Ambulance – Wheel Balancing

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Lets talk about balance, or the lack of it. Keep in mind the truck drives fine, it’s not terrible by any means. I just have a hard time with it not being the best it can be. I’ve read a lot about balance beads lately and not once have I come across anything this small. Do these even count? I originally told John he forgot to put them in because I didn’t see them. Are these the cause of my wheel balancing issues? See Super Singles to find out about tires and wheels.

They were stuck all over the inside of the tire. Certainly nothing rolling around in there. Do you think these are doing anything at all. Looks like there were about 10ozs per tire. Doesn’t matter much now, they have all been removed. I had the tires balanced again after the beads were out. Nope, no improvement.

Maybe it’s the inserts.

I’ve decided the main wheel balancing issue is that this insert is moving around while driving. Sometimes when going from 55 to 40 the truck just starts to ride like the tires are oval shaped. Crazy thing is, it doesn’t happen all the time. When it does, it stops within a couple of minutes. 

In this picture you can see how the insert isn’t round and doesn’t fit the tires inside diameter. Plenty of room for it to move.

Thinking outside the lostbox.

My experimental solution, add bumpers to keep the insert against the wheel. There must be a part of me that just loves taking my tires off and pulling my wheels apart. I really hope this is the last time. Not even close.

Can anyone guess where I got the bolts.

It’s not easy either. Remember I am using a 54 to 1 torque multiplier to get the lug nuts off. That must be around 500 turns just to get the nuts loose. Update: I now have a DeWalt ½ inch electric impact that does the job so much easier.


Now the inserts are in there snug and maybe I’m one step closer to smooth sailing.

Didn’t work, for my next trick.

Still no wheel balancing joy. Now I’m trying the centramatic wheel balancers. They fit perfectly on the front axle and are centered on the wheel. 

The rears aren’t ideal being so far inboard but fingers are crossed for great results.


This was the end of my original story. I thought I had this problem behind me. Reality was 2 more years of trying everything under the sun to get a smooth ride. No matter what I tried I couldn’t get the truck to drive smoothly. The centramatics were gone, bigger beads back in, inserts taken out completely, tires balanced professionally 3 different times.

Found the Issue.

Finally with the rear axle lifted off the ground when we were isolating the rear suspension (more troubleshooting) we noticed that the tire wasn’t round.

Is that even possible? Yes, way back in the day we used to shave our jeep tires to round because the manufacturing process wasn’t that great for larger tires. I contacted goodyear to find out if I had gotten a bad batch of tires. They were completely useless, their answer being, “some tires just aren’t meant to be on some trucks.” Thanks Goodyear.

The Fix

I was now on a new mission. To find a place that shaves tires. It took a few months but I eventually drove from Tucson to Southwest Brake and Alignment in San Antonio, TX. Yep, 900 miles.

These guys were on it.

They had a machine that worked just like a tire lathe. All 4 wheels were lifted off the ground then the lathe spun the tire and sliced grooves out to make the tire round.

Conclusion, Smooooth.

And now!!! Yes, success. The most annoying issue by far with my camper is solved. The moral of the story. I recommend one think twice or four times before buying Goodyear G275’s. I have not heard of one person having any difficulty with their Continental MPT81’s.