Where do you buy California wheel weights for balancing tires at home?

On Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 11:56:40 AM UTC-5, Frank Baron wrote:

X5

Which confirms what I saw. Like I said, I would not even have fooled around with the VANOS piston seals, but I was taking the whole unit off to replace the gasket between it and the cylinder head, so figured I might as well do it. Engine was running perfectly before and after. I saw no diff in MPG either. So, I think a lot of this VANOS seal failure stuff may be BS.

I got them for ~$28 on Ebay.

I had a big go round with some of the boys on Xoutpost about replacing the mechanical fan with an electric one. They claim that mech fan sucks up 10, 20 or 50 HP. And they claim that once they replaced it, they could feel a big difference in performance. Like you, I think that big difference is all in their minds. Having spent a weekend tearing apart the car, re-engineering an electric fan in there, there is bound to be a big placebo effect.
My thinking is that if those fans were sucking up anywhere near that HP, the auto manufacturers would have gotten rid of them immediately, in the quest for MPG. I mean, an average car, how many HP does it use just going 60 MPH on the highway? Fifty maybe? And the mech fan is supposed to be taking on that order of energy? In reality, those fans went away because of the move to FWD, with a transverse engine. Not saying that there are not advantages to having an electrical fan, that it won't make some improvement in available HP, etc, just that I don't buy it's a big, noticeable diff.

Taking them apart once they are off the car is easy. The one potential big trouble is that the pistons are fastened to the camshafts with a small, left hand thread bolt. People say it's delicate, I saw one guy that broke his off. That was my one fear, because if it breaks off with the rest of it in the camshaft, then you're in big trouble. Mine came off easily, no problem. But I did notice one thing that I couldn't figure out at first. That is that the bolt has a thinner neck, near the head. I'm thinking that may have been done so that if it does break off, it breaks off there and you can then grab what's left after you remove the unit with vice grips and get it out of the camshaft.

I understand the X5 enough to know that overall, it's a nice SUV that handles well and if fun to drive compared to a Honda CRV. But I do think that it has some of those serious weak spots that you would not expect in a car costing that much. Another thing that annoys me is that they seem to have used every possible type of electrical connector on that car. Including many that even if you're looking right at it, you can't figure out WTF you're supposed to do to get it to release. And then after you figure it out, 10 mins later you're at another totally different one. Even worse when you can't see it. Thank God for youtube!
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On Mon, 19 Dec 2016 09:29:38 -0800 (PST), trader_4 advised:

I agree. There are very good arguments that the VANOS can't be the blame for all the ills that people give it (sort of like "warped" disc brake rotors are blamed when *nobody* every measures an actual warped rotor.

Yup. That's why I say BMW knows how to build systems but they don't know how to build the entire car.

Yup. You need a mechanical engineering degree just to figure out how to unclip them!

Trust me. I know. Anyone working on a bimmer knows. They're crazy those connectors!

And the forums.
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On Fri, 16 Dec 2016 17:54:24 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron
A lot of crap snipped

You call that bulletproof? I call it a flipp'n disaster. Even a crappy 3.0 liter MitsuShitty is a better engine. The only problem they had was valve guides. Guides that got loose and fell ot. Guides that wore out. Guides that wore then carboned up and stuck. Just about anything that could go wronf with a valve guide. Other than that the piles of scrap were pretty well bullet proof. Virtually never saw a bottom end go out - or even a piston. Compare that to the Vauxhall 2200 and 2300 cc slant fours. Other than popping the diaphragms out of the Stromberg 175 carbs, or lighting them on gire because GM techs couldn't get their heads around the concept of hydraulic dampers on carburetors, those things were bulletproof. Perhaps not having enough power to hurt themselves helped, but even highly boosted in the Panther,Lima (with very close to 180HP in "stock" form) stood up VERY well. A 225 Mopar six - now THAT was bulletproof. A 283 Chevy wasn't far behind. But ANY Bimmer???? Not even their inline 6 turbo diesel.

And why the heck would you take it to a "quick change"???

Some people's time is worth more to them than the savings of changing their own oil rather than taking it to the "dealer" (now that is a novel idea, isn'y it) for service.. Not to mention the mess of changing the oil, particularly on a CI engine.
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On Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 12:10:26 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

You're mixed up as usual. Here you're replying to Frank.

