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Old 05-08-2006, 09:26 AM   #1
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I had a set of Centramatic Wheel Balancers installed at the Centramatics HQ this morning. Then we drove over to Corsicana, TX, about 75 miles on back highways with about 19 miles on I-45. I cannot believe the difference in the ride and handling of our coach. Suposedly the tires were balanced but after only 6000 miles they have changed I guess.

I am not necessarilly sure they are any better than the Master Balancers or the Equal and the other powder that goes in the tire but they are really well worth the money.
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:26 AM   #2
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I had a set of Centramatic Wheel Balancers installed at the Centramatics HQ this morning. Then we drove over to Corsicana, TX, about 75 miles on back highways with about 19 miles on I-45. I cannot believe the difference in the ride and handling of our coach. Suposedly the tires were balanced but after only 6000 miles they have changed I guess.

I am not necessarilly sure they are any better than the Master Balancers or the Equal and the other powder that goes in the tire but they are really well worth the money.
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Old 05-08-2006, 12:18 PM   #3
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Adrian - what sort of a ride/handling problem were you experiencing pre-wheel balancers?
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:32 PM   #4
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John,

It just seemed kind of bouncy. It was not really a problem per se. I just never had that comfortable feeling at 65 mph. 70 was not real safe in my opinion although not so much that I could not do 70 to pass a vehicle on the interstate as long as I did not have any curves coming up. The ride and handling feel was never something that I could specifically put my finger on, it just never did feel good. Think about sailing a Hans or an Catalina in heavy weather. Which one would you feel better in?

The ride and handling is still not up to the Hans but it is getting there if you can understand the analogy I am trying to make.
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:43 PM   #5
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I had them on two axles (of three total) of a class C coach that our Winne replaced. They improved the vibrations in a way no amount of balancing, of tires and driveline, and trueing of the tires ever did.

But at like $170 a pair I'm finding them hard to justify and would like to try some $7 powder.
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Old 05-08-2006, 01:59 PM   #6
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VIBRATION - that is robably the besgt word to use, They stopped the vibrations.
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Old 05-08-2006, 02:50 PM   #7
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Adrian,

After having new tires installed at about 50K miles, I installed centramatics on our coach.

Yep, vibration is a great word for the thing removed. We paid $139 a pair for ours and they are worth far more. We presently have about 5K on them and I pulled tires to check them for any signs of wear or fatigue and they look just like they did when I put them on.

Good choice I believe.

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Old 05-08-2006, 03:11 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AdrianLee:
Think about sailing a Hans or an Catalina in heavy weather. Which one would you feel better in? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>The Catalina is fine for lakes and near-shore, but I'll sail the Hans Christian offshore thank you. I understand the analogy.
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Old 05-08-2006, 03:11 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by TheRVGuy:
After having new tires installed at about 50K miles, I installed centramatics on our coach.

Yep, vibration is a great word for the thing removed. We paid $139 a pair for ours and they are worth far more. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Where did you purchase yours and what model and part number were they? Centramatic has a 400 and 600 series, I presume the difference is the ability to balance heavier tires in the 600 series.

I have a 2002 Southwind W22 and would like to know what you installed.
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Old 05-08-2006, 03:56 PM   #10
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alvinc,

The part number is based on your chassie, wheel size, and brake hub size. Check their web site and you can see which ones you would need.

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Old 05-08-2006, 06:19 PM   #11
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Hi Adrian,
I'm intrigued. I have been having a left front tire balance problem for a while now. Started after some tire rotation and remounting prior to a front end alignment (1/4 inch too much toe in). It got much better when I removed the wheel assembly and replaced it 180 degrees from its original position. There is still a slight imbalance in both fronts and I'm sure the rears also.

From the Centramatic web site, it looks like the 04 Horizon would take the 700-710 on the fronts because of the disk brakes, and the 600-640 on the rear. List price $388.00 ? Has anyone found a discount retailer for these products that will ship? Installation looks fairly simple, remove the wheel, place the balancer over the studs, and replace the wheel. 500 to 600 Lb/Ft or torque on the lug nuts is easy with a 5 foot pipe. That 2 foot bar that Winnebago or Freightliner provides is (ahhh) 3 feet short! Unless you weigh over 275 Lbs.
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Old 05-09-2006, 03:56 AM   #12
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MrTransister,

I wouldn't even hint that they would fix your problem but I think they would be well worth the try. I am not aware of any discount dealers offering them. I have a friend who has a Dutch Star and he bought a set in Quartzite this year for $360. I think that's about as discount as you are going to get.

You are right - remove the wheel and put them on after assuring you are putting them on in the right direction.

As far as touqueing them yourself, I guess you could although I seem to remember a thread, either here or somewhere else, that said you could do some damage by over torqueing the studs. I think I would check with a tool rental place. The torque wrench they used was about 4' long. One guy held it on the lug nut and the other guy supplied the weight.

While I was waiting for them to be installed I talked to 2 truckers that had their trucks in the shop. Both commented, without me saying anything, that they hated to drive a truck without them.
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Old 05-09-2006, 04:43 AM   #13
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I tried these a few years ago on my Freightliner FLD-120 just before we converted it to a motorhome.

I was getting a vibration from 53-58 mph which was real annoying. I put a set on the front and back and it had no effect on the problem. The vibration was not that bad so I was sure that these would have solved it. The truck had steel wheels so I bit the bullet and replaced the rims with Alcoa's along with the steer tires and that solved the problem. Never did determine if it was a rim or tire. Tire shop did not recommend that I use them since they thought that it could mask a problem and so I never put back on.

