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Technical Information and Tips


Beadbreaker - R and R

While the Tyre Pliers may have had less than adequate performance, don’t completely write off Australians yet. Safari 4x4 Centre of South Australia distributes a terrific and easy to use bead-buster, the "R&R Bead Breaker".

The R&R relies on the action of a long nut working its way down a threaded rod to force the bead down with it. Since the R&R only requires minimal physical exertion to operate, the operation can be performed on a workbench, tailgate or on the ground, allowing the user to sit in a comfortable position rather than standing.

The coupling nut, as it is called, forces the "blade" of the unit against the edge of the wheel and down into the bead, eventually forcing it from the wheel.

Like the Tyre Pliers, the unit must be set for the correct wheel diameter. A metal tab at the end of the unit adjusts the length. The threaded rod rides in a block in the middle, which must be adjusted so that when the hooked end of the threaded rod is inserted into the wheels center hole, the rod is at a 60 degree angle relative e to the wheel face.

After inserting the hooked end of the rod into the center hole of the rim, position the blade against the edge of the rim, and tighten the coupling nut until it is finger tight.

Make sure that the valve is removed and use a ¾" or 19mm wrench to turn the nut down the rod, and the tire will have broken. Flip the tire over and do the same on the other side.

Keep in mind that tires always come on and off from the front face of the wheel. Lube up both beads with dishsoap and use tire spoons or long round bars to work the beads off of the rim. From there, you can make repairs or get a new tire installed. (Derek Emerson)

Homemade Beadbreaker

Although I didn’t mention it in the R&R article, there is one significant downfall to the unit (or any commercially available bead breaker) and that is the cost. The R&R unit alone retails for over $200 AU. However, for those with the tools, talent and time to construct their own device, the task is relatively simple. We already know that the bead is broken by somehow forcing a metal shoe under the rim. So, instead of a more portable unit, my father Steve designed a unit that locks the wheel/tire combo into position, where it can easily be worked on.

The unit mounts in a 2" receiver, with a metal pipe extending down to the ground as a support. Without this attachment, the action of prying the breaker down might simply work the suspension instead. The heart of the unit is a metal shoe, which slides along a section of Schd. 80 pipe, about ten feet long. One end of the pipe pivots at the center of wheel, and the user need only to heave their weight against the other end to break the bead.Remember to keep safety in mind at all times, and watch where you swing the "boom".

Likewise, apply liberal amounts of soapy water to the bead surfaces in order to facilitate removing the tire from the rim, using good tire spoons or even smooth round bars (like a heel bar).(Derek Emerson)

Bolt/Nut Tight - Is the Bolt or Nut Still Tight?

I used this trick back when we were checking the race car out after an event. Instead of having to take the time to put a wrench on each nut and bolt on the car to make sure it hadn't loosened and was still tight, we painted a line on the hex of the bolt or nut and one on the metal next to it . All it takes is a quick look to see if the paint mark stayed in alignment. If it didn't, you knew you should check it out. (WW)

Bolt - Thread Fixer

Messed up the threads on that bolt and the hardware store has already closed and you need to get put the part back on right now, but you dont have a tap and die set? Take the correct size nut and cut it in half with a hack saw. Now cut a couple of grooves in each half deeper than the threads. With a pair of clamping pliers like Vice, clamp the two halves over a good section of the bolt. Now unscrew the modified nut off the bolt and it will work just like a die to repair the threads. Some lubricant helps make a smoother cut. (WW)

Differential Cover Installation

When installing a differential cover I like to use a gasket but sometimes I will substitute some RTV silicon sealer or use a special gasket maker called The Right Stuff. When I do use this, I apply a liberal amount to the cover and bolt it in place. But I tighten the bolts just enough to cause the sealer to ooze out of the cover plate. I then like to let it sit for at least 12 hours and then finish tightening the bolts. This way I have actually made a gasket. I also like to put the cover on the shop floor and while pushing down hard slide the cover across the concrete. The marks on the cover will now show you just how flat the cover really is. You may then need to do a bit of hammer work. I then run a flat file over the sealing surface of both the cover and the housing to make sure that there are no high spots, plus I feel that the rough finish and file marks hold the gasket or sealer better. (WW)

Drill Chip Catcher

When drilling over head and you don't want the drilling chips to fall on you or anyplace you don't want them, slip a paper cup down on the drill bit as a catch can. (WW)

Door Sticks in Cold Weather?

