The Mustang Forum for Track & Racing Enthusiasts

Taking your Mustang to an open track/HPDE event for the first time? Do you race competitively? This forum is for you! Log in to remove most ads.

  • Welcome to the Ford Mustang forum built for owners of the Mustang GT350, BOSS 302, GT500, and all other S550, S197, SN95, Fox Body and older Mustangs set up for open track days, road racing, and/or autocross. Join our forum, interact with others, share your build, and help us strengthen this community!

Michelin PS 4s tires are not factory balanced

After much thought and recommendations from forum members I sprung for a set of 285/35ZR19 Michelins Pilot Sport 4s tires for my HPDE Mustang. After receiving them I was very disappointed to find out Michelin does not balance test tires at factory and that tires do not have any balance marks (red or yellow dots). When installed I wound up with two wheels that had at least a dozen balance weights on them. I was not happy as I've had bad luck trying to keep heavy balance weights from coming off the rim after track sessions even with silver reflective tape over the weights. Even after a cool down lap with brake cooling, radiated heat from brakes on stopped car cooks and degrades adhesive. You'd expect for what Michelins cost that they would balance test their tires so the minimum number of balance weights would be required. Just venting!!
 
Last edited:
37
22
08527
I've only had up a 255 width PS4S, but I've had close to 20 of them on two cars and
they rarely take more than an ounce on the "outside" (technically inside rim).
Many times they take zero weight on the inner lip. They typically look almost
perfect for out of round on my balancer. For me, any tire (not larger truck tires)
that takes over 2 Oz on either side, or 3 total, I send back.

If your shop did not balance the rim on it's own before mounting tire, the yellow or red
dots wouldn't do any good anyway.
 
No Michelin tires have dots. And as someone who mounts a *lot* of tires, and Michelins, they rarely have balance or vibration issues.

And the importance of dots is overblown by about 12 million percent by people who have no idea what they are talking about. As mentioned, you would have to know the corresponding spot on the bare wheel to have the dot make any *POSSIBLE* difference.

A "least a dozen" weights is pretty non descriptive. Like a 2nd gear corner which can mean anything from 15mph to 80mph depending on the car.

If they are 1/4 oz weights, is there 12 on a single plane? That would be a lot on a single plane assuming there was even more on the other (plane means inside and "outside" but with stick ons we are rarely putting them on the outside of the wheel so I refer to is as a plane) If the assembly is really asking for that much, I would dismount and check the bare wheel and then try the tire back on 180 degrees from the original

Conversely, 3 oz total on both planes is on the upper end of what I would like, but many times the best you can get. Even a light wheel assembly weighs 45-50# for our cars. 3oz out of 50lbs? And remember, if an assembly is calling for 1/2 oz in the traditional "outside" placement where we would put a clip on weight on a steel wheel, that very same wheel would take in the ballpark of 1.5 ounces if the weights were stick on and put on the inside side of the wheel face.

Are you putting foil tape on your weights (and making sure the wheel is clean)? The amount of weights generally has very little impact on them staying on or not.

Finally, are you actually *having* a balance problem with these tires? As I mentioned, I rarely see excessive weights on Michelins nor road force issues.

I would consider a performance tire that had a 3+ ounce heavy spot defective.(and Tire Rack would agree and warranty the tire, which i have had them do but not on a Michelin)

Conversely, I would also consider a bare wheel that was 3+ ounces out also defective. (and a wheel vendor would agree and warranty said wheel, which has also happened)

So your original post is basically saying that if said defective tire had a yellow dot and was mounted in the correct place on a defective wheel, you would be happy because the dots line up and it only took.

My somewhat belabored point here is that your metric of what a good and bad tire may be is unrealistic in the real world and is based on internet myths. Conversely if you are having actual issues, lets work on fixing them. I have considerable experience with mounting track tires (just got back from the SCCA Time Trials Nationals where I mounted/balances 75+ track tires in 4 days)

DaveW
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
6,392
5,270
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Was going to jump in here and state a few items DaveW posted , but he laid out the information so completely it really needs no additions except one comment, " Known this guy for decades and for those who know Blacksheep1 is the Guru for racing tires, DaveW is the Guru for autocross, 200 TWR and DOT rubber donuts! '
 
No Michelin tires have dots. And as someone who mounts a *lot* of tires, and Michelins, they rarely have balance or vibration issues.

And the importance of dots is overblown by about 12 million percent by people who have no idea what they are talking about. As mentioned, you would have to know the corresponding spot on the bare wheel to have the dot make any *POSSIBLE* difference.

A "least a dozen" weights is pretty non descriptive. Like a 2nd gear corner which can mean anything from 15mph to 80mph depending on the car.

