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Author Topic:   Balancing Small Diameter Trailer Wheels
Maddog posted 05-09-2002 10:32 AM ET (US)   Profile for Maddog   Send Email to Maddog  
I'm getting vibration when trailering above 70 mph when pulling my 13 ft Sport Classic. Hubs, bearings, rims and tires are new from Bearings seem to be properly seated. Tires size is 5.70 x 8" rim. Can they be balanced? I have had no luck yet finding a local shop that will balance these small tires.
Any advice?
cjensen posted 05-09-2002 10:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for cjensen  Send Email to cjensen     
Don't speed. Pulling a trailer and speeding do not mix.
Maddog posted 05-09-2002 10:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Maddog  Send Email to Maddog     
I agree that high speed trailering is risky but in certain conditions (no trafic, major highway, no sharp turns, long stretch of open road, a light rig) I don't think it is unrealistic. I should have mentioned I do not exceed 75 mph.
where2 posted 05-09-2002 12:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
I suppose there's always JC Whitney. Whitney used to carry a little cone shaped device which you set the tire and rim on, then watched the level bubble. Add weight to the high side. Kinda like balancing a paper plate on a pencil point. The heavy side will naturally go down, while the light side rises.
180 posted 05-09-2002 12:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for 180  Send Email to 180     
You can't balance those on a regular machine. It won't help anyway. Those wheels would have to be square for you to feel it in the cab of a truck. Are you sure your tow vehilce isn't what is shaking?
JFM posted 05-09-2002 02:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
MD, those wheels are too small to go 70 MPH. Try a 12" or bigger wheel to go that fast. Regards, Jay
skookum point posted 05-09-2002 03:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for skookum point  Send Email to skookum point     
JFM is right. Smaller tire = more rpm = more heat. I think even a 12" wheel is marginal for long distance towing at 75mph.
Last summer I was alarmed at how hot my 12" trailer tires getting after a few hours at freeway speeds, so I have changed to 13". The swap wasn't quite as easy as I expected because I had to reposition the fenders and get a slightly wider axle. But the peace of mind is worth it - I would sure hate to have a blowout at those speeds.
Jimm posted 05-09-2002 06:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jimm    
I just went out and measured the circumference of the tires on my
Jeep = 90 inches. The 8 inchers on your trailer are probably around 48 inches. That poor trailer tire is turning twice for every time your car tire turns once. Please slow down - the life you save might be mine.
SuburbanBoy posted 05-10-2002 12:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
The device mentioned earlier in the thread is a bubble balancer. I have one to sell if you are interested. Made by Hunter as I recall. I am sure I paid something stupid for it. It is heavy. The last wheels I balanced myself were older Chromadora magnesium wheels. They were too fragile to give to the tire monkeys. Make me an offer.


jimh posted 05-10-2002 11:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
To go over 55 with those tiny 8-inch tires is insane.
180 posted 05-10-2002 11:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for 180  Send Email to 180     
Tire monkeys? Do you call your doctor a heart monkey? Is an astronaut a space monkey? Please enlighten me Suburbanboy.
dsib posted 01-27-2006 10:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for dsib  Send Email to dsib     
[Revival of four-year-old discussion] I just bought a used triton snowmobile trailer and replaced all bearings. I put new tires and rims on also. Some peaople say you don't have to balance the trailer tires while others said just the opposite. Should I or shouldn't I spend the money on balancing?
PeteB88 posted 01-28-2006 09:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Slow down - no reason to go that fast with a load regardless of your vehicle - OR take the rig on some deserted road, run it up to 75, 80 and slam on the brakes - full panic stop - and see what happens. That's a good idea because, like driving on icy roads, you should get some practice before you drive in traffic that fast around other vehicles hauling kids and families. And if you live let us know what wrecking yard the remains of the boat are.

Ask any professional driver if driving that fast hauling a boat makes any sense at all. Stay safe.

Chuck Tribolet posted 01-28-2006 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Balance. Maybe not if you just use the trailer to run
a couple of miles on city streets, but then what happens when
you decide to take a road trip.

Bubble balancing is only static balancing. Spin balancing
is dynamic balancing and will correct for imbalance between
the inside and outside -- think of taking a perfectly balanced
wheel, and putting two wheel weights on exactly on opposite
sides of the axle, but one on the inside and one on the
outside. The wheel will still be statically balanced, but
won't be dynamically balanced.

But bubble balancing may be all you can get with those tiny
wheels because the spin balancing machine needs to fit inside
the wheels. You should be able to find a tire shop that has
a bubble balancer -- some use one for a quick static balance
before putting the wheel on the spin balance machine.


dsib posted 01-28-2006 10:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for dsib  Send Email to dsib     
More on balancing: I took my four 20.5 x 8 x 10 load range E tires to be dynamically balance. They did fit on their machine. However, the dealer that sold me the tires said I shouldn't balance them quite yet because the tires are nylon (not steel cord radial). Once the tires heat up from travelling, they will reshape themselves. He said if you do balance them, first run the tires on the trailer for 30 miles or so until they warm up. Before they cool, you can balance them. Otherwise you will could make it worse if balancing beforehand. I never heard of this before but I guess it could be true. By the way, I will trailer my snowmobiles from Mass, Oh to Old Forge, NY - 8 to 9 hour drive.
The dealer made no mention of this but I've also heard that you could put approx 12oz of antifreeze in the tire and it will distribute itself such as to balance the tire. Anyone have experience in doing so? Does this really work?
jimmy c posted 01-29-2006 10:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimmy c  Send Email to jimmy c     
Boat trailer tires are usually nylon core.They will develope a flat spot from sitting,which will usually go away in a few miles of trailering .
I have found that wheel weights will not hold on 8 " rims they do not have the same lip as larger wheels.
Boat trailer tires are not subject to the ridged DOT testing as auto tires so the quality control is lacking...perhaps you have a bad tire?
Also I have found the the galvonized rims are a problem as they are hot galvonized and have blobs of of metal on them causing a imbalance.
I had the same problem as you and switched to painted cured the problem.
Also check the spring bushings,if they are worn it will only make matters worse.
deepwater posted 01-29-2006 06:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
dsib, i have never heard of putting antifreeze in a tire ,, graphite, for radio static control and sand in big 18 wheeler tires but not antifreeze,,an old style bubble balancer might work with some stick on weights ,, but as suggested before ,, go to a larger tire ,your trailer will sit higher as will your motor skeg and it will track better behind your tow veh,, i lucked out my trailer tires and my Toyota use the same rim ,

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