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Tire balancer question #5114272 05/24/19 07:56 AM
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supton Offline OP
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I keep an eye on CL for a balancer just in case a screaming deal shows up. One of the recent ads indicated that they were selling as the model only did up to 17" and the user needed to move along. I didn't realize that there was a limitation... is that common to most of the ones I might find on the cheap? I'm not after anything fancy, a hand cranked one would be fine. I'm not looking to balancer mudder tires but my truck has 18" rims and it'd be good to know such limitations up front.

Also, are they particular about needing a flat floor? I'm guessing they won't work on a side of a hill but I have to ask as I'd probably need to shove it in a corner when not in use. So if it needed careful leveling that might temper my rush to get one.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 191k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 154k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 213k, his
Re: Tire balancer question [Re: supton] #5114298 05/24/19 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by supton
Also, are they particular about needing a flat floor? I'm guessing they won't work on a side of a hill .


I'm pretty sure they need to be operated when located on a level slab. it doesn't have to be a huge slab, but smooth and level nonetheless


"The evidence demands a verdict".
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Re: Tire balancer question [Re: supton] #5114320 05/24/19 08:35 AM
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Kira Offline
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Hand cranked instead of motorized?

All I want to offer is this. A shop in Ticonderoga had an old, beat up balancer. The operator measured the width of the rim bead-to-bead. He then "entered that data" by turning a small wheel (like a lathe handle). Always perfect results.

That shop folded and a local chain refurbed/expanded it into a truck stop. I was too late to bid on the balancer.

We'd commonly mount tires with a red Chinese Harbor Freight mast then go get a $5 balance.

WE SAVED BIG MONEY......but now it's over.

Re: Tire balancer question [Re: supton] #5114352 05/24/19 09:14 AM
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supton Offline OP
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Yeah, hand cranked. I mean, I'm ok with a motor, I just don't want to pay extra for it. Plus my house right now doesn't have a 240 outlet that I could use (although I did see one that said 110).

My basement is mostly smooth and level.

Local shop had balanced tires that I mounted for me, which was great; they are closing shop. I could take wheels to Walmart but that has its own issues. Ergo, if I could find one on the cheap... well a working one that is, with the cones etc.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 191k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 154k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 213k, his
Re: Tire balancer question [Re: supton] #5114361 05/24/19 09:27 AM
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Kestas Offline
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I paid $11 for an old 1952 Snap-On balancer. The wheel is mounted between cones on a horizontal axle held by roller bearings. The heavy part of the tire rotates down. Add weights on the top part until you reach neutral rotation.

It's a form of static balancing. I've double-checked it for accuracy by dismounting and remounting at a random orientation. The balance did not shift, indicating it was a robust and accurate setup.

Re: Tire balancer question [Re: supton] #5114372 05/24/19 09:42 AM
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atikovi Offline
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Have a SnapOn hand crank balancer. The manual says 17 inch max although the dial goes up to 24" but I think that is for motorcycle wheels. I've done 18" wheels just fine but it takes at least 3 attempts of adding weights before it's balanced. The hand cranked model is the way to go if space and weight are an issue. I was able to drag the thing through the back door and down a half flight of stairs to the basement by myself. And I paid like $900 15 years ago used.

Last edited by atikovi; 05/24/19 09:44 AM.
Re: Tire balancer question [Re: Kestas] #5114377 05/24/19 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Kestas
I paid $11 for an old 1952 Snap-On balancer. The wheel is mounted between cones on a horizontal axle held by roller bearings. The heavy part of the tire rotates down. Add weights on the top part until you reach neutral rotation.

It's a form of static balancing. I've double-checked it for accuracy by dismounting and remounting at a random orientation. The balance did not shift, indicating it was a robust and accurate setup.

This balancer will never need calibration or repair. They are great. Slow, but great.

