Took our new tires and rims to the local installer to have them balanced yesterday. DOT certified bead lock wheels fitted with 37 inch tires seemed like they would be a hassle to balance and make road worthy.
Certainly the last several times we have had "budget" priced tires fitted they have been a nightmare to deal with. Some taking more than 10 Oz of wheel weights, while others relegated to life as a trail spare. Considering the complexity of the bead lock wheel, and it's 18 studs with corresponding nuts to hold it all together, the idea of achieving an easy balance seemed like a pipe dream.
The installer promised to call if there were any issues balancing the assemblies, and after waiting patiently for that dreaded call it never came. Around 5PM local time they called and said they were ready for pickup. Jumped in our diesel Grand Cherokee and headed to the shop. When I arrived I immediately went inside to see how much weight I was going to have to deal with. Imagine my surprise when they said the most weight they had to use was only 4 Oz. That little bit of weight was all it took to perfectly balance an assembly weighing in at approximately 110 pounds, before we put air in them.
The craziest part of this is just how complex the assembly is and how much attention to detail it took to make it this simple. The wheels are 3 separate pieces. The inside rim section, the actual rubber bead lock, and the external rim section. There are 18 studs fitted to the inside rim. 4 Oz of weight to balance a three piece rim, 37 inch tire, with 18 studs sounds like an impossible task. All of that has to work in harmony and certainly with the stud and nut assembly some variance is expected. Attention to detail, paying for quality, and pride in workmanship all come together to overcome these obstacles.
Quality is what you pay for when you pay more for things. It's nice when quality is also what you get when so often we are let down. The tires are the brand new General Grabber X3 (37x12.5x17) and our wheels are the Hutchinson Rock Monster wheels.