Balancing tires AFTER bead balance - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 11-20-2019, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Balancing tires AFTER bead balance

Hey all

I have a set of 35" MTR/k's mounted on 17" ProComp steelies and I was having some major issues getting them balanced correctly. After extensive research I decided to go with balance beads, went with the balance bead manufacturers suggestion for amount of beads in relation to tire/wheel size, and had them installed. After adding the beads I removed the lead weights that were previously installed on those wheels (as per recommendation from my tire guy). However, I am still experiencing major unbalancing issues in a couple of those tires.

Is there a way to balance tires that have already been bead-balanced?
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post #2 of 10 Old 11-20-2019, 12:45 PM
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I've had a little success with one tire - at least good enough to make do - using a cheap manual balancer from harbor freight.

Tip to get all the beads on one side of the tire, put an equivalent weight on the opposite side. Then balance from there, and finally remove that equivalent weight you had added.

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post #3 of 10 Old 11-20-2019, 05:08 PM
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imo, dynabeads are only useful with beadlocks that get cracked open multiple times, otherwise it's cheaper and more reliable to spin balance your wheels. Balance bead companies never recommend enough weight. For example, where dyna recommends you use 8oz, you will probably need closer to 12oz. That's a lot of money.

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post #4 of 10 Old 11-20-2019, 07:36 PM
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I ended up pulling the beads out of mine years ago. Too many inconsistencies and issues.

A cheapo manual bubble balancer did a much better job than the beads ever did. YMMV

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post #5 of 10 Old 11-21-2019, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys. It is interesting the feedback that I'm getting on balance beads. I did a lot of research prior to going the bead route and everyone seemed to think it was the cat's @$$. I thought it a little odd though when I did the bead balancing that the amount of weight (in beads) I was told to put in there was identical for each tire and only based on tire size. Every time I have balanced tires I have had different amounts of weight on each tire, some needed very little and some need a tonne. However, I trusted the manufacturer of the beads which might have led to my current issue.

This specific set of MTR/ks has given me the greatest amount of issues so I thought that bead-balancing was kind of a last resort type of thing, and as a result I've been contemplating getting rid of the 35s altogether and going back down to 33s since the bead balancing didn't work out. If I can't seem to get the tires to balance using traditional weights, and bead balancing didn't work out... I guess my only option is to remove the tires, remove the beads, and either cut my losses and sell the tires, or find another method. I've done "road-force" balancing (??) before with a set of 35" BFG AT KOs that were giving me trouble but that was crazy expensive and didn't find it improved much so I want to avoid that.

So I guess the simple answer to my original question is that there is no way to re-balance tires with beads in them if the bead balancing didn't work.
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post #6 of 10 Old 11-21-2019, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jebus View Post
Thanks for the replies guys. It is interesting the feedback that I'm getting on balance beads. I did a lot of research prior to going the bead route and everyone seemed to think it was the cat's @$$. I thought it a little odd though when I did the bead balancing that the amount of weight (in beads) I was told to put in there was identical for each tire and only based on tire size. Every time I have balanced tires I have had different amounts of weight on each tire, some needed very little and some need a tonne. However, I trusted the manufacturer of the beads which might have led to my current issue.

This specific set of MTR/ks has given me the greatest amount of issues so I thought that bead-balancing was kind of a last resort type of thing, and as a result I've been contemplating getting rid of the 35s altogether and going back down to 33s since the bead balancing didn't work out. If I can't seem to get the tires to balance using traditional weights, and bead balancing didn't work out... I guess my only option is to remove the tires, remove the beads, and either cut my losses and sell the tires, or find another method. I've done "road-force" balancing (??) before with a set of 35" BFG AT KOs that were giving me trouble but that was crazy expensive and didn't find it improved much so I want to avoid that.

So I guess the simple answer to my original question is that there is no way to re-balance tires with beads in them if the bead balancing didn't work.
You hit the nail on the head about why I think balance beads are largely bullshit.
No tire is the same shape, weight or even composition of materials. Every one of them is a snowflake and the larger you get, the snow-flakier they get. You cannot expect the beads to balance correctly unless you have more beads than the maximum amount of weight needed to balance the wheel. Will the superfluous beads cause drama? Who knows.. All I know is that's the only way I can get large-ish tires to balance. Your mileage may vary. Dirtman, ExWrench, etc will probably have a conflicting answer that is more rooted in logic and reason.

My unofficial and fourth-grade-being-my-senior-year basis for why I state you need more balance beads than lead-like-EPA-bullshit weights is because the beads are being spread out over a larger area due to centrifugal force. Spin-balance weights are targeted to a small area and don't move.

