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Old 08-29-2015, 10:24 PM   #1
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Centramatic Wheel Balancers - - Information

I just installed 2 sets (front and back) of 19.5” Centramatic Balancers and made a 12.5 mile test run from 35 to 65 mph. I was surprise how smooth it rode, there was no shaking from the sun visor to the outside mirrors. I had to look real hard at 65 mph to see if my mirrors vibrate, and it was hardly noticeable. I am happy with the results. Would I do it again, Yes. Would I recommend it to others, Yes.

After reading all the positive/negative views on the forum, I called Centramatic company and spoke to the technical guru for 53 minutes.

These are the points I remembered:
1. The Centramatic Balancers act like a gyro to maintain equilibrium or perfect balance by using centrifugal force. When a sprung assembly is out of balance, deflection is caused via the springs or tire sidewalls. These free moving weights sense this deflection and move opposite the heavy points to balance the entire assembly, wheels, tires, drums, hubs, even mud, snow or ice stuck to wheels. The best thing about these balancers is that it starts all over every time you stop and start rolling.
2. All rear duals and trailers should be balanced. The largest investment in tire dollars are on the rear tires. Typically, even when loaded, duals carry less weight per tire and are prone to pounding. This causes excessive heat build-up and excessive, erratic tire ware. Centramatics help cool the duals and one pair of balancers handles four tires, wheels, hubs, and drums. Rear drums are a major cause of imbalance on dual assemblies.
3. Most models start working at 20-22 mph depending on wheel diameter. This occurs long before vibration due to imbalance, which is at speeds in excess of 35 mph.
4. The company has balancers that lasted in excess of 1.4 million miles. This is the reason they have a 5 year unlimited mile warranty.
5. It is important the vehicle be aligned to exacting specifications. Pre-mature tire wear and resulting vibration occurs if proper alignment is not maintained. Worn, loose or missing suspension components must be replaced. Centramatics balance the assembly and cannot correct alignment issues. Many forms of tire wear and poor handling result from mis-alignments.
6. If a vibration develops after installing balancers, this normally indicates a loose wheel bearing, or possibly a mechanical problem related to the suspension or undercarriage. Balancers will indicate when such problems arise. Look at it this way, the balancers act like a fine tune machine that will indicate a problem with the front drive assembly beginning to go wrong long before you would normally feel it. This is the main reason people remove the balancers when they have it and talk negative about the system.
7. Tires must not be out of round or mis-mounted on a wheel. Tires have guide ribs used to check if a tire is concentrically mounted to the wheel. The distance (approx. ”) should never vary more than 1/16” all around. If it does, it should be broken down turned 180 degrees and remounted. This common problem is frequently overlooked by the installer.
8. On 19.5” tires, the front balancers has ~12 ozs of free moving weights and the rear has ~16-18 ozs. At the early stages of the company, the company used larger and fewer weights to balance. Now, they are using smaller and more individual weights which perform a smoother balancing system.
9. When buying new tires, it is important to have the tires put on a spin balance machine, not to balance them, but to check for alignment, out of round and so forth. The tech told me if it needs more than 8 ozs to balance the wheel, either have them turn the tire 180 degrees or reject that tire. That tire may give trouble later on in the life of the tire.
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Old 08-29-2015, 10:41 PM   #2
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I've been using Centramatics for years and believe in them. The first set when on the rear of my Diplomat after replacing the four duals that wore okay, but were not very even. 40K later after the duals were replaced and Centramatics were installed, they wore PERFECTLY across the tread.

My new coach has them on all three axles, including the tag. I initially installed them on the front only, to eliminate some bounce it had since new, which they did. Last week I added them to the rear duals and tag when I rotated the front tires to the rear because of some alignment wear. Just driving home from the tire store on the freeway, I could feel the difference in the rear.

I've been buying mine from here Florida Shores Truck Center They have been the cheapest, and ship/arrive in about three days.
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:28 AM   #3
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10. O’, I forgot to mentioned, that your tire changes balance under different conditions. Load-Road-Speed are the 3 things that affect a balance tire. As the tire changes form under these conditions, it also changes balance. A tire balancer machine usually spins around ~ 25 mph to balance your tire. When you are traveling greater than 25 mph, under your heavy load with different road conditions, your balance changes for that tire. So reality, when you balance your tire at a tire shop, then install them on your vehicle, your tire is no longer balance when driving down the road. This is why sometimes you feel a small vibrating when traveling.
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:49 AM   #4
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I've used Centramatic wheel balancers, front and rear, on my 22.5 wheels/tires, since '01.
My coach is now on the 3rd set of 6 tires... with no balance problems.
Wheel Balancers for many trucks, buses, trailers, and motorcycles from Centramatic
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:31 AM   #5
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I tried them years ago, but was not satisfied with the result. When I had them removed and the wheels rebalanced, they discovered that one of the tires was out of round and that had been the problem all along that I assumed had been a balance problem.