Ever have your door stick closed after a freezing rain storm? Before that happens, wipe down the rubber weatherstriping on the doors with a silicon-based vinyl upholstery protector like Armorall. It will keep the water from sticking and freezing to the rubber. (WW)

Duct Tape - have Tape Will Travel

Place several wraps of duct tape around your roll bar. That way
you'll always have some if you need it. (WW)

Emergency Brake Mounting Prong Release

When you have to take the e-brake cable free from the mounting hole on a rearend, don't fight the toggle prongs with pliers. Open up a small hose clamp and then tighten it around the prongs just enough to compress them so that they will side through the mounting hole. (WW)

Handy Hood Notes - getting smart in the 'hood

On the underside of the hood of your vehicle take a white paint pen
and write the oil filter number, the number of quarts of oil the
engine takes, and the size of the wrench for the drain plug. This
will save you from having to look this up each time you change the oil. (WW)

Knots - cool site

Need to tie some thing down or put two lines together? Want to learn
more about ropes and knots? Check out this web site. be sure to try
the animation, its way cool. (WW)

Large Catch Funnel for Oil Changes

I recall years ago reading [a magazine article] that I still use to this day. Had to do with
making a large catch funnel for doing oil changes. Take an old plastic
trash can lid. Cut hole in center. Turn upside down. Bingo - now you have
a REALLY WIDE funnel. Set it on top of your oil catch pan to increase the
diameter. Saves cleaning up oil from your shop floor for those stupid Chevy
side mounted oil drain plugs. (Figmo)

Magnet - Need One?

We have all dropped a nut, bolt or a part into a space that our fingers just couldn't reach. Or maybe you needed to hold a screw on the end of a screw driver to get it into a seemingly impossible place? You can magnetize a screw driver by wrapping a bunch of turns of insulated wire around the shank and then touching the ends of the wire across the post of your battery. It only take a second or two to do the trick. The better the steel in the screw driver the longer it will hold its magnetism. (WW)

Oil Filter

When changing your oil, always fill the oil filter with fresh oil before installing it. Ok on some vehicles you have to be quick when reinstalling it due to the mounting location. But this way the oil pump doesn't have to fill the filter before delivering oil to the engine components. (WW)


Ramp Travel Index (RTI) Test

RTV Sealant - Tube It

Every one should carry a tube of RTV sealant in their tool box as the usage is only limited to your imagination when it comes to repairs. However, when it rattles around in the tool box it gets pretty beat up. Grab the core that toilet paper or paper towels are rolled on and use is as a case. Bend one end of the tube inward to form a bottom and perhaps add a piece of duct tape. Slide the RTV sealant inside the tube. (WW)

Spark Plug Wires

When taking your spark plug wires off, put a numbered clothes pin on each wire. It will make it so much easier to identify where each one goes when you put them back on. Oh, and use a special boot puller when taking them off the plugs, the grab and pull method can easily break the wire. (WW)

Step-by-step - grab that camera!

Before disassembling whatever part of your vehicle, grab your digital
camera and take step by step photos as you remove each
component. When you put it back together, you'll have a visual
guide. Save the photos to computer or a disc if you'll use them again. (WW)

Tire Pressure

Load Capacity and Air Pressure When Changing Tire Size
or Construction

Torx Bolts - removing those infamous things

Stick the end of a soldering iron into the torx hole and let it heat up for a minute or two. This will soften any loctite and let you back the bolt out without breaking anything, burning paint, or welding. (Bruce Erickson)

Tow Strap

Tow Strap Instructions

Trailer Ball Dolly

Need to get that piece of tubing round again on the end? Use a trailer hitch ball as a dolly to slip inside the tube. (WW)

Tubing Measurement

Use an end wrench to measure tubing size. (WW)

Tyre Pliers

Tyre Pliers review. (Derek Emerson)

Wheels - stop them from rattling

#1 - Does the center cap of your aftermarket wheels rattle? Pull the
wheel off, take the cap out, and put a big rubber band around the end
of the cap and slide it back in. This should make a snug enough fit
to keep it from rattling.

#2 - Use tin snips to cut 3 or 4 little notches around the base of the center cap, then slip it into the wheel and install. The little offset cuts act like little spring clips to hold everything tightly in place. (Bruce Erickson)

Winch Cable Storage

When you're securing the end of your winch cable to your vehicle for
storage, use a heavy rubber tarp tie down strap to hook it to. The
tension on the cable will keep it from unspooling and you don't have
to worry about jamming it into your fairlead. (WW)

Winterizing Your Vehicle

A list of items to check so you can be winter-ready. (Mike Lenz)

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