DIY Wheel Balancing


jpark6491

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I was just curious if anyone on here balances their own wheels themselves using a portable wheel balancer, similar to what you could buy at Harbor Freight. I am planning to get some new steel wheels soon and was considering doing it myself.

I realize that having it done with dynamic balancing would be most ideal, but just wondering if others have had good success doing it yourself.
 


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fastpakr

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I tried it on the 285/75-16's on my '99 with the HF balancer. Got them close enough to be driveable, but it shook quite a bit on the highway. Ultimately I gave in and paid a local shop to do a proper job with a spin balancer, with much better results.

I'll continue to use it when I mount my own tires, but with the willingness to let somebody else take over the job depending on how the test drive goes afterward.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Bubble balancer and a bucket of old weights works for me.
 

racsan

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At one time I was going to buy my own mounting and balancing machines. Then found out how much they cost. Wow... yeah, I’ll pay to have that done.
 

alwaysFlOoReD

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I bought a used Coates 5060a and a Snap on balancer for $C500.00. Right now there is a balancer on kijiji for $150, but the motor is 3-phase.
 

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I tried the HF bubble balancer myself, with much-less-than-stellar results.

I ended up building my own spin balancer since I figured (correctly) I'll likely use it again & again in the future. I detailed it here in the Homemade Tools post. It tends to use up slightly more wheel weights due to the two-step method involved (static, then spin balancing), but the final results I've gotten have been on par with what you'd typically get at a tire shop.

 

91stranger

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its like $20 a tire to get it done around here. Is that more than buying a balancer, assembling said balancer, attempting to balance wheels yourself, put wheels on, take for a drive and find out they shake worse than before? That's my luck. I'd rather pay someone else to do it. I used to balance tires everyday for 2 years and I wouldn't trust myself with a harbor freight cheepie. When you stop and think about $80 for guaranteed balanced tires (if they aren't perfect most shops will do a free re-balance within 30 days) is a good deal.
 

jpark6491

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its like $20 a tire to get it done around here. Is that more than buying a balancer, assembling said balancer, attempting to balance wheels yourself, put wheels on, take for a drive and find out they shake worse than before? That's my luck. I'd rather pay someone else to do it. I used to balance tires everyday for 2 years and I wouldn't trust myself with a harbor freight cheepie. When you stop and think about $80 for guaranteed balanced tires (if they aren't perfect most shops will do a free re-balance within 30 days) is a good deal.
It was just a thought...was mostly interested whether anyone had attempted themselves or not.

I probably will be taking tires to the shop in the future.
 

pjtoledo

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have a cheap bubble balancer, Ranger brand. not the best results. repeatability is poor, bubble is too small to see tiny offsets.
 

sgtsandman

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From my understanding, home balancing is better for vehicles that stick to low speeds. Your results may vary for on road use. There was a time when bubble balancers were the norm in tire shops. So it can be done and made to work.
 

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My father hasn't had a single tire balanced for over 40 years. He also hasn't bought a single new tire in over 30 years easily. He has excellent luck I guess.. None of his vehicles have ever vibrated on the road.
 

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its like $20 a tire to get it done around here. Is that more than buying a balancer, assembling said balancer, attempting to balance wheels yourself, put wheels on, take for a drive and find out they shake worse than before? That's my luck. I'd rather pay someone else to do it. I used to balance tires everyday for 2 years and I wouldn't trust myself with a harbor freight cheepie. When you stop and think about $80 for guaranteed balanced tires (if they aren't perfect most shops will do a free re-balance within 30 days) is a good deal.
I don't even think dad paid $20 for his. He got it used, a old small shop sale after the owner died.
 

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It's $40-50 to have a set of four balanced around here... usually I just have a shop do it. I wouldn't mind finding a bubble balancer but I'm kinda running out of room in my shop to store things like that.

I do virtually all of my own mounting though. A handyman jack will break the beads and I have a set of tire spoons.
 

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I just bring them into work and have one of the guys mount and balance them.
 


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