Weights that are put on wheels when tires are balanced


#1

Ok, I know I’m old, but have things changed from the old days when you would NEVER put weights on the outside of the wheels on your car. Lately, when I have my tires balanced and/or rotated they put the weights on the outside which was not COOL in our day. I asked them to put them on the inside and they looked at me like I’m from another planet or, maybe, they just thought I was senile and accomodated me to make me happy. Is this no longer acceptable and does it really affect the balance of the tires?? Please advise before I get Alzheimer’s on top of it all.



Thank you,

Brigitte


#2

Weights are placed on the inside and/or the outside, according to where they are needed. Would you rather look cool or have properly balanced wheels/tires?


#3

You’re mistaken about the old days. Weights were put on the outside of the wheels in the old days, or should have been.
For appearance sake, sometimes all of the weight is placed on the inside but now, just like back then, the wheel will be better balanced if the weight is split between the inside and the outside.

With the prevalence of alloy wheels, I hate to see weights on the outside of the wheels also, but you have to decide if appearance or proper wheel balance comes first.


#4

Yeah, he’s correct. Old-fashioned bubble balancing could not determine whether wheel weights properly belonged on the inside or outside, so technicians put them anywhere convenient… or cool.

Modern spin balancing is more accurate and can determine the best location for wheel weights, either inside, outside, or some of each.

Um, do people still actually pay attention to the wheel weights’ cool factor?


#5

The best balance involves both dynamic and static balance. Static balance can be done with all the weights on the inside, but normally that would create a dynamic imbalance. You don’t really want that.


#6

I have to respectfully disagree a bit. Agreed that modern computer balancers will specify a certain amount of weight on both the inside and outside of the wheel, but it’s debateable just how accurate that is.

I have had one of the old Micro bubble balancers at my house and properly used, it is as accurate as any computer balancer. A dealer I worked for was going to scrap it (I bought it for 5 bucks) many years ago when they bought a new Snap-On balancer, which turned out to be a mistake. That computer balancer was a boat anchor and the only people who thought it was any good was the service manager and the Snap-On guy who sold it and continued to insist it was accurate even after changing the PCBs in it.

When one takes a small 15" diameter wheel, spins it up 3 times and gets various readings of 11 to 17 ounces out, then no way does that unit even belong on the planet.

With the bubble balancer, I’ve routinely balanced new tires on that bubble balancer and got them spot-on after repeated balancing on a computer balancer at the tire shop.
The computer may be questionable, but the bubble never lies and if one knows how to separate the lead things will be fine.

Don’t mean to be combative here at all. JMHO anyway.


#7

Tire Rack only uses stick-on weights on the inside of the wheel (I’ve had tires mounted and balanced at their South Bend IN facility). Outside clips are never used.


#8

Joseph is 100% correct. The Bubble (aka Static) balance just balanced the tire/wheel while laying flat. There was NOTHING on the static balancer to tell you to put the weight on the inside or outside.

HOWEVER…to keep the wheel balanced from side to side we usually put weights on BOTH sides (inside and out). When you put the tire/wheel on the balancer you then start placing weights around the rim to get it balanced. If you put a #6 at a certain position and the tire was balanced then what you’d do is permanetly attach 2 #3’s…one on each side of the wheel for PROPER balance.


#9

If one knows what they’re doing then it is easy to properly balance a tire on a bubble balancer. If not…

Also, if a tire requires 2 ounces to balance this does not necessarily mean that one ounce goes on each side.


#10

A bubble balancer can be trusted to give you a good static balance. However, it is, in principle, unable to detect, much less correct, a purely dynamic imbalance. For that you need a good dynamic balancer.

Suppose you have a wheel that is perfectly balanced. Add a weight to the outside. Now, it is out of balance. To correct, you need to put a matching weight on the outside directly across from the first one. If you put the second weight on the inside, the wheel will be in good static balance, but bad dynamic balance. The bubble balancer’s limitation is that it can’t tell whether the correcting weight is on the right side or the wrong side of the wheel.

When wheels and tires were narrow (78 or 80 aspect ratio), inside and outside weren’t far enough apart to matter so that static balancing was usually good enough. Because of their great width, modern, low profile tires, with aspect ratios like 35 or 40, require dynamic balancing.


#11

So with a bubble balancer, you repeatedly out performed Snap-On. I guess your bubble balancer out-performed Hunter equipment as well? Now I’ve heard everything.


