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Thread: Hunter J111 alignment machine diagnose bad rear optical sensor

  1. #1
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    Hunter J111 alignment machine diagnose bad rear optical sensor

    I picked up an old Hunter J111 alignment machine off CL yesterday. It was listed for $10 with a bad optical sensor that would need to be repaired or replaced. When I arrived at the shop they had it out front waiting for me and the helped disassemble it and load it. The shop had been using it up until recently when the sensor went goofy and they simply decided it was time to get something more modern rather than fool with it. After I loaded it I tried to give the guy the $10 and he said he was just happy it was going to a good home. Cool!

    I plugged it in last night it booted right up and if I align the sensors a green light come on. Three of the sensors behave this way so I assume this is correct. One of the sensor has the green light on all the time, solid, unless I turn it upside down, then it goes off. I'm thinking the one bad sensor may just need to be calibrated.

    I have a couple manuals but they are operator manuals, not service manuals.

    Does anyone have any experience with the old Hunter alignment machines?

    The sensor is model number D111 with 125-108-1 below it. I found 1 listed on ebay for $275 as is... I already have one that is "as-is". Hoping to fix it before I roll the dice on one off eBay.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Hunter J111 alignment machine diagnose bad rear optical sensor

    call hunter engineering in st. louis, mo. they made them there. they have service tech around country that repair them. they might be able to help.
    lincoln 125sp
    monkey wards 250 ac/dc
    miller 211 w/spool gun
    ahp 200 sx tig
    lotos ltp5000d
    of course duramax diesel

  3. #3
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    Re: Hunter J111 alignment machine diagnose bad rear optical sensor

    Quote Originally Posted by duramax-rob View Post
    call hunter engineering in st. louis, mo. they made them there. they have service tech around country that repair them. they might be able to help.
    I've heard they have really good local techs. I'm not generally the type of guy to call a technician unless I absolutely have to. Some people do crossword puzzles for fun... I fix stuff.

    I did manage to score a service manual off eBay. Some dude ran the price up kinda high, I guess he really needed it also.

    After the manual arrives I'll see what's involved in the re-calibration.
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    Re: Hunter J111 alignment machine diagnose bad rear optical sensor

    The old timers used simple spirit vials,, and tape measures, to align front ends. The big truck front end shop that I use, still does it this way. I guess you can chalk this up to lack of training these days, and no real apprenticeship programs in this country.............

    I think the most modern thing I've seen in the old shops is the rub gauge thing they use to check toe in as the wheel passes over the turntable.

    Then, to add to the misery, are the fools that refuse to look up the specs for the particular vehicle...........and rely on what "usually" works.

    God Save You if ever you actually need to have a vehicle aligned these days.

  5. #5
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    Re: Hunter J111 alignment machine diagnose bad rear optical sensor

    the best and accurate is the hunter "LIGHT-O-LINER". one of my good friends used tp run the training center at hunter. always said that one was the most accurate and most dependable..
    lincoln 125sp
    monkey wards 250 ac/dc
    miller 211 w/spool gun
    ahp 200 sx tig
    lotos ltp5000d
    of course duramax diesel

  6. #6
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    Re: Hunter J111 alignment machine diagnose bad rear optical sensor

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    The old timers used simple spirit vials,, and tape measures, to align front ends.
    I picked this one up thinking worst case scenario I could salvage the wheel sensor clamps and use a tape measure across them. As it sits I can do front end alignments with the working sensors. Once I figure it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by duramax-rob View Post
    the best and accurate is the hunter "LIGHT-O-LINER". one of my good friends used tp run the training center at hunter. always said that one was the most accurate and most dependable..
    The school used to have Lite-A-Line. Not sure what happened to it. The simplicity was great.

    I messed around with the machine a bit more today. I figured out how to disable the write protection in order to set the correct date and time. I also changed the screensaver to display the school name rather than the dealership that originally owned it. I wanted to try the infrared remote but the battery was dead. The best by date on the battery was JUL 91. Hard to believe a 30 year old battery wasn't corroded into a puddle. At first glance I thought it said JUL 19.

