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post #1 of 36 Old Feb 7th, 2008, 5:15 am Thread Starter
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Question Smartire and tire changing

I bought a Smartire system off eBay for about $100, a "buy it now" deal. There was a listing for one bidding at about $50 but the seller had no feedback history so I passed. The point is these systems are quite a bit cheaper than they used to be.

So I finally broke down and ordered a Harbor Freight tire changer, this after using tire irons for years. (The base tire changer unit was onsale on the web site for about $30:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=34542

The motorcycle attachment was $10 cheaper in my recent catalog than on the website so I clicked on "order from catalog" and entered Item 34542-0AXH.

Cost me about 80 bucks for the tire changer including shipping.

So my next project will be to install my Smartire sensors; anyone have any hints on how to avoid problems? Reading the instructions I realize it is possible to damage the sensors during tire mount/demount.
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post #2 of 36 Old Feb 7th, 2008, 7:31 am
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Mornin', Charlie - congrats on picking up a SmartTire unit at a good price. Hope you'll like yours as much as I do mine.

Somewhere in midstream production, SmartTire made a change in their units as it applies to installing on the BMW tire rims. There should be documentation in your packaging to bring it to your attention. It had to do with the fact the BMW rims have a drop-center feature that encircles the inner rim and they made mid-production allowances to accomodate that. If you're unclear about the unit you purchased, give SmartTire a buzz and they should be able to help you. I think National Cycle is/wuz the US distributor, so you may need to contact them also/too/instead!!

One other mention - be sure and adhere to the torque value for tightening the mounting strap (it's like a huge hose clamp). My first set wuz installed without regard to that value and the sensor blew apart before I ever got outta Boerne (on a trip to CCR Breck!).

BTW - if you have need for further info, ping Dan Martin down Houston way --- he's really tuned into SmartTire systems and their operation. Good luck, Charlie.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieVT
I bought a Smartire system off eBay for about $100, a "buy it now" deal. There was a listing for one bidding at about $50 but the seller had no feedback history so I passed. The point is these systems are quite a bit cheaper than they used to be.

So I finally broke down and ordered a Harbor Freight tire changer, this after using tire irons for years. (The base tire changer unit was onsale on the web site for about $30:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=34542

The motorcycle attachment was $10 cheaper in my recent catalog than on the website so I clicked on "order from catalog" and entered Item 34542-0AXH.

Cost me about 80 bucks for the tire changer including shipping.

So my next project will be to install my Smartire sensors; anyone have any hints on how to avoid problems? Reading the instructions I realize it is possible to damage the sensors during tire mount/demount.
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post #3 of 36 Old Feb 8th, 2008, 7:21 am Thread Starter
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Installing Smartire and production changes

Thanks for the info Dick,

I didn't realize there was a production change and I probably got one of the older units. Just guessin.

They did slap a couple of stickers on the box, one outside and one inside like they really wanted you to see it: : CAUTION Sensors can be installed on 2.5' or wider rims except for 2.5" MT profile rims. The front and back of the sensor MUST sit flat in the rim's drop center well." And then a warranty disclaimer if you don't do it right. And there is an additional piece of paper in the box showing "correct" and "incorrect" installation. And then there is the original Owner's Manual printed in 2004.

Now I wonder what a "MT profile" rim is.

I can tell by the additional documentation that this has been screwed up by at least one person before.

I'll see how the sensors fit when I get the tires off the rims. I reckon that the KLT's rims are wide enough. If not, I'll grind and hammer on some stuff. Like Grif has said: "I don't do anything judiciously" but I'll try to go carefully.

My motto: If if doesn't fit, don't force it... get a bigger hammer.
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post #4 of 36 Old Feb 8th, 2008, 8:36 am
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Charlie,if your box has the stickers it is the new version. The older version wanted at least 3.0 inch rims.
A couple of suggestions:
1. Use a couple of ty-wraps around the sensor and clamp, extra insurance
2. Get a different mounting bar for the HF changer.
3. Put some rubber on the HF clamps to help hold the rim.

My bar came from:

Mitch Patrie
3082 N Foxridge Court
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

[email protected]

I am going to mount another set this weekend. Will try to post some pics Sunday.

