There is a scenario that you should be aware of, and avoid, especially with the XB-455 and old, stubborn tires. It’s important to get the feet completely inserted in between the lip of the rim and the tire bead, until the tool body either comes into contact with the rim, or is within 1/8 inch at the most.
The XB-455 ram foot is upgraded material, and is stronger than the stationary hold feet. In a situation where excessive separation force is required, the hold feet on the XB-455 will start to bend, or the welds will start to fail, before the ram foot will bend. If the tool is not completely inserted, as shown in the below images, a greater-than-usual moment (bending force) will be imparted onto the hold feet because they will be contacting the rim at a greater distance. In some scenarios, this greater-than-usual moment can cause the hold feet to fail. If the tool is completely inserted, the strength and design of the tool is sufficient to handle even the most stubborn applications.
What Prevents Full Insertion?
Sometimes very old tires can almost get ‘welded’ or bonded to the rim, especially if the rim is corroded. When the feet get inserted, the bead does not separate and make room as is the normal case, and the rubber around the bead bundle can bunch up in front of the BeadBuster feet…when that happens you definitely cannot get the feet fully and properly inserted. We have seen this with some new wheels also: some OEM’s have been known to use a type of glue or bonding agent that prevents the tire bead from separating away in a normal fashion. If you are uable to get full insertion of the feet, and a gap larger than 1/8 inch remains between the tool body and the rim, then you are likely running into some form of this problem. It’s important to observe if a larger than 1/8 inch gap remains after clamping the BeadBuster.
What is the Solution?
If you are experiencing this problem, you need to spend a little more time working on getting the feet fully inserted when clamping. The best method is to back off on the clamping, allowing the feet to slide back out of the interface a bit, and spray a generous amount of lubrication into the interface. You may have to do this several times. The idea is you are working that interface so that you get one spot of the rubber to break free from the inside face of the rim, allowing full insertion: patience and lubrication are key. Also, during this “work-in” stage, it is helpful to tighten the clamp more than normal, such that the tool may even start leaning in towards the rim, and then back off on the clamp bolt to allow the tool to align correctly, or be removed for re-lubrication. Make sure to have the tool aligned perpendicular to the rim before running down the ram bolt. Once you get the feet fully inserted, as shown, you can proceed with breaking the bead as normal. Don’t try to break the bead loose from the rim in one step. Instead, push the bead down 1/2 inch, insert a 1/2 inch block to stop the bead from snapping back into place, then move the bead breaker tool to another location 3 inches away and repeat the process, which we referr to as the “inch-worm” technique.
This process will result in the job taking a little longer than normal, but you can avoid damaging your BeadBuster, tire and rim if you follow these steps.