In this article, I will be talking to you about how to change your full-size tire on your full-size truck in the middle of nowhere.
Primarily, I’m going to be talking about the factors that you’ll have to deal with when being:
- In the middle of nowhere.
- Having a lifted or larger full-sized truck.
- Having a larger tire but only using stock factory tire replacement kits.
Safely Jacking Up A Truck To Change Tires
Don’t forget, before you start doing anything on your truck, you’re going to want to put your emergency brake firmly on.
Also, a couple of the things that you’re going to want to consider when traveling with a full-size and lifted truck are having a spare on that match the size of your new set of tires.
You will also need blocks of wood that are sturdy and large enough to hold the weight of the truck when you have actually to jack it up higher than it was sold.
Now because your truck is at a new height and your axle is a bit higher off the ground, you are going to want to put a piece of wood under there in order to make up for the gap between the ground and your axle, which used to be a little bit closer.
Also, pick a location that is secluded so that other vehicles won’t disturb you. Surfaces that are harder are always better than those that are softer. A truck that falls off a jack may be unable to support its weight because of soft soil.
A safe tire change depends on which spot you choose. It’s better to call for a tow truck when you are uncomfortable where you are.
You should keep the truck stationary by placing chocks around its wheels. Under each wheel, you should wedge a pair of chocks. The tire you want to change should not be the only one with a chock. Bricks or wooden boards can be used instead of chocks if you don’t have any. A wheel shouldn’t be able to rotate at all until it is solidly wedged under it.
It is possible to buy chocks in auto parts stores, as well as online. Safeguard your safety while maintaining a truck with these inexpensive but effective tools. The parking brake on the truck can also be engaged for added safety.
After that, take your factory jack, get it raised up as much as possible in advance, and then place it safely and firmly on top of the block of wood with the keyhole facing towards the back because that’s exactly where you’re going to access it with the jack rod.
You’ll need a screwdriver to remove the hubcap from your truck. A metal cover usually covers the lug nuts of truck wheels. The lug nuts must be covered if you do not see them. Use a flathead screwdriver to slide the tip of the screwdriver between the metal cover and rubber tire. Pull the wheel cover off the wheel by prying in multiple places.
The lug nuts hold some hubcaps in place. As you loosen each nut using the lug wrench, work evenly and gradually until you can remove them. The hubcaps on a pickup truck or flatbed are common. The wheels of larger vehicles, such as semi-trucks, are often covered and uncovered.
In order to take off the lugs, it is best to break them loose on the ground then jack the truck up. The tires should be on the ground when you torque the wheels so that they don’t fall off when torqued. Ignore this step if you prefer to do it later on.
A lug wrench is used to loosen lug nuts by rotating them counterclockwise. The lug wrench open end can be placed on every nut to start removing it. Initially, moving them may be difficult, but keep at it until no resistance is felt.
Depending on the wrench, you may have to step on it or put body weight into it to break it loose. You should stop turning the wheel once you feel it come loose.
A rust-busting lubricant like WD-40 can make stubborn lug nuts turn more easily. Pickups and flatbeds work just fine with lug wrenches, but larger vehicles may require something stronger. If you are doing it by hand, use a breaker bar.
Get a cordless impact wrench that is 1 inch long (2.5 cm) to easily remove the nuts. It’s a handheld tool that looks like a drill, but it’s designed with an open end to fit over lug nuts.
Under the truck, install a jack and raise the truck. Consider a hydraulic bottle jack capable of supporting the truck’s weight. The wheel wells of most vehicles have notches that indicate a safe place to store a jack.
When using a bottle jack, pump the handle upwards and downwards—raising the wheel to a height of about 6 inches (15 cm).
The jack should be positioned in a metal channel rather than on the plastic frame. Having trouble locating the jack point on a truck when you simply look at it may indicate that you should check the owner’s manual.
Rather than using a mechanical lift, use a hydraulic lift to lift heavier vehicles, such as dump trucks. The truck can be parked on the lift, then raised by pumping the handle. It is possible to support the additional weight with the biggest lifts.
It is often unnecessary to lift very large trucks such as semis. In addition to those wheels, the truck has other wheels capable of supporting its weight.
Now that we have the tire up off the ground, we can remove the lug nuts using the lug nut key and the stock tire iron. Now roll in your spare. Do your best to line up the holes with the bolts. It is easiest if you put the top two on top and then just slide it in, bouncing it off those.
Finger tighten all the lug nuts, then using the tire iron, tighten them until they are completely firm. One thing you might want to keep handy is a torque wrench. For example, if the specification for your truck is 150-foot pounds, that is what you should tighten each lug nut to.
Make sure they are so tight that they cannot be moved. You can test the nuts by removing them by hand. In case they can be turned, then they’re not tight enough.
Turn difficult nuts by using your weight or foot, if necessary. If you are not working on a pickup truck, you should use a breaker bar or an impact wrench. Several lug nuts can be found on larger trucks. Please make sure you get all of them!
Something else you might want to keep handy if it’s available on your full-size truck is an onboard air compressor. Make sure to check the air pressure for all your tires before hitting the road again.
Of course, after changing your tire in the field, you’re going to want to swing by a local discount tire where you can have your tire pressure and the torque on all your lug nuts checked for free.
Lowering The Truck
From under the truck, pull out the jack stands. Rip the jack one inch (2.5 cm) in order to raise the truck. If you do this, you will have some room underneath to slide the jack stands toward you. It is easier to store jack stands when they are collapsed.
Prior to reaching underneath a truck, be sure the jack is stable. By operating the jack, you can lower the truck. Attach the metal valve at the base of the bottle jack to the handle if you use a bottle jack.
Step by step, raise the handle so that the jack slowly descends until the truck’s tires are on the ground. Lift the truck up until it is level with the ground using a hydraulic lift.
You should tighten the lug nuts with a lug wrench by turning them clockwise. Securing all the lug nuts should be completed once the new tire has been put on solid ground.
You cannot move them any further after you have tightened them. Make sure the nuts can be removed manually by trying to remove them. In case they can be turned, then they’re not tight enough.
Make sure you take all the necessary precautions before working underneath a truck. You will also need to use jack stands so you can remove the lug nuts on stable ground.