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Discussion Starter #1
....the tires on my pick-up can-t be balanced? They are 15" Goodyear Wranglers with street treads mounted on the factiry steel rims. The rims are not bent or banged up. I bought the tires in December, 2007 and they have approximately 17,000 miles on them. The tire store where I bought them has never been able to balance them; they have tried 4 times. I have been a loyal customer there for many years. They have 4 or 5 locations in the area and enjoy a very good reputation. I haven't attempted to make an issue of it yet but intend to do so within the next few days and want to be prepared if they claim, "Some tires just can't be balanced." I primarily use the vehicle to go back and forth to work and never go off road with it. It is a 2000 Chevy Silverado s/w/b with a V-6 and manual tranny.
 

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Something is not right. I can see an issue with one or maybe two tires, belts separating as the prior poster indicated, bit not to be able to balance all 4 is statistically impossible, unless the shop does not know what they are doing or there is a defect with all 4 since they presumably were bought at the same time and thus manufactured at or near the same time. Is there any unusual tread wear problem?

You say they were never able to balance them, "from the start?" Does this mean when they were new? I'd suspect a defect/problem with the tires and they should have switched out the tires at the time of initial purchase if none of them would balance.
 

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Let me get this straight? You bought 4 tires, brand new from a store and they tell you they cannot be balanced? I would say OK fine either give me my money back or put 4 brand new tires on my vehicle that can be balanced!!!!!!!
 

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They may have to break them down and see if there is any junk floating inside the tire. This would allow it to balance once, but it would never ride smooth. I have seen this with things such as the rubber end of the valve stem if they break them off and do not clean out the tire. All based on quality workers. Every tire can be balanced as far as normal car and truck stuff. Even a tire with tread separation will balance, it just rides like crap.
 

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In the big truck world, some steel rims can be problematic to balance. I have a 2003 International 4300 with 19.5 wheels. Just as soon as I replaced the steering tires when the originals wore out I began to have a vibration in the front end at around 70mph. I took it to the dealership and to several tire shops, and no one could balance the new tires. I made the shop put on a new set, then we tried two other brands, to no avail. Then, last summer when I bought new trucks, I bought a set of Alcoas for the 03 to match the wheels on the new trucks. I bought the Alcoas through a buddy of mine who has a heavy duty wrecker operation. They have the ability to dismount and mount tires, but not to spin balance them. The did the wheel swap and simply put the existing steering tires on the new aluminum wheels. The balance issue went away immediately. That truck runs smooth as silk now, all the way up to the 85mph rev limiter, and there's not a lead weight or bag of Equal in any of the tires.
 

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Most tire shops know how to balance hub centric wheels. Fewer know how to balance lug centric wheels. For example, the 65-67 Mustang Styled Steel Wheels need to be lug centric balanced. Find a shop that knows the difference.
 

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Find a shop that has a Load Force Balancer.

Load Force determines the trueness of the wheel and the tire as it balances, so you can move the tire on the wheel to line up the high points with the low points and substantially cut down the weights needed to balance. You can even take the results for all four and mount the tires on wheels to give the best matches. Then there should be alot less weight required to balance.

It will also indicate if you have a bad tire or wheel. The Load Force Balancer print out can also be used to prove to the manufacturer that a tire is faulty.
 

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valveguy said:
....the tires on my pick-up can't be balanced?

I have an idea why....


valveguy said:
They are 15" Goodyear Wranglers.

And I think that's it. Back in the 80s, I put a set Wranglers on my new Bronco II, and drove it out of the Goodyear store with a discernible vibration at speed, whereas with the original tires it was smooth as glass. I immediately drove back, and the Goodyear guy test drove the truck and pulled it back inside, put the tires on the balancer and they were out of balance. Twice more they pulled off the new weights and rebalanced the tires. The last time it was better, and I lived with them for the two years (only)it took them to wear out.

