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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/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=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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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.


CharlieVT said:
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/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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Dumb question maybe but....

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

Steve
 

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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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Discussion Starter #8
Good info

blankshot said:
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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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
 

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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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ibbones said:
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.

dan
 

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DanMartin said:
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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ibbones said:
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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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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Steve_R said:
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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DanMartin said:
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.
 

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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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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?
 

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mtrevelino said:
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.

dan
 

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Where is everybody mounting the readout module?
 
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