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Old 07-19-2014, 06:21 PM   #1
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Tire balance-Misinformation from dealer

We got our coach from Tom Johnson's in Concord, NC in April 2013. While we were pleased overall with the total experience, I am always aware that I have take whatever a dealer says with caution.

New Michelin tires were part of the deal and I did see a mobile tire truck come to the dealer and install tires on the coach. I did not watch for long and asked the dealer how the tires were balanced. The service manager said they used balancing beads. He assured me the beads were installed in all 8 tires.

We had bouncing issues from the get-go and I eventually had a Michelin dealer near my home remove the beads in the front tires, do a real spin balance and I also installed Centramtics on the steer tires.


On our cross country trip, I continued to feel a hop coming from somewhere.... it was not bad but annoying. Since we are at Country Coach I decided to let the folks at Les Schwab rebalance the rear tires. I called my selling dealer service manager and asked him again if he was sure there were beads in the rear tires (obviously I did not want to pay to remove the beads if none were there). He was emphatic.... they always put beads in all the tires when they install new tires.

Les Schwab found no beads. To their credit, they called me and said they had taken two tires off the rims and finding no beads, would not de-mount the other four. They also said all 6 tires were out of balance.

I also had them install dually valves. I will be curious to see if my annoying hop is gone when we get done here on Wednesday.
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Old 07-19-2014, 11:14 PM   #2
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smlranger - I have only ever balanced my steer tires on the front. Currently my front tires each have a bag of equal in them. I have never had a reason to balance the back tires. They have never caused me a bouncing problem. I have replaced all the rear tires. None are balanced or have beads.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:29 AM   #3
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My brand new coach had a wheel hop/vibration that started about 62MPH. The same Les Schwab in JC said it was balance so they rebalanced the fronts, same thing. Then they went to the rear, balanced the duals, same thing. Then they swapped out a inner wheel, same thing.

Long story short, another shop found a front tire was going out of round when it was spun up to highway speed. The tire was in perfect balance but out of round. A new tire cured the problem

Unless Schwabb in JC has some new equipment, they cannot do a spin balance on the coach and get the tire up to highway speed to see if it goes out of round.

Not a great fan of the Schwab in JC.
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Old 07-20-2014, 01:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smlranger View Post
We got our coach from Tom Johnson's in Concord, NC in April 2013. While we were pleased overall with the total experience, I am always aware that I have take whatever a dealer says with caution.

New Michelin tires were part of the deal and I did see a mobile tire truck come to the dealer and install tires on the coach. I did not watch for long and asked the dealer how the tires were balanced. The service manager said they used balancing beads. He assured me the beads were installed in all 8 tires.
The dealer lied to you. So what did you do to get satisfaction?
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dons2346 View Post
My brand new coach had a wheel hop/vibration that started about 62MPH. The same Les Schwab in JC said it was balance so they rebalanced the fronts, same thing. Then they went to the rear, balanced the duals, same thing. Then they swapped out a inner wheel, same thing.

Long story short, another shop found a front tire was going out of round when it was spun up to highway speed. The tire was in perfect balance but out of round. A new tire cured the problem

Unless Schwabb in JC has some new equipment, they cannot do a spin balance on the coach and get the tire up to highway speed to see if it goes out of round.

Not a great fan of the Schwab in JC.
It was my understanding/expectation that an out-of-round tire would not balance properly during the dynamic balancing process.

My selling dealer told me to have the tires trued (shaved). Few places do that now. There is a mobile guy in Charlotte, NC who spends a lot of time truing tires on big rigs and coaches for NASCAR teams and drivers.

At any rate, I will see if my issue is solved when we get back on the road soon.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:51 AM   #6
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My selling dealer told me to have the tires trued (shaved). Few places do that now.
Wyatt's Tire in Eugene trues up (shaves) tires. They do it as a matter of course when installing new tires. I watched them do it to the new Michelins I had installed on a previous coach's steer axle. Pretty cool. They also spin-balanced.

Kaiser Brake and Alignment in Eugene also trues and spin-balances tires.

FWIW
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:34 AM   #7
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I had the hop in a new set of Toyo tires. During a 4,000 mile trip I stopped at 2 Les Schwab outlets. One determined that the selling LS dealer did not put the rear Equal Powder in, but did spin balance the rears at no charge. The second said spin balance was not correct but since they could not spin balance they would put Equal in. After each service the hop was still in the rear.

Long story short, after 20+ dismounts and 6 new tires on a 4 tire rear axle, LS and I arrived at a mutually satisfactory agreement to install Bridgestones in place of the Toyo.

