How do they work?
By using centrifugal force the free moving weights (durametal and synthetic fluid) sealed in the balancer automatically distributes to exactly where needed, placing the assembly in equilibrium or perfect balance. When a sprung assembly is out of balance, deflection is caused via the springs or tire sidewalls. These free moving weights sense this deflection and move opposite the heavy points to balance the entire assembly, wheels, tires, drums, hubs, even mud, snow or ice stuck to the wheels.
What about mis-mounted tires or improperly seated beads?
This problem can be found by inspecting the area where the wheel and tire meet. A guide rib or circumference ring is molded into the sidewall of the tire. Measure the distance from the wheel to the guide rib (approx. ½ inch depending on tire brand), at the top, bottom and both sides, a variance in this distance indicates a mis-mount. A mis-mounted tire will roll out of round. This leads to erratic tire wear and vibration, regardless of how well it is balanced. Reseating the bead properly corrects the problem.
What is inside the rings?
Centramatic balancing media consists of two parts. Part one is durametal, a hardened alloy similar to shot but 10 times harder. This is primary media, as a solid cannot change shape or form under centrifugal force. It remains exactly where needed under high speed. Part two, the dampening fluid is proprietary synthetic oil, designed to operate in the most extreme environments. The rings are about 1/3 full of this fluid. Its function is to lubricate, dampen vibration and help balance. However, a liquid alone would merely flatten out under centrifugal force at high speed and be forced back around the ring to an undesirable position. That’s why Centramatic uses the benefits of both solid and a liquid.
How are they installed?
Simply remove the wheel, use the bolt holes as guides and reinstall the wheel. Steer axle balancers mount between the hub and wheel, while balancers for the duals mount between the dual wheels.
At what speed do Centramatics start working?
Most models start working at 20-22 mph depending on wheel diameter. This occurs long before vibration due to imbalance, which is at speeds in excess of 35 mph.
How long do they last?
Centramatic has recorded balancers with 1,439,716 miles on them and still in good working condition. That’s why they have a 5-year unlimited mile warranty and offer unequaled service.
What about alignments?
Alignments control the direction and travel of the tires. Vehicles must be aligned by creditable alignment facilities to exacting specifications. Pre-mature tire wear and resulting vibration occurs if proper alignment is not maintained. Worn, loose or missing suspension components must be replaced. Centramatics balance the assembly and cannot correct alignment issues. Many forms of tire wear and poor handling result from mis-alignments.