Dan
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post #5 of 36 Old Feb 8th, 2008, 10:22 am
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Dumb question maybe but....

What about balancing? How do you guys that mount your own balance them?

Steve
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post #6 of 36 Old Feb 8th, 2008, 10:45 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loser
What about balancing? How do you guys that mount your own balance them?

Steve
I use the Marc Parnes balancer. Takes about 5 minutes. Very nice.

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post #7 of 36 Old Feb 8th, 2008, 11:52 am
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While I had the wheels off I balanced it without the tire or smart tire sensor to find the heavy spot. Then I marked it and installed the sensor so it would offset the heavy spot. My front wheel was in perfect balance but the back was out some and by moving the sensor around I was able to get it just about right. Doing this keep the weight down that I needed to balance the tires after.

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post #8 of 36 Old Feb 8th, 2008, 4:14 pm Thread Starter
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Good info

Quote:
Originally Posted by blankshot
While I had the wheels off I balanced it without the tire or smart tire sensor to find the heavy spot. Then I marked it and installed the sensor so it would offset the heavy spot. My front wheel was in perfect balance but the back was out some and by moving the sensor around I was able to get it just about right. Doing this keep the weight down that I needed to balance the tires after.
Great posts gents. Gotta love this board (except for the fact that most of the stuff I spent money on, I didn't know I needed until I read about it here

Yup, Marc Parnes is what I use too.

Finding the heavy spot prior to mounting the Smartire sensor sounds like a good idea, thanks, I'm gonna do that.

Thanks for the replies telling me I have the newer version of the Smartire. That makes me feel good.

I'm gonna get to this as soon as UPS delivers my HarborFreight tire changer. Problem is, right now the drive is so bad with snow and ice, the UPS driver won't come up here.
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post #9 of 36 Old Feb 12th, 2008, 6:55 am
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Here are a few pictures of the Smartire installation.
With the HF changer you get 2 bars for the center pivot depending on the axle size. Use one in the axle hole for pivot and the other through the spokes to keep the rim from turning.
Note that the ridge in the wheel needs to be filed down for the valve stem.

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post #10 of 36 Old Feb 12th, 2008, 8:19 am
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Dan you sure make that look easy. Did you do that this past weekend? It sure was pretty.

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post #11 of 36 Old Feb 12th, 2008, 8:36 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibbones
Dan you sure make that look easy. Did you do that this past weekend? It sure was pretty.
Worked on it Sunday. It is fun to do. Took off the old tires,mounted stems and smartire sensors. Stopped when I found the bearings frozen,plus I am trying to decide whether to go back with BT-020 radials or Bias-ply. I hate decisions. I believe that the radials are safe to run,but not 100% sure.

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post #12 of 36 Old Feb 12th, 2008, 9:09 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanMartin
Worked on it Sunday. It is fun to do. Took off the old tires,mounted stems and smartire sensors. Stopped when I found the bearings frozen,plus I am trying to decide whether to go back with BT-020 radials or Bias-ply. I hate decisions. I believe that the radials are safe to run,but not 100% sure.

dan
I cannot answer the radial question, just what I heard at CCR. I also have no experience on them so I have nothing to compair them to. Also, I have only used the 880's.

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post #13 of 36 Old Feb 12th, 2008, 9:37 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibbones
I cannot answer the radial question, just what I heard at CCR. I also have no experience on them so I have nothing to compair them to. Also, I have only used the 880's.
Just got off the phone with TJ. I will stick with the radial.
Did you notice your Smartire vendor raised their price on ebay to $169?
Makes yours at $71 look pretty good.

dan
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post #14 of 36 Old Feb 12th, 2008, 1:55 pm
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Dan, You won't find BT-020 radials for the LT anymore. Bridgestone stopped making them. The only radials you get for the LT now are the Avon Storms and they have ones that are weight rated for the LT.

