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flatlander937
flatlander937 HalfDork
3/25/20 12:42 p.m.

This thread will be used to document my experience with these low price tire machines.

 

So two days ago I pulled the trigger on buying basic mounting and balancing machines for home use. I have 5 sets of tires/wheels that either need flipped or swapped among wheels. I figured having a small side gig for funding Motorsports shenanigans is a good idea anyway. 

Note: I am a 15yr auto technician and know what I'm doing. Usually. Ok. Sometimes.

I paid $2300 for the Combo #1, plus added a second tire spoon and set of duck bill guards to my cart as well.

https://www.derekweaver.com/tire-changer-wheel-balancer-combos/

I am in Virginia, the machines are shipping from Texas. 

I emailed back and forth with Cameron Weaver a couple times prior to purchase, questions were answered quickly, and when I inquired about their $600 press down attachment, he recommended inbuy the basic machine first as I may not find it necessary. I know they're super nice to have, but other bead press-down and drop center tools, plus a second tire spoon should mitigate the need. 

Unlike many of the cheaper Ebay and Amazon tire machines, Weaver machines have good parts diagrams and ongoing support available through them. While it was tempting to save $300-400... I want future support to keep these things running as long as possible.

The machine shipped out yesterday, less than 24hr after ordering. Shipping is freight via Saia... I will be getting contacted some time in the next few days with a 24hr notice to be home and authorize dropping it off.

Will keep you guys informed on how it all goes!

Edit: going to keep track of the timeline here:

3/23 at 9:00pm - Ordered from www.derekweaver.com

3/24 at 4:30pm - Notified via email it has shipped via Saia truck freight

3/25 at 3:30pm - Called by Saia to confirm delivery this week. I COULD have gotten it tomorrow 3/26, but I am off work Friday so scheduled it for then.

3/27 at 10:30am - Called by Saia to be informed they're on their way and should be here roughly around 11:00am.

3/27 at 11:00am - Called by the Saia driver to confirm he would be able to turn around on my street before coming down it with a 48' trailer. Only the mounting machine arrived. The two items were shipped separately, though I only received one tracking number. He called and informed the logistics team and I was given a number to reference.  I called Saia's customer service number and found the balancer is going to be in Atlanta tonight, and should arrive for delivery on Monday.

3/27 at 3:00pm - Called Saia customer service again to get an updated tracking number. No real info yet when tracking it. Aside from last scanned in Atlanta.

3/30 at 11:00am - Checked online and noticed it said tire mounting machine on the freight description. Odd. It's the balancer I needed. Also still not showing any movement since 3/27 in Atlanta.  Called Saia CS again. They could not find it at the Atlanta hub. They asked about estimated value, description, etc. I got a call back a bit later that they found it and gave me now a third tracking #. Later that evening I looked it up and it's listed as a 150lb "A+ Power unit"... Which is a power unit for their 2 post lifts... Not a balancer.

3/31 at 2:00pm - I called Saia Customer Service again, asking for an update, let them know about the power unit thing, they could not locate it originally because of a description different than what was submitted. This guy was super helpful, gave me his direct email, etc. So I sent an email to Derek Weaver and copied the Saia CS rep on it explaining the potential situation based on the freight tickets and tracking info that if it's delivered it may be refused if wrong, etc.

3/31 at 3:00pm - get a call from the Saia driver that it'll be here tomorrow, so I requested after 12:00 So I could work at least a half day.

4/1 about 1:30 it gets dropped off .. labeled as a power unit, cracked the crate open and it was indeed my wheel balancer. It was actually the same truck driver as the first time, nice dude. I tipped him another $20 on top of the $20 I gave him the first time he dropped off the tire machine.

Edit: I got the machines working over the following couple days between everyday life... Everything works great! Highly recommend! Follow below for more detailed individual posts. I added a few photos to this post of my son helping me out/learning to use them as well.

flatlander937
flatlander937 HalfDork
3/25/20 2:42 p.m.

Ordered 3/23 at 9:00pm

Shipped 3/24 at 4:30pm

Called by Saia 3/25 at 3:30pm to confirm delivery this week. It COULD have gotten here tomorrow, but I'm off work Friday 3/27 so I'm taking advantage of that so it's scheduled for then. 

I'm crazy impressed with the quickness of service already!

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand Dork
3/25/20 4:54 p.m.

