I have the "cheap" version of the COBRA Trackside Tire Truer (bushings and
32 pitch gears). It is noisy (due to the 32 pitch gears _and_ the
bushings instead of ball bearings), but in all honesty that doesn't matter
-- IT WORKS! Sure, if you try to make a deep cut into long wear ***,
you can bog the _motor_, but that is just a fact of life if you are going
to use standard "car" motors. The answer: just make smaller cuts! I will
trade a little of my time for the significant difference in price between
my cheap version and the AC versions, etc.
My tire truer has saved me a ton of money and pain -- I have "saved" tires
that became "coned" by truing them back up nice and "flat". I tried an
idea from "Doc" Mertes, and repaired tires that had lost a "chunk" from
the outer edge by cutting off the outer portion and then gluing on a
narrow donut piece, and truing the whole tire down to an even diameter.
I can custom size tires to a diameter that seems to perform best for my
cars, and I can "save" used tires -- sometimes after the tires have been
on the shelf (like over the summer while we race offroad outdoors), the
surface "skin" will not hookup very well, and I can run them through the
truer and produce a _fresh_ surface that will work like new! I can
recycle good rims whose *** is "shot", by putting on inexpensive donuts
of whatever *** compound I want, and then truing them down.
I will probably eventually replace the gears with 48 pitch units that are
taken off of my pan cars after they show some wear, etc. (waste not, want
not). I have also considered replacing the cheapie '05' Mabuchi motor I
am currently using with an old 550 can motor (Kyosho Mega 360) that I have
laying around, but haven't needed it yet.
Bottom line: Sure, if you have more money than you know how to spend, buy
the mega$ versions, but after two years of use, I can say that IMHO, the
COBRA Trackside Truer is worth the money.