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Old 08-09-2013, 02:28 PM   #1
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Objective evidence for Centramatic efficacy?

OK, perhaps I am over-thinking all this... I'm upgrading my tires & wheels to 16 inch Sendels with Michelin LTX M/S2 tires 225/75-16E's. I've ordered the Dill TPMS system from Tirerack.com.

My local tire dealer can get me the tires & install the Dill sensors and balance the wheels. (He questioned whether the balancing was necessary for the trailer tires...)

I'm balking at the thought of adding another bill to the pile. Do I really need to add another $250- CAD to the mix for Centramatics that I may not even need?

I see lots of Airstreamers' anecdotal reports that with the Centramatics, things seem less shaken up inside the trailer & maybe people have better tire longevity but these all seem to be rather subjective reports.

What objective evidence do we have that they provide that much better a ride for the trailer? (I understand that they are supposed to compensate for unbalanced drums etc.) Can anyone cite some sort of testing reports to show that they are effective?

It seems to me that it would be worthwhile doing a repeatable road test with the new tires & wheels; put a video camera & accelerometer in the trailer & do the drive. -> Install the Centramatics & repeat. This would not take into account the possibility that over time the balancing may change & that the Centramatics could automatically adjust for this...

(I'm half tempted to order the Centramatics just to do the testing myself.)

I've looked online & searched without success. Has anyone else done this sort of testing?

-evan
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Old 08-09-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
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... a repeatable road test with the new tires & wheels; put a video camera & accelerometer in the trailer & do the drive. -> Install the Centramatics & repeat.
Probably cheaper just to buy the Centramatics.

Tim
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
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Probably cheaper just to buy the Centramatics.

Tim
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True if it were only for yourself. Spread that cost over 50 people interested in the results...different story.

The video if how they work is ridiculously compelling! I don't have them (yet - I suppose I'll get myself talked in to those too someday...).

Does the company have the kind of evidence you're looking for?
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:32 PM   #4
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If the tires are balanced properly then you should not need Centramatics assuming the drums or rotors are not way out of balance. When you start seeing more than one loose rivet on the inside especially near the wheel wells then you probably have a problem with out of balance tires etc. There are Android cell phone Apps that will let you record the g-level inside the trailer while you are pulling it down the road. I use one called sensor kinetics. There are also outfits that will balance and true tires on the trailer. They use a think called a tire lathe. They take some rubber off but the tires are balanced and trued. You could probably get them to balance only as well.

http://www.butlertire.com/services.asp

Perry
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:00 PM   #5
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after watching the videos and instructions, I'm going to get a set for my Harley. If they work as well as stated with a set of motorcycle tures costing 500 beans, they're cetainly worth it! My thanks to everyone that contributed to this thread. My old noggin has a new wrinkle in it!
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:22 PM   #6
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Hi, I have and use Centramatics on my trailer. Why bother even balancing your tires and wheels if the drums aren't balanced? OK balancing your tires and wheels will most likely take care of most of the off balance, but why not take care of it all? Go to any shop and look at car and truck drums and you will find that they are all balanced. They either have weights welded on them, holes drilled into them, or grind marks on them for balancing. Now look at your trailer drums and show me where they were balanced; What? You can't find it. Pick up your trailer drum and feel how heavy that chunk of cast iron is. I would sure feel a lot better if my trailer drums were balanced like all of my cars drums are. Anything that spins relatively fast needs to be balanced. Therefore...... Centramatics.
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:32 PM   #7
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Why not just add balancing beads to the tires, after you have them balanced conventionally? Way cheaper then Centramatics and do the same job.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:58 PM   #8
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The assumption of the hubs and rotors being balanced is somewhat out there based upon literally decades of documentation on this and other forums.

The only proof you need (IMHO) is the fact that the physics of centrifugal force will always cure an out-of-balance situation, and that's exactly what Centramatics do...on a continuous and ongoing basis. Even if it is just a stone stuck in the tread. Not sure what else you need. It is pretty basic.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:58 PM   #9
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Here are a couple of threads with discussions of Centramatics as well as beads:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f465...int-72384.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f465...ads-62535.html

Disclaimer: We have Centramatics on our 2002 Bambi AND have the wheels balanced when changing out tires. No beads, though.

Tim
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:04 PM   #10
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I have a pair in front and one on the rear of both of my Gold Wing motorcycles and the tires no longer need to be balanced with weights.They do a great job.

I just installed a set onto my Dodge pickup today.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:16 PM   #11
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Switz, will you pls post your impressions on the trucks performance after a week of driving it?
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:31 PM   #12
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You can buy balancing beads on ebay for $1.70 per oz. The normal tire needs no more then 2 oz to balance it. If you have your tires conventionally balanced the only weight you will need is for the out of balance brake drum and hub. So throw 3oz in each tire after balancing and you should be good to go for $5.10 per tire. A huge difference from Centramatics.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:41 PM   #13
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I will drive it to Santa Fe Sunday from Phoenix on both Intertstates and rural secondary roads. Should have a good feel for the Centramatics by next week,
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:08 PM   #14
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You can buy balancing beads on ebay for $1.70 per oz. The normal tire needs no more then 2 oz to balance it. If you have your tires conventionally balanced the only weight you will need is for the out of balance brake drum and hub. So throw 3oz in each tire after balancing and you should be good to go for $5.10 per tire. A huge difference from Centramatics.
There is some "school of thought" that the beads wear away at the inner core of the tire an weakening it over time. Don't know if that's true, but..... that being said I do use beads in the tiny tires/wheels of my scooter where I can't find a balancing machine or centramitcs for the application.
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