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Old 06-27-2005, 03:09 PM   #1
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Were My Tires Correctly Mounted to the Factory Rims?

Last week, I bought four Hankook Optimo H418 205-50-16 http://www.hankooktireusa.com/produc..._ID=12&CatID=4
for the 2001 ZX3. When I get to around 40 mph, I get a small vibration which seems to be in the front tires and on the right side. I looked at all of the other tires and there is a orange colored circle on the tire sidewall next to the valve stem on three of the four tires. There is also a colored dot that is 180 degrees opposite the colored circle and valve stem on the same 3 tires.

Only the front right tire has the colored "Dot" next to the valve stem and the colored circle 180 degrees opposite. My question, is the front right tire the only one mounted on the rim incorrectly or are the other three wheels the ones I need to have looked at. I found this link at the Tire Rack and near the bottom of the article; it basically says that the tire manufacture's "High/heavy spot" on the tire does not really need to be mounted next to the valve stem anymore. Since these wide short tires have a lot of spinning mass, would not the method described in the link be more important than say some smaller 14 or 15 inch tire?

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=17

My thinking is that if the tire tech took the time to mount 3 of the 4 tires with the orange circle next to the valve stem that must be the spot the factory found to be high/heavy on those tires. I am not 100% sure that the same tech mounted "All" of the tires to the rims as there was several techs working around the car and even the shop supervisor was in the area. Anyways, only one tire is mounted 180 degrees opposite all of the others and it so happens to be the one I think is not quite balanced.

Terry

PS: Even before I looked at the tires and found the one that did not match the others in the way it was mounted, I had felt that sometime was not quite right with its balancing. A further note is the tires were spun balance only to 55 MPH on the machine. Should I see if I can get them to up the speed of the balancer so that it reflects the interstate speed limits of 70-75 MPH?


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Old 06-27-2005, 08:15 PM   #2
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That's odd that one of your tires is mounted different.
I'd ask the shop for a little bit more info about that as well.
It certainly couldn't hurt, and they should fix it if it isn't right.
But...
For a really good balancing job, find a shop that has a Hunter GSP9700 tire balancing machine.
Ask for a "Road Force" balance.
I just had it done on my new tires, and it's simply amazing how smooth they ride now.

Here's How It Works
Find One Near You

The Road Force balance will also take into account the high and low spots of both the tire and the wheel.
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Old 06-27-2005, 09:52 PM   #3
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WD40,

I could not tell if your new Hankooks had a orange dot or yellow circle near the valve stem.

How much does the balancing on the Hunter GSP9700 run? It sounds like a real high tech system. It might be worth the time and cost not to go back to Manny, Moe and Jacks. (Pep Boys). Their machine had a video screen too but the tech only spent maybe 30 seconds per tire doing the balancing. He was trying to balance the tires, remove and replace the tires on the rim and put them on the car all at the same time. I was surprised at how short a period of time the balancer actually spun the tire. That is why I asked the supervisor how fast (MPH) the tires were actually balanced to. I do not think it did the in depth balancing the Hunter machine does.

Terry
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Old 06-27-2005, 10:09 PM   #4
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i work at the discount tire company, you should try them out. we use the hunter machines
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Old 06-27-2005, 11:47 PM   #5
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I have bought tires at Discount Tires before and have been pleased with their products and service. Unfortunately, they did not have the type of tire I was looking for. All they carried was the high performance racing type and all I wanted was an old man type tire. I think these Hankook will do the job as long as I can get them tweaked in. (balanced)

There is a local tire store about four miles from my house that has one of those Hunter machines. Also there is a Ford dealer across the street. I think I might have better luck with the tire dealer than Ford because that is how he makes his living where as the Ford dealer makes his by selling and maintenance is only a have to do thing.

Terry
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Old 06-28-2005, 02:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by abq focus
WD40,
I could not tell if your new Hankooks had a orange dot or yellow circle near the valve stem.

How much does the balancing on the Hunter GSP9700 run?
Terry
My new tires do have orange circles on them, but they're all clocked differently in relation to the wheels.
The tech rotated the tires on the wheel to match the high/low spots better.

I paid $12ea ($48 total) for the whole shebang. Very reasonable in my mind for the service I got.
That included:
1) Dismounting of the old tires.
2) Disposal fee
3) New valve stems
4) Mounting and road force balancing of the new tires.
I did bring them in "loose", as in not on the car, and mentioned I was an SCCA member.

Did you check that link I posted, and find a shop in your area with one of those machines?
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Old 06-28-2005, 05:06 PM   #7
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I called the shop and they charge $20 per tire. Sounds like you got a good deal. The tech said there is a lot of work involved if you want to do it right and that 30 seconds per tire that Pep Boys were doing was almost like not doing anything at all.

