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Old 04-22-2003, 01:17 PM   #1
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Wheel balancing beads

Has anyone used Counteract Balancing Beads to balance the wheels on their Airstream? This appears to be a method of dynamically balancing the entire (!) wheel assembly and thereby avoiding vibration and damage. You have to remove the tire, pour in 2 ounces of small glass beads, and the whole assembly is automatically balanced as the vehicle travels along. Screened $2 tire valves can be used to stop the beads jamming the valves.It has been used for years on trucks, and I have only read good reports. Details are at http://wheelweights.ca/balancing-beads.htm , and a dealer list is at http://counteractbalancing.com/mapus.htm
It appears to be a very economical method of achieving balance, especially for those of us who can't find a dealer able to balance the wheels on the trailer. Also, the beads balance the tire for its lifetime, self-adjusting as the tire wears. Has anyone tried this on an Airstream? Nick.
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:28 PM   #2
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A classic motorhome owner with a 325 we met at a rally uses those or a similiar device, and said they worked very well.
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:37 PM   #3
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Another product that is availabe is "Egual" Its the same set up but it's more of a powder. Have to check the air line at the service station and make sure they don't have a moisture problem. If it's spitting water then it will turn the powder stuff into mud.

My big tire friends use GOLF BALLS. It funny when they stop quick and you hear the golf balls making laps in the tires then bouncing off the rims.

Places like Buttler Tire and Big 10 can ballance on the trailer as well.
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Old 04-22-2003, 07:40 PM   #4
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When I had new tires mounted on my MH they stuck those beads inside and told me its the best way keep them balanced. I was extremely sceptical, but have noticed the ride getting smoother when I get going on a bigger road. So maybe they do work?
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:02 PM   #5
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i have the balancers camping world sells and the pots and pans quited down after i installed then. top line tires called them sand ballancers as the sand is enclosed in steel tubes that fit on the hubs in the rear they fit between the duals.
al
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Old 04-23-2003, 04:41 AM   #6
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Details of a competitor product, Equal, are at http://www.imiproducts.com/imi_htmlc.../imi_equa.html .This site claims to give an explanation of how the beads work, as well as testimonials from Aircraft, race car, and 18 wheeler user companies that have been using these products for years. I started investigating this topic with a completely open mind, and would welcome a more rigorous analysis of how the products work. I chose to look at Counteract Beads rather than Equal bacause of the simple option of placing a pack in the tire, and not needing to dry the air through the tire inflator. I am tempted to leave the lead weights on my current wheels, but add 2 ounces of Counteract beads to each tire. I don't see any disadvantage. Nick.
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Old 04-24-2003, 01:51 PM   #7
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I'm going to try this on my 77 Trade Wind in the next few weeks and will post my observations.

I just picked up the new Airstream two weeks ago. It's been stored for years so I will be starting clean with new bearings, brake job, new tires and these beads. Probably new shocks too.

Two of the tires have the diagonal tire wear as described on the counteract web site (link in original post) so I'm guessing I have a balance problem and maybe a shock problem. Should be a good test.

If you have any non-scientific test you'd like me to run, post them and I'll do my best to accomodate. I remember reading the "glass of water" test on a related thread...

On a related note, I'm a trailer newbie so I don't have a trustwothy favorite shop to take her to. If any of you have a shop recommendation (brakes, bearings and such) in the Seattle/Tacoma/Everett area I'd greatly appreciate it! There are literally hundreds of RV dealers here in the NW but I have no notion of their shop credibility.

-jm
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Old 04-24-2003, 04:36 PM   #8
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I'm not sure if I'm thinking on the same page, but on my Impala SS, I have these strips that go on the inside side of the rim. It is hidden from the outside and keeps the rim from being marred by those clip ons.

Eric
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Old 04-30-2003, 07:59 PM   #9
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Balancing beads

This is a very interesting product . Does anyone have an idea on what the cost is per tire for a bag the right size for our trailer tires? I am buying new tires soon and this would make balancing the entire hub and tire assembly easy.
Mike B
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Old 05-01-2003, 02:31 AM   #10
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Mike, I guess about $10 for a 4 wheel trailer, at 2 ounces a wheel, as recommended on the website. I know a guy who paid $25 for four 6 oz bags for a Dodge Ram 2500, which has much bigger tires. The beads can be poured in without using bags. It seems to be important not to let the installer use excess of the soap solution used to ease the tire install, as this can cause the beads to stick together and spoil the balancing. I haven't got mine yet, as I am in the UK, but will do so in the fall, when I return to the USA part of my family. Good luck. Nick.
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Old 05-01-2003, 08:49 AM   #11
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Re: Balancing beads

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike B
This is a very interesting product . Does anyone have an idea on what the cost is per tire for a bag the right size for our trailer tires? I am buying new tires soon and this would make balancing the entire hub and tire assembly easy.
Mike B
You know you could take the hub assembly to a machine shop and have it ballanced. That would elliminate the need for on trailer ballancing permently. The wheel will be ballence by the center of the hub so it should run smooth.

A electonic wheel ballencer machine not only ballances the circumfance it ballances to try to rmove any wobble (left to tright side of the wheel.). I'm not sure that the one hub ballancers are capable of that.
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Old 06-24-2003, 05:08 PM   #12
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Balancing beads

I spoke with a technician at the the company to find out if the 2oz bag was enough enough weight for a D rated trailer tire. He said that I could go with a 3oz bag with a trailer tire. I went to a distributor in Rancho Cordova Calif and picked up 5 bags for a total of $15.35.
I will probably mount up my new Marathons this weekend and try this system out.
Mike B
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Old 05-17-2005, 02:28 PM   #13
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Post Counteract Balancing beads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike B
I spoke with a technician at the the company to find out if the 2oz bag was enough enough weight for a D rated trailer tire. He said that I could go with a 3oz bag with a trailer tire. I went to a distributor in Rancho Cordova Calif and picked up 5 bags for a total of $15.35.
I will probably mount up my new Marathons this weekend and try this system out.
Mike B
Hi all,
I just wanted to give a longterm review of the Counteract Balancing Beads to balance the running gear on our trailers
I have been using them for almost 2 years now and have perfect tire wear, no irregular wear patterns at all.
The trailer has no sign of vibration going down the road, everything stays where it is put and no sign of any vibration related loosening of rivits or any other shell issues.
I will use them in my 31' when I get it done with the new axles and Kodiak disk brakes even though I dont know if the rotors on the Kodiaks are balanced or not.
I would highly recommend the beads to those of you who are looking for a simple, cost effective way to help balance your running gear.
Mike B
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Old 05-17-2005, 02:55 PM   #14
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Mike,
I had no problems with wobble when I got the new axle.
I was wondering if the beads eiliminate the need for wheel weights?
Are they designed to just remove any of the loaded tire anomalies?
Can they be reused? I know, at that price who would care!
I am glad you revived this thread. I am curious now.
Thanks, buddy.
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