Road Force Tire Balancing

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Dec 13, 2008
N. West CT.
So I think I finally found my shake/hop in my 1996 80.

I'll try to make a long story short. Last year I moved up to 5.29's and 5 @ 37x12.5x16 Interco Trxus Mt's.
The 80 drove smooth prior with 315's. I ended up with a shake/hop at 65ish and up. Shake always felt like it was in the rear even after a rotate. I don't drive too much on the highway but I do make a few long trips for wheeling events every year.

The tire shop I normally use mounted and balanced 5 tires on OEM wheels for me in May 2014. They used a Hunter machine with NO road force. They never said there was an issue with the tires so they are good, right?

I've put about 4k miles on since then. I have also replaced a bunch of parts trying to stiffen everything up like new. Including metal rear adjustable arms, rear shocks, few alignments, and most of all going CRAZY about my rear tire carrier bouncing along.

The rear carrier exaggerated the shake. It is a 4x4 labs rear bumper with single swing. The 37" tire is just too heavy for the 2x2 main bar for the single swing. It just twists the bar. After many hours of brainstorming ended up using a strap to a custom mount which keeps it nice and tight. This really made the shake/hop manageable since last year.

So someone started up a thread here on Mud about balancing beads. I hi jacked the thread after hearing someone mention "ROAD FORCE BALANCING". Sorry for the hi jack btw. I quickly called my tire shop and they had the Hunter Road Force machine there. I drove down and they started checking all the tires.

AND I have 2 tires out of 5 that are junk. They failed road force. The machine showed there where two small spots on each of the tires where there was too much weight....Like an Egg. No matter what they do at that point the tire will always have a hop.

So I called where I bought the tires and they said they are still under factory warranty. I just needed to take a picture of each tires DOT # and send a pic of the receipt from tire company stating the two tires and how much weight they would take to balance out using Road Force. Then they will send me out two brand new tires!!!
The tires where out of balance by 64 oz. on one and 48 on the other.!!!!!

I posted this thread because I learned something new in this event so I figure I would doc. so others might save the time and hassle of a bad tire directly from the factory.

Thanks to Chitown for bringing up the road force balance over in the other thread!!!You the man.

Thanks to ToolRUs for pushing me along with great info over in the other thread.

How much do they charge for the Road Force balancing? Its got to be more expensive than other balancing, at least it should with the added cost of the machine and the labor/training involved.

How often does it need to be redone?

I think what I would do is have the tires mounted and balanced on the Road Force, then later install balancing beads or other method of self adjusting balancing IF it is too costly to do every 5000+/- miles.
They didn't charge me any extra. Their charge is $17-$25 (small to large) per tire to static balance. They did put in some extra time spinning the tires on rims but I do go there all the time so the guy hooked me up. Plus he was shocked and questionable I requested a road force because he just balanced them not long ago. He was more shocked to find two bad tires.

I am thinking it just needs to be done the first time to make sure the tires are round. Larger tires are more apt to be out of round. And the Interco tires seem known for having this issue. I have bought plenty sets of tires and never had one noticeably not round. I should have trusted my gut in the beginning it was bad tires. Oh well.

Technically the wheel and tire are still balanced. Regular static balance they don't really check for out of round or run out on the wheel. The two tires that are bad they did balance and are balanced. But they are not round so it feels unbalanced. When road force is applied to the tire is really brings out the "hop" of the tire and the machine picks that up. Animated read out tells you the tire will never be in balance specs due to defect. It shows you exactly where on the tire the imperfection is. Pretty cool actually.

Balancing beads are not as good as a quality balance job. IMO. I have had beads in the past and they are balanced some of the time you drive but not all. Once you get a traditional balance right they are usually good at all speeds, turning or straight.

The other tires that checked out ok they had to spin each one on the rim to a certain location. This was directed by the machine. After they spun them they where able to balance within spec. BUT when you air down and go wheeling the tire can spin on the rim causing the balance to be slightly off from ideal.
I'm glad it worked out for you. I'm really surprised that it's not more common in the off road community.
$80 to $100 every 5000 mi. I have 50,000 on my tires now so that's $800 to $1000 for balancing. Go 10,000 mi that's still $400 to $500.

Lifetime balancing sure pays for its self
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I think most dealerships these days have a hunter road force balancer. I think you can go to hunter's website and check who has one in your area.
I've read up on road force balancing and can see where it can make a big difference.

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