on the inside too.

    Preppypyro listed most of the other good stuff about the O-ring and cleaning the wheel and rim components up real well. Sometimes a wire brush and a scraper are all you need, but an air or electric powered wire brush is faster and works better in the O-ring and snap ring groves. Wear good eye protection for sure! A new valve insert is good insurance.

    If your brand new pickup isn't parked directly in front of the tire, and nothing else is in the way for about fifty or sixty feet excepting maybe a dozer blade, you can inflate the tire safely by standing off to the side. Don't fill to full pressure all at once though. Stop once in a while and check the snap ring, tap it a little with a smaller hammer to seat it in. If it doesn't look right, deflate and rework the durned thing till it snaps in as it's supposed to. Snap rings that fly off tend to dent badly whatever they hit, but you already knew this, eh?

    Good Luck!
     
  19. Preppypyro

    Preppypyro Well-Known Member

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    Kinda funny you mention that! I enjoyed changing pretty much everything but car and light truck tires. Give me a bead axe, a few bars, a pail of murphy's, and an air blaster, and I could change 11r24's by hand all day long!


    When it comes to plugging a tire, I actually only used a large plug, when the hole was large. I found that the small plugs didnt seem to work very well in the larger tires. Even in car tires when we needed to install a plug, it was a plug/patch, so you get the whole thing repaired well.

    If your going to use a plug, I personally would still reccomend to throw a patch on in the inside of the tire.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  20. RonG

    RonG Charter Member

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    It wasn't so bad when I was young I guess but once the tire was off the wheel then we had to find the leak and patch the tube,find what punctured the tube if it was still in the tire and then putting it all back together was the easy part. Another thing that weighs on your mind is "WHEN"????
    We never used a cage,in fact I never saw one until well after I moved on and tubeless tires were the rage but I never lost a split rim in all those years and I expected my luck was about to run out but "WHEN"?LOL.Ron G