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Old 12-08-2020, 04:49 PM   #1
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Tire Balancing Beads...Do they work?

I recently replaced my front tires after a front end alignment. After replacing them I noticed that the steering wheel would vibrate between 50 & 60 mph. I called Les Schwab to confirm that they had balanced them. To my surprise, the answer was no. They said I didn’t request balancing.

I returned to have them balanced and they recommended “balancing beads”. I agreed and they put one bag of beads in each tire. This didn’t eliminate the vibration.

I’m wondering if anyone else has had this experience. If so, did you have the tires balanced the traditional way with lead weights? Or should they have put two bags of beads in each tire?
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Old 12-08-2020, 05:04 PM   #2
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My front tires where balanced with weights per the tire places recommendation. The rest have beads, 1.5 bags per tire on a 22.5 - 295-80.

I had my previous MH balanced with beads all the way around and they worked fine. Different tire places however, same tires, Toyo’s.

Terry
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Old 12-08-2020, 05:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogulite View Post
I recently replaced my front tires after a front end alignment. After replacing them I noticed that the steering wheel would vibrate between 50 & 60 mph. I called Les Schwab to confirm that they had balanced them. To my surprise, the answer was no. They said I didn’t request balancing.

I returned to have them balanced and they recommended “balancing beads”. I agreed and they put one bag of beads in each tire. This didn’t eliminate the vibration.
Your post reads like deja vu to me. I had the same problem. Slight vibration in the steering wheel at 30, worse at 50 to 60, planed out to something like normal at 65 and gone altogether at 70. Took it back and made (and paid) to have the front set checked out. Mechanic said "no problem here, steers/rides/drives like a MH to me." Still not happy. When asked about weight balancing I was told that everybody only uses beads now, especially on what is considered a semi tire.

The old set (Michelin) did not have this problem. I drove it to the mechanic happy with how it handled. The new set (Double Coin) not so much.
I can think of only a couple of things with this new set.

1.) The beads clumped together inside the tire.
2.) The tires are of a poor quality. You get what you pay for.
3.) There's a difference in balancing bead quality.
4.) Beads are not there???

The old set were balanced with beads. IDK. I'll be following this thread. Sorry I can't offer a solution. I'm sure someone wiser will chime in.
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Old 12-08-2020, 05:32 PM   #4
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Beads work "Most" of the time. My last set all had beads in but I still had a slight vibration in the steers. The dealer finally dismounted them, removed the beads and spun balanced them with weights. They have been perfect for 2 1/2 years and 25,000 miles.
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Old 12-08-2020, 05:41 PM   #5
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I put a bag of beads in both of my steer tires and it seemed to help, but not enough. So I tracked down and purchased a pair of Centramatic balancers and put those on. Helped even more. But some days they still want to shake and bounce a bit, like they sometimes get out of round. OEM Goodyear tires 19.5".
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Old 12-08-2020, 05:43 PM   #6
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agreed with others, have them balance the steer tires with actual weights. the rest will do fine with beads.
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Old 12-08-2020, 05:45 PM   #7
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When talking about beads remember that its not how many bags are installed its the weight A given tire size will require a certain number of ounces of beads . My Toyo 245/75/22.5 called for 12oz. for single and 14oz for duals . Had Michelin 235/80 on before the new Toyo's I have been happy with the beads in both brands .
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Old 12-08-2020, 05:51 PM   #8
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Centramatic balance rings are an often overlooked option.
External to mounted tire, reusable, no clumping of beads.
I'm new to them but decided to give them a try on recent tire replacement. Short highway trial but so far all is good.
https://www.centramatic.com/
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Old 12-08-2020, 05:56 PM   #9
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The new (to me) RV the PO put 265/75/22.5 Toyo's on the front and he said they had beads in them. They drive perfect. Seems to be working for me!
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Old 12-08-2020, 06:04 PM   #10
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2007 Itasca. Toyo's all around. Bead balance. Absolutely no issues. Rides like a dream
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Old 12-08-2020, 06:07 PM   #11
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My current set tires are with the beads. Drive is smooth, guess they work.
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Old 12-08-2020, 06:56 PM   #12
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Yes beads work. Important to have as a minimum the weight of beads specified by the bead supplier. The generic one bag per tire is misleading. Bags come in 2 oz increments.

I have successfully balanced all the way up to a 365/70 tire but it took 22 OZ.

It is important to check the roundness of the tire as mounted on the rim. The tire can be out of round, or the tire can be mounted on the rim out of round. No balancing will fix this.

The first thing to do with out of balance RV/Truck tires is break the tire loose from the bead and rotate 180. Reinflate with the rim flat on the ground. oif using beads no need to rebalance after rotating, if the tire is spun balanced then it will have to be balanced again after this process.

I check the runout on the tires with a dial indicator. Michelin guidance is the tire should be less than 0.050 runout.
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Old 12-08-2020, 07:42 PM   #13
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Yes beads work if enough are installed. I had problems with a set of Goodyears. No matter what I did to them they shook the front end at certain speeds. I eventually figured out they had too much lateral run out and would never ride good. I had multiple tire shops say they were fine. Replaced them and the RV rode much better.
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Old 12-09-2020, 12:55 AM   #14
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I buy used tires, so I have the option to be very selective in what I am buying and get to "lay hands on" before purchasing.

I bought Centramatics for my RV, yes they were pricey but they WORK. Several of the Goodyears I put on the drive axle had obvious "rivering" on them, something that Goodyear tires are known to do in certain (unbalanced?) applications.

Within 2k miles, the rivering is gone from the surface and they are running smooth down the road.

I don't know anything about beads other than they are cheap, and consumable. I'd like to balance the trailer wheels I have to deal with.... Thinking about Centramatics (or similar) for that instead of beads, b/c trailer tires are ALL 100% Chinesium trash and I'm not dismounting them to add more trash inside.
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