So they may not fix a vibration from a rim or tire issue.
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Old 05-09-2006, 10:04 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AdrianLee:
alvinc,

The part number is based on your chassie, wheel size, and brake hub size. Check their web site and you can see which ones you would need.

Centramatic </div></BLOCKQUOTE>AdianLee, Have you actually visited the Centramatic website? I found their catalog to be much less than useful. I was hoping for an applications guide that would list the chassis models, like P30, W22, F53, maybe coupled with the year and rim size.

Unfortunately I don't have this information, and since TheRVGuy has a W22 of the same year, I thought I would ask him which model he purchased. I could work the information either way, using wheel configuration, or chassis manufacturer/year. But I have neither, and the Workhorse Spec Sheet doesn't show the wheel configuration either.

Other web sites I checked out, seem to recommend the 400 series for P30 and 600 series for larger Class A's.
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:08 AM   #15
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Alvin,

Yes, I have actually visited the Centramatics WEB site. Actually, I determined exactly which parts I needed for the front and the rear of my Freightliner chassie.

You need to know the brake type and if drum, the diameter of the drum along with the wheel size, bolt patern, and size.

There is also a phone number that you can call. They will help you if necessary.
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Old 05-09-2006, 11:09 AM   #16
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Alvin,

BTW - my Itasca Ellipse 40FD takes the 600-630 for the front adn 600-640 for the rear. I have drum brakes on the front, not disk.
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Old 05-09-2006, 03:04 PM   #17
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Alvinc,

I actually have a Ford chassis, but FYI, the items I used were 400-418 and 400-419 both for 19.5 wheels.

The best way is that which has been suggested, use the Centramatics site and identify what you need. I followed that up with a call to them to confirm my selection was correct.

Best to ya,
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Old 05-09-2006, 04:49 PM   #18
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Hi Adrian et al,

Well, now I think I'll wait. I talked with a Centramatic dealer today here in Albuquerque, Commercial Tire Inc., and he said he could not recommend them for Class A coaches. His theory is that under some' circumstances they may reduce or eliminate some' vibrations, but have a habit of masking other underlying problems such as; tires mounted off-center on the rim, bad wheel bearings, bent rims, loose shock hardware, worn shocks or worn steering components.

He also points out that the payback is probably nonexistent since RV tires are almost never replaced as a result of miles but years. He does recommend them for long haul trucks that are making 600 to 800 miles a day, 5 to 7 days a week. Since they normally receive routine service that carefully checks for the above problems, the Centramatic balancers will more than pay for themselves with extended life on the first set of tires.

For tires on Class A coaches, he says that tires properly mounted on Aluminum rims to be concentric and true, will normally be balanced to less than 1 ounce and you should never be able to feel any vibration up to the speed limit of the tire. He says this is especially true of Michelins. He recommends that if you have any vibration, the tire probably needs to be remounted on the rim. I got this same recommendation from another shop where I had the left front tire balanced on' the coach. When they spun the tire up to 80 MPH, after adding about 7 ounces, there was absolutely zero vibration. But you could see that the tire was not true on the rim and I still had an annoying shimmy in the steering wheel and vibration in my seat.

Additionally, he looked up the balancers for the Horizons and Vectras with the IFS and says that Centramatic doesn't make balancers for the rims with large center hole and larger bolt pattern of the 'hub piloted mounting' Aluminum wheels used with the IFS (see below). Rears appear to be the same, 600-640. The 700-710 should work on straight axels with disk brakes. He says to call Centramatic to see if they might consider producing a compatible balancer but he doesn't think they will because of the low production volume. Maybe someday?

This is the same guy that sold me the 255/80R22.5 Michelin XZE tires for our Journey (loved them!). And at an installed' price for the balancers of the same price as list' from Centramatic, I was ready to buy. So he essentially lost a spot sale to make these recommendations. So, I'll wait.

Standard Aluminum wheel as used on the Journey:
Bolt Pattern - 285.27MM or 11.25"
Hub Bore - 220.1MM or 8 2/3"
Bolt Hole dia. - 26.75MM or 1.053"

European New Generation Wheels as used on the front of Vectras and Horizons with IFS:
Bolt Pattern - 335MM or 13 3/16"
Hub Bore - 281.2MM or 11.070"
Bolt Hole dia. - 26.75MM or 1.053"
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Old 05-09-2006, 04:53 PM   #19
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After a visit this morning here (IRV2) and then to Centramatics website we realized we were going to be going right by them today so I gave them a call and asked if we could stop by and purchase and have them installed. We were given excellant directions on how to get to them and once there they took us right in for the install. We were in and out in less than an hour. Since it was 101 here today their cool waiting room was very welcome and very comfortable.

The total for the front and rear was $388 + $32 tax.

We have an 04 Journey 39K. Front took 630. Rear 640

Since we have only driven about 75 miles on I-35 it's hard to say what changed in the ride but we decided that they sure helped with the bounce and that the coach felt more stable on the road. The biggie to us is that the tires will run cooler and last longer.

We did mention IRV2 and Adrian Lee. Now they realize that the internet "talks" if they didn't before

So Adrian thanks for the info.
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Old 05-12-2006, 02:29 PM   #20
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Savannah,

Thanks - I guess - I have been in internet prision for the past 3 days - in a park with to many trees and no WIFI. I was going through withdrawals

We have since driven another 235 miles on local highways and a little on I-40 - Yes - they are good to have.

Savannah - which way are youal traveling?
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