HOW TO get perfect wheel balancing

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Thread: HOW TO get perfect wheel balancing

  1. #1 Premium Member
    virtualm's Avatar
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    Jun 2011

    HOW TO get perfect wheel balancing

    OK Guys, so this post is based on balancing the 18" ALU65 rims if like me you've been getting serious steering vibration over 65 mph. It does also apply to other sizes but the 18"'s do seem problematic. After months of trial and error I finally came to the following conclusion:-

    1) Make sure the pressures are at 35psi all round first.

    2) Have both front alloys rotated with the rears first to see if the balancing transfers from the wheel to the seat of the car, if it does then one of your wheels is out of balance. Or in worst case scenario either a buckled wheel or the tyre needs removing and refitting to the wheel.

    3) Where possible you must go to a garage that uses the Hunter GP roadforce machine. A simple wheel balance may not show up any balancing issues as the ALU65 seem to be very sensitive when balancing.

    4) Absolutely necessary! Make sure you ask the garage to remove the magic balancing! Magic balancing is a technical term for saving money! It's a way of saving wheel weights and it is absolutely necessary your wheels are balanced with all the required weights.

    5) Make sure you ask for road force balancing - this runs a series of high speed balancing tests.

    6) The latest hunter GP machine uses a laser to pinpoint the exact place where the wheel weights need to be applied on the back of the wheel.

    7) Where possible go to a garage that lets you stand in the balancing bay, even talk to the guys and listen to what they say.

    8) Take the car for a spin and see if it improves, don't be afraid to go back to the garage as they should want to help as it's there job to fix, after all you've just paid for balancing.

    My local garage balances Aston Martins from Stratstones - I've seem them there. So tbh if they are trusted to balance high performance cars then I'm sure they know what they are doing. The guys here are brilliant. Here's a link to my local garage if you are nearby and are curious -

    I've also seen Tony from Wheels in Motion based down south being experts so if you are near to him then you are very lucky!

    If you want to get to the bottom of wheel balancing then don't take the car to a garage that asks you to sit in a waiting room - you need to be involved.

    All in all if you to a garage that fobs you off about points (4) & (5) then walk away and find somebody who knows what they are doing. I learnt once when I went to Kwik Fit and asked them to roadforce my winter tyres - they looked at me stupid lesson learnt.
    MY09 TTID custom remap 238bhp & EGR delete - Sold
    MY10 Nissan 370z GT

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  3. #2

    Re: HOW TO get perfect wheel balancing

    Wheels and tyres are balanced to remove any anomalies in the construction of the wheel rim and tyre when manufactured or during use. Balancing a wheel and tyre reduces strain on steering and suspension components as well as reducing heat in the tyre and keeping the contact patch in contact with the road. It also reduces that annoying vibration through the steering wheel which is usually the first sign that there is a problem!

    Re balancing: When having new tyres fitted the fitters will use a soap on the inside edges of the tyre (where the bead meets the rim) to help it get seated on the rim, this is a water soluble lubricant. For the first 50 miles driving take it easy, not lots of power from a standing starts or lots of wellie from low speeds as the soap will take a while to wear off meaning the tyre and rim can rotate independently - throwing out the balance set up whilst fitting.

    Also, balance can and does go off over time as the tyres wear. I will often get tyres rebalanced and after say 10k of driving (depending on driving style) if i start to get a vibration or require rebalancing if the rim gets a hard knock.

    Front tyres out of balance shows up as a vibration through the steering wheel as certain speeds, speeds dependant on how bad it is out. It will show up under all driving conditions and not get worse when braking or cornering. Rear tyres usually shows up through the chassis, can be felt through the seats.

    Wheel balance problems differ from worn suspension and brakes inasmuch as wheel balance will show up at certain speeds and often disappear above and below that speed. It will be consistent e.g. the steering wheel will vibrate between say 70-80mph but not above or below that speed. worn suspension or steering components will cause vibrations at any speeds, often getting worse as speed builds.

    Wheel imbalance can also be caused by a bent/buckled wheel and is some cases can be corrected by rebalancing as long as the wheel and tyre are not badly damaged, best checked by a decent independent tyre fitter you trust.

    Badly balanced tyres put additional strain on the suspension and steering and increase the heat within the tyre.

    We do not stop playing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop playing.

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