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HELP Straightening Alloy Wheels...

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Old 04-19-2002, 11:22 PM
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Unhappy HELP Straightening Alloy Wheels...

I've got 18" aftermarket alloy wheels on my wife's car. After checking into a vibration, we've been told by a few seperate techs that a couple wheels are slightly bent. Aarrgh!! They said you can only see the bend when they are spun on the balancer. I've tried to ride next to her and watch, but it must be too small to see. It's bad enough at 50MPH that it drives me crazy.

I've put new Michelin Pilot XGT's on - no change, moved them front to back - no change. The time has come to send them off and get them right!!

I'd like to ship them all four wheels with the tires mounted so they can "true up" the wheels, then balance the wheels/tires properly.

Anyone know of a reputable company that can help me out?
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Old 04-19-2002, 11:37 PM
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Did the tire guy try and 180 the tires on the rim? Also take it to a bus garage and have them balanced on the car. They can do this. I had the same problem and that worked. Many times the rim is not true on the machine so they look unbalanced. There is no way to fix a bent rim so this is all that is left.
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Old 04-20-2002, 12:07 AM
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I remember reading an article in Car and Driver magazine a few years ago about a company that specializes in straightening bent alloys. They used to advertise in the back of same. If I have time, I'll see if I can dig up an old issue.....Oh yea- they are from someplace here in Pennsylvania.
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Old 04-20-2002, 09:13 AM
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They did a couple alloy motorcycle wheels for me. Excellent service. I knew the wheels were tweaked side/side, but after talking to them, I found they were bent in the radial direction as well.
They clearly state that any finish on the wheels may need repair afterwards, but I couldn't see ANY visible marks on the wheels they did for me...... and they were a painted wheel.

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Old 04-20-2002, 09:45 AM
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There are places that specialize in repairing damaged alloy wheels. Check with some body shops, they might know about a place to send them or look in the yellow pages. There might be a listing under auto repair. Salvage yards might know about this also. You might even call an insurance company and ask an adjuster if they know any one that repairs wheels. Someone does it, you just have to ask around.

I would not waste time or money balancing the tires until you know the wheels are true. You will still feel a vibration at certain speeds. Good luck.
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Old 04-20-2002, 11:15 AM
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AutoWeek and Hot Ford magazine both used to have ads in the back for wheel fixers. No longer get either of those mags so don't know if they are still advertised but figure they are.

There's another option, though. With my wife's YukonXL I put aftermarket 18"ers on it and slightly larger Michelins. The wheels were premium wheels (Detatas) but we had a vibration issue. I am a partner in a car lot and my partner used to drive big rigs and his Dad still runs 12 of them. For years he had taken all of his big 4X4 Mudder trucks and had the tires trued when mounted. He had the only mud trucks that drove smoothly.

He had found a guy who actually cut the tires while they were mounted ON THE CAR. He then spin balanced them ON THE CAR. Took the YukonXL to him and it was then glass. I have similar troubles with Michelins on my S-Class cars, they are just hard to get smooth. This guy makes them glass too. Took a Mustang to him that had bent aftermarket rims on it. They were dinged on a pothole and I made a wood block to fit the curve of the rim and hammered them back pretty close (but not perfect). This guy made it glass too.

According to partner's Dad who runs all the freight trucks, he gets 40% MORE miles out of tires that have been trued when originally mounted. Truck stays balanced better, shocks last longer, etc..

I see you are from Nashville (I am H'ville). Since I did not personally take my cars to this guy, I am not sure who he is, but partner does. I am leaving town Monday for a week, and partner is out of town right now, but I will try to call him and find out who you should take the car to.

Just had a better idea - I called him!

In Nashville, off Murfreesboro Rd., near the Buick Dealership is the Universal Tire alignment shop. It is actually, I believe, on Lewis Street. The guy you need to talk to there is named Dalton. He is supposed to be the master. I am not sure what deal you will get, but tell him that Greg Stephens at Auto Advantage (my partner) referred you. Greg pays less than $50 for a true & balance on all 4. Alex Hendry in Inglewood also does good work, but Greg says that he can't compare with Dalton on price or results.

