Balancing Act Goodyear MTR-K - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-22-2017, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Balancing Act Goodyear MTR-K

So I've been running 35x12.5x17 Goodyear MTR-K's for the last 3.5-4 years, have maybe 40k miles on them. Never really had that many problems (always had the tires rotated every 5-6k miles or so) with the tires up until about the last six months or so. I started noticing a shake and shimmy with the Jeep at all speeds on almost any road surface. Check and rechecked the front end and suspension several times and problems. Had the tires balanced and rotated, was told everything balanced out and things were a little better for a while but the shake in the Jeep and steering wheel persisted. Replaced the steering stabilizer thinking maybe that had gone bad, it got a little better but the shake in the steering wheel was still there. I just had the tires balanced again and they apparently pulled all the weight and started from scratch. I guess one of the wheels went from 9oz to 6oz of weight, not sure about the rest.


Now that I've vented a little I've got a question. If you have a set tire that is balanced properly, is it possible over the course of 5000-6000 miles for them to get out of balance? A buddy of mine claims that once they are balanced properly in the beginning, they never need to balanced again and recommend covering the wheel weights with that HVAC tape to keep the weights from coming off. I'm by far no expert, but I can't say I necessarily agree with that. I've taken a fair amount of heat from him because of how many times over the years the tires have been balanced and rotated. I've told him, I don't ask for Discount Tire to do it, they just do it. I've asked one of the guys I work with regularly at the local DT and he says their techs only check to see if tires need to be balanced, if they do the balance them, if they don't, they don't do anything.

I guess I need to be educated on this stuff, because I don't know.

Sure my rig has seen the trail, but I wheel it like a soccer mom looking for a parking spot at Nordstroms.
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-22-2017, 09:06 PM
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Ugh . . . I feel for you, because I had MTR/Ks and eventually shitcanned 'em after 33K miles.

In my case, they started out OK, but eventually I found that balance and roundness were lacking as they wore down.

If it's convenient, I'd jack up the Jeep and spin the tires slowly to figure out if you have a roundness problem.
Set up a pointer ~1/8" away so you can eyeball the gap between pointer and tread crown.
If they're not reasonably round, there's no fix (other than having 'em shaved to restore roundness).
If they're round, they should be balanceable (if that's a word ).



Oh, and . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post



Dear Goodyear,

Please make the MTR/K as round and balanced as the Nitto Trail Grapplers.

I love everthing about the MTR/K, except that you suck at making them.


Love,
The Customer


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post #3 of 5 Old 03-22-2017, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post
Ugh . . . I feel for you, because I had MTR/Ks and eventually shitcanned 'em after 33K miles.

In my case, they started out OK, but eventually I found that balance and roundness were lacking as they wore down.

If it's convenient, I'd jack up the Jeep and spin the tires slowly to figure out if you have a roundness problem.
Set up a pointer ~1/8" away so you can eyeball the gap between pointer and tread crown.
If they're not reasonably round, there's no fix (other than having 'em shaved to restore roundness).
If they're round, they should be balanceable (if that's a word ).



Oh, and . . .

That's good to know. I'm trying to coordinate garage time at my buddy's to do a once over again on the suspension. I'll have to see about throwing it up on jack stands and spinning the tires.

Sure my rig has seen the trail, but I wheel it like a soccer mom looking for a parking spot at Nordstroms.
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-22-2017, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post
Ugh . . .
If they're round, they should be balanceable (if that's a word ).



Oh, and . . .
you're displaying a near-perfect balancement strategery in your grammar.


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post #5 of 5 Old 03-23-2017, 07:45 AM
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This is very typical for MTRs. As the age they are harder and harder to get to not shake. As said before, make sure they are well within specs for roundness. Discount can and should have already checked this, but make sure.

Balancing large, heavy off road tires is not like balancing passenger car tires. Its a totally different game.
You want a dynamic road force balance. This means the tire is balanced in two planes, vertical and horizontal. And because of this, the balancing machine makes a "best case" suggestion as to how much and where to put the weights. But to do this right, it takes way more than just slapping them on the machine and sticking on some weights.

I am not an expert at this, but I have learned a few things over the years. The manager at my local Discount Tire called Hunter Engineering tech support and they walked him through a process to get the best results with off road tires. He personally does all my tire balancing because it is very time consuming and more of an art than a science. He moves the tire on the wheel to different positions to get it as close to perfect as he can. It takes time to do that, and someone who is willing to be fussy enough to get it exact. And MTRs demand exact balancing.

I have had MTRs "balanced" only to have them shake like hell. I had them rebalanced by the manager at my go to store and they were smooth as glass. You have to find someone who will take the time to do it right. I have even heard of a local 4x4 shop that charges $150 to balance beadlock wheels and tires because it takes so long to get them exact. (You have to move the tire multiple times.)

Balanced is not balanced. Its a trade off between horizontal and vertical balance. It takes trial and error to achieve optimum results.

Hope that helps.
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