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Author Topic: Tire machine hunting tips...
CP Verified Driver
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I'm on the hunt for a tire mounting machine and a tire balancing machine. They'll pay for themselves before the end of next season. What should I look for? I've got compressed air at home for the mounting machine. I see several Coates balancing machines within a few hours drive that should do the job.

What questions should I be asking the sellers? What are some desireable characteristics that I should be looking for? Does a balancing machine go bad, needing frequent recalibration? I'll be mounting/remounting several sets of tires per season and probably rebalancing every few races. My budget is under $500.

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-Cy
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Sean Allen Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Balancers do need recalibration sometimes and some older ones can't do tape weights, only clip.

Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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It depends on how picky you are. I bought what was once a nice pneumatic rim-clamp machine for $500. It was definitely worn out and the pneumatic seals leaked a little, and if you didn't pay attention and knew what you were doing, you would scratch your the very corner of your wheels (I didn't care). It paid for itself, I got out of racing and sold it for $500 (it was probably working better when I sold it due to more use helping seals a bit). Look for a flat platter. That was the biggest problem with mine. If stuff is not moving that well/smoothly, don't sweat it too much..it may just need some cleaning and lubing. Mine came with the attachment for filling the tires and popping the bead but it was not connected. I never connected it. Still, it did it's job. Many shops have had to sell their old rim clamps because they won't do the 20" or 22" wheels anymore so good deals are to be found.

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"Your victory is tainted! Asterisk! Asterisk!!!"--Lisa Simpson

CP Verified Driver
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Would you guys suggest a few model numbers so that I can familiarize myself with the features I should expect on a budget machine, for both the tire changing machine and balancing machine?

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-Cy
Supported by LTD Racing & Speed Shack - New England's Premier Auto Accessory Store
Rt1 AutoMile - Norwood, MA
http://www.speedshackonline.com

springfielddyno Verified Driver
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are you looking at a machine for just SM tires? If so, you don't have to be too picky... The tires mount pretty easy. Technically, you don't even need a rim clamp machine. I have a rim clamp and a post style machine, both work fine for SM if set up correctly... On the rim clamp machines, make sure the table top doesn't tilt and flop around (think bad wheel bearing) It's expensive to fix and it will cause problems with hard to mount tires.

Both of mine are Coats machines and are from a tire shop that upgraded.

On the balancer (coats) I keep an old C5 corvetter rim/tire around that is perfectly balanced. a couple times/year, I'll put that on to make sure the balancer is good... Make sure you find a single phase balancer or you'll have to spend $100 or so on a kit to convert which also seems to zap some of the power... feel free to contact me if you have specific questions...

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Regards,
Sam H.
www.springfielddyno.com

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Yes, SM tires only. Thanks for the info Sam.

--------------------
-Cy
Supported by LTD Racing & Speed Shack - New England's Premier Auto Accessory Store
Rt1 AutoMile - Norwood, MA
http://www.speedshackonline.com

springfielddyno Verified Driver
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for reference...

my post style machine is a coats 4040, the new model is a 4050 but they look the same to me...

my rim clamp is a 60XX or a 50XX i don't remember for sure... and you can get electric/air as well as just air... i have a small 5 or 6 hp craftsman air compressor, and i can out run it using my totally air rim clamp machine. waiting on the compressor to catch up sucks...

No matter which you get, have someone train you at least for a few minutes... Don't worry, you'll get faster [Wink]

--------------------
Regards,
Sam H.
www.springfielddyno.com

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We had Coats machines as well. SM stuff you can practically do one handed once you do enough 20's [Wink]

Greg Bush Verified Driver
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I have an old coats post machine. Works well but scratches everything up. You can get teflon covers for all of the tools to minimize this, but I haven't yet.

I have a snap-on low speed balancer. It runs on 12 volts and you spin the wheel by hand. On the best setting it will balance to 1/10 of an ounce. The small tape weights are 1/4 ounce. It does as well as the high speed machines if not better, and doesn't need big power. It also doesn't weigh much so I can get it out of the way when not using it. The MX-5 Cup tire trailer has the exact same one in it FWIW.

The advantage that I didn't think of when I bought it was that you can watch the wheels spin on the balancer and spot bent ones right away. I had some severely bent wheels go unnoticed because the high speed balancers need a protective cover.

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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So I'm guessing those portable spirit level ballancers...not even worth the powder to blow them up?

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Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

Greg Bush Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Keith in WA:
So I'm guessing those portable spirit level ballancers...not even worth the powder to blow them up?

