DIY Tire Balancing VIDEO using airsoft or BB's without unmounting your tires! - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-16-2012, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Tire Balancing VIDEO using airsoft or BB's without unmounting your tires!

Just balanced my tires using 10OZ per tire of airsoft BB's worked well, here is a video I made!

BALANCING TIRES - YouTube

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post #2 of 15 Old 10-16-2012, 04:32 PM
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cool video.

I did something similar on my old truck also on 40's. Since i didnt have monster valves i just broke the back bead with a hi-lift and added the beads. i started with 10oz and ended up using about 13oz of BBs.
Also a side note, the BBs will break down over time from all that tumbling. In couple years half of them will be dust depending on how much you drive.

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post #3 of 15 Old 10-17-2012, 10:16 AM
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Do you have some kind of special valve?
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-17-2012, 10:37 AM
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A little antifreeze doesn't hurt either.... Otherwise if you are in a cold climate the bb's will stick together in one frozen lump once the cold weather hits !

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post #5 of 15 Old 10-19-2012, 08:27 PM
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Here's a write-up I recently threw together on my local board:

Some time back I'd read about "bead balancing" tires so I decided to investigate a bit more.

The biggest benefit I found was that when off-roading with low air pressure in the tires it's possible for the wheel to spin in the tire or for a rock to knock weights off the wheels, which immediately throws off the typical static balance using either adhesive or clip-on weights. By using beads inside the tire to balance, there is no concern of the wheel spinning in the tire because once the vehicle gets to highway speeds again the beads will move wherever needed in order to balance the assembly because the beads are not affixed to the wheel.

There are lots of discussions on what material works for dynamic balancing including (but not limited to) water / antifreeze, sand, steel bird shot, steel BBs, Airsoft BBs, ceramic beads, even golf balls and tennis balls. What you choose to use will ultimately depend on your tires, driving needs, and climate.

I'm in the process of changing to a new set of wheels. I've had my tires balanced with #8 steel birdshot for quite some time and while I have no proof it was causing me problems, I want to try plastic Airsoft BBs this time to see if it's any more reliable. The bird shot is heavy, so it takes a lot less material. This means there's less to "float" around the tire as needed. The Airsoft BBs are very light (.12g ea) so it takes a lot of them to balance a single tire, which means there's more to spread throughout the circumference, potentially providing a more reliable balance.

I hadn't seen many write-ups specifying just how to go about bead balancing tires (just a lot of people saying they did it) so I figured it couldn't hurt to make one.

What you'll need:

Large container of Airsoft BBs (roughly 12,000 - 15,000)
Food scale
Sandwich size sealable bags
Large plastic cup

For starters, I typically use the DynaBead Balance Chart to get an idea of how much weight to add. For my 35x12.50-15 tires it recommends eight ounces per tire. I opted for nine, as I've known several people who needed to go back in and add an ounce or so over the Dyna recommendation. It won't hurt to go a little over what you NEED, but you do want to keep it to a minimum- this is still weight that's being added to your rotational force.

Now that you know how much weight to use it's time to measure it out.

Take the food scale and set the plastic cup on it. Zero it out with the cup on the scale so you can get your starting point. My scale has a "Tare" button, which is what you want to use. This way it's not counting the weight of the cup and you don't have to remember the weight of the cup to subtract it later.



Once you have a zero weight with the cup on the scale start adding beads. If you're using the Airsoft BBs it's going to take A LOT of them. Keep going until you hit your target weight. Again, I'm shooting for nine ounces per tire.



Once you have the correct amount of BBs, pour them into a sealable bag and close it up tightly. You need one bag per tire. I have five tires, so I need a total of 45oz of BBs. The 10,000 BB (.12g per BB) container I purchased had just under 39oz, so I had to open another container to finish the job. I'd recommend having 12,000 - 15,000 BBs on hand to ensure that you can reach your target weight for each tire without coming up short.



If you are having new tires mounted the best thing to do is to hand the bags to the tire technician so he can add them once the tire is on the wheel. If you are adding them to a tire/wheel combo that's already assembled, it's best to just take it to a tire shop, as they'll have the equipment available to perform this task without damaging the side walls. Ideally, he'll seat the tire bead completely, then free the bead on top to pour in the balance media. This way the bottom is closed up tightly and the beads won't dump out between the tire and wheel on the bottom side.

Once the beads are in, refill the tire with air and mount it on your vehicle. Make one more pass around the wheel to ensure there are no adhesive or clip-on weights remaining. Once all the tires are dynamically balanced, take it out for a drive and enjoy never needing to get those tires balanced again!