And here you're replying to me. So the answer to that is:
Because it's quick, inexpensive and it's worked fine for me. For many years I had a corporate car and that's where I had to take it, Jiffy Lube or similar. No problems.

You can take your car to the dealer to get hosed if you like. I'm with Frank on doing most repairs that the dealer will screw you royally for yourself if you choose. An example is a brake job. Take the car to the dealer and they will tell you that you need not only new pads, but new rotors. Then bill you at BMW prices for all. You wind up with a $1000 bill, instead of $50 for pads and DIY. And that's just most dealers, then there are the special ones that are totally crooked. I can tell you some great stories about that kind.
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On Sat, 17 Dec 2016 09:35:40 -0800 (PST), trader_4 advised:

I agree with Trader that anyone is welcome to take their car to the dealer for an oil change, but, they must be willing to pay through the nose for the privilege of the free loaner car for the duration.

Mine is $200 an hour and they charge double the price for parts so, it's never gonna be inexpensive to get work done at the stealer. A simple brake job can cost easily four digits (don't ask me how anyone can justify that though).

Yup. I don't think a four-wheel brake job is ever less than four digits at a bimmer stealer whereas I can easily do the job for less than a hundred, and that's using FF Textar/Jurid OEM pads (or Axis or PBR or Akebono aftermarket FF or GG pads), new solid Brembo or ATE rotors, ATE blue ersatz DOT4 brake fluid, etc. (yes, I know that a brake-fluid bleed isn't part of a normal brake job).

Me too. I pity people who take their cars in for service who don't know how to do the job themselves because they can so easily be screwed.
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On Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 10:21:37 PM UTC-5, Frank Baron wrote:

The BMW and similar owners actually look at paying that as a badge of honor. They think it costs so much more because the BMW is the ultimate driving machine. So, they roll in and say "Thank you Sir, may I have another?"

IMO, the best investment you can make with any car is to get a good code reader. That alone can help you figure out if the dealer or shop is BSing, you. They have ones now that work now with a smartphone. I don't have one of those, but for the BMW, I have the BMW software that the dealers run.
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On Sun, 18 Dec 2016 07:06:57 -0800 (PST), trader_4 advised:

Yes, I know all about it. The specific IBM T30 thinkpad that they use (which has a serial port, although people use it with K-Line USB interface to newer computer USB ports too).
There is a plethora of easily found BMW diagnostic software such as INPA, EDIABAS, NCSExpert & easy, EasyDIS, Progman, etc.
Me? I just use a dumb code reader.
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On Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 11:56:36 AM UTC-5, Frank Baron wrote:

I have one of those too. It's fast and easy to get some idea of what's going on. But that BMW software goes way beyond. Simple example, I can reset the airbag light with it. Otherwise, I'd have to go to the dealer. I ran into that once, when replacing one of those window regulators. It will also run tests on things that fail, step you through a process to diagnose it, etc. It was pretty cool to see my notebook PC controlling the engine, speeding it up at idle to warm it up, etc.
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On Mon, 19 Dec 2016 09:33:22 -0800 (PST), trader_4 advised:

Yeah. Most of the guys use Carsoft to reset the airbag light. A lot have the pirated Carsoft, which, for whatever reason, has the GUI to reset the airbag light - but it doesn't actually reset it (cruel irony).
Me? WHenever I work on the window regulators or the front seats (to fix seat twist), I make sure the battery is always disconnected before I touch any *yellow* connector! (In the E39, the airbag connectors are yellow.)
And, I always connect yellow before connecting the battery. So, no airbag light for me - but zillions of people complain of an airbag light after a windows regulator or seat fix because mechanics don't know this trick.

There is also a cheap airbag reset tool (don't recall what it's called 'cuz I never needed it).

Yup. Everyone who replaces a window regulator in the front has to remove the airbag first. That yellow connector should only be touched with the battery disconnected.
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On Sat, 17 Dec 2016 00:10:26 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca advised:

You have a point in that the cooling system weakness takes out more BMW engines than any other threat.
The DISA valve pin ingestion takes out a few too.
But other than those two external threats, the BMW engines are bulletproof, at least mine is (M54).

Dunno. The M54 is a great engine, as long as those two external threats are accounted for and ameliorated.
At least it has a timing chain! :)

The timing chains on the V8 E39 had stupid plastic guides, which is another weakness of BMW engines (not on the I6 though).

