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Thread: Wheel weights — are they worth it any more?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Wheel weights — are they worth it any more?

    Gentlemen,

    For several years I’ve had access to take-off wheel weights form a local tire shop. The owner charges me 30-cents a pound for ALL the take-off weights, which includes those made or pewter. Of course, I sort out the pewter of which I have little use for. What I’ve noticed is that every month the ratio (by volume) of pewter to lead keeps increasing. Today when I sorted a bucket full, almost 40 percent were of pewter. That’s the most it’s ever been.

    What experience has others had regarding the increase in pewter weights? Considering the hassel of hauling and sorting, I’m thinking it may not be worth the effort any more.

    What are your thoughts?

    Thank you in advance.

    Gene Pool

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I think that when you say pewter you mean zinc.

    I don’t smelt, too much work if the raw material isn’t free.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Outer Rondacker's Avatar
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    You should be happy you can even get lead ww. Lead has not been used in my state for many years.
    Stop being blinded by your own ignorance.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
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    WOW........pewter COWW’S!!!!!! You must live in a very rich area.

    Jike JimB said........you mean Zn, which is pretty much what all modern weights are made of. You still find a few Pb ones, but I gave up on that futile search several years ago when the ratio got to 80Zn/20Pb.

    I was lucky to find a few years a 5’er filled with really OLD weights, the clips had rusted off sitting in that bucket full of water for years. 99.5% Pb!. But that was then and this is now. I get all my pure, Sn, alloys from the local yards for $1.00/pound. I run across local sources on here at times selling ingotized COWW’s for very good cash-n-carry prices.

    To me, my time is more valuable than digging thru Zn COWW’s to find a few rare Pb ones. Even if it was free for the hauling home.

    It is totally up to you.

    BTW.......pewter sells for anywhere from $10-15/pound!!!!!!!! And they have never made weights out of it. It is much lighter than good old Pb.

    Bangerjim

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Lucked into a small sorce from a bil of a guy I work with. Coworker found out I cast and said his brother does tires and might have a few. Brings me a couple big tobacco tubs that weighed 10 pounds each, so I gave him $10 and a open order for more. Got em home and opened the tubs and not only were they all lead plus stick on's, they were all long ones that had been broken on either side of the clip. No clips to skim!
    "In God we trust, in all others, check the manual!"

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    I guess it depends on the area that you are in. Maybe how bad you need lead too. The lead to other ratio is still holding up ok where I'm at. I do seem to be getting more stick-ons though. But thats better than iron or zinc. I rather enjoy sorting through a bucket of weights.
    Last edited by lightman; 05-09-2018 at 07:55 AM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    Yes, I meant zinc. Sorry for the error and confusion.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Considering that I pay 1$ a pound for smelted COWW in ingots and I am tickled pink to get it.

    Yeah I'd say it is worth it. YMMV but for me, dang straight its worth it.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub Rug480's Avatar
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    $1/lb for 40lbs unprocessed pure lead tub liner, $170 for 150lbs processed clean range scrap, it’s not worth the effort for me anymore. I got lucky an old timer sold me 180lbs of lead wheel weights for $90 but that’s not happening again. Not bothering until I find another deal again. eBay has plenty, lead Wheel weights aren’t hard to find, <$1/lb shipped is
    A cigar makes a bad day good, a good day great.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    They are still worth the time for me. I get a couple buckets a year from top secret sources, and the Pb ratio is still very high. That being said, I also purchase from this forum at times too.

    It's easy to open a box, compared to all that time in front of a hot pot full o' lead, but I enjoy the ingotizing. One thing I know, when I melt it myself, I do know exactly what is in it.
    "Varium et mutabile semper femina." - Virgil
    Man, ain't it the truth....

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    There are still available here in Virginia, but not so much as before.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Bookworm, that is original " ingotizing"

    Every year my buckets of WWs have less lead WWs and more steal, Zinc in them. So far I can still get a very usable lead amount from a bucket of WWs

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I have 3/ea 5 gallon buckets 1/2 full each, of the old clip on wheel weights that I'd like someone to "ingotize" for me.
    It's all chicken, even the beak!

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub
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    Where I’m from I frequently hear people use the word funeralize, so ingotize sounds perfectly OK to me.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    It all depends on what you consider "worth it". I haven't "found" any wheel weights at tire shops, garages, etc., for well over 10 years. CA banned those evil little suckers many years ago, and the only WW alloy I've found is from The Captain (vendor sponsor). If getting 40% good at just .30 per lb seems/feels too expensive for you, then it is. Someone with better math skills can tell you what your $.30 per pound for all the wheel weights cost for good lead wheel weights, prolly still a good price...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    You know, I would like to try wheel weights at least once before they go extinct. Bet you could get gobs of them in Mexico.

  17. #17
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    I used to buy buckets of them for .20/Lb at the local recyclers. It was worth it then, even having to sort through them. That shop closed it's doors a couple years back and I have never been able to get them any more. Now I just buy WW from Jetsfan-24 on this board, already ingotized.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    As the supply of ~12Bhn COWW's dwindles more and more each year, why not just buy the component metals and make your own ~12? Forget all the work of searching, fetching, hauling, sorting, re-melting, fluxing, fluxing, fluxing, and pouring into ingots for something that probably ends up costing you more in time and $$ than it's really worth..... Today I will not even bend over to pick up a COWW in the street because it will probably be Zn or Fe.

    Free things rarely are truly "FREE"!

    I have been mixing my own 10-12 for several years now. Easy, fast, and clean to do.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    Not worth the time or effort around here. Illinois was one of the early states to outlaw Pb WWs and, around three years ago, what I got on my last trip to the recycler was something like 65/35 (Zn & Fe to Pb). Since then, I've managed to build up fair stocks of straight Pb, range scrap, lino, and Sn (pewter) to mix my own.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

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    "Scarlet Begonias"

  20. #20
    Boolit Master




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    I feel very fortunate. I have never paid for WW's. Going back 10 or 12 years ago, nobody cared and the zink were rare. I did have one tire shop nearby that was kind enough to give me his WW's for the taking. This was like 4 years ago. The last buckets I got were at least 50% zink. Sorting became a PITA, so I don't do it anymore. I have more ingots than I will ever shoot and one bucket of sorted WW's. Like I said,
    I have been very lucky. One of these days, I'll go out back and smelt those WW's. Heck, sooner or later, I'm going to have to sell some lead. We'll see... Mike
    Politicians are a lot like diapers. They should be changed frequently, and for the same reason. Benjamin Franklin

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