How to Install a Tubeless Tire on a Rim

by Jody L. Campbell

You could try to install a tubeless tire on a rim with a very large screwdriver, a large pry bar and a six-pack of beer. It can be done, but it's not going to be pretty or easy, and chances are you're going to compromise the bead of the tire. If you want to install a tubeless tire on a rim, forgo the six pack and either have a tire changing machine or go find someone who does.

Place the rim on the turn table of the tire changing machine and activate the turntable locks. You can lock the turntable locks on the inside diameter of the locks or if you're concerned with damaging the expensive rim, you could open the locks, insert the rim, and close the locks around the rim bead edge. Any way you decide to lock the rim to the turntable, make sure the top of the rim is facing upwards.

Insert a valve stem and pull it through with the valve stem puller. If the tire happens to have a tire pressure monitor system valve stem, mount the tire first and insert the valve stem after so you do not incur damage to the sensor.

Apply a generous amount of tire lubricant to the bead of the tire using a tire lubricant swab.

Place the top of the tire (the side of the tire you wish to show as the exterior sidewall) onto the top of the rim.

Angle the tire down slightly on the right hand side and swing the tire changer machine's adjustable tool bar so it attaches to the rim but is now inside the bead of the tire.

Set the bottom bead first by slightly twisting the tire clockwise over the duck-head adapter of the tire machine a few inches and then activating the turntable in a clockwise manner. Continue all the way around the circumference of the rim until the bottom bead of the tire is set on the rim.

Apply a downward pressure on the top bead of the tire in front of the adjustable toolbar and duck-head adapter and activate the turntable in a clockwise manner again. Move the turntable in choppy slower motions to ensure the top bead is seating properly without damaging the bead. Apply more pressure in a downward motion near the front of the toolbar and duck-head if need be.

Insert the air fill hose onto the valve stem and pump air into the tire until the bead seats to the rim. Inflate to the proper air inflation specifications.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.