I'm looking forward to reading about your experience.  I often think about buying tire changing equipment.  With three race cars I change a lot of tires and while the ROI on my own machines would be measured in years the convenience of doing it my own shop has some value.  Plus I hate paying someone to do something I'm capable of doing.

Cactus
Cactus Reader
3/25/20 6:59 p.m.

I wish I had a machine with the assist arm. Any sidewall 40 or below I pretty much don't bother with. Mine is an old Hoffman machine. Owned by snapon now, so any propietary parts are stupid money. I'm thinking about getting a new one that can actually handle low-pro stuff. Be sure to update this thread with your experience.

dps214
dps214 Reader
3/25/20 7:09 p.m.

Not sure what your level of experience with tire changing is, but my experience as a hobbyist (say, 1-4 uses per year) has been that the standard equipment is fine for normal tires in normal sizes, and most race tires in normal sizes. Most narrow 45 and 50 aspect ratio tires basically fall on and off with minimal effort. Once you get into wide sub-40 ratio tires it gets real hard real fast, and things like hoosiers make it even worse. But as long as you avoid super crazy low profile sizes and are willing to put a bit of effort into it you'll probably be fine without the assist arm.

ChrisLS8
ChrisLS8 Reader
3/25/20 8:06 p.m.

The fact they didnt attempt to upsell you on the add ons is a testament to their customer service and opinion of their customers

Loweguy5
Loweguy5 Reader
3/25/20 8:31 p.m.

I am interested in this as well.  Local tire shops are now charging around $25 PER TIRE.  In my lifetime I've paid $5 per tire and I'm not that berkeleying old...

Toyman01
Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/25/20 8:45 p.m.

I have mounted around 100 sets on my machines. Mostly race tires. The arms are worth their weight in gold.

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
3/25/20 9:34 p.m.

I teach students how to use tire machines. Even though the majority of stuff id actually do at home would be 'easy stuff', i'd absolutely spend some kind of money on SOMETHING to help me push down on the tires.  At least i weigh 200lbs. At school i often see 'skinny kids' having a lot less success just leaning on things. I guess I'm just lazy at this point!

untchabl
untchabl Reader
3/26/20 4:35 a.m.

I'll be following this thread, I've been tempted to buy some tire equipment myself.

tr8todd
tr8todd SuperDork
3/26/20 6:59 a.m.

The shop down the street gave me their cheap tire machine a few months ago.  They bought a new, bigger, all the bells and whistles, cheap tire machine.  The old machine saw regular duty for 6 years at the repair shop.  Mind you, not a tire shop.  But it saw enough duty that the rubber pad on the side against the machine used for breaking the beads was pretty well worn down.  It started leaking air because of cracked air lines.  Took me a few hours and less than $50 to have it back up and running.  Just did another set of wheels last weekend and it is perfect for me.  Still had to run down the street and balance the tires at their shop, but I have free run of the place.  The only reason I had not purchased one before was because I had access to this very machine before I dragged it home.  They gave away a brake lathe at the same time, and now I'm kicking myself for not taking that as well.  Don't be afraid to buy a used one that has air leaks.  Hoses are cheap.  Even the repair parts for the cylinders are not that bad.  New is great, but broken, used, free/cheap allows more money in the budget for actual wheels and tires.

flatlander937
flatlander937 HalfDork
3/26/20 8:22 a.m.

I'm looking forward to reading about your experience.  I often think about buying tire changing equipment.  With three race cars I change a lot of tires and while the ROI on my own machines would be measured in years the convenience of doing it my own shop has some value.  Plus I hate paying someone to do something I'm capable of doing.

I should make my money back by the end of the year. LOTS of locals in my club who need stuff mountedly cheap and have no problem dropping wheels off to have it done - so I don't have cars sitting in my driveway while I'm working on them.

I wish I had a machine with the assist arm. Any sidewall 40 or below I pretty much don't bother with. Mine is an old Hoffman machine. Owned by snapon now, so any propietary parts are stupid money. I'm thinking about getting a new one that can actually handle low-pro stuff. Be sure to update this thread with your experience.

Yep. I have a lot of experience and with some tricks it's not a problem. I can add the assist arm for $600 at any time. I may do, I may not. It only saves me $10 buying it up front, so not a big enough difference to buy a "want" for the time being.

