When experts said it couldn't be done, Lee
Hunter invented a way to quick charge automobile
batteries. He then went on to build a highly successful
company to manufacture and sell his other inventions
that would soon after revolutionize the automotive
service industry. Today, Hunter Engineering Company
designs, manufactures and sells a wide range of auto
service equipment for a global market. Hunter products
include PC- and Windows?-based wheel alignment systems,
suspension and brake testing systems, computerized wheel
balancers, on- and off-car brake lathes, tire changers
and vehicle lifts.
Hunter Engineering Company owes its
beginnings to a discharged automobile battery. Lee
Hunter Jr., a 23-year-old St. Louis architecture
student, found himself frequently confronted with car
battery failure in his Packard convertible.
In 1936, it took several days to recharge a
car battery. Hunter was determined to find a better,
faster way. With the help of a former Washington
University electcial engineering professor, Hunter began
experimenting and his efforts paid off. His quick-charge
battery recharger was based on a diverter pole
generator. He put this new product on the market and
during the Great Depression, the Lee Hunter Jr.,
Manufacturing Co. sold the $497 Kwikurent charger as
fast as the company could make them.
Click to below to view Kwikurent
After serving in
both the U.S. Army Engineering Corps and Ordnance Corps
during World War II, Hunter returned to St. Louis in
1946 and reopened his business at Ladue Rd. and Hunter
Ave. in Clayton, Missouri, under the name of Hunter
balancer, Hunter Engineering's debut product, is a
revolutionary on-the-car balancer and Lee Hunter
Scene shows Lee Hunter - drawing board always
close at hand - in his office, circa 1948.
Hunter always taught his engineers a hands-on approach
to the engineering process.
In the 1950's, Hunter began assembling what
would later become the largest dedicated U.S. field
sales and service team in the industry. Hunter also laid
the foundation for a global distribution base for Hunter
In 1955 Hunter developed a new wheel
alignment system called "Lite-A-Line," which became the
industry standard. Lite-A-Line was the industry's first
simplified light beam wheel aligner. Wheel mounted
instruments used projected light beams to achieve
precise wheel alignment.
The development of innovative products to
serve the booming automobile industry during the 1960's
made Hunter the undercar service leader.
Hunter's Tune-Align became the first mechanical
alignment system capable of compensating for lateral
wheel runout, a major factor affecting wheel alignment
Hunter is named sole supplier of alignment
and balancing equipment for Ford Motor Company's
manufacturing and service; a relationship that lasts to
Hunter moves to
23-acre campus-like factory and administrative office
and research and training center, near St. Louis'
Lambert International Airport.
Hunter's F60/70 Dynamic-A-Liner becomes the
first successful computerized dynamic wheel aligner.
Vehicle's wheels are automatically centered on sensor
rollers for analysis of alignment settings, indicated by
large meters on the console. Computer provides paper
printout of alignment settings.
Training Center opens adjacent to the company
headquarters, research and development center and
manufacturing plant. The 18 bay facility is the most
advanced in the industry.
the first all electronic aligner using wheel mounted
sensors. Alignment parameters are measured by
potentionmeter cams and light beams as well as
electrolytic cells, and are routed through the system's
Durant, Mississippi manufacturing facility,
opened to accommodate expanding business, produces
alignment racks, off-the-car wheel balancers, tools and
Autron-A-Line introduces computerized
electronic static wheel alignment using electronic
sensors to transmit caster, camber and toe measurements
to meters on the console.
Electron-A-Line introduces the Thrust-Line principle to
wheel alignment. Measuring front wheel toe in comparison
to rear wheel thrust line provides a better alignment,
improved tire wear and steering.
Stephen F. Brauer appointed President, the
first leadership change since Lee Hunter founded Hunter
Engineering. Mr. Brauer joined Hunter in 1971 as a Sales
Correspondent and later became a Massachusetts Sales
Representative. Additional posts included Vice President
of Marketing and Executive Vice President. Brauer guides
the company into a period of rapid growth and the
integration of new computer technology.
Computer driven A111 offers a lineup of wheel
alignment firsts: First to use complete 4-wheel
alignment technology; first use of CRT; first use of
graphic display screens to guide vehicle adjustments;
first production aligner capable of comparing
measurements to vehicle specifications stored in
computer's internal database.
C111 introduces Sliding Block Adjustment Bar
Graphs. Guides alingment using graphic display that
shows amount and direction of adjustment.
Raymond, Mississippi manufacturing facility
opened to accommodate expanding business.
using the most advanced computer technology of the day
is the only system on the market with built-in vehicle
specifications, step-by-step instructions and vehicle
computerized Brake Tester measures actual brake
performance using a 4-minute drive through test
Service Center opens.
Truck Safety Center opens in Bridgeton,
Missouri expanding research, product development and
technician training for heavy-duty vehicles.
WinAlign? Globe screen is the first Windows?
- based alignment screen.
Alignment Wheel Sensor eliminates connecting cables from
sensors to terminals, and introduces Electronic Ride
DSP Wheel Balancers are the first to use
digital signal processing for unparalleled balancing
Lee Hunter is inducted into the Automotive
Hall of Fame in Auburn, Michigan where he shares the
spotlight with industry giants like Henry Ford, Louis
Chevrolet, Walter P. Chrysler and Soichiro Honda.
