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Technical Mounting Tires on Magnesium Wheels - Do's and Don'ts ???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Countn'Carbs, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. Countn'Carbs
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 790

    from CO

    I'm getting ready to take some American Racing (15x8.5) magnesium 5 spokes to the tire shop to have some Towel City slicks put on them. I'm probably over thinking this but as a first time magnesium wheel owner I'm nervous as hell about having them get busted or screwed up in the process.
    I've done some searches and other than no soap (only water) what other do's and don'ts do I need to be aware of to get them mounted? I'm pretty confident in the tire shop I use and I certainly don't want to tell someone how to do their job but I don't want to walk out of there with my wheels in pieces either.
    Any tips from you guys that have been there, done that?
    January 2019.jpg
  2. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 990


    I would feel confident in a shop with the machine that grabs the inside edge, rag on each... Good to go... Now getting them off isn't as fun
    Countn'Carbs likes this.
  3. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,658


    I've not had any mounted. I did have some removed. What I did was find someone that knew what I brought him.

    You can take all the precautions in the world and it won't matter to someone that has little desire to do it right.
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  4. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,502


    There are a ton of theories. I used DP40 epoxy primer on mine on the inside. Been that way since I built the Fly in 2000. I painted the lip where the tire mounts as well. Just use one of the modern tire machines and it will be fine.
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  5. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 11,352

    from oregon

    All of the above ^^^^^^^^^
    My best advice vvvvvvvvv
    Take them to someone that has done them before........without breaking them.
    Inquire as to THEIR insurance coverage due to breakage of magnesium wheels.
    Many years ago a friend of mine took four brand new Cragars to the local tire shop for mounting, the bozo broke the center out of not just the first one, not just the second one, but he broke all four of them.
    The shop would not cover replacement cost so he took them to court, the first thing the judge asked him was did he take photos of them before mounting, of course he hadn't.
    Judge said "have a nice day".
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  6. The Shift Wizard
    Joined: Jan 10, 2017
    Posts: 1,233

    The Shift Wizard

    Instead of "no soap - water" I would use a bit of Gibbs Brand protectant to lube the process.
    And don't forget to wipe the Gibbs on every surface inside and outside the rim before mounting to protect from oxidation later on.
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  7. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,671


    I would guess that you could pop those tires on by hand. I push a lot of tires on aluminum wheels by hand. It helps they are on the tire changer so the wheel is secure. It depends a bit on how stiff the sidewall of the tire is as well.
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  8. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 13,550


    If they use any type of water based lube it will allow oxidation. Water has oxygen in it. See if they can heave those tires on dry. I even hesitate when they use the goo to slip a tire on a steel wheel. Who wants that gunk sitting there between the tube and wheel, eating away at the metal?

    As for the machine, I'd think any modern machine that grabs inside the back lip should be fine. If those grippers break the wheel, then it was probably weak to begin with. Not saying you couldn't argue otherwise to a judge, but maybe they'd be doing you a favor.

    I put a pair of new tires on some wheels by myself with no tools other than a big Glad garbage bag. The tire needs to be new and kinda pliable, not a hard old thing.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
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  9. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,086

    from California

    a buddy said he almost went to blows with some guy that was manhandling his Magnesium wheels. just tossing them around like they were something from a late model.
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  10. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,085

    from Minnesota

    Seems to me you want a modern machine that doesn’t grab the inside of the wheel, but the center.

    Then it needs to have mounting fingers that don’t contact the rim edge. Tire mounting soap is needed and is not detrimental to the magnesium.
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  11. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 773


    Are they actually magnesium? I would mount them by hand, get a couple tire spoons and some Freylube then go to town...
    Countn'Carbs likes this.
  12. inthweedz
    Joined: Mar 29, 2011
    Posts: 317


    If you do it yourself, as others have mentioned, forget the tire levers, get some suitable lube and persuade it on with a big rubber hammer.. It'll go..
    Countn'Carbs likes this.
  13. Countn'Carbs
    Joined: Nov 8, 2006
    Posts: 790

    from CO

    Thanks guys - I appreciate all the input and ideas. I might give it a go with Sam's trash bag video that Alchemy posted but maybe with Gibbs or Freylube instead of water. Or maybe try it dry first and see what happens.
  14. rusty valley
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 673

    rusty valley

    i go to my local big truck tire place and they will let me fill a coffee cup full of they're rim lube stuff for free. one cup lasts me about 5 years minimum. its about the consistency of Vaseline, but gold in color, i believe its vegetable oil base. works good, you still need irons, work from the back to not scar the front, save the bags for garbage
  15. I have several sets of magnesium wheels. There are on my race car so the tires get changed out regularly. I never ever use water or lubes. Corrosion is the killer for a mag wheel. The corrosion problem is accelerated with any kind of moisture. Any slick has such a thick hard bead that spoons are not a good idea. You might get them on but the damage to the wheel isn't worth it. I use a tire shop that uses a modern machine. The guys take their time as I stand right there. Mounting slicks sometimes takes two guys. I become that second guy. Before you go to the shop first make sure the valve stem you plan to use goes through the hole. I have had to drill several rims over the years.
  16. I use baby powder and a rubber mallet.
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