If they are 1/4 oz weights, is there 12 on a single plane? That would be a lot on a single plane assuming there was even more on the other (plane means inside and "outside" but with stick ons we are rarely putting them on the outside of the wheel so I refer to is as a plane) If the assembly is really asking for that much, I would dismount and check the bare wheel and then try the tire back on 180 degrees from the original

Conversely, 3 oz total on both planes is on the upper end of what I would like, but many times the best you can get. Even a light wheel assembly weighs 45-50# for our cars. 3oz out of 50lbs? And remember, if an assembly is calling for 1/2 oz in the traditional "outside" placement where we would put a clip on weight on a steel wheel, that very same wheel would take in the ballpark of 1.5 ounces if the weights were stick on and put on the inside side of the wheel face.

Are you putting foil tape on your weights (and making sure the wheel is clean)? The amount of weights generally has very little impact on them staying on or not.

Finally, are you actually *having* a balance problem with these tires? As I mentioned, I rarely see excessive weights on Michelins nor road force issues.

I would consider a performance tire that had a 3+ ounce heavy spot defective.(and Tire Rack would agree and warranty the tire, which i have had them do but not on a Michelin)

Conversely, I would also consider a bare wheel that was 3+ ounces out also defective. (and a wheel vendor would agree and warranty said wheel, which has also happened)

So your original post is basically saying that if said defective tire had a yellow dot and was mounted in the correct place on a defective wheel, you would be happy because the dots line up and it only took.

My somewhat belabored point here is that your metric of what a good and bad tire may be is unrealistic in the real world and is based on internet myths. Conversely if you are having actual issues, lets work on fixing them. I have considerable experience with mounting track tires (just got back from the SCCA Time Trials Nationals where I mounted/balances 75+ track tires in 4 days)

DaveW
I'm certainly not going to disagree with someone who knows a hell of a lot more about wheel balancing than I do. I just went out and checked my wheels. One wheel had 15 weights adjacent to wheel ribs and one weight on inner side of rim. The other wheel had 13 weights adjacent to wheel ribs and one weight on inner side of rim. Wheels are Apex EC-7 19x10's and I've never had anywhere near that many weights applied on prior tire installations. I would expect Apex wheels to be pretty well manufactured and as well balanced as a bare wheel could be. Michelin Pilot Sport 4s' 285/35ZR19's are brand new, mfr date 0722. I've only driven on street with these tires and I haven't felt any imbalance in tires. There is no place where I live where I could run at track speed to see if I have a problem. I guess I'll find out when I go to Sebring next time out.
 
4,384
4,775
I've seen a bigger problem with wheel imbalance than anything else, even hi zoot forgelines tend to carry their balance weights in the same spot, regardless of the tire.
 
Last edited:
I'm certainly not going to disagree with someone who knows a hell of a lot more about wheel balancing than I do. I just went out and checked my wheels. One wheel had 15 weights adjacent to wheel ribs and one weight on inner side of rim. The other wheel had 13 weights adjacent to wheel ribs and one weight on inner side of rim. Wheels are Apex EC-7 19x10's and I've never had anywhere near that many weights applied on prior tire installations. I would expect Apex wheels to be pretty well manufactured and as well balanced as a bare wheel could be. Michelin Pilot Sport 4s' 285/35ZR19's are brand new, mfr date 0722. I've only driven on street with these tires and I haven't felt any imbalance in tires. There is no place where I live where I could run at track speed to see if I have a problem. I guess I'll find out when I go to Sebring next time out.
There could be 2 things in play here.

1) They could be 5 gram weights instead of 1/4 oz, which would be more weight segments that you have seen before.

2) If they did any of the options that some balancers offer to put the weight behind spokes, it will take more weight to do that.

If they don't shake, they are probably fine and you are tilting at windmills a little bit. If they shake, then they did a crappy job balancing, but honestly that could happen very easily with "only 4 weights" on the wheels and you would be happy until you felt the shake.

DaveW
 
40
59
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Nova Scotia
I'm certainly not going to disagree with someone who knows a hell of a lot more about wheel balancing than I do. I just went out and checked my wheels. One wheel had 15 weights adjacent to wheel ribs and one weight on inner side of rim. The other wheel had 13 weights adjacent to wheel ribs and one weight on inner side of rim. Wheels are Apex EC-7 19x10's and I've never had anywhere near that many weights applied on prior tire installations. I would expect Apex wheels to be pretty well manufactured and as well balanced as a bare wheel could be. Michelin Pilot Sport 4s' 285/35ZR19's are brand new, mfr date 0722. I've only driven on street with these tires and I haven't felt any imbalance in tires. There is no place where I live where I could run at track speed to see if I have a problem. I guess I'll find out when I go to Sebring next time out.
I've discovered that very few tire techs understand the full capabilities of their balancing equipment. Since I started having all my tires RoadForce balanced when new, I've found that about half the shops know how to use the machine well, and can get the initial install done with very little weight needed, but that it helps to specify that I'm looking for minimal weights, and that I'm willing to pay extra for them to take the time to match mount the tire w few times to get it right - that usually results in the shop putting their better techs on the job. I've also noticed many shops just run the 1/4oz weights as normal practice, so I've started asking them if they have 1/2 and 1 oz weights in stock before I drop the tires off. While I know that "balanced is balanced", I'm never happy to see 12 1/4 oz weights all in a row when 3x1oz weights would do, and be easier to tape over.
 