#12

If one knows what they’re doing then it is easy to properly balance a tire on a bubble balancer.
I don’t thing so. Static and dynamic balancing together is not enough. OEM manufacture of tire/wheel combinations also take into account wheel and tire run-out, plus sidewall flexibility. Often tires are not uniform around their circumference in flexibility or in sidewall height. A force of so many pounds at one point along the circumference may compress the sidewall more or less than the same force applied at another point on the circumference. At the same time, radial run-out of the wheel may differ slightly around the circumference. The two effects can be made to counter-balance when mounting a tire on a wheel. An OEM tire balancer will rotate the tire relative to the wheel, so that the highest run-out of the wheel matches (a)the most flexible part of the tire sidewall or (b)the smallest height of the sidewall. Or, the other way around, the lowest wheel run-out matches with the stiffest part of the sidewall or the largest sidewall height.

Dorothy, we are not in Kansas (or Oklahoma) anymore.


#13

Before commenting further, let me ask the extent of your experiences with wheel balancing.

Still ok4450, logged out again not out of choice.


#14

Neither wheels nor tires are perfectly round. Because of this, both will exhibit some degree of radial and lateral runout as they are rotated. There are specifications for the maximum acceptable amount of runout. When this is exceeded, one remedy is to change the position of the tire on the wheel so the runout in one cancels the runout in the other. If they are really bad, this still is not sufficient.

Suppose your bubble balancer indicates that correcting an imbalance requires a one ounce weight. How do you decide whether to put one ounce on the outside, one ounce on the inside, half an ounce on each or some other distribution? You must get this right to avoid a dynamic imbalance.


#15

Well, I’m going to ask a second time before responding.
What and how much experience have any of you had with tire balancing?

A second and third question would be this.
Do you think that if a computer balancer gives a reading of (example here) 1.25 ounces on the outside and 1.5 ounces on the inside that those figures are dead-on-the-money with no variation?
Do you think if you tack on a 1.25 on one side and a 1.5 on the other, everything is then Nirvana?


#16

Well, the only wheel balancing I’ve ever done was with a bubble balancer at the base auto hobby shop when I was in the Navy, about 30 yeas ago. That was ok for my 78 series bias belted tires.

When I bought new tires for my truck, 70 series radials on alloy wheel, the shop only did a static balance. The vibration was like unbalanced tires. I took it in and had a dynamic balance done and its been smooth running since.

Thats my experience, for what its worth.


#17

Nothing at all against you Keith. Some posters appear to think I’m in the Land of Oz by the “not in KS anymore” comment.

What I’m curious about before responding is knowing exactly what THEIR practical experience is in this area or if it’s just an opinion based on the way they think things ought to be.


#18

The staff that laughs together… You’ll have that response these days. There are still plenty of wheel balancing nightmares, and I have been one. I make them cry when I buy cheap tires for older cars and tell them not to balance them. I did this five times and did not have a single problem. I go along with them most of the time now and I might buy better tires if mine would only wear out. It seems as if I could never get a decent dynamic balance done. Evary time I tried it years ago, the vibration would be at the speed I wanted to drive which was right near the speed limits. I would bring the car back and have them rebalanced with the bubble balancer and the problem would be solved. In recent years the slow spinning balancer has worked. The one that spins faster (with the cover over it) hasn’t been so good. I worked with that one and I would check it and start over if it gave odd readings with too much weight required or it checked bad after balancing, which it did frequently. I probably put Winston Tire out of business by being so cheap!


#19

Neither wheels nor tires are perfectly round. Because of this, both will exhibit some degree of radial and lateral runout as they are rotated. There are specifications for the maximum acceptable amount of runout. When this is exceeded, one remedy is to change the position of the tire on the wheel so the runout in one cancels the runout in the other.
It is more than a case of tire run-out. A tire which is “stiffer” at one point along its circumference is equivalent to a tire that has a higher run-out at that point, because when that point is rotated under the car, the tire experiences a rise or “bump” due to the sidewall being stiffer at that point, just as it would experience a rise or “bump” if the sidewall height were slightly greater at that point. OEM balancing at the factory takes tire stiffness into account. There are tire balancers that spin the tire under load and look for differences in tire stiffness around the circumference.

If you think the bubble balancer is just as good, well, that is your choice. Add “on-the-wheel dynamic balancing” and you’re really cool, 1960’s style. Whatever makes you happy.


#20

Before commenting further, let me ask the extent of your experiences with wheel balancing.
Never balanced tires in Oklahoma.

What have I missed?