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post #15 of 36 Old Feb 12th, 2008, 1:59 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_R
Dan, You won't find BT-020 radials for the LT anymore. Bridgestone stopped making them. The only radials you get for the LT now are the Avon Storms and they have ones that are weight rated for the LT.
I know,I have been sitting on a stash of them. Just trying to decide whether to use them or not.
I tried the Avons and was not impressed. They didn't last any longer and didn't feel quite as good.

dan
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post #16 of 36 Old May 28th, 2008, 12:37 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanMartin
Here are a few pictures of the Smartire installation.
With the HF changer you get 2 bars for the center pivot depending on the axle size. Use one in the axle hole for pivot and the other through the spokes to keep the rim from turning.
Note that the ridge in the wheel needs to be filed down for the valve stem.
dan
Dan - I like the use of the second bar to stop the rim from turning. Now, a couple of questions for Dan or anyone else. Did you have to install the "cap or bridge" over the inside of the valve stem (for the strap to fit over) (I did install the metal valve stems)? And, the booklet says to spin each tire approximately six miles per hour. Is there a short cut to this procedure? I am at work now but I do not know if I received the modified sensors to fit the front rim correctly, does someone know the inside rim distance that the senor fits in? I am hoping that I can measure the sensor width before I take the tire off. Thanks to all.

Mike Trevelino
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2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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post #17 of 36 Old May 28th, 2008, 12:55 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

If you bought the sensors in the past year,you have the new ones. Even the original ones worked. They may not have set as deeply as wanted in the groove,but they did work. I used the bridge over the metal stems. Mainly because when seating the bead you want a good blast of air and the clamp would restrict the air flow. I was using the second bar to stop the rim from turning. I now use a 41" 2X2 braced from the floor up past the horizontal bar and through the spokes. This way I don't have to remove it to remove the tire or put the new one on.

dan
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post #18 of 36 Old May 28th, 2008, 3:23 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Thanks Dan. Do you have a answer for this:
And, the installation booklet states to spin each tire approximately six miles per hour to program the sensors. Is there a short cut to this procedure?

Mike Trevelino
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post #19 of 36 Old May 28th, 2008, 3:42 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrevelino
Thanks Dan. Do you have a answer for this:
And, the installation booklet states to spin each tire approximately six miles per hour to program the sensors. Is there a short cut to this procedure?
Sorry, I missed that at first. No. You could just start the bike and go. You have a 50/50 chance of the wheels getting loaded correctly. I have done this when it wasn't convenient to spin the wheels. And of course it was backwards. All I do now is have the front wheel off the ground with a jack or somebody pushing down on trunk. Grab the front wheel give it a good spin 2-3 revs,put the bike in gear and spin the back.

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post #20 of 36 Old May 29th, 2008, 4:19 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Where is everybody mounting the readout module?

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post #21 of 36 Old May 29th, 2008, 7:11 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

I took Dan's suggestion and put it on the clutch reservoir and ran the wires down the handlebar covers.

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post #22 of 36 Old May 29th, 2008, 9:53 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennM86
Where is everybody mounting the readout module?
Velcroed to the clutch reservoir

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post #23 of 36 Old May 30th, 2008, 4:57 am
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Thanks gentlemen.

Is $95 for an Ebay smartire a good deal? It looks like they run $160 new. The auction claims New in Box.

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post #24 of 36 Old May 30th, 2008, 6:01 am
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennM86
Thanks gentlemen.

Is $95 for an Ebay smartire a good deal? It looks like they run $160 new. The auction claims New in Box.
I have bought several from this seller. About as good as it gets. Unless you get lucky and find one from a different seller.

dan
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post #25 of 36 Old May 30th, 2008, 6:53 am
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Thanks Dan. I just ordered one on Ebay.

With FedEx ground shipping of ~$27, total was ~$123.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/SMART...spagenameZWDVW

Now I start searching the forum and Hall of Wisdom for installation, mounting, and I know have already read about DynaBeads.

Is there any harm in installing just the front sensor? I need a front tire now. My rear can wait until next season.

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post #26 of 36 Old May 30th, 2008, 7:00 am
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanMartin
Velcroed to the clutch reservoir

dan

Dan, in your photo of the clutch reservoir...is that the OEM BMW Cup holder?

Not trying to hijack a thread, just found it an opportune time to ask.

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post #27 of 36 Old May 30th, 2008, 7:32 am
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennM86
Dan, in your photo of the clutch reservoir...is that the OEM BMW Cup holder?

