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Balancing tires?

Old 04-03-07, 11:57 AM
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Balancing tires?

Do you guys worry about balancing race tires?

I can buy my own tire mounter from Harbor Freight so that I don't have to pay for tire mounting and just get my tires directly offline...


It seems logical to balance based on the speeds one would travel on the track, but then again at those speeds wheel weights are likely to come off... Plus the excess brake dust would make the weights not stick as well to begin with.



And if belancing is an issue, should I worry about match mounting where I put the heaviest part of the tire opposite the heaviest part of the wheel?
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Old 04-03-07, 12:17 PM
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I do not balance my autocross tires but if I were going to use them at any speed above autocross I would.

If your planning on mounting R compound tires I would be a little leery of that tire mounter, it takes a lot to get R compound tires mounted. I took a set of Victoracers to a local shop and they couldn't get them on the wheels with there small air operated equipment. YMMV
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Old 04-03-07, 12:20 PM
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Toyo Proxes RA-1 aren't R compound, are they?
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Old 04-03-07, 12:37 PM
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I buy many road race tires every year and they are mounted by the tire man at the race track. As a matter of courtesy, I clean the wheels and remove the old weights before I take them to him.

They spin balance, so the weight will go inside or outside as needed.

If the wheels are dirty, they clean the brake dust off the wheel BEFORE applying the self-adhesive stick-on lead weights.

As added insurance, they then place a layer of aluminum tape over the stick-on weights. This aluminum tape costs about $25 a roll.

My race car wheels spin up to 2200 rpm, so balancing is very important.
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Old 04-03-07, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Pele
Toyo Proxes RA-1 aren't R compound, are they?
They are a DOT legal race compound, so yes.
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Old 04-03-07, 12:56 PM
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It really has more to do with how stiff the side wall is when it comes to how hard the tires are to mount. R compound tires are very stiff, some street tires are pretty stiff as well. I know I would personaly hate to mount a set of 215/50/13 V710s on 13x7 inch wheels with one of the tire mounters linked above.
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Old 04-03-07, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Pele
I can buy my own tire mounter from Harbor Freight so that I don't have to pay for tire mounting and just get my tires directly offline.
Ever used one of those? I've been mounting my own tires using a buddy's tire machine which is a professional model and some tire brands still give me fits. I think the one pictured would be next to impossible to use. It would make the money you'd pay someone else not seem like much of a sum!

As for balancing I never bother with autox use only but for track use I balance them.
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Old 04-03-07, 02:48 PM
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[QUOTE=speedturn]

As added insurance, they then place a layer of aluminum tape over the stick-on weights. This aluminum tape costs about $25 a roll.

QUOTE]


Save yourself some money, I paid around $7 for the last roll I bought at Lowes. Not sure who rips you off at $25/roll. Racers tape will also work, that's what's over my stick on weights now. Work out a deal with an independent shop, I pay around $6 for dismount, mount, road force balance.
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Old 04-03-07, 06:46 PM
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YES, you need to balance your road race car tires. The bright silver tape from Lowes/Homer is far superior to normal gray duct tape. Buy your self a $60.00 balancer from Harbor Freight & do the job your self. No nee to get all concerned about weight inside outside evrsus all weight inside. Clean the wheel & put all the weight inside the rim.
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Old 04-03-07, 08:12 PM
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Yeah, you gotta balance them, no if ands or buts about it. You will need a pretty substantial tire changing machine if you are planning on doing anything like a race tire. The sidewalls are so stiff that when I do them I have to help the guy do it and pretty much hold myself up on the tire while he runs the bead. One person could do it themselves, it is just a lot easier with some help. And his is a Snap-On, so it’s not a piece or anything.

Also, if you are using stick on weights on the inside of the wheel, make sure you have clearance for the weight between the caliper and the wheel. Seen a few times guys drive off and lathe off all the weights. just a thought that prolly doesnt mean sqaut.
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Old 04-04-07, 10:28 AM
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I don't like the $60 tire balancer because it won't do dynamic balancing... It's just a bubble level.

