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DISCLAIMER: We are not pretending this is the best way to change the tires and it is a tough job that can be dangerous due to the split rims. Make sure that you work safe and lift the truck in a safe way and support it, so when a pillow or jack fails – or the truck slides sideways – it will not fall on you.

Endless winter is over

As winter is over we decided to change our dedicated winter tires to the original Continental off road tires. RP knew that this would be a heavy job as he did it before on his former Steyr truck, but this would be a first on our Mountain Yacht

Changing tire on the spare wheel

Our MAN HX60 has a fantastic spot for the spare tire, including rim. It has its own hydraulic jack and is very easy to handle this way. The whole wheel comes out and lands on the ground. 

The standard rims of the MAN HX60 are the split rim type. This makes it relatively easy to replace a tire without the need of heavy workshop equipment. 

Split rims, be very, very careful!

Hence the name: you can split the rims, so getting the tire off without the use of heavy garage equipment is possible, even in the middle of the Sahara.

Split rims can be very dangerous though, some people call them ‘widow makers’ and that has everything to do with the locking ring. The most important step is to let all air out of the tire, so that there is no pressure on the sides of the rim.

Once the tire is completely airless you can remove the clip that secures the locking ring from coming off spontaneously. There is a special tool (kind of crowbar) that comes with the MAN and you can use this to remove the locking ring very carefully, try to stay out of the way in case it comes off with pressure.

Once the locking ring is removed you can disassemble the rest of the rim and remove the rubber ring that prevents the leaking of the tire. With the wheel lying down flat it is easy to remove the tire, although the tire is really heavy to lift (85-90 kgs for the entire alone).

I use acid free vaseline to ‘grease’ the tire where it meets the rim – both sides (you can apply it to the side of the rims as well). Just pop the new tire on the rim and you can start building the rim again. 

Fixing the locking ring can be difficult sometimes, make sure to fasten it step by step, maybe using a hammer to knock it into place. Make sure to wear gloves.

Pumping air into the tire

When the wheel is flat on the ground it might be difficult getting air in, as it will be leaking on the bottom of te rim (due to the sides of the tire lying on the ground). There are several ways to solve this. The easiest way is to place the rim (including tire) on a small pallet or logs so the tire is off the ground. Attach the air hose and let air in, when it is still leaking you can ‘wobble’ the tire a bit upside down, it just needs to ‘catch air’ and the tire will inflate.

We have chosen a different direction to do it, as there might be a situation where there is nothing around to put the wheel on. We sprayed brake cleaner into the tire and set it on fire. This creates a small explosion and forces the tire on the sides of the rim. Inflating the tire is easy now.

Be very careful doing this! Only spray brake fluid for a couple of seconds as too much will set of a big explosion! We tried several times increasing the amount of brake fluid until it really popped.

Needless to say this is not the safest option as the above mentioned procedure with logs or small pallet is. But we wanted to try this in case we find ourselves in a situation that we have no other options.

In the video below you can watch the whole proces.

Changing tires on the truck

As we carry another spare tire on the roof rack – without rim – we changed the tires on the truck without removing the complete wheel. This makes the job a little lighter as the complete wheel with rim is much more heavy. It also safes you the trouble of unbolting the rim.

Lifting the truck

There are several ways of lifting the truck. You can use a jack but this is not always the safest option: off road or on uneven surfaces. We use Vetter pillows, in this case the V40. We have two pillows on top of each other and this provides the lift you need to get the wheel of the ground. 

Make sure that you support the truck with a jack stand or the spare wheel in case you do not have a jack stand. You can also use logs.

The procedure is pretty much the same as with the spare tire. However, it is much more difficult to remove the tire from the rim, as the tire is hanging on the rim. You need to ‘loosen’ the inside of the tire from the rim by using a hammer, push with both feet or using a crowbar (or all of the above) to move the tire to the outside of the rim. Once the inside ‘moves’ keep on ‘wobbling’ the tire until it comes off. You can use a crowbar or pipe underneath the tire to lift it and make the wobbling easier. 

Mounting the tire on the rim

Again, pretty much the same procedure as with the spare tire. Lifting the tire on the rim can be difficult, you can use a pipe or a crowbar to lift the tire on the rim. We use our Emuk Airlift Pillows to lift the tire on air pressure, makes the job a lot easier.

Once the tire is on the rim it is straight forward. The locking ring can be difficult to mount, use the MAN tool (crowbar kind of tool) and a small hammer to get it in place.

Pumping air into the tire

Once the tire is mounted on the rim inflation starts. This is a much easier process in comparison with the wheel lying on the ground (due to the tire hanging on the rim, it seals much better). Just attach the air hose, start pumping and when there is a leakage, just ‘wobble’ the back and forth until it ‘catches air’. We did four tires this way and had no problem getting air in. 

The video below will show the whole proces, except applying the acid free vaseline on both sides of the tire that connects to the rim.

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