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Old 08-31-2013, 09:16 AM   #1
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Alternative to Centramatics

I have seen the Centramatics mentioned in this forum multiple times. I have not seen the less expensive but equally effective alternative mentioned which is balancing powder or balancing beads.

Works on the same principle as Centramatics, but only costs about $10-$15 per tire.

I have personally used Equal Balancing Powder(No not the sweetener) in 35" truck tires and the results are amazing. Another alternative is Dynabeads. There is lots of information on the internet on both products.

Make sure to reference the manufacturers application chart for either product to ensure that you install the correct amount in each tire.

Equal can be purchased at most truck parts suppliers. It comes in pre-sized packets that you just drop into a tire as the tire is being installed. Alternatively it can be blown in through the valve stem on an already mounted tire with a special installation tool.

It also eliminates a concern that I have about lug nuts loosening when installing anything such as a Centramatic, or a spacer between a hub and a wheel. It is one less thing to move and cause loosening.

Dennis
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
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I have the Dyna Beads in ours. When I switched to the Vanco2 tires, I put them in. That was 4 yrs. ago. From what I can tell, the trailer rides very smooth, as there is nothing out of place inside.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:08 AM   #3
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Another alternative is the installation of disk brakes on the trailer......
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:44 AM   #4
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Question

Granted the Centramatics balance the whole assembly.....installing disc brakes does nothing for an out of balance tire.
I think I'm not liking anything in my tires except the proper PSI.

Bob
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:45 AM   #5
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My concern with Centramatics is the advisory by the Never Lube bearing manufacturer to maintain zero offset in mounting the wheels, and the small offset Centramatics cause. This has been discussed many times, but I don't care to compromise running gear reliability.

So, are beads in the tires another way to fine-tune balance without another compromise? If so, which ones are most reliable, based on experience?

doug
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:40 PM   #6
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Equal Powder or Dynabeads will afford same benefits of Centramatics

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
My concern with Centramatics is the advisory by the Never Lube bearing manufacturer to maintain zero offset in mounting the wheels, and the small offset Centramatics cause. This has been discussed many times, but I don't care to compromise running gear reliability.

So, are beads in the tires another way to fine-tune balance without another compromise? If so, which ones are most reliable, based on experience?

doug
The benefits should be the same or better, mainly because the balancing material is at the outer diameter of the tire instead of closer to the hub as with the Centramatics. I have not had any issues, but I have read of one. With either the beads or the powder there is the possibility that dust from either could get caught in the schrader valve causing a leak. Equal makes a filtered schrader valve that will eliminate this possiblity.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:04 PM   #7
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Are the wheels balanced at al from the factory? I don't see any weights.
I found a weight for a steel wheel rim lying beside my trailer.
I know it didn't come off one of my wheels because they are aluminum, but it did get my curiosity up.
The weights on the aluminum wheels on my pickup are on the inside only ( static balance?), but I can look through the openings in the wheels and see them.
I looked for something similar on my trailer wheels but saw nothing.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:18 PM   #8
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Some tire manufacturers say not to place items inside the tire.

We have 50k on ours with Centramatics with no broken rivets, no loose lug nuts, or problems.

Drum brakes and ST tires, although not GYMs.


Regards,

JD
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:41 PM   #9
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Not enough offset to matter there. If the tire was sticking out 3 or 4 inches then I would worry. Most rims have a larger tolerance on offset than the thickness of the balancer.

Perry

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
My concern with Centramatics is the advisory by the Never Lube bearing manufacturer to maintain zero offset in mounting the wheels, and the small offset Centramatics cause. This has been discussed many times, but I don't care to compromise running gear reliability.

So, are beads in the tires another way to fine-tune balance without another compromise? If so, which ones are most reliable, based on experience?

doug
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:44 PM   #10
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I am not for putting crap in the tire because patching it becomes a real PIA. Most likely tire plugs won't work because the beads will stick to them and not let them adhere to the tire. Also the slime stuff is a real PIA as well when you go to fix a flat. With tube type tires you just throw the tube away rather than try to patch it. With tubeless tires that can be costly. If I was a tire shop, I would not fix a tire with anything in it that would cause the patch not to stick or make it impossible to clean well enough for the patch to stick.

