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Old 06-19-2004, 08:31 AM   #15
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J just had the running gear balanced on my new 30' Classic Ltd. last week. I had considered the Centramatics but in the end decided to not get them. Now that I see they only offset about 6 oz. of unbalance I'm really glad I didn't get them.

It took 1-3 guys working steadily for 4 hours and 15 minutes to get my 2 axles and 4 wheels balanced! The owner told me they had a bugger of a time getting one of my wheels balanced and it took 12 oz. of weight to do it! I was told about 3-4 oz is normal. They planned to put all the weight on the inside of the rim, but had to put some on both the inside and outside to finally get it in balance! Since they were balancing the entire tire, wheel, hub and rim assembly mounted on the trailer, they said they couldn't tell me which part was the major culprit.

Part of the 4 hours, however, was spent "truing" the tires, which were not entirely round - which I could see on their machine that they test the tires with. Since I'd never heard of truing tires, I had to ask them to explain it to me. They said if you don't true the tires when they need it, and balance just the running gear, it would still be like trying to roll an egg on a flat surface. They actually shave off the high spots on your tire tread to make it truely round.

I don't know if any of you have had your tires trued, but it might be something to think about doing.

John
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Old 06-19-2004, 08:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfisher
......I don't know if any of you have had your tires trued, but it might be something to think about doing.John

Thanks for the hint, John......that may well be the source of my rear end "bed bounce" .

I have a time (build date/age) issue with the rear tires, and they will be replaced in the future - I'd rather spend the bucks on new tires (insurance) rather than taking a chance on rebuilding the rear sheetmetal/systems due to damage from losing a tire tread or casing.
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Old 06-20-2004, 09:14 PM   #17
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I've had tires trued on both my old '77 K5 Blazer and one problem tire on my '92 Z71. I usually balanced every 5,000 miles with the tires on the blazer but let it go to 8,000 miles and this is why I had to have them trued. The one tire on the '92 just seemed to not be right from the time I had 4 new tires put on. It must have been bad from the factory but truing fixed it.
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Old 06-21-2004, 05:31 PM   #18
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I would imagine, if you accurately describe your problem to them, they would have an alternative size that would fit your rim/hub interface.[/QUOTE]

I talked to the Centramatic tech rep today and unfortunately they have no other model in a 6 bolt pattern that will work with the older rims. They are not set up to 'customize' a set either.
I am now exploring getting the drums balanced by a machine shop.
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Old 06-21-2004, 05:36 PM   #19
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Centramatics

I ordered some today - I'll post an update in a couple weeks on how they are performing.
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Old 06-21-2004, 07:59 PM   #20
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Hmmm...my brother-in-law makes drive shafts, and has a lathe to balance them. wonder if he could balance a brake drum on that thing?

flyfisher: what type of business was it that did your balancing with all that attention to detail, on the axles, etc? wondering how to search for someone locally that can do it "the right way". I suppose I could always go see Andy at Inland, but that would be the most expensive balancing job in history. lets see...3000 miles @10mpg x $2/gallon, + campground stays...plus whatever Andy charges for balancing, which I'm sure is reasonable ...then come home again....yikes!
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Old 06-22-2004, 03:41 PM   #21
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centramatic update

I needed to replace the outer bearing on one of my wheels. I thought this would be a good opporturnity to test andy's position that the hubs and wheels need to balanced together. I took the hub, the wheel and tire to my mechanic.

The tire was brand new and the wheel and tire was balanced by the people who sold me 4 new goodyear marathons.

My mechanic spun the wheel and tire and was comfortable with the balance done by the tire people. He then spun the hub. The hub was 3 oz out of balance. He said the inside of the hub was perfectly round and should not present any problems with the brakes. But, the outside of the casting was not round.

He then mounted wheel on the hub and spun them again. He weights on the wheel had to be changed substantially. He painted the wheel stud next to the air thingy so that I could re mount the entire assembly correctly.

I mounted the assembly on the AS with the centramatic. I'm confident this procedure should eliminate any and all vibration in the running gear of my AS.
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Old 08-06-2004, 06:27 PM   #22
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Exclamation Both???

Has anyone had their entire wheel/hub assembly balanced AND used the Centramatics?

