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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wheels and Tires Forum Sponsored by The Tire Rack > road force balancing or not?



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      02-08-2011, 04:25 PM   #1
JayD
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road force balancing or not?

looking for some advice. Getting new wheels and wondering if roadforce balancing is worth it or not. I have had competant techs mount and balance without roadforce balancing and everything came out good. I've also had some techs roadforce with vibration issues at certain speeds. I think the big factor is how good the tech is vs roadforce or not.
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      02-08-2011, 04:34 PM   #2
dude500
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Good tech > good equipment, but good tech + good equipment > just good tech. I've found a Walmart with guys that do better balancing than another shop that uses Hunter. But I also know of a shop with good guys that use Hunters.
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      02-08-2011, 05:59 PM   #3
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Not all balance machines are created equal and the same can be said about the technicians. Therefore, I always Road Force. Just had new wheels and tire mounted, yup Road Forced.
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      02-08-2011, 07:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cssnms View Post
Not all balance machines are created equal and the same can be said about the technicians. Therefore, I always Road Force. Just had new wheels and tire mounted, yup Road Forced.
I agree! Road Forcing always minimizes any kind of issues you could possibly have before mounting it on the car. If you have access to one, I would recommend going for it.

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      05-03-2012, 10:06 AM   #5
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Hate to bring up an old post, but I specifically searched this question. What if your situation is one where you must chose between a shop you trust; 1) does all your work 2) specializes in European Performance cars and 3) you know the guys that work there are quality guys. However, they do not have a road Force machine. Versus, down the street the local Discount Tire does have a Road Force machine, but your not sure of the techs and the cars they work on are like herding cattle?

I bring this up because I just saw in another post how some of the chain tire places are more likely to damage your rims in the process. I know the first shop I mentioned would try there best not to do it and if they did wouldn't have a problem fixing it.

Which would you choose then?
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      05-03-2012, 10:27 AM   #6
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Personally, if I was to pick between somebody who has done work for me, and told me that if there was an issue they would take care of it vs somebody who didn't. I would pick the person who has done the work for me in the past and gave me the peace of mind. Just my 2C
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      05-16-2012, 12:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayD View Post
looking for some advice. Getting new wheels and wondering if roadforce balancing is worth it or not. I have had competant techs mount and balance without roadforce balancing and everything came out good. I've also had some techs roadforce with vibration issues at certain speeds. I think the big factor is how good the tech is vs roadforce or not.


Couldn't agree more

Although if there are wheel issues

Or tire run out issues

Then road force is the doctor to use
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      05-16-2012, 12:28 AM   #8
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If you trust the other shop better go there. It wouldnt be worth the risk just to possibly have your wheels balanced a little better.
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      05-16-2012, 12:38 AM   #9
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Its deff woth it ! I had rft that vibrated at 80+ and got road force balance on them and not one vibration . Been only 110 but deff see a difference! Recomend it any day
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      05-16-2012, 08:30 AM   #10
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Well if you have a shop that actually knows what they're doing you shouldn't have any issues even without roadforce.
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      05-16-2012, 11:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw325i View Post
Well if you have a shop that actually knows what they're doing you shouldn't have any issues even without roadforce.
...unless you have a bad tire or wheel, but only a roadforce machine can tell you that, so then it doesn't matter whether they know what they are doing or not, they still lack the tools to do it better. Then, if there is an issue, you end up chasing your tail trying to figure out what could be the issue, when there's a machine that exists that could tell you right away, while eliminating all the variables. This is especially important given that our cars seem to be more intolerant of roadforce variations than most other cars out there.

In my situation while getting a set of Conti DWS's balanced 8 times by 4 different shops, I went through 7 different DWS's before finding a set of 4 that was acceptable. Even though 3 of those shops used the same exact equipment (Hunter GSP9700) I was still getting vibration. I finally found a wheel repair shop which had a properly calibrated GSP9700 and a great tech that understood the fundamentals of balancing and knew how to utilize all the features of his equipment correctly in order to get me a vibration free balance.

Through my ordeal I learned the following:

1. Find a shop with a properly calibrated Hunter roadforce balancing machine. Usually a wheel repair shop will be more on top of this than tire chain stores or even speed shops. Plus, you'll have less of a chance of them messing up your wheels during mounting/dismounting because they are in the business of keeping wheels looking like new. How do you go about finding a place with a properly calibrated machine? That's the hard part...unfortunately it's trial and error. I'd feel safer going with a place that understood the concepts of roadforce, wheel/tire matching, etc. than a place that didn't though. Unfortunately, most of the time you'll find that after ~30 minutes of research on balancing in general will give you more knowledge than 99% of the people actually doing the work posses themselves.

2. Make sure they use the proper type of weights. Sticky weights come in weights ranging from 1/4 ounce to 1+ ounce. One factor in getting a vibration free wheel/tire starts with putting the proper amount of weight in the EXACT spot of imbalance. For instance: if a wheel requires 4 ounces of weight in one particular spot, which do you think will be more accurate; 16 pieces of 1/4 ounce weight striped across the general area or 4 1 ounce weights placed directly on top of the spot of imbalance?

3. Back to roadforce - I have found that if a wheel/tire assembly has more than 10 lbs of road force it WILL vibrate. Rotating the tire on the rim doesn't always help and in my case I had to warranty 3 different tires given that they all came back with a roadforce of 17+ lbs (which is roughly 0.017 loaded radial runout). With that much runout you WILL feel the tire hopping/vibrating at any given speed, if not all speeds.

4. Finally even after getting the road force numbers as low as possible and using the most appropriate weight sizes, mounting the wheel to the balancing machine using a flange plate (Haweka, etc.) and proper sized collet will allow the wheel to sit center on the machine much better than relying on the generic cone adapter. By eliminating the variable of not having the wheel centered on the machine correctly, you will get a much better balance out of any wheel/tire. Period.

At the end of the day, I could write a book on how balancing should be done by ALL shops, but these are the main things to look for when choosing a capable shop to do this job when unfortunately us DIY'ers just don't have the tools to do it ourselves.
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      05-16-2012, 05:08 PM   #12
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Don't most of the Discount Tires have this machine? Because of cost, wouldn't these larger national chains have calibrated machines due to the high volume of wheels they do?

Don't get me wrong - most of the kids there will mess up your wheels and scratch them when mounting, but that would be harder to do when the wheels only need RF balance.
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