Not trying to hijack a thread, just found it an opportune time to ask.
Right, that's the OEM holder. Use it a lot. It doesn't get much better than a cup of good coffee and a deserted highway and good tunes.

You should be ok installing just one sensor. The system will "look" for the rear sensor for 20 minutes each time you start up and then it will shut off. I have some other ideas I will try this afternoon and get back to you.

dan
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post #28 of 36 Old May 30th, 2008, 4:44 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Left work today and went by my local neighborhood Harbor Freight and picked up the portable tire changer and motorcycle tire adapter.

I guess next is to order the No-Mar spoons.

For balancing I think I am going to try the DynaBeads on the bike. I have had good luck in my Jeep and Truck.

I have read several threads reviewing the Avon front tire. I may order the $49 from J&P.

I am waiting for my Smartire now.

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post #29 of 36 Old Jun 18th, 2008, 8:23 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Dan (et al)

what did you use for a power source for your Smartire readout?

It looks like this is the weekend to change a front tire and install the Smartire system.

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post #30 of 36 Old Jun 18th, 2008, 8:31 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Power source: Rear heated seat connector.
Better source probably map light.

dan
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post #31 of 36 Old Jun 19th, 2008, 8:52 am
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

I agree with Dan. I used the FRONT seat heat connector. Why? I had the plastic off for a 36K and that was as far as the cable would reach. I also had about 6 wires already going in behind the map light.

John
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post #32 of 36 Old Jun 19th, 2008, 10:06 am
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
I agree with Dan. I used the FRONT seat heat connector. Why? I had the plastic off for a 36K and that was as far as the cable would reach. I also had about 6 wires already going in behind the map light.
Wish I had done that, John. I gotta rat's nest of wires and clips up behind the map light. I think I got piggyback clips clipped to piggy back clips clipped to pigg............ GPS/XM/Smartire Monitor/map light!!!! No meltdown yet, tho!

Next disrobe session, I'll fix that.
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post #33 of 36 Old Jun 19th, 2008, 12:37 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

lets see if I can get the picture of the dash with the smartire readout here. Although I am no longer using the smartire system, the readout remains.
The hose clamp failed on my rear tire, and shattered is the only word I can think of to describe the SS clamp that was cleaned out of the rear tire. It was in twenty pieces with many of them about an inch long. I have never seen this reaction before in metal fatigue likely caused by heat and expansion. The strap was torqued to spec when installed.
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post #34 of 36 Old Jun 19th, 2008, 12:51 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

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lets see if I can get the picture of the dash with the smartire readout here. Although I am no longer using the smartire system, the readout remains.
The hose clamp failed on my rear tire, and shattered is the only word I can think of to describe the SS clamp that was cleaned out of the rear tire. It was in twenty pieces with many of them about an inch long. I have never seen this reaction before in metal fatigue likely caused by heat and expansion. The strap was torqued to spec when installed.
Yep, my first SmarTire install did the same thang. Hadn't ridden over a hunnert miles or so - wuz heading to Breckenridge CCR. Got about 50 miles outta Boerne; noticed some weirdness in the bike's normally smooth ride and thought I could hear somethang inside the tire. Returned to the installer's place of bidness and took the wheel off and could tell somethang wuz loose inside the tire. Broke the tire down and found pieces of the sensor and the SS clamp. I put everythang in a baggie and turned it into the SmarTire vendor at CCR. Turned out to be one of the early manufactured units that weren't set up for the 'drop well' in the rim of BMW LT wheels. Replaced under warranty with the new, revised unit, and it's been fine ever since - since '04.
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post #35 of 36 Old Jun 19th, 2008, 5:34 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

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Originally Posted by Steve_R
Dan, You won't find BT-020 radials for the LT anymore. Bridgestone stopped making them. The only radials you get for the LT now are the Avon Storms and they have ones that are weight rated for the LT.

I have been trying to follow any 'Tires' thread I could find, but this site: http://www.tiresunlimited.com/ALL%20...tlax_bt020.htm has the Bridgestone BT-020 for the LT, or am I being deceived?

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post #36 of 36 Old Jun 19th, 2008, 5:39 pm
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Re: Smartire and tire changing

Bridgestone still makes the BT-020 for the LT. It is a biased tire and not a radial. Some folks prefer them over the Metzelers.

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