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Old 10-14-2014, 07:35 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Northern Nevada
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Wheel Balancing

Balancing – Beads or Weights?
Purchased 6 new tires for my older 2002 Ford class A motorhome a year and a half ago. The tire dealer I purchased from services large trucks, farm equipment along with everyday vehicles. I was told they balance with beads, no weights….WHAT? I did a lot of research on line and found balancing beads to be a very interesting subject. It probably helps to have a PHD in physics to understand how this works or doesn’t, but the way I figured it out, I think it works.
The question is, why has this not become more a way of doing business, it’s got to be cheaper, faster, requires no equipment, you just put the correct number of packages of beads in the tire, put the tire on the rim, you’re done.
Looking for comments……as far as my new tires, so far 20,000 miles, smooth ride, no problems.

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Old 10-14-2014, 10:38 PM   #2
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the theory sounds awesome, but what happens when the wheel hits a bump and throws off the centrifugal force for a second? they would have to settle into balance again? seems like it would be hard on rotating parts. not an expert, just guessing why over the road trucks don't seem to use them?

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Old 10-14-2014, 10:59 PM   #3
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I used beads in my motorcycle, they work amazingly well. I mean smooth as silk well.

Once at speed centrifugal force holds the beads fast against the tire, the individual beads are so small and light that if they do get dislodged they'll almost immediately go right back in place, they don't have enough mass to keep moving long enough to get out of place.

And big trucks do use this technique. Either through a disc behind the wheel that contains the medium or in the tire itself.
Now-2014 Sierra 346RETS 5er BUB
Then-2002 Keystone Springdale 286RLDS TT

Nights camped in 2014-28, 2015-127, 2016-10
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:21 PM   #4
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Location: Northern Calif.
Posts: 399
We use balance beads in our motorcycle wheels. Usually in the high dollar custom wheels where weights just look bad. They do run very smooth with the beads.

As with anything that sounds to good to be true there are some issues. 1 The cost of a 2oz pack for a motorcycle tire runs about $10.00. Alot more than tape weights. 2 the tire must mounted with a lubricant that drys out, Other wise the beads will stick. 3 you must use a filtered valve core and a cap with an o-ring seal. 4 when adding or checking psi there are procedure's that must be followed or a loss of air will occur. 5 the air used must be dry or the beads will clump and cause an out of balance situation.

For some situations the beads are the way to go, but for the average person it may be to much hassle.
John And Mary
2013 XLR 27 HFS

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Old 10-15-2014, 05:53 AM   #5
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I decided to use the beads on my Roo since it came from the factory unbalanced. It cost me about $20 for enough beads to do the job. Probably not much more than if I took them to a tire shop for spin balancing. I can only assume they are working. Motorcycle enthusiasts swear by them. I think one issue to spin balancing is that the drums on a TT aren't balanced like on a car, so to do it right the shop has to have the equipment to spin balance while they are mounted on the TT. Cars used to be done that way back in the day.
2013 Roo 183
2012: 1042 Miles, 13 Nights camped
2013: 2772 Miles, 27 Nights camped

2014: 2259 Miles, 30 Nights camped
2015: 1644 Miles, 20 Nights camped
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:23 PM   #6
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Beads hands down

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Old 10-17-2014, 02:54 PM   #7
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I'll stick with the conventional spin balance with wheel wts.

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