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post #6 of 15 Old 10-22-2012, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asmmns View Post
A little antifreeze doesn't hurt either.... Otherwise if you are in a cold climate the bb's will stick together in one frozen lump once the cold weather hits !
A warning about antifreeze, it will dry out over time as you air down/up and combined with the wear dust from BBs will leave a nasty goo stuck to the inside of the rim. Not a big deal, but it can make breaking the inside bead a real PITA.

FWIW I tried Airsoft BBs, Dynabeads, lead shot, and steel BBs in my 40s of various weights from 8 to 18 oz and none of them would ever work very well. I think they may have been just so far off or out of round that nothing was going to help them.

I know plenty of people that have had good success with Airsoft BBs, but sometimes they just don't work.


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post #7 of 15 Old 10-23-2012, 03:30 PM
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[QUOTE=PhilD;1327139]
FWIW I tried Airsoft BBs, Dynabeads, lead shot, and steel BBs in my 40s of various weights from 8 to 18 oz and none of them would ever work very well. I think they may have been just so far off or out of round that nothing was going to help them.

QUOTE]

What tires were you running?

On my 39.5 Irok's I am using Dynabeads. I started off with 10oz, then went to 12, then 14, then 16, and now i am at 18oz. Surprisingly this is the best they have ever been, but they are still not perfect. I dont believe I will be adding any more as I dont want too much weight in the tires and right now its good enough for the roads. Even 18oz is much more weight than i would like to have.

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post #8 of 15 Old 10-23-2012, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockAddiction View Post
What tires were you running?
That was with 40" MTR/Ks. I used the fine Dynabeads and they were most probably the worst of everything I tried. There was a slight amount of soap on the inside of the tire and they would stick to it. Maybe the larger Dynabeads would have worked better. By the time I'd tried several different weights of them though I was ready to try something else.


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post #9 of 15 Old 10-23-2012, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilD View Post
A warning about antifreeze, it will dry out over time as you air down/up and combined with the wear dust from BBs will leave a nasty goo stuck to the inside of the rim. Not a big deal, but it can make breaking the inside bead a real PITA.

FWIW I tried Airsoft BBs, Dynabeads, lead shot, and steel BBs in my 40s of various weights from 8 to 18 oz and none of them would ever work very well. I think they may have been just so far off or out of round that nothing was going to help them.

I know plenty of people that have had good success with Airsoft BBs, but sometimes they just don't work.
Glad I'm not the only one to state the contrary, but I tried the Airsoft BBs myself, up to 20oz, in 39.5 IROKs and never worked. The lead weights are working fine inside the deep dish so they don't get knocked off.

I have several ounces real CHEAP if someone is interested.

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post #10 of 15 Old 10-28-2012, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Well as I mention in the video it isn't a cure all... Sometimes it works well other times not so well! I have always had decent luck! Good posts!

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post #11 of 15 Old 12-20-2012, 07:08 AM
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May want to consider something like this: http://centramatic.com/Home.aspx
I know... expensive. But... I hear they work wonderfuly.
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post #12 of 15 Old 12-20-2012, 07:18 AM
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Been pretty happy with AirSoft BBs. I'm running 8oz in my 37s, may go up to 9oz. It's pretty darn smooth, occasionally I'll get a wobble depending on speeding up/slowing down..it's a little quirky. But overall it seems to work pretty well for me and no more $60 tire balances at the shop after every trip.

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post #13 of 15 Old 12-20-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autenb View Post
May want to consider something like this: http://centramatic.com/Home.aspx
I know... expensive. But... I hear they work wonderfuly.
I have these on my H1 and they work awesome! I found some for the JK but with that bolt pattern they were only for a 15in rim and of course you want the outer diameter of the centramatic as close to the inner diameter of your rim as possible in order for them to work the best.

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post #14 of 15 Old 12-20-2012, 11:45 AM
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Centramatic don't make them for a 5x5 bolt pattern. They also need an offset to clear the front calipers. I tried re-drilling and converting some, but could never get them quite right.

I've used them in the past on two vehicles and they worked pretty well.


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post #15 of 15 Old 12-20-2012, 12:20 PM
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I've been running airsoft bbs in my military 37"s on TWF recentered humvee beadlocks for a pretty good while now, and I'm still totally happy!
Had a couple of places that claimed they static balanced them but was never even close to smooth.


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