Changing tires with the Harbor Freight Changer - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 24 Old 03-13-2019, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Changing tires with the Harbor Freight Changer

I have a Harbor Freight tire changer that I've used on my ST1300's wheels. Out of the box, the HF unit had a vertical shaft that screws into a socket on the Y shaped tire gripper and extends up through the center of the wheel. The only fly in the ointment is this shaft is too large for the ST's wheels so I made two smaller mandrels, one for each axle size. These screw into the HF factory thread and also fit nicely through the wheel bearings.

I'm lucky because one of these mandrels will fit the 20 mm axle size of the rear wheel (posted by Greywolf in another thread here). However, the front wheel axle is 17 mm (again, noted by GW) and neither my two mandrels nor the HF bar will fit.

What to other Harbor Freight Tire Changer owners do? If the bar does not fit thru the wheel and into that threaded hole you have nothing to brace the NoMar bar (or equivalent) against. I'd hate to make another mandrel for only one mc wheel, though no doubt it will fit other bikes too.
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post #2 of 24 Old 03-14-2019, 12:59 AM
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I put a long 1/2 extension bar down through the middle.


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post #3 of 24 Old 03-14-2019, 01:16 AM
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I use conduit pipe.

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post #4 of 24 Old 03-14-2019, 07:57 AM
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Sometimes I don't even use the bar. Simply use the tire changer to lock down the rim. Then get out the spoons and start cussing. Sometimes quite a bit of cussing. I have and sometimes use the aftermarket bar that has the nylon contact points. Even that is hard on painted rims. So, the spoons and some plastic coffee can pieces to put under the spoons is my go to technique.

Learning how to use the c clamps to keep the bead in the center of the rim, along with RuGlyde, make life a lot easier. Less cussing.
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post #5 of 24 Old 03-14-2019, 08:13 AM
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I think I cut a section off a ground rod, just drop it in and go to work. Did you get the MoJo Blocks?

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post #6 of 24 Old 03-14-2019, 08:25 AM
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I've got a few bikes, all seemingly with different axle sizes. I've slid a piece of pvc over the rod, I've wrapped duct tape around the portion of the rod that lines up with the bearing, etc. Lots of possibilities.

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post #7 of 24 Old 03-14-2019, 09:11 AM
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I have the MoJo blocks and have used no rod, but recently I bought a 5/8 rod from Home Depot and just dropped into the hole, does not screw in, but works pretty well.
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post #8 of 24 Old 03-14-2019, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realshelby View Post
Sometimes I don't even use the bar. ... Sometimes quite a bit of cussing. I have and sometimes use the aftermarket bar that has the nylon contact points. Even that is hard on painted rims. So, the spoons and some plastic coffee can pieces to put under the spoons is my go to technique.
Learning how to use the c clamps to keep the bead in the center of the rim, along with RuGlyde, make life a lot easier. Less cussing.
Get one of those "Yellow Thing" gadgets. They are pricy but they really work. No need for C clamps, just 3 or 4 wood blocks to keep the rest of the tire in the center of the rim. Tire hot, keep it in the sun for a while, well lubricated as you say and the mounting bar works pretty well.
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post #9 of 24 Old 03-14-2019, 10:25 AM
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I don't use the vertical extension that holds the bar, it's not mounted on my changer.

I use a solid steel rod (1/2"ish) about 3' that fits through the wheel and goes into the hole on the changer. Doesn't screw in, loose fit.

Mojo Blocks and the Mojo lever also.

What I've found works best is to center the wheel on the stand and insert the rod. Then adjust the 2 pinned blocks keeping the wheel centered then screw down the last block to hold the wheel. A tie down strap around one of the cast wheel spokes and around an arm on the changer keeps the wheel from rotating.

I use a wood block to keep the opposite bead down when mounting. Easy, peasy compared to wrestling a tire on the ground with spoons!
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Last edited by Spec; 03-14-2019 at 10:37 AM.
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post #10 of 24 Old 03-14-2019, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec View Post
I don't use the vertical extension that holds the bar, it's not mounted on my changer.

I use a solid steel rod (1/2"ish) about 3' that fits through the wheel and goes into the hole on the changer. Doesn't screw in, loose fit.

Mojo Blocks and the Mojo lever also.

What I've found works best is to center the wheel on the stand and insert the rod. Then adjust the 2 pinned blocks keeping the wheel centered then screw down the last block to hold the wheel. A tie down strap around one of the cast wheel spokes and around an arm on the changer keeps the wheel from rotating.

I use a wood block to keep the opposite bead down when mounting. Easy, peasy compared to wrestling a tire on the ground with spoons!
I like the Idea of a strap around one of the cast wheel spokes and around an arm on the changer keeps the wheel from rotating.

God watches over fools and drunks
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