I never understood the turbo rationale. It's like putting low profile tires on an SUV.

My point was that there are two people who won't do a job: a. Those who have never done the job, and, b. Those who actually have done the job.
You only get useful information from the latter, but the former always feel their opinion is worth something when it's not.
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On Fri, 16 Dec 2016 15:00:00 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron

Like I said - it is critical on the front independent suspension. Dynamic balance on the duels of a triple axle trailer is NOT going to be an issue - nor on the tandem or triple dual weeled drive axles on a tractor. A set of super singles on the front end may well be a totallt different story.

And a LOT of owners replacing front end parts prematurely due to accellereated wear - and even in a vain attempt to solve a steering shimmy that is caused by a poorly balanced tire - even though on the bubble balancer, or even road force balancer, checks out as perfectly balanced.

The ply bushings have the mixed advantage/disadvantage of being MUCH stiffer than the OEM rubber busgings. The bushings in most cars are made of the same stuff the Bimmer uses - the same stuff my 21 year old Ranger uses - and at almost 350,000km they are still original - and it is running SEVERELY oversized tires and wheels. Perhaps if the wheels were dynamically balanced the front bushings MIGHT last a bit longer???? Did you read my arguement for dynamic balancing? Did you think about it and process it? You read a lot of PDFs. Who makes the PDFs? Who writes the copy? Is their input verified? In other words, have you had ANY concrete reason to believe them - that they actually know what they are tralking about? Or is it just that they resonate with your way of thinking???
I've been right about a LOT of what I've said on this thread, by your own admission. MABEE, perhaps, I actually DO know what I'm talking about? Perhaps the guys writing the PDFs don't have the experience behind them? Not saying they DON"T know what they are talking about - just raising the (strong) possibility. Anyone can put together a fancy PDF and overnight be an "expert" in the eyes of those who read them - particularly in a VERY biased enthusiasts' users group populated trust fund kids who fancy themselves experts on their chosen toy.

Front to back rotation is always a good idea. As long as the car uses the same wheels ant tires on both ends. Rotating left to right requires demounting and remounting the tires - particularly with directional or asymetric treads. Put the rear tires on the front and drive like a boy-racer and wear the outer edges off through hard turning, particularly with the caster not set properly. You DO remember that caster has a pretty significant effect on camber on turns - right??? And if you are wearing the inside off the rear tires it just means you are not cornering hard enough to get the hind end to "step out" putting the load on the outer edge of the outside tire on the turn :}

And there are thousands who DO who should never be allowed to have a wrench in their hand, even under supervision - EVER

The other driver on the road should NOT be put at risk by those who have no mechanical understanding, and no idea of the risk involved in doing something wrong that could kill them, their family or friends, or innocent members of the public.

I would.t be so sure. I've known sone VERY gay guys who knew their way around the bottom of a car, and a toolbox, better than many macho redneck knuckle-draggers. And some VERY talented yet very feminine members of the fairer sex who could out-wrenh (and out-drive) over 50% of the male population.. It's got nothing to do with testosterone.

And many of us who KNOW something about tires NEVER inflate their tires to the factory recommended pressure. On my cars I almost consistently rin 6 to 8 psi over the auto manufacturer's specs - and NEVER run them at the maximum inflation pressure printed on the sidewalls. The air pressure in the 235/70 16 tires on my ranger is significantly LOWER than the pressure spec on the door sticker. Inflating them to the specified pressure would have me bouncing all over the road and needing a kidney belt simply because they are rated much higher weight-wise than the truck requires, and are significantly oversized from the factory original 195/70 14 inchers. And if your guage is not accurate to within a lot less than +/- 5psi (thats a 10PSI variance) you should throw the damned thing in the trash and spend some money on a REAL guage. Seriously.

And on MOST cars there isn't one - - -

No you won't. You'll never balance a large enough sample to draw any statistically significant conclusion

I will STRONGLY dissagree with you. A $300 Michelin tire is virtually guaranteed to be a higher quality tire than a sixty nine dollar Nexen. It has also been my experience that a better tire usually takes less weight, and requires a whole lot less rebalancinf. A quality tire, once properly mounted and balanced, should NEVER go out of balance throughout it's normal lifespan..
A cheap tire may require rebalancing several times before it fails - particularly if dynamically out of balance to start and not properly (dynamically) balanced.

The 300 dollar tire may actually make more economic sense than the sixty nine dollar tire.

But your premise is WAY off. And the materials are a large part OF the quality and where costs are very often cut. A better grade of rubber costs more. Properly mixing the rubber, and properly milling it, costs money. The actual RAW material cost of a tire is likely closer to 10% than 90. Properly BUILDING a tire is a job that requires some skill - and attention to detail. Properly curing the tire is also a critical process - which if rushed, or with any shortcuts taken, results inan inferior tire. Also, proper spot testing of the product as it comes off the line costs money. This is "quality control" - which is generally almost non-existant on many of the cheap tires. They put a warranty on the tire so if a customer realizes there is something wrong they will replace it. Replacing half of the defective tires that get through is still cheaper than implementing proper quality control - and at least half the buyers either won't realize there is anything wrong, or won't bring them back for replacement - they'll just ditch them, swear about the crappy tires/crooked tire shop to their friends, and buy more garbage with a different name on it from another tire dealer for $69.

Which, as I said, is EXACTLY what happens.

Not just might be. I live in what WAS the tire manufacturing capital of Canada. We gad BF Goodrich, Goodyear and UniRoyal (Dominion rubber origionally) building tires here in Kitchener for decades. They are all gone now. I knew lots of guys who worked in the tire plants - and several who workead at the one plant came and bought the Atlas tires (private brabded for Imperial oil - ESSO) from me at list rather than buying the manufacturer's own brand at a discount directly from the plant because they KNEW the quality control was MUCH tighter on the private brand tire. A few years later I had the same happen at the Shell station - the tire workers bought the "Shell" brand tires because theywere a better tire - buiot to a higher spec, with better quality control, than the mainline branded tire (2 different plants involved)
Also, the markings on the tire tell you exactly what plant the tires come out of - and knowing that can tell you a LOT about what kind of quality to expect.

Which you do not fully comprehend.
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On Friday, December 16, 2016 at 11:24:41 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

So, what does Clare recommend? Govt regulation so that you have to prove that you have training, are certified, to work on your own car? Can you provide us some examples of the horrific results of the millions of guys who work on their own cars? And I suppose there have been no horrific results ever from incompetent work done at a dealer, right? How about all those dealers and GM that let people drive around in cars, getting killed, that they knew had defective ignition locks?
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On Sat, 17 Dec 2016 09:40:26 -0800 (PST), trader_4 advised:

I'm with trader on this one in that I'd rather see people working on their cars than people who are clueless about everything mechanical.
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On Fri, 16 Dec 2016 23:24:40 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca advised:

I'm aware that static balance isn't the entire balance story; however I asked a few shops the same question I asked you, and *all* said that there is no reason to dynamically balance if the car doesn't vibrate.

I certainly know the argument for dynamic balancing. I've read everything I can on the subject.
It's the same argument, in many ways, used for precision in nuclear ballistic missiles.

You mistake me for most people. I'm not at all like most people. I change my mind when I am presented with valid new arguments.
However, if all I hear are the same arguments that I've long ago processed, then there is nothing new added to the equation.
The arguments against doing a job are almost always extremely obvious.
Anyone who has never done the job is usually incapable of adding a new argument to the equation. They just don't know enough to be of any value.

You do know (pretty much) what you're talking about. So do I since I've done the job twice now. When I do the job fifteen times, I'll know more.
My plan is simple: a. Change these tires b. Change the next set of tires c. Change the set after that.
If at that point I want to pay $100 for someone else to mount and balance my tires, then I'll at least make an educated decision at that time.

I understand the arguments that BMW uses for not rotating. And I understand the arguments for one-side-only rotation. However, I rotate as I see fit.
Sometimes, I get lazy myself, and I don't rotate. It's what happens in real life.

Yup. Luckily, unmounting and remounting tires is easily done at home.

Speaking of caster, I'm still working on that darn equation of measuring camber to calculate caster. It's boggling my mind, but I'm working on it.

I have an entire thread on just that alone in the Toyota forums. They're far more helpful than the people here, by the way, for the most part.
They have boy racers too; but at least they have a few people there who know how to measure camber at an inboard and outboard angle, and then how to subsequently calculate the caster.
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On Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 11:00:14 PM UTC-5, Frank Baron wrote:

No, I never said anything about cellphones or anything being useless. The simple fact is that dynamic balancing does a better job and that you may have noticeable problems if you only do static balancing. If you want to live with that possibility, and all the other hassles with mounting and balancing your tires at home, that's up to you. Just like using an old cell phone, when newer, better methods are available. BTW, at some point everyone moved on from AMPS and if you still have one of those, I would bet it is pretty much useless today as a cellphone.

