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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2014, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Balancing with AirSoft BBs ....

Well .... as a "supplemental method" anyway.

Last month I swapped on a new set of 235/55-17 Goodyear RS-A tires in place of my 2008 Mustangs OEM Pirellis that were showing cracks in the tread grooves. The wheels are chrome American Racing Torque Thrust M 17"X 8.0" with 30mm offset. The TPMS sensors are located opposite the valve stems. We balanced the tires several times until we got them as perfect as the machine would allow and as a result, most all the added weights wound up nearest the valve stems. Several ounces actually .... each wheel.

Well, they were at least as well balanced as the Pirellis (also weighted heavy at stems) .... but not really "glass smooth". In the last couple of drives on really smooth roads I noted some slight tire imbalance. I have been considering breaking them down and removing the TPMS altogether. I've never needed them before, got along just fine without them.

Many will scoff at the following ..... that's OK. Was once a time I would have as well.

I was interested in trying a "supplemental balancing" system, or "maintenance system" as some put it. Been reading about it mostly on 4x4 and some MC website forums I visit. A few years ago I tried it using "Ride On" liquid tire seal & balance liquid in a pair of Gold Wing tires and they were silky smooth .... same thing except for the mess it can make. Did some investigating and found that bead balancing isn't recommended as a total balance system for 65 or lower profile aspect car tires .... but I have read several industry articles on static imbalance that creeps in when one is balancing a tire dynamically, seems it's more possible with wider low profile tires .... and a couple suggest bead balancing as a means to fine tune the tire statically once the dynamic balance is done.

But in searching for stories / articles outlining actual experience with low profile tires as a supplement to dynamic balancing ...... I found none readily popping up .... just a few who had read what I read on industry sites.

Yesterday I removed each wheel, one at a time and rolled into the basement, aired down, broke the bead loose on the one side only being careful to avoid the TPMS and poored in 3 ounces of Red Jacket 6MM .15gr Airsoft BBs. I bought a 10,000 count container of them for a little over $15 at Walmart a few days ago. My math tells me that it takes about 189 of them to make an ounce. I did not count out 567 of them beady little things ..... rather I just weighed them out on a postal scale. Reinflated the tire to seat and adjust to 34 psi and after applying some cleaning and paint to that wheel's brake rotor ..... reinstalled.

Last evening we drove over to Penny's Diner in Low Moor, Va. and used Interstate going over and old US Rt60 coming back. Wide variety of speeds, some hard acceleration, bumps, RR tracks, I'm telling you for a fact that those 3 ounces of plastic beads smoothed it out so there is NO imbalance felt at any speed. I hit bridge gaps and other thumps and if the beads were dislodged, they rebalanced before we could feel it. "Wife Unit" even commented on how smooth it was.

I know that when the car stops the beads fall to the bottom of the tire .... but as soon as you accelerate, before you even feel any imbalance .... that same imbalance is causing the beads to form up and they balance again .... and seems to me it's happening before you feel it.

I've read of copper coated lead BBs turning to powder, but lead is heavy in relation to volume and not very tough so I can see them beating the crap out of each other. Steel is more dense than these beads so smaller size = same weight ... but then maybe that concentration is why they don't seem to work as well in low profile wider tires? Dyna Beads are ceramic I think, very small so they can be inserted through a valve stem with the core removed.

These plastic beads don't have the mass per volume as steel or lead or other heavy media, so an ounce will spread out over a larger area. They are also pretty tough and so they should not turn to dust. I'm sort of believing that their 6mm diameter and lower mass is a plus here in these 235/55-17 tires.

In the next week or so I will be putting another set of 225/60-16 tires on my '92 Thunderbird Sport with it's 16x7 wheels. It costs so little to try, I am going to simply poor 4 ounces (more because it'll be the primary) of these same beads into each tire before inflating to try them out as a primary method on a 60 series tire. The web sites that say their beads won't work so well on these tires refer to much smaller more dense ceramic or glass beads .... but these hard red plastic BBs will spread an ounce out across a tire fast (being 6mm diameter each and 189 being an ounce). Worst thing that can happen is I have to vacuum the beads out and balance them dynamically first.

I'll post results here.

Maybe someone else has experience in this area to share?

Maybe there's someone looking for info like I was?

A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2014, 11:05 PM
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A buddy of mine has a rock climbing/mudding Jeep with tires that won't balance without the beads.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 12:24 AM
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I've read about this technique on the other forums.
One comment I've found is that it doesn't work very well with low profile tires or tires subject to high acceleration.

