Balancing Tires

balsa

New member
15
3
3
Location
Seattle
I noticed some of the new wheels I bought this summer were balanced from the factory (had lead weights stuck to the inside of the rim, but some didnt. I want them to last as long as possible so I wanted to check the ones without weights to see if the balance was okay.
I couldnt find anyone in the area (including large truck shops) that were able to balance the wheels I have. The wheels weigh almost 500 lbs each and the shops that could handle the 46" diameter, couldnt handle the weight. Anyway I decided to build a simple balancer. I bought a takeout hub assembly for $10, and then machined some endplates for it, pressed bearings in and slid a shaft through it. So far I have just used a jack stand on one side and then jacked up the other side so the wheel is off the ground, the heavy portion of the wheel eventually settles at the bottom and I'll just attache the stick on lead weights to the opposite side until things are about even. It works really good (although I havent attached the weights yet). The Hub wasnt even balanced at first so just the hub by itself would spin back and fourth until it finally rested with the heavy portion on the bottom. I'll add some weight to the other side to even that out. I figure it took some time to make, but easily paid for itself with what it would have cost to balance just 1 tire (assuming I could have even found a place to do it).
---------

Only you will know how easily the wheel tends to rotate freely with the axle resting on the Vee Blocks. Some grease might be advisable. The only other thing you could consider is making a pair of rollers which the supporting axle would rest on. The links show how model aircraft balance propellers. This setup should give you a freely turning support axle to work from.

It looks like this
http://www.rundquist.com/images/stuhrpb.jpg
https://www.modelairplanenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Capture6.jpg
 

fasttruck

Well-known member
1,271
623
113
Location
Mesa, AZ
When I had a big truck (which used tubeless radial tires) the tire shop had some form of powder in bags that they would put in when mounting the tires. With nmilitary tires I would put the break in the lock ring opposite the valve stem slot in the rim to help balance things and protect the valve stem when disassembling the lock ring/rim.
 

rustystud

Well-known member
8,968
2,022
113
Location
Woodinville, Washington
Who on here used the green tire slime and got decent results fixing some of your balance issues?
I've used "Green Slime" and had positive results with it. Very costly though. Also when you go to change out the tire it is a mess ! If your putting this in tubes then you just through out the tubes when changing tires.
 

tobyS

Well-known member
4,804
775
113
Location
IN
Do it on the truck. Take out the seals and clean the grease out of the bearing. Put one back together and then spin the hub while tightening the bearing. As your tightening keep the hub rotating so you can feel it drag when you start to get tight...then back off 1/4 turn. It should turn very freely. If your hub is really out of balance the heavy spot will fall to the bottom, but I doubt the hub is that far out.

Now static balance your wheels and tires like peashooter. After you have the heavy spot down and a weight installed to counter it, put that heavy spot out at 90* and see if it falls or may have too much weight. Once you can put it at 90 and it not move, your done.

Install new seals and grease (who doesn't need fresh grease and seals anyway).

Oh yea, you have to remove the axle. Getting the rear axle back in can be a pain, the front is easier.
 
Last edited:

Eliteweapons

Member
238
5
18
Location
Baltimore Maryland
I had a problem with balance on the Michelin 365/80 XL Bias ply around 42 mph would get really squirrely and hop sometimes, but then I swapped them to the 395/85 XZL radials. That problem went away and the ride is much better too. Anyone ever use the centramatic tire ring balancers?
 

cbrTodd

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
227
385
63
Location
Indianapolis, Indiana
I'm going to attempt to make a 5 ton version of the static balancer that I've seen @peashooter and @gringeltaube make. I don't have any ball bearings laying around, so I'm going to have to buy whatever I need. Any suggestions on a ball bearing size that is small / sensitive enough to work well? What worked for you guys?

20210622_203219.jpg
 

peashooter

Well-known member
1,034
174
63
Location
Hanover, minnesota
I'm going to attempt to make a 5 ton version of the static balancer that I've seen @peashooter and @gringeltaube make. I don't have any ball bearings laying around, so I'm going to have to buy whatever I need. Any suggestions on a ball bearing size that is small / sensitive enough to work well? What worked for you guys?

