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Old 02-17-2012, 05:43 PM   #1
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KTB Liquid wheel balancer

Has anyone tried KTB Liquid Tire Balancer? Home

The company has a booth (and had a seminar) at the Florida State Rally. The product is a viscous liquid that is put inside the tire and works on the same principle as Dynabeads.

The company claims to have been making tire additives for 32 years (specifically, stop-leak for very large mining equipment tires) and has been marketing their balancing fluid to truckers for 10 years. Now they are expanding into the RV market.

Since Centramatics won't fit my wheels (as mentioned in another thread) I am thinking about trying Dynabeads or KTB.
.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:00 PM   #2
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Nuvi,

Sounds better than the beads because it wouldn't wear the inside of the tire, but couldn't you use any liquid that doesn't freeze—say vodka (the amount that's left over after using it to prevent water lines from freezing)?

Maybe alcohol would be too corrosive, but how about RV antifreeze? Regular antifreeze isn't good for rubber, but maybe the RV version would be ok.

Gene
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:36 PM   #3
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I also stopped by their booth and wondered about using rv antifreeze,
For that matter automotive antifreeze would likely be ok also.. It can't be that hard on rubber since we have rubber radiator hoses. It should also have anti corrosion additives so should not hurt the wheels
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
Nuvi,

Sounds better than the beads because it wouldn't wear the inside of the tire, but couldn't you use any liquid that doesn't freeze—say vodka (the amount that's left over after using it to prevent water lines from freezing)?

Maybe alcohol would be too corrosive, but how about RV antifreeze? Regular antifreeze isn't good for rubber, but maybe the RV version would be ok.

Gene
Well, first thing, at the show a quart bottle of balancing fluid is $16.95 so you wouldn't save any money by using vodka! (For ST225-75R16 tires you are supposed to use 8 oz per tire, so one quart bottle will do all four.)

I look at it this way. I am trying to solve a relatively minor problem--vibration due to wheel imbalance--without introducing a major problem--like tire failure due to putting something incompatible inside the tire.

I don't have to do anything--our 1980 trailer has gone hundreds of thousand of miles without dynamic tire balancing. (We have probably put 50,000 on it ourselves in the 5 years we've had it, and the previous owners were all over the country with it.)

The trouble with using something like antifreeze is you're doing your own research and development. I spent my working career doing that and I know that often times there are minor little second-order effects that come to light--sometimes very unpleasantly--with experience in the field. In other words--I don't want to suddenly have a series of blowouts a year or two down the road because I put something in the tire that didn't agree with it.

Another thing to contemplate is the effect on the tire temperature-pressure profile. I am convinced that the advantages claimed for nitrogen inflation stem entirely from the fact that the nitrogen going into the tire is dry whereas water straight from an air compressor is saturated with water vapor. Now--if you put water-based antifreeze or alcohol in the tire the tire pressure is going to vary according to the vapor pressure of whatever you put in it, which may be a bad thing.

The KTB magic potion is represented by the owner of the company to be based on a long-chain molecule which is fairly viscous, won't freeze, and has secondary benefits like preventing rusting of the wheel (not an issue with my aluminum wheels) as well as sealing and lubricating the bead.

I guess I am tempted to go with the KTB on the strength of their assertion of 10 years experience with trucking companies. So whatever the stuff is, it seems to have proven out in the field. But it would be nice to hear from somebody who has used it.

Incidentally, unlike beads, clogging the tire valve is not a potential problem, and KTB claims that several tire pressure monitoring system manufacturers have tested it with their sensors and found it to be compatible.

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Old 02-17-2012, 07:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Nuvite-F View Post

I am convinced that the advantages claimed for nitrogen inflation stem entirely from the fact that the nitrogen going into the tire is dry whereas water straight from an air compressor is saturated with water vapor. Now--if you put water-based antifreeze or alcohol in the tire the tire pressure is going to vary according to the vapor pressure of whatever you put in it, which may be a bad thing.

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You mean "air straight from the air compressor" right?
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:11 AM   #6
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You mean "air straight from the air compressor" right?
Right. Must'a had water on my brain. . .
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:17 AM   #7
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I use soft pellets from wal-mart. 2 oz per tire.

Never had any issues.

Dave.
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:11 AM   #8
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Nuvi,

No doubt the KTB fluid has been tested and if something goes wrong, you have someone to sue (it would probably cost you more than the damages, but there are a lot of needy lawyers that need employment). Vodka is expensive, but you use it in the tires in the summer and the pipes in the winter—might be a cleanliness issue, but some water and Clorox will fix that right up.

Any liquid has the plus that if you get a leak, the little fountain will tell you where it is. RV antifreeze has the advantage that the pink fountain will contrast easily with the black tire and be easy to see.

If the KTB fluid is viscous (I think they claim that) wouldn't it move too slowly? I think of a viscous fluid as moving pretty thickly and slowly while the beads and the ball bearings in the Centramatics move pretty fast. Has this thing been tested in any way? For that matter, have the beads or Centramatics actually been tested? Could we all have been fooled because they seem to make sense?

I guess you'll have to test it, ride in the trailer and report back. It is cheaper than the Centramatics for the first 20+ years. I wouldn't put spacers behind Centramatics because it moves the wheels outward and that may not be a good idea.

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Old 02-20-2012, 08:47 PM   #9
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And then there is just getting the wheel assembly balanced.


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Old 02-21-2012, 07:56 AM   #10
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Anything you put in the tire is going to make patching a pain. Many tire places won't mess with the mess. They will basically tell you new tire or nothing and we won't replace it under warrantee since you put that goop in there and ruined the tire for patching. I have not found anyone what will warrantee trailer tires anyway.

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Old 02-21-2012, 08:00 AM   #11
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For complete peace of mind try Centramatic wheel balancers.
www.centramatic.com
Good luck with the spay in stuff....just saying.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:17 AM   #12
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"I look at it this way. I am trying to solve a relatively minor problem--vibration due to wheel imbalance--without introducing a major problem--like tire failure due to putting something incompatible inside the tire."



Someone who can competently use a Hunter Road Force could most likely solve your concern.....short of a square tire condition.

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Old 02-21-2012, 08:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Action View Post
And then there is just getting the wheel assembly balanced.


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The problem with just balancing the wheel assembly is that trailer axle makers, in their infinite wisdom do not feel it is necessary to balance brake drums so an approach is needed that takes this into account.

Sometime with the wheel off see how many drums will rotate to put their heavy spot on the bottom.
Car makers balance the running gear so just balancing the tire/wheel is more affective
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:13 AM   #14
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The drums are going to be pretty close. They are castings and they are symetrical to start with. They are also relatively close to the center of rotation so small imbalances don't mean as much. I like the Centramatics approach best. Also balancing the tire/rim is going to help the Centramatics to their job.

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