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Old 08-09-2004, 10:45 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjoandall
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.
Mark
Mark,
I'm curious how old the Dexter drums were when you had them balanced. I got Dexter hubs last year and they were pretty good, within 1 1/2 oz. No problem with centricity. I wonder if they are improving their QC, or if I just got lucky.
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Old 08-09-2004, 11:47 AM   #30
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centrametrics alone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
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.
Seems like a lot of trouble to get the whole assembly balanced...will just the centrametrics do the trick as John Irwin states here? He says WITHOUT balancing the assembly?
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Old 08-09-2004, 12:48 PM   #31
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Quote:
Seems like a lot of trouble to get the whole assembly balanced...will just the centrametrics do the trick as John Irwin states here? He says WITHOUT balancing the assembly?
Probably depends on the particular trailer. In my case, the Cenramatics apparently do the whole schmear all by themselves. Probably because my drums were reasonably close initially. It may not work for everyone as well as it did for me, but will surely help a lot in all cases.
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Old 08-09-2004, 01:01 PM   #32
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What bad balance can do

My old TrailManor had a single Dexter 3500# axle. I had the wheels/tires balanced, but not the hubs. I knew that I still had a lot of vibration because there were a lot of black marks from things moving around and a lot of screws backing out.

I had just replaced the awful original blue carpet with a nice Berber carpet before a trip to Florida. When I started back, I noticed that I had left a plastic bottle of charcoal starter on the picnic table, so I put it into one of the bottom cabinets.

When I reached home, I opened the trailer to an awful smell of charcoal lighter fluid and the Berber carpet was a total mess. A hole had worn in the bottom of the lighter fluid bottle from vibrating against a screw head and the leaking fluid had dissolved the rubber backing on the Berber carpet in the whiole center part of the trailer. Fortunately, I had a large piece of the carpet left over to fix the mess, but I had seams where I didn't want seams after that.

My Airstream showed some indications of vibration before the Centramatics, but none after I installed them.
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Old 08-09-2004, 01:10 PM   #33
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Wow

Crazy what vibration can do...thanks for the illustration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pahaska
My old TrailManor had a single Dexter 3500# axle. I had the wheels/tires balanced, but not the hubs. I knew that I still had a lot of vibration because there were a lot of black marks from things moving around and a lot of screws backing out.

I had just replaced the awful original blue carpet with a nice Berber carpet before a trip to Florida. When I started back, I noticed that I had left a plastic bottle of charcoal starter on the picnic table, so I put it into one of the bottom cabinets.

When I reached home, I opened the trailer to an awful smell of charcoal lighter fluid and the Berber carpet was a total mess. A hole had worn in the bottom of the lighter fluid bottle from vibrating against a screw head and the leaking fluid had dissolved the rubber backing on the Berber carpet in the whiole center part of the trailer. Fortunately, I had a large piece of the carpet left over to fix the mess, but I had seams where I didn't want seams after that.

My Airstream showed some indications of vibration before the Centramatics, but none after I installed them.
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Old 08-09-2004, 06:01 PM   #34
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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.

Chuck,

I just went to my local mechanic in Merrimack, NH. His name is Paul at Auto Workshop on Daniel Webster Highway. If you want to call him, PM me and I'll give you his number.

I pulled the hub and wheels off the trailer, took them to Paul and he balanced the entire assembly. He had to remove the bearings from the hubs. He pained the wheel stud white closest to the air valve. That way, when I remounted the assembly on the trailer I was sure it was the same as when they did the balance job. He also repacked the bearings in the process.

I'm very pleased with the results.

Mark
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Old 08-09-2004, 06:08 PM   #35
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Don,

The drums I have are original with the trailer. We own a 2001 classic 30. When I had the assemblies balanced, the drum castings were perfectly round inside where they are machined. However the raw castings on the outside are not machined and were visibly out of round. Two of the drums, when spun on the balance machine without the wheels, were over 6 oz's out of balance. I agree that the quality control is very suspect.
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Old 08-09-2004, 06:50 PM   #36
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Mark,
I balanced the drums in my shop using a semi-dynamic method. It was a labor of love, can't recommend it to anybody.
I had a brand new set of drums and new bearings. I set it up on my new axle, used light machine oil on the bearings, marked around the diameter with indexing marks, and spun the hubs by hand. I recorded the stopping points after spinning 10 times in opposing directions. I added weights until the drum stopped at apparently random locations.
When I repeated the experiment, I discovered a second order imbalance. This showed up as a slight tendency for the drum to stop at marks that were 180 opposite. After i corrected this "dog-bone" effect, the drums would stop at statistically random marks.
I didn't see any run-out on the outside circumference. I think I was lucky to get a good set of drums right out of the box. One drum took about 40 grams (1.4oz) of weight correction, the other less than 20g. (0.7oz)
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Old 08-09-2004, 08:40 PM   #37
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Sounds like it's worth the $200. Can anyone who has ordered them let me know the part #?? I was just on the Centramatic website and the only system for 15" wheels is listed under "300 Series, For Jeeps, Pick-up's, SUVs".
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Old 08-10-2004, 08:47 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjoandall
Chuck,

I just went to my local mechanic in Merrimack, NH. His name is Paul at Auto Workshop on Daniel Webster Highway. If you want to call him, PM me and I'll give you his number.

I pulled the hub and wheels off the trailer, took them to Paul and he balanced the entire assembly. He had to remove the bearings from the hubs. He pained the wheel stud white closest to the air valve. That way, when I remounted the assembly on the trailer I was sure it was the same as when they did the balance job. He also repacked the bearings in the process.

I'm very pleased with the results.

Mark
good to know that the service is available. I'm wondering, though...since you had the entire assembly balanced, why do you need the centramatics? to compensate for future wear?

wondering also if my brother-in-law could balance a brake drum. he's got a driveshaft balancing lathe....
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Old 08-10-2004, 11:16 AM   #39
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Craig,

The Centramatic Balancers for my dual axle 1995 Excella Classic 1000 with 15 inch wheels and six lugs with 5.5 inch spacing are Part # 300-556. If your wheels and hub match these specifications, they will fit.

The Centramatics don't know what kind of rig they are on. If they fit the wheel and hub, they will do their job.
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Old 08-10-2004, 11:49 AM   #40
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One drum took about 40 grams (1.4oz) of weight correction, the other less than 20g. (0.7oz)[/QUOTE]
Don:
What do you use for weights? I have heard of strip weights used to balance mags - is that what you are using?
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Old 08-10-2004, 05:01 PM   #41
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Don:
What do you use for weights? I have heard of strip weights used to balance mags - is that what you are using?
The Dexter hubs have a large lug (see about 10 o'clock position) http://www.airstreamphotos.com/photo...cat/500/page/2
which was right where most of the weight needed to be removed. I ground off about 1/4 of the lug with a die grinder. The remaining weight was removed from the top of the fins where needed.
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