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Author Topic: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals  (Read 404 times)

Doc Roads

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Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« on: January 12, 2021, 10:13:56 PM »
I just got four new rear tires.  The tire shop guy told me it was not required to balance the tires.  He said front tires were required but not the rear duals.  He implied it was optional.  So, do I get them balanced or not?  I cant believe balancing is not important.  Your ideas!?!
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donn

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2021, 10:29:30 PM »
Dont know what shop you used, but I sure would not go back there ever again.  The guy is a lazy idiot. Get them balanced you will not regret it.

Skookum

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2021, 10:36:11 PM »
For commercial tires, the idea is that balancing takes a lot of time especially on a rig like a tractor with 10 wheels, so they typically only do the steer tires. A couple ounces of imbalance on a set of duals weighing anywhere from 300-400lbs for a pair of wheels/tires won't make much difference nor will it be very noticeable with multiple dually axles. For more severe imbalances, the tires might wear funny or cause vibration that can be felt as far up as the cab.

How does it ride? Are you getting any vibration? I had mine balanced on a new set of tires but was also trying to eliminate a vibration that turned out to be unrelated to the tires so can't compare balanced versus imbalanced on the same set. For peace of mind, I think the cost would be worth it unless it rides absolutely smoothly already.

SargeW

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2021, 10:46:49 PM »
Info from a tire expert with 40 years in the industry would agree with your tire guy. He bases his opinion on the fact that tires are much better made than they used to be, the weight of these vehicles in the rear doesn't make it much of an issue.

In fact, here is a quote taken from a different conversation on the same topic.

"Tires are checked for force variance before they ever leave the plant. The balancing is only necessary, in most cases, to compensate for possible issues when the tire and wheel are mated. At most, that assembly will only require a few ounces of weight. A rear dual assembly is so heavy that a few ounces of weight variance isn't going to be noticeable. Think of a fly on the back of an elephant. It won't hurt to balance them but it won't help much either." 

And to finish that off,  "Oh, by the way, since you are new here, I retired from the tire industry after 40 years. I have been involved in the sales and servicing of over 10 million truck tires, have worked with some of the largest trucking fleets in the country and have owned a motorhome for 10 years so I probably know a little more than some guy who has only been in the industry for 10 years and may never have sold a motorhome owner tires."

Previous quotes were used by permission.  I have a lot of respect for the author, so I am just putting out what I believe to be factual real world experience.  You are of course free to take any advice you wish. 
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Old_Crow

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2021, 06:30:08 AM »
I was a mechanic for most of my life.  Get a new tire guy.
I just watched 2 guys remove, dismount, mount, balance(spin, not beads)and re install 6 tires on my class A in less than 2 hours...a lot less, like maybe 90 minutes.
Maybe big truck drivers wouldn't notice if the rear tires were balanced or not, but after putting a couple of thousand miles on these new tires, I'm here to tell you the old rears were NOT balanced, and I can tell the difference.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2021, 09:00:42 AM »
Balancing 4 more tires isn't a big deal, maybe another 40 minutes if spin balanced; almost zero time if bead-balanced.  But I agree with Skookum and most commercial tire pros that it is not at all necessary on big tires like those.  It's also true that tires today are rarely very far out of balance - production quality control is far superior to decades ago. Especially at any of the major manufacturers (well-known brands).

The last time I had the rear duals replaced (11R22.5 size), I had them bead balanced. Figured that the modest cost (an extra $12/tire) was insurance against the possibility that I might have a balance complaint and have to come back to the shop.
Gary
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2021, 09:48:44 AM »
Marty's guy and the OP's tire guy are right, there's no need to balance the rear tires when the tires are that large for the reasons stated. My truck shop installed around 1,000 HDT tires each year, and I don't recall an owner/operator ever asking us to balance the rears or trailer tires. The only reason I can think of for doing it on an RV is if you think the tires may get moved to different positions at some point. I recently bought 7 new tires for my coach, and I did have them throw beads in the spare since there's no way to know where that one will end up. No beads in the rears though. If it makes you feel better, by all means have the rears balanced, but just know it's not necessary. BTW, I much prefer bead balancing to spin balancing. I have lost weights off a wheel, but the beads have never fallen out... :)
Dutch
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2021, 10:06:50 AM »
Equally important to balancing is checking the tire runout, or out of round.   Nothing is perfectly round - both tires and rims have out of round manufacturing tolerances.

Tires should be mounted so the high spot on the rim does not line up with the high spot on the tire.  If they should line up, you can get something that feels like an out of balance tire except it happens at low speeds as well as high speed.   I had this happen to me when I bought a set of 4 tires for my F-250 pickup in Lake Havasu City a few years ago.  I took the truck back the next day and although the balance was correct, while the tires were spinning on the balance machine the tech found one tire where the rim and tire were out of round.  Rotating the tire on the rim solved the problem and reduced the weight needed to balance the tire.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 10:11:22 AM by Lou Schneider »

Larry N.

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2021, 10:34:22 AM »
Quote
I was a mechanic for most of my life.  Get a new tire guy.
Or maybe take the option he offered, if you feel the need for balancing the rears.
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Rene T

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2021, 10:42:41 AM »
I have no idea but do you guys with Class As rotate your tires?
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2021, 10:51:37 AM »
I have no idea but do you guys with Class As rotate your tires?
Not usually... The tires typically age out before they wear out, so equalizing wear isn't necessary. And depending on the tire models used, there may be tread differences between steer tires and drive tires that make switching them inadvisable.
Dutch
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2021, 01:44:40 PM »
Quote
do you guys with Class As rotate your tires?
Not as preventive maintenance - only if there has been some problem that caused uneven wear.  There has been no discernible difference in wear across all the tires in either of my last two coaches (14 years & 100k miles). For that matter, not in any of my cars in the last 10 or so years.  Last vehicle that actually needed routine tire rotation was a 1998 Dodge Dakota.
Gary
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Robert K

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2021, 05:11:24 PM »
I just run centramatics front and rear.I did the fronts and waited a year before adding rears. I believe it was a bit smoother ride after the rears were done.
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Doc Roads

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2021, 06:50:25 PM »
Thanks so much for the info and logic ... Im better informed now and ready to take another look at this.   :))
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TheBar

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Re: Tire Balancing - Rear Duals
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2021, 11:33:06 AM »
You balance rear tires on a car or single axle truck because the tires usually get rotated. Or because many cars have independent rear suspension. It is a matter of physics. A straight axle on the back holds the wheel stationary and does not allow a wheel to "bounce" like a front wheel with independent suspension.  If you get a vibration on the back you have a defective tire that is out of round and should be replaced since it will wear unevenly whether it is balanced or not.

I was a mechanic for 6 years while going to college. The guy I worked for said rear balancing was an extra charge just to make more money. By the time the rears got rotated to the front was best time to balance them due to flat spots due from emergency stops. He told people to bring them back if they felt any "shimmy" as he called it, and he would balance the rears for free. Never had any come back and 90% of his business were repeat customers.
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