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  1. #1
    Veteran Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Toro D200, Ford 1715, International 884,

    Default Portable Mount for the Harbor Freight Portable Tire Changer

    I decided to try the HF Portable Tire Changer.

    I'm not quite sure why it is called "portable", when it is designed to be bolted to a concrete floor.

    Anyway, I was trying to figure out what to mount it to... and came up with the idea of using a piece of 2" square tubing. The base on the changer was mounted on a diagonal. I cut it off and rotated it 45 degrees to make it square with the bead breaker.

    Portable Mount for the Harbor Freight Portable Tire Changer-tirechangeronblazer.jpg Portable Mount for the Harbor Freight Portable Tire Changer-beadbreaker.jpg

    One sets the changer on the ground to break the bead, then mounts it to the receiver to remove the tire. It works.

    I made a custom aluminum lock ring for use on aluminum rims, rather than using the 4 pronged holder that came with the set.

    Portable Mount for the Harbor Freight Portable Tire Changer-lockingring.jpg

    A couple of HF tire irons are also handy.

    One other mod,
    The end of the bar had very crude casting. I filed it smooth with hopes of doing less damage to my rims. It still does drag a bit as one pulls it around.

    On mounting the tire, the mounting bar got stuck at about 75%. I will admit that a cheater-bar is not a good idea to use with HF tools. The last quarter must be done with tire irons.

    Northern Tools is supposed to have a similar mounting tool, but is reported to be slightly beefier, although the photos look very similar to the HF changer.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Kentucky
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    B2920

    Default Re: Portable Mount for the Harbor Freight Portable Tire Changer

    I've had one of these for several years now, but mine is still a "ground mount" - actually tacked to a large steel panel. It doesn't get a lot of use, but I think I got it for less than $30 while it was on sale. When you need to get a tire fixed on a weekend or later on at night around here, you'd better be able to do it yourself and this one does the job.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portable Mount for the Harbor Freight Portable Tire Changer

    The last two times I was towing haying equipment home, I had tire issues.

    The first time, I got a pile of spare tires. However, the baler had 2 tires on the left, and one on the right. Tire sizes were the same, but the rims were different. So, when I had problems with the right tire, I had a pile of spares that I couldn't use.

    And, for part of the trip, I specifically targeted a low traffic period at night, which meant that no tire shops were open, except for a truck stop which had 24 hour service, but not for me.

    Anyway, my portable tire pumps don't seem to have the volume to mount the bead (have to work on that one). But, having the ability to even just change one's own tire would be nice.

  4. #4
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    B2920

    Default Re: Portable Mount for the Harbor Freight Portable Tire Changer

    A ratchet strap works well to expand the tire beads enough to seat them, though I've never tried it with one of the portable air compressors.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portable Mount for the Harbor Freight Portable Tire Changer

    Putting the strap around the outside of the tire? That is an interesting idea.

    When I was mounting the mags, the beads were in essentially the right place, but they just didn't make a seal. I have a small 5 gallon tank. If setup right, I could put 100 lbs or so into the tank, then it should be able to mount the bead.

    I may do some further modifications in the future. The HF bead breaker was lacking lateral stability, and probably should be reinforced, especially if one finds that one has to work around the tire, rather than directly breaking the bead in only a single place. Why didn't they at least use angle iron for the vertical supports?

    The original HF (and Northern Tools) designs also had a small catch to keep the wheel from sliding while breaking the beads. I have plenty of room to put that on my hitch tubing, but I haven't decided how to do it. High offset rims might have troubles with the little cheeseblock design the stock changer had.

    The center hole for my baler rims (stock 16" tires, but big center holes) is too big for the HF machine. An adapter plate? My Ford Pickup with "Wide-Five" rims also has too big of a center hole, and would need an adapter.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Portable Mount for the Harbor Freight Portable Tire Changer

    I have used HF tool referenced above to break bead on travel trailer tires to change valve stem to metal (previous owner had cheap rubber valve stems). worked well for that. nice idea to mount to stinger... I just might do that.
    2007 Kubota L3130, LA723 FEL
    Land Pride FDR1672 rear finish mower, Frontier RB1172, Koyker KB60 BH
    Pallet forks, Golf cart canopy bolted to ROPS, 9" & 12" PHD

  7. #7
    Platinum Member bandaidmd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portable Mount for the Harbor Freight Portable Tire Changer

    one of these turns that HF changer from a pinto to a lincoln continental.

    Mount/Demount Bar for Manual Tire Changers

  8. #8
    Gold Member flyerdan's Avatar
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    Salem, OR
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    Hyster H50

    Default Re: Portable Mount for the Harbor Freight Portable Tire Changer

    I welded mine to a scrap of plate that I sandwich one of my extended forks between, 4 1/2" bolts cinch it down. Takes up less room than mounting it to something or somewhere where you can get around it all the way. Works out great for something used infrequently.
    Anxiously awaiting Dr. Savage's return to the airwaves.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Default Re: Portable Mount for the Harbor Freight Portable Tire Changer

    That's a good idea.
    I put bucket forks on my tractor (which are still on it at the moment). My fork design should take the torque. Do you get lateral instability with your channel iron fork design?

    Anyway, the nice thing about the receiver design is that I can have the changer wherever the blazer or pickup is. Of course, unhitching everything to get access to the receiver could be a pain.

    It is also a bit of a pain to have to remove the device every time I wish to use the bead breaker, and, there is always the concern of slipping and making an extra hole in the back of the vehicle

    Quote Originally Posted by bandaidmd View Post
    one of these turns that HF changer from a pinto to a lincoln continental.
    Mount/Demount Bar for Manual Tire Changers
    Nice bar. More expensive than the rest of the changer. Right now I'm working on rebuilding where I bent mine. I really envision making the demount end wider and flatter, with more rounding on the corners. I'm not quite sure what would improve the mount end of the bar. A simple square bar might help with twisting, but it still has problems that it gets about 3/4 the way around, then just gets stuck.

  10. #10
    Gold Member flyerdan's Avatar
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    Hyster H50

    Default Re: Portable Mount for the Harbor Freight Portable Tire Changer

    The forks are a little sloppy; I was looking for some 2x6 RT to make them from but found the I beams and 9" flatbar on craigslist for $40 so I couldn't pass that up, even if they are 4" thick. The changer seemed pretty stable when I used it; I'm sure a stubborn bead would rock it a bit, but it would still be useable.
    Anxiously awaiting Dr. Savage's return to the airwaves.

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