That solved the problem which seems to have been a batch of bad tires from Toyo getting to my local LS outlet.

I now run Toyo on the front from the same dealer with no problem. So it was just one of those things tire folks have to deal with.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:39 PM   #8
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I had the hop in a new set of Toyo tires. During a 4,000 mile trip I stopped at 2 Les Schwab outlets. One determined that the selling LS dealer did not put the rear Equal Powder in, but did spin balance the rears at no charge. The second said spin balance was not correct but since they could not spin balance they would put Equal in. After each service the hop was still in the rear.

Long story short, after 20+ dismounts and 6 new tires on a 4 tire rear axle, LS and I arrived at a mutually satisfactory agreement to install Bridgestones in place of the Toyo.

That solved the problem which seems to have been a batch of bad tires from Toyo getting to my local LS outlet.

I now run Toyo on the front from the same dealer with no problem. So it was just one of those things tire folks have to deal with.

I work with Parkhouse Tire in San Diego for our coaches tires. Michelin XZE*, all less than 6 months old via tire date. The manager said he had had a bad string ot Toyo's come thru, but he said that for the trucking industry the tires were fine. He said the RV owner, sitting in and feeling the ride, usually could not detect it on the rears drives or tag.

I look at these expensive tires as hopefully at least a 7 years life usage, so the costs amortize over that period. I asked the manager if he had one tech he felt was his best, he did, and asked to for an appointment when this gent was available. I met the tech, and tipped him up front to take extra care on the getting the tire 'centered' on the rim, and during spin balancing. Told him I was very interested in how he did the install, and would tip him with another $50 at the end if he impressed me. I had all 8 wheels balanced. The tech called me over to observe him used a metal ruler at four locations as he 'centered' the tires to the rim. (A slightly uncentered tire, is like an egg rolling. Most truck tires shops get 'close enough', but a real can make a difference on how centered the tire is.) The tech suggested I did not need to balance the drive, but I figured it was a one time cost, and compared to overall costs of the tires, a very small amount to pay. Finally, I had Centramatics also installed on Front/Drive/Tag axles too. Yep, probably overkill, but was setting this new to us rig up for 10-15 years of planned usage, so Centramatics were not that expensive over that span of time.

Rides real nice, the tire manage went with me for a test ride, and we hit a nice new stretch of refreshed highway (Probably the only 2 miles in California!), and I had a large bowl of water placed on the tiles in the bathroom over the top of the Drive Axle. Without Centramatics, some ripples were seen in the water. (Wife and Manager looking, as even with Curise Control, I did not walk back to look!!). Back in, Centramatics installed all around. Same bowl water, same lane, same speed - and much less water ripples was the report. Really surprised the manager.

On the shops that have tire shaving, or as old 4 Day Tires used to call it, Tire Matching - I had leanred this helps too. Did not have a shop I could find in San Diego that could do this.

Good tires and actual coach weight corners PSI, are just part of the overall 'safety' that well cared for suspension and brakes can provide owners.

Best to all, be safe, have fun,
Smitty
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:47 PM   #9
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I met the tech, and tipped him up front to take extra care on the getting the tire 'centered' on the rim, and during spin balancing. Told him I was very interested in how he did the install, and would tip him with another $50 at the end if he impressed me.
Sigh!!!!
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:27 AM   #10
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It was my understanding/expectation that an out-of-round tire would not balance properly during the dynamic balancing process.

My selling dealer told me to have the tires trued (shaved). Few places do that now. There is a mobile guy in Charlotte, NC who spends a lot of time truing tires on big rigs and coaches for NASCAR teams and drivers.

At any rate, I will see if my issue is solved when we get back on the road soon.
An out of round tire can indeed be balanced. The way my bad tire was found was with on the coach balancing by using one of those machines that spins the tire up to speed while a transducer is mounted on the chassis. In my case, all was well until the right speed (RPM) was reached and the tire went out of round and the tire threw the machine and the operator across the floor! The machanic then let out a long stream of expletive deleted and pronounced an out of round tire. By installing a new tire, the problem was corrected.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:48 AM   #11
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"An out of round tire can indeed be balanced."

Perhaps so but only while it is spinning in free air. Once the tyre is running on the ground, the out-of-roundness condition is changed so the balance will change and regardless of the balance, the out of round condition will cause a vibration because the running radius is changing during each revolution that no amount of balancing will fix.

Having to true brand new tyres up seems to be a peculiarly US problem.
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