I don't know, never tried one.

Put a tire on it, then add a 1/4 ounce weight and see if it notices....

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The guy who mounts my tires uses one all the time. No complaints from me. My tires are always balanced.
wheel

Kyle Freiheit
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My dad has a bubble balancer and we have used it a bunch, it notices ANY weight you put on it.

Kyle

springfielddyno Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Bush:
quote:
Originally posted by Keith in WA:
So I'm guessing those portable spirit level ballancers...not even worth the powder to blow them up?

I don't know, never tried one.

Put a tire on it, then add a 1/4 ounce weight and see if it notices....

the other question would be put 1/4 ounce on your wheels and see if you notice it [Smile]

I hate the bubbles... I hate it when I'm at the track and forced to use the midiv vendor that uses it... I got burn one time... car had terrible vibration, rebalance at home and was good. In defense, i've had many sets with the bubble and only the one bad experience...

I always balance to 0.00 oz, but don't think you need to go better than 1/4 or 1/2 oz... You can look for out of round with high speed balancer too... [Wink]

Sam

--------------------
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Sam H.
www.springfielddyno.com

springfielddyno Verified Driver
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i've got new in box bubble balancer from HF never opened... someone make me an offer...

sam

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Sam H.
www.springfielddyno.com

Sean Allen Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I'd go at least to 1/4oz

Dusty Bottoms Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I used a bubble balancer once and had a horrible vibration but it was user error...I didn't balance the bubble balancer before I balanced the tire. [Smile] Everyone I know that uses one seems to do well. I have had my tires balanced on a bubble balancer and they were fine.

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"Your victory is tainted! Asterisk! Asterisk!!!"--Lisa Simpson

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Cy
I got a used tire machine, contact Glen@ TEC in N. Attleboro Ma. he's a racer.
I bought a HF bubble balancer and have been using it all season, I was a bit reluctant at first but it has not been a problem.
PM me if you need more info.

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Jerry

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I have a great tire machine for sale....but more than you want to spend.


I would balance to zero...if it keeps calling for weight i.e. 1/4 oz ...1/4 oz....then it needs to be recalibrated. The newer balancers are self calibrating. Also a hand spin balancer is a good choice, no motor. One less item to worry about repairing. I think someone mention a low speed/hand spin balancer above.


Careful with 20/20's and 40/40's they exert a lot of downforce on center of the wheel when going through the mounting process....they have been known to crack a few wheels.

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philstireservice.com
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Found a good set from a buddy that was upgrading his shop equipment. Coats 4040A and a Sun balancer. Thanks Dwayne!

--------------------
-Cy
Supported by LTD Racing & Speed Shack - New England's Premier Auto Accessory Store
Rt1 AutoMile - Norwood, MA
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FastM3 Verified Driver
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Darn Cy

You are too far away from me over here in Douglas.

Did you get it from Dwayne "I do all my own stunts" of Maine?

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Phil
Silver 38 SM/ITA

Joe Specht
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The 4040A will break both beads at the same time but that could damage the wheel if you have tough beads. Break the lower bead first and then the top bead in a second operation.
If your not careful it can still damage the rim.
Joe
TreadZone

JIM DANIELS
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I use a bubble balancer, old job had for years, no issues. Got it when the weights were always falling off the FVee Wheels.

CP Verified Driver
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quote:
Originally posted by FastM3:
Did you get it from Dwayne "I do all my own stunts" of Maine?

Yep, the Stuntman delivered big time [yep]

--------------------
-Cy
Supported by LTD Racing & Speed Shack - New England's Premier Auto Accessory Store
Rt1 AutoMile - Norwood, MA
http://www.speedshackonline.com

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What do you all think of a Coats 850 Computer Balancer?

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Charlie Williams Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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I bought a Chinese made $69 post unit from ENCO in 1996 and have been using it for all my racing tires since then. I had a Spec Racer Ford then and I use it on the SM now. It works great on small wheels like 15" miata wheels. You may need to have a stepped centering ring machined from aluminum, I did. It cost $20 and fits the hub center very closely. I also found an old bubble machine at a mechanic's auction for $40. It is really sensitive. I have never had a problem with either. You just have to take more care placing your weights. I use taped weights and put them in the center of the wheel span to prevent side to side balance issues. I then duct tape them to ensure they are not torn loose. The Toyo tires are well made and the tire mass tends to be very well distributed circumferencially so the wheels don't need much weight to balance them.

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CW
MARRS SSM 4

   

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