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Wheel Balance

This is a discussion on Wheel Balance within the Drag Racing forums, part of the Racing Forums category; I have new wheels and tires that will be for track use only -- well, maybe a little street fun. ...

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    Wheel Balance

    I have new wheels and tires that will be for track use only -- well, maybe a little street fun. The dealer indicated that the rear tires will likely walk a bit on the rim, maybe rotate 1/4 - 1/2 of the distance around the rim, before they fully seat. If this is so, what do I do about wheel balance? Don't worry about it, or balance them again after the first outing?

    Also, my plan was to utilize the stick on weights (no way I am banging a weight onto the bead). Is there any general track rule about wheel weights that I need to know about?

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    Senior Member Z28Thunder's Avatar
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    I am not aware of a stick on weights rule at my local track. I do have weights on my 15x4's and my 15x10's. I can say this without the weights the unbalanced wheels will create vibration. I ran mine before getting them balanced and will never do that again. If you find a rule let me know. I am looking up NHRA rules now.


    NHRA Wheel rules

    5:1 TIRES
    Tires will be visually checked for condition, pressure, etc. and must
    be considered free of defects by the technical inspector prior to
    any run. All street tires must have a minimum of 1/16-inch tread
    depth. Temporary spares, space-saver spares, farm implement, or
    trailer tires prohibited. Metal, screw-in valve stems mandatory in
    tubeless tires, front and rear, on cars running 11.99 or quicker.

    5:2 WHEELS
    Hubcaps must be removed for inspectors, who will check for loose
    lugs, cracked wheels, worn or oversize lug holes, and condition of
    spindles, axle nuts, cotter pins, etc. Snap-on hubcaps are prohibited
    on any class car.The use of “spinner” style wheels or any wheel design
    that incorporates movable pieces while vehicle is in motion or
    stationary are prohibited. Each car in competition must be equipped with
    automotive-type wheels with a minimum 12 inches of diameter unless
    class requirements stipulate otherwise. The thread engagement on all
    wheelstuds to the lugnut must be equivalent to or greater than the
    diameter of the stud. Length of stud does not determine
    permissibility; length of the engagement between the stud and hex
    portion of the lug determines permissibility. Maximum rim width on
    any car: 16 inches. No rear-wheel discs or covers permitted in any
    category.
    Last edited by Z28Thunder; 08-03-2010 at 05:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I have new wheels and tires that will be for track use only -- well, maybe a little street fun. The dealer indicated that the rear tires will likely walk a bit on the rim, maybe rotate 1/4 - 1/2 of the distance around the rim, before they fully seat. If this is so, what do I do about wheel balance? Don't worry about it, or balance them again after the first outing?

    Also, my plan was to utilize the stick on weights (no way I am banging a weight onto the bead). Is there any general track rule about wheel weights that I need to know about?
    For my auto-x tires I run on the Camaro, they used caulk to help seal and also to help keep the wheels from spinning in tire with such a hard sidewall.
    Last edited by Smittro; 08-03-2010 at 05:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    For my auto-x tires I run on the Camaro, they used caulk to help seal and also to help keep the wheels from spinning in tire with such a hard sidewall.

    I have heard of bead sealer and used it for a couple of years when I worked at the truck stop. Caulk? That is a new one to me. Just a standard adhesive silicone type caulk?

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    Senior Member Z28Thunder's Avatar
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    You can always chalk the tire and see if it is moving on the wheel. I would do this even when you use the bead sealer. The only true fix on the 1/4 is to screw or bolt the tire to the wheel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Z28Thunder View Post
    You can always chalk the tire and see if it is moving on the wheel. I would do this even when you use the bead sealer. The only true fix on the 1/4 is to screw or bolt the tire to the wheel.

    The dealer recommended marking them and I will probably do that -- if I can remember to. I'm pretty excited about finally having a real track setup to run. Interesting that the rules don't say anything about wheel weights. You would think that anything flying off a spinning wheel could do some serious harm.

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    Senior Member Z28Thunder's Avatar
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    I didnt chalk my nitto's or ET Streets. When I went to the full slick Hoosier's I mark my tires. It can make your time's seem off if your sitting there spinning on the wheel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I have heard of bead sealer and used it for a couple of years when I worked at the truck stop. Caulk? That is a new one to me. Just a standard adhesive silicone type caulk?
    Not really.. It's got the consistency of plumbers "tub" putty.. It was applied as per the manufacturers recommendations as a slip preventative due to having extremely stiff side walls and super soft compound rubber (was especially recommended for painted wheels).. I sat in the waiting room while they/it was applied.. The person mounting them notified me that the compound was used.. I just paid the man

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    Senior Member Z28Thunder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    Not really.. It's got the consistency of plumbers "tub" putty.. It was applied as per the manufacturers recommendations as a slip preventative due to having extremely stiff side walls and super soft compound rubber (was especially recommended for painted wheels).. I sat in the waiting room while they/it was applied.. The person mounting them notified me that the compound was used.. I just paid the man
    If he is talking a slick or close ( I know I wrinkled my ET Streets)... He will not have stiff side walls...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Z28Thunder View Post
    If he is talking a slick or close ( I know I wrinkled my ET Streets)... He will not have stiff side walls...
    Ahh I see.. I'm not familier with drag radials..
    :\Users\Steven\Pictures\d6ftg5nh.gif


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    Senior Member Z28Thunder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smittro View Post
    Ahh I see.. I'm not familier with drag radials..
    Still great info for the auto-xer's!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Z28Thunder View Post
    If he is talking a slick or close ( I know I wrinkled my ET Streets)... He will not have stiff side walls...


