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Old 06-15-2020, 07:44 AM   #1
Don
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Default Do the old style bubble balancer work

Picked a bubble balancer up at Hershey a few yrs ago but have never used it,have the wheels off 35 and Might do a check ,..I do have a viberation problem at certain speeds ,,Have had them balanced on a computer but still not satisfied,
Found the instructions on line,and have some weights laying around,,
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Old 06-15-2020, 08:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

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Originally Posted by Don View Post
Picked a bubble balancer up at Hershey a few yrs ago but have never used it,have the wheels off 35 and Might do a check ,..I do have a viberation problem at certain speeds ,,Have had them balanced on a computer but still not satisfied,
Found the instructions on line,and have some weights laying around,,
They work but are not nearly as accurate as modern "spin type" balancers.
Did you ever check each rim for runout?
If they are not true, that will definitely set up a cause of vibration. I'm not certain what maximum runout is specified for your rims. Some modern cars can be held to less than .005".
If you are running radials, they too will can set up the conditions for vibration. Especially if your chassis is not top notch. Poor shocks, loose front chassis components, sagging springs...can all add up to what you are experiencing.
I'd start narrowing down the issue by checking the rims for runout on the car.
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Old 06-15-2020, 10:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

My 41 had a vibration (shimmie) at 55mph, went away at 60 I bought tires, had them road load ballanced, still shimmied. Set the toe in my self after having it done by front end shop, they made it worse. So I made me a tool to set the toe in myself, set it at 1/16" toe in and shimmie gone. Al
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Old 06-15-2020, 11:04 AM   #4
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

When they were balanced on the modern machine were they mounted with cones or by the lug holes---- most modern wheels are hub centric, which means the hole in the hub centers the rim, the balancer used the center hole to center the rim, the old Ford wheels are lug centered. The hole in the center may not be accurate, they should be mounted by the lugs, most modern balancing machines have a plate with arms that can be used to mount these wheels though it takes more time
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Old 06-15-2020, 11:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

changed to hydraulic brakes removed wheel to fix flat spun front hub and found brake drum way out balance ! might check it John
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Old 06-15-2020, 12:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

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Check your tires for out of round first. I have an 18” Excelsior radial that I am having trouble with.
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Old 06-15-2020, 12:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

To answer your question--yes. I've used a small one to balance tires on my S10 Blazer several times with good results. Mine is too small balance the 16" tires on my F250 diesel.
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Old 06-15-2020, 12:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

A bubble balance is a static balancer until you starts spinning it and then itīs as good as the guy operating it...
We still have an old one in a corner with a pencil and paper drawing out the dynamic unbalance...i for sure canīt handle it...not sure my dad can...think it even dates back to grand dad..
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Old 06-15-2020, 01:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

I had one the same type bubble balancer used by most gas stations years ago. I found it difficult to get an accurate balance. The type of oil used in the lower bowl might be the reason but I never did like what i was seeing. Funny I sold it at Hershey years ago I remember that dam oil spilled in the truck on the journey! Now I use a modern spin balencer which I find works perfectly including the tires I use at very high speeds..
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Old 06-15-2020, 01:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

Something we did back in the day, try demounting the tire and rotating it 180 degrees and rebalance the tire.
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Old 06-15-2020, 01:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

Dynamic is a better way to balance but static will work in a pinch. The problem is that it will only balance the wheel & tire. If the rim is bent or the tire wasn't well wrapped before it was vulcanized, there will be dynamic problems. The rotating assembly such as the drum or rotor and the hub can also be out of balance. The only way to truly balance a wheel is to do it on the car with a dynamic spin up. This will balance the whole assembly on the car and eliminate all possibilities of imbalance. It will also find problems that had been previously undetectable.

I still use static balance set ups for car and motor cycle wheels/tires. If it feels good while driving then I'm done. If it doesn't then it's time to spin something for dynamic balance.

I balance tail rotors on the helicopters while ground running them at full rpm. Flying the helicopter with the equipment installed is the only way to get the main rotor balanced in both planes of motion.
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Old 06-15-2020, 02:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

I used to bubble balance tires/rims for most of the hot rods in my town that were raced at the drag strip in N.H. ......before the dynamic machines were common. No one ever had any issues.......cars were running high 12s in the quarter mile. All bubble balancers I have seen also uses a cone. I would guess that your '35 never gets close to those speeds........
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Old 06-15-2020, 02:55 PM   #13
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

If you can't find someone who can spin balance it on the car then pull the hub, with the wheel and tire on it, and have that spin balanced. Worked for me. ( 35 Ford Pickup.)
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Old 06-15-2020, 10:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

Be sure to LEVEL the balancer before use. The bubble absolutely has to be centered as close as you can get it before putting the wheel on.

If you add weights to the wheel, put half on the front and half on the back. If there is any dynamic unbalance, this will disturb it the least.
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Old 06-15-2020, 11:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

I picked up one of the old bubble balancers when a local shop was closing years ago. I used it many time. later on I was able to pick up a John Bean computer balancer. After I set it up I foid that the bubble alancer work OK bt that the computer dynamic balancer was much more accurate.It now sits in the corner with the other left overs.
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Old 06-16-2020, 06:27 AM   #16
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

Got the tires all balanced with help from neighbor who used to do this when he worked at a service station,said he never had a dissatisfied customer!!still have to get brakes bled to give it a run down the road,,yes the guys always used cones to balance on computer,always wondered about this,didn’t seem like the correct way to do it,,,lm sure the spin on car is the best way but not any around anymore,that I can find,,
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:38 AM   #17
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

Used one for 20 years on my 150 MPH formula race car.
Balanced my 911 alloys as well.
I used "peel and stick on" weights on the inside of the wheel for both.

Modern machines are obviously and improvement.
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:15 PM   #18
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

If you decide to have them spin balanced, be sure the have the equipment that ROAD LOAD balances. Discount Tire in my area has changed all their's to do this. It applies a load on the tire like it was being driven on the road, As far as finding on that spin balances the tire on the car I haven't seen nor could find one any where ion my area. Bubble balance does not do dynamic balance which is the best, Iv'e balanced steam turbine rotors with modern dynamic machines, and the turn 10,000 rpm. Al
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:25 PM   #19
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

Others mentioned brake drums out of balance, I even went that far trying to get mine balanced the best I could. Took off tires with rim, removed the hubs, washed out grease, installed hubs and let them rotate to heavy spot on bottom, took side grinder and removed metal at heavy side until it set where ever I stopped it. This may seem like overdone, but the shimmy I had was driving me up the wall. The biggest factor causing it was the toe-in was not set right. Al
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: Do the old style bubble balancer work

If you decide to have them spin balanced, be sure the have the equipment that ROAD LOAD balances. Discount Tire in my area has changed all their's to do this. It applies a load on the tire like it was being driven on the road, As far as finding on that spin balances the tire on the car I haven't seen nor could find one any where ion my area. Bubble balance does not do dynamic balance which is the best, Iv'e balanced steam turbine rotors with modern dynamic machines, and the turn 10,000 rpm. Al
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