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Old 04-29-2006, 10:48 AM   #1
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Exact meaning of "balancing the running gear?"

Could someone please explain this to me, or direct me to a thread where an explanation can be found? I've seen that this has been mentioned in passing as a critical procedure by several people, especially by Inland Andy, but I can't find a description of what it means exactly for an Airstream.

For my car, all I know about needing balancing is the tires, but clearly something more is involved in "completely balanced running gear."

Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:14 AM   #2
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Its balancing the wheels on the trailer so that you also balance the complete rotating assembly.

Personally I think its a little bit over kill but if you have a place that has the equipment to do it and will listen to you on how to lift the trailer without damage.....why not.

A good machine shop could ballance the hub assembly and then as long as the wheel is ballanced you should have the same results.
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:20 AM   #3
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http://www.inlandrv.com/articles/wheel-balancing/ shows the process that Andy refers to.
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:28 AM   #4
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balanced running gear

I balanced mine at the shop I work at but with a twist, instead of balancing on the trailer axle, I balanced the wheel and drum assembly on the wheel balancer. Of course the bearings and seals are removed and I marked the rim to one wheel stud in case of future wheel removal.
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Old 04-29-2006, 12:38 PM   #5
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Did you ballance the whole assembly at a regular tire shop and what did they charge you??
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Old 04-29-2006, 08:10 PM   #6
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Dynamically Balanced Wheel Assemblies

Looking at the pics from Inland I can see this is akin to the old bubble balancer static type of operation. All modern wheel balancers are dynamic.
The wheel and tire assemble are rotated at speed in the balancing machine, then the amount and position of the weights are indicated on the display. I am sure every tire store in North America uses one of these. Fast, efficient and simple enough so any knuckle dragger can use it properly.
When I was working at a shop which had BMW and Saab we had a machine that would balance the whole rotational assembly, tire, wheel, brake rotor and hub, much as shown in the photos. Being German, it was over-enginered, took too long to set, up was a pain to operate,and nobody could ever notice the difference over a normal balance. I wish I had a picture of one of my co-workers sitting on this stupid, thing, pushing it up against a tire to get it moving.
We are not driving sports cars on the Autobahn here, we're towing trailers. I personally think that a good modern tire balancing is all you need to do and well worth the cost.
Just my opinion,
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Old 04-29-2006, 08:25 PM   #7
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There are good reasons to balance the running gear; the primary reason is that the brake drums and hubs used on many trailers are:

1. much heavier than the drums or rotors used on cars or trucks
2. are not balanced by the axle manufacturer
3. are more out of balance/out of round than automotive drums or rotors
4. are usually not balanced by the trailer fabricator

In addition, you are riding in your car or truck and are likely to notice an out-of-balance condition. Not so the trailer.
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Old 04-29-2006, 11:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 59toaster
Personally I think its a little bit over kill but if you have a place that has the equipment to do it and will listen to you on how to lift the trailer without damage.....why not.
I agree with it being a bit overkill.
If you think about it, Drums are balanced before they are even mated to a backing plate, during the machining process.
High-speed balancing of tires and wheels has been around since I was a kid.
I am sure that doing the "Full Monte" with the alxle, drums, wheels and tires will take some more "run-out" out of the complete set-up.
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pattersontoo
I agree with it being a bit overkill.
If you think about it, Drums are balanced before they are even mated to a backing plate, during the machining process.
I am not convinced of this I have a trailer drum here at the house that when mounted on a small static balancer similar to the one IRV shows requires about 7 ounces of weight to become balanced, it was also out of round. This is new out of the box! No brand name on it so who knows where it came from. 12" brake BTW.

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Old 04-30-2006, 09:09 AM   #10
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wheel balancing wheel and drum

Dwightdi, If you were asking me, I am an Auto Tech and I work at a dealership, yes, I balanced the assemblys on a Hunter 9700 wheel balancer. No, I did not get charged as I did it myself. I used the Hunter because it is state of the art, but any balancer would do. I took two assemblys off at a time incorperating a wheel bearing clean/repack at the same time. So I would suggest going to whomever you use for your tire needs, talk to the manager to see if he is agreeable, remove two wheels at a time, remove the seals and bearings, clean, and mark each assembly(mark the end of the stud and corresponding rim hole with a scribe) and let them balance them. My assemblys took up to 12oz of weight but I considered that within reason due to the total weight involved. If they whine about the assembly being too heavy(let them bring that up) the wheels on a 1 ton dually weigh as much. Variables include "knuckle draggers" understanding, and, do they calibrate the machine regularly. (if you ask, they will assure you they do but only when they cannot figure out a balance problem and they are out of guesses )
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:12 AM   #11
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addendum

Sorry, I forgot to say, price- should not be any more than a regular wheel balance, or if , only slightly more expensive.
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Old 04-30-2006, 10:02 AM   #12
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72 Tradewind,
Tell me about dually wheels I had one that would not balance correctly at a big name tire dealer the other day. I suggested to the "tech" that he was using the wrong adaptors for that particular type of wheel. (I have a 96 Ford that uses that crazy locator pin) his reply was "all the others balanced fine" I told them to forget about it and took them home and did them myself at my wife's uncle's shop. Turns out the ones that balanced "fine" had over 10 ounces of weight on them and were out of whack. In the rebalance one balanced with less than 2 ounces. I am planning on centramtics on my dually in the near future, so that problem will go away It is getting to the point where I hate to pay anyone to do anything. I end up having to do it myself in the end anyway. And you spend too much time trying to find someone to do it right the first time.

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Old 04-30-2006, 10:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 72 tradewind
Dwightdi, If you were asking me, I am an Auto Tech and I work at a dealership, yes, I balanced the assemblys on a Hunter 9700 wheel balancer. My assemblys took up to 12oz of weight but I considered that within reason due to the total weight involved. )

WOW thats a lot of weight.

I guess I stand corrected on how to do it......

I guess the trailer industry just doesn't care to balance the hubs at all like the auto industry does.

My buddy has a balancer at work. I may have to pull the assembly's and try this.

I think I want to try to balance the hub first though. He has a welder there so we can weld on some mild steel as weights and see what we get. That way if I ever have a flat I don't have to pull the entire assembly to balance it and I don't have to worry about it being indexed.
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:16 PM   #14
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Wheel balance issue

Concerning the question of balancing hubs. I had my wheels and tires very carefully balanced at a tire shop but when installed on my 76 argosy, I noticed they had a heavy spot that would always rotate to the bottom. Being an old drag racer, I took the hubs to my friend at an automotive machine shop. He has a crankshaft balancer that has attachments for balancing brake rotors and such. He kind of laughed at me at first, but when I came back for them, he said he could'nt believe how badly out of balance they were! After seeing mine, he said he was definately going to check the ones on his trailer! The best part is, you just do it once. After that, if you remove or replace a tire, you only have to have the wheel and tire spun balanced at a local shop. And by the way, the old Argosy tows like a dream.
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