How to Mount ATV Tires on Rims – The Ultimate Guide in 2024 & Beyond

Last Updated on November 19, 2023 by ATVNotes

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No matter how well you maintain your ATV, its components are bound to wear out over time. And ATV tires, in particular, wear out faster than other components. Like other off-road tires, ATV tires stand the most impact and abuse as they mount uphill slopes and land jump on top of rolling over beaten off-road paths – rough and rugged terrains. As a consequence, you need to replace worn-out ATV tires frequently.

So, learning how to mount ATV tires on rims is an essential off-roader skill to master over. You can do it by hand and with the help of special tools. However, manual mounting of tires will also require using several tools.

Mounting ATV tires on the rim involves removing old tires from rims and then carefully placing new ones without causing any damage to either component. You must make precision adjustments to ensure a perfect fit which can be way easier if you have an ATV tire changing machine or a Manual tire changer. Whatever way – manual or machine- you follow, the process starts by removing the wheels from your ATV, deflating the tires to replace them, and removing it from the rim. 

If you have ever experienced the frustration of putting an ATV tire onto a rim yourself, you know it can be time-consuming and difficult. So, determine whether you want the 4ply or 6ply or 8ply tires beforehand to avoid mistakes of mounting wrong one. I have broken this complicated process into 7 easy-to-follow steps in this article. Following them will make even a novice off-roader successfully mount an ATV tire to its wheel rim. 

Read on to find more – the vital safety information and what necessary tools can make the arduous task just a breeze.

how to mount ATV tires on rims

Get Well-prepared: Arrange Tools & Take Adequate Precautions

Preparing for mounting tires on rims means knowing what tools you need and how each one helps you and taking preventive measures against dangerous air under pressure. Also, know what materials you need other than the tool aids.  

Necessary Tools & Their Roles

Mounting ATV tires on rims can be tricky, but the process is doable with the right tools. So, arrange the necessary tools and learn how they help you. 

Jack Stand/Floor Jack

A jack stand is a device used to support a vehicle in the air after being lifted off the ground with a jack. Jack stands are metal and can come in one or two-piece designs. They have adjustable heights so that they can be adjusted to fit any size of the vehicle, including trucks, SUVs, or cars. The most important factor when using a jack stand is to ensure that it is properly rated for the weight of your vehicle; if not, it could fail and cause serious harm. 

A floor jack is a hydraulic device to lift heavy objects like vehicles or machinery. It uses a hydraulic cylinder operated by a pump handle and provides the power to raise and lower the object with ease. The lifting capacity of most floor jacks ranges from two to twenty tons depending on the model, allowing them to be used for a wide range of tasks. 

Tire Changing Machine

If you don’t want to do it by hand, the most important tool you’ll need for this project is an ATV tire changing machine. These machines are specially designed to take the effort and difficulty out of mounting ATV tires onto rims. With the powerful components, it quickly removes old tires from rims and then carefully places new ones without causing any damage to either component. 

mounting ATV tires with machine

Manual Tire Changer

As indicated at the outset, manual tire changing also needs some tools common in your garage or home. But a manual tire changer will suffice as this is designed to replace all the tools. For example, this tool features pry bars and a bead breaker and works as an anchor point to mount the rim to. This will not dig deep into your pocket.    

Bead Breaker

A bead breaker is a tool to remove tires from rims. It works by pushing the tire bead away from the rim so that it can be pulled off. The most common type of bead breaker is a lever-type device that uses leverage to separate the beads of the tire from their respective rims. You will find it online or in nearly any automotive shop. You can use it for all types of vehicles, ranging from cars and trucks to bicycles and ATVs.

Bead Seater

A bead seater is a tool used to seat tire beads in the rim of a tire. It applies an even pressure to ensure all the beads are seated correctly in the periphery. A bead seater uses pressurized air to push the bead into its proper place. The process can take several minutes, depending on the size and type of tire being seated.

ATV tire bead seater

A bead seater should be used with caution; if too much pressure is applied, it can lead to damage or punctures in the tire’s sidewall or rims. If you have an air compressor, it can also do for proper bead seating on top of inflating tires. 

Bead Holder

A bead keeper or holder holds beads on a tire in preparation for installation. The bead holder consists of two parts: the base and the holder. The base is a metal cylinder that attaches to the end of a tire changer arm, while the holder is typically made from hard plastic or rubber, which holds beads securely in place.

To use, place the bead around the circumference of both sides of the rim, then insert it into the bead holder before pushing it up against the wheel rim. This will keep them secure during mounting and help ensure that they are properly installed when finished.

