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Old 11-24-2021, 05:10 PM   #1
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Aluminum Wheels

Has any upgraded there front and rear outer wheels with a Forged Aluminum wheel? Was it worth it or was it a waste of $?
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Old 11-24-2021, 05:22 PM   #2
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Lots of $$$$ for a little "bling", with much more maintenance.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:03 PM   #3
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Function vs Look

Yes they are better looking, but I was thinking more of the function it provides, It would drop 42lbs of un-sprung weight per axle, aluminum wheels deliver a better ride because they are lighter. Which means when you hit a dip or a bump, aluminum wheels strike with less force(smoother ride) they dissipate heat faster, so little better on the tires especially when traversing traffic, steep down grades or mountain driving, the wheels are more true less lateral and radial runout, and they won't rust.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:13 PM   #4
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Your wheel studs may not be long enough then it gets to be a big job. Otherwise there should not be a problem. If you like the idea just go for it. It's your money.
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Old 11-24-2021, 07:15 PM   #5
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The part of your question that asks "Was it worth it" implies you are expecting a return on your $2,200.

I think you will have to find that in the joy of ownership. If you want it go for it - They are attractive wheels.

I think it is going to be very difficult to justify from a ride or tire wear or fuel economy return on "investment".

But it's your coin. They are attractive. You have to answer that question though.
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Old 11-24-2021, 08:07 PM   #6
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yup yup

Let me ask it a different way, Has anyone upgraded there front and rear outer wheels with Forged Aluminum wheels? Did it make your Coach ride smoother? Did you feel any difference in your steering wheel input?
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Old 11-24-2021, 10:43 PM   #7
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Well fastgascar,
I kind-a hate to burst your bubble but, I'd bet everything I own, you WILL NOT notice one iota of ride difference between what you have, and the install of the alloy wheels. I've got a tad bit of experience at this. I was involved in many aspects of the fire department in my career. One of them was the involvement of specs when getting ready to order new fire trucks.

We'd been using steel wheels for decades, like all FD's. But, over time, Alcoa entered the market of fire trucks and made the purchase of their wheels quite enticing. We actually got new trucks, with the alloy wheels on them almost for the very same price as steel wheels. And, because we did that, they made us an offer we couldn't refuse, to retrofit our older but still in service for a long time, fire trucks with the newer style wheels.

We asked the very same question(s) about ride to the manufacturer and rep, that you're referencing. And their answer was NO you will not notice a ride difference at all. Many of us had driven specific fire trucks we'd been assigned to for years and knew EXACTLY how they rode, on any and all surfaces in multiple districts. And that was with the steel wheels. When our number was up, and we brought our rigs in for a wheel change, we drove back to our stations, and from that point on, not realizing any form of ride difference.

Without a doubt, the appearance of alloys on our fire trucks was phenomenally appealing. A painted steel wheel only goes so far, in the looks department. One of the benefits of changing to alloys was the fact that we were experiencing far less cracks with the alloys vs the steel wheels. Many of our steel wheels would develop cracks from the lug holes out. I cannot recall ONE ALLOY WHEEL developing a crack, in all my remaining years after we'd acquired alloys and, procured new trucks with them.

Now, as far as "More maintenance" is concerned, well, that's a very, very common misconception. Our wheels DID NOT come with a coating on them. That means, you could polish them to a mirror finish. I would do that quite often as I would work in different stations in overtime.

But, when a wheel (or any aluminum) is highly polished, the surface is actually brought to a point where it self-preserves, at least for quite some time. The finer the surface, the harder it is for corrosion and oxidation to take place, even without general maintenance. Another way to put it is, you could polish a wheel to a mirror surface and then, not touch it (other than general washing and wipe down) for a year, and it will look only moderately less shiny than you originally did it. But, without a doubt, if you took the time, about an hour per wheel, to *touch up* the surface, it will be long lasting. And even in the harsh world of fire trucks, that only needs to be done about, once every 6 months. Believe me, I've been polishing aluminum since Christ was a pup.

This is your choice Partner. You buy them if you want them. But, expecting any, and I mean ANY better of a ride due to the change, well, it's really not gonna take place. There's just not that much of a weight difference per wheel, to make any discernable difference in the ride.

If you plan on making the change, you'll have to take into consideration a few factors:

1. Lug stud length, aluminum wheels are quite a bit thicker than steel versions

2. Make sure you're knowing the difference between lug centered and hub centered and, know which version your coach uses. Another term for this is *Stud piloted and Hub piloted*.

3. Know and realize the *Off-set* of the wheel(s) to be changed. Off-set, in case you're not familiar, is the amount of wheel that is in or out, of the surface where the wheel bases against the hub. Good luck in your endeavor.
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Old 11-25-2021, 05:40 PM   #8
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How much spare time do you have to keep those aluminum wheels polished?
Chrome wheel covers look like new with a pass of a soapy rag.