Rod

Re: Tire balancer question [Re: supton] #5114381 05/24/19 09:53 AM
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supton Offline OP
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Hmm, I have heard of this method; I've long ignored it. But it might be a much simpler (and smaller footprint) solution. For $11 it's even cheap enough to try. [Yes odds are I'll not find it for that price, but it won't be the $500 option either.]


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 191k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 154k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 213k, his
Re: Tire balancer question [Re: supton] #5114515 05/24/19 11:59 AM
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atikovi Offline
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I wouldn't use an $11 balancer on a wheel barrow tire.

Re: Tire balancer question [Re: supton] #5114557 05/24/19 12:43 PM
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eljefino Offline
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You can take a brake drum off the rear then use your naked unit bearing to static balance your tires. Free. Slow. Be sure to use all your lug nuts, or, on an even pattern, diametrically opposed opposites.

My snap on hand crank electronic balancer runs on a 110v wall wart and could run on a 12v battery if required. IDK how the other ones need 240V to replicate what I do with a flick of my wrist.

My unit, if I input bad data into the width/diameter/offset dials, will still tell me I'm balanced properly, there's just more chasing weight. Those dials input math for the amplitude of the imbalance, not the weight location.

Re: Tire balancer question [Re: supton] #5114727 05/24/19 04:35 PM
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Kestas Offline
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I've never used the on-car method. Doesn't seal drag interfere with sensitivity? Anyone who has hand-turned a new wheel bearing can appreciate how much drag there is in a bearing.

Re: Tire balancer question [Re: ragtoplvr] #5114766 05/24/19 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ragtoplvr
Originally Posted by Kestas
I paid $11 for an old 1952 Snap-On balancer. The wheel is mounted between cones on a horizontal axle held by roller bearings. The heavy part of the tire rotates down. Add weights on the top part until you reach neutral rotation.

It's a form of static balancing. I've double-checked it for accuracy by dismounting and remounting at a random orientation. The balance did not shift, indicating it was a robust and accurate setup.

This balancer will never need calibration or repair. They are great. Slow, but great.

Rod


Just remember there are two types of balance: static and dynamic. Yes, I would consider this a form of static and it will usually work fine. But here's what COULD happen that could really throw off your balance: Let's just say you put 2-3 ounces of weight on the outside of the tire. Then you took 2-3 ounces of weight and put it on the inside of the tire, 180° from the outside weights. Your way of statically balancing this tire would show it would be in balance. But when the wheel is spinning (dynamically), the weights will centrifically pull on the tire and will give you a massive unbalance, enough to make your steering wheel shake.

Re: Tire balancer question [Re: supton] #5114781 05/24/19 06:08 PM
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Depends on how well you want them balanced. Even a Hunter road force can struggle with that I have seen too many times after spending thousands of dollars on wheel balancing equipment, and all the other crap you will need. Just pay a good shop instead.


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Re: Tire balancer question [Re: supton] #5114823 05/24/19 07:12 PM
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supton Offline OP
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I get a set of tires at least once a year. It's not major savings but it could be savings. Plus I can do the work during the choosing of my own, rather than during the workday. In the end, who doesn't want more tools?

But yes, how good do I want them? I haven't tried static balancing yet, and honestly I'm guessing I wouldn't be satisfied, I do lots of highway driving.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 191k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 154k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 213k, his
Re: Tire balancer question [Re: supton] #5115209 05/25/19 08:23 AM
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Lapham3 Offline
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FWIW some related to a good balance-Tire shops today don't seem to check radial and axial runout-I spose they figure that's the factory's job. When I worked at a pretty good shop years ago, we would spin them over first before balancing and take a look. Back then it wasn't rare then and we had a 'tire truer' mochine to shave off high areas. That is rarely done anymore (racing excepted)as the 'road force' balance mitigates that-I guess. I prefer a round tire to begin with, and got a long time shop to fix theirs and put it back in operation. Later on, I had them shave a made in Chile Goodyear Eagle tire that was .070" out. We trued those in my old shop that were over .030"

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