View attachment 837691
Could you just use the existing timken bearings if you clean them well and use a light oil or wd40 instead of grease? …. Nevermind, I forget they would want to pop out since they are tapered.
I suppose some open or shielded ball bearings with no grease would be the most free moving. What size bore do 5-ton hubs have for bearing cups? (Hence the bearing OD you would want)
 

cbrTodd

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
227
385
63
Location
Indianapolis, Indiana
Could you just use the existing timken bearings if you clean them well and use a light oil or wd40 instead of grease? …. Nevermind, I forget they would want to pop out since they are tapered.
I suppose some open or shielded ball bearings with no grease would be the most free moving. What size bore do 5-ton hubs have for bearing cups? (Hence the bearing OD you would want)
Yes I did try using the bearings in 10wt oil on the spindle with the nut loose when I was repacking bearings, but it still took too much torque to turn. I figured that defeated the purpose of the whole thing.

The bearing cups that the truck uses (592A) are 6.000" OD. But that is not a common size for a ball bearing, so I figure I am going to need adapter sleeves regardless. I just thought if there was a particular size that you guys knew worked, I could get adapters made to fit it. I thought maybe the 309 size used in the transmission main shaft might work, and there are tons of other options available online. I found a 16014 bearing on Ebay that was pretty cheap (70mm x 110mm x 13mm) and might work. It would just be aggravating to pick a size and make sleeves to fit it, and then find out it still has too much drag!
 

gringeltaube

Staff Member
Super Moderator
Moderator
Steel Soldiers Supporter
6,695
1,753
113
Location
Montevideo/Uruguay
I found a 16014 bearing on Ebay that was pretty cheap (70mm x 110mm x 13mm) and might work.
Yes, your hub needs to be sleeved in any case and bearings should fit snugly (pressed-in by hand).
What are you planning to use as spindle? Because that's what really determines the bearing size. Any single-deep groove ball bearing with a I.D. of 50-55mm and O.D. 80-100mm will work for this purpose. The weight of your mounted tire is nothing for these sizes.
Don't know what you consider "cheap", but I would not spend more than $20 a piece, for this. A 16014 can't be that low and I'd say it's rather large, already. I used a pair of 6011s because I had them laying around. But it could be a #6010 or #6309 as well; it mostly depends on the price of what's out there. And if there was a lower, special offer with rubber seals, then get those. Just remove the seals; wash out the grease and re-lube with a few drops of engine oil.

The trick for max sensitivity is to keep the final assembly clean and shielded from any sand particles/debris, while handling dirty tires/wheels around it.

20210623_171616[1].jpg 20210623_171717[1].jpg
 

peashooter

Well-known member
1,034
174
63
Location
Hanover, minnesota
I dont think you need to use a shaft/spindle of the same diameter of the bearing ID for this purpose. You could probably use any shaft smaller than the bearing id that has the strength to support the wheel, even a square tube. The bearings need to mount to the hub concetrically, but the id just needs to rest on something to do the static balance.
 

cbrTodd

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
227
385
63
Location
Indianapolis, Indiana
Thanks, guys! I think you've got me headed down the right path.

The 16014 bearings I found were $22 each shipped, but after looking for 6010's from @gringeltaube 's advice I found a set of 2 of those shipped for $17, and they have the rubber seals in them. I think I'll go that route.

As far as the shaft goes, I was thinking along the lines of what @peashooter said - the center shaft just has to fit through, the bearings do the work. To that end, I'm thinking that a piece of 1 1/2" sch 40 steel pipe (~48.3 mm OD) inside a 6010 bearing with a 50 mm ID should be fine. I'm planning to use a jackstand and a jack to do this, so that I can put the hub on a shelf and not have another tool taking up floor space in the barn.

So for now it looks like I just need to get a pair of sleeves made with an OD of ~5.995", an ID of ~3.149", and a thickness of ~0.63" (and the bores very concentric). Hopefully I can find someone to make that, since I don't have lathe capabilities!