Won't it not balance properly if I don't use weight on the inside and outside faces of the wheel?


I'd really love to get an actual set of tire machines, both a mounter and balancer. It'd cost me over $2g's though. And I'd need a place to put em... I don't think they'll fit in with my living room decor.

All that knowledge gained while working at the tire shop for naught...



And I thought R compounds were soft and sticky, like drag slicks. Learn something new every day... Looks like I need to actually order the tires and see them.

Last edited by Pele; 04-04-07 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 04-04-07, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Pele

And I thought R compounds were soft and sticky, like drag slicks. Learn something new every day
The rubber on the outside is soft but the tire carcass is what you're fighting when mounting/dismounting. I've found seating the beads on race tires to take far more work (and easier to damage a wheel!) than a typical street tire and that's with a real machine. I'm no pro and go fairly slow but there are some real tricks to getting it done at times.
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Old 04-04-07, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by DamonB
The rubber on the outside is soft but the tire carcass is what you're fighting when mounting/dismounting. I've found seating the beads on race tires to take far more work (and easier to damage a wheel!) than a typical street tire and that's with a real machine. I'm no pro and go fairly slow but there are some real tricks to getting it done at times.
At least they're not 20 or 30 series tires like the ricers used to bring in...

Throwing a set of 215-30R18's on an Accord is a good time.


205-60R13 is my required size.
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Old 04-04-07, 12:02 PM
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***Do you guys worry about balancing race tires?***

***I don't like the $60 tire balancer because it won't do dynamic balancing... It's just a bubble level.***

YA ask a question, people answer yer question. Lets see now, 130 mph, 60 races later, several sets of tires including many flip flopps later what the _ uck do I know. This is sort of like a parent providing proven advise to a kid. Do it yer way.

Some people with minimal experience may post $hit because they like to type. I post in an effort to support people in an economical flavor.
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Old 04-04-07, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by David Dewhurst
***Do you guys worry about balancing race tires?***

***I don't like the $60 tire balancer because it won't do dynamic balancing... It's just a bubble level.***

YA ask a question, people answer yer question. Lets see now, 130 mph, 60 races later, several sets of tires including many flip flopps later what the _ uck do I know. This is sort of like a parent providing proven advise to a kid. Do it yer way.

Some people with minimal experience may post $hit because they like to type. I post in an effort to support people in an economical flavor.
Woah... I didn't mean to be insulting or anything...

I just figure for regular street tires, at the tire shop, we used a balancing machine that did dynamic balancing and assigned weights to the outer and inner face of the wheel. I never got good results on static balancing that only used one face of the wheel.



I was just curious how effective the bubble level is compared to the dynamic spin balancer, as it seems that the machine would be more accurate.
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Old 04-04-07, 07:51 PM
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I bought a used Coats 40/40 style, and have mounted my own for some time now. We use a tepee style bubble balancer on tires that run on some very fast cars and haven't really had any problem with them. My EP car, my friends GT-2 car, and the GT-2 Datsun we ran in the 25 hours of Thunderhill all had Coats mounted and bubble balanced tires which worked great. It's just like anything else you do, take your time and make sure you do it right. Put the flat stick on weights on the inside and tape them down with the aluminum tape. Make sure they aren't where they will be swept off by the brake caliper and you are ready to roll. As for trying to mount REAL race tires - McCreary/American racers mount easy, but Goodyear cantilevered slicks are like taking your life in your hands every time! To make it as easy as possible, warm your tires in the sun before mounting them (makes a HUGE difference) and don't be afraid to beat on them to help them slide. Also, Les Schwab has the coolest evaporating lubricant that goes on like a paste, is slicker than snot, and evaporates with no residue while you are inflating the tire.
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Old 04-05-07, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Boswoj
I bought a used Coats 40/40 style, and have mounted my own for some time now. We use a tepee style bubble balancer on tires that run on some very fast cars and haven't really had any problem with them. My EP car, my friends GT-2 car, and the GT-2 Datsun we ran in the 25 hours of Thunderhill all had Coats mounted and bubble balanced tires which worked great. It's just like anything else you do, take your time and make sure you do it right. Put the flat stick on weights on the inside and tape them down with the aluminum tape. Make sure they aren't where they will be swept off by the brake caliper and you are ready to roll. As for trying to mount REAL race tires - McCreary/American racers mount easy, but Goodyear cantilevered slicks are like taking your life in your hands every time! To make it as easy as possible, warm your tires in the sun before mounting them (makes a HUGE difference) and don't be afraid to beat on them to help them slide. Also, Les Schwab has the coolest evaporating lubricant that goes on like a paste, is slicker than snot, and evaporates with no residue while you are inflating the tire.
Just so happens that there's a 40-40 for sale around here.

