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AndyRV7 12-17-2014 11:21 AM

Help with 1st tire change please
I want to flip my tires because the outsides are treadless at this point. Can I get some instruction on how to go about it?

I presume I will use my new axle jack to lift the wheel after removing the pants.

I am guessing the brake is on the inboard side of the wheel, on its own disk, separate from the wheel (but I might be wrong).

Take off the castle nut (should be loosened on the ground first).

Pull the wheel and deflate.

I planned to use a large screwdriver to pop the tire over the rim lip and work my way around. Repeat for the other wall.

Flip the tire and reverse the process.

Is there anything I am missing, any trouble spots, any grease or maintenance that needs doing, some critical torque spec on the castle nut?

Thanks!! Andy

Mike S 12-17-2014 11:23 AM

First off, do you have stock Vans supplied wheels/brakes??

And, are you the builder??

AndyRV7 12-17-2014 11:30 AM


I believe they are the stock Vans Clevelands. It is an RV-7. I am not the builder.

Vern 12-17-2014 11:31 AM

Tire Change
Supplies needed:

Tire talc or baby powder to coat inside tire and tube
New cotter pin for axle nut
Safety wire to reinstall brakes to wheels

A schrader valve remover tool (Bike shop item) is handy to remove the valve on the tube.

The tire rims split. Be sure the air is out of the tubes. 7/16 deep socket helps.

My brother was killed by a jet tire exploding because a mechanic was trying to split a rim without letting the 200 psi out of it. Careful!!!

See thread this site on flats.

(OSHA requires a tire cage for split rims)

A tire iron may be needed to get the old tire off the rim halves. You may have to bang on the tire to get it free of the rim or use a special tool.

Mike S 12-17-2014 11:46 AM

OK, here is how I do it. Others may have different procedures, but this works for me.

First off , jack up and safely support the plane, and remove the wheel pants, then split the brake caliper half----should be a couple bolts that will let the caliper come apart. Remove the cotter pin, and the wheel nut, and slide the wheel assembly off the axle.

LET THE AIR OUT!!!! This is critical, and is a safety issue. Remove the valve core.

Now, remove the three nuts/bolts holding the wheel halves together, make notes of how they go together if you need to. Mark one bolt hole on each side, and the brake disc, so you can get the wheel halves back together with the same orientation.

After you get the brake disc off, lay the wheel down, valve stem side up, and stand on the tire to brake it loose from the rim. Careful, dont fall, helps to do this next to a wall so you can brace yourself. You will probably need to move around a bit to get it loose. Resist the temptation to use the screwdriver as a prybar-------too easy to put a hole in the tube like that.

Then, take off the wheel half and remove the tube carefully. Carefully...

Next, I put the wheel back on the floor and use a block of wood to space the second wheel half up enough to stand on the tire, and break it loose from the inner wheel half.

Reassemble in the reverse order, be sure to clean things well, use talc inside the tire to allow the tube to slide around and find its favorite position. Inflate the tube just a bit to help the stem stay in place while bolting the two halfs together, but do not inflate it so much you end up pinching the tube.

After the bolts are reinstalled-----along with the brake disc, inflate and deflate a couple times to remove any possible folds in the tube. Then install the core, and inflate to correct pressure.

Inspect and replace the brake pads if needed, clean and grease the bearings, and put it all back together. Good luck with that cotter pin................

Also, while you have the wheel off, inspect and tighten if needed the nut/bolts that hold the pant bracket and any others in that area.

Good luck, think safety.

AndyRV7 12-17-2014 12:02 PM

OK, thanks. It sounds like I need a few more supplies first. Are there any torque specs I need to adhere too?


Mike S 12-17-2014 12:08 PM


Originally Posted by AndyRV7 (Post 942408)
Are there any torque specs I need to adhere too?

Yes, wheel halves bolts, brake caliper half bolts, for sure. Hopefully you have the plans. Or, maybe someone here has the specs for your plane.

The axle nut-----------run it down until solid drag on the wheel as you spin it, then bump the tire a few times on the sidewall just in case-----and rotate again to see if it changed when you bumped it. After it is seated back off the nut just enough to relieve the drag on the spinning tire, and insert the cotter pin.

Sam Buchanan 12-17-2014 12:21 PM

Would be great if you have someone nearby with experience with these wheels to coach you the first time. Otherwise, it is very likely you will have a difficult time breaking the bead and also preventing a tube pinch when you reassemble the wheels. Also note there is a notch in the wheel halves for the tube stem.

Don't forget to safety wire the caliper bolts when you put everything back together. Use a new cotter pin on the axle nut. The pin may need a slight curve in it so you can feed it through the holes in the axle.

This job can be frustrating the first time but after some help it will be much easier next time.

Harbor Freight has an inexpensive bead breaker that works like a charm on our tires:

flyboy1963 12-17-2014 12:26 PM

Hey, lots of much wiser guys on here, but shouldn't you let the air out BEFORE removing the main axle nut?
I was told, if the rim has cracked or sheared the bolts, (however unlikely) ......this large nut is actually holding the pressure.

please correct if I'm mistaken.

also, there is an opportunity to match the heavy mark on the tire ( if marked with a dot), the valve stem, and balance the whole assembly at some point. I found the Michelin or Goodyear aviation tire guide online, and it makes for some good reading!

DGlaeser 12-17-2014 12:30 PM

Separating the tire from the rim is always the toughest part. Standing on the tire, blocks of wood, trying to use screwdrivers etc. has never proved successful for me.

I suggest getting (buying/borrowing) a simple bead breaker tool (go to and search for Bead Breaker). Turns the job from frustrating to simple.

Also, for safety, don't fully inflate until the wheel is back on the gear and the big nut is screwed on (unless you have a tire cage). The nut is put on snug, but not tight - the alignment of the holes for the cotter pin will be your guide.

It is a good time to repack your wheel bearings and check the brake pads, while everything is apart.

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