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Old 10-13-2011, 10:58 AM   #1
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Why does it matter how you mount the wheel?

Still going through my manual and it says that if you have aluminum wheels that you need to mark your wheel before you take it off so you can put it back on in the exact lug position. It doesn't offer a reason Anyone know why??

Of course this stuck out to me because I already broke it. After only 240 miles I went to storage and found a flat. So I put the spare on and took the flat to get it repaired. Turned out to be a bad valve stem. But of course I didn't mark the lug position before taking the wheel off.

Why would it matter??
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:02 AM   #2
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Unless they are spin balancing the wheel and hub as an assembly while the tire and wheel are mounted, I can't fathom why.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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And if you use dynamic wheel balancers (Google them, there are several different makes) it won't matter anyway.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:14 AM   #4
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And if you use dynamic wheel balancers (Google them, there are several different makes) it won't matter anyway.
uh, yup.
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Old 10-13-2011, 11:56 AM   #5
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Still going through my manual and it says that if you have aluminum wheels that you need to mark your wheel before you take it off so you can put it back on in the exact lug position. It doesn't offer a reason Anyone know why??

Of course this stuck out to me because I already broke it. After only 240 miles I went to storage and found a flat. So I put the spare on and took the flat to get it repaired. Turned out to be a bad valve stem. But of course I didn't mark the lug position before taking the wheel off.

Why would it matter??
If the running gear was properly balanced, then marking the wheel before removing it, will allow you to remount the wheel in the same position so that the balancing was not altered.

That applies to steel or aluminum wheels.

However, if you have the automatic balancers installed, such as Centramatics, then it doesn't matter as the balancers will take care of the issue.

Andy
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:26 PM   #6
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Another issue to this would be if you have work done on the tire/wheel combo that requires rebalancing the wheel/tire assembly. I think that the drums should be balanced independently, and wheels/tires should also. That should result in the whole assembly being very nearly balanced regardless of which lug goes through which hole in the wheel.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:30 PM   #7
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One more reason to install Centramatic balancers.
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:03 PM   #8
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I have never heard of centramatics, dobwe need them? I don't Understand what they are!
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:13 PM   #9
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I have never heard of centramatics, dobwe need them? I don't Understand what they are!
Vibration is a death sentance for an Aiurstream, since it's flexible.

The running gear, tire, wheel hub and drum, must be balanced as an assembly.

That, these days, is difficult to find a shop that can do that.

Balancing "just" the tire and whhel, does not resolve the issue.

Centramatic balancers are placed on the drum, and then the wheel is installed over it. That balancer, after 25 mph, continuously balances the complete running gear, even as the tire wears. That eliminates the need to find that rare shop.

That takes care of the balancing as well as helps protect the trailer from damage due to vibration.

Andy
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:17 PM   #10
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I have never heard of centramatics, dobwe need them?
They're like electrical surge protectors. It's beyond the power of science to prove that we don't need them.

Airstream claims that the manufacturing tolerances on the hubs and drums are much improved compared to the bad old days making it sufficient to just balance the tire and wheel assembly.
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:27 PM   #11
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They're like electrical surge protectors. It's beyond the power of science to prove that we don't need them.

Airstream claims that the manufacturing tolerances on the hubs and drums are much improved compared to the bad old days making it sufficient to just balance the tire and wheel assembly.
Well, there's at least empirical evidence that surge protectors actually DO something, the only question is how often you need that thing done.
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:29 PM   #12
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They're like electrical surge protectors. It's beyond the power of science to prove that we don't need them.

Airstream claims that the manufacturing tolerances on the hubs and drums are much improved compared to the bad old days making it sufficient to just balance the tire and wheel assembly.
We are not aware of any such claims by Airstream.

Secondly, our shop records more than prove that the new style "unicast" drums are far superior to those in the past, they are still not perfectly balanced. As such, the hub and drums should be balanced with the tire and wheel, as an assembly.

Andy
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:29 PM   #13
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I have never heard of centramatics, dobwe need them? I don't Understand what they are!
Centramatics are in-motion balancers that fit between the wheel and the hub. Here's the Centramatics website and a video that explains how they work. Centramatic

Do you need them? That's a personal choice. We have them, and though I have no personal emprical proof that they help, the physics makes total sense. They are not that expensive either, so to me they are worth it to add another means of keeping those wheels turning merrily and smoothly along...

PS: We use a surge protector, too!
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Old 10-13-2011, 03:31 PM   #14
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Bike-addict, were I the first to answer I'd have intoned, "thou hast broken the Airsteam mirror, the fundament of man, machine and road . . the ley is now and forever skewed".

To answer the original question (which was done somewhat indirectly) the wheel, tire and drum all had their heaviest points measured/marked, and when mounted together these points of reference were shortened or lengthened in relation to one another around the circumference of the circle (of the balancing equipment). Those positions were marked for reference at the factory. Final balancing (wheel weights) can be a separate step.

Tire removal changes all of the above. If remounted with the marks, the majority of the necessary re-balance is accomplished. Each tires must return to the original wheel position. Etc.

Andy's right. I've tried to find someone who specializes in this (Dallas) and come up empty. He may still have the explanation up on his website. A good read.

Centramatics are an easy solution. While it would still be nice to have it done the OEM way (and I would) I would still add the balance discs as the finishing touch. A bit like setting up hitch rigging on a certified scale. Once done, it is easy to replicate, overall.

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