From a commercial bead product's website
http://www.innovativebalancing.com/LowProfileTires.pdf
If you have low-profile tires, that being any tire with an aspect ratio 65 or below,
you may have balancing issues that precludes using Dyna Beads as the sole
balancing method.
Our official policy is that we do not advise using Dyna Beads in any car, truck or
SUV tire with an aspect ratio 65 or below unless used in conjunction with weights.
The reason for this is that this type of tire has a higher incidence of lateral
imbalance, which is basically that one side of the tire is heavier than the other side,
creating a “wobbling” effect, or “shaking” of the steering wheel. This type of
imbalance can only be corrected by careful placement of traditional weights on the
wheel rim.


We strongly advise against using Dyna Beads in any vehicle used for racing, for any application involving cornering at high speeds, or in tires placed under high acceleration beyond normal highway use. (drag racing, etc)

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4gunn View Post
We strongly advise against using Dyna Beads in any vehicle used for racing, for any application involving cornering at high speeds, or in tires placed under high acceleration beyond normal highway use. (drag racing, etc)
Well, so much for that idea. LOL
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-27-2014, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Excellent point ..... and that's just one of the several advisements I had read as well. Here's another one I copied a while back and saved in a document:

Quote:
Dyna Beads™ with Low Profile Tires
If you have low-profile tires, that being any tire with an aspect ratio 65 or below, you may have balancing issues that precludes using Dyna Beads as the sole balancing method.
Our official policy is that we do not advise using Dyna Beads in any car, truck or SUV tire with an aspect ratio 65 or below unless used in conjunction with weights.
The reason for this is that this type of tire has a higher incidence of lateral imbalance, which is basically that one side of the tire is heavier than the other side, creating a “wobbling” effect, or “shaking” of the steering wheel. This type of imbalance can only be corrected by careful placement of traditional weights on the wheel rim.
That being said, the physics principle is still the same, and the addition of a Maintenance amount will usually* smooth out the ride and reduce, if not eliminate, any future rebalancing issues.
Maintenance levels:
13” to 14” - 2oz per tire.
15” to 17” - 3 oz per tire
18” to 20” - 4 oz per tire
22” - 5 oz per tire

* While Maintenance levels have been very successful with customers, there are too many variables for us to accurately predict its success in a particular vehicle/tire type, and so we offer no assurance or guarantee using this method on your vehicle.

** We strongly advise against using Dyna Beads in any vehicle used for racing, for any application involving cornering at high speeds, or in tires placed under high acceleration beyond normal highway use. (drag racing, etc).
Copyright 2005 - 2009 Innovative Balancing LLC
And some select FAQs I also saved elsewhere from http://www.innovativebalancing.com/news.htm :

Quote:
Can I use Dyna Beads in my motorcycle?
You bet, and you'll get a glass smooth ride! We have received test results (so far) to speeds of 193 mph! Whether you have a Harley, Honda or a Tank scooter move up to the super-smooth, weightless ride of Dyna Beads!

What is a Maintenance Level application?
While our product is designed to be used without weights on most vehicles, many car, SUV and some pickup customers with low-profile tires have found that the addition of 3 - 5 ounces in their tires and keeping the weights on has accomplished two goals: The ride smooths out noticably, and most future rebalancing requirements have been eliminated. This is also the solution for customers having tires with an existing lateral imbalance.
On the Mustang, the tires were balanced with traditional stick on weights on a machine dynamically days and miles before I added the 3 oz. of 6mm .15gr plastic pellets (roughly 567). In this "first use by me case", the tires were balanced "tolerably" well with but a small bit of vibration remaining before I poored the AS BBs in .... and they eliminated all traces ... so they added none.

That advisement refers to much smaller and more dense media, ie: "ceramic beads" ... that are small enough to be inserted through a tire valve minus core. I dare say an ounce of them likely would cover less than a quarter of the area an ounce of these plastic bbs will cover. Our Mustang is a road car, it's a stock GT with 5 speed. WOT in 1/2/3 acceleration .... the beads kept pace. As to cornering at high speeds ..... no question in my mind but that the beads will keep up with anything likely encountered in roadway use by people operating at or even beyond lawful limits. If dislodged by a bump or chug hole or RR track, they rebalance before you ever know it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by driller View Post
Well, so much for that idea. LOL
You have a good running 'Bird ..... but it's all relative.

