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Bad Vibrations“ don't need to be
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Which driver is not acquainted with the situation? When overtaking somebody else on the highway or while driving on the country road, the steering wheel suddenly starts to vibrate. This symptom should warn you, the reason for the vibrations frequently being an unbalance of the wheels.

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Motorcycle manufacturers regularly launch new motorcycles in order to offer individual solutions to any driver's desire.

Haweka is keeping pace with these technical developments and have made it our goal to react quickly to technical change and to work on necessary solutions.

With the Pro Bike II, you will get precise balancing results, simple and fast mounting, safe and easy handling and modular upgrade kits.

Haweka has also optimized the balancer attachment, reworked the design and developed additional new centering kits. By the use of different internal adaptors it is possible to mount the Pro Bike to any balancer in the market.

Market Dynamics


Despite being one of the most critical aspects of wheel balancing, properly mounting wheels on balancers is all too often undervalued or completely dismissed as a requirement to the wheel balancing process. The biggest factor contributing to this is balancer OEMs design, promote and sell balancers…not mounting equipment…adaptors are not part of their core competency. Cones are the least expensive and most basic option for mounting wheels on balancers and require no training on the part of the OEM. As a result, training and education is spent on operating the balancer with little or no time spent on mounting equipment and its importance to wheel balancing. But here’s the problem with that…

Balancing begins with centering.

Balancers do not center…adapters do. Without the right adapters, used in the right way, wheels are not centered meaning a zero on the balancer doesn’t necessarily mean the wheel is balanced. Weight can be added and removed and added again until you get zeroes but then what about repeatability? And why are there more and more wheels that balancers just can’t balance? For balancers to do what they are intended to do, wheels must be centered and mounted on the balancer exactly as they are on the vehicle. In today’s marketplace, it is important to consider both hub centering and lug centering on every wheel so that wheels are always mounted correctly on the balancer. Not only will this optimize the balancers ability to balance but also allows shops to provide truly balanced wheels to their customers. Mount wheels properly, and vibrations, chasing weights, false zeroes and comebacks become a thing of the past.

Centering on the Balancer

Hub Centering

Balancing begins with centering…and centering (for most wheels) begins at the hub. Centering on the vehicle happens when there is 100% contact with the machined track on the inside of the wheel hub and the hub assembly flange, or in simpler terms, when the wheel is connected to the axle hub. See red markings on wheel hub and hub assembly below for detail.

Consider this…

• There is no taper on hub flange for centering (problem with cones used back or front).
• The hub flange does not mount to the front of the wheel hub opening (no front coning).
• Duo Expert offers 100% contact to the machined wheel hub track for zero tolerance centering.
• Always place hub centering devices on the shaft first before mounting the wheel to mimic mounting on hub assembly flange.
Lug Centering

Balancing begins with centering and centering is either reinforced through lugs or the actual centering point for truly lug centric wheels (aftermarket wheels) where the wheel is centered by the lugs rather than the hub. With either Quick Plates or Flange Plates, the lug mount on the vehicle is replicated exactly on the balancer and provides the same resistance to side to side movement pushing the wheel away from the centered mount.
Consider this…

• Pressure cups provide pressure from the front of the wheel on balancers but have nothing to do with lug mounting or replicating the vehicle’s lug mount and often do not contact wheels in the proper location.
• Pressure cups, ironically, do not provide even pressure/torque which is required from lug mounting.
• Quick Plates and Flange Plates provide even pressure and enough torque to push the wheel into its proper mounting position on the hub centering device.
• When balancing aftermarket wheels, always use the tuner style tips or studs for proper centering.
That’s why you can’t have one with the other…proper hub and lug centering devices. Adapters complete balancers. They are every bit as important as the balancer itself.
Market Conditions Affecting Wheel Balancing:

• Standard Tooling
• Front Coning
• Chrome Clad Wheels
• Wheel Dynamics – Heavier and Larger Wheels
• More Sophisticated Vehicles
• Aftermarket Wheels
• Alloy Wheels
• 8 and 10 Lug Vehicles in the Fleet
• Balancing – Speed More Important than Accuracy
• Tech Training and Supervision – Not Enough Time Invested
he Front Coning Issue

Over 70% of wheel balance comebacks can be directly attributed to the way wheels are mounted on the balancer. The single biggest contributor to mounting problems is using a cone from the front of the wheel or front coning. The contact point on the cone has nothing to do with the way the wheel is mounted on the vehicle. A front coned wheel on a balancer cannot be accurately or properly balanced.