Try using an AMPS, analog cell phone on the major carriers today.

Notice the big "if" there.

I just did answer it.

Again, notice the big if. It's not worth it to me, or to 99% of the world, apparently, to screw around and hope that there is no vibration. It's simpler, easier, to just have the tires mounted and dynamically balanced at a shop.

Bingo.

Even if it's a low percentage, it's just not worth screwing around for me or most people, obviously. The last set of tires I bought, I have 80K miles on them. And even if I only got 30K miles it's not worth the hassle, the trouble of screwing around at home. It cost $50 every time I fill up the gas tank. For $60 I can get tires mounted, dynamically balanced, new valve stems, and the old tires disposed of. Spending that $60 every few years, compared to the cost of gas, oil changes, insurance, repairs, is really very small potatoes.

Not for me. I just pay $60, get it done right, no fuss, no muss. And also for that ~$60, I get free rotation and dynamic balancing for the life of the tires.
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On Fri, 16 Dec 2016 15:28:40 -0800 (PST), trader_4 advised:

What you say makes sense.
What makes sense is that you (a) can get your tires mounted and balanced for a good price, and that (b) you don't want to screw around with doing it yourself, particularly if (c) there is an x-percent (1%?) risk of having to do the dynamic balancing anyway.
The only thing that doesn't make sense is why you're telling us what everyone knows? There's no added value telling us that you, and 9,999 out of 1,000 people who have the same attitude as you do, know nothing about mounting and balancing tires at home (having never done it).
Only 1 out of 1,000 people can add value to this thread.
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On Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 10:21:32 PM UTC-5, Frank Baron wrote:

I guess I'm telling you that because you couldn't accept my simple original comment that dynamic balancing is superior and will be needed on at least some tires. That was all I said to start with. And it seems like everyone agrees with that.
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On Sun, 18 Dec 2016 07:10:18 -0800 (PST), trader_4 advised:

Nobody needed to tell me that dynamic balancing is more accurate than static balancing for the tires that need it so the fact that we all agree means it only needs to be said once, and that's it (since there is no argument about it).
My premise is what needs to be tested, which is that a wheel that doesn't vibrate is balanced so well, that dynamic balancing won't add any value.
I *read* (but no proof was supplied) that someone said that an imperceptible vibration would cause damage to suspension components, which could happen (anything can happen) but I also read numerous times that tires should be balanced every 3,000 miles (e.g., Goodyear PDF) so there is a *lot* of unbalanced systems out there if that's really true.
So, like a CSV has to separate the oil from the water, I am forced to separate the bullshit from the reality.
Fact is, my premise has not been prove nor disproven that a tire statically balanced that doesn't cause vibration, is balanced well.
I did check that very same hypothesis with *all* the tire shops, and all concurred (you can take my word on that because I have no problem admitting when/if I'm wrong).
Anyway, if someone can show *proof* that a wheel that doesn't cause perceptible vibration is actually harming the car somehow, and that dynamic balance would prevent that harm, I'm all ears because I'm here to learn (but I'm not here for unsubstantiated bullshit).
I'm never afraid to admit if/when I'm wrong, nor if/when I make a mistake; but I'm not like most people here who think they know more than they actually do, and who spout cliches as sophistic proof of their knowledge.
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On Wed, 14 Dec 2016 20:38:10 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron advised:

I found this PDF which has a nice guide that all of you can use, no matter what car you have. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0981/9342/files/wheelweight_AppGuide_LR.pdf
For example, the PDF says all Accura wheels use FN weights, while all non-R8 Audi wheels use EN while all BMW wheels use IAW, and all Buick wheels use MC (and so on).
It says the Toyota SUV uses FN but I know enough now not to believe that. I think the Toyota I am working on uses P type weights.
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On Thu, 15 Dec 2016 06:01:40 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron

You SURE you know enough not to believe it? I won't get into the weight types and models - I never paid attention to the designations - my supplier just stocked the cabinet with what we needed - and I used what fit.
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