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Would you rent Corner Scales?

 
Old 03-12-2019, 12:56 PM
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Craiger77
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Default Would you rent Corner Scales?

All,

Lately, I have been looking at purchasing corner weight scales to dial in the corner balance of my Z06. Last summer I had to replace broken and worn spring perches and I know the weight balance was changed because I noticed changes in braking and turning despite attempting to return to original ride height.

I started looking around for ways to do an affordable balance and noticed the costs vary anywhere from $200 - $500+ Those prices may or may not include additional alignment work that would be necessary. Plus, I did not always get the feeling the alignment shops knew exactly how to do the best job possible. (Not that I do, but I will learn)
So, as I always prefer to do whatever work I can myself, I started looking at corner scales to purchase. Obviously, they are not cheap and considering I probably wont be using them often I have to consider if the use justifies the purchase.

But, I had an idea. What if I offered purchased for myself and then offered the scales for rent to other AX's and track car owners who have similar needs to use? It would be way to offset cost of ownership while providing an affordable option for other to have access along with myself.

So my questions to you are the following:

- If you were inclined to do so, would you consider renting corner scales to balance your Vette or track car yourself?
- If so, How much would you spend?
- How long of a period of time would you think would be reasonable for use of the scales?

I haven't purchased anything to use yet. Just trying to figure out if any interest existed for the idea
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Old 03-12-2019, 02:16 PM
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fleming23
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Maybe over the life of ownership it would pay off but I bet it takes a while to recoup that investment for a few reasons.
  • Most people don't know how to accurately use scales to corner balance a car - just putting the car on the pads to get a weight is one thing, making sure the suspension isn't binding and is level is another
  • Just scale pads work for some but without a way to roll the car you could have friction bind from the tires making corner balancing less accurate
  • Scales are heavy! My scale case and little computer box are bulky and weigh quite a bit - so shipping might be expensive and difficult.
  • If you add the roll-off scale boxes to this equation, it gets even larger and heavier, plus much more expensive.
  • Your surface is supposed to be perfectly level or the corner weights can be off.

Ideally, I would look for a buddy with scales to "borrow" or throw a few dollars or beers before renting them, unless I knew what I was doing beforehand. This isn't to discourage your idea, just a couple thoughts that popped into my head upon reading your post.

Last edited by fleming23; 03-12-2019 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:24 PM
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Figuring a rental price might take a bit of market research...
What's the going rate at a quality performance shop in your area? Around here it varies from <$200 to ~$500. (The $500 shop doesn't really want that business...)
Would it be an attractive DIY rental at half of going rate? Rent them out for a day?
The process is actually pretty easy, practice and a little logic makes it really straightforward.
Become proficient, offer corner balance service on the side, recoup your costs!
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:38 PM
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I have some I bought used years ago... we sort of share them in our group. Having a proper setup pad is critical and PITA to make. So I really use mine to ensure min comp weights and make sure things aren't really out of whack. If I want to really dial things in I still take my car to a local shop with a proper leveled scale pad.
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Old 03-12-2019, 04:48 PM
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Craiger77
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All great thoughts and all in line with some of the thoughts I had.
If I did it I would prefer to deal locally because shipping is so cost prohibitive and thereís always risk of loss.

I was thinking I would almost certainly need to have a security deposit to cover loss and endure return. Or if someone decides they wanted to keep them, in which case, I would be ok because the security deposit would simply cover repurchase.

Im very lucky to have invested in a drive on storage lift years ago. I say it was an investment because, although it hasnít directly made any money, it certainly paid for itself by allowing me to be able to complete difficult under car repairs myself.
The lift was set to be dead level side to side and front to rear. I have thought about using it with corner balancing service, like I would use for myself. But that can be complicated with liabilities, insurance, neighbors, etc, etc. so, Iím not sure yet.

Great thoughts


and validation for some of what I already suspected.
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Old 03-12-2019, 06:35 PM
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jefnvk
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On an economics level, it appears I can buy an entry level set for under $1000, which means if I look long enough I can probably get them or better for $500ish or less used, which means I'd rather just buy my own set that I know the conditions and calibration. That's just me though, you'd have to make it pretty cheap to get me to want to rent.

I think it would make more sense to find a set of buddies to all chip in on a "timeshare" basis than trying to rent them out to strangers. As a random stranger "renter", I'd also have a hard time giving you a deposit equivalent to replacement value in the event you turned out the be the unscrupulous one. Not saying you are, just saying I'm wary about such things.

Last edited by jefnvk; 03-12-2019 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:52 PM
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Nowanker
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Best idea:
Group of friends... spread the cost. Car guy's version of a vacation rental!
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:55 PM
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Thatís what me and few buddies did, split the cost and share the scales. Donít use them often so no biggie to wait until track wkd for anotherís turn.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:13 AM
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Other issue is shipping costs, they are heavy and bulky, I bet you could spend $75-$100 in shipping. There are some new brands popping up that are in the $700 region, $900 wifi. I waffled about getting a set, but ended u taking a 2 hour drive to have it done by a shop. You need rollback pads, and a way to make sure your floor is level to get great results, add that in too.
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Old 03-13-2019, 04:08 AM
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Flash68 View Post
What d'you know!
Maybe all the good ideas have already been tried.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Flash68 View Post
Thanks all. I also found this last night browsing around. I agree, there are no original ideas any more! As speculated mentioned earlier, shipping is a killer. $125 alone to my location, Plus 3 and 7 day time limits.

I was thinking up to 14 days would be ideal as that would be how long I know I would like to keep them and it allows for test and tune with additional fine tuning afterwards

All good things to consider... I think I may pick just pick up a set and share them among friends and trusted local club members. Worst case, I resell and just consider the difference the cost of use.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:36 PM
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davidfarmer
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I charge around $250 to scale and align. I can do corvettes super fast. Trouble with renting scales is very few people know what to do with them, and you will end up being tech support forever. I have one client I lend hem to occasionally in 25 years
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:43 AM
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I have owned some for a couple years. I use them infrequently but...once you have them, you have them. 1k or so bucks can get a hobby guy plenty of capability. I just bought'em and said F it. Shipping both ways would be costly. Best thing to do is create an online network of people who have scales, and are willing rent theirs and split the profit with your website, which brokered the deal. Connect customers to local scales, avoid the shipping, but then you'd have issues with theft, etc that'd have to be worked out, either via deposit or something. Then you have issues with damages, theft or failure.

Nice idea but...like the parts stores rent tools, you pay for the tool...when you come back, they refund you. You could simply do a partial refund as the rental fee. Frankly, I don't think there is enough demand.

As far as a service goes...insurance, liability, etc....mehhh....too complicated and you'll never get the insurance at your house for that service...ya gotta wing it.
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Old 03-25-2019, 06:04 PM
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jpb1978
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No way, too many people can't even use a screw driver. I am not letting them have a tool that cost me a grand. Not happening, ever.
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Old 03-26-2019, 10:12 AM
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Gordy M
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The "buddy buy" method works out very well. Years ago three of us decided to get sclaes and ran across a roundy-rounder who was upgrading his garage and was selling his old system. For $700 we were able to pick up not only the scales but also the platform to drive the car on and ability to back you on the platform. Years have past I my two friends have moved to FL but I still have the scales and platform. Check with some of the local circle tracks to see if they know of someone selling.
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