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Old 02-16-2017, 11:47 AM
Lee Barker Lee Barker is offline
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Default Review of Harbor Freight Mini Tire Changer

First, let's have a smile or two over the picture on the front of the manual. It shows the tool, yes; however, the aluminum cone is in the wrong place, as is one of the plastic bushings, and the tire shown is not one which you could change! It looks as if it were stolen off a kid's Radio Flyer. But enough about that.

The kit is as shown in the HF illustrations and the image I attached. The base is made to bolt to a stand of some sort. I opted to bolt it to a plywood base which I clamp on the corner of my work table, 3 clamps. This works well and the tool stores fine even with the plywood base.

The idea is you slide the aluminum casting (with the threaded shaft) into the red base and secure it with a pivot pin. That fit was way too sloppy for me; I shimmed the red base and bolted the casting in.

The tool includes a bead breaker. I didn't expect that. It is mentioned in the video. Works fine.

I used the tool to mount and demount two riding mower tires, 18 8.50-8. The tool worked amazingly well. Using the 20% coupon against the current price, I walked away from the store about $37 lighter.

I did have to add a third bushing, which happened to be plastic and round, though it needn't be either. I was using wide wheels (lug nut type, centered hub) and I needed to raise the stock bushings up higher to use them as fulcrums.

This tool would not hold up to daily use but for a kart hobbyist I found it a fabulous alternative to levers and stomping and vise grips and unpleasant guttural emanations.
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