FWIW, I use beads and I hate them. Jeepmomma has large breasts that I'd love to be smothered by. If I could justify spending $300 for beads, I would probably dump a shitload of them in each wheel and continue to complain.

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post #7 of 10 Old 11-21-2019, 04:51 PM
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Here's 85% of my experience with balancing beads, then beads + liquids:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post
<snip> . . .

I’ve used airsoft BBs for balancing before (in 255/85/16s on my Tacoma), but this time I added some propylene glycol.
The propylene glycol makes the beads redistribute a lot better than they do alone, and prevents dangerous clumping in ass-freezing weather.


AIRSOFT BBs: you don’t need anything “premium”, but don’t use the biodegradable, dophin-safe Prius-compatible ones.
I like the .20 gram BBs because they end up being almost exactly one ounce of weight per “fluid ounce” which makes the math a lot easier.
The propylene glycol has a density close enough to water that weight ~ fluid oz., same as the BBs. This would be hard to fuck up.
I used 8 oz. of BBs and 6 oz. of propylene glycol in each tire.


I’m sure someone has covered the shit out of mounting tires on beadlock rims, so I’ll skip that. The measuring cups and a funnel made adding balancing media easy.


Trail Ready HD17 vs stock Rubicon rim with same tires – side view.


Trail Ready HD17 vs stock Rubicon rim with same tires – angled view.


Upon installation of the beadlocks, I got to start chasing death wobble, but that is a separate clusterfook, so I’ll deal with that separately.


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Originally Posted by ExWrench View Post
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Ex that was a kick ass reply! With your Tacoma how well did the beads hold up with keeping the wheels balanced?
The 2007 Tacoma was my first time phookin' around with airsoft balancing, and I went back to traditional balancing when I sold it.
I put 10 oz. of .20 gram airsoft pellets/beads/BBs in each of the 255/85R16 (~33.5x10.5-16) BFG MT KM tires on the Taco.
  1. 20% of the time, it was PERFECT!
  2. 20% of the time, it was HORRIBLE!
  3. 60% of the time, it was OK
A little insight into how the BBs act:
The BBs fall down inside the tire until about 25-30 MPH, where they transition to staying spread out against the inside of the tread.
The BBs stay flung out against the inside of the tread until you come to a stop (or close to it).

If I hit the transition speed in the Taco while going through a corner (like a curved freeway on-ramp), I would have a horribly unbalanced tire.
Occasionally, the beads would not redistribute properly after hitting an odd bump on the freeway and I would have a horribly unbalanced tire.
Either of the two scenarios above would require me to pull over and stop to regain good balance, unless I lucked out and hit a bump right to clear it up.

On the Jeep, I put 8 oz. of .20 gram BBs and 6 oz. of propylene glycol inside when I mounted the tires on the beadlocks.
Later, while resolving death wobble and shimmy issues, I added 8 oz. of distilled water through the valve stems.
This brought me up to 22 oz. of dynamic balancing media in each tire, and the last 8 oz. did not make a huge difference.
  1. 20% of the time, it is GOOD to perfect
  2. 20% of the time, it is BAD (but not horrible)
  3. 60% of the time, it is OK to good
The addition of propylene glycol got rid of the Taco's problem of the beads requiring a ridiculous level of intervention on my part to get unfooked sometimes.
I do not worry about the transition point with my current setup, so the glycol is an effective lubricant (and anti-freeze).
However, the BBs have a worse axial imbalance on average in the 12.5" tires on 10" rims on my JK than they did in the 10.5" on 8" rims on the Taco.

In summary:
  • Adding lube to the BBs totally helps them correct for any RADIAL imbalance more quickly and accurately.
  • Narrower rims and tires are the only way to minimize AXIAL imbalance - the BBs cannot compensate for that.
  • A tall, narrow tire on a narrow rim would probably balance almost perfectly using BBs, glycol, and water.
  • Dynamic media balancing is great a lot of the time, but not all of the time, and sometimes it just sucks.
This coming week, I plan to pull the tires, vacuum and clean out all of the balancing media, and check the rims for axial and radial runout.
I believe that Trail Ready did a good job but I never checked the rims for machining accuracy, so it's time to verify that TR earned the faith I have in them.
If and when the rims pass my inspection, I will reassemble the tires and static balance them using a bubble balancer and tape weights.

I know that my MTR/Ks have some radial runout, and I changed rims when the tires had 15k on them, so they bring a bit to the shimmy party.
However, I had no major problems before I moved the tires over to my beadlock rims.
I had an immediate onset of death wobble on the shakedown run of my new rim/tire combination.