Computerized Suspension Analyzer measures suspension
adhesion and damping performance in a two-minute
drive-on test. Results are provided on graphic CRT
Series 411 Alignment Systems incorporates the
most advanced personal computing hardware and software
systems to date. It uses a Pentium? processor and
Windows? 95 operating software.
Hunter again revolutionizes wheel vibration
control. The GSP9700 offers a computer simulated road
test to solve non-balance related wheel vibration, a
major source of vehicle owner complaints and
non-billable service for shop owners and vehicle
manufacturers. Patented features and software CRT
displays provide test results and step-by-step
instructions for repair.
imaging sensors speed and simplify alignment by
replacing electronic sensors with durable,
easy-to-handle reflective targets. Four cameras in the
aligner tower measure the position and orientation of
each wheel-mounted target providing initial measurements
revolutionizes alignment rack design when introducing
the 9,000-lbs. capacity RM wheel-contact lift that uses
patented Hunter technology to eliminate all cross-beam
obstruction to the vehicle's underside.
major advances in alignment system
WinAlign? 4.0 Alignment Software -
The newest generation of Windows? - based software
offers more easy-to-use tools that increase productivity
and profit potential.
611P Plus Alignment
Console - Hunter's most advanced Windows? - based
aligner console provides more computing power and more
Hunter's new RX
Scissor Lift Rack offers a space-saving design that
gives technicians front to rear pass-through access to
the underside of the vehicle.
production unit of the GSP9712 - Hunter's enhanced
version of the highly successful GSP9700 Vibration
Control System - is shipped. GSP9712 refinements improve
serviceability and reduce the long-term cost of
Hunter Deutschland GmbH first opened in 2002,
being the first company-owned subsidiary outside of
North America. In 2008, Hunter Deutschland opened a new
free-standing training, service and administrative
office in Greifenberg, Germany, near Munich.
Hunter Completes Takeover of Canadian Sales
The WebSpecs.NET? Subscription is launched,
allowing downloads of the newest vehicle specifications
and access to adjustment and inspection digital photos
and illustrations from any Internet-connected computer
in the shop.
Lateral Force Measurement is introduced, a feature that
measures tire-related drift and pull and provides
corrective instructions. StraightTrak LFM, combined with
proper alignment, balance and GSP9700 radial force
measurement service, give shops an additional tool to
solve elusive handling problems.
New 811 Console, DSP600 Digital Imaging
Sensors and WinAlign? 7.0 is released. The new sensors
refine the best of preceding Hunter alignment
technology, adding features to increase productivity,
profitability and value.
WinAlign Software 7.0
includes new capabilities and features to speed and
simplify alignment and provide quicker and easier access
introduces 3 major improvements to the OCL400 Brake
Technology) eliminates vibration buildup
(chatter) when machining rotors at a fixed speed.
ServoDrive? Variable Spindle
Speed lets operators vary speed and rotational
torque during compensation and machining.
Compensation provides lateral runout
compensation by simply pushing a button and making a
Digital Imaging Alignment Systems Approved by German
The German Automakers BMW
Group, DaimlerChrysler AG and Volkswagen AG eac approved
customized Hunter digital imaging alignment systems for
use in their dealership service operations
Technology (left) is introduced, reducing wheel
weight costs and service
PowerSlide? Alignment Rack Slip
Plates (right) debut, saving time and
preventing accidental damage. The controls are
conveniently located on the lift console. One touch of a
button locks and unlocks them.
Along with WinAlign? 10.0 being released,
Hunter introduces HawkEye High-Definition Digital
Imaging Wheel Alignment which are optimized for speed
Hunter introduces the Auto34
Leverless Tire Changer. Years of
research and development make the Auto34 the technolovy
choice for shops that service performance and custom
wheels, including difficult low-profile and run-flat
Hunter debuts new innovative features to
wheel balancer line. Features include TPMSpecs?
database, VIN scanning capability, AutoClamp, automatic
cost-savings tracking, and Road Force?
Hunter's new ForceMatch? wheel balancer is
introduced, bringing advanced vibration management and
wheel uniformity measurement to the heavy-duty
Hunter debuts its next generation of
four-post lifts that offer greater capacities and
capabilities to speed service on any vehicle from
passenger cars to box trucks.
The open-front L441
and closed-front L444 provide a massive 18,000-lb.
lifting capacity, increased maximum wheelbase service
ranges, and the widest runways and most powerful motor
of any comparable four-post lift on the market.
Hunter introduces WinAlign? 11 Alignment,
simplifying alignment service with new tools to handle
advancing vehicle technologies.
include 2-minute alignment measurement, award-winning
CodeLink? steering angle sensor reset, informative
TPMSpecs? database, and instant AutoVIN spec recall.
Hunter introduces HawkEye Elite? featuring
WinAlign? 12 software. HawkEye Elite simplifies
alignment service with new tools to handle advancing
Hunter Engineering opened a wholly owned
subsidiary office in Beijing, China to promote the sale
of Hunter products and support the rapidly expanding
Chinese automotive market.