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  8. #7
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    Re: Hunter J111 alignment machine diagnose bad rear optical sensor

    I picked up a fresh 9V battery this morning and gave the remote a try, unfortunately I get nothing no matter how close I hold it to the machine. I'm not sure if it's a remote problem or a receiver problem. I'll dig up a phototransistor and see if I can see anything with the oscilloscope.

  9. #8
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    Re: Hunter J111 alignment machine diagnose bad rear optical sensor

    Simple test. Look at the remote using the camera on your phone. That will tell you if you if the remote is putting out any light.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Re: Hunter J111 alignment machine diagnose bad rear optical sensor

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    The old timers used simple spirit vials,, and tape measures, to align front ends. The big truck front end shop that I use, still does it this way. I guess you can chalk this up to lack of training these days, and no real apprenticeship programs in this country.............

    I think the most modern thing I've seen in the old shops is the rub gauge thing they use to check toe in as the wheel passes over the turntable.

    Then, to add to the misery, are the fools that refuse to look up the specs for the particular vehicle...........and rely on what "usually" works.

    God Save You if ever you actually need to have a vehicle aligned these days.
    I did alignments for years with a set of SNAP-ON GAUGES , & TURNTABLES on an old rack I got from a ford dealership that was closing, that rack was made by HUNTER but no idea what happened to the optics/electronics, used a trammel for toe-in.The "scrub" toe-in gauges were great for speed, but I found them to be extremely inaccurate, probably because they were subjected to all the dirt & debris. I had one vehicle that was having some problems continue after I aligned it, he took it in and had it checked on the latest & greatest machine out there & the tech told him that all he could do was eff it up, & whoever did that alignment "really knew what he was doing!"
    Last edited by CAVEMANN; 07-07-2021 at 04:17 PM.
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  13. #10
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    Re: Hunter J111 alignment machine diagnose bad rear optical sensor

    Quote Originally Posted by AlabamaJoe View Post
    Simple test. Look at the remote using the camera on your phone. That will tell you if you if the remote is putting out any light.
    Good to know! My camera could see the TV remote but doesn't see anything on the machine remote. Dead. I tried checking continuity on the buttons, I had one button working briefly, but they appear to be the issue. I tried shoring the pin on the connector but still didn't get a response from the machine. I'll have to work on it some more.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    used a trammel for toe-in
    I hadn't thought of using a trammel but it would work good.

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  15. #11
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    Re: Hunter J111 alignment machine diagnose bad rear optical sensor

    when i went to hunters training school, they wanted you to strive for 0 tolerance on your alighments. that was 0.25 0f a degree meaning you couldn't get the tolerance any less. not just in the green as they say but perfect. was a lot harder but doable. i always strived for that. made it frustrating sometimes.

    i think that was the machine we used and had at work, we also had the remote for doing toe-in und the car when you couldn't see the main screen. very handy.

    wish i could help you more with yours!
    lincoln 125sp
    monkey wards 250 ac/dc
    miller 211 w/spool gun
    ahp 200 sx tig
    lotos ltp5000d
    of course duramax diesel

  16. #12
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    Re: Hunter J111 alignment machine diagnose bad rear optical sensor

    Quote Originally Posted by duramax-rob View Post
    when i went to hunters training school, they wanted you to strive for 0 tolerance on your alighments. that was 0.25 0f a degree meaning you couldn't get the tolerance any less. not just in the green as they say but perfect. was a lot harder but doable. i always strived for that. made it frustrating sometimes.

    i think that was the machine we used and had at work, we also had the remote for doing toe-in und the car when you couldn't see the main screen. very handy.

    wish i could help you more with yours!
    I have the remote also. The shop said they never used it. I'll plug it in and see if it works. I did pickup a copy of the service manual. It appears you need an calibration fixture and a red service card that goes in the computer, which I clearly do not have. I'm going to call the local service tech in Olympia and see what he says.

    Quick question, does it matter how I plug the cables into the front of the computer? I have three plug ins, I assume they are left, right, and remote, but they don't have any labels. I still need to find some time to put it on a car and test it.

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