That's not to say the beads would keep up with a 9 ... or even 11 second car's rear tire acceleration on the drag strip (but I dare say they'll work great in a set of "front runners") or not create shake problems with a road racer at "The Glen" or your nearby hobbyist in a "Sunday Parking Lot" meet with cones .... etc. But for someone with access to a tire changer and small shop vac or paper cup (to remove them if desired) .... it would be easy to try .... in their use .... and with near zero costs using these plastic BBs (they are 6mm, that's near 1/4" diameter, and larger than a normal .177 cal BB .... and way yonder larger than Dyna Beads)! I think it's worth trying if you have some vibration at all.

There are some 4x4 guys using a few golf balls ..... but golf balls severely limit the concentration of weight as all that mass will go to one point of contact between the GB and the tire inner wall. I might use GBs in a TT tire, but not my F150s 31/10.50-15s or the other F150's 275/55-20 tires. I wll put some of these AS BBs in them both when I get a chance though .... to smooth them out to "glass smooth" status .... but leaving the current weights on too.

The small ceramic beads have the ability to concentrate the weight also, not like GBs, but being more dense .... more so than these plastic beads. These plastic beads will spread out more across a tires inner wall from side to side for same needed correction because they are less dense I think.


A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!

Last edited by CrystalPistol; 08-02-2014 at 06:36 PM.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-02-2014, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Well .... etc ....
In the next week or so I will be putting another set of 225/60-16 tires on my '92 Thunderbird Sport with it's 16x7 wheels. .... etc ....
I'll post results here.
.... etc ....

Yesterday I was messing around in my shop and unpacked my as yet unused Harbor Freight manual tire mount setup. I purchased it along with the MC adapter setup late last year on a "super saver" coupon deal cheap. Idea was for mounting my MC tires and occasionally, trailer tires or even car tires on some of my stock. Fixed up my tire mounting setup on a short pedestal that I can clamp a 2x4 to and clamp to two posts to keep it steady.

The tires on my '92 Sport weren't worn out yet, but they were showing some sidewall cracking and well, they have been on it since 2007. Lately, last year maybe, I've been limiting this car to local drives for this reason alone. They are 225/60-16 Goodyear RS-As Pursuit tires that had been removed from police cars and left at a local garage for disposal. I had at one time, maybe 2 dozen or more that still had good to great to near new tread, most also had a puncture someplace which is usually why a good tire would not be run on a police car. Many times a tire is punctured and both on that axle get replaced together.

Anyway, today I pulled the '92 around and did each tire at a time (date codes ranged 2002 - 2004), removing and breaking down and swapping older cracked tire off for a near new more recent tire out of my storage shed where they been. I went out to the shed and went through my stacks, and pulled two that were nice, maybe 75% tread left and even wear across with 2006 date codes for the front and two that were closer to new but which showed sign of having been run on the front with excessive toe out off some troopers car, these were for the rear .... they had same date code 4207 and dragging my hand across them tells me they were run right and left.

New valve stems too.

I stripped all the weights off the wheels, all total there was maybe 5 ounces on all 4 wheels. These Goodyears usually don't take a lot of weight, they are well made tires that just get beat up a lot in use. After mounting each tire to it's wheel I weighed out 4 ounces of those same "Red Jacket" 6mm 0.15 gr Airsoft BBs and poured it in from the top before airing the tire up. Then after seating, let air escape while get core ready .... then insert core and re-inflate to 40 psi each today.

Mounted back on car ... and afterwards took a short drive over onto Rt 11 .... and I am very pleased.

I know what's written about bead balancing tires with lower than 65 aspect ratios, but I read all that as a "disclaimer" ..... not a statement that "it won't work".

As I accelerate up passing 35-40 mph there is a very short time during which a few revolutions lead me to believe that one maybe has some very slight dynamic side to side imbalance, but it goes away really fast if accelerating by 45 mph and from then on until you slow to a stop, they stay smooth even if you slow to 25 and accelerate again. I ran up to a hair over 60 .... will try them on interstate tomorrow.

A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Follow up .... checked tires this morning, all 4 same pressure still, and none flat .... so seems I drew 4 with no holes. That's good. Aired down to 34-35 psi then.

Drove the '92 about 115 miles all total this afternoon to a meeting and supper and home .... and I must say ..... it surprised me. These are tires that are new to this T-bird, but as noted above .... they have some wear patterns. I expected maybe some noise, I have none .... they sound new? That's not the BBs doing, but just a pleasant finding.

