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Old 01-27-2010, 05:37 PM   #1
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1974 31' Sovereign
mount gilead , North Carolina
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Tire Balance Question

Hello to all here. I am a new owner to a 1974 31' International.I have been reading and found an article that raised a question. My trailer has the original steel wheels with hubcaps. I plan to replace those wheels with polished aluminum wheels along with new tires. I am going to change the brake assy.'s because they are original and the trailer has been sitting a couple of years.In the article I read it stated that "to "not" balance the tire, wheel, hub and drum assy can cause rivets to shear, sheet metal fatigue, broken wires, water leaks, chassis failure, rear end seperation, tire blowouts and excessive tire wear, among other things". Like I said I am new to the whole Airstream thing and do not want to destroy this thing right from the start. Any help on this matter would be much appreciated. I am a do-it-yourself person therfore just about everything done to this trailer will be done by me.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:49 PM   #2
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Enough vibration will tear just about anything up. The smoother the ride, the better off your new baby will be.
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmoye1 View Post
Hello to all here. I am a new owner to a 1974 31' International.I have been reading and found an article that raised a question. My trailer has the original steel wheels with hubcaps. I plan to replace those wheels with polished aluminum wheels along with new tires. I am going to change the brake assy.'s because they are original and the trailer has been sitting a couple of years.In the article I read it stated that "to "not" balance the tire, wheel, hub and drum assy can cause rivets to shear, sheet metal fatigue, broken wires, water leaks, chassis failure, rear end seperation, tire blowouts and excessive tire wear, among other things". Like I said I am new to the whole Airstream thing and do not want to destroy this thing right from the start. Any help on this matter would be much appreciated. I am a do-it-yourself person therfore just about everything done to this trailer will be done by me.
Most places can balance the tire and wheel, but rarely can you find a shop that can balance the complete assembly, which includes the hub and drum.

The hub and drums are not balanced, and no attempt has been made to do so.

Generally speaking, the older the trailer, the worse the hub and drums can be.

The old 3 piece hub and drums are terrible. The newer 2 piece, which you have is an improvement, but still not there. The newest hub and drums are "unicast" therefore one piece, and for most part pretty good, but still not balanced.

What has made the balancing issue a lot easier, is now you can install after market balancers that you won't even know are there, such as Centramatics.

Since you mentioned that the trailer has been parked for a while, check out the axles, which you can easily do yourself. No tools required. Read the article about axles in the Airstream Central section of this Forums, and that quickly teaches you how to check them out.

Andy
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Most places can balance the tire and wheel, but rarely can you find a shop that can balance the complete assembly, which includes the hub and drum.

The hub and drums are not balanced, and no attempt has been made to do so.

Generally speaking, the older the trailer, the worse the hub and drums can be.

The old 3 piece hub and drums are terrible. The newer 2 piece, which you have is an improvement, but still not there. The newest hub and drums are "unicast" therefore one piece, and for most part pretty good, but still not balanced.

What has made the balancing issue a lot easier, is now you can install after market balancers that you won't even know are there, such as Centramatics.

Since you mentioned that the trailer has been parked for a while, check out the axles, which you can easily do yourself. No tools required. Read the article about axles in the Airstream Central section of this Forums, and that quickly teaches you how to check them out.

Andy
Thank you for all the good input you have given me so far. I am lucky to have had about 12 years previous rv repair experience including being RVIA certified. The bad thing is that I have no experience with Airstreams. I am not afraid of learning and I have been doing so by reading articles on this forum. The more I read about Airstreams the more I like them. I did check the axles and they both have a slight negative angle to them. It looks like I am going to have to replace them. I really wasn't expecting to have to do this but this is the first camper I have owned that has had the torsion style axles. I guess while I am at it I will replace the drums and brake assy's also. Any clue what this may run me. The tag on the axle was hard to read but they are somewhere in the #3000lb range. I could only make out a 3 behind the capacity.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:44 PM   #5
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I use centrimatics on all of my trucks. It's saved me a lot of wear and tear on tires. Steers were my worst issue. At $850 a set for new steer tires I was definitely looking for something to help. By putting the balancers on all the axles, my tires are lasting a lot longer, and a lot of the vibration is gone. It's a bit of an upfront expense, but well worth it
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:46 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard......

The Centramatic balancers have worked very well for us.....Centramatic

Good luck...
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmoye1 View Post
Thank you for all the good input you have given me so far. I am lucky to have had about 12 years previous rv repair experience including being RVIA certified. The bad thing is that I have no experience with Airstreams. I am not afraid of learning and I have been doing so by reading articles on this forum. The more I read about Airstreams the more I like them. I did check the axles and they both have a slight negative angle to them. It looks like I am going to have to replace them. I really wasn't expecting to have to do this but this is the first camper I have owned that has had the torsion style axles. I guess while I am at it I will replace the drums and brake assy's also. Any clue what this may run me. The tag on the axle was hard to read but they are somewhere in the #3000lb range. I could only make out a 3 behind the capacity.
We can ID the exact axles your Airstream was equipped with.

All you need to do is post the trailer serial number.

Andy
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Old 01-27-2010, 09:00 PM   #8
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nmoye1 -- Please don't post your VIN # here.

Andy -- nmoye1 is asking for your specific input on pricing & obtaining an axle specific to his situation. This is fair for you to follow up with, but it should be a dealing between you & him; ie, please take it off the boards. Thanks
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