Lesson is, when having them installed, have the tire shop spin the wheels to make sure the tires are round and properly seated. I've read others that had issues with the beads not being seated evenly, thereby distorting the tire and affecting the ride.
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Old 08-30-2015, 10:39 AM   #6
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Some questions about dynamic balancers seems to pop into my feeble mind.

If a road is rough will that cause them to get "confused" and exacerbate the problem?

Similarly (if not the same), if a road has regular bumps such as at every expansion joint, how do they perform?

Is there a reason or not to spin balance wheels when using Centramics?

BTW...NICE TIP on the guide ribs!
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
If a road is rough will that cause them to get "confused" and exacerbate the problem? It shouldn't.

Similarly (if not the same), if a road has regular bumps such as at every expansion joint, how do they perform? As long as you are doing over 22 mph, the centrifugal force will keep them in place or fine tune them if they move in the process. Either way, you will not be able to tell the difference.

Is there a reason or not to spin balance wheels when using Centramics?

BTW...NICE TIP on the guide ribs!
Thank You
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Old 08-30-2015, 11:54 AM   #8
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11. Another point about dyno beads and similar products. While talking to the tech guru, he mentioned he has some golf balls in his drawer that he took out of a customer’s tires. The golf balls were all smooth with no dimples and completely worn out from rubbing inside of the tire. Not to mention how much wear was inside of the tire and beating the rim took. He also said that when the golf balls or any products move around the tire at slow speeds before they take their centrifugal position, it generates heat and is translated through the rubber to the road to cool down. This is additional heat the tire has to remove and contend with which can’t be good. He did not talk highly on products inside of the tire. Too many complications that could happen, not to mention interfering with the valve stem that could lose air psi. He said when speeds are greater than ~22-25 mph, the centrifugal force keeps the weights in the respected position on the balancer to maintain optimum balance. Don’t know about the beads as they are finer and less weight by volume if the 22-25 mph speed apply.

12. It is not necessary to spin balance as the balancers will take care of that. BUT, it is BEST to spin the tires to see if they are out-of-round or if it will take more than 8 ozs to balance them. Either way, break it down and rotate 180˚ or have them swap out with another tire. You ALWAYS want reserve weight in the balancers to compensate any axle or hub balance issues. The more balance a wheel is before adding weights to balance it, the better and longer it will last or give future problems.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
Some questions about dynamic balancers seems to pop into my feeble mind.
If a road is rough will that cause them to get "confused" and exacerbate the problem?
Similarly (if not the same), if a road has regular bumps such as at every expansion joint, how do they perform?
Is there a reason or not to spin balance wheels when using Centramics?
BTW...NICE TIP on the guide ribs!
Sky_Boss
I have never found Centramatics to be problematic on rough roads or on roads with expansion joints.
Since it is always best to have new tires checked for roundness on a spin balance machine, (whether you're using Centramatics or not), adding balance weights is not a bad idea and costs very little more.
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'96 Safari, 141k miles...(113k with Centramatics)
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Old 08-30-2015, 04:32 PM   #10
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Sky Boss......Road conditions have nothing to do with balance, both with the use of wheel weights or Centramatics. The tire is going to go down the road in perfect balance, but if the road has pot holes or expansion joints, you're still going to feel that.

Have you ever gotten onto a merry-go-round and have someone push it real fast.....it's going to force you out to the edge and make it impossible to move back in. The Centramatics do the same thing. Once they balance the tire and get up to speed, they're not moving.
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:59 PM   #11
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So if you have a tag you need three sets or do you need a separate set for the inner dual and one set for the outer dual for a total of 4 sets?
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
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So if you have a tag you need three sets or do you need a separate set for the inner dual and one set for the outer dual for a total of 4 sets?
You need a set for each axle. 3 axle's, 3 sets.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMudstud View Post
You need a set for each axle. 3 axle's, 3 sets.
Getting ready to buy new tires and strongly considering Centramatics, thank you!
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:48 PM   #14
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Getting ready to buy new tires and strongly considering Centramatics, thank you!
if you're close to Alvarado, TX, then call them and order a set directly. They occasionally have specials that beat all comers...installed.
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