Concentric Tire Mounting and Balancing
What is Concentric Tire Mounting and Balancing?
Concentric tire mounting and balancing refers to arranging tires so that the center of the wheel or rim exactly matches the center of the tire mounted on it. Modern radial tires are constructed with lower aspect ratios to ensure enhanced on-road performance, but are prone to mounting errors and may require regular maintenance attention.
Understanding Properly Mounted Tires
Depending on the level of non-concentric assembly, some drivers may experience disruptions while driving. These disruptions will be immediately apparent if mounting is incorrect. Mis-mounting is more subtle and may go unnoticed initially. This can cause irregular wear initiating, eventually leading to disruptions as the irregular wear continues.
Maintaining a Proper Mount
If you mount a tire properly and maintain the correct air pressure, the tire and wheel will remain concentrically mounted. However, a non-concentric mount will not fix itself automatically.
Follow this four-step process: 1. Clean 2. Lube 3. Align 4. Check. Think CLAC to remember this process.
Vehicle vibration impacts ride quality, reduces the lifespan of tires, and puts a strain on vehicle components. To avoid this:
- Inspect wheels and tires for irregular damage or wear
- Evaluate the tire inflation and suspension components
- Take a test drive of the vehicle on a smooth road surface to diagnose any symptoms. When addressing steering wheel vibrations, focus on the steer axle. For floor or seat vibrations, concentrate on the drive axle
- Adjust the tire wheel/rim assembly balance. Dismount and remount, if needed
- Measure tire and wheel/rim assembly for excessive lateral or radial run out if the vibration persists
- Test drive the vehicle after you have rebalanced the tire and wheel/rim assembly
Clean wheels and tires for concentric mounting
On wheels that are bent or have dented flanges, rust build-up, dirt, or damage, the tire’s bead will not seat properly (the mount will be non-concentric if the bead can’t seat properly on the flange). Dirt or bead damage may result in the same problem. Make sure you check the tire too. Cleaning and inspecting your wheels and tires carefully always helps.
Role of Lubricants
The right amount of lubrication will help reduce bead damage, make mounting effortless, and will assist the tire’s bead in fitting the rim flange into the proper location. Lubricate both the wheel and tire bead, making sure to avoid water-based and petroleum-based lubricants as wheels and steel tire cords can get rusted with water-based lubricants. Petroleum-based lubricants can destroy the rubber as time progresses.
Pilot Tyres recommends vegetable, oil-based lubricants for mounting truck tires. Check that your mounting supplies dealer provides the appropriate lubricant for your needs.
Minimize radial runout and establish an initial static balance. Ensure that you follow OSHA, RMA, tire manufacturer, and shop procedures before you seat the beads.
Checking the Assembly
Check the distance of the tiny ring melded into the tire bead from the edge of the bead flange. Conduct the check on both sides of the tire in at least four locations, 90 degrees apart. The melded ring’s distance should be identical to the flange in all locations. If you find a difference, your tire is not mounted concentrically.