Bead Sealer

Bead sealer is an adhesive sealant that joins two surfaces together. It is applied as a bead, hence its name, in mounting tires, and functions by creating an airtight bond between the rim lip and tire edge.

Bead sealers typically come in caulking tubes with an applicator nozzle that dispenses the product onto the surface being bonded. You must be precise while applying it so the seal forms correctly without gaps or leaks. Once applied, the material quickly dries and hardens into a solid form that can withstand air pressure and weathering from outside elements such as rain or snow. 

Tire Changing Spoons

These are essential tools for anyone looking to work on their tires and come in various sizes and materials. It lets you choose the best fit for your ATV tire size and type. The most common material for these spoons is steel, which is strong enough to pry open even the toughest tires without bending or breaking. Some also have rubber handles for better grip and comfort when working on tires. 

In recent models, you will have features like longer handles and sharpened ends, making it easier to get into hard-to-reach places around the rim. What type of spoon you choose, they all serve a similar purpose: to help remove stubborn old tires from your rim and replace them with new ones.

Valve Stem Tool

Valve stem tools are designed to help install, remove, or adjust tire valves and are typically used on cars and off-road vehicles with tubeless tires.

The most common type of valve stem tool is a universal type that fits onto most standard tire valves. These usually consist of two pieces: one to attach to the valve stem and the other to act as an adapter for different valve stems. This allows multiple applications, such as adjusting air pressure or removing the entire valve from its housing.

Ratchet Strap  

Installing a ratchet strap is a great way to ensure your new tires are seated correctly. Make sure the belt is appropriate-sized and long enough to fit around the circumference of your tire and wheel. 

Precautions and Preparations to Take

When mounting ATV tires onto rims, it is important to exercise caution and take certain safety precautions. To ensure a safe process:

Get Lubrication/Soap-water: Use tire mounting lubricant or a soap-water solution to help the bead of the tire slip over the rim. This will reduce friction and make the task easier. 

Take Protection: It is also essential to wear protective eyewear and gloves when mounting tires on rims to protect your hands from any sharp edges or debris from the tire. 

Select a Flat Surface: Place the wheel assembly on a flat surface before working on it, as this prevents injury due to slipping and will also provide more stability for the tire mount itself. 

Use Air Compressor: Inflate your ATV tires with an air compressor rather than an impact wrench, as this will prevent overinflation of your tires which can lead to damage down the line. 

These safety precautions should be taken seriously to avoid injuries while attempting any DIY task involving vehicle parts such as ATV tires mounted on rims. But ATV tire mounting must be safe and flawless because making mistakes will cost you time and labor for reworking the process. To be flawless;

Choose the Right ATV Tire: Make sure you use the correct tire size and type for the rim you mount it on. A mismatch can lead to a dangerous imbalance in your tire setup, which could cause severe damage or injury. 

 Check Directional or non-Directional Tires: Mounting directional ATV tires is slightly different from mounting non-directional tires, if not complicated. Directional tires should be mounted as directed for optimal performance and traction. But non-directional or multi-directional tires can be put in any direction. 

How to Put ATV tire on rim in 7 easy steps

Changing ATV tires can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be anymore, as you are already aware of the right tools, their functions, and the crucial precautions to take. You are just away from the entire process broken into 7 easy steps. Here you go:

Detaching the Wheel

detaching wheels from ATV

Before detaching the wheel, wear safety goggles, gloves, and other protective gear. Also, ensure a floor jack is ready in case the ATV needs to be lifted off the ground. Tools like a torque wrench or an impact gun will make this process easier. You may need a ply bar/tire changing spoons if your bolts are too tight. 

Begin by loosening each bolt on the wheel using your lug wrench or impact gun (depending on what type of bolts your ATV has). Once all bolts have been loosened enough for removal, carefully take off each one and place them somewhere safe for future use. Finally, pull up the wheel and remove it from its mountings on both sides of the ATV frame. 

Remove the Old Tires

If you use a tire changing machine, ensure the device is properly set up according to manufacturer instructions. Once everything is ready, you can start by breaking the bead of the old tire off its rim with an impact wrench or other similar tool. Be careful not to damage the rim in this process, as it could lead to problems when mounting a new tire onto it. Then use your tire irons or similar tools to lever off any remaining pieces of rubber still stuck on after breaking the bead loose. 

In case you don’t have this machine, you can use a bead breaker to make your task a breeze. 

removing tires from rim

Prepare the rim and the tire

As you have successfully removed the old tire from the rim, the time is ripe for you to prepare both the rim and the tire to fit snuggly. First, ensure that you clean the rim’s lip so the bead can have a better surface to sit on. In fact, this will enable you to fit the new tire well. Additionally, cleaning the rim ensures that air does not leak in the near future.

