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If you own an ATV, you know how important it is to keep your tires in good condition. Tires are the only contact point between your ATV and the ground, affecting ride quality, performance, and safety. However, changing ATV tires can be daunting for many ATV owners, especially if they need access to a professional service or tire machine. That’s why learning to change ATV tires yourself is a valuable skill that saves money, time, and hassle. In this article, I will show you how to shift ATV tires by hand in less than an hour, using some essential tools and equipment you already have at home. Additionally, you’ll pick up some hints and techniques to streamline and simplify the procedure. By the end of this article, you can change your ATV tires like a pro and enjoy the benefits of doing it yourself.
Step 1: Removing Old Tires
The first step in changing ATV tires involves deflating and removing the old tires from the ATV. Before removal, deflating the tire is crucial for a smooth process, especially if moving over different terrain. Use a tire meter to measure the current pressure and a valve core removal tool to let all the air out.
Then, You’ll need the following tools: a tire iron, bead breaker, lug wrench, or jack.
- Jacking Up Your ATV Safely First, park your ATV on a flat, stable surface and turn off the engine. Then, use the jack to lift one side of the ATV until the tire is off the ground. Ensure you securely position the jack and stabilize the ATV.
- Loosening Lug Nuts with a Lug Wrench Next, utilize the lug wrench to loosen and remove the nuts that hold the rim to the axle. Keep the lug nuts in a safe place for later use.
- Breaking the Bead Seal Using a Tire Iron or Bead Breaker Finally, use the tire iron or the bead breaker to break the bead seal that keeps the tire attached to the rim. Place the tool between the tire and the rim to pry the tire off the rim. Repeat this process around the tire until you break the bead entirely. Then, pull the tire off the rim and set it aside. You have successfully removed the old tire from the ATV. Repeat the same steps for the other tires.
Step 2: Mounting New Tires on Rims
The second step to changing ATV tires yourself is to mount the new tires on the rims. To do this, you will need a tire iron or a bead breaker, a valve stem tool, and a lubricant, such as soapy water:
- Aligning the Valve Stem and Tire Dot for Balance
- Locate the valve stem on the rim and the dot on the tire. The dot indicates the lightest part of the tire, and you should align it with the valve stem—the heaviest part of the rim. This alignment will help balance the tire and reduce vibration.
- Using a Tire Iron or Bead Breaker to Seat the Bead
- Use the valve stem tool to open the valve core from the valve stem and let the air out of the rim.
- Apply some lubricant to the bead of the tire and the rim to make the mounting process more accessible.
- Use the tire iron or the bead breaker to push the tire onto the rim. Start from the opposite side of the valve stem and work around the rim until the tire is fully mounted.
- Use the valve stem tool to reinstall the valve core and inflate the tire slightly to seat the bead. You should hear a popping sound when the bead is seated. The new tire is now securely mounted on the rim. Repeat the same steps for the other tires.
Step 3: Inflating New Tires to Correct Pressure
The third step to changing ATV tires yourself is to inflate the new tires to the correct pressure. You’ll need an air compressor and a tire gauge to do this. First, connect the air compressor to the valve stem and turn it on. Then, use the tire gauge to measure the tire pressure and compare it to the recommended pressure for your ATV tires and terrain. You can find the recommended pressure on the tire sidewall in the ATV owner’s manual or online. Generally, the pressure range for ATV tires is between 3 and 10 psi, depending on the type of tire and the terrain. For example, lower pressure is better for soft or muddy terrain.
In comparison, higher pressure is better for hard or rocky terrain. Next, adjust the tire pressure by adding or releasing air until it matches the recommended pressure. Make sure to recheck the pressure after changing it. Finally, repeat the same steps for the other tires. You have successfully inflated the new tires to the correct pressure.
Step 4: Reinstalling New Tires on the ATV
The fourth and final step to change ATV tires yourself is reinstalling the new ones on the ATV. You will need a lug wrench and a torque wrench to do this:
- Aligning Rims and Lug Nuts
- Lower the jack and place the rim with the new tire on the axle.
- Align the holes on the rim with the studs on the axle and hand-tighten the lug nuts.
- Tightening Lug Nuts in a Star Pattern
- Utilize the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern. Pull the lug nuts in an order that skips every other one, like 1-3-5-2-4, to ensure even pressure and alignment of the rim and the tire. Finally, use the torque wrench to torque the lug nuts to the proper specification. The torque specification is in the ATV owner’s manual or online. Generally, the torque range for ATV lug nuts is between 40 and 60 ft-lbs, depending on the size and type of the lug nuts. Make sure to torque the lug nuts in the same star pattern. You have successfully reinstalled the new tires on the ATV. As a precaution, you should check the lug nuts after the first ride to ensure they are secure and tight. You have completed the tire-changing process and are ready to enjoy your new ATV tires.
You have learned to change ATV tires yourself in less than an hour, using some essential tools and equipment you already have at home. You’ve taken these four easy steps:
- Removing the old tires
- Mounting the new tires
- Inflating the new tires
- Reinstalling the new tires
You have also learned some tips and tricks to make the process easier and more efficient, such as aligning the dot and the valve stem, using a lubricant, and checking the lug nuts. By changing your ATV tires, you can save money, time, and hassle and enjoy the satisfaction of doing it yourself. You can also customize your ATV tires to suit your preferences and needs. This article has inspired you to try changing your own ATV tires and have fun with your ATV. For a more detailed guide on using a lug wrench effectively, you can check out [this comprehensive guide on Wikihow] that provides additional insights. If you have any feedback or questions, please comment below. Thank you for reading, and happy riding!