Balancing Tires (including TIP for new tires)


Capt. Mike

Moderator
;) Here's a little tip concerning new tires. New tires have a tendency to slip a little as they bed on the rims and that new tire balancing is quickly lost. Compounded by the slick lube they use during mounting. See if your dealer will let you drive for a couple-three hundred miles before bringing back for the 1st balancing.

If he won't, you may want to rebalance the next 2 fronts after each rotation until all 5 have finally gone through a 2nd balancing. Usually that 2nd balancing is for the rest of the tire life.
 
Last edited:

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Front End Shakes

crispb Junior Member # 83 posted 10-22-2000 08:48 PM

I am almost done getting my 1977 Westy back on the road. I have everything working except that now that it runs the front end shakes really badly when ever I drive. It feels like I am driving over bumpy ground even on smooth pavement. When I got it the tires where almost flat and it seems that it was this way for a year or so. Could the bus resting on flat tires damaged the tires and cause the front to shake?

Thank You for your help

Capt. Mike Moderator Member # 11 posted 10-22-2000 09:25 PM

Yes! Tires left in a flat condition can easily be permanently damaged. We in the antique car hobby make joke of the fact that the older bias ply tires would develope a flat spot overnight that took 10 miles to work out. True but not particularly harmful. However FLAT is a different story and applies even more so to radials.

Without going into the deep gore of tire construction, their are several layers of cord laying in different directions. Flat, one distorts the other and if left that way too long, permanently shifts or damages one, the other or both. This can lead to belt seperation, a dangerous condition (Ask Firestone).

If not put on jackstands, tires of stored vehicles should be fully inflated to the maximum sidewall pressure. It is also wise to move the vehicle occasionally and place the tires on something that prevents wicking and will not hold moisture. (Boards, bricks or concrete -- not gravel, grass or dirt.)

[This does presume you have already eliminated the mechanical side of the suspension, steering & brakes.]
 

DEarles

New member
I have a 1968 Camper, I have just ordered tires from tire rack to find out the dealer cant balance the wide 5 bolt pattern wheel, what should I ask for as I am calling every tire place in Fort Lauderdale??
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
That's amazing that a VW dealer can't balance a VW wheel rim -- report them to VW! Or I wonder if he's PO'ed because you bought the tires from a mail-order discounter to save money and now are asking him to bail you out. . .?

This is one of the compromises of mail-order. I pay about $2-3 per tire more buying through a local dealer than the combined costs of mail-order, shipping, mount & balance. Thus I get free rotations, free rebalancing and most of the time, free flat or valve stem repairs. Since he gets that business on all my daily-drivers, on the occassions I do have to mail order a tire, such as an antique's tires he can't get, I still get a fair price and the similar service.

Most major tire dealers have self-centering cone mounts for their balancers. Just ask if they can handle "old Beetle" rims -- the bus didn't adopt the center disc design until 1971. Check truck places because they often work on trailer rims that are similar in design. Or find an old country gas station with a bubble balancer -- they can be extremely accurate.
 

DEarles

New member
How about this, followed an earlier post an had the tires mounted without balancing, Michlein Arias Load D 185/14. Ran up to 45mph on way home, so far smooth as glass, will try higher speed this weekend. Wouldnt it be something if they didnt need balancing!!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Please do NOT rely on "feel" to avoid tire balancing costs. The tire can absorb a fair amount of out-of-balance condition before you feel it, but it will still cause abnormal wear on the tire. Also, the suspension isolates a lot of feel, especially rear.

Per the opening post, often a tire's out-of-balance isn't found until rotated to the front where your 'feel' is more sensative, but even that's no guarantee. Before I learned of the bedding in before balancing trick, I was starting with 5 perfectly balanced new tires that felt good . . . only to find all of them slightly off at the reblance.
 

Top