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Discussion Starter #1
Besides new tires/wheels obviously. I have never been a big car guy so I am pretty clueless. So after I get the tires on a set of rims what else do I need to change out the summer tires for winter tires? I was reading something about a tool for the tire pressure system. I assume a jack would be neccesary but don't know that the type peopke se to change flats would be sufficient.

Any info, no matter how basic, is appreciated.
 

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I'd get a torque wrench too do you know the lug nuts are tightened properly.


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In addition to the torque wrench, if you're planning on doing this with any frequency, I'd invest in a jack for your garage. It'll be much more pleasant and likely more stable than the tiny little jack that comes with the car.
 

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Yeah, you'd want at least a 2-ton jack and a couple jack stands. Which can be acquired fairly cheaply at Walmart or a Harbor Freight Tools if you have one.

An electric impact wrench will make taking off and putting the lugs back on very easy and then a torque wrench to make sure the lug nuts are tightened to the appropriate amount. If you purchase a 1/2 inch impact wrench you should also purchase a 1/2 inch torque wrench so you can use the same sockets with both tools.

The new rims will require TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitor Sensors), with most Fords it's a small pressure sensor that is strapped to the inside of the rime with a metal band. You can usually order these and the tools to sync them to your car from places like Tirerack. You'll have to have a shop mount and balance the tires for you with the new set of rims. They should also mount the TPM sensors and sync them up for you. Then after that you can swap the rims out every season until you need to replace tires of course.
 

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Good ones, Lads! In addition I would add another pair of stands to have all 4 tires off the ground at once. Makes things WAY faster. Also WAY faster when you rotate your tires mid season. ALWAYS set your emergency brakes and keep kids and pets away. Get some thick shop rags to put on top of the stands to protect the underbody AND put some on the jack pad of the floor jack too. Keeps everything PURDY!
Also, tighten the nuts before you put the car back on the ground and then check them with a torque wrench ( 3 clicks ).
Make sure your studs threads are always CLEAN before you put the nuts back on them.
Then double check the tire pressure.
When stowing your wheels for the season, clean and polish the rims, add a coat of wax. Then shine and protect the tires. If you have tire bags , use'em, stow your tires OUT of the sunlight.

Tire bags : Tire Rack Seasonal Tire Tote w/Logo
 

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One tip that is very important. BEFORE you raise the wheel off the ground, make sure you have loosened the lug nuts a little so you don't have to apply a lot of pressure to the wrench with the car on the jack. You shouldn't loosen the lug nuts all the way before you lift the car, but just enough so that you don't end up having to stomp on the wrench, potentially shifting the car off the jack.

Also, once your wheels are off, put a little anti-seize compound on the place where the wheel meets the hub, and perhaps on the inside of the lug nuts. For exampe: Permatex® Silver Metallic Paste Anti-Seize Lubricant, 4 oz Brush Top Can | Staples® DO NOT put this anywhere on the brake disc or calipers. If you live in a snowy climate, the anti-seize compound will prevent your wheels from bonding with the hub due to rust from road salt and moisture. (I learned the hard way, and spent a perfectly good Christmas attacking my wheels with a sledgehammer to get them off the car!).
 

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THANK YOU!!!! YESS!!!! Someone else that uses anti seize on the nuts and studs!! You have NO idea how much shit I have caught over the years from folks about that!!! They kept saying the torque wouldnt be accurate on the nuts and the wheels would fall off and all sorts of guff!
I wish I could give you a medal for this!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the good advice guys. I assume it's probably more costly than I think it should be to mount and balance the new tires at the shop but it is for a good cause.

I guess that means I can wait on all the other tools until spring time though.
 

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THANK YOU!!!! YESS!!!! Someone else that uses anti seize on the nuts and studs!! You have NO idea how much shit I have caught over the years from folks about that!!! They kept saying the torque wouldnt be accurate on the nuts and the wheels would fall off and all sorts of guff!
I wish I could give you a medal for this!!!
Ha! That's hilarious. I've made it 190,000 miles without the wheels falling off!

Another tip for the OP. I've always been a little nervous about getting my car up on all four jacks at the same time, mainly because my garage floor is not perfectly level. I believe in most cars these days, the rotation pattern is just front to back, back to front, with the tires staying on the same side of the vehicle. [I could be wrong about the Focus, I've never owned one. But I hope not!]

