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Old 05-04-2009, 10:27 PM   #1
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SMB weight-don't laugh

I saw a video on this while trying to find a consumer weight scale for each tire. I am modifying the description slightly. Park on a flat, level surface. Don't attempt if you don't know what you are doing. Set brake, block tires, etc., be safe...

1. Get a digital air gauge accurate to 0.10. Pressurize your tires equally to the nearest 10th of a pound per square inch.

2-Jack up one wheel of the SMB with your floor jack. Put some marker on tire (charcoal dust, spray cooking oil, chalk, etc). Slide a piece of white paper or posterboard under the tire. Lower gently and fully. Raise and remove paper. Repeal for all 4 tires.

3. "Fix" the footprint of the tire with hairspray to preserve.

4. Calculate the number of square inches (will require some rounding.....you may need to cut the square out of each footprint and then piece together the rounded edges into an approximate square).

5. Do the math. E.g. 60 psi pressure and 6"x6" footprint. (6 * 6) * 4 * 60 = 8,640 lbs

While not precise, it would give you a ballpark and it would let you know if one tire was carrying more weight than others.

Are there any cheap scales out there? Am I up too late?

Tom
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:12 AM   #2
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Re: SMB weight-don't laugh

"I will give you this fine barometer if you'll tell me how tall the building is."

In my opinion the variation required to make a significant difference in a E rated tire is too much for this to be a valid tool, not to mention the tread irregularities (i.e. my tire can compress 1/4" vertically before the next tread comes in contact with the ground.) In other words, yeah you're up too late and I'm up too early!

There is actually a similar method that involves chalking your tires and deflating them until the maximum surface area is obtained, just before cupping, to determine the ideal "air down" pressure. I've never known anyone to do it though, and with guys running single digit psis I wonder if it's even valid.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:26 AM   #3
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Re: SMB weight-don't laugh

That method will be a lot more accurate than the old SWAG method. There will be some error due to the spaces between the blocks, and not all blocks being equally loaded, but it should be fairly close.

Who has weighed their van and wants to try and validate this method?

Mike
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:02 PM   #4
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Re: SMB weight-don't laugh

I am going to have to re-read those instructions after my head stops hurting......
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:51 PM   #5
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Re: SMB weight-don't laugh

Wow, sounds like a lot of work! Not accurate per tire but I weighed in at the scales at 9,450lbs with a full tank of fuel.
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:43 AM   #6
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Re: SMB weight-don't laugh

May need back out the surface are of the tread grooves. Not load bearing therefore should not count.

There must be an easier way to get a per wheel weight. The only scale I can find is limited to about 5000 lbs total.

I think there is a way to use a lever arm and a bathroom scale but I'll need to do some more research.

Tom
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Old 05-06-2009, 08:01 AM   #7
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Re: SMB weight-don't laugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedog225
May need back out the surface are of the tread grooves. Not load bearing therefore should not count.

There must be an easier way to get a per wheel weight. The only scale I can find is limited to about 5000 lbs total.

I think there is a way to use a lever arm and a bathroom scale but I'll need to do some more research.

Tom
Aren't there any real truck stops in the area? They're usually buried in the industrial areas of most towns.


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Old 05-06-2009, 09:36 AM   #8
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Re: SMB weight-don't laugh

We don't have any truck stops nearby but I found a commercial scale in the industrial area of the adjacent town. If I got desperate, the local rock and gravel place (which caters to both commercial accounts and homeowners needing sand, mulch, etc.) has a scale since nearly all of their materials are sold by the ton. I paid about $10 at the commercial scale so I'd approach others with an offer to pay them in return for weighing the van.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:49 AM   #9
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Re: SMB weight-don't laugh

metal recyclers and landfills also usually have scales....
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Old 05-06-2009, 12:18 PM   #10
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Re: SMB weight-don't laugh

We were in Oregon last month and as we were driving by a state weigh station that was closed I noticed that the read out for th scale was on, so we pulled in. 10,500 with 1/2 tank of fuel and less than 1/3 of a tank of water.

Just curious but do any of the armchair lawyers know the legal ramification of driving a vehicle that is over its posted weight limit? I think the sticker on the door says 9650 and even if we emptied all of the gear out of the van we would probably still be over.

John
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