Balancing Tires with Airsoft BB’s

After knocking plenty of wheel weights off of the wheels on my old XJ, I decided to try something different with my new one. I figured I would try dynamic balancing on my new 32″ tires. After referencing the chart here, it looked like I would need about 8oz of weight per tire. In order to help keep costs down, I ended up going to Wal-Mart and picking up a container of Airsoft BB’s and a diet scale:

Next I went ahead and measured out 8oz on BB’s and placed them into 4 separate Ziploc bags.

Once that is done, it’s time to get them into the tires. My tires were already mounted on the wheels, so all I needed to do was break the bead so I could get them inside.
Lucky for me, I have the Harbor Freight Tire Changer (the $30 I spent on it was has been well worth it), so that made breaking the beads a simple task.

First, you gotta let all the air out of the tire. Removing the valve core makes it a quick task

Getting ready to break the bead:

Bead Broken:

Next I poured one bag of BB’s into the tire. Make sure they all fall inside and are not stuck on the bead of the tire.

Lastly, all you need to do is air up the tire again and make sure the bead seats again.

Now all my tires are ready to install, and I shouldn’t have to worry about them getting out of balance 🙂

3 Responses to “Balancing Tires with Airsoft BB’s”

  • Gravesdiggerxj Says:

    I used airsoft bb’s on my 35″x12.50″x15″ Goodyear Wrangler MTR’s and it didn’t do a good job of balancing them. I used rim weights previously and that was fine. It seems that any irregular road surface, like an expansion joint or crack in the road, will disrupt the bb’s and throw the tire out of balance for a while.

  • IntrepidXJ Says:

    Sorry to hear you had trouble with the Airsoft BB’s. Maybe it’s the tires? All I know is that I’ve been running them for over 10,000 miles already like this, and have not had any balance issues. I’m very happy with the results.

  • sfisk Says:

    Good write up and photographs, did you have trouble reseating the bead? See the link for how I got my tyres back on 😀
    I used airsoft BB’s on my 235×85 16″ MT tyres and was pleasantly surprised by the excellent results. I used the 0.2g white airsoft BB as they where the heaviest I found in bulk.
    The only negative difference to external weights that I have experienced is when cruising around a bend at speed, there is the slightest of tremors for a fraction of second which I presume is the BB’s shifting location to re-balance as the suspension and steering geometry changes.