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Old 05-31-2007, 09:32 PM   #1
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Centramatic Balancers Update...

I ordered today a set of Centramatic Balancers.
Onboard Tire & Wheel Balance Systems, Tire Rotation, Tire Balance, Tire Balancing - Centramatic

I had searched here for some threads on the subject, and found the ones that turned up pretty much out of date....so here is an update.

I talked to Jerry at Centramatic. He knows his stuff. Centramatic has developed several different part numbers for fitting Airstreams. The one I needed was NOT in the online catalog.

They have different 300-556's depending on if you have drums or disc brakes, and if you have aluminum or steel wheels. It is important when you call to explain to the person answering the phone that you have an Airstream and need to talk to Jerry to get the correct part number shipped to you.

A set of four was $211.00. A longtime trailer owner friend of mine suggested I put them on because he has run them for YEARS and tows at fairly high speeds and once he put them on his 34 footer, everything quit shaking apart.

He always had his tires balanced and the hubs...as explained by Inland Andy, but the Centramatics work to keep the running gear in continuous balance.

Anyway, since most of the threads were of the 2004 era, and Centramatic had refined their product, if you want to consider Centramatic Wheel Balancers, be sure and talk to Jerry when you call them.

Once I get mine installed, and some miles on them, I will provide additional feedback.
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:55 PM   #2
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Hi, I would like to hear more about these balancers. I went to their site and came up with the same part number you did, 300-556 as these were the only six lug option. But their site lists only 16" and larger wheels. I have 15" wheels with drum brakes.
2air put some on his trailer that has six wheels and I haven't heard much since; I wonder if he had to buy two sets of four [eight] to get six? the site lists sets of four only. I would like to hear from other Airstreamers that are useing these. [Centramatics]
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:05 PM   #3
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I told the first person past the phone receptionist that I had an Airstream and wanted to buy balancers, and wanted to make sure and get the right ones.....so she says, "let me get Jerry, he is the technical specialists."

Jerry asks:
1: what size tires?
2: steel or aluminum wheels?
3: disc or drums for brakes?

Then says, the set you need is not in the online catalog, you need the special set designed for Airstream steel wheels and drums....that'l be $211 total with tax and shipping....do you want to go ahead?

I did and they should ship tomorrow, and be here by Monday.
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Old 06-01-2007, 04:23 AM   #4
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When we lived in the DFW area I drove down to Alvarado and the Centramatic plant to have mine installed by their folks. They're good people with a great product. The 18-wheelers were lined up at their plant to have Centramatics installed on their rigs. Centramatic did have several varieties on display in the front office and I feel confident that once you speak with Jerry about your rig you'll receive the proper material for an easy self-install. This hardware combined with Doran Pressure Pros, proper inflation, weight loading and safe speed make for peace of mind for us when out there on the highways and byways.
Happy Trails
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:08 AM   #5
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You can see photos of the two different types here

http://www.airforums.com/forums/235313-post7.html

both types fit my aluminum wheels fine. As you can see from the post, this was a year ago. I guess I'll talk to Jerry when I order the set for my Safari, which has the old/original vacuum disk brake system.

Zep
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:19 AM   #6
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If I understand this balancers correctly they have weights in the outer tube thing that roll around and find the sweet spot, the weight in that spot gets everything balanced.

Is that the way they work?

If you turn them all around in your hand can you hear or feel anything moving around?
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:08 AM   #7
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I just bought some and have them installed on my 2000 34' Limited. I plan on buying a set for my new F250 too.
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Old 06-01-2007, 07:48 AM   #8
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I'm very interested in the Centramatic Balancers. Am I right that it is an easy self-install? Just pull off the wheels and install the balancers, right?
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:17 AM   #9
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As some of you know I've used the Dyna or Fleet beads in my trailer.

I asked those people what the differences are.

they replied

Hi Bob,
We both work off the same physics principle, but from there, we are
very different. I discuss this in the FAQ on site.

1. Our 12 oz Fleet product goes for about $8.00/tire. You probably
already know what the Centramatic costs per tire. ($$$) You can do an
awful lot of steer tires for the cost of one mechanical balancer. And
the ride is glass smooth all the time.

2. Because the Fleet beads go into the tire, there is nothing to block
the "through-the-wheel" air cooling to the front brakes in heavy
applications. Many new alloy truck wheels are designed to push or pull
air across the brake area, keeping them cool at all times. The large
disc on the Centramatics prevents this.

3. We are more effective. The mechanical balancers are limited to
their counterbalance force by the number of balls inside their ring, and
the diameter of the disc. For every RPM of the tire, the beads will
develop far more force because they are swinging a larger arc around the
center. The mechanical balancers have a counterbalance limitation of
around 12 oz. We don't. That's also why we can successfully
counterbalance much larger tires that require more counterbalance

weight, and Centramatic can't.

4. Mechanical balancers can't do the drives. They tell the owners to
put one between the duals, because that's the only way they can get them
in there. But you're only working with a counterbalance capacity of
about 12 oz, but now you have twice the amount of tires, so that boils
down to about 6 oz per tire, which isn't enough in most cases, for
instance, when the heavy spots of two tires happen to be together, and
not opposing.
Most Centramatic owners only do the steers. Doesn't make sense,
especially when there's 8 tires behind you that are out of balance. The
reason they don't is cost. At about $150.00 - $200.00 apiece, you would
need 4 of them to do the drives, and as I said before, they can't always
do the job.
If you use the beads, for about $64.00 plus shipping, all the drives
will be done. Tires run smoother, tire mileage increases, cost is low,
ride is smooth, so why wouldn't you want to do this?

And from our last Truck Show in Louisville, customers are getting back
to us with nothing but great news. 175,000, 200,000 miles with no
problems. That's what I like to hear.

Regrads,
Robert


Innovative Balancing LLC
P.O. Box 17854
Rochester, NY 14617

P: 585.467.6028
F: 585.336.9397

http://www.innovativebalancing.com
http://www.dynabeads.com



Now he's talking about larger trucks, but it all applies.

The cost is about $20 for all four tires or $5 a wheel.
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Old 06-01-2007, 10:42 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info Bob.
I assume these are installed at a tire store by breaking the bead on one side and pouring them in. Or am I missing something?
Dave
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:00 AM   #11
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You do not have to break the tire down. Just let the air out and remove the valve core, pore them in.
Installation
The instruction have you remove the tire from the trailer, but I would think if you ramped up the tire, you could do it in place....
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
Thanks for the info Bob.
I assume these are installed at a tire store by breaking the bead on one side and pouring them in. Or am I missing something?
Dave
From innovativebalancing.com's installation link
Quote:
Installation with Applicator
If you :

1. Can remove the wheel/tire.
(You don't need to take the tire off the rim! )
2. Can remove any existing weights
3. Have a valve core removal tool
4. Have a way to reinflate the tire

...then you can install Dyna Beads™!
I may look into this solution

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:05 AM   #13
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Thanks Richard, I like photos. I was picturing larger beads.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:11 AM   #14
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We put Centramatics on our Globe Trotter and SOB motorhome. We will be putting them on the '79 Trade Wind, next. I have ridden in the GT at highway speed and all is perfectly smooth. We used to have an idea about the speed of our coach, but on very smooth roads, you have to watch the speedometer instead of feeling the speed by the seat of your pants. If I had a few spare bucks, I would use Centramatics on everything we own with wheels.
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