There are places that can balance your drums but it may cost a little. Hot rod shops balance stuff all the time. Drive shaft places can balance things as well. I like the disk brake idea. When my new tires wear out, I am seriously going to consider disk brakes and larger rims. My current rims won't allow disk brakes.

Perry
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:46 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I am not for putting crap in the tire because patching it becomes a real PIA. Most likely tire plugs won't work because the beads will stick to them and not let them adhere to the tire. Also the slime stuff is a real PIA as well when you go to fix a flat. With tube type tires you just throw the tube away rather than try to patch it. With tubeless tires that can be costly. If I was a tire shop, I would not fix a tire with anything in it that would cause the patch not to stick or make it impossible to clean well enough for the patch to stick.
Perry
Perry,

You are correct that Slime and Fix-a-Flat make patching a tire difficult. Because of that issue, I would not normally put them in my tires unless I was off-roading where puctures were common.

Beads or powder do not make repairs significantly more difficult. They fall to the bottom when the tire is not rotating. Plugs will not be impacted by either. To install a patch, the technician can either scoop the material out, or just rotate the tire so the hole is not on bottom. Beads are a little easier to remove than the powder. The powder is not very fine, and it doesn't stick to the tire. I have done both, it is not really an issue. If the patch is properly installed, which means normal buffing and cleaning of the rubber before the adhesive is applied, and then the patch is "stitched" (rolled) down so the edges are not lifting, then the powder or beads will have no impact on the patch.

Dennis
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:47 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by rv4007 View Post
Perry,

You are correct that Slime and Fix-a-Flat make patching a tire difficult. Because of that issue, I would not normally put them in my tires unless I was off-roading where puctures were common.

Beads or powder do not make repairs significantly more difficult. They fall to the bottom when the tire is not rotating. Plugs will not be impacted by either. To install a patch, the technician can either scoop the material out, or just rotate the tire so the hole is not on bottom. Beads are a little easier to remove than the powder. The powder is not very fine, and it doesn't stick to the tire. I have done both, it is not really an issue. If the patch is properly installed, which means normal buffing and cleaning of the rubber before the adhesive is applied, and then the patch is "stitched" (rolled) down so the edges are not lifting, then the powder or beads will have no impact on the patch.

Dennis
I used the beads on my truck tires several years ago and it was a pain. In a perfect world, they worked as advertised, but our world isn't perfect. Tires pick up nails and all other sorts of road hazards and require patching. The problem lies in that the beads do not all fall to the bottom as there is an incredible amount of static cling built up inside the tire and the beads stick all over. Once the machine breaks the tire/rim bead, the "pop" causes those balancing beads GO EVERYWHERE. The tech was none too please to see the mess those things made. Then you have to go about picking them up (impossible), or have extra beads on-hand to replace what you lose.

IMHO, the only sure, reliable, and pain-free way of achieving at least tire/wheel balance (outside of Centramatics) is to have the set Road Force balanced by a Hunter Road Force Balancer (a Google search will help you find one). But this doesn't balance the brake drums.

YMMV.
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:13 AM   #13
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THere are places that would true a tire and balance it as well while on the vehicle. Personally, I am not in favor or throwing away tread to true a tire but balancing on the vehicle is a good thing. Tires are never perfectly round and they develope flat spots from sitting. I don't think there is anything wrong with centramatics and static balance is fine for trailers where you don't have side to side motion that can be felt through steering wheels. For some reason, front wheel drive cars are very sensitive to out of round and out of balance tires.

Perry
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:43 AM   #14
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Since I have put the Centramatics on two Honda Gold Wing motorcycles, the current 25FB International and the Dodge truck, I am extremely pleased with the results. It was a no brainer on the bikes as no wheel weights are ever needed now after their installation, thus no weights to fall off going down the road to generate shimmy or wobble.

The Centrmatics have arrived for the new trailer to be built in January and will be installed when I switch that unit to the 16" tires and wheels.
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