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Zedoc
04-06-2005, 12:10 PM
I'm still getting some minimal steering wheel vibration. Maybe some seat of the pants, too. Small, but the steering is not quite as vibe free as most other cars. I bought new tires and had them balanced and re-balanced, in front of my eyes, at Ford. The tires and re-balancing definately improved the vibes a lot, but there's still some left. The rims appear fine. What could it be?


The (young) Ford mechanic didn't think it was drive shaft related at 48,000 mi. There is some vibes in the shifter, but just normal I think. Do drive shafts likely go out of balance?

Do all Cobras have a real finicky steering wheel or wheel balance sensitivity so I should just forget it?

SoFla'03 Cobra
04-06-2005, 11:11 PM
After having my new tires balanced and re-balanced I noticed the same thing on my '03 Cobra.The tech at ford told me he ahad to take the tires off the rim and re-balance them a third time on a machine that evaluates different road conditions.PROBLEM SOLVED.

wrenchturner
04-06-2005, 11:49 PM
Thought that since I work for a tire dealer I might explain "road force". Basicly its how round your tire rim combo is mounted.. tires and rims both have heavy spots and low spots.. the trick is to match it up so they cancel each other. Thats what road forcing does.. A balancer that road forces has a drum that presses down on the mounted tire and rim as it spins and measures how many pounds of force there is pressing back on it as i go around. You want the number as low as you can get it. It also figures out the high spot on the rim.. and high spot on the tires.. and tells you where to put them to cencel it out as much as you can on that set... IE a 15lb road forced tire and a 14 lb road force rim might go down to 1 lb of road force if they were matched together right... I just did my new rims and tires and it took me 4 hours and changed tires on rims a few tims and spun the tires around on them more times than i care to remember.. but I got every one under 9 lbs of road force. As a rule I would want all mine under 15 if i could get them on one of my cars. A good large tire chain and many dealers all have road force balancers anymore. You cant do performance tires without one anymore IMO.

So you tires can be perfectly balanced.. but if your road force is high.. it does vibrate...if it does not cure itself by spinning the tires.. try having them switched to different rims too. as in swapping the rims around ( if you cant find a road force balancer around you) sometimes it helps...

After having my new tires balanced and re-balanced I noticed the same thing on my '03 Cobra.The tech at ford told me he ahad to take the tires off the rim and re-balance them a third time on a machine that evaluates different road conditions.PROBLEM SOLVED.

01CobraDude
04-07-2005, 09:35 AM
Excellent info, wrenchturner - I thank you!! After reading Zedoc's post, I was concerned myself since I developed a similar vibration immediately following my most recent tire change and balance. Reading your post will allow me to walk into my local tire store and speak intelligently enough to get what I need done. Thanks again!

Zedoc
04-07-2005, 11:46 AM
A Road Force Balancer!? Why haven't we heard about this before? Why doesn't Goodyear know about this, at least the Goodyear where I got my tires.

The Ford Dealership I went to is an SVT dealer, but they didn't say anything about a road force balancer.

Any further info or experiences with this system would be interesting to hear about.

Zedoc
04-07-2005, 12:17 PM
Amazing! I Googled 'Road FOrce Balancing' an came up with http://www.hunter.com/They make the RSV9700 Road Force wheel balancer, which, apparently, is the latest thing in wheel balancing and works like wrenchturner described. I called the guy listed as the local service rep and he's going to get back to me with where I can get 'Road Forced' in my area.

I'd called Goodyear and they'd had no clue. This is 2005, right? Have I been magically transported back to 1987? I can't believe this procedure is not better known and that more people aren't screaming about it. :bounce:

I cannot believe Goodyear and Ford aren't balancing tires correctly.

RF Cobra
04-07-2005, 03:53 PM
A lot of places don't want to spend or can't afford to spend the money and effort on it. Also, as he said, to actually do it right can take a lot of time. If your Ford dealer provided this service for you they would likely charge you a flat fee plus the hourly labor rate. Most customers would not be willing to spend that kind of money on what they would consider a "simple" tire balancing as they would not understand the difference. I see this sort of thing all the time in our business when customers call wanting to know how much it cost us to do a certain job for their friend and thus, want to know how much it would cost them if we did similar work for them. They don't understand how unique each job we do is or why it could take 1 day at one place while it might take a week for them.

Places here have just recently started using the internal wheel balance weights so that you don't have those ugly things stuck to the outside of your nice wheels, and this has been available for years. And even though they can do it, some places make you beg them to do it before they will actually do it. How's that for progress?

wrenchturner
04-07-2005, 08:18 PM
A awesome point RF alot of people think that it should take under 20 minutes to mount and balance your tires. And it can be done.. but..you skip steps that can make it not be a good job.. Funny about places not having them.. I work for a large tire dealer in the northeast (50+ stores) and EVERY store has at least one of these balancers.. we road force balance all new tire purchases.. but if you came in off the street with your tires its a 100 buck hit to road force balance your tires and will take over a hour to do right.. Most people dont want to invest that time..
I got this linkof my companies web site.. thought it was a good read on the balancer http://www.sullivantire.com/xcessorize/hunter.aspx


It took me 4 hours plus to road force balance my new tire rim combo and have it come out low enough that i could be happy.. but was also my day off and i dont pay anything for the service :) And not only are there no weights on the outside of my rims.. the ones on the inside are hidden behind my spokes... that balancers is awesome.. you can show it where the spokes are and it hides the weights behind them :)

Hope this helped some under stand this some more.. and why even though your tires are perfectly balanced.. you car can still shake..


A lot of places don't want to spend or can't afford to spend the money and effort on it. Also, as he said, to actually do it right can take a lot of time. If your Ford dealer provided this service for you they would likely charge you a flat fee plus the hourly labor rate. Most customers would not be willing to spend that kind of money on what they would consider a "simple" tire balancing as they would not understand the difference. I see this sort of thing all the time in our business when customers call wanting to know how much it cost us to do a certain job for their friend and thus, want to know how much it would cost them if we did similar work for them. They don't understand how unique each job we do is or why it could take 1 day at one place while it might take a week for them.

Places here have just recently started using the internal wheel balance weights so that you don't have those ugly things stuck to the outside of your nice wheels, and this has been available for years. And even though they can do it, some places make you beg them to do it before they will actually do it. How's that for progress?

wrenchturner
04-07-2005, 08:22 PM
Glad I could be of help.. all this usless info stuck in my head working at this place does have a use :rotf: :banghead:

Excellent info, wrenchturner - I thank you!! After reading Zedoc's post, I was concerned myself since I developed a similar vibration immediately following my most recent tire change and balance. Reading your post will allow me to walk into my local tire store and speak intelligently enough to get what I need done. Thanks again!