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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Eleven
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Aston Martin at Detroit Auto Show
Issue Eleven
March 30, 2004
Live, From Detroit, It's the 2004 NAIAS!
Detroit Auto Show Awards
Keeping things in Balance
60 Seconds with Henrik Fisker
Windshield Dyno: The Beltronics GX2
Nissan Altima Facelift
WORK Wheels Introduction
Cadillac Merchandise
Not The Record To Be Proud Of
Open Wheel Racing in the USA: Big Changes
Bear Market in the Auto Business?
Coming Next Issue
NYC Auto Show

Keeping things in Balance, continued.

Hunter Computerized Wheel Balancer

Computer Screen on Hunter Wheel Balancer

Within a just a few seconds, Scribner has the wheel free of the rim, has spun it to align his marks and is inflating the tire. The beads seat with a loud "pop!" and with the press of a pedal, the wheel is released from the non-marring jaws of the rim clamps. We head back over to the Hunter GSP9700 machine, and watch as Dave Scribner mounts the assembly to the machine once again.

"This is another problem for a lot of technicians," he explains as he places the wheel on the balancing machine. "A guy uses the wrong centering cone, or manages to clamp the wheel so that it's slightly out of square, and he'll be chasing balance issues all day." With the wheel mounted (square and true) to the balancer, Scribner once again checks the tire pressure and waits for the machine to properly inflate the tire. Within seconds, the air hose is removed and the wheel is being checked by the GSP9700. Bowen adds that Hunter has an optional attachment for the GSP9700 that will help to automatically center the wheel assembly on the balancer.

The machine winds down and Scribner lifts the protective lid. "We need to add three-quarters of an ounce to right," says Scribner as the machine rotates the wheel assembly automatically to the proper position. He makes a note of the location, cleans the inside of the rim (as close to the center of the rim's width as possible, and applies a weight. He fires up the GSP9700 once again and smiles, "Perfect."

The Hunter GSP9700 tire balancer really is a marvel of modern day engineering and Hunter has every right to be proud of it. With a large, CRT-style display, computerized menus and functions, and Hunter's exclusive "road roller" (a drum that rotates against the tire to simulate road conditions and measure wheel force variation), the GSP9700 makes all other tire balancers look like toys.

The road roller can supply up to 1400-lbs of pressure against the tire to detect non-balance, radial force-related vibrations and is a key component to the success of the GSP9700. The GSP9700 can also determine if excessive "run-out" (effectively a side-to-side variation) is tire or rim related. But the most amazing option available to the Hunter GSP9700 (at least in our minds) is the "StraightTrak Lateral Force Measurement System."

This incredible piece of technology can detect tire pull, and suggest the ideal corner on which to mount the wheel and tire to negate a tire pulling effect. Tire drift was one of the most difficult problems to properly diagnose, that is, until Hunter developed technology to detect and correct it. It's nothing short of amazing. Why? Prior to this technology being made available, a technician had only a few options available to help correct a vehicle's drifting problem - perform a vehicle alignment to counteract the tire pull, or try to guess which tire was causing the problem and then, through trial and error, place the tire in the proper location on the vehicle to correct the pull.

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