Not sure what your level of experience with tire changing is, but my experience as a hobbyist (say, 1-4 uses per year) has been that the standard equipment is fine for normal tires in normal sizes, and most race tires in normal sizes. Most narrow 45 and 50 aspect ratio tires basically fall on and off with minimal effort. Once you get into wide sub-40 ratio tires it gets real hard real fast, and things like hoosiers make it even worse. But as long as you avoid super crazy low profile sizes and are willing to put a bit of effort into it you'll probably be fine without the assist arm.

It can be added later if I find the need. I've been doing this professionally for 15 years. With a few special tools and tricks, MOST stuff isn't too bad. I've mounted I think it was  265 RE71R on a Porsche Boxster front wheel with this same machine. It was a pain, but doable. It was harder getting the top bead to fully seat than to actually get the tire on the rim. 

The fact they didnt attempt to upsell you on the add ons is a testament to their customer service and opinion of their customers

Exactly. 

I am interested in this as well.  Local tire shops are now charging around $25 PER TIRE.  In my lifetime I've paid $5 per tire and I'm not that berkeleying old...

Yep. Most places here want to charge the same whether you bring them loose or still on the car which is ridiculous. Most of the people I'll be mounting for have 3-6 sets of wheels and tires.

I have mounted around 100 sets on my machines. Mostly race tires. The arms are worth their weight in gold.

Oh I know... But they're not absolutely necessary to get up and running. Since it's a $600 add on I'll use the machine to fund itself before I upgrade if I find the need.

I teach students how to use tire machines. Even though the majority of stuff id actually do at home would be 'easy stuff', i'd absolutely spend some kind of money on SOMETHING to help me push down on the tires.  At least i weigh 200lbs. At school i often see 'skinny kids' having a lot less success just leaning on things. I guess I'm just lazy at this point!

I'm about 200lb and been doing this a long time. There's a reason I got a second tire spoon. Once everything is up and running I'll post some videos.

The shop down the street gave me their cheap tire machine a few months ago.  They bought a new, bigger, all the bells and whistles, cheap tire machine.  The old machine saw regular duty for 6 years at the repair shop.  Mind you, not a tire shop.  But it saw enough duty that the rubber pad on the side against the machine used for breaking the beads was pretty well worn down.  It started leaking air because of cracked air lines.  Took me a few hours and less than $50 to have it back up and running.  Just did another set of wheels last weekend and it is perfect for me.  Still had to run down the street and balance the tires at their shop, but I have free run of the place.  The only reason I had not purchased one before was because I had access to this very machine before I dragged it home.  They gave away a brake lathe at the same time, and now I'm kicking myself for not taking that as well.  Don't be afraid to buy a used one that has air leaks.  Hoses are cheap.  Even the repair parts for the cylinders are not that bad.  New is great, but broken, used, free/cheap allows more money in the budget for actual wheels and tires.

I've been scoping local ads for months, most old machines people want WAY too much, or it's newer and still want WAY too much. The only reason I felt comfortable with this machine is their online support and documentation, plus the fact my buddy owns one and I've used it many times already and it's great. It's a copy of an old Coats machine... Many OEM Coats parts directly fit it from what I've researched.

 

morello159
morello159 Reader
3/26/20 8:43 a.m.

I had access to a tire mounting and balancing setup at my old job that I was free to use whenever I want. Only, it was located in a tin shed. And I'm located in South Carolina. After an hour of cursing and sweating in the 100 degree heat and humidity, and butchering the bead of one new Michelin PSAS3+ tire, I decided it was worth the $80 to pay someone else for tire mounting.

 

purplepeopleeater
purplepeopleeater Reader
3/26/20 9:05 a.m.

A good technician can overcome a lot of weak points in the equipment he uses. A butcher will eff it up using even the best equipment. Sold & demoed tire machines for a dozen years.

 

flatlander937
flatlander937 HalfDork
3/26/20 11:19 a.m.

In reply to purplepeopleeater :

This exactly. This goes for many things in a shop environment.  I've had a 20yr master tech struggle with removing u joints on a Jeep driveshaft several years ago... He was trying to use special u-joint presses, ball joint press, etc. 

I went over and knocked the caps loose in about 2 mins using just a hammer and a vice.

flatlander937
flatlander937 HalfDork
3/27/20 9:50 a.m.

Just got called by Saia at 10:30am that they'll be here around 11am this morning laugh

flatlander937
flatlander937 HalfDork
3/27/20 10:51 a.m.

So the tire machine arrived... But no balancer.