This would start with everything true and the Centramatics would keep it in check...yes?

This is a quote directly from their site, "Brake drums and hubs should also be balanced. Balancing the tires and wheels only corrects half the problem. As drums wear, there is an increase in imbalance."

Any thoughts???
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:15 PM   #23
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I can understand tires getting worse as they wear. Why drums would get worse with wear is beyond my understanding. Would seem to me there is a 50:50 chance of getting better or getting worse.
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Old 08-07-2004, 11:31 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjoandall
I guess we were lucky to have made it home. I now have four new goodyear marathon's on order. I also have a spare rim on order, for some reason we never got a spare with our trailer. I'm going to use the Cooper for our spare.
Wow, first you're very lucky that the blow-out did as little damage as you described.

Second, I am surprised that you decided to replace with anything other than Cooper.

I have to relate so you will understand my opinion. I have run almost every tire made at one time or the other. Now I know new technology has made things better so some of my tire experiences are really of no weight. However, there is one thing that really stands Cooper far above the rest, Cooper replaces tires that prematurely go bad with no cost to the customer. All of the other companies want to prorate the tire by thread wear and charge you the difference in selling you a replacement tire. Also in my experience I have gotten more wear from Cooper Tires than from any other tire.



On my Cadillac I had a problem with a tire that had an 80,000 mile warranty and Copper had discontinued the tire so they removed all 4 of my tires and replaced them with the 75,000 mile tire for free, and they gave me a new warranty for the new tires. Total cost to me was $Free.



On the other side of the coin, Centramatics are one of the best items that a road vehicle of any kind can have on it. I have used them on very large semi trucks and trailers in the past.

I thought that they were only manufactured for large rigs so I never bothered checking, but since this thread has enlightened me I will be purchasing a setup for my 2 trailers as well as a set for my PU truck and my car.




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Old 08-07-2004, 11:41 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
I can understand tires getting worse as they wear. Why drums would get worse with wear is beyond my understanding. Would seem to me there is a 50:50 chance of getting better or getting worse.
Brake drums are trued when they are re-cut when they do a brake job as I understand it.

I guess the only way they get out of balance again is from the wear from braking. In that case the Centramatics wouldn’t be a cure all, but they will certainly help by reducing the ill-effect of an unbalanced tire.
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Old 08-07-2004, 12:04 PM   #26
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I put on the Centramatics without balancing the wheels/tires. So far, with over 8000 miles of travel, there is absolutely no indication of any vibration in the trailer.

Before the Centramatics, I had things moving around, screws in the lights backing out, and black marks in my plastic silverware tray and in the pantry from vibration. Since the Centramatics, there are no more black marks and things in the trailer stay put so well that it is amazing. Even the towels always stay on the towel bars whereas they would often be on the floor before the balancers.

Best $200 I have spent on the trailer and I would recommend them to everyone who has 15" wheels. Sadly, they would have helped some vibration problems in my 2003 International, but that had 14" wheels.
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Old 08-07-2004, 08:47 PM   #27
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Blrpx

I've had the drums, wheels, and tires all balanced as a single unit. Then when I mounted the wheel assembly on the trailer, I also mounted the centramatics.

I have just completed an 8,000 mile trip with the trailer and like John Irwin, everything now stays in place in the trailer.

I closely watched my mechanic balance the wheel and hub assemply. The wheels that I have on my trailer are from Dexter and the castings are just not round. The inside that is machined for the brakes are perfectly round, the castings are not. I had two drums that were over six ounces out of balance. Add that to wheels and tires, you can get quite a bounce going back there. Over time, with that kind of out of balance, the belts break and then the tires blow.

Curiously, I periodically would check the wheels and tires for heat. After this last trip and the extensive balance job I did, the wheels and hubs ran much cooler. I was surprised.

All in all, I very pleased with the balance job and equipment I have on the trailer. I only wish I'd have done it when the trailer was new.

Mark
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Old 08-09-2004, 10:03 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjoandall
Blrpx

I've had the drums, wheels, and tires all balanced as a single unit. Then when I mounted the wheel assembly on the trailer, I also mounted the centramatics.

Mark

Mark, where'd you get the balancing done? around here? seems to be a difficult to find service. Might be worth a trip up your way.
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