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Old 03-12-2019, 03:21 PM   #1
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Tire Balance - Steel Valve Stems

Starting to think it would have been better to just leave the tires and valves as is and just manually check tire pressure versus the work to get metal valve stems and TPMS.

Neither Mercedes place near me that works on sprinters would do the valve stems. Finally just went to a place near me that was a tire shop and said they work on RVs etc. with good reviews. Got the valve stems installed but didn’t have my TPMS caps with me (my fault). On way home lost a lug cap.

Once home, couldn’t install the TPMS caps on front tires (not enough clearance from rim. Installed and set up the rears. Kind of a pain to add/remove air but was happy to see the tire pressure on the remote monitor for the back wheels.

Knew the tires should be balanced with the caps but figured I could get to that once I got the lug replacement. Took a trip and lots of vibration from the front so now sitting at a Goodyear. Getting valve stem adjusted so can get caps on fronts and balance everything. The amount of weights they are putting on the exterior side of the rim is surprising and ugly. Asked about having the weight in the inside and tech said they wouldn’t stay put there. In the past had weights glued to rims on inside (bmw).

What a pain and now ugly look on these nice Alcoa rims but better than bouncing down the highway.

Sure would be nice if Mercedes and Airstream could include TPMS from the lot with metal stems already. My F150 has a much better system built in and not requiring caps or external monitor.

A bit frustrated...
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:35 PM   #2
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A couple pics.
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Tech said he had to put weights on both inside and outside to get it to balance. Last place just had them on inside.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:48 PM   #3
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Call me crazy but I can't see how metal valve stems and caps change the balance.
Did you drive it and notice a change?
If it bothers you, there's always Centramatics.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:19 PM   #4
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Good to know about the ugly weights. I had been planning on installing TPMS at my next rotation, but may change my mine. Tried Centramatics on the back duals - no go. They fit but it was impossible to check pressure or add air. The oval holes is in the Centramatic and the oval holes in the rims lined up, but there was no space to insert a gauge or air chuck.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobbun View Post
Tech said he had to put weights on both inside and outside to get it to balance. Last place just had them on inside.
Your middle picture shows a ton of weight opposite the cap sensor. Assuming there's an equal amount inside the rim also, there's probably a pound of wheel weights offsetting a cap that weighs 0.54 oz.???
Either there's a big problem with the tires or the "tech" didn't know what he was doing. I vote #2.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Call me crazy but I can't see how metal valve stems and caps change the balance.
Did you drive it and notice a change?
If it bothers you, there's always Centramatics.


Yeah... it was very noticeable at the steering wheel. Lots of vibration and really felt like it was the fronts. It was only the metal stems on the front at that point through.

Will take it back to the original place once we get back home. Haven’t gotten up to highway speeds yet but it is driving a lot smoother today.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Your middle picture shows a ton of weight opposite the cap sensor. Assuming there's an equal amount inside the rim also, there's probably a pound of wheel weights offsetting a cap that weighs 0.54 oz.???

Either there's a big problem with the tires or the "tech" didn't know what he was doing. I vote #2.


Yeah... unless there is a dent in the rim. Some of these states need to spend some money on infrastructure (looking at you LA). There are some huge pot holes but with the tire size and running 71psi I would think my rims didn’t suffer any damage although probably loosened a ton of things on the inside of the AI.

Haven’t hit any curbs or bricks.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:40 PM   #8
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Consider getting wheel balancers from Centramatic. That would be a cleaner way to have everything balanced. They are on the southwest side of Dallas so not that far away from you. Buy from them and the will install for free.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:04 PM   #9
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Install ceramic balance beads in the tire. Good tire shops will have the correct size of bag weight to install in your tires. Similar to centramatics in eliminating the balance problem and no ugly weights on the rims. You will need to install a filtered valve core, which usually comes with the bag of beads. Big rigs run these all the time.
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:06 PM   #10
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A couple of observations. A balance can be done with weights on either one side (single plane or static) or both (dual plane or dynamic). There is no difference in the end result except on cars that are very lightweight or sensitive to imbalance (rear engine cars are one example).
Tire pressure monitors that I am familiar with come in a couple of flavors. All of the OEM and some aftermarket have everything inside the wheel/tire, including the battery and some of them either do not have replaceable batteries or you have the send them back to the manufacturer for batteries as often as every 2-5 years. Others have all the circuitry and battery in the external cap. The disadvantage to the external caps is that they can be stolen or damaged by hitting something and they are unsightly. There are two types of external caps. The flow thru and those that or not flow thru. You can adjust tire pressure on the flow thru without removing them but they are taller and make them more susceptible to damage.
I chose the TST that are not flow thru and it is a little irritating to remove them to adjust tire pressure. And if you are anal about the readings on the display and you want them to read exactly the same when cold, it will take several attempts and the tires must all be in a climate controlled building and either all or none in the sun. Catch my sarcasm?
I replace my batteries each Spring.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:21 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ghaynes755 View Post
Consider getting wheel balancers from Centramatic. That would be a cleaner way to have everything balanced. They are on the southwest side of Dallas so not that far away from you. Buy from them and the will install for free.


Thanks... I will look into that.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:30 AM   #12
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I chose the TST that are not flow thru and it is a little irritating to remove them to adjust tire pressure.
Yes, but the good outweighs the bad. If it's too irritating, take off the security caps, then you'll be able to unscrew them just like a valve cap. (unfortunately, so will everyone else.)
Quote:
And if you are anal about the readings on the display and you want them to read exactly the same when cold, it will take several attempts and the tires must all be in a climate controlled building and either all or none in the sun. Catch my sarcasm?
Yes, I'm not that anal. I think there's a slight difference in the cap transmitters.
If mine read 65 psi, I take that to mean they're not 55psi or 70 psi.
It's great to get in in the morning before the drive and see nothing has changed!

When I named mine I started what I thought logical; #1 on the driver's side front, then #2 on the curb side, etc. But the monitor reads them starting on the curb side, so I guess mine read 2, 1, 4, 3! Maybe someday I'll swap all the labels.
You still know which tire is being read.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
I chose the TST that are not flow thru and it is a little irritating to remove them to adjust tire pressure. And if you are anal about the readings on the display and you want them to read exactly the same when cold, it will take several attempts and the tires must all be in a climate controlled building and either all or none in the sun. Catch my sarcasm?
I replace my batteries each Spring.

That is what I have as well... From this forum recommendation. I had a cigarette lighter air pump that I could set to 71lbs and let it chuck away but now it doesn’t work so I am using my full size air compressor but it doesn’t stop at a set pressure. So I use that in combination with a digital reader. Trying to get everything to match. Then you have to be pretty quick getting the TST caps on or you can lose 1/2 psi. Would prefer it built in...

With the frustration of the tire stuff yesterday it was awesome taking a crew of 7 to dinner at LuLus in Gulf Shores... the looks we get with these rigs makes me proud when they are all unloading, etc. Also had a family staring it down in the parking lot (perfect backing into single space) and after I said hello to him he asked “Is that there an Airstream on a Mercedes”. I have them a quick tour.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:43 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
Install ceramic balance beads in the tire.
X 2 on the beads👍
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