Now, as to balance, they are , it seems, "balanced" once rolling. Only twice as I accelerated from a stop could I note a momentary "shake" type feeling that was almost non existant .... felt like a wide tire with dynamic balance off just a hair .... but only momentary and only twice .... most of the time there was no perceived imbalance at all from zero on up to 55 - 60 - 70+ mph. My roads were a mix, some 4 lane highway, some two lane good highway, some town, some new bypass, some interstate, and some bumpier paved side roads as we took a scenic detour home.

Very pleased.

No warranty as to your satisfaction with bead balancing using Airsoft BBs in motor vehicle tires is expressed or implied.

Take Care ..........

A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 08:43 PM
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Interesting results. To be clear, this is on the T-bird with... 225/60/16 or similar?

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-03-2014, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by theterminator93 View Post
Interesting results. To be clear, this is on the T-bird with... 225/60/16 or similar?
Yep, exactly .... and it worked great for me .... and no weights to wash or polish around, no stick on weights to loose, and as tires rack up miles, the BBs always are working to balance them ..... like them "Scrubbing Bubbles" in the commercial ..... only looking for imbalance instead of dirt.

I don't know if it will work on lower profile (55 / 50 / 40, etc) and / or wider tires or even my next set of 225/60-16s. I now know it works well enough that I'll use them alone on the Bike and Trike tires (narrower 215/70-15 on rear of Trike) and my trailer tires next time.

If I find myself here at home swapping tires onto my '01 Merc or other T-Bird which both also use 225/60-16 rubber, I'll use beads alone and see how it goes. If not as well, worst I have to do is take wheels and tires or car to tire shop and break bead and vac them out, balance on machine, and then ..... pour back in maybe?

I will definitely use them as a supplement when I install my new 275/55-20s on my '07 FX4 later this summer. It has TPMSensors. I'll balance them dynamically as they are wider and heavier .... and after balanced I'll break bead loose and pour in 4 or 5 ounces to "fine tune" them for the long run.



Do some research, look at alternatives, decide for yourself ..... nothing except "trying them" will demonstrate how well it works. And these are round hard plastic 6mm diameter balls that weigh between 0.12, 0.15, or 0.20 grams each depending on which brand you get. I just used some that are 0.15 gr each (189 = 1 oz.). Saw some "Match Grade" white ones tonight at Walmart, 0.20 gr each (with those, 142 = 1 oz.).

No warranty as to your satisfaction with bead balancing using Airsoft BBs in motor vehicle tires is expressed or implied.

A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!

Last edited by CrystalPistol; 08-03-2014 at 09:18 PM.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2014, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrystalPistol View Post
...
Now, as to balance, they are , it seems, "balanced" once rolling. Only twice as I accelerated from a stop could I note a momentary "shake" type feeling that was almost non existant .... felt like a wide tire with dynamic balance off just a hair .... but only momentary and only twice .... most of the time there was no perceived imbalance at all from zero on up to 55 - 60 - 70+ mph. My roads were a mix, some 4 lane highway, some two lane good highway, some town, some new bypass, some interstate, and some bumpier paved side roads as we took a scenic detour home.
....
Take Care ..........
I think you've made the key statement you've made on how this is supposed to
work and why low profile tires + sudden acceleration inhibits this "auto balancing".

With lower profile tires, it takes more time for the beads to bounce around from their any given position in the tire to the settling point where centrifugal force holds them in place. Lower profile tires = longer settling time = more time unbalanced.

I know nothing about drag racing so at t=0 (aka launch), I cannot comment on how unbalanced tires may or may not help with traction.

For road racing, I could imagine that all the sudden turns means you spend a lot more time than desired driving the tires in "unbalanced" state which may make for squirrely handling and/or uneven wear.

Bottom Line: if you've got a DIY tire mounter and it's your DD, I'd probably consider it. If you know got a guy who works for cheap enough, it's not like you rebalance your tires that often.

Q: What do you folks pay for standard tire unmount/mount/balance?
In expensive Bay Area CA, it's $30/tire but I found a local shop willing to do it for $15/ea.
-g

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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4gunn View Post
Q: What do you folks pay for standard tire unmount/mount/balance?
In expensive Bay Area CA, it's $30/tire but I found a local shop willing to do it for $15/ea.
-g
$8/tire on a Hunter here at my favorite shop. Road force is $12.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-04-2014, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S4gunn View Post
I think you've made the key statement you've made on how this is supposed to
work and why low profile tires + sudden acceleration inhibits this "auto balancing".

