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Discussion Starter #1
So a week ago I had a new set of Bridgestone RE970AS Pole Positions fitted to the standard rims. Standard sizes, should have been a piece of cake.

Well, the shop balanced them when they were installed. I noticed a tremble surface at 60-70 mph, thought I was imagining it. Driving home Wednesday night, I felt it and was sure it was there.

Went back to the tire shop Thursday and they re-did the balance. If anything, the vibration worsened.

Just went back again today and they did it once again. It's still there.

Three times ... Ok, I need to try another shop to do the balancing. I've never had this sort of thing happen with Bridgies before. I see that Custom Alignment in Mountain View, CA does "Road Force" wheel balancing with the Hunter GSP9700 (?) machine.

Has anyone else here had a shop with that machine successfully balance a set of troublesome tires?
 

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Premium Member 2006 SLK350
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Hate to ask...but did the first shop spin balance the tires or static balance (does anyone static balance?!).
 

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Godfrey, these tires were purchased from a Firestone store, correct? They should have the "Road Force" machine(my local Firestone stores do). Anyway, DO get the RF balancing. Now, to be sure, you didn't have this vibration before the new tires, correct?

Oh... Welcome to SLKW from Indy!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Godfrey, these tires were purchased from a Firestone store, correct? They should have the "Road Force" machine(my local Firestone stores do). Anyway, DO get the RF balancing. Now, to be sure, you didn't have this vibration before the new tires, correct?

Oh... Welcome to SLKW from Indy!!!
No, I bought from the same Wheel Works outlet I've been doing business with for twenty years. But there are all new personnel now—guy I used to o business with was an enthusiast. His replacement is a more typical sales guy. Time to find a new shop.

No evidence of this vibration problem prior to fitting the new tires. Either they simply can't balance them properly or there is a defect. I need another shop to confirm the latter.

Custom Alignment has the equipment. Let's see what they report.
 

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20 years! That's cool, too bad it appears they didn't get the balancing correct. It "sounds" like they are losing a good customer! I hope the new shop gets it right!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Supposedly they did check for out of round, and the observed vibration seems to point to a balance problem rather than out of round: it has a resonance period through which it comes and goes where out of round tends to persit at all rotational speeds.

Took the car on its first longer jaunt since I've had it yesterday: a 160 mile round trip to Carmel By The Sea. Aside from the vibration periods which I tried to avoid, and some points of miserable traffic, it is a pleasure to roll distances in. Quiet and stable, it loafs along at speed very comfortably. Fuel mileage rose to the 25-26 mpg range. The new cat-con and fixing this balance problem should improve on that too.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
resolution

I drove over to the wheel and alignment shop I found recommended who have the Hunter balance machine this morning at 7:30. Since I didn't have an appointment, they told me it might take a couple of hours. No problem, there's a cafe three blocks away ... I walked over to do some work and have a cup.

I returned just as the tech was finishing up the last wheel on the machine.

"How bad was it?" I asked.

"Well, let's just say that your wheels would have been better balanced if the other shop had done nothing and not put any weights on at all."

The owner was in, we chatted for a few moments. These guys are all right, know what they're doing. No BS, and enthusiasts to boot.

Driving away, even at 30 mph, it was obvious that the wheels were rolling more smoothly. At 85mph on a newly paved, flat stretch of highway, no vibration at all.

A pain in the tookus that's now been fixed, and at least I found a shop I can trust and work with. Anyone else in the area who doesn't know about them, here's the info:

Custom Alignment-Balance & Brakes
2599 Wyandotte St
Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 961-5311
Custom Alignment Balance and Brakes | Mountain View, CA
 

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Glad to hear you got it sorted, and I'd be on the phone with whoever "balanced" 'em the first time - just on general principal!
 

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Glad to hear you got it sorted, and I'd be on the phone with whoever "balanced" 'em the first time - just on general principal!
I'll stop over there tomorrow to complain and seek reimbursement for the $70 I paid them for balancing when they fitted the tires. They obviously didn't do anything worth paying $70 for.

Other folks seem to feel the little shop I found is worth doing business with too ...


Quite the pretty little beastie. :)
 

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Great to "hear"!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
epilogue

I'll stop over there tomorrow to complain and seek reimbursement for the $70 I paid them for balancing when they fitted the tires. They obviously didn't do anything worth paying $70 for.
The shop I bought the tires from refunded the whole amount that I paid to the other shop for correcting the balancing problems. No complaints, no issues - straight cash payout. And apologized for the problem and inconvenience. At least they act in a responsible manner.
 
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