Unfortunately, front coning has become standard practice in many North American shops as it speeds up the balancing process and requires little or no training. Consequently, it has arguably become the most serious problem in wheel balancing today. As long as front coning is allowed and accepted in shops, wheel balancing cannot be taken seriously. Front coning is a practice that has to be educated out of the marketplace and eliminated from all shops. Professional shops that take the time to properly educate/train their techs and place importance on balancing wheels precisely and accurately are the shops that can be trusted to give their customers the tire and wheel service they deserve.
Chrome Clad Wheels

A clad wheel is a cast wheel with a chromed, plastic cover bonded to the face of the wheel. Their presence in the marketplace is growing like wildfire because auto manufacturers have realized that the same cast forgings can be used for several makes and models with the clad cover providing the difference in appearance. So, what was once primarily considered a Chrysler wheel design, is now being used on Chevy, Ford, Audi, Mercedes, Toyota and Nissan to name a few. By 2015, it is estimated that over 60% of new vehicles entering the fleet will come equipped with clad wheels.

The effect clad wheels have had on wheel balancing has been profound to say the least: in order to properly balance a clad wheel, standard cones and pressure cups cannot be used. Use of cones from the back, cones from the front and pressure cups on the surface of the wheel will not only result in inaccurate balance results but can also cause expensive damage to the wheel. Because chrome clad covers cannot be removed, repaired or replaced, it is important to understand that any damage to the cladding results in wheel replacement at the shop’s expense…and clad wheels do not come cheaply. To avoid clad wheel issues in the shop, the following details the problems and solutions for balancing chrome clad wheels:

1. Clad Surface I – Because the plastic material is soft and easily scratched, there can be no surface contact on the clad cover. Pressure cups pressed to the clad surface, with or without the rubber ring, will scratch and damage the wheel requiring expensive wheel replacement.
2. Clad Surface II – Many clad wheels have a pocket between the clad cover and the wheel’s casting. Pressure cups tightened against the clad cover can crack and/or cave in the plastic cover requiring expensive wheel replacement.

Clad Surface Solution - Flange plates or Haweka Quick Plates are required to prevent any surface contact with the wheel. So that a lug centering device is used on every wheel not just clads, Quick Plates are highly recommended for optimum balancing results.

3. Back Coning – If a standard cone is used properly from the back of a clad wheel, two problems occur:
1.) Balance Accuracy - The length of the cone (2 inches plus) is such that the cone’s point of contact in the wheel hub is actually the clad cover. The plastic cover is soft, moveable and has nothing to do with the way a wheel is mounted to a vehicle. It is impossible to properly balance a wheel mounted on or touching the chrome clad cover in any way. Results will always be inaccurate.
2.) Hub Cover Clips - Many clad wheels have plastic clips in the inner hub bore to hold the wheel’s hub cover in place. These clips are thin and very easily broken. When a cone is used from the back, the clips press against the cone and often break. This results in a loosening of the clad cover, wheel vibration and expensive wheel replacement.

Back Coning Solution – Hub centering devices designed and sized to have no wheel hub interference are required for balancing clad wheels. Haweka Pro Collets (two sided, 3/4 inch length each side, low taper collets) or Duo Collets used from the back of the wheel provide clad wheel solutions. For maximum results, Duo Collets are recommended as the mounting surface replicates the vehicle’s exactly.
4. Front Coning – As iterated and reiterated many times on this site, cones should never be used from the front under any circumstance. Balancing results from front coning are inaccurate and meaningless. Like back coning, there are two issues when coning from the front:

1.) Balance Accuracy – When a clad wheel is front cone mounted on a balancer, not only is the point of contact of the wheel completely irrelevant to the way it is mounted on the vehicle but also, because the plastic cladding covers the hub bore there is no contact whatsoever with the wheel itself. The plastic cover is soft, moveable and has nothing to do with the way a wheel is mounted to a vehicle. It is impossible to properly balance a wheel mounted on or touching the chrome clad cover in any way. Results will always be inaccurate.

2.) Hub Cover Clips - Many clad wheels have plastic clips in the inner hub bore to hold the wheel’s hub cover in place. These clips are thin and very easily broken. When a cone is used inaccurately from the front, the clips press against the cone and often break. This results in a loosening of the clad cover, wheel vibration and expensive wheel replacement.
Front Coning Solution – Use hub centering devices only from the proper position at the back of the wheel. Haweka Pro Collets (two sided, 3/4 inch length each side, low taper collets) or Duo Collets used from the back of the wheel provide clad wheel solutions. For maximum results, Duo Collets are recommended as the mounting surface replicates the vehicle’s exactly.