For instance, if the rim has rusted, ensure that you sand it first and then remove the rust particles from its surface. After that, you can paint your rim to keep it free from rusting. Once you clean the rim, apply a bead sealer on its groove. Although it is not a ritual to add a new sealer, it is paramount if you think the tire beads will not fit on the rim seamlessly.

Lube the newly added bead

After applying a new bead on the ATV’s rim, lube it so that you can easily mount the new tire. However, before lubing the new tire bead, ensure it is free from gunk and debris. When it comes to bead lubing, there is a plethora of options that you can explore. From expensive tire lubes to soapy water, there is plenty of options that you can consider.

If you are on a budget, consider using soapy water. When lubing the bead, ensure that you do so on its inner and outer parts. Thus, you will easily mount the tire on the rim.

Follow the tire’s direction

Once you lube the bead, consider checking your new tire’s direction. Unlike other tires, ATV tires are hardly directional. However, most tire manufacturers usually make these tires in a particular way. Here, the tires’ grooves will be made in a way that they face in a particular direction so that the tire can offer much-needed traction.

To determine if the tire is directional, watch out for arrows on its sidewalls to sense the direction of travel. Look at the tread pattern on the tire; if the tread pattern looks like it’s angled in one direction, it is most likely a directional tire. 

You can consult your owner’s manual or manufacturer’s instructions for details about your specific ATV tires. Many manufacturers provide details about whether their tires are directional or not. For example, a tire with V-tread indicates it’s being directional and must be mounted the way so the tip of V hits the trail first. 

After all, the last thing you would like to experience is to mount your ATV tires only to realize that you need to remove them, change their orientation and then mount it again.

Mount the new tire

The process of mounting a new tire is relatively easy per se. All you need to do first is to place the rim on the ground. By doing so, you will prevent the instance of it sliding now and then during the mounting process. As you place the rim on the ground, ensure its shallow side faces up. Thereafter, I laid the new ATV tire on the rim at a certain angle.

Then, try to poke the bead into the rim, starting with the shallow side. Use tire irons/ply bar/tire changing spoons and gently force the remaining bit down. Do so until the entire tire is fully mounted on the rim. If need be, you can step on the tire as you try to mount it on the rim using the tire irons. You should ensure the whole bead is pried on the wheel more effectively.

To ensure the beads sit appropriately and there is no gap between the beads and rim lip, two of your tools – bead seater and bead keeper – will work magic. The seater will push the beads applying pressurized air to sit air-tight in their assigned spot. And the bead holder, as said, will keep the beads seated until the mounting process is done.  

Inflate the new ATV tire and Reinstall the Wheel

You need to inflate the tire to ensure that the beads sit on the wheel. If you have used a bead seater, it’s done already. Otherwise, you inflate the tire with air now.

inflating ATV tires

In either case, ensure you do not surpass the set inflation pressure. For more details, check on the sidewall of your tire to know the correct amount of air you should inflate your tire with. Once you inflate the tire with the much-needed air, the inner and outer beads will sit correctly. If you do it correctly, you will hear some pop sound, indicating that the two beads are well seated.

If the beads do not seat well, your tire will not inflate. Such is usually the case if a gap between the rim and the tire exists. If you are a victim of such circumstances, the ratchet strap will work magic here. Tire it around the tire’s circumference.

Tighten it, and then try to inflate your tire afresh. If there is some leakage, try to tighten the strap and see how it goes. Once your tire has started to inflate, let it touch the rim’s edge so it can bead fully. After that, deflate it to reduce the tension on the strap. You can then remove the strap and then reinstall the valve stem core.

After that, inflate the tire to the recommended level. Once you are done, you can reinstall the ATV wheel. When installing the wheel on the ATV, ensure that you fasten the nuts well so your wheel can remain firmly held. After that, lower the jack and put it in a toolbox alongside the other tools you had used to mount the new tire.

How to Get ATV Tires Mounted on Rims Successfully?

By now, you have known how to mount ATV tires on the rim, what tools you need and when, and how to prepare for flawless and successful mounting. Breaking and setting the beads are the challenging parts that differentiate between mounting off-road tires and on-road ones. Follow the suggestions given here to go flawless and end up being successful.

And make sure you have selected your ATV tire, considering which ply rating will serve you the best. Another crucial decision before mounting tires is to favor either bias or radial tires construction.

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