January 1, 2015

How to replace a riding lawn mower rear tire

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a riding lawn mower rear tire

This step-by-step riding mower repair guide shows how to replace the rear tire on your lawn tractor or riding lawn mower if the tire is too damaged to repair. Installing a new rear tire is relatively easy and requires just a few tools and a manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Use this repair guide and video to replace the rear tire on Craftsman, MTD, Husqvarna, Murray, Troybilt, Toro, Snapper, Yard-Man, Weed Eater, Ariens, John Deer and Southern States lawn tractors and riding lawn mowers.

If the tire just has a puncture in the tread, you can fix it with tire sealant. The video How to Repair a Riding Lawn Mower Tire shows how.

Quick links
Tools required
Floor jack or bottle jack
Jack stand
Slot screwdrivers
Pry bars
Pliers
Valve stem core removal tool
Liquid detergent
Water
Wood blocks
Work gloves
Safety goggles
Compressed air supply
Anti-seize compound
Repair difficulty
Time required
60 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
60 minutes or less
Replacing a rear tire on a riding lawn mower

This video explains how to replace the rear tire on a riding lawn mower.

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Disconnect the spark plug

    Park the riding mower on a level surface and set the parking brake.

    Turn the ignition switch off and remove the key.

    Wear work gloves to protect your hands and safety goggles to protect your eyes.

    Lift the riding lawn mower hood and disconnect the spark plug wire.

    Lower the tractor hood.

    Tip: Disconnect both spark plug wires if your engine has 2 cylinders.
    Disconnect the spark plug.

    Disconnect the spark plug.

  2. 02.

    Jack up the riding mower

    Block the front tires to keep the riding mower from rolling.

    Position the jack under the frame and jack up the riding mower to raise the rear wheel.

    Place a jack stand under the frame to support the riding mower.

    Remove the jack.

    Jack up the riding mower.

    Jack up the riding mower.

  3. 03.

    Remove the rear wheel

    Pull off the axle cover.

    Remove the retaining ring and then pull off the washer.

    Pull the tire off the axle.

    Remove the square key.

    Remove the rear wheel.

    Remove the rear wheel.

  4. 04.

    Remove the tire

    Remove the valve stem cap.

    Remove the valve stem core, which lets any remaining air out the tire.

    Break the tire bead and pry the tire off the wheel rim on one side.

    Pry the tire off the rim on the other side.

    Break the tire bead and pry the tire off the rim.

    Break the tire bead and pry the tire off the rim.

  5. 05.

    Install the new tire on the rim

    Clean the wheel rim.

    Lay the new tire flat on a work surface.

    Lubricate the top tire bead with liquid detergent.

    Pry the rim into the top side of the tire.

    Flip the rim and tire over.

    Lubricate the tire bead with liquid detergent.

    Pry the remaining side of the tire onto the rim.

    Warning: Use blunt tools to pry the tire to avoid damaging the tire bead.
    Pry the new tire onto the rim.

    Pry the new tire onto the rim.

  6. 06.

    Seal the bead to the rim

    Fill the tire with air to seat the tire bead.

    Reinstall the valve stem core.

    Fill the tire fully with air.

    If the tire doesn't fill with air, install ratcheting tension straps around the outer edge of the tread on each side of the tire.

    Tighten the straps to force the beads outward.

    Fill the tire with air to seat the tire bead.

    Reinstall the valve stem core and fill the tire with just enough air to keep the beads seated.

    Carefully release the tension straps and then remove the straps.

    Tip: If the tire didn't fill with air, install a ratcheting tension strap around the center of the tire tread, tighten the strap to force the beads outward, and fill the tire with air to seat the tire bead. Carefully release and then remove the strap.
    Seal the bead to the rim.

    Seal the bead to the rim.

  7. 07.

    Reinstall the wheel

    Slide the wheel on the axle and line up the key slots in the rim and axle.

    Apply anti-seize compound to the square key.

    Push the key into the rim.

    Reinstall the washer and snap the retaining ring onto the axle.

    Push the axle cover onto the wheel.

    Lubricate the square key.

    Lubricate the square key.

  8. 08.

    Lower the riding mower

    Push the jack under the frame and raise the riding mower.

    Pull out the jack stand.

    Lower the riding mower to the ground.

    Remove the wood blocks from the front tires.

    Lower the riding mower.

    Lower the riding mower.

  9. 09.

    Reconnect the spark plug

    Raise the tractor hood.

    Reconnect the spark plug wire and lower the hood.

    Tip: Reconnect both spark plug wires if your engine has 2 cylinders.
Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all riding mowers & tractors

Choose a symptom to see related riding mower and lawn tractor repairs.

Main causes: worn or broken ground drive belt, bad seat switch, transaxle freewheel control engaged, transaxle failure, dirty carburetor
Main causes: dead battery, stale fuel, bad starter solenoid, ignition system problem, bad ignition interlock switch, clogged carburetor
Main causes: damaged cutting blade, worn deck pulley, damaged mandrel pulley, loose fasteners on mower deck components
Main causes: engine overfilled with oil, leaky head gasket or sump gasket, damaged carburetor seals, cracked fuel pump, broken fuel line
Main causes: punctured tire or inner tube, leaky valve stem, damaged wheel rim
Main causes: unlevel mower deck, dull or damaged cutting blades, worn mandrel pulleys, bent mower deck, engine needs tune up
Main causes: damaged tie rods, bent or worn wheel spindle, worn front axle, damaged sector gear assembly
Main causes: worn or broken blade belt, broken belt idler pulley, blade clutch cable failure, bad PTO switch, damaged mandrel pulleys
Main causes: shift lever needs adjustment, neutral control needs adjustment

Repair guides common to all riding mowers & tractors

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your riding mower or lawn tractor.

How to replace the starter motor on a riding lawn mower

If you hear the solenoid click but don’t hear the starter motor spin when you turn the key, follow these steps to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
January 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a riding lawn mower spark plug

If the engine is hard to start or if the spark plug electrode is burnt or cracked, take 15 minutes to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
January 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a riding lawn mower carburetor

If the engine of your lawn tractor surges or is hard to start, the carburetor could be the problem. Follow these steps to install a new one.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all riding mowers & tractors

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your riding mower or lawn tractor.

May 1, 2017

Riding lawn mower engine spins but won't start video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Troubleshoot fuel, spark and compression issues.

June 1, 2016

How to mow a lawn for healthier grass

By Erin Hynes

How often and tall you mow your lawn has a big impact on its health. Check out these 3 rules.

March 1, 2016

How to change the Smart Switch Ignition password on a lawn tractor video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

See how to unlock the factory default start code so you can set your own passcode.