When NOT to Balance Motorhome Tires

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JerArdra

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We just bought 8 new tires for our motorhome and had them spin balanced.  The fellow who supervised the work has done this for 17 years so he is very experienced.  What we learned is that "maybe" you should NOT have your new tires balanced at the same time you buy them and have the tires installed,  The explanation is that when new tires are installed they use a slippery liquid in order to mount the tire onto the rim.  This liquid can be either RED or GREEN.  The RED brand does NOT dry very quickly.  The GREEN dries a little faster and this place uses the GREEN brand.

They wanted me to leave the motorhome for two days before driving it because you can drive it too soon.  If you drive it when the liquid is still wet and then apply the brakes, the tire can slip on the rim which destroys the wheel balancing.

Here is a "real life" example that we saw first hand.  They had just mounted and balanced the two front tires about two hours before going on a test drive to check the rear duals and tag for vibration.  He said let's go and I'll balance the two front tires when we get back.  He then got a chalk marker and marked the tire at the spot where the tire filler valve is located.

Ardra drove so I could see and feel the rear vibration, if any.  Ardra did not use the brakes much and also used then very lightly, e.g. no hard pushes of the brake pedal and no quick stops.

Upon returning to the tire store there was a "REAL LIFE" surprise for us because both front tires had slipped on the rim!  Looking at the tire I could see that one tire had slipped 2-1/2 inches.  Yes, the chalk mark was 2-1/2 inches away from the filler valve.  The chalk mark on the other tire was 4 inches away from the filler valve.  It was obvious that both recently-mounted front tires had slipped on the rim either from using the brakes or starting from zero movement to moving. 

You might want to print this post and put it with material you keep in your motorhome pertaining to buying and balancing new tires.

JerryF
 

mel s

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Apr 28, 2014
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881
JerArdra said:
We just bought 8 new tires for our motorhome and had them spin balanced.  The fellow who supervised the work has done this for 17 years so he is very experienced.  What we learned is that "maybe" you should NOT have your new tires balanced at the same time you buy them and have the tires installed,  The explanation is that when new tires are installed they use a slippery liquid in order to mount the tire onto the rim.  This liquid can be either RED or GREEN.  The RED brand does NOT dry very quickly.  The GREEN dries a little faster and this place uses the GREEN brand.
They wanted me to leave the motorhome for two days before driving it because you can drive it too soon.  If you drive it when the liquid is still wet and then apply the brakes, the tire can slip on the rim which destroys the wheel balancing.

Here is a "real life" example that we saw first hand.  They had just mounted and balanced the two front tires about two hours before going on a test drive to check the rear duals and tag for vibration.  He said let's go and I'll balance the two front tires when we get back.  He then got a chalk marker and marked the tire at the spot where the tire filler valve is located.

Ardra drove so I could see and feel the rear vibration, if any.  Ardra did not use the brakes much and also used then very lightly, e.g. no hard pushes of the brake pedal and no quick stops.

Upon returning to the tire store there was a "REAL LIFE" surprise for us because both front tires had slipped on the rim!  Looking at the tire I could see that one tire had slipped 2-1/2 inches.  Yes, the chalk mark was 2-1/2 inches away from the filler valve.  The chalk mark on the other tire was 4 inches away from the filler valve.  It was obvious that both recently-mounted front tires had slipped on the rim either from using the brakes or starting from zero movement to moving. 
You might want to print this post and put it with material you keep in your motorhome pertaining to buying and balancing new tires.
JerryF
JerArdra
Centramatic wheel balancing discs, ( http://www.centramatic.com/ ), continually balance your wheels no matter how the tires might change position on the rim... or wear unevenly throughout their life.

I've had them on my coach since '01...  (currently they're balancing the third set of tires on my now 150K mile coach).

You might want to print this post and put it with material you keep in your motorhome pertaining to balancing any tires. 
 

Arch Hoagland

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Clovis California
Interesting. I'd never heard of this before.

The next time I buy tires I'm going to mark them at the valve stem when I pick up my car and see what happens.

 

Old_Crow

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Tom's Place, California
Arch Hoagland said:
Interesting. I'd never heard of this before.

The next time I buy tires I'm going to mark them at the valve stem when I pick up my car and see what happens.

Not sure that applies on car tires.  Most shops I ever worked at just use a dish soap solution on car tires.  Big truck and motor home tires are a different story.  That's some nasty stuff they use to lube up the big tires, almost the consistancy of chassis grease.
 

Charlie 5320

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Central IL.
If they use that much dope on the wheels, balance beads could not be used. The instructions that came with my balance beads said to be very careful and NOT get any of the solution inside the tires, as the beads would clump together. I just used a very little on the outside of the lip when I installed mine.
 

cerd

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Old_Crow said:
Not sure that applies on car tires.  Most shops I ever worked at just use a dish soap solution on car tires.  Big truck and motor home tires are a different story.  That's some nasty stuff they use to lube up the big tires, almost the consistancy of chassis grease.
After trying a few local shops and witnessing them all half-assing their work, I started mounting and balancing my own tires with the Harbor Freight tire changer and bubble balancer. I am in about $140 for the tools and a big box of stick on weights from ebay. So far, I have been able to change everything I own, including some 16 inch 10 ply on dually rims without much trouble and they are vibration free over 80mph which is the fastest I drive.

I, too, use dish soap in a spray bottle. It dries fast, cleans well, and is non toxic. I have considered using actual tire lube, but this has been working and it sounds like it may be a bigger hassle.
 

cerd

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Larry N. said:
That might be a tad more difficult if you had 22.5" tires as many of us do.
NY_Dutch said:
Even 19.5's can give you a pretty good workout... ;)
I can do 20 inch tires for a regular vehicle, but larger heavy duty rims don't fit correctly on the balancer. Even my 16 duallys were a little too big, but I was able to eye them up to center and balance them alright.
 

NY_Dutch

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cerd said:
I can do 20 inch tires for a regular vehicle, but larger heavy duty rims don't fit correctly on the balancer. Even my 16 duallys were a little too big, but I was able to eye them up to center and balance them alright.

Balancing 19.5/22.5's is the easy part. Just toss in the beads or install Centramatics for continuous balancing. It's the getting them on and off the rims that takes a bit more effort than car tires.
 

cerd

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MN
Larry N. said:
Not to mention properly torquing them, or even getting them off the rig.
I have yet to find a nut that I couldn't loosen with my Milwaukee 1/2 cordless impact and a fresh battery. Unfortunately, I don't have a Class A or a freight truck to test it on.

Torque wrenches that go up to 500fl/lbs are pretty expensive, but a torque bar would be a little cheaper, quicker, and just as effective.
 

SargeW

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I discussed Jerry's situation with a buddy who was in the heavy duty tire business for 30+ years as I had not heard of this being a constant problem. Here is his reply:

"This can occur but it is certainly not a normal situation unless the mounter is using excessive amounts of tire lube. The two most popular lubes are Murphy?s and Ru Glyde and, if used in normal amounts they will dry in 15-20 minutes or so.

Also, the situation is more critical when tires are mounted on brand new aluminum wheels that have the coating on them. Once a tire is mounted, some of the bead rubber sticks to the wheel which helps set the bead the next time a tire is installed.

Although this situation can occur, I certainly do not recommend waiting a few days to balance the tires. I?m not an advocate of balancing rear duals anyway because the overall weight of the dual assembly will negate most balance issues and steer tires are less likely to slip because the torque is not as great.

Over the years we have balanced thousands of tires and the number that came back because of rim slippage would be less than 1%-2%.

Hope this helps,

Dan"
 
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