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2006 Cadillac DTS 95k miles
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hunter Engineering has a site to help you locate a Road Force balance machine, what the site doesn't tell you is how shade tree friendly the store will be.

By shade tree friendly, I mean what is the mechanic going to say when I come lumbering in with parts source from Rock Auto / Amazon etc. This morning I noticed a button on Tire Rack's Recommended Installer website "Road Force Balance".

I suspect a few forum members are like me, I like to (over) research a problem, purchase a solution and hire someone that knows what they are doing to install the solution. If I like a Gates pulley for whatever reason, I want to get the Gates pulley and live with whatever negative consequences result from not using an ACDelco. Most shops say "buy it here or go elsewhere". I understand the sentiment, but cannot help myself.

Hope the Tire rack locator helps someone like me.

PS: I didn't explain my thinking, I suspect "Tire Rack installer" = "Third party parts OK" and "Road Force" = "Quality Mechanic"
 

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2002 F55 STS, 2014 Explorer XLT, F-150s
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I work part time at the parts/service counter at our local Western (Tire &) Auto. We sell 9 different brands of tires as well as wheels. We have two HRF machines and do not like to install Tire Rack carry-ins. If we do, we'll make our normal profit off your labor times. And we will not honor an off-site tire purchase install warranty. TANSTAAFL

What store-bought parts will you bring to a tire balancing session? "Shade tree" refers to the 5 day a week shop mechanic doing work in HIS garage on Saturdays and Sundays. Been there, done that at/for several "foreign car" dealerships.

Gates, Fafnir, SKF, New Departure, DAYCO - all are contract pulley and bearing suppliers to "AC Delco" which is now a worldwide parts sourcing contractor, no longer a huge GM parts manufacturer.

It may say "AC Delco"
on the packaging but it's made by any of a thousand suppliers.

Read the small print - (AC Delco spark plugs are sourced from DENSO, NGK, Champion, others.) Remember the "AC" in AC Delco stands for Albert Champion.

CKPs - DENSO, Japan.

Fuel Pressure Regulator - Robert Bosch, Germany.

and on and on ......

Transparency


Auto part Subcompact car
 

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2006 Cadillac DTS 95k miles
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I have a mechanic I really like, he doesn't do alignments or RF balance. He would be happy to install the 4 Schrader TPMS sensors I picked up from RockAuto, however the wheels & beads are in need of some TLC to keep the tires full of air. So, I'm thinking let's go to a tire shop where they deal with wheels all day every day, besides I generally get my tires from Costco or TireRack, so it will be good to get to know a small local tire guy that doesn't mind installing Tires from Tire Rack, I have been using Firestone - mostly good experiences. We don't have a nearby Western Auto - or I'd pay you a visit :)

BTW: Interesting side-note, the owners of westerntireauto.com have a couple stores in the St Louis region, however they have only been open 12 years, so I suspect they have little to do with the Western Auto I grew up knowing on Front Street in Wheaton.
 

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2002 F55 STS, 2014 Explorer XLT, F-150s
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Western Auto, as a chain name, was sold years ago. Many of the remaining locally owned franchise stores wished to retain the familiar title and so inserted other stuff (Tire &) to avoid copyright infringement.

Here's my local store, and the owners still operate three old Western Auto stores within a 30 mile drive of here. Not shown is the 4 bay tire shop - to the right of the main building.

Property Transport Vehicle Building House


Property Transport Building Asphalt Real estate


Logo Games Wheel Dartboard Rim
 

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Hunter Engineering has a site to help you locate a Road Force balance machine, what the site doesn't tell you is how shade tree friendly the store will be.

By shade tree friendly, I mean what is the mechanic going to say when I come lumbering in with parts source from Rock Auto / Amazon etc. This morning I noticed a button on Tire Rack's Recommended Installer website "Road Force Balance".

I suspect a few forum members are like me, I like to (over) research a problem, purchase a solution and hire someone that knows what they are doing to install the solution. If I like a Gates pulley for whatever reason, I want to get the Gates pulley and live with whatever negative consequences result from not using an ACDelco. Most shops say "buy it here or go elsewhere". I understand the sentiment, but cannot help myself.

Hope the Tire rack locator helps someone like me.

PS: I didn't explain my thinking, I suspect "Tire Rack installer" = "Third party parts OK" and "Road Force" = "Quality Mechanic"
You don't really need "road force" balancing as much you need a tire jockey that knows what they are doing.

Very few techs will spin a rim (without a tire) on a balancer on a to understand 1) if the rim is straight/true and 2) where is the lightest portion on the rim.

Once the tire is installed, is the balancer still asking for weight on the light spot of the rim? Same amount? Good-- the tire is perfect. Don't change a thing (this rarely happens)

From there, the fun begins, it is possible to partially rotate the tire on the rim to take advantage of balancing the tires weight onto the rim without adding any weight. Some manufacturers place dots on the tire sidewalls for this reason.

Does the Road Force machine make this process much easier? Can it be done manually on a regular balancer? Sure.

One thing to keep in mind that it might be possible to balance a rotating square-- the balancer will say that the tire/rim combo is zero'ed. However, you'll still feel the undulation in the rim not being round. This is why it is important for the tech to carefully check the wheel sans tire first (a rarity in today's market).
 

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Seems like the Elite is their latest machine. New(er) technology and new marketing all designed to sell more machines to existing dealers.

Nice thing is it looks like it has infrared placement to pinpoint the exact location of the wheel weight across the inner barrel of the rim.
 

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2006 DTS perf
2006 DTS Performance Lux III
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I use a tire shop here that roadforce I have never had a problem with vibrations like with the standard balance. There isn't much I won't repair myself and once I build my 4th garage bay with a lift I'll do everything.
 

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2006 Cadillac DTS 95k miles
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I visited my new tire shop, he talked me out of Roadforce, the plan is to have him do Roadforce when I have him mount new tires, replace the rack & pinion and align the car whenever the tires are due for replacement in 18months or so.

The best news: I had him install new TPMS sensors, eliminating the "Service Tire Monitor System" warning message!!!

I hated seeing that notice every time I hopped in the car, I don't expect perfection in a 15 year-old car, but mechanical warning notices make me nervous.

Other good news, I got to talking to the owner (it's a one man band), his daughter goes to college in the same town where my daughter is a professor, now I have the name of a good mechanic in my daughter's hometown. Cost me $100, the results were priceless!
 
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