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Old 11-25-2021, 05:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by fastgascar View Post
Has any upgraded there front and rear outer wheels with a Forged Aluminum wheel? Was it worth it or was it a waste of $?
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Not a waste of money if it makes you feel good. Make sure they are the right specs, fit and go for it. In a short time you won't miss what was spent and enjoy the ride (no bun intended).
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Old 11-26-2021, 10:14 AM   #10
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I thought about doing that, they are appealing. As I get older it is nice to remove my SS covers, go into my climate controlled shop and sit in a chair to polish them.
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Old 11-30-2021, 04:09 PM   #11
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Polishing aluminum wheels,
Contrary to *some* popular belief, is nowhere near as time consuming on a *regular* basis as some think. I've explained the process numerous times on here and other RV forums. The end result, all depends on what kind of condition a wheel is in when the process is started. If the wheel is in good shape, with no pitting or bad staining, or excessive corrosion, then the steps needed to get it to what you see in the pics below, is minimum.

The process is sort of sped-up if, the wheels are removed from the coach and done mostly with machine. Trying to polish wheels, especially ones that are badly tarnished, with them still on the coach, is one serios pain in the a...

Once the wheel is brought to close to a mirror finish, from that point on, it's a matter of choice on what type of finishing product to use. Also, it's important to use quality micro fiber towels for the buffing. They result in little to no ultra-fine scratches. The pics you see below are the result of only around hour or two work.

That was done, several years ago. They look just like that today. You see, unless you live at the oceans edge, where you'd get ocean spray air and all the salt involved, on a daily basis, a highly polished aluminum wheel will last for quite a while, as in a minimum of a year without touchup. But, a touchup once every oh, maybe 8-9 months, will keep them looking like a mirror. And the touchup takes around, 20-30 minutes per wheel, based on how energetic one is.
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Old 12-01-2021, 11:16 AM   #12
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Yes, I upgraded the steel wheels and simulators for Alcoa aluminum wheels. It will be 5 years ago this spring when we made the conversion. I love the Alcoas and would do it again in a heartbeat. I wanted Aluminum wheels because of how much better they look sitting in an RV park or campground. Steel wheels with simulators look cheap and second rate, might as well be in a Class C camper.

As far as handling and performance there was ZERO difference between the Aluminum wheels and the stock wheels. My steel wheels worked perfect and so do the aluminum. I made the change for aesthetics only. I thought about saving a couple hundred bucks and going with the Accuride aluminum wheels and hub caps but after seeing them in real life there is just no comparison to Alcoas with lug covers and a center cap.

I bought my wheels from Buy Truck Wheels .com. I bought everything from them including new correctly orientated valve stems and valve stem stabilizers, new lug nut covers and center caps. I used dynamic balance beads and had the beads installed in all 6 tires.

IMO the Alcoas are much better than the Accurides. When making my decision between Accurides and Alcoas I asked the tech at for his opinion. He told me they make a little more money on each set of Accurides they sell but the finish and look of the Alcoas was second to none. In summary he said: "No one has ever bought a set of Alcoas and later said to themselves "I wish I would have gone with the Accurides"".

Alcoas with the LVL One polish and coating are awesome. In nearly 5 years I have never done anything more than wipe the water spots and dust off my wheels. They look as good today as they did on day one. Our coach spends the majority of it's life in the southwest and while we don't have salt or CACL on the roads we do have hard water, dust and blowing sand. The Alcoas are virtually maintenance free other than wiping them down with a cloth every couple of months or when it rains.

In my signature below I post a few pictures of our coach before and after the new wheels. I also have a thread here that details the installation of Aluminum wheel on a Workhorse Chassis coach. No issues what so ever as far as wheel stud length on a Workhorse chassis coach. That thread is linked in the thread in my signature.
Tom and Sherry W.
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Old 12-01-2021, 11:32 AM   #13
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I ditched the SS simulators and bought a set of used Alcoa's a while back and don't regret it one bit. If you go with changing just the outside rim on the rear axle your studs SHOULD be long enough.

Another benefit is aluminum rims will stay straight and run truer than a steel rim over the long haul.
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Old 12-01-2021, 05:35 PM   #14
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i'm currently in the process of switching over to 99 winnie came with steels and sims,my tires were over 8 yrs old so i needed new tires and i wanted a spare,so i got checking for a set of 4,well if you need 22.5 10 lug your in luck but 8 lugs is another story.they wanted about 150 bucks more per wheel over the 10 lugs.i just out of the blue found a guy on facebook marketplace he bought out a camper supply place after the owner died.he had a new set of 4.wanted 400 bucks each.told him i want all 4 and he said 1200.sold.about a month later he called and said he found another one in all the stuff.said he would take 200 for it as it was the only one he found.i'm kinda thinking of grabbing it and mounting the best tire i have and use it for a would save me close to 50 lbs of weight hanging on the back.i'm just about done with my spare tire mount so hopefully i can find a set of 4 tires this winter so when i come out of storage i can get them on and be ready to hit the road.
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