I've discovered that very few tire techs understand the full capabilities of their balancing equipment. Since I started having all my tires RoadForce balanced when new, I've found that about half the shops know how to use the machine well, and can get the initial install done with very little weight needed, but that it helps to specify that I'm looking for minimal weights, and that I'm willing to pay extra for them to take the time to match mount the tire w few times to get it right - that usually results in the shop putting their better techs on the job. I've also noticed many shops just run the 1/4oz weights as normal practice, so I've started asking them if they have 1/2 and 1 oz weights in stock before I drop the tires off. While I know that "balanced is balanced", I'm never happy to see 12 1/4 oz weights all in a row when 3x1oz weights would do, and be easier to tape over.
I am somewhat unique since I am the tire tech and also the guy that not only made the purchasing decision for the balancer (2021 Hunter RF Elite), I also wrote the check and went to Hunter and did the training course. I personally mounted and balanced over 1500 tires in 2021, so good or bad, I have a tick of experience.

I don't entirely disagree with your post, but its also not entirely correct either.

Most importantly - Road Force and weight needed to balance are not related. At all. If your metric for a good balance is entirely based on weight, the RF machine is not more sensitive than any other Hunter machine (can't speak for other brands, I am a Hunter Fan Boi) You can easily have a tire with excessive road force that only asks for 1oz of weight. Alternately, you can have low road force numbers and it still ask for 2 or 3 ounces. Match mounting will only give you direction for lowering road force, it has nothing to do with trying to correct or lower balance weight.

So basically, per your statement, if I spin up your tire and it has a (very low) 5lbs of road force but calls for say 2oz on the outside and 2 on the inside, you want me to dismount it and randomly rotate on the rim to get the weight lower at the very possible expense of a higher road force number? And exactly how much weight is too much? A very light 19x11 wheel and Hoosier A7 or a Pirelli slick (light tires) still weighs 45-55# as an assembly. Is 2 or 3 oz of weight *really* a big deal on that? And remember, weight location makes a HUGE difference in the amount needed. A 1/4 oz out in the old fashioned clip on weight location on the outside can easily be 2 oz when you use a stick on that is on a plane 3 inches more towards the center.

And some wheel combos on some brake combos can be very restrictive on where you can put weights so they don't hit the caliper. Many times the weight location will have to be "compromised" to accommodate the caliper which leads to more weight being needed to achieve zero balance.

This brings me to your 1/2 or 1 oz weight comment. I do that if someone asks, but otherwise I almost always default to 1/4oz unless it is asking for 2 ounces *and* I am sure they will clear the caliper. Caliper clearance is tight on a *lot* of cars and the tires I do and there are even oddball appliance cars that won't clear a 1/2 oz weight. This means you Honda Oddessy vans.

Finally, the Hunter machines use a feature (that can't be turned off unless you do single plane static balance) called Smart Weight. It emphasizes hop forces as opposed to lateral and will try to correct hop more than lateral *and* use the least amount of weight to do it. My point here (and with all of this)is that, once again, the amount of weights you see on a wheel is kind of a red herring of things to worry about. Or at least very far down the list.

All that said, I am pretty OCD about balancing and weights. I do not *EVER* put weights in a second location on the same plane no matter what the machine says. You can almost always add or remove a little from the existing weight strip to get it to hit zero. It is my pet peeve to see weights strung all over the inside of the wheel.

My personal limit is about 2-2.5 oz for a single plane. If it asks for more than that, or 1 on both planes I will usually do a dismount and spin it 180 degrees and see it if is better. I might throw a bead massage in there too. If it comes back the same, I will check road force even if they haven't paid for it just to see and if the RF comes back good, I put what the machine asks for on it and send it.

A few exceptions to that - Road Force on a race tire or race used tire is pretty pointless. The OPR and or any uneven wear will lead you down an unsolvable rabbit hole. The other exception is if the assembly calls for a lot of weight right where I scraped a bunch off, it's in the wheel and I send it. Regardless of the amount of weight low or high, a LOT of wheels/assemblies take weight in the exact location it was before.

Sorry for the long post. I know there are a lot of shitty tire shops out there doing shitty work that causes us enthusiasts issues but on the flip side there is also a LOT of misunderstanding of what is happening with the balance job and what things actually matter versus things that don't. If I hand you back a tire that has 3 oz of weights on it, I am pretty confident it won't vibrate (unless I tell you otherwise) and I could/already spend a lot of time making the assembly *more* vibration prone trying to chase a mythical number of weights you think is correct.

DaveW
 
39
38
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Reno, NV
I have tire/balance machines sitting in garage and mount my own tires but won't bother spinning it for anything under 3 oz. They don't stay on wheels long enough :)
Should see some of BFG truck tires, those are notorious for been out of balance.

IMG_3552.jpeg
 

TMO Supporting Vendors

Top