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Mixing steel and aluminum wheels


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I just purchased a new to me Freightliner HDT MH that has been singled and the previous owner removed the inside dual wheels because he apparently did not need the capacity, I need to add them back in because I need a bit more weight carrying capacity. Can I use steel wheels on the inners? they are much cheaper I know they will not ride as well because of the unsprung weight but I am not certain in my application that makes too much difference. is there any practical reason steel wheels are a bad idea on the inside?


Also, I am pretty sure my wheels are hub centric because they use lug nuts that have a washer on the bottom, is that a pretty safe assumption?





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A stud-piloted wheel will have a square on the end of the (what looks like the) stud (but it really isn't). Budd type wheels aren't very common now, unless it is more than 10 yrs old or so it's probably hub. You can put a thin gasket between them to prevent corrosion, though.

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I have steel on the inside. I thought about upgrading to all aluminum, but I found out my wheel studs weren't long enough to accommodate two aluminum rims together. That saved me some money I didn't really need to spend. ;)

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It's real common to have steel inside wheels. There is usually a plastic shim/gasket in between the aluminum and steel to cut down on corrosion.

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Well since everyone else answered your questions, guess we will be the ones to welcome you to the dark side and to the Freightliner bunch also. Hope you enjoy your new set up. Pics would be nice!


Hope you can make it on of the rally's. Kansas is coming up in October and TN in April.



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Or you can trade out your Aluminum ones for steel and maybe not have to buy any.


My truck had Aluminum when I got it. The holes in the wheels where you have access to the valve stem were very small and my hands just didn't fit at all. Had a low tire alarm on a trip once with the Pressure Pro and when I tried to check the pressure with my tire gauge the core didn't reset and just leaked the rest of the air out of the inner dual. As soon as I got home I changed out the wheels for steel with large openings. I had the tools to change the valve core but couldn't get to it. A $100 service call for a tire service to come to me, remove the outer wheel (they couldn't get to the core either) replace the core and get me filled with air again was enough.


Have since taken the pressure pro off and check with a gauge before and during my trips. Just my opinion from my experience.



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Comment on Nevr-Sieze- I love it. BUT- many agencies & experts are discouraging it's use on torque-specific fasteners (like wheel studs) because it alters true torque readings.

I think the person who mentioned the Nevr-Sieze was referring to applying it on the surface of the wheels, where they make contact with each other, not to the threads. I have seen that done before, though personally, I would just buy the plastic insulator if I were adding aluminum wheels to the outside.


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I have seen vaseline or grease between the steel and aluminum rims, and no corrosion. DO NOT put any kind of lubrication on the threads, you disrupt the torque of the nut. Make sure your studs are able to get a full nut with one or 2 threads showing after tightened down, if putting aluminum rims next to steel. California is very strict about threads showing ........ Or just put lugnut covers over it, and take a chance they don't see it.



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