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Old 08-11-2016, 10:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkgman51 View Post
I kept to the steel wheels because I haven't met an aluminum wheel that didn't leak just a little bit.
And I've never met an aluminum wheel that leaks at all... but it's only been thirty years. I don't know why people have this problem; however, I'll note that most (but not all) of my alloy wheels have been OEM (original equipment from the vehicle manufacturer) - rather than cheap stuff - and I've never had two-piece or three-piece "modular" wheels (which can leak at the seal).

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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Why do people put aluminum wheels on other vehicles- like a car? Because of the appearance. Your choice.
Yes, for cars it's mostly appearance. The size is mostly for appearance, too, in many cases.

In some styles, the alloys can be substantially lighter. Almost any alloy is stiffer (laterally) than a steel wheel. Steel wheels are usually used with full wheel covers, which can have trouble staying on and are easily damaged.

Trailer tires are usually so unresponsive that a wheel stiffness difference is unlikely to be discernable.

For competition use, I have found that steel wheels are much more easily damaged (rim dents to the point to not sealing at the bead properly, bending out of true) than alloy wheels. Yes, I know no one is racing their Escape.

Where only basic functionality matters - which means fleet vehicles including police cars - painted steel wheels with small centre caps are the cheapest and effective choice.

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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Other then looks, the reason I went with aluminum... I had white steel wheels on my last trailer, they started to rust in 2 years and looked like crap.

The steel wheels that Escape uses are better quality then what came on my Starcraft. I don't know if rusting is an issue for Escapes.
Although alloy wheels corrode, too, I've seen much more corrosion on my steel wheels (on cars) than on my alloys. Local conditions vary, of course.
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:14 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
In some styles, the alloys can be substantially lighter.
That part's true too, and important if you have a small sportscar. On my Mazdaspeed Miata I sold a couple years ago, I replaced the stock aluminum wheels with Enkei RPF-1 racing alloys. In the process I lost over 60 lbs of unsprung weight and you could tell the difference. On a trailer though, I think it's just the look and the lack of rust.
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:20 AM   #23
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We got the aluminum wheels for the trailer and they still look nice . Our truck also have them now for 13 years . We just dry the wheels when we wash the truck or trailer . Don't understand any problems . Very glad we got them .Maybe I am nuts but they seam to be less maintence . Pat
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Old 08-12-2016, 12:50 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
That part's true too, and important if you have a small sportscar. On my Mazdaspeed Miata I sold a couple years ago, I replaced the stock aluminum wheels with Enkei RPF-1 racing alloys. In the process I lost over 60 lbs of unsprung weight and you could tell the difference. On a trailer though, I think it's just the look and the lack of rust.
While I listed reasons for alloys on cars, I agree that most of them don't apply very well to a trailer, simply because the trailer suspension is so hopelessly crude that refinements to factors such as unsprung weight are not going to be noticeable. Also, trailer wheels are relatively small compared to the trailer mass, in contrast with car standards, so unsprung wheel weight is not a problem.

I want durability so I prefer to stay with OEM alloy wheels for cars, but others with the same model (I'm currently driving Mazda3) are enthusiastic about their lighter alternatives (such as the Enkeis).
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Old 08-12-2016, 07:55 AM   #25
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Now if you really want some special wheels, the new Mustang GT350R has special carbon fiber wheels that weight about 13 lbs each, have a RFID chip, and would cost you about $5k each to replace- The Shelby GT350R's Super Light Carbon Fiber Wheels Use NASA Techology
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Old 08-12-2016, 08:11 AM   #26
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Does anyone know the actual weight difference between the steel and aluminum wheels that Escape uses?
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Old 08-12-2016, 02:55 PM   #27
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Our aluminum rims still look like new and don't leak. In fact I think they hold air better than any steel rims I have had.

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Old 08-12-2016, 03:43 PM   #28
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My experience with aluminum rims is they start to leak and you can't stop them. In all fairness, we live in a very snowy part of the country (150 inches avg.) The DOT uses lots of salt to control the ice. Salt creates hugh corrosion problems with aluminum rims. The only way to stop the corrosion is to grind the wheels down to bare metal. This starts the entire corrosion process over again, because the grinding removes the clear coat from the entire surface.

My advice depends on where you live. If you are in a sunny climate, you probably can get the aluminum rims and never have any troubles. Northen climates would be better off with steel rims and a little paint to prevent the rust.
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Old 08-12-2016, 05:26 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by pstyer View Post
My experience with aluminum rims is they start to leak and you can't stop them. In all fairness, we live in a very snowy part of the country (150 inches avg.) The DOT uses lots of salt to control the ice. Salt creates hugh corrosion problems with aluminum rims. The only way to stop the corrosion is to grind the wheels down to bare metal. This starts the entire corrosion process over again, because the grinding removes the clear coat from the entire surface.
I agree that local conditions are important, and that aluminum alloy wheels need a surface coating. Most corrosion problems with alloy wheels here are simply finish issues.

There is a perception by many car owners here that alloy wheels are for summer and steel wheels are for winter; however
  • many steel wheels used in the winter are very rusty,
  • most cars now come with "all-season" (many of us call them "3-season") tires, and many are all-wheel-drive, so lots of people use their original alloy wheels year-round without difficulty, and
  • alloy wheels specifically sold as a second set for use with winter tires have become very popular in recent years, and I have not heard of corrosion problems with them.
Some "winter alloys" are marketed as being particularly suitable for winter use, either due to better coatings (paint) or a design which drains well and so holds corrosive deposits less.

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Originally Posted by pstyer View Post
My advice depends on where you live. If you are in a sunny climate, you probably can get the aluminum rims and never have any troubles. Northen climates would be better off with steel rims and a little paint to prevent the rust.
"Northern" is a relative term. If you're on the east coast of the United States, then the northern part gets lots of snