October 5, 2008

Things I Learned in Mechanic School P. I: It is really really difficult to change a tire with only two tire irons

Leading up to my last day of a mechanic's course i asked the instructor if i could change a tire, for practice, in case i ever need to do this on the side of the road out in the middle of Canadian Nothingness someday. "No." So i asked again a few days later, and still, "no." Finally the instructor relented and i was set up with a tire to change all by myself. I had my irons that i normally carry in my kit, and some 'bead lube' which basically makes the tire slip around on the rim, in theory.

The first thing you need to do with a tire, once it's removed is to 'break the bead.' this involves working your way around the tire and separatiing the natural bond that has formed between tire and rim.

The second thing you need to do... doesn't really matter because i was totally stuck at step one and worked for 30min trying to prepare a 5cm section. This would have to be reapeated around the whole tire, both sides!

Sweaty and dazed from sitting and standing too rapidly i finally gave up. The words began to play in my head with a zennish authority "no... no... no..." I finally understood.

So, don't plan on changing a tire with two dainty irons unless you know you can break that bead, and that the tire has at least a bit of youthful pliability.

i have begun to associate on familiar terms with my BMW tire repair kit, no tire removal necessary.

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