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MG MGB Technical - Balancing wire wheels

Hello all,

Have just returned from my local, very good and trusted tyre garage following a request to balance the front chrome wire wheels on my MGC. A drive shortly after indicates no improvement. I have read on the internet this can be a tricky process. Any advice much appreciated.
JP Mitchell

Find a place that does on the car balancing - the only sure way of getting a good balance.
Chris at Octarine Services

I had the wire wheels from my B balanced by an old school independent tyre specialist who used a static / bubble type device. You may need to ring round your local independent tyre specialists.

agreed you need a specialist or old skool place because wire wheels being the PITA they are could have other problems too that need to be spotted/detected and investigated and possibly repaired

as you can guess I'm not a fan of wire wheels as I had pushbikes with wire wheels and the ones on cars have much more potential for problems - but it's your car not mine so along as you're aware of the extra work and care required with them you can be happy with them
Nigel Atkins

To do them on a standard wheel balancer you need a special adapter cone that very few if any places have. It's essential to support the wheel on the tapered surfaces both sides, i.e. requiring a concave or negative cone adapter for the outside face at the very least. A standard inside cone, and the flat face of the balancer shaft, won't do unless you are very lucky. The standard cones should be OK for the inside of the wheel, even though they tend to support the wheel right on the edge of the tapered surface and not across its surface. I had a pair of cones made up which have proved their worth, this should be the drawings I had new tyres on the back which before gave me no problems, but afterwards were so unbalanced on the standard machine I could feel the back of the car bouncing up and down. With my cones they had to put masses of stick-on weights on, and blamed the wheels! After that even on the front there wasn't a trace of wobble. Even stud wheels can be a problem where they use the centre hole as per modern wheels, as the hole in MGB wheels was never intended for that and isn't accurate enough. They need to be mounted with the stud holes, but the universal adapters with swinging arms aren't good enough, you need a machine with individual adapters with the correct stud spacing for your wheel, like the Road Force balancing machine.

Vibration Free at Bicester do on-car but it isn't cheap
Paul Hunt

Gentlemen,....many thanks to you all for your advice, which is all very good.

We tried again today to no avail, and quickly gave up. As stated in your replies ..wire wheels are best balanced on the car without removal, or if removed,...on a static or bubble machine.

Thanks again very much for offering advice to me. Much appreciated.
JP Mitchell


I've been having really bad problems with wobble/vibration on the modern, recently. Curiously, I was in Bicester this morning.

There used to be quite a few places with on-car balancers - Johnsons in Knowle being one.
Dave O'Neill2

This thread was discussed on 10/07/2013

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