With lower profile tires, it takes more time for the beads to bounce around from their any given position in the tire to the settling point where centrifugal force holds them in place. Lower profile tires = longer settling time = more time unbalanced.
If I read that right, I'd say we are largely in agreement .... although I'm not sure I agree that they bounce around in the tire. I suspect that the wider the tire and thus, the wider the flat portion between the sidewalls, the greater the likelihood for dynamic side to side imbalance remaining as that imbalance likely stems from subtle irregularities in construction of sidewalls and the beads will just find the deepest part of the inside .... and will not climb out of "near center" uphill towards sidewalls.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S4gunn View Post
I know nothing about drag racing so at t=0 (aka launch), I cannot comment on how unbalanced tires may or may not help with traction.

For road racing, I could imagine that all the sudden turns means you spend a lot more time than desired driving the tires in "unbalanced" state which may make for squirrely handling and/or uneven wear.

Bottom Line: if you've got a DIY tire mounter and it's your DD, I'd probably consider it. If you know got a guy who works for cheap enough, it's not like you rebalance your tires that often.
No way would I suggest it for use on someone's hard lauching drag car or one flicked through corners as I could see how those activities might would lead to some unbalanced moments .... but if I had a car for those activities and was just looking for something to test .... for sure I would try it. No doubt a hard launch with wheel spin would accelerate the driven tire faster than the beads and they'd roll in the tire .... but it would be interesting to see how long it took for them to get up to speed and balance. The beads would work super on skinny front tires though. As to road racing .... I think the same problem I was maybe touching on or skirting with my T-bird tires width would crop up in spades with wider race tires .... but they maybe just the trick for vintage racing on skinny tires?

I rather suspect I pushed the envelope using them alone on 60 series tires .... and they did work better than I expected. I actually have access to three changers and balancers at different shops, all free, and thus I knew if not pleased, I could undo it all .... but they are 15 miles from home .... and, well, to be totally honest .... I just wanted to try it.

EDIT 1: In further driving the T-bird, some several hundred miles now, they will occasionally maintain a very very slight shake at 45-50 if you stay at that speed, but if I speed up, seem to get smoother and stay smooth when you drop back. Occasionally cures itself with a few more miles with no speed increase. I'm thinking it's the tire width and "flat floor" within the tire under the wide tread that lets the beads form up center and to either side maybe. You don't have that situation so much in 65-70-and taller aspect ratio tires.

As a supplement to dynamic balance like in our Mustang, it remains perfect. Since any or most all of any side to side dynamic imbalance has supposedly been dealt with prior to introducing the BBs or beads into the low profile tire and tat the reason for the BBs or beads is simply to fine tune static balance in relation to axle center ..... I'ld suggest going lite on the weight .... which is why I went just 3 ounces on those 235/55-17 tires.


EDIT 2:
We have since driven the T-bird to Lewisburg, most all Interstate, near 75 miles one way. Mostly OK, but every now and then that cyclical temporary imbalance crept in and at 70+, and while just noticeable at 45-55, it was some irritating at 70 .... so I'm likely gonna remove all 4, break a bead loose, vacuum beads out, and balance them on a machine, and then .... I'll see where I'm at. If I never drove this car on Interstate, I'd leave as is because it really is pretty good at 55 mph .... but occasionally I do use this car on Interstate so I guess "that's that".

If higher speeds are in your driving, I'd say you probably don't want to use the beads or BBs as a sole balancing method on 65 series or lower aspect ratio tires. I do think they are "the real deal" on MC or trailer tires .... and older narrower car and truck tires.

And now I know something else that I didn't know before.

A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!

Last edited by CrystalPistol; 08-24-2014 at 10:19 AM.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Well ..... if not for wanting to drive it some on Interstate, I would have left it alone.

As it is, I found myself "off" today and "Wife Unit" working, so I took all 4 of the wheels and tires off the '92 and used my bead breaker to pop the one side loose and inserted a vacuum extension in and vacuumed the beads all out and took the 4 to buddy's shop and used his balancer to perfectly balance them. My small car vac with 1-1/4" hose worked perfectly.

It was an experiment ..... but now it's over on 60 series and wider tires on my vehicles .... except as a supplemental method after a good dynamic balance if needed. 55 mph or less .... OK .... but at 70, just not always working so well. I think it is because the "floor" of the tire under the tread where the beads ride is just too wide and sometimes the beads balanced OK side to side .... other times they appearantly balanced off to wrong side of tire, thus giving me a cyclical vibration some times.

In the future, I'll confine bead balancing with Air Soft BBs to my Gold Wing MC's or Trike's tires or those of my trailers as everything else is low profile 60 or 55 series.




A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!
CrystalPistol is offline  
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