How to Change Dually Tires

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"Dually" is a generic term that describes any heavy-duty version of a regular, full-size pickup truck with dual rear wheels on each side of the vehicle. With their characteristic flared rear wheel arches, they are popular as heavy-duty towing and hauling vehicles. Changing the tires on a dually is hard work, but it could save you money at the auto repair shop. Just remember to have the new tires balanced on the rims.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Tire iron
  • Axle stands
  • Soapy water
  • Tire spoon or lever
  • Valve stem remover
  • Hammer
  • Raise the vehicle with a floor jack and place on axle stands. Loosen the lug nuts with a tire iron and remove the wheels you want to work on.

  • Remove the valve stem from the tire to fully deflate it, using a valve stem remover. Lay the tire on its side. The wall of the tire needs to be compressed enough to force it off the rim. This is also known as "breaking the bead." Place the tire on hard ground. Drive another vehicle's front wheel onto the tire until the bead breaks. This may take several attempts. Drive the car onto the tire as close to the rim as possible. When the bead breaks, you will hear a "pop." Turn the tire over and use the vehicle to break the bead on the other side.

  • Soak the wall of the tire with soapy water. Lay the wheel down. Insert a tire spoon or lever in between the tire and the rim; pull a part of the bead over the rim of the wheel. Hold the bead in this position. Place another lever a few inches away from the first and pull more of the bead over the rim. Take the first lever out and insert it further along the bead. Continue this until the tire is off the rim on one side.

  • Lift the wheel onto its edge. Turn the wheel so the side of the tire you just removed is facing away from you. Insert the lever between the rim and tire; push the lever away from you until a part of the bead is over the rim. Insert another lever and continue around the tire as above. You may also use a hammer to knock the bead off the rim; rotate the wheel as you tap the tire until it is removed.

  • Soak the new tire with soapy water and slip the edge of the tire wall over the rim. Push on the tire until it is on the rim all the way around (you may need a lever to get the last few inches over the rim). Turn the wheel over and work on this side of the tire in the same way. Replace the valve stem and inflate to the recommended pressure.

  • Take the wheel to an auto center for balancing. Replace the wheel onto the dually by sliding the rim onto the lug bolts; replace the lug nuts and tighten them with a tire iron.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves and old clothes; you will get dirty.
  • Use caution when using the levers; they can fly back at you.

References

  • "Car Hacks & Mods for Dummies"; David Vespremi; 2004; Wiley Publishing, Inc.
  • Photo Credit tires on water image by JoLin from Fotolia.com
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