Nowadays, I pretty much only buy Michelins or Goodrich tires for my cars, although I did put some Tiger Paws on my kids Taurus (and they seem like nice tires).

John
 

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Never under estimate the stupidity of the people at the tire shop.

I had a similar situation earlier this year.
The wheels on my 2006 F150 were all rusted, so I took the truck to the local Ford dealership to have the wheels replaced under warranty. When I got the truck back, you could tell that the wheels were not balanced properly. Took the truck back 2 more times to have the wheels rebalanced. Each time I had to fight with the service manager because; "Balancing isn't covered by warranty". After the third try, they said that the wheels couldn't be balanced and that they wouldn't try anymore.

I ended up going to a tire shop, paid the owner $20 for the use of his equipment and balanced all 4 without any problems. Actually, when I balanced them, one was balanced correctly, I guess that was a fluke.

So as I said, just because the tire store you bought the tires from has been around for a while, don't assume anything about their competence.

Bruce
 

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The tires on my f150 now are blemished 2nd's with the name scrubbed off the sidewall. I bought them from a tire place in nebraska ( when I was traveling through) for $100. Supposedly, these are hit or miss to balance. I took them home, mounted them myself with a manual changer, static balanced them on a home made balancer, and mounted them. I don't have the slightest vibration. If I can do that, there is no reason a tires shop can't get it right with first rate tires, and state of the art equipment. If they can't balance your tires, go somewhere else to buy tires. They are fools.
 

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DIRTY289 said:
jayscurse said:
static balanced them on a home made balancer,
Ok, I'm going to hijack this thread now...
How did you make a static tire balancing machine?

Thanks... Bruce

Very simply.....a pole, bolted to the ground( level and sturdy), a large cone shaped object ( I made of wood....I've also seen them made of billet aluminum, or steel) on top of the pole, which you rest the hub of the wheel in. I used 2 old bubble levels, mounted on top in different directions. Add a wheel weight to whichever side you need to until the wheel is balanced. I've done it with my motorcycle wheels for a few years now, and it works with car and truck wheels as well. You can find plans for 1 anywhere on the internet. I hope I explained it clearly enough. Later!
 

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They are out of round. It doens't matter how many times they balance them they will still be out of round and will vibrate. They sold you bad tires initially. Time for them to pony up & replace them for free or time for you to get a new tire store. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you all for the great feedback. I think I know what to do now, thanks to your replies. But just to clarify, one tire was mounted as the spare, when I bought the truck, but was new and unused. The other 3 were bought from the tire store, to match the spare. The rims are the original factory steel rims. They balanced all 4 tires when I purchased the 3 from the tire store. I immediately noticed the problem at 60-65 mph ( I requested a 'high speed' balancing on each visit) and called the store and they asked me to run them for a few days and I did. The 4th time was a month ago and they admitted to having had a problem with their balancer when they balanced them the 3rd time. Anyway they know I have been a loyal customer for many years so when I go back I will tell them what it will take to keep my business and go from there. Ya'll confirmed my thoughts about not being able to balance the tires and I appreciate it. Thank you, again, for the good advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update: Re: Is there a reason why ......

I went by the tire store Saturday afternoon to talk with them and the manager said they had had other troubles with the balancing machine and since my last visit (6/5/09) they purchased a new machine and paid over $12,000 for it. I walked out into the shop and it is an impressive looking red and white piece of tire technology. I didn't pay attention to the brand name but plan to be there before they open next Saturday and try it out. He admitted there should be no reason not to be able to balance an undamaged tire on an undamaged factory steel rim if the wheel balancing equipment is working properly. Thanks again for your input.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Re: Update: Re: Is there a reason why ......

Well, it is over! After 19 months the Goodyear Wranglers are balanced! I was at the tire store when they opened last Saturday they were able to balance them with the new balancing machine. 45 minutes after they took it into the shop I left and went straight to a place where I was able to take it up to 85 mph and it was a smoothe ride. No more shimmy and shake between 65 & 70 mph. How nice!
 
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