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Centramatic Wheel Balancer Review

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CamJam View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CamJam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/23/2021 at 11:33am
Originally posted by tomj tomj wrote:

I've heard of these before, intersting to hear that they work.

BUt, why? Is there a reason to not get wheels balanced? Good balancers put weights on the inside and outside to compensate for distributed error. Why wouldn't you just do that?

On a motorhome it's not easy to find shops that can balance 22.5" wheels and tires, not where I live anyway.  Many moho owners put beads in the tires for that reason.  I don't like them as they can clog the Schrader valve unless you out special valves in with a screen to prevent that.

On my Javelin, I would have preferred to do on the car spin balancing, so as to balance the entire hub assembly, but that's not an option around here either.   So I do the next best thing, Road Force balancing.  Even with modern computerized machines, I find some shops do a better job than others. Not sure if that's a calibration issue or what?


Edited by CamJam - Jul/23/2021 at 11:40am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CamJam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/23/2021 at 11:42am
Originally posted by Steve_P Steve_P wrote:

If you drive the car a few thousand miles a year, I'd get 16-17" wheels and good summer performance tires.   Cooper isn't exactly known as one of the top tire makers...
If you are using shouldered lug nuts, that may be part of the problem.  Modern cars use them, but the wheel is located by the hub.  On old cars, typically the wheel is located by the taper on the nut.  A shouldered nut fits in the hole, which is slightly larger.  Measure the shoulder and the hole and you'll see how much the wheel can be off-center.  It is not possible for it to be located as accurately as using an acorn nut in this case.  
And just because the wheels look straight doesn't mean they are.  Put a dial indicator on them, or have a tire shop check them.  If you get serious about this, have the tires dismounted and the rims checked for straightness and balance.  If the rims are good, then the tires are bad, or the rims aren't located accurately enough.  And some tires just don't ride/balance as well as others.

I'm leaning that way too.  Trying modern, good quality 16" tires and wheels.  There just aren't many choices in tires in 14" sizes any longer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 390amx1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/23/2021 at 12:16pm
As someone with lots of road force balancing experience from the perspective of the car owner, road force balancing is very much dependent on the time taken by the worker, his skill and how much he fusses with it.  Also a slightly out rim will not allow a good road force balance regardless in many cases...  My Zo6 vette has (at least at the time) the largest/widest tires available on a stock car and I had them road force rebalanced on the back 3 times within a two week period before they got to what I considered "very good"...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tomj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/24/2021 at 1:58am
Thanks CamJam. So there's shops that will mount 22.5" tires but can't balance them?

I do my own alignments now with the Longacre tool and homemade toe tools, because all of the half-decent shops are now computerized, and "its not in the computer". Balance though they do, and yeah, it's a labor thing. I've not had problems with tire+wheel balancing, vs on-car. Maybe I've just been lucky. And my '68 has a vibration over 65 that increases linearly with MPH and it's not driveshaft, haven't foudn it yet, so I dunno.

I've taken to buying new wheels, even if just steelies, as old wheels in my experience are rarely true. And rusty/dented wheels leak air. For my old 70 Hornet, I sent the 14" AMC wheels to Stockton Wheel (I think) for truing and powdercoating so I could keep the hubcaps. It was still cheaper than new wheels, and I knew they'd fit.

I check my tires out of habit and to detect nail slow leaks but they don't lose a PSI in six months with new wheels. In the past I'd have to add air for trips. No longer.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve_P Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/24/2021 at 9:53am
Cam, something you can try is to put acorn lug nuts on each wheel and torque them down.  This will center the wheel.  Then remove one nut and replace it with a shouldered nut and torque that down.  And repeat.  
In the 1990s I had 15" torque thrust wheels with shouldered lug nuts, so it is possible to get it right- mine was smooth to 120 MPH.  But I also had some of the best high performance tires you could buy at that time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buzzman72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/24/2021 at 12:35pm
Back in the early 1970s my brother put a set of Cragar S/S wheels on his bone-stock '70 6-cylinder Gremlin. Cragar used the shouldered lug nuts. All was fine UNTIL he tried to change a tire and started snapping lug studs because the stock Cragar shouldered lug bolts bottomed out at the hub. I guess road salt in the winter and other corrosives "welded" the bottomed-out nuts to the studs. My guess is that the supplied washers simply were too thin by a few thousandths enough to let the nuts bottom out.

So while the possibility is slight...check to make sure that your shouldered lug nuts aren't bottoming out and leaving some "wiggle room" for the rims at higher speeds. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CamJam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/24/2021 at 3:58pm
Originally posted by Buzzman72 Buzzman72 wrote:

Back in the early 1970s my brother put a set of Cragar S/S wheels on his bone-stock '70 6-cylinder Gremlin. Cragar used the shouldered lug nuts. All was fine UNTIL he tried to change a tire and started snapping lug studs because the stock Cragar shouldered lug bolts bottomed out at the hub. I guess road salt in the winter and other corrosives "welded" the bottomed-out nuts to the studs. My guess is that the supplied washers simply were too thin by a few thousandths enough to let the nuts bottom out.

So while the possibility is slight...check to make sure that your shouldered lug nuts aren't bottoming out and leaving some "wiggle room" for the rims at higher speeds. 

That's a good point that I hadn't considered.  Will check it out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 73Gremlin401 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/24/2021 at 4:30pm
Originally posted by CamJam CamJam wrote:

It's not THAT bad, I'm mostly just fussy about vibrations.  I have Michelin Defenders in the front and Cooper GT Radial in the rear. 


Cam - I have a feeling your issue has to do this your 2nd sentence above.  You've got 2 different radial tire construction types fighting each other. That you are smooth up to a certain speed, that is well above when normal imbalances happen is an indicator of this.

There's nothing wrong with either brand on it's own, both are fine manufacturers (and I work as a tire testing contractor to a different tire company, so I've got no skin in this game) but you need to make a decision and get a matched set of tires from a single mfg.  Adding to your can of worms is that you are driving a car that was never tuned by AMC for radials - which means that any harmonics that radials create naturally aren't going to be quelled by anything that was engineered to do so on the body shell itself.

So - in a nutshell - you've got 2 tires fighting each other, mounted to a car that won't do anything to break up the fight.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CamJam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/24/2021 at 5:05pm
Well that's a good thought too, Kurt.  Since that's what you do for a living I'm going to assume that you have some expertise in this area. Thumbs Up  

Coincidentally, I've been looking on line at new wheels and tires this morning, and just started another thread about wheel offset.
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