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Old 11-08-2004, 07:25 AM   #1
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Centramatics for Vintage?

The Centramatic Wheel Balancers I ordered directly from Centramatic.com would not fit under my wheels. The balancers' outer diameter was too big for my 12-inch drums. The bolt hole pattern was fine.

While I am waiting for a response from Centramatic.com, I thought I would see if anyone else on the Forums has successfully mounted Centramatic Wheel balancers on a vintage Airstream.

Anyone? Anyone?

Tom
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:04 AM   #2
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The problem is with your wheels, not the drums. Centramatics are mounted flat-side in and the drum diameter is not in question. Undoubtedly, there are old wheels out running around (pun) out there that will not accept the balancers.

Question is, are your wheels original Airstream. You are the first person that I have heard that had a problem mounting the Centramatics. It may be the time for some new wheels.
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:14 AM   #3
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You are correct about the problem being with the wheels; I got carried away with trying to cram too much information in a short space.

I have every reason to believe I have the original wheels since the topic never came up in discussions with the original owner (who is also the PO).

Did these other people you know have vintage Airstreams?

Tom
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:16 AM   #4
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Tom,

The problem is the original wheels have 1/2" negative offset. The centerline of the tires is 1" wider than the centerline of the axle hubs.

All three of my original wheels are this way, so I think it was original, at least for 1959. I'm not sure when the factory switched to zero offset.

I believe that new steel wheels are zero offset.

You can determine this by measuring from the rim to the hub mounting surface. Place a straightedge across the rim and measure down to the hub face. If the difference is 1", you have 1/2" offset wheels.

Maybe Centramatic will exchange them for a plate made for offset wheels if you tell them the problem.
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcwilliams
Did these other people you know have vintage Airstreams?
Tom
Since I put my Centramatics on and both posted and showed them at the region rally, I have had some email correspondance and PMs from others who installed them. I know that some were older coaches, but I have no idea what years.

One thought, although the flat side is ordinarily mounted outward, they should work as well the other way, especially with an inward offset to the wheel. Have you tried them mounted flat side out?
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Old 11-08-2004, 08:41 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pahaska
One thought, although the flat side is ordinarily mounted outward, they should work as well the other way, especially with an inward offset to the wheel. Have you tried them mounted flat side out?
Unless I'm looking at this backwards, wouldn't that make the problem even worse?
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Old 11-08-2004, 09:12 AM   #7
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In my case it would.

Also, if I were to buy new wheels, would I not have to keep the same offset so that the tires would fit in the wheel well? Unless steel wheel construction has changed a lot since 1967, it appears to me my problem would still exist with new wheels. Did I miss something?

Tom
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Old 11-08-2004, 09:20 AM   #8
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Tom,

I'm planning to replace my wheels, with zero offset, just because they are old and need paint. In my case, the 1/2" won't make a difference, but I have just recontructed my wheel wells for larger (Marathon) tires anyway.

The problem you might have is clearance to the shock absorbers. I moved my shock absorbers inside the frame, so I'm not sure how well this would work in your case.

Also, if you ever switch to Marathons, the width of the tire might be a problem.

You won't have a problem with the outside clearance. If you go to zero offset, you will be moving the tire further in.

ps. I have an old leaf spring axle, so I don't know if Henschen has the same clearance problems with the shocks.
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Old 11-08-2004, 09:24 AM   #9
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Update from Factory

Jerry replied to my email a little while ago:

Quote:
SORRY WE DO NOT HAVE ANOTHER BALANCER THAT WILL FIT IF THOSE DO NOT FIT THE WHEEL . SOMETIMES THE WHEEL WILL NOT ALLOW FITMENT , AS YOU HA DFOUND OUT CALL ME FOR A RMA # FOR MONEY BACK
800-523-8473 JERRY


I guess I need to settle the "would new wheels work" issue with myself before I call him.

Tom
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Old 11-08-2004, 09:45 AM   #10
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Thank you Tom for sharing what your going through with using Centramatics. I have been thinking of doing the same. Though I will have to get new rims anyway...... This helps a lot!!!
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Old 11-08-2004, 09:46 AM   #11
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Maybe they would be willing to take a smaller set and drill it for the larger hub and bolt circle?
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Old 11-08-2004, 10:12 AM   #12
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Don,

By smaller, I take it you mean smaller OD. Although you can't see it that well in the two picture links in my original post, the part of the balancer where the (what sounds like) ball bearings are is fairly thick - around 1/2 inch or so. While everything is not in front of me at present, I don't think I have that much room to give up.

Thanks for the idea though,

Tom
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Old 11-08-2004, 10:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcwilliams
The Centramatic Wheel Balancers I ordered directly from Centramatic.com would not fit under my wheels. The balancers' outer diameter was too big for my 12-inch drums. The bolt hole pattern was fine.

While I am waiting for a response from Centramatic.com, I thought I would see if anyone else on the Forums has successfully mounted Centramatic Wheel balancers on a vintage Airstream.

Anyone? Anyone?

Tom
Howdy,
I have them installed on my '69 '29 foot ambassador. I am using new Henchen axles with the 12" drums. I have the balancers mounted with the flat side facing outward. The reason they are working is the new wheels I have. I went to Les Schawb and got some fancy aluminum wheels. They are 3000lb 16" wheels with the correct offset. Their are only a couple wheel types you can get that meet the load requirement and the correct offset. The 16 inches of aluminum wheel looks pretty nice and the balancers which you can see through the wheels make it look like you have disc brakes. I am pretty happy with the setup, but it took awhile to find the right wheels. Good Luck
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Old 11-08-2004, 04:05 PM   #14
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My error

Quote:
Originally Posted by markdoane
Unless I'm looking at this backwards, wouldn't that make the problem even worse?
I said it backwards. The flat side is ordinarily mounted
INWARD and if they could be reversed, it would help.
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