The Saia truck driver was great, he called and informed them of a "short" delivery and gave me a reference number. It looks like the two packages got separated in transit and the balancer won't be here until Monday. Still, pretty fast in the grand scheme of things. 

Going to use this weekend to put the mounting machine together, grab my air compressor from my parents house, and flip some tires hopefully. 

flatlander937
flatlander937 HalfDork
4/1/20 10:38 p.m.

 

The mounting machine works great. I may consider getting a nylon duckhead for it if I'm mounting a lot of tires for other people, but the stock one works fine. I just prefer plastic.

I've already flipped a bunch of my tires on the rims, replaced a leaking valve stem for my dad, etc. This is so nice to have at my disposal now.

My garage needs a few outlets added, I only have a 15a circuit right now and the mounting machine will trip the breaker of my compressor turns on at the same time, and has popped it once even just using the machine alone. It works, I just have to be mindful. The temporary workaround is to run a heavy extension cord into the washing machine outlet which is just inside the door.

I got the balancer together today. It's not super heavy at a bit over 300lbs, so I may feel the need to bolt it in place. I need to acquire a 15in steel wheel for calibration purposes before assessing balancer performance, but I've spun a few wheels on it and didn't die.

Toyman01
Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/2/20 11:38 a.m.

Good looking machines.

My balancer was calibrated out of the box and worked flawlessly for better than a year before I had to calibrate it again. If it gets out of calibration, you will know it because the tire just won't balance. I haven't felt the need to bolt it down yet and I'm balanced some pretty heavy truck wheels. 

Those machines look to be identical to the Mayflower machines I bought a couple of years ago. I have been very happy with them.

 

And just a FYI, calibrating the balancer with a 15" aluminum wheel will not work. I tried because I had one handy. It just made things worse. The good news is it gives me an excuse to keep the Samurai. 

flatlander937
flatlander937 HalfDork
4/22/20 10:13 a.m.

The machines are working great! So far I've mounted a couple sets, all R comps. The 225/40R17 on 17x8s were not a problem. I do have a No Mar Yellow Thing on the way to help with the race tires, and a Bead Bazooka so I can do some more questionable stretched fitments since there's a good demand for that around here.

Also did a set for a friend's F-Body... The (used) 315/35R17 Kumho V710s on 17x11 was borderline too tall for the machine to drop the lower bead over the top of the rim, but that can be lubed like crazy and done by hand. A 12in wide wheel is the absolute limit as far as how high the arm and duckbill can go. Otherwise these were cake to mount. Two of those and two 275/45R17 Nitto NT01s  on 17x9s were done.

Two tire spoons, lots of lube, and some careful thought go a long way on a basic tire machine.

 

It took so long for an update because I recently got full custody of my son. I've been having him help balance tires and clean the wheels up to earn $5 for each set he can use to buy Legos/videogames/etc. Trying to teach him to work for what he wants. 

 

 

 

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/22/20 10:43 a.m.

Congrats all around.

wawazat
wawazat Dork
4/22/20 11:39 a.m.

Congratulations on the custody arrangement.  I love the pic of your son looking through the wheel and tire!

Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/22/20 2:24 p.m.

I've been doing more ATV repair work for people lately and I'm about ready to step up my motorcycle lift game to one with add-on ATV width extenders, so your review of the Weaver buying experience is timely. Surprisingly, they're about 20 miles from me but they must keep to themselves. I'm pretty involved in the car scene locally but they don't have much of a locally known presence that I can remember. They offer a substantial discount for driving across town and picking stuff up in person so I have that going for me. 

flatlander937
flatlander937 HalfDork
4/25/20 7:50 a.m.

 

Everything is working great... Have done about a half dozen sets of tires since buying the machines. My only issue was getting my 1/4in pipe union to seal to the fitting going into the machine. Ultimately I think it was crappy pipe tape because I used some different stuff after about 4 failed attempts and have had zero issues since. It was previously a very slow leak... Like 10psi per night.

 

I also decided to splurge and buy this thing.... 

 

The stance thing is pretty popular here so might as well be able to do those to get more $$. Levi has a ton of fun shooting it off too cheeky

Feedyurhed
Feedyurhed UltraDork
4/25/20 2:57 p.m.

I would love to have something like this. Like so many others on here I have multiple cars with multiple tire/wheel combos for seasons, events etc. Congrats, it's awesome.

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