Modern Tire Dealer

JUN 2019

Magazine for the professional tire industry

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M T D J u n e 2 0 1 9 32 P a s t , P r e s e n t , F u t u r e : M o u n t i n g / B a l a n c i n g S uccess in a tire bay, as in any work- place, starts with mastering the ba- sics. Hunter Engineering Co.'s Pete Liebetreu says the most common tire mounting and balancing prob- lems are caused by fundamental mistakes that, in many cases, are easily remedied. MOUNTING MISTAKE: BEAD NOT PROPERLY PLACED ON THE MOUNT HEAD e number one cause of complications and tire damage is not placing the bead properly on the mount head. "In some cases you can get away with indifferently placing the tire on the mount head, and the mount head will accept it," says Liebetreu, who is vice president of marketing for Hunter. But in most cases, the tire will be dam- aged if a very thick bead or other conditions prevent it from climbing up over the mount head. "At that point you can cut the tire either from the rim or from the mount head itself." Also, top-bead mounting can cause the operator to lose the clock position for the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensor when the tire stops and resets. MOUNTING MISTAKE: NOT PUSHING THE TIRE INTO THE DROP CENTER Liebetreu says he frequently sees opera- tors fail to push the tire into the drop center of the wheel. "It's amazing how many technicians don't completely understand the purpose of pushing the tire into the drop center," he says. "You'll see them stall the tire and damage it. Or halfway through top bead mounting have the tire pop off the mount head or the rim and fail to mount." Failing to perform this basic step also is a major risk for TPMS damage. "If the tire is not feeding into the drop center properly it may mount 180 degrees behind where it should and perhaps catch the TPMS sensor." Almost every tire changer sold in America has plenty of press aids, accord- ing to Liebetreu. "Operators sometimes think they are saving time by not using the press aids, but if you look at how much time gets wasted with the tire stalling and being partially mounted and then having to Common mounting and balancing mistakes and how to avoid them Ann Neal By Clad wheels are making a comeback, which means increased risk of dam- aging to the wheel. Using a flange plate, which clamps through the lug holes, protects the clad wheel from damage. The photo at top shows where the clad is likely to crack if a clamp nut alone secures the wheel on the balancer. The middle photo shows a balancer flange plate in use to protect the cladding. The photo of a center style clamp tire changer at bottom shows a flange plate used with the clamping cone to protect the plastic cladding from damage. be partially demounted and restarted, the incremental gains from not using it are lost." MOUNTING MISTAKE: NOT ADJUSTING FOR CLAD WHEELS Although not as plentiful as five years ago, clad wheels are still found on many vehicles. e plastic face of the clad wheel can reach the edge of the tire. "All of your machine interfaces where you might be doing work on that rim when you are in the tire changing process are at risk. You can adjust for it and the machines are fully capable of it. In fact, we've changed our mount head design to be very forgiving for clad wheels. But if you don't identify the clad wheel, you can't take the countermeasures." MOUNTING MISTAKE: INTERNALLY CLAMPING A BLACK WHEEL Table top tire changers quickly and easily grab wheels but leave marks on the inside of open spoke black wheels. "If you leave a bite mark and break the black paint or powder coating off the inside a black wheel with an open spoke design, the vehicle owner will be able to see it," says Liebetreu. BALANCING MISTAKE: CARELESS WEIGHT PLACEMENT Large wheels create problems when position- ing clip-on weights. If the wheel is large, it is hard for the operator to tell if he is placing the weight straight above the spindle. Some Hunter balancers are equipped with lasers that show where to place a weight. But non-clip applications involving tape weights are an extra challenge. "A lot of operators use the balancer's automatic weight placement. If you are doing a tape weight on the inner plane, it will be pretty far against the spokes, but certain wheel profiles make it tricky," says Liebetreu. e outer plane is closest to the operator and usually easier to do. "But sometimes folks put the weight in crooked or off a few degrees. e problem is the closer those weight planes get together on a wide wheel, the harder it is to get the answer right." Liebetreu says the Road Force Elite balancer displays a realistic image of the inside of the wheel on a screen, showing operators where to place the weight. BALANCING MISTAKE: NOT CENTERING THE WHEEL ON THE BALANCER Sometimes worn equipment or cones cause

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