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Old 08-15-2006, 07:11 AM   #1
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Tire Changing Tips

Want to change yoru skoolie tire yourself, but not really sure what you're doing?

I'm not an expert, but i have changed a few tires, and i also had the guy at the big truck tire place give me a quick tutorial...

What do you call the type of wheels that look like this?




Obviously safety is the most important factor....always use a jack rated for the weight of your bus, chock the wheels what are left on the ground, and use cribbing or other suitable means of keeping the axle off the ground should the jack fail.

First thing is to loosen the lug nuts before lifting the bus off the ground (unless you're using an impact driver, then proceed to the next step) Don't remove the lug nuts!

Jack the bus up so the tire is a couple inches off of the ground. Putting a 2x8 under the jack will decrease the amount the jack sinks into the ground. Jacking while the bus is on cement is most desireable, but not always possible.

Still don't remove the lug nuts! It's important to make sure you leave the nut on far enough that all of the threads are still in contact with the stud.

Next: If the little pieces of metal that hold the wheel on are not loose and flopping around, you'll need to get a sledge hammer and hit the edge of the rim (where the rim meets the tire) a few times. You may have to beat on the tire pretty hard before it breaks loose. When it breaks loose, the little pieces of metal (anyone know what these are called?) tend to POP and fly with a lot of force.



They cannot come all the way off however, because the lug nuts hold them in place. If the lug nuts are off when the little triangle pieces of metal pop off it could take out your kneecap!

IF each of the little pieces of metal are now now loose (when checking them, make sure your finger is not in a place to get pinched if the piece were to come loose while you were were touching it.) you can now safely remove the lugnuts then the tire.



there's only 1 good tip that crosses my mind for re-installing the tire. After you've fitted the wheel back onto the bus, and you've began torquing the lugnuts (obviously use the star pattern for tightenign lug nuts like you would on an yother 5 lug wheel) before you let the bus down, set an object about 1 inch from the tire, like this



Spin the tire a couple revolutions and compare the distance of the tire from the object you set on the ground to make sure the tire is not wobbling. If it seems to wobble, loosen the lug nuts and re-tighten.

anybody want to add more tips and safety concerns related to changing tires?
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Old 08-15-2006, 04:45 PM   #2
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What is the rated capacity of the jack you use?
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:15 PM   #3
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mine is a 12 ton bottle jack. Not so different from this one:



The entire bus probably weighs about 12 tons, but that weight is spilt between all 6 tires.
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Old 08-15-2006, 05:23 PM   #4
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I had to leave my bus for a while without a wheel when I was fixing the steering arm. A simple stack of 2x6s did a good job of holding it up.

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Old 08-15-2006, 05:36 PM   #5
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hey steve...

...I noticed your air horns on top of your baby. Are you using an electric pump to run them or ??? I just picked up a Grover air horn from Dons Auto Salvage here in Des Moines for 10 smackers !! (180 $ new)

Just curious.

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Old 08-15-2006, 08:01 PM   #6
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What lapeer20m described is the basic for this type of set up.


The rims on it are dayton rims. And those metal pieces are "wheel clamps" Some times instead of a 5 spoke center you will see a 6 spoke center more often on bigger trucks.
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Old 08-16-2006, 01:27 AM   #7
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Hey thanks! Those look like my wheel setups. I wont have to change a tire for a while, but this will help. Im a DIY on just about everything, and I was "wondering" about changing tires in the back of my mind.

Now I have a question though. My tires say "regrooveable" on them, have you gotten tires regrooved? If so, is it cheaper to regroove them, or cheaper to get a new tire?
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Old 08-16-2006, 01:45 PM   #8
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I got my full set of used tires free from the local school bus barn. I just loaded them up myself at the bus barn and took it to a truck tire place to have them installed.
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Old 08-16-2006, 02:57 PM   #9
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as long as the sidewalls are good, you can get your tires re-tredded. You cannot legally run retreds on the front of your vehicle in most states. It is totally illegal in all 50 states for commercial vehicles, I believe that some states allow RV's to run retreds on the steer tires, but it is very unsafe.

I think it's common practice for the big trucks to retred the steer tires when they wear out and install them on the rear, or on the trailer.
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Old 08-17-2006, 01:00 AM   #10
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is retread the same as regroveable? I thought that was differnt..?
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