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Had my tires balanced today.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Don's Hot Rods, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. LSR 2909
    Joined: May 10, 2012
    Posts: 605

    LSR 2909
    from Colorado

    I worked in a tire store in the mid 70's and remember being tipped quite regularly by our better customers.
    After 36 years or so, I do the same.
  2. sololobo
    Joined: Aug 23, 2006
    Posts: 8,080


    So nice to hear about a tech that is on the ball. Best luck runnin the gem at the event. Rock on dude! ~sololobo~
  3. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,508

    dirty old man

    That Hunter setup is good, but to me the best was the rig made and sold by the "Bear" Alignment Equipment Co.
    You removed the front tire, wheel, and hub drum/rotor assembly as a unit by removing the spindle nut, and inner brg. and seal as well as the outer brg. For rear wheel you used the wheel and an adaptor assy.
    The assy. was then place on an arbor and tightened down with a nut and cone adaptors. Machine was a big console affair maybe 4' high 2' wide and 2' deep, bolted to floor.
    A lever actuated a drum below tire assy, pushing it against tire tread and turned on an electric motor which spun the tire assy up to a high speed.
    Then you backed drum away from tire and observed a circular gauge sort of dial which had sparks jumping from inner ring to outer ring. The tech had to then stop the tire from spinning, place a weight up top of tire tread with tire in proper spot in rotation, experiment with weight size and location, then with front or back placement till he got it right.
    Appeared to be a complicated process requiring a skilled operator, but it also balanced the whole rotating assy and didn't depend on the "feel" developed by the tech. Did a great job in the hands of a skilled tech.
    Haven't seen one in years.
  4. unkledaddy
    Joined: Jul 21, 2006
    Posts: 2,864


    And don't you hate it when the weights need to be placed on the outside rim of the wheel?

    I just finished having my two fronts re-balanced because of a death wobble at 70mph
    that gets worse with speed, and two of the weights are now on the outside. I painted them to match the wheels....................but I still see them,
  5. BrandonB
    Joined: Feb 24, 2006
    Posts: 3,089

    from nor cal

    I took my coupe over to a friends house who is a retired mechanic. He pulled out his old Hunter spin balancer, dusted it off, and put it to use again. He had to fabricate some adapters to use the 15" accessory for my 16" wheels to be able to mount the balancer. What I have on the front is hubs from Wilson Welding, Buick 45 fin drums with no balance weights, 41 Studebaker wheels and Firestone bias ply tires. He was a little rusty because it had been awhile since he had used it. Both of the front wheels had some pretty bad run out, one worse than the other. After a few minutes he was able to adjust the centrifugal weights out to where the vibration was eliminated. It took about 3 oz. of added weights on each wheel to get there, but what a big difference it is now going down the freeway without the vibration. The old Hunter spin balancer he used looked just like the one pictured. Too bad tire shops don't still keep these things on hand.

    I like the weights on the outside of the wheel, it's traditional:D
  6. blackout
    Joined: Jul 29, 2007
    Posts: 1,270


    I had mine done on the car with a spin balancer. The tech taped 1/2 oz of weight on the wheel and spun it. Then he moved the weight 90 degrees. Then again. He continued this process until he determined the best place for the weight and the amount. The result is perfect at any speed.

    I have bias plys. I took them to Discount Tire originally for balancing. They were fucked up beyond belief, I mean dangerous. I have never had a shake like that in any tire and I've been driving 43 years which covers bias plys for many years. I took them back, they "balanced" them again, no better. This was computer balancing with weights on the inside only.
  7. Biscayner
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 54

    from MN

    That guy in the picture is asking for it with no safety glasses and gloves on. Years ago the station I worked at had a guy that balanced all the wheels with an alimight on car spin balancer. He was spinning up one and pop off came a weight as I was walking to the other side of the shop and it hit me in the hand. That sucker hurt, never went near that thing again while it was in use. We used to call it the widow maker. Balanced tires great.
  8. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    from Wisconsin

    I've used both types. An Alemite with the strobe lights was what I learned on in High School shop class and I used one at my first two jobs. When I was hired at a Ford dealer, they had a Hunter with the balancer plate that had to be mounted on the wheel. The mechanics there hated it. Someone had the original plate fly off and it damaged another customer's car. I usually ended up using it on vehicles with vibration problems. I didn't mind it too much but it took a lot more time to do it than with the strobe light models.

    Looks like Hunter only makes a strobe unit now.
    It might have been a patent problem that caused them to make the plate model.
  9. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    The Hunter with 4 knobs is pretty easy to use.

    There are 2 pairs of knobs; one pair moves the direction of where the weight should be, the other pair adds or subtracts the weight size.

    The reason for "pairs" is that it lets you instantly "go back" to where it was better, if you went to far and it vibrated more. When you get to the final setting, you barely grab the knobs, to make very minor adjustments to the weight size or exact location.

    We used a shop rag bunched up, and hanging off the fender for the fine tune. That tail of the rag showed any slightest vibration still there.

    I never saw a head come off, but some rims were spooky, because the area on some wheels that the rubber gripped to, was angled, not a nice 90* shelf to lock into.

    That shop only had 13,14, and 15", I do not recall a 16" adapter...but that was in the later 1960s.
  10. Acme Speed Shop
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 1,755

    Acme Speed Shop
    from so cal

    Nate Jones Tire "cowboy tire"
  11. 29sportcoupe
    Joined: Jan 14, 2008
    Posts: 350

    from arizona

    I just started a thread a week ago looking for someone around Phoenix that balances on the car. No luck yet, maybe I will call some truck shops. Anyone?
  12. My Dad showed me how to use those in the late 60s.

    Got one in my garage that I use on a regular basis.


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