Balancing Tires...What's Up !

Messages
13,240
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
I find more and more people complaining about their tires balance after a new purchace, myself included. It doesn't seem to matter wheather the tires are National Brand Name or Private Label Tires... Everything was fine before the new tire purchace. Those of us that also have a 2nd set of rims and tires that we swap back to for winter/summer can more easily determine wheather or not it is a tire issue or an allignment problem. Heres a good example: I recently purchaced new wheels and tires from one of the most respected mail order tire distributors. After installing them on my new car, the steering wheel shimmys on the highway. So I moved around the new wheels/tire on the car so that I could find the best fit. While rotating the new wheels/tires, I would also experience a pull from one side or another. Finaly after about 3 rotations, I finally got an exceptable mix/balance. Months later when I finally removed the 4 new wheels/tires from the car so that I could reinstall the factory wheels/tires for winter, every thing was fine! Having my new tires/wheels off of the car, I took them to a reputable local tire store for balancing, and was told that all 4 tires were fine. Does anyone have any suggestions or similar stories to share...Please chime in!
 
Messages
22,188
Location
Colorado Springs
You need to get hubcentric rings installed on the hubs. It's basically a plastic ring that snaps into/around the hub and centers the wheel around the wheel studs so it's perfectly centered flush on the hub. I've been fighting this problem for a while with custom wheels because anytime you have to work on your brakes or anything you have to breake the hubcentric ring off and install new ones. Discount Tire company has them and will likely install them for free or very cheap. The way you describe it, especially the pull to one side, is exactly what I experience and these hubcentric plastic rings that Discount Tire solved the problem. But you'll know if/when a shop breaks them off to work on your car cause the shimmy/pull will be right back driving you insane! Good luck.
 
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by Drew99GT: You need to get hubcentric rings installed on the hubs. It's basically a plastic ring that snaps into/around the hub and centers the wheel around the wheel studs so it's perfectly centered flush on the hub.
Just in case I'm not the only person who had never seen them.... Hubcentric Rings
 

Char Baby

Thread starter
Messages
13,240
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
My package came with 4 Hubcentric rings, road froce balancing and wheel locks. Im just seeing/hearing of more & more issues almost regardless of the cost of the package. Are the suspensions on todays cars that sensative to any minor flaw, or are the wheels and tires that poor of quality. Maybe it's that are the installers are using out of calibration balancing equipment.
 
Messages
22,188
Location
Colorado Springs
The hubbcentric rings don't totally eliminate my vibration. It's on a 94 Corolla; if the car could do a sustained 90mph I'm sure it would about knock your jaws loose, but it's now pretty decent at 75; 80 and it starts getting bad. One thing I've thought of is how much lighter aluminum wheels are compared to the steelies my car used to have. Same diameter of course; with some 17's or something they start to weigh a ton. [I dont know] The car did seem to ride a bit harsher after getting custom wheels. Same tires though.
 

Char Baby

Thread starter
Messages
13,240
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
My car seem to shimmy even at low speeds of 40-45 mph. Then of course it gets worst as speed increases. Although never violent just annoyingly unacceptable.
 
Messages
22
Location
houston
Boy, I just went thru a similar situation. I had a bunch of suspension work done to my high mileage GTi. After replacing the the tie rod ends, the a-arm bushings, shocks, struts, ball joints and a tranny mount, I still got a vibration at 60+ mph that never seemd to be there before. Well, I swapped around my tires and the vibration minimized quite a bit. Turns out one of my tires is out of round and even a Hunter 9700 did not catch it.
 
Messages
783
Location
Austin Texas
quote:
Originally posted by Char Baby: Heres a good example: I recently purchaced new wheels and tires from one of the most respected mail order tire distributors. After installing them on my new car, the steering wheel shimmys on the highway. So I moved around the new wheels/tire on the car so that I could find the best fit. While rotating the new wheels/tires, I would also experience a pull from one side or another. Finaly after about 3 rotations, I finally got an exceptable mix/balance.
You did not mention the mounting and balancing, but I assume this was done at some shop with the typical equiptment. It could be that the alignment of the car is not dead on, but simply 'within spec'--where dead on means that the caster, camber, and toe are set to the exact center of their factory specified range and exactly equal side to side.
 

Char Baby

Thread starter
Messages
13,240
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Mitch Alsup, Yes, you assume correctly. There was mounting and balancing. The total cost of my package was close to $1,000.oo........As I mentioned before, the vibration/shimmy varies depending on tire rotation, and does eventually go away at around 75-80 mph. The factory steel wheels and Continental tires are OK!......Maybe the Eagle LS and the RAGE MOTIF 17" wheels are the culprit.
 
Messages
783
Location
Austin Texas
"Maybe the Eagle LS and the RAGE MOTIF 17" wheels are the culprit." It can also be the case that the new tires have more traction (grip) and this added grip allow the tires to show off subtle alignment and or cornerweighting issues that tires with lesser grip do not. It could also be that the wheels may not be perfectly round. If you have a dial indicator handy you can raise each wheel off the ground and slowly spin the tire and measure the runout at the bead rim both axially and radially. But, I suspect balance, since you say the shimmy goes away at 75 MPH. I suspect it shows up at about 45 MPH. If it does, have the shop try another go at the balance, and verify that the balance was a dynamic (dual plane) balance and not a static balance. And while the wheels are off the car ask if they can measure the runout of the wheels on the balance machine (or other standard setup machine).
 
Messages
783
Location
Austin Texas
Let me also add that when you measure the runout of the wheels, also measure the runout of the tires themselves. There is always the possibility that you got an out-of-round tire.
 
Messages
1,680
Location
CT
quote:
Originally posted by manicrodder: Hubcentric rings did not cure mine completely. However, rebalance using Discount Tires Road Force machine did the trick.
I bought a set of replica chrome zr-1 rims with michelin tires, a $2000 purchase, from Discount tire direct with their road force balance which i think is a bunch of marketing money making xxxx. Any speed over 40 in the car with the wheels was a horrible ride, vibration and wheel shimmy, but no pull. Had to get them rebalanced at pepboys, with a standard wheel balance on the maching, and that fixed the whole problem. I'll throw the bs flag on the hubcentric rings, looks like a 10 cent piece of plastic being marketed. While I can't speak on all rims and hubs, I know mine get centered on the hub from the stud and lugnut and the lugnut hole. The rim is "centered" over the 5 studs, and the taper of the lugnut claming down over the rim where that is tapered, is what does the centering. A center ring will do nothing, it's the lugnuts that hold the wheel on.
 

Char Baby

Thread starter
Messages
13,240
Location
ROCHESTER, NY
Thanks to all who have chimed in. I knew that I was not the only one who has this issue. I just keep hearing more and more of this all the time.
 
Messages
1,462
Location
MD
Hunter roadforce machines are excellent for balancing tires.Go to their website and type in your zip code to get the location of a shop that has one close by.
 
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