I am going over early n the morning. They had three cistomers waiting for them to open the door this morning at 0730.

Terry


PS: If the orange dots are from the factory, then that means the only tire that is matched to the dot is the one that seems unbalanced.
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Old 06-28-2005, 08:52 PM   #8
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well I just rotated my tires for the fifth time yesterday and on my way to work this morning I noticed vibration in my steering wheel when driving over 70 + mph and that it was pulling to the right. So when I got home from work I switched the two front tires and road tested. Still vibrating and now pulling to the left. So then the tire would be the culprit right? Need some reassurance. Anyhow the reason I posted here is because when I was switching the two fronts I noticed the bad tire said inside when you look at the rim. I still have the factory contis. Now I realized how it happened, I had the tire patched when I got a nail in it a while back so obviously they mounted the tire back on the rim backwards. So what harm could this do? Also I might as well add, A while back I ran over a piece of metal (sheet metal I think) with the front right tire. Now all my tires are pretty worn on the outside so do you think that screwed up something causing the tires to wear on the outside more than usual when they were mounted front right?
sorry about the long post!!
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Old 06-28-2005, 10:20 PM   #9
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Well the patch definitely is throwing off the balance on the one tire.

Putting patches on the inside of an aircraft tire ( Beechcraft Bonanza) was the way my friend use to balance his 1964 S models main gear. He would get a new set of tires and sometimes you could not read the airspeed indicator going down the runway for takeoff.

He built a simple dynamic wheel balancer out of a couple of upright posts and a bar that would go through the wheels hub. Then he would center the wheel in the middle and slowly spin it till the tire would stop. Then back and for a couple of times till the "Heavy" spot would be at the bottom or six o'clock position. Then he would tape a tube patch (yes the aircraft still used tubes) to the outside of the tire tread opposite that heavy spot. Then he did his spin tests again till the tire would stop anywhere which said to him the high and or low spots were now gone. He would then mark the patch position and then break down the tire/ rim. (split rims) Moving the patch to the inside of the tire case (same position it was on the outside) he would then re-assemble the tire and wheel and make one final check before mounting it back on the aircraft. The difference was like night and day with a balance tire and a new unbalanced one. In fact it felt like you were riding in a car now going down the runway. I cannot remember the size of the tires but I think they were in the range of a 6.00 X 12 or 8.00 X 12 and to have something that small spinning up to 80-100 MPH in a few seconds would definitely show any out of balance condition. The next time you ride on a airliner, take note how ruff the ride (vibration) is, especially taking off. It is not that the runway is so ruff as the tires are not balanced. In fact, most airliners are running “Retreads” on the main gear with full government (FAA) approval . Just as in over the road trucks, you cannot use a retread on the nose or steering tires.

This has been a long way around to say your patch could and most likely is throwing off your balance. Mounting the tire so it now travels in the opposite direction has changed your pull to the opposite direction too. Do you know if those tires are considered “Directional” tires meaning they were only intended to go in one direction. (tread) From what little I know about performance tires, they make them that way for better handling. Personally I like a “Non” directional tire which allows me to “Cross rotate” them as per the owners manual to the other side of the car. This will help minimize the effects of that inside or outside edge wear.

Speaking of, when I owned my own little Cessna 150, my main gear tires would wear big time on the inside edges due to the torsion bar type gear Cessna went to in the early 70s. This new gear gave a softer ride and a smoother landing but it tore up tires real quick. You could look down at the main gear as you were taxiing (high wing aircraft) and see the gear and wheels arching back and forth (forward/aft) in the direction the aircraft was traveling. That was what wore out my tires on the outside. After the tires started showing wear on the inside I would cross rotate them to get the wear a little more even. That would help fix that problem where as the only way to fix flat spots on the main part of the tread was to keep my number 10 size feet off the brakes when I was about to land. The act of landing in itself would shave off a spot of rubber when the tire would spin up from zero to 50 mph in a second or two. Do this too often with the brakes applied and you get an out of round tire.

My question is, what is causing the tires on your car to wear on the outside? Is it a balancing, alignment, type of driving, or a combination of all of these. Find that out and hopefully your tires will start wearing more evenly across the tread surface.

Terry
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Old 06-29-2005, 04:58 PM   #10
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I had all four tires re-balanced with the Hunter GSP9700 today and now I can go up to 70-75 mph (NM interstate freeway speed) before I start getting some vibration. I think the little Focus was not meant to be driven much faster than that. It is a good around town car but not really a hiway cruiser.

Terry
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