    I definitely have soft sidewalls. I was just curious about the caulk as I had never heard of that before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    The dealer recommended marking them and I will probably do that -- if I can remember to. I'm pretty excited about finally having a real track setup to run. Interesting that the rules don't say anything about wheel weights. You would think that anything flying off a spinning wheel could do some serious harm.
    If you go the stick on route, you'll have to make sure the wheel is super clean. Sometimes they do come off, but being on the inside of the wheels they don't go anywhere but on the ground for the next guy to run over. Sometimes people (and I've done this in the past) will cover the weights with duct tape as a precationary measure, but as far as I know, there are no NHRA rules about it. My issue with them, is when it comes time for rebalancing, they are hard to remove, and generally leave sticky foam backing behind, stuck to the wheel, and it's a pain to get off without damaging the wheels finish.
    Anymore I just prefer the hammer on weights, and I static balance the wheels so the weights are only on the inside of the rim. I'm not worried about what the inside of the lips look like. I just don't want to scar up the outside, and I don't care to stare at the weights either. So static balancing is the way to go. I have my own electronic spin balancer too, I tend to be a bit more carefull with my wheels than some wheel tech at the local tire center.

    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    I definitely have soft sidewalls. I was just curious about the caulk as I had never heard of that before.
    There are some adhesives on the market to help with bead sealing and to keep the beads planted. I've never used it in a drag racing situation, and don't really care for it. Makes tires changes later on a pain in the ass, because all that has to be cleaned off.
    It would only be an issue in a drag racing situation if you plan to run very low tire pressures, which is common. The best route is to screw the tires to the rims. I always do this on tires that require tubes, because sometimes you run scary low pressure on bias plys with a very thin sidewalls. And those do move around if they aren't screwed down. Screw in valve stems are mandatory here even if they don't check, because the tubes will slide and pull the stems out of the wheels.

    I've never screwed down my drag radials to the wheels however. I've run them as low as 12 psi cold, which winds up being about 15 psi after they come out of the water box. Never had a problem running 1.5 60 foot times and actually wrinkling the side of the MT drag radials, which is still a pretty stout sidewall compared to a bias ply slick. It has to be to get that DOT approval.
    When you get into some of the faster cars in the drag radial classes that are running in the 7's and 8's and 1.2 60 foot times, you'll find alot of those cars run bead locks on the drag radials for obvious reasons. Most of them are already pushing the limit of the rim width for more contact patch in a class that limits the tire size. A 275/60 for example is usually installed on a 12 inch rim to pull those sidewalls out as far as possible.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Here is a MT drag radial on my fathers car. These are 295-65/15's. 29.5 inches tall. Running 12 psi cold, no screws in the rims, they have never budged. And they do wrinkle........


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    Thanks FBJ! Lots of good information and a very cool pic.

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    Senior Member Z28Thunder's Avatar
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    I have one like that also. My car Hooiser's and no screws.. Same here they dont move.. And they do wrinkle...


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    What size rims and tires on yours?

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    Senior Member Z28Thunder's Avatar
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    15x4 and 15x10.. tires a 26" x 10"-15"
    Last edited by Z28Thunder; 08-04-2010 at 07:56 PM.

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    Not sure who you mean, but I'll chime in with what I run.

    My fathers car in the pic is a 15x8 wheel with 295-65/15 MT drag radials. They are 29.5 inches tall and about 10 inch tread width. Not something that would fit on a 4th gen without serious massaging. I run the same rim sizes on mine but use 275-60/15's which are 28 inches tall and about 8-8.5 tread width.

    Rim sizes play a huge roll in how well the tire is going to work. Which is why those drag radial classes limited to a 275 put them on a 12 inch rim. The wider it is the more contact patch you lay down. Also people don't realize it, but the taller the tire is the more contact patch you lay down also. Which is why you'll see these same guys running 30-32 inch tall tires to gain that extra edge in traction, because the class limits you to a 275 section width.

    Rim height is also huge. The most I would think about running for a sticky tire would be a 16 inch wheel. You want some sidewall to work with. The more the better. When rim diameters increase, the sidewall decreases, it gets harder to get the tires to hook and you lose that shock load ability the tire absorbs.
    They do now however make drag radials for the taller 17 or 18 inch wheels that are 28 inches tall to give racers more sidewall to work with. I believe M&H is making them now.

    In my opinion though, a 15 inch wheel is the way to go. You get more tire size choices, and more sidewall. More sidewall the better, and the taller the tire the better.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 08-04-2010 at 08:13 PM.

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    Senior Member Z28Thunder's Avatar
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    Nice goat does your dad still have it?

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