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Old 31-10-2014, 12:48 PM   #1
Lemar1978
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Default splitscreen - is wheel balancing neccessary?

Hi all, just a quick one. I'm refurbing a set of 14" wide 5 bus wheels for my splitscreen. They're all painted up, and I have a set of whitewalls to be fitted, which in itself is no problem, but I currently can't find anyone in the local area who can balance up a 5x205 pcd wheel.

As the wheels are in good shape (and considering i'm only going to be doing 55-60mph), is it really neccessary to get them balanced, or is this something that can be done later?

Cheers, Steve.
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Old 31-10-2014, 01:46 PM   #2
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Balancing will be beneficial but not absolutely necessary. The downsides of an unbalanced wheel are:

1) unpleasant shaking of the steering wheel
2) increased tyre wear (extra wear can be more costly than the price of balancing)
3) increased wear on components attached to the wheels, ball joints, steering boxes, couplings, suspension dampers etc

Lots of rally cars don't have the wheels balanced because the weights can get thrown/knocked off and the balance is seriously affected by the type of wear the tyres go through with chunks of rubber being knocked off.

There are two types of balancing, static and dynamic with most tyre shops having a dynamic tyre machine. Because that needs a centre cone your wide 5 wheels won't fit. If you can find a tyre shop or car dealer that does on vehicle balancing that would overcome all sorts of problems and give the best balancing.

You could get a flat plate made up say 5/6mm thick with a centre hole say 65mm on which to fit the wide 5 rim so the tyre shop balances the whole.
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Old 31-10-2014, 02:15 PM   #3
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Find a tyre place that caters for commercials. They can balance 5x205 wheels.
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Old 31-10-2014, 02:21 PM   #4
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I have had no balancing done on my BTR wheels and there has been zero side effects - dont actually think you would be able to balance them anyway
There has been

No wheel shaking or steering issues
No uneven tyre wear
No discernible increased wear on any suspension / drivetrain components

And that is after covering several thousand miles through Europe this summer and visiting several shows across the UK
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Old 31-10-2014, 02:29 PM   #5
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i never found anywhere that could balance wide 5 steels. but i only had steels on my '68 bus for a couple of months anyway before swapping to BRMs.

i had a friend who swore blind that wheel balancing was a racket anyway. wheels are round, tyres are round, why would they no longer be round when you put the tyre on the rim? he used to religiously take all weights off of every wheel on every car he owned and claimed he never had any wheel shake at any speed.

i have heard of people making plates to bolt the wheel to so they can be balanced like evilc says.
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Old 31-10-2014, 02:46 PM   #6
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If a torsion bar Bug or Bus suffers from steering wheel shake than it's got a serious problem that balancing will never sort out, eg a buckled wheel or an egg in the tyre. Balancing is not necessary on most aircooled VW's (the exception being 1302 and 1303 McPherson strutted cars).
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Old 31-10-2014, 03:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gojira View Post
............
i had a friend who swore blind that wheel balancing was a racket anyway. wheels are round, tyres are round, why would they no longer be round when you put the tyre on the rim? he used to religiously take all weights off of every wheel on every car he owned and claimed he never had any wheel shake at any speed.

i have heard of people making plates to bolt the wheel to so they can be balanced like evilc says.
Actually, tyres aren't round, well not as round as they should be and the ones that you get in tyres shops are less round/balanced that the ones of the same make on new cars. Rims aren't round (spin one up in a lathe to check) and the mounting holes for the bolts are probably not on an accurate pcd.

A mate of mine used to be a purchasing officer with Austin Rover who did the deals with the tyre companies to supply tyres for the line. The spec that they insisted on was very high to the point that the tyre manufacturers specially selected the tyres for roundness and balance (check out the balance weights on a new cars wheels, they will be smaller/fewer than those on wheels/tyres from the tyres shops).

As car wheels get bigger, balance and roundness get more critical so that is the reason that most car wheels are now hub centric that doesn't rely on the bolt pcd being perfect or the holes in the rims being spot on.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:16 PM   #8
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drive it, if your steering wheel shakes and it handles like a pig over 45mph, then yes you need them balanced. Good idea on a commercial outfit for it.

I drove a car a couple of weeks ago, where I swapped some alloys for a mate (he had mine, i had his, mine was gettin scrapped), and we used a cheap cheap tyre fitters that didn't balance the wheels (or either car) both were virtually undrivable, so much so, i scrapped it the next day, and he had to go back to get it re-done.

So it certainly matters if you haven't used the same tyre/wheel combo before, but maybe not if they are just an old set (i didn't read your post fully)
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:25 PM   #9
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I don't think my van will go over 45 mph so no worries here:-)
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:29 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the info guys! I'll run them as they are and go from there I think. Making up an adaptor sounds like a good idea for the future, I have some gauge plate knocking around somewhere so that may become another winter project
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