- January 15, 2013
- By admin
- In Uncategorized
A “lever-less tire machine” (LTM) is the best way to have your tires dismounted or mounted on your wheels. LTM uses a different technology to break the bead and dismount the tire from your fancy wheels without scratching the surface of the rim or tearing the tire. I will try to explain why this is by comparing the new technology of a LTM to that of a traditional tire machine.
A traditional tire machine uses a metal plate connected to hydraulics that squeezes inwards to break the seal of the tire from the rim. The plate will fit just inside the small space created between a tire and wheel. Normally, to break the seal a number of passes must be done around the circumference of the wheel on both the front and rear to loosen up the tire sealed against the bead of the rim. When this is being done imagine the amount of pressure being applied to the tire and the rim itself (hundreds of pounds of pressure). When the tire bead is being broken on the inner seal (the back of the rim) all of this pressure is pushing on the face or the pretty side of your wheel (the plate is used to break the bread one side at a time and as it squeezes inwards on the back then the front of the wheel is leveraged against a solid flat surface) and one small slip can scratch the face of the wheel. Also, the metal plate that breaks the bead can slip out of the tiny space between the tire and rim and usually scratches the wheel when this happens.
Once the bead is broken on a tire then it can be dismounted. Traditional tire machines use a metal guide head and a lever to pull the lip of the tire up over this guide and spin the tire off. If the tire is a run flat, low profile, or just tightly sealed on the rim then it is very easy for that metal guide head to bend down onto the face of the wheel and scratch it while the tire is spun off. Also, some wheels have protruding spokes that can be near impossible to avoid damaging when the tire is being dismounted.
Almost of greater concern is that when dismounting a stiff run-flat or low profile tire using a traditional tire-changing machine, the tire can actually tear on the metal guide head as it is being taken off. These tears are not always completely damaging to a tire so many times the tire is remounted and there is no way to know that the tire was damaged because when mounted back on your rim it will look completely normal.
The “lever-less tire machine” uses a different method of breaking the bead and dismounting the tire so that scratching the wheel or damaging the tire does not happen. To break the bead there are two hardened plastic rollers on either side of the rim that are set exactly to the point just between the wheel and tire and then locked into place. Taking turns, the wheel is spun and each roller is slowly lowered to apply pressure on the tire all the way around the wheel. The tire is slower broken away from the bead of the rim without applying massive amounts of pressure to the rim itself. Once the bread is broken there is another hardened plastic arm that slips into the tire, catches the edge of the tire, and literally lifts the tire up and over the wheel avoiding spokes and applying zero down pressure on the face of the wheel. Without the use of a lever there is no pressure placed on a guide head and no risk of damaging or tearing the tire.