You do aluminum wheels on yours?

With the bubble level balancer, where do you put your weights? Close to the centerline of the wheel or more towards the inner edge or outer edge?
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Old 04-06-07, 02:07 AM
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Yup - aluminum wheels are fine if you take the proper care. Remember, before there were the nice center post machines you see in shops now, pretty much everybody used a Coats style machine. Using a teflon shield between the tools and wheel is sometimes a good idea.

I put the weights either on the inside rim, or just up onto the flat. I don't even split the weights and spread them out, I concentrate them all in one place. We do some hellacious speeds at the end of the straightaway in Spokane and they behave fine all through the rev range there.
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Old 04-06-07, 08:06 AM
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Spin balance vs Bubble Balance observation:

I own an American made, precision bubble balancer. It does an excellent job on narrow, tall diameter street tires. But, the bubble balancer does not do as good a job on 12" wide, 23" diameter Goodyear racing slicks - the results are not as repeatable. I think that the L/D ratio has an effect that reduces the accuracy of the bubble balancer; that is my observation.
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Old 04-06-07, 10:30 AM
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Hi All... I'll probably get hammered on this reply but here goes...
We've been racing consistently for 20 years. I'd say we've been doing 100+ mph racing for the past 6 or 7 years. I've used both pure racing wheels and stock street wheels. We use either pure racing tires or quality performance street tires. I never balance my tires when I mount them. In all I have had a couple tires that my driver could feel was a bit out of balance. I then balanced those couple tires. I remember only one tire that was seriously out of balance... out of hundreds of tires that I've used. I've never had a wheel that was out of balance.
My opinion is that YES it does help to balance all your tires if your budget allows it. But, NO it is not necessary. There is a performance increase with balanced tires. That performance increase was never measurable on our cars (except that one really bad tire). You'll pay around $50 for a good spin balance for a set of tires. That's a lot of money if you're missing races due to budget constraints. I'd much rather trade one more race in a season for the unmeasureable increase in performance of balanced tires.

As for mounting... I have a cheapo Harbor Freight bead breaker and a set of tire irons. I generally change all my tires by hand on the garage floor. It's a pain in the ***, but it's free. Lately I've been using kinda oversized "DOT" racing radials (Kuhmo V710's). Those tires are just about impossible to mount on my stock rims by hand so I take those to the local tire store for mounting.

Your results may vary but for us this philosophy works. Last season we had one DNF out of 28 SCCA sanctioned races and won two championships. We are very frugal with our money but that doesn't mean we run junk. Of course this is only amateur level racing.

This is just my 1 cent worth from a racer on a budget… I'm too cheap to give you the full 2 cents worth…
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Old 04-06-07, 01:26 PM
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Now that is a good post jimeby, congrats on the championships.

We got a couple of racers togeather, a (friendly) local car repair shop and we all chiped in and bought a used tire machine and balancer. Set up a tire rack wholesale account and it helps us all.
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