Car tire balancing at home possible?

Is there a way to balance wheels at home without a computer baalancer? I ha=
ve seen at harbor freight kits designed for motorcycle tires, bubble balanc=
ers and the like. I have heard bubble balancers are not acurate.=20
Does anyone have any idea on "good" redneck ways to do this? I dont live ne=
ar a shop. (Amish country).=20
I have also heard of people putting some sort of rubber toy pellets inside =
a tire. Supposedly as the tire spins these pellets locate themselves at the=
appropriate places centrifically to balance the tire. I assume this is sim=
ilar to the liquid tire balancer you can purchase for large trucks.
I appreciate any advice.
Reply to
stryped
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Is there a way to balance wheels at home without a computer baalancer? I have seen at harbor freight kits designed for motorcycle tires, bubble balancers and the like. I have heard bubble balancers are not acurate.
-Does anyone have any idea on "good" redneck ways to do this? I dont live near a shop. (Amish country). -I appreciate any advice.
I balanced my truck tires to run smoothly without functioning shock absorbers with a home-made balance. It consisted of an aluminum disk with a step turned to a close fit in the wheel's center hole, and a tapped hole through the center. The balancing mechanism is an upright post of sharpened music wire mounted in a small ball bearing and a bolt that screws into the disk, with a conical recess in the threaded end that rests on the point of the post.
Its sensitivity depends on how high the point is above the tire's center of gravity. Turning in the bolt raises the tire until the balance is very delicate, a quarter ounce or less tilts the tire considerably. It could be set so sensitive that it didn't need a bubble. I compared the tire to the horizon.
On those wheels at least, if the heavy spots were high on one side and low on the other the tire would wobble when spun slowly even though it had been in static balance.
*If you don't see why, hang a wrench from a thread slightly off center so it hangs freely at an angle, then spin it and watch centrifugal force level it. The wrench ends simulate a tire that's heavy in different places on opposite sides.
You can decrease the effect of a too-heavy weight by using a pair of them, one on either side of the light spot. Their apparent weight decreases as you move them both further apart. When they are directly opposite each other they don't affect the balance at all.
Then I noticed that the shock mount had broken loose at the top where it was normally hidden.
The balancer is spinning on the desk beside me now, minus the tire. I've adjusted it to be slightly unstable, CG barely above the balance point, so it tips sideways just before it stops turning.
The problem with this design is rapid point wear. I had to resharpen the point for each tire.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
seen at harbor freight kits designed for motorcycle tires, bubble balancers and the like. I have heard bubble balancers are not acurate.
a shop. (Amish country).
tire. Supposedly as the tire spins these pellets locate themselves at the appropriate places centrifically to balance the tire. I assume this is similar to the liquid tire balancer you can purchase for large trucks.
The question illustrates why the demographic trend is for the country to become more urbanized. Hicks who want to live far from civilization pay a price in lack of amenities and inferior services. Besides redneck wheel balancing, you probably also could methods for DIY hillbilly root canal and - of course! - colon cancer screening, but the results will be typically bad.
Reply to
Jack Skolasky
"Jack Skolasky" wrote in message
The services are only "inferior" if you haven't learned the alternatives. I have friends who lived for years without mains electricity or running water. I loaned them a generator but they didn't use it much. They were neat and well-dressed when they went out and if you met them you'd never know.
My grandmother had a rural do-it-yourself book printed in 1820 that lamented how everyone had moved to town and forgotten the old self-reliance.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Use a pair of conical recesses and a bearing-ball.
Reply to
xpzzzz
Do you have any pictures? I am having a little problem visualising. (I also dont have acess to a lath and mill).
Reply to
stryped
have seen at harbor freight kits designed for motorcycle tires, bubble bala= ncers and the like. I have heard bubble balancers are not acurate. Does any= one have any idea on "good" redneck ways to do this? I dont live near a sho= p. (Amish country). I have also heard of people putting some sort of rubber= toy pellets inside a tire. Supposedly as the tire spins these pellets loca= te themselves at the appropriate places centrifically to balance the tire. = I assume this is similar to the liquid tire balancer you can purchase for l= arge trucks. I appreciate any advice.