So to rotate my tires, I use the spare tire. Take off the front wheel, put on the spare, tighten the nuts (doesn't have to be all the way to the torque spec, but good and tight), lower the car, loosen the nuts on the rear tire, raise the car, take off the rear tire and replace with the front one, then go back to the spare tire in the front and replace with the rear tire. It takes a little longer, but you can get away with just using a good jack, rather than jack stands.
 

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Yup garage floors are always sloped slightly so water will drain out.


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Yup garage floors are always sloped slightly so water will drain out.
Mine's sloped because the house is old! Unfortunately, it slopes inward, too.
 
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Also, check to make sure your lug nuts have the correctly matching surface for both sets of wheels. Some aftermarket wheels may have a different design or contour where it meets the lug nuts.
That may mean having to switch lug nuts when you switch wheels.
 

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Rather than using the spare tire as a placeholder during tire rotation, buy a $20 set of 2-ton jack stands from Harbour Freight or somewhere. Much simpler and faster. Tire rotation should only take about 5-10 minutes including checking tire pressures and torquing lug nuts.

The jack stands will be useful for any other time you want to get under the car as well. Never rely on the jack alone to hold the car up if you're going to be underneath.

I also use anti-seize on my hubs, but even so I usually have to use a 12" length of 4x4 (propped against the inside of the rim) and a sledgehammer to pop the wheels off the hubs. The stock rims on my car are like an interference fit.
 

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One other thing, when I put tires back on, while it's in the air I will use the impact wrench to put everything back on and then when it's on the ground I use the torque wrench to tighten everything up. If you try to use the torque wrench when it's in the air the wheels will usually rotate.

When rotating tires it depends on age and wear of the tires. If you replace all 4 tires at once it's easier. If you replace the front tires more often than the rear tires then that complicates things. I usually rotate left to right and vice versa so they wear properly. You can also rotate front to rear since with FWD vehicles the rear doesn't usually wear down as fast as the front tires.
 

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Rather than using the spare tire as a placeholder during tire rotation, buy a $20 set of 2-ton jack stands from Harbour Freight or somewhere. Much simpler and faster. Tire rotation should only take about 5-10 minutes including checking tire pressures and torquing lug nuts.

The jack stands will be useful for any other time you want to get under the car as well. Never rely on the jack alone to hold the car up if you're going to be underneath.
Yeah big safety tip, NEVER rely on only the jack when under the car. Always use jack stands when under the car. I will use stands on both sides of the car plus the jack to prop the car up. I've heard too many stories about jacks failing when someone was under a vehicle and the car wasn't on stands. No one deserves to be crushed by a vehicle like that.

If you use ramps to do oil changes and such make sure you use wheel blocks AND use the parking brake to prevent the car from rolling. You always want to have a fail safe and never rely on one piece of gear.
 

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Rev.Hammer said:
THANK YOU!!!! YESS!!!! Someone else that uses anti seize on the nuts and studs!! You have NO idea how much shit I have caught over the years from folks about that!!! They kept saying the torque wouldnt be accurate on the nuts and the wheels would fall off and all sorts of guff!
I wish I could give you a medal for this!!!
FWIW,

My first job out of college was developing the torquing specs for the jet engines in the F15 and F14 so I have a fair amount of experience on the topic.

The torque on a fastener is not what is important, it is the clamping force being generated by the fastener pressing the parts together. On bolt patterns such as wheel lug nuts and head bolts having even clamping force between all the fasteners is as important as how much clamping force is being generated.

Using a torque wrench to generate even clamping force is very convenient but is not very accurate because of the friction generated in the threads as the fastener is tightened. Using a lubricant on the threads to reduce friction will make the variation in clamping force smaller while overall increasing it. Any threaded joint that is important enough to put a torque wrench on should be inspected for damaged threads, chased as needed and be lubricated. Lubrication will not cause a threaded joint to loosen if the clamp force is sufficient and material strong enough to resist the forces trying to seperate them.

Getting even and consistent clamping force is why race engine builders measure bolt stretch instead of a torque wrench on critical joints and why aluminum head/iron block engines use torque to yield fasteners.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Again thanks for all the good info guys.

So if I understand correctly this year when I need to put the winters on I will need to take it in to have a shop mount and balance everything for me but after that it is just a swap I can do on my own without any worries?
 

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I have a pint can of nickel based anti seize I have been using for well over 20 years. It's not important what the brand is just read what the package says its used on, different materials like different based anti seize. Nickel based is good for ferrous to ferrous and ferrous to aluminum.
 
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