DIY Bead Breaker

Written by gabrielle black
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DIY Bead Breaker
Tires mounted on rims have been sealed to the rim by air pressure. (tire image by Orlando Florin Rosu from

Creating your own homemade tire bead breaker can be simple and inexpensive. In order to remove a tire from the rim, you must first break the seal between the tire and the rim with a bead breaker by applying pressure to the tire to separate it from the rim. Leverage and counter pressure applied to the protected wheel are the basic components needed to accomplish this. Attempting to break the tire bead without supporting the wheel can result in damage to the rim or brake rotor.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2 inch-by-4 inch-by-8 foot treated pine lumber
  • 2 inch-by-4 inch by-12 inch untreated pine lumber
  • 2 inch-by-4 inch by-2 feet untreated pine lumber (2)
  • Car

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  1. 1

    Lay the two 2 pieces of 2 inch-by-4-by-2 feet side by side on a paved surface near the car. Lumber should be placed at a 90 degree angle to the car and near the rear passenger door of the car. Lay the wheel on top of the lumber so that the lumber supports the tire and keeps the wheel safely lifted off of the ground in order to protect the rim and brake rotor.

  2. 2

    Place one end of the 8 foot piece of treated lumber on the ground below the car under the rocker panel which is the same area you would place a car jack if you were changing a tire on the car.

  3. 3

    Line up the 12 inch piece of lumber vertically below the 8 foot piece and the edge of the tire near the rim. Lower the 8 foot piece slowly until it holds the 12 inch piece in place snugly.

  4. 4

    Stand up and put one foot on the tire on the side farthest from the car to hold it in place, and pull down forcefully on the 8 foot piece of lumber. This should break the bead and separate the tire from the rim. Rotate the tire and repeat the process, if the tire doesn't easily come off of the rim.

Tips and warnings

  • Wearing safety gear such as eye protection, gloves, and boots is highly recommended.

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