Wheel Balancing – Training and Taking the time to Do It Right

Look at these adapters and see if anything can help you when you are balancing a tire. Most of these adapters will help when you have comebacks with cars and trucks. When buying a balancer it is not always true that the balancer you buy doesn't have to be the top of the line but buying the right adapters will always save you money in the long run. Haweka has a large list of adapters and flange plates for any make and model of balancer on the market today. Call us for info for your balancer and see how we can help you save money. Click on any logo to get the full catalog with part numbers then call us for a price.
Here is an example of how having the right equipment to do the job helps. So if you purchase the right adapters then most of your troubles will be over.
Vehicle vibration has become a common and reoccurring complaint with the 3rd Generation 4Runner and Tacoma. I had a very bad vibration in my 96 4Runner from day one. In my quest to cure this problem I had to battle with Toyota all the way through arbitration and I ended up having to fix the vibration myself, because they could not. I will save my war story with Toyota for another chapter. In my efforts to fix my own truck I have learned a few things that I would like to pass on to those of you having the same problem. I hope to save you some time and frustration.

There are many things that can induce a vibration in the truck, but it seems that most of the common vibration problems in the 3rd Generation 4Runner and Tacoma are centered in two areas, balance and wheel/tire defects. There are lots of different things that can cause vibration, but I am only going to focus on the two areas listed above which I feel are the most common in these trucks.

If your truck vibrates only when you hit the brakes, then you most likely have warped rotors and this page does not apply to you. If your steering wheel oscillates slightly back and forth at highway speeds with no vibration felt in the vehicle then that is most likely an alignment issue and this page does not apply to you.

Balance / Haweka Adapter:
I have gotten tons of email from people that have had a truck that drove nice and smooth, then the dealer touched it. The stories are usually the same. The dealer talked them into an unneeded rebalance or they just got new tires and their trucks now shake and never did before. They have had it rebalanced, and rebalanced, and rebalanced and it never gets any better. They have lead weights all over the wheel. Think about it two lead weights on opposite sides of the wheel, and they are the same weight. I have seen this time and time again on 4Runners and it just does not make sense at all. How in the world does this happen?

Here is the problem. The wheels used on the 4Runner/Tacoma are “lug centric” and are not the more common “hub centric” wheels like on most cars and light trucks. Hub centric wheels are centered on the vehicle hubs using the center hole in the wheel. That is kind of simple. On lug centric wheels the wheels are centered on the vehicle hub using the lug bolt holes and not the center hole. When the wheels are made and machined they are done so using the lug holes to mount the wheels to the machines that make them. The lug holes are the true center of the wheel and not the center hole. So, if the center hole is not in the true center you can understand how mounting the wheel to the balance machine using the center hole is not going to work very well. The wheel needs to be mounted to the balance machine using the lugholes. This is done with a flange plate adapter made by Haweka.

The Haweka adapter firmly locks the wheel onto the balance machine in its true center. It holds wheel very solid and prevents movement. Toyota realized they had a problem with balancing these wheels and issued a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB SU002-96) requiring the Haweka adapter when balancing these wheels. The problem is that it seems that few Toyota dealers know about the TSB let alone have the adapter.

While on one of my many, many visits to the dealer to get the vibration fixed, I saw one of my tires on their balance machine. I walked over to it and grabbed the tire and shook it. It wobbled all over the place. I asked they guy how he thinks he can balance the tire with it moving around so much, “all the truck wheels do that.” That my friends, is the very center of the problem. If they cannot get the wheel to hold still on the shaft there is no way they can ever properly balance it. The Haweka adapter does two very basic things. First it mounts the wheel to the balance machine the same way it is mounted to your truck, and second it locks it to the shaft of the balance machine and prevents movement so you get a consistent and proper balance.

When you have your tires balanced with the Haweka adapter you will be surprise how little weight the tire will take. I have Michelin LTX (courtesy of Toyota arbitration) and I have one tire with no weight at all and the other three with just one small one. Before the Haweka adapter I had weights all over the wheels installed by the dealer.

If you ever get new tires, or decide to have them rebalanced you really should do yourself a favor and make sure the shop has and uses the needed Haweka adapter before you let them touch your truck. It is possible to get a balance without it, but why take the chance and have to go back, and back again. You have the greatest chance of having it balanced right the first time, every time using the adapter.


The front ends on the 4Runner and Tacoma are super sensitive. If you have something that is just slightly out of whack you will definitely know it on these trucks. If you have a vibration and believe it to be cause be the wheels and/or tires, then you should not waist your time by going to a shop with old technology. If your time is as valuable as mine then you should find a shop with the needed Haweka adapter, and a technician that has a clue.

Next call the shops and make sure that they have the Haweka adaptor for your wheels. If they tell you that they do not have it or don’t need it, then hang up and call the next shop. Do not waist your time with them. If they are willing to spend mopney on the state of the art balancer, and not get a set of Haweka adapters to go with it then they probably are not smart enough to work the machine anyway.

When you find a shop that has a good old-fashioned balance. The Haweka adaptor should cure the most common cause of vibration in the 4Runners and Tacomas. This combination will give you the greatest chance of getting you vibration problem fixed on the first visit as possible.