The tires on my '92 Thunderbird Sport ....
.... weren't worn out yet, but they were showing some sidewall cracking and well, they have been on it since fall 2007. Lately, in the last year maybe, I've been limiting this car to local drives for this reason alone, kept thinking I'ld swap .... and putting it off.
They are 225/60-16 Goodyear RS-As Pursuit tires that had been removed from police cars and left at a local garage for disposal. I had at one time, maybe 2 dozen or more that still had good to great to near new tread, most also had a puncture someplace which is usually why a good tire would not be run on a police car. Many times a tire is punctured and both on that axle get replaced together.
So today I pulled the '92 around and did each tire at a time (date codes ranged 2002 - 2004
), removing and breaking down and swapping older cracked tire off for a near new more recent tire out of my storage shed where they been. I went out to the shed and went through my stacks, and pulled two that were nice, maybe 75% tread left and even wear across with 2006 date codes for the front and two that were closer to new but which showed sign of having been run on the front with excessive toe out off some troopers car, these were for the rear .... they both had same date code 4207 and dragging my hand across them tells me they were run right and left.
I stripped all the weights off the wheels, all total there was maybe 5 ounces on all 4 wheels. These Goodyears usually don't take a lot of weight, they are well made tires that just get beat up a lot in use. After mounting each tire to it's wheel I weighed out 4 ounces of those same "Red Jacket" 6mm 0.15 gr Airsoft BBs and poured it in from the top before airing the tire up. Then after seating, let air escape while get core ready .... then insert core and re-inflate to 40 psi each today. I'll check and adjust down tomorrow .... if none are flat
Mounted back on car ... and afterwards took a short drive over onto Rt 11 .... and I am very pleased.
I know what's written about bead balancing tires with lower than 65
aspect ratios, but I read all that as a "disclaimer" (not as a statement that "it won't work"
As I accelerate up passing 35-40 mph there is a very short time during which a few revolutions lead me to believe that one maybe has some very slight dynamic side to side imbalance, but it goes away really fast if accelerating by 45 mph and from then on until you slow to a stop, they stay smooth even if you slow to 25 and accelerate again. I ran up to a hair over 60. I will try them on interstate tomorrow.
Follow up 08-03-14 PM
.... checked tires this morning, all 4 same pressure still, and none flat
.... so seems I drew 4 with no holes. That's good. Aired down to 34-35 psi then.
Drove the '92 about 115 miles
all total this afternoon to a meeting and supper and home .... and I must say ..... it surprised me. These are tires that are new to this T-bird, but as noted above .... they have some wear patterns. I expected maybe some noise, I have none .... they sound new? That's not the BBs doing, but just a pleasant finding.
Now, as to balance
, they are , it seems very "balanced" once rolling. Only twice as I accelerated from a stop could I note a momentary "shake" type feeling that was almost non existent .... felt like a wide tire with dynamic balance off just a hair .... but only momentary and only twice .... most of the time there was no perceived imbalance at all from zero on up to 55 - 60 - 70+ mph. My roads were a mix, some 4 lane highway, some two lane good highway, some town, some new bypass, some interstate, and some bumpier paved side roads as we took a scenic detour home.
In further driving the T-bird, some several hundred miles now, they will occasionally maintain a very very
slight shake at 45-50 if you stay at that speed, but if I speed up, seem to get smoother and stay smooth when you drop back. Occasionally cures itself with a few more miles with no speed increase. I'm thinking it's the tire width and "flat floor" within the tire under the wide tread that lets the beads form up center and to either side maybe. You don't have that situation so much in 65-70-and taller aspect ratio tires.
As a supplement to dynamic balance like in our Mustang, it remains perfect.
Today we drove the T-bird to Lewisburg, most all Interstate, near 75 miles one way. Mostly OK, but every now and then that cyclical temporary imbalance crept in and at 70+, and while just noticeable at 45-55, it was some irritating at 70 .... so I'm likely gonna remove all 4, break a bead loose, vacuum beads out, and balance them on a machine, and then .... I'll see where I'm at. If I never drove this car on Interstate, I'd leave as is because it really is pretty good at 55 mph .... but occasionally I do use this car on Interstate so I guess "that's that".
If higher speeds are in your driving, I'd say you probably don't want to use the beads or BBs as a sole balancing method on 60 series or lower aspect ratio tires.
I do think they are "the real deal" on MC or trailer tires .... and older narrower car and truck tires.
No warranty as to satisfaction with bead balancing using Airsoft BBs in motor vehicle tires is expressed or implied.
Take Care ..........