Lotus Elan

On Car Wheel Balancing

PostPost by: rjaxe » Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:55 pm

I suffered much the same frustrations as Tim but could not find a tyre specialist who could help with on car balancing so I had a special adaptor made which located the wheel on the five stud holes not the centre hole and succcessfully balanced all the wheels. Totally different balance weights were needed. So there is certainly a lot of benefit to be had by not relying on the centre hole for location and clearly if you lucky enough to be able to use on car balancing this would be better still.
Out of interest Tim, can you reveal what the on-car balancing cost.
Richard
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PostPost by: leifanten » Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:13 am

Interesting thread indeed. Being a mechanical engineer by training, I am somewhat puzzled by the concept of centering the wheel on the torque studs. These have not (at least not on my car) got the conical shape required to center the wheel. On regular bolt on wheels, the wheel bolts all have conical seats that centers the wheel by forcing it into the position it needs to be. The surface that serves this purpose on the knock on wheels is the large conical surface of the center bolt. However, I can see that you might "run out of tolerance" if the torque studs force are all slightly misplaced or bent. I that case they could force the wheel into a position where the conical surface of the center nut no longer is able to draw it back to the center when torqued up. This could be the result of either damage or poor craftmanship on manufacturing. I would not have solved this by reaming out the holes, as that would enable play to occur between the torque studs and the guide holes in the wheel, but rather by replacing a bad hub.

Anyway, I was suffering from imbalance (on a rather grand scale) with my steel wheels and decided to take them to a specialist wheel repair shop. They had to straighten all of them, and one of them had damage to the center dish inside the rim, which made it irrepearable (that one became demoted to spare - luckily I had four that were repairable (the spare got promoted). Now the imbalance is gone (at least up to 70mph, which is as fast as I let her run for just short tests right now, as I am running in a rebuilt engine). I suppose this is an adverse consequence of the combination of skinny, weight saving steel wheels and owners using the cars as they were intended and beyond. :lol:

take care, and have a vibration free Christmas
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PostPost by: tdafforn » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:58 am

Hi Guys,
Answering a few questions:
Andy, the suspension is supported so that it is as close to the running geometry as possible (I two was worried about the rear's running out of geometry, I have sliding spline shafts on the rear)

rjaxe, I remember your thread on the adapter you made, I think I emailed you about it as it sounded useful. unfortunately none of the guys around here would put such a thing on their balancing machine (Am I right in thinking that you have a friend who does it?)

leifanten, where did you get your wheels reconditioned (I tried but couldn't find anyone who would handle my wheels, they seemed put off by the fact they are half chromed)

O yes, and cost, ?90 for the four (although it is costed on time taken, an my rears didn't need anything.) Rationalised the cost as an Xmas present to myself! Its also worthwhile knowing that these guys balance any spining assembly, including cranks, clutches, flywheels etc..

Cheers
tim
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PostPost by: david.g.chapman » Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:23 pm

Having play on the anti rotation lugs crossed my mind too. When I drill out the holes, I stop when I can get the same clearance all the way around the central hole and the threaded hub. When the wheel is tightened up, there is little or no rotational play, but there is clearance between some of the holes and the pegs that are not quite in the right place, if you see what I mean.

I have always wondered if the wheel rotates on its hub when under heavy braking or acceleration, within the small amount of play that must be present on all wheel lug holes. If it did, would the wheel not work loose quite quickly? Or does it all cancel out? :?

Dave Chapman.
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PostPost by: Shiny_kit » Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:53 pm

I had similar problems with my MGB V8 - the wheel nuts are not tapered, so the "trick" to it is to use a couple of normal MGB tapered nuts, run them up tight to locate the wheels on centres, then fit 2 V8 nuts, then take the other 2 out and fit the last 2 V8 nuts. Bit of a faff but worth it to avoid vibrations caused by off-centre wheels.

Re reconditioning, the V8 wheels are chrome rims with alloy centres (similar to the Scimitar alloys) and once the chrome is shot they look naff. I went to a place called Solent Wheels, just outside Southampton, who cleaned them up and re-did the whole wheel silver (inc. over the chrome), as to split them and re-chrome is silly money. They came back looking really good. They were about ?70 per corner if I recall, that's 2 colours (silver with black highlights).
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PostPost by: leifanten » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:57 pm

Dave: your approach makes sense, as it allows to correct for small "out of position" errors on the torque pegs but maintaining contact at least on one surface to prevent the wheel to be centered incorrectly. On mine it seems like they all fit snugly without getting out of center, though. The risk, as you point out, is that you will get dangerous play (although small as it may be) when you break hard unless one or more or the other pegs touch the opposite side of its hole.

Tim: the guys I used are in Houston. My wheels did not have the partial chrome. They were painted silver. However, since I have the chrome bezels(?) anyway, the chrome rings that fit inside, I opted to have them painted black since that (IMO) looks very good. And it does indeed, I will post some pix to show it to you. The cost of this was $90 per wheel and was done by http://www.mywheelrepair.com/ (no affiliation of financial interest on my part)
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PostPost by: bcmc33 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:12 pm

Tim,

The suggestion to get the wheels repaired has to be a good option.

There was a company in West Bromwich that did such a thing, and the name Weller is in the back of my mind. I failed to find them in West Bromwich, but there is a link to Weller Steel Racing Wheels in Redditch - perhaps they moved. A phone call or short trip down the M42 may be worth while.

http://www.wellerwheels.co.uk/
Brian Clarke
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PostPost by: Shiny_kit » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:29 am

You might also try RJ Spratley in Lye, West Mids.

Never used them, but they advertise for MG wheels including the re-chroming.
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PostPost by: leifanten » Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:51 am

Here is what the result looks like. I had them do the post-repair balancing with the chrome ring installed, to remove one unknown factor. I agree it would look even better if I had the outer rim chromed. But hey. I like it alot!
Attachments
lotus wheel1.jpg and
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