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Wheels.. Steel or Aluminum for better fuel milage


OU812

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Just wanted some in put on steel or aluminum wheels on the puller vehicle and/or trailer, to improve fuel mileage. Less rotating weight on each wheel, should take less horsepower and fuel . Now the cost of switching to aluminum wheels, may take a few tanks of fuel to pay off,($4000) Has any one switched wheels and found a few 10's in fuel mileage ? GVW is no usually a reason to go aluminum, with puller, more for looks. Thank you OU812 :)

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No noticeable increase in mileage here when we changed over our rear outers from steel to aluminum. Fronts were already aluminum.

 

We bought 2 used ones from Geiger truck parts in Illinois when I was passing thru for around $200 each, polished them myself and then we had some friends of my sons that have a trucking outfit changed them over. They did them for free so I gave them the old steel rims for their time and use of equipment.

 

$4000 is quite a lot unless you are changing 10 of them and they are polished. If you change both inner & outer rears, make sure your rear studs are long enough as aluminum wheels are thicker. We were ok with changing just the outers but if we had done both, we would have needed longer studs.

 

Dave

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The manufacturer's website claimed about 1% when I did mine, or about 7 years - 700,000 miles to pay for the wheels with the fuel savings. It's not only about looks and mpg's. They're built significantly truer, and they're less vulnerable to damage from curb strikes, etc., so they stay truer and run more smoothly for a longer period of time, at least in my experience. ymmv

 

Jay

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Another potential advantage depending on where you travel would be aluminum's better tolerance of corrosive environments such as road salt up north and the salty atmosphere like here at the beach in south Texas. On our previous six year old rig the spare was steel and the other six rims were aluminum. The steel spare was badly rusted from six winters at the beach, the aluminums were in good shape. On our new rig we ordered two aluminum spares to match the six other rims. Best Wishes, Jay

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Curt, Dave, Jay, Mark, Jeff, and all others. Thank you for your input. Just what I've been telling myself. They will never, never pay off. The coat of the wheels. ten on the TC and six on the trailer, on the ground. $4000 was new price. Would only be putting new on front (22.5), outers only (used) and new on trailer( 16 ). So... maybe.... $2300 would be closer to the real cost, New/used. Still a lot of miles to make it pay. I save more on buying fuel...(250 gal) with a 2000 mile + range , I try and pick my fuel stops. That 2.19 per. gal. was nice to get this summer. I toped off for less then $500. I guess if I don't want to go hole hog and put aluminum wheels, hubs, radial tires and trailer tail on, I'll just have to put up with the 8.5 MPG that I get. HAPPY THANKSGIVING. Thank you for your input. :) OU812 ​

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OU812;

 

Looks only, it will never make mpg sense! And I am one here who get's great mileage! 11 to 12!

 

Curt

im also another one that sees 11 to 12mpg.... but Curt and I both have Detroit Series 60's... makes a difference.

 

my truck is ALL aluminum rims and came that way from the factory BUT mine was ordered that way as it was a O/O truck.

 

i doubt you would ever recover the costs of switching rims. and you can find the rims alot cheaper than that if you decide to go that route.

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Aluminum is better for corrosion??? By road salt? I live in a "plenty salty" area...and I will NEVER buy a vehicle with aluminum rims again given the choice. The aluminum rims start leaking after about 5 years around the stem. White corrosion. if you catch it right away you MIGHT get lucky and be able to clean it up and clearcoat it and make it work...otherwise the rims are junk. Every steel rim I got is still working just fine thank you, although I might have to repaint them now and then.

 

I did 2 just this year...2005 LDT and 2009 Buick. Stem leak. All the rims on the '05 LDT are going bad...corrosion under the clearcoat (looks like bubbled powdercoat!) Contrast that to the '82 Chevy with steel rims that still work and look just fine, just a little surface rust,

 

Also, I've found that any "spare" rim laid flat rusts/corrodes way faster than the rims actually on the car. Anybody else seen that?

 

Now, I can see the sea breeze thing. Anything steel will be worse in that area. Actually, aluminum isn't much better, its the clearcoat they put on it that prevents instant oxidation. We once installed 2 gensets near the ocean that had aluminum fin radiators. 2 years, and the radiators looked like something off a 1950's tractor...just crumbled to dust.

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Curt, Dave, Jay, Mark, Jeff, and all others. Thank you for your input. Just what I've been telling myself. They will never, never pay off. The coat of the wheels. ten on the TC and six on the trailer, on the ground. $4000 was new price. Would only be putting new on front (22.5), outers only (used) and new on trailer( 16 ). So... maybe.... $2300 would be closer to the real cost, New/used. Still a lot of miles to make it pay. I save more on buying fuel...(250 gal) with a 2000 mile + range , I try and pick my fuel stops. That 2.19 per. gal. was nice to get this summer. I toped off for less then $500. I guess if I don't want to go hole hog and put aluminum wheels, hubs, radial tires and trailer tail on, I'll just have to put up with the 8.5 MPG that I get. HAPPY THANKSGIVING. Thank you for your input. :) OU812 ​

Fellas, You can pick up used aluminum 22.5 rims for $125-$150 max. You can polish them out for $25-$35 each. Almost every commercial tire dealer in the country will have used ones.Look on Craigslist under heavy equipment, you can usually find some good deals from private owners. Even the new truck dealers have blems, maybe a scratch or scuff. Shop around, save some cash.

 

We tell buyers aluminum only saves 40 pounds per wheel. If you were ever hauling 50,000# of freight coast to coast, your savings isn't measurable because now, saving the weight of 720 pounds vs. steel on 18 tires, the company will now put more payload in the trailer, so there goes your fuel savings. It is all about hauling more freight, nothing here for fuel savings.

 

Bill

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