Antifreeze for balancing - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-10-2011, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Antifreeze for balancing

I never could get my 40's balanced at a tire store correctly and tried just about every type of balancing media; Dynabeads, lead shot, metal BB's, Airsoft BB's, etc, in a whole variety of different weights, none of which worked 100%. One of the suggestions I was given was to add a small amount of antifreeze to the Airsoft BB's I was running. As I'd heard of people doing this before I thought I'd give it a try.

I did the two front wheels, could not tell any difference whatsoever, so never bothered with the others, fortunately.

On the weekend I pulled my tires off the rims, breaking a 40 bead was no easy task, but 10-15 minutes saw the job done with the use of a Hi-Lift. That was until I came to the first wheel that had antifreeze in it. As it turns out dried up antifreeze is the mother of all super glue.

Any liquid had long since gone and what was left was a hard as nails residue all over the inside of the rim. This seemed to be made up of a tan dust hardened like rock in a mottled pattern. Not sure where the dust came from, as every tire had some in it, but the two with antifreeze had a significant amount more. Most probably from wear/breakdown of the BB's.

This super glue put a stop to any thoughts of easily popping the bead off as it simply would not move over the residue at all. No amount of lubrication would help and a 15 minute job turned into a three hour job, although I did manage to get the second one that had antifreeze in it off in a relatively speedy two hours.

I had to sand the residue off as it was on their solid. So unless you are looking for a cheap alternative to bead locks, I would suggest not using antifreeze to balance tires.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-10-2011, 12:11 PM
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Just for what its worth, we used a balancer/sealer in our Peterbilts at work that have aluminum rims. From what we found out was it was antifreeze based and with the heat of the rim/ tire it would become acidic and start wreaking havoc on the aluminum rims. So like Phil says it is not a good idea to use on highway bound vehicles.

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post #3 of 6 Old 05-10-2011, 03:00 PM
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Never had a problem with the antifreeze. Never any residue or glue-like substance. My aluminum TrailReadys seem unaffected. I only used 2oz of antifreeze with 14oz of air-soft BBs per tire. The antifreeze is not to balance the tires, but to prevent moisture in the tire from freezing the beads together or to the inside of the tire during freezing temps. Just a couple ounces is all it takes.

I was told to take the following precautions when doing this;

1) Most airsoft BBs sold now are bio-degradable and will turn to powder/paste quickly when exposed to moisture. I use the premium non bio-degradable BBs only. They look like little green glass marbles.

2) Don't use regular glycol antifreeze as it can corrode aluminum when it breaks down. Use extended life antifreeze that contains no borates like "Dex-cool" or "Peak long life". I used Peak long life.

YMMV. Does the antifreeze work? I don't know, but it hasn't caused any issues yet and I can still hear the BBs rolling on winter snow runs.

It sounds like your tires are having other issues if the powdery substance was on the wheels with no Antifreeze added.
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-10-2011, 03:04 PM
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Oh Nooo! Thats what I'm using on my 40's! Big Truck balancer we had in our shop. Its grey and its a sealer too. I might have to do a do over. Geezus, I had 2 IROC Radials that needed 20 oz of weight each. It did balance them out nicely though. Thanks guys.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-10-2011, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desert dog View Post
1) Most airsoft BBs sold now are bio-degradable and will turn to powder/paste quickly when exposed to moisture. I use the premium non bio-degradable BBs only. They look like little green glass marbles.
I used similar ones, but these were red.

Quote:
2) Don't use regular glycol antifreeze as it can corrode aluminum when it breaks down. Use extended life antifreeze that contains no borates like "Dex-cool" or "Peak long life". I used Peak long life.
I used extended life. I can't recall exactly how much I used, but I think it was 3 oz.

Quote:
It sounds like your tires are having other issues if the powdery substance was on the wheels with no Antifreeze added.
I suspect that is was from the Dynabeads as they were the only thing that was a similar color. I thought I'd removed them all, but there were still some in there so obviously not. Only the two wheels that had antifreeze had the nasty build up on the rim, the others had just a fine coating of the powder on the inside of the tire.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-10-2011, 06:25 PM
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Let me at least add that lo-pro 22.5 truck radials build a lot of heat when loaded and that seems to be a contributing factor with my above statement. I also tied some sealer/balancer(slime) on my 1998 HD FLHT and that was not friendly on my alum rims on the bike either.
From what I hear the formulations are being worked on to prevent everything I talked about. We still use it on a lot of our super single Michelins on the trucks but they seem to run cooler and not effect the alcoa rims as much.
I think caution and preventative maintenence are the story here. If you want to use it just be aware that it may cause you a little more work later on.

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