Thanks again!
 

gringeltaube

Staff Member
Super Moderator
Moderator
Steel Soldiers Supporter
6,695
1,753
113
Location
Montevideo/Uruguay
As far as the shaft goes, I was thinking along the lines of what @peashooter said - the center shaft just has to fit through, the bearings do the work.
True, since the total weight won't be enough to deform the bearing inner race....

Don't forget you still want some kind of large washer/shield placed on each side of the hub, to keep dirt out. That shield could either be pressed into the sleeve, next to the bearing, resting against the outer race and covering (but not contacting) the inner ring. Or the other way around, both washers mounted concentric (on a machined Ø50mm spindle in this case) and only touching the bearing inner race.

If done right you will be surprised how sensitive this all is. Of course you first need to get the hub itself balanced. Then, once you got the tire/wheel assy perfectly neutral, even a 3/8" nut will start spinning it, when placed in between the tread blocks at the 3 or 9 o'clock position.

And then, when you think you got the wheel well balanced and ready, do this little test: unbolt it, rotate the hub 180 deg and put the wheel back on. Ideally there should be no difference. But you will soon learn.... very seldom is a (used)hub that perfect and all its studs running perfectly concentric. You could have a slight variation even after only loosening the lug nuts and then re-tightening, just done in a different sequence.

Still, (from my experience at least) the results of this static balancing method are more than satisfactory for our needs, so don't worry too much.
 

V8srfun

Well-known member
410
519
93
Location
Altoona pa
Coolant in a tube would be ok as far as safety is concerned but not in tubeless wheel/tire combos. Many farmers and loggers have experienced the effects of coolant and the loss of friction between the bead surface. Imagine trying to pull a plow and the wheel spinning in the tire or having a fully loaded wagon in tow pushing you faster than you can safely go because the tire is spinning on the wheel. This is actually why it is industry standard for them to use liquid calcium as tire ballast.

on road vehicles the safety factor would be stopping you run the risk of the wheel stopping before the tire does and to be honest we don’t need any help increasing stopping distance in these trucks.
 

cbrTodd

Well-known member
Steel Soldiers Supporter
227
385
63
Location
Indianapolis, Indiana
I did end up doing this, so I thought I would update the forum. My uncle made the spacer rings for me out of Acetal. I was concerned about the strength but it has held up fine and seems dimensionally stable under the loading that this tool sees. Gringeltaube was right about this tool being more sensitive than anticipated - I was able to use a small bolt and a tiny magnet placed on one of the unused stud holes to balance out the hub itself, and since it seemed to work I just kept using it while balancing the tires. If I was going to do a bunch of these, I would want to find a better way to add weight to the hub permanently, but the quick solution worked here.

I attempted to balance the 'problem child' tire first, but found out that its problem wasn't balance but runout. It has about 1/8" variation from the tallest to shortest area, so I put it in the spare location and balanced the spare for use instead. On the fronts, I've currently got the CTIS disabled to run higher pressure on the highway, so I balanced them without the CTIS hardware with steel weights glued to the inside of the wheel with polyurethane sealant. For the rears, I still have CTIS active, so I balanced the wheels with that hardware attached, using extra lug nuts and washers on the studs that hold the wheel halves together. Since the rears run with the dish out, all of the balancing weights are hidden on the inside of all 6 wheels.

It was a lot of work to do all this, but the results were significant. It's not 100% smooth as silk while driving, but once the tires have some heat into them to get them as round as possible, it's much smoother than it was before. There is still some 'hop' around 35-38 mph, especially if you are slowing down rather than speeding up, but I think that may be an artifact of not having shocks on the rear suspension. At 55 mph it's much better than it was before, and since I spend a lot of time on the highway in this truck, that's where I needed the benefit anyway!

Thanks to everyone for guiding me through this. It's now become another one of those jobs that I wish I had done a long time ago!

20210717_194908.jpg
20210717_194901.jpg
 
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website like our supporting vendors. Their ads help keep Steel Soldiers going. Please consider disabling your ad blockers for the site. Thanks!

I've Disabled AdBlock
No Thanks