A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dynamic Balancing of Automotive Wheels

I am here to extol the virtues of dynabeads. They've been in the TKCs on the GSA since I purchased it and those tires run very well. And considering the spoked rear wheel that came on the bike OEM required nearly 3-ounces of lead on the rim to balance it, that's pretty good.

I wanted to do my own tires on my dodge as I have a Harbor Freight tire unit and am sick of paying for service if I can do it myself. (Plus, it saved about $250 on the set of tires.)

I dug around and found a few videos purporting to show how the dynabeads work as it kinda seems like voodoo when you first think about it.

Here's a few links:

and click here.

So I ordered my new tires, mounted them on Tuesday of last week and left the OEM weights on. Not bad. No noticeable vibration and the new shoes are much better all around than the 62000 mile ones that just came off.

The dynabeads came in on Wednesday. I installed them yesterday morning by re-busting the tire bead and pouring them in. The through the valve stem method is enough to make you want to kill yourself.

Total added was about 5-ounces per tire as recommended. I also removed about 6 total ounces of lead from the wheels that had been used by Dodge.

I took her out for a spin and as odd as it seems, even though it was more than "good enough" before, it actually seems smoother now. There is noticeably less noise in the cab than even with the new tires alone.

This is total butt-dyno observation, but I don't think I'll ever use weights to balance any of my tires again.

Anybody have any knowledge of anywhere that might deal in Zirconia Grinding Media? Supposedly, that's all Dynabeads are and if you find a wholesaler they can be had WAY cheaper.

Example dealer.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New Side OIler's Available

Looks like Roush is producing crate FE's up to 571 cid and 600 Hp.

I haven't been able to find a price, though.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Licensed to Protect Myself

My CCW permit arrived yesterday. I'm not sure if I'll ever exercise my rights by actually carrying, but it's nice to know I can if I want to. Plus, any excuse to buy more guns is a good one.

You sometimes do get what you pay for

I've always been a firm believer in paying a little more now to avoid paying more later. In the Reliability Field, that's called looking at the Total Life-Cycle Cost of something.

My new tires for example. $925 is a lot of coin to drop at one time. But I'll get another 65000 miles out of them. I'm only driving about 10000 miles per year with the truck so I won't have to change tires for nearly seven more years. So, my cost of ownership of the tires is 1.42 cents per mile or $142/year.

So for $11.89/month I can drive on a set of the best tires on the market.

I could have purchased a set of Firestones for $680. In my experience with Firestones, while adequate, they rarely last more than 36000 miles. That works out to an amortized cost of 1.9 cents per mile or $189/year. Additionally, I'll have to expend another 90 minutes of my time changing them compared to the Michelins.

So, for an extra $250 now, I avoid $545 of additional tire cost and 90 minutes of labor over the life of the Michelins.

I'll drink to that.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Say what you will about the French.....

But those Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys know how to manufacture tires.

Changed the tires on the Dodge to brand spanking new Michelin LTX A/S 245-70R17's in about 90 minutes this evening with my Harbor Freight tire buster.

Really not too bad. Now I'm awaiting the DynaBeads I ordered to balance them. Although, after the test drive, there doesn't seem to be a lot of balancing required.

Now the tires are good, the speedo is dead on, the truck is quiet and it rides like a dream. If I get another 62,150 miles out of these like the last set I'll be very satisfied with the cost of the tires.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Random wonderings of a raging paranoiac.

I turned in the paperwork for the Louisiana Concealed Carry Permit yesterday.

I had everything all nice and neat and the transaction went smoothly.

What I'm wondering is, after they took my stuff and my driver's license back with them, I had to wait for about 15 minutes before they called me back to be finger-printed. Then after the finger-printing, which took all of a minute, I had to wait for five more minutes to, "Make sure they did a good job on the prints."

I was the only person there.

I think the first pause was to run my license to determine if I needed to be arrested for something, (Did I forget to mention this was done at the State Police HQ?) and the second pause, since the prints were done digitally, was for AFIS to do a quick scan to see if anything showed up.


What the hell is Larry Mac doing on the weather channel?

Oh. NASCAR day on the weather channel. They both must be hurting to go for this advertising bonanza.

The "Chopper" fad is officially dead.

Jesse James is riding a BMW R1200GSA.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I want my hair stylist!

Shelbie after her latest trip to the groomer.