Buy the bubble balancer. This used to be the way all tires were balanced u= ntil the spin balancer became the idiot proof operator method. You still ne= ed a supply of either self stick or rim clamped weights.
ignator
Reply to
fredhababorbitz
Static friction would be much higher, though it wouldn't increase as fast. Right after sharpening it was sensitive to the weight of the valve cap.
The music wire point has degraded to a half-round ~0.015" in diameter and needs to be resharpened. I can't tell the shape of the recess. If the truck wheel wasn't so heavy I'd use a ball point pen tip.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
"Self-reliance" doesn't mean doing everything for yourself. There are gains from exchange, both among nations and among individuals.
Years ago, a colleague criticized me for not doing my own car repairs. To him, it was just unarguably a mark of virtue to fix his own car, and he regarded those who didn't as morally deficient - "sinners", in a way. I asked him, "Do you do your own dry cleaning, too?" He didn't have an answer.
My only point in my original reply in the thread is that if you're going to live in the sticks, you are forced to choose between doing a lot of things for yourself that others conveniently and relatively cheaply hire out to have done, or to travel long distances to get done. I think trying to figure out how to balance your own wheels is just absurd.
Reply to
Jack Skolasky
Several decades ago, J.C. Whitney had a bubble balancer that was rather good quality. I ordered one (this would be about 1982). The one they sent was a whole differnt design, and was useless. I doubt things got much better. Google shows them.
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Buy the bubble balancer. This used to be the way all tires were balanced until the spin balancer became the idiot proof operator method. You still need a supply of either self stick or rim clamped weights.
ignator
Reply to
Stormin Mormon
It isn't a hand-tool project. I've been arranging the parts and thinking how to take a useful photograph but only a cross-section drawing that shows the suspension point relative to the center of gravity would really help. The important parts are hidden when it's assembled and anyway it's a custom fit to a certain old aluminum Ford wheel, and wouldn't work for rims with a different offset.
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I learned how to do a redneck wheel alignment at the racetrack, but never saw then balance tires without a machine.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
"Jack Skolasky" wrote in message
Five trips to two tire shops hadn't cured speed-dependent steering wheel shake.
BTW I learned to do my own spot-free drycleaning as a field sevice tech. Working in unfamiliar places with only carry-on luggage can be more difficult and uncertain than backpacking in the mountains. And in Flint MI, more hazardous.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Then either you don't have a wheel balance problem, or you are patronizing incompetent and/or unethical businesses.
Reply to
Jack Skolasky
Don't feed the sockpuppet
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
If you read my post you'd see I had a broken upper shock absorber mount. It wasn't visible without sticking my head way into the wheelwell. Being disconnected it failed to absorb the minor vibration of slight imbalance as it should have and let the suspension resonate at around 30 and 60MPH.
Don't be so defensive. I haven't attacked your choice to buy services rather than learn skills. As a downtown apartment dweller I couldn't do much either.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I do an informal "make-or-buy" analysis for all kinds of service and repair tasks, much as any firm might do (a "make-or-buy" flag is a standard field on a parts master in any ERP computer package.) What I've found is that over time, and as manufactured goods become simultaneously (and somewhat paradoxically) both more complex and cheaper, the option to do it myself becomes less and less economically sensible. Either the the repair shouldn't be done at all - the total cost of it exceeds the cost of replacement - or it requires an ever-increasing amount of sophisticated tools and technical expertise.
This is not a new phenomenon, but the pace of it is accelerating. My grandfather, a fairly mechanically adept farmer in downstate Illinois when the Great Depression started, never did accommodate himself to the throwaway culture that had emerged and begun to take over by the time he died in 1969.
Reply to
Jack Skolasky
He raised a point that needs to be dulled.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
Maybe, but they won't go away if you keep feeding them. :(
Reply to
Michael A. Terrell
Brake drums and rotors have been known to be out of balance, too. Did either of those shops balance the front wheels -on- the vehicle? I'm guessing that the front suspension, tie rods, drag link, idler bushings, and wheel bearings were tested and were tight & proper.
Because of your fluids? (If not, what did I miss?)
-- When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary. -- Thomas Paine
(comparing Paine to the current CONgress )
Reply to
Larry Jaques
"Larry Jaques" wrote in message
Because of working on GM production-line equipment in a white shirt and tie.
jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins

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