The death wobble itself was the result of a blown out flex joint in my front lower control arm, but the onset was from the new chassis dynamics.
Specifically, I now had my tires on wider rims with less backspacing. This provided the leverage to bring the shimmy to instigate the wobble.

Shit, it's late - time to bail on this. I'll get into the rest of that crap later.
Hope my copy / redact (snipped out the parts not about balancing) / paste makes sense.

EDIT: also fuck MTR/Ks until they figure out how to make them round (then they kick ass). I switched to Nitto TGs and haven't looked back.

EDIT 2: you need to remove your loose balancing media prior to static balancing or spin balancing.

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Last edited by ExWrench; 11-21-2019 at 09:38 PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 11-25-2019, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks ExWrench for that thorough and humorous read. It makes a little sense, though all of that sounds a lot more involved than I want to get in balancing these damn MTR/k's. I guess it opens up one more option for me though which I hadn't considered:

-Remove and collect beads.
-Re-balance tires on rims using traditional methods (read: weights).
-Re-install beads through valve-stem to compensate for any slight discrepancies/unbalancing.

Does this sound about right or is there something against weights+beads? Like I said, when I first did the bead-balancing the tire shop didn't remove the original lead weights and I only removed them once I was told that they wouldn't be needed anymore.
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post #9 of 10 Old 11-25-2019, 11:55 AM
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What I found with the beads is that they are dynamic.... meaning the results could be different every time. I tried some plastic as well as some stainless steel ones.

At low speed, they just kind of pool up in the bottom of the tire cavity. At some point they transition into being pinned to the inside of the tire carcass by centripetal force.

If the transition speed is too high, and your tires are out of balance enough, you'll get some jiggle before the beads start to work. For me this was 30-35 MPH, sometimes they failed to even out leaving some imbalance (this was a crap-shoot). I could slow down and give it another try, which would work sometimes, but was only really worth doing if the balance was really bad.

Also, they are subject to impact forces.... driving along at highway speed, you hit a pothole, causing the beads to be displaced... if the speed is great enough, the beads won't necessarily "even out" again. That leaves you with another jiggly ride until your speed drops enough for them to pool up and start over again.

And, they can be noisy, when slowing especially. When slowing the beads transition from being pinned to the tire carcass, to pooling up at the bottom. this can cause them to cascade onto the inside of the rim momentarily, making a strange racket which, for me, grew tiresome after a while.

Bottom line: I had low speed out-of-balance every time at speeds of 30-35 MPH, and high speed balance issues 30%-ish of the time with the beads. I determined that "dynamic balancing" means not really balanced at all. I pulled them out, dropped my beadlocks onto a cheapo Harbor Freight bubble balancer, and had a better ride.

Pro-tip: You can zip-tie some panty hose to a vacuum nozzle to remove the beads without letting the vac eat them.

_
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post #10 of 10 Old 11-25-2019, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jebus View Post
Thanks ExWrench for that thorough and humorous read. It makes a little sense, though all of that sounds a lot more involved than I want to get in balancing these damn MTR/k's.
Glad to help!
I try a lot of random crap "just because", & I try to save folks time by calling out the results of my random fookery.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jebus View Post
I guess it opens up one more option for me though which I hadn't considered:

-Remove and collect beads.
-Re-balance tires on rims using traditional methods (read: weights).
-Re-install beads through valve-stem to compensate for any slight discrepancies/unbalancing.

Does this sound about right or is there something against weights+beads? Like I said, when I first did the bead-balancing the tire shop didn't remove the original lead weights and I only removed them once I was told that they wouldn't be needed anymore.

Yes on both points:
  1. Need to remove dynamic balancing media to effectively static balance tires
  2. Dynamic balancing media has less work to do if tires are already balanced

After mixed results, I bailed on internal balancing media. If not for fear of gnarfing the TPMS sensors, I'd try a few golf balls per a suggestion I read on PBB. If Centramatic made balance rings for the JK, I'd be all over that . . . but they didn't last time I checked

Also, X2 on everything Guruman just posted above.

I'd forgotten about this:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Guruman View Post
And, they can be noisy, when slowing especially. When slowing the beads transition from being pinned to the tire carcass, to pooling up at the bottom. this can cause them to cascade onto the inside of the rim momentarily, making a strange racket which, for me, grew tiresome after a while.
I'd swapped out the factory alloys on my Taco for steelies and when I came to a stop, airsoft BBs raining down on the rims sounded like I had air brakes

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