Tyre Changer Oil
No you are not going mad, you read this correctly …. Your tyre changers also needs oil to operate properly and it has to be the correct Tyre Changer Oil to boot! One of the most common causes of tyre changer issues is attributed to lack of oil within the machine itself. This it is by far one of the most overlooked daily maintenance routines of most tyre changers. Simply because of lack of training given when tyre changers are installed. An issue we hope to clarify for people in this article.
Here at E-Quipfix the staple part of our business is service and repair of tyre equipment. And the most common complaint we come across from new customers is “my machine seems to be going really slow”. When we enquire as to the last time they put oil into the machine we are always met with a very blank look and some enthusiastic shrugging of the shoulders. Now as I surmised earlier this is generally a problem of people not being told that tyre changers need oiling. Something that should be explained when the equipment is installed by the supplier. As such the customer is never made aware that oil is required. In other instances the staff that may have been informed have left the company and the general maintenance practices have not passed down the chain.
Most quality built tyre changers will be equipped with a filter assembly which will look like the image above. Which will be made of either ABS plastic (such as those found on our Teco tyre changers) or from aluminium. The assembly will consist of a pressure regulator with a built in water trap. (which can be seen on the right of the assembly above) which then feeds into the Oiler. (which can be seen on the left of the assembly above).
Oil Delivery Systems
The component is a “Constant Loss Oiler” and is designed to feed the oil into the pneumatic air line system. It does this by microlizing the oil droplets into the air stream. The microlized oil is then carried through the air lines and deposits the oil onto the internal surfaces. Forming an oil layer on the internal surfaces of the main components of the tyre changer. Most of the parts of a tyre changer are operated via pneumatic controls. These feed compressed air into sealed aluminium chambers which push against a rubber seal connected to a rod. This moves the push rod up and down the chamber and in turn moves the connecting parts such as the jaw clamps.
And as you can imagine if you have a dry rubber gasket sliding against a dry aluminium surface, then it isn’t going to move very freely or quickly. Think back to your summertime childhood days sliding down one of those metal slides. If you did it in your shorts with your skin touching the surface you didn’t get very far did you?. Well the same principal applies here. In order for the bead breaker to work with as maximum force as possible. For the jaws to slide in and out smoothly and quickly, and any other pneumatic peripheral to work without issues. Then the internal gaskets and air chambers need to be lubricated! And when you fill up your oiler ensure you are using “Hydraulic Fluid” in the form of jack oil or even at a push ATF fluid.
DO NOT!!! and I repeat …. do not use “Air Tool” oil if your tyre changer uses an electronic motor to rotate it’s turntable. This oil is to thin and will blow through the machine in a matter of hours. Air tool oil is designed to lubricate the plastic vanes found inside air tools and does not stick to the surface but instead flushes itself out.
The Use Of Air Tool Oil
The use of air tool oil in tyre changers is only ever required in the older “Air Motor” generation of tyre changers.
These particular tyre changers have a turntable that is rotated via an air motor, (see image above) which is essentially a glorified air gun so you have to use this type of oil. Using hydraulic oil will bind the air vanes and stop the motor from operating correctly.
So there we are, an interim crash course on the simple subject of oiling your tyre changer. By keeping your oiler topped up it will not only help lubricate your machine allowing it to work more smoothly with maximum pressure. But will also stop the wear and tear caused by dry rubber gaskets running against aluminium. Which in turn will reduce air leaks and pressure drop.