Automatic Wheel Balancers for Hummers.
H1, Automatically Balance your Tires as
Big tires don't stay balanced. Especially on
off-road vehicles like Hummers. Out of balance tires, don't last as long,
are prone to cupping, uneven wear and the excessive side wall flexing builds
up heat. Truckers with their large 24.5 inch tires learned a few decades
ago, that a balanced tire has less side wall heat and less heat means longer
tire life. Centramatic has manufactured automatic wheel balancers since
1985, with millions of miles of use producing thousands of satisfied
customers. Yes I said automatic tire balancers. As you drive they balance
your tires each time you drive.
One of my Insider Club members from
www.MrTruck.com, told me
about Centramatic balancers. Of course being an automotive journalist, I
could see an interesting story here. Centramatic was glad to send me a set
to evaluate. On 3/4 ton trucks and horse trailers, most have 10 ply tires
and they don't stay balanced and a lot of folks don't bother balancing their
trailer tires. The automatic balancers did the trick, with less cupping,
smoother ride, longer tire life and what I thought was cool, is Centramatic
balancers will balance the snow and mud that sticks to your wheels and then
rebalance them when it flies off. With Centramatic balancers, you notice the difference in
vibration that transfers to the steering wheel.
Centramatic automatic wheel balancer just slides over the the wheel studs.
It's got to be one of the easiest aftermarket products to install.
Look threw the wheel spokes to see the
Centramatic automatic wheel balancer ring, (right).
With an ideal off-road vehicle such as
Hummer, having mud and snow stuck in your wheels often and such large tires
being hard to keep balanced, this is an important issue. Especially since
they don't make cheap tires (inexpensive) for Hummers yet, getting 25 to 50%
longer tire life is important. Out of balance tires create more side wall
flexing and vibration which in turn creates more heat and softer rubber
wears faster. Centramatic balancers reduce tire heat by 8 to 10% according
to the manufacture.
The balancers uses centrifugal
force and deflection from rotation to automatically distribute free moving
weights (Durametal in synthetic dampening fluid) sealed in the balancer.
These free moving weights or balancing media, precisely balance the entire
assembly. This includes the tire, wheel, hub, drum/rotor even rocks in the
tread or mud, snow and ice stuck to the wheels. Critical to balancers of
this type is the amount of balancing media used. Simply stated if 8 oz. if
imbalance exists, 8oz. or more of balancing media must be available to
counter its effect. The remainder will space out evenly in the tube. This is
why the balancer depending on size, have from 16-32 oz. of balancing media,
available if needed.
first volunteer for the project was Keith Rodenberger of Denver. His 2000
black H1 Hummer received Centramatic balancers part #370-800. We used ATS
TripleLok Torque Converters shop in Wheat Ridge CO with Mike Meinecke, the
shop foreman running the impact wrench. With the air inflator valve in the
hub of the H1, a lot of tire shops won't work on them. It's not really hard,
just takes a little more time. It's work lifting the big tires off the H1,
so the air gun was nice, (right). I was lucky my camera was lighter.
What you get, (left). A full set of four balancers. They are
flat aluminum plate (1/8" thick) with a ring welded on the outside where the synthetic
fluid dampens the Durametal balls.
When you take the air out of one tire, the other side sympathizes and goes
flat too. Keith had his tires set at 32 psi with the dash mounted automatic
air control system, complete with a gauge. Though the onboard air
compressor would pump the tires back up, for speed we added air to the wheel
valve from an outside source.
A couple of weeks after we installed the
Centramatic balancers on Keith Rodenberger's H1, I called Keith to see if he
could tell a difference in the drive. "Awesome difference, it was night and
day, smooth as can be," was Keith's answer. It won't take long to pay for a
set of Centramatic automatic balancers with longer tires life, but you'll
notice the smoother ride first.
Time: Installing the H1 balancers can easily be done in
15 minutes with an air jack and air ratchet. With manual jacks and
wrenches, it can take 30 minutes to install Centramatic balancers. With a
reporter and camera hanging around, it could take all day.
Difficulty: This is about the easiest
accessory you can add, no oil, no wiring, no paint, no skills required.
Just take the wheels off, slide the balancer on the wheel studs and mount
Tools: 15 mm and 16 mm open end
wrenches for the hub air hose on the H1. 7/8's socket for the wheels.
Torque wrench used on the lug nuts was set at 135 pounds.
balance while you drive.
The Centramatic balancers built especially
for the H1, are a breeze to install and only go on one way front and rear
axle. We are working with Centramatic to develope a more specific H2 application. The
instructions say to take the old lead weights off unless you just had your tires balanced. We left the
on the H1 wheels. You know those glue on weights will be
coming off anyway after the first mountain or river you tackle with your
Centramatic has been in
business in Ft. Worth Texas since 1985 and holds over 10 patents in
"ON-BOARD" balancers. They have produced over 500,000 balancers and build
products that last. At their facility is a balancer with an amazing
1,439,716 miles on it, and still in good working condition!
Check us out at
© Copyright 2004 H. Kent
Sundling and MrTruck.net/com All rights reserved including digital rights.
Special thanks to ATS TripleLok torque converter at
www.ATSdiesel.com for the use of their shop and to Centramatic