Do Tire places give away or sell wheel weights?


June 17, 2008, 02:17 PM
Are used wheel weights obtainable from tire shops?

If so, do they sell them, or are they just trash to them?

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June 17, 2008, 02:20 PM
They used to be easy to get, but lately I haven't been able to get any. The chain stores at least all seem to have some kind of deal with their distributor to pick up the old ones and won't let them go for anything.

The smaller mom and pop stores may be your best chance.

June 17, 2008, 02:23 PM
Nobody is giving them away anymore with scrap lead prices going up daily.

Your best bet might be trading a 12-pack to the kid on the midnight to eight shift! :D


June 17, 2008, 02:57 PM
How much per pound are mom and pop stores selling them for?

June 17, 2008, 02:59 PM
Bob and Rog down at the garage are always happy to oblige me....

But then again, Roger is to busy doing most all of my repair work, so he doesn't have time to cast for his .44 mag. any more.

June 17, 2008, 03:38 PM
I have three places I get them for free and one that will sell them. If you find someone that will give them for free take good care of them because they are hard to find. I bring them a 12 pack when I go to pick up weights. Scrap around here isn't much, around 12 cents a pound.

June 17, 2008, 03:50 PM
I posted this on another forum but it might be of interest here as well. In my never ending quest for WW, I visited all of the tire stores/shops in my town and discovered that Interstate Battery Company is buying up all the used WW. They drop off about 6 small buckets in each location and they are paying $20 for each full one they pick up when they make their rounds. I looked at the buckets and figure it would take 6 or 7 to fill a regular 5 gallon bucket. That would put a 5 gallon bucket at $120 to $140.

June 17, 2008, 04:28 PM
I agree with the 12 pack method just make sure the "kid" is over 21 or those could be some of the most expensive WW's you ever buy.

June 17, 2008, 04:37 PM
I've had good luck with buying them from local tire stores when I've been changing tires on motorcycles.

Blind Bat
June 17, 2008, 04:56 PM
Please pardon my ignorance. If you pick up a pound of lead, how much of that pound makes it into your molds?

June 17, 2008, 06:08 PM
When I have to pay for it, it's 40 cents a lb. Sometimes it's free. Sometimes it's a 12 pack.

June 17, 2008, 06:40 PM
I agree with the 12 pack method just make sure the "kid" is over 21 or those could be some of the most expensive WW's you ever buy. Great point. I should have been more clear. I ask them what they like to drink and that's what I bring. So far nobody has asked for beer, they have asked for coke and dew.

June 17, 2008, 06:56 PM
Damn I miss the good old days when they practically begged you to remove their "hazardous waste"... Even when I did pay, it was a guy eyeballing a well filled bucket saying "ahhhhh 5 bux will do it." Course this was in the days of $7.95/25 lb bag of shot, your choice of Rem RXP/competition target, or Winchester hard target... a box of 1 1/8 loads had about 50 cents worth of shot. :eek: :rolleyes: I'm treating my final stash of Linotype as if it's skinny gold bars.

Parabolic commodity (and oil) prices suck.

June 17, 2008, 07:52 PM
Yeah.. Distributor's starting to pick them up when they deliver new orders.. Ugh... I'm just starting into this hobby and looksee what happens!! I guess it's time to raid job sites.. (kidding!)

June 17, 2008, 07:56 PM
Why doesn't the op try calling around. We don't know where he lives. Most chain places don't. A lot of scrap places don't because it is hazmat.

evan price
June 18, 2008, 01:00 AM
I went the rounds last month.

The big recycling places would not sell me scrap lead. None of them, for any price! They say they are under contract for materials and do not resell to private individuals.

Every "chain" tire shop (Sears, Tire Kingdom, Firestone, WalMart, etc) has a contract with Exide that Exide takes their WWs with the scrap batteries.

As a matter of fact I used to buy scrap alloy wheels for $5 each from all of those places (I used to be a mechanic and tire tech in some of them) but now the respective Corporate offices are demanding all scrap wheels are returned to the warehouse and the company sells them. Used to be when I worked there, if our (mechanics) cars needed tires, we were allowed to dig in the pile of old tires in the casing room. Now, they are under contract with a tire company to haul them sort them and resell any decent used ones to a used tire seller- so no more freebie casings. That used to be a great deal!

My only source of lead is a friend who is the general manager of a large (5000 cars per year) auto junkyard. They pull WW and valves from scrap alloy wheels to sell to the smelter- plus I get battery terminals and odd lead scrap from them, but I have to get there before about 3 other core buyers do to buy it- when the buckets are full it's first come first served.

The state public range has to my knowledge nver mined the berm or trap fields and I know when I shoot there the berm is literally just a pile of bullets with some dirt on them, but they don't allow berm mining.

June 18, 2008, 01:09 AM
re: berm mining. Yeah that would be a big operation, and if you did it with shovels and sluices, it would cost them for a caterpillar to re-berm the range.

June 18, 2008, 11:08 AM
Blind: "Please pardon my ignorance. If you pick up a pound of lead, how much of that pound makes it into your molds?"

Obviously, it will vary somewhat but I figger on about a 30% loss of the total weight for the dross, dirt, grease and the steel clips.

Wheel weights have a high antimony content but are low in tin. Antimony will seperate out of alloy as the molten metel cools unless we add a bit of tin. I add about a half pound of plumbers solder to each 10-15 pounds of wheel weights. That adds enough tin to make a good molding alloy and some great shooting bullets.

June 18, 2008, 11:10 AM
Scrap from WW is closer to 15-20%.

June 18, 2008, 11:54 AM
My loss on WW's is closer to Freaks numbers. I smelt straight ww and when I add the ingots to my Lee 10# pot I add 24" of 95/5 solder. That's enough tin to let it flow good.

June 18, 2008, 02:13 PM
Beware of newer wheel weights. With the "Eco-Friendly" movement, wheel weights are becoming more and more "Lead Free". The good old days are fast going away. Free wheel weights are no longer free or even useable for shooting.

June 18, 2008, 06:38 PM
I used to have 7 tireshops around here that would trade all they had for a box of donuts from the local bakery. One by one they went to selling the weights instead. Now they won't even sell them.

Fortunately I have a little over 6 tons of wheelweights in ingot form stockpiled

June 19, 2008, 06:01 AM
+1 on the 10-20% loss on ww's.

I've found my best luck is towns with a total population of 10-20k that are isolated from other large metro area's. The people there seem to be willing to give them away or at most want $10-$20 per 5 gallon bucket. I started last january and with a little bit of dilligence (always carrying buckets on family trips, etc) I was able to pick up about 1000lbs of clean ingots.


Have a good one,

June 19, 2008, 09:26 AM
Wheel weights are only going for .25 a pound now.......I pay about 15 bucks for a 5 gallon bucket. Most wont sell them anymore. Go to a scrap yard, you can buy it now for .40-.80 a pound for mixed lead.

June 19, 2008, 11:33 AM
its tough but you can still find them for sale. price varies by location.

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