Hope you get what you after.
Mike

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Old 04-20-2002, 02:50 PM
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OSO comes through again!!!!

Mike - I also live in Hendersonville - small world! I'll be visiting Dalton next week to see what he can do. You can bet that I'll be telling everyone about the help you gave me and that they should look up Auto Advantage when they need a car.

Do you boat on Old Hickory? We live across the bay from Governor's Point. What boat are you running?

Thanks everyone for the help. OSO rocks!
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Old 04-20-2002, 06:35 PM
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Good gosh!
I think I called you about a pitot style speedo you had on Ebay.

I keep my cruiser at Bluegrass Marina. Sea Ray Sundancer - "Private Dancer". Got radar, DSS sat dome, and other crap all over the arch. We usually raft just inside Bluegrass cove to the right near the little sand beach.

I live on the lake in the original "Indian Lake" cove. I am 4/5 deep in the cove on the right. I have the huge play fort in the yard and the Whaler on a trailer in the yard. Right now two waverunners are on trailers in the back as well. Used to have two docks, but the wonderful Corps of Engineers made me finally remove one and (by the way) since the large one was in need of repair, they gave me the choice of removing the sheetmetal sides or replacing it with an approved (small and sideless) dock. I removed them both and have not yet replaced with a new one.

Also have a 311 Formula w/502s. White w/blue-red-yellow stripes. Its a '91 so it doesn't have the black platform (it's white). Kept it for a while at Bluegrass, but one day the Board of Directors decided it was unfair to allow a member to have two slips (unless the second was a jetski) so I had to move it to the dry storage at Drakes Creek. Right now it is on my trailer at "Wheels and Waves" a fixit shop that works on bikes, boats, and everything else. I am (I guess) kind of a silent partner in that deal also. Had planned to put the blowers and such on the Formula over the winter but have not had good luck getting all my parts gathered up (looking for imco +3 boxes and hydraulic steering before I disassemble anything).

AutoAdvantage is across from Waffle House. We try to keep a good inventory of late-model low-mileage stuff, but things have been horribly slow and we have stocked the lot with whatever we think will sell (high-high-mileage Lexus are moving real good but they are hard to find).

Greg, my partner, is as honest as the day is long. As a result of his straightforward honesty he loses lots of sales to the guys just up the street with the big air-flapping-man and the pretty logo. They have been known to omit significant details even when asked directly.

No kidding, if you know anybody in need of a car, we frequently work off of "wish lists" to help match up a buyer to a car. Just cause it ain't sitting on the lot doesn't mean we can't find what you want. We can also sell wheels and tires out of there, but don't advertise it. (If you look next time you drive by, you'll see the dump truck I bought!)

I also own a tool & die shop in Madison. I end up staying late making boat, bike, and hotrod parts more than my wife prefers.

I know Dalton will fix you up.
Mike
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Old 04-21-2002, 12:22 AM
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I remember the same article that arks is refering to.

Here's my thoughts: I've been told many a time that the "rims are bent". My experience has generally been that these guys are just looking for excuses. I had one guy tell me that each of my cars rims were bent. He even held piece of chalk up to the tire to show how far out it was. When I told him hold it up to the rim, he shut up. I had another guy tell me that the tires were out of round. He gave the tire a good spin a held a screw driver up to it. Hell, even I can't stand without swaying-which is exactly what the problem was. Ultimatly, I don't know why I can't find a set of tires that are decently balanced. The factories seem to be able to balance tires. The INDY and nascar guys seem to be able to balance tires. But I sure can't get a set of balanced tires on my vehicles.
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Old 04-21-2002, 11:44 AM
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2 companies in my area (Chicago). Trans wheel corp and Chicago wheel service. If you call them they can give you a vendor in your area. I will post the phone #s later or you can call directory assist.
they fix and recondition all types of alloy wheels, except chrome I believe. They do a great job, I deal with them all the time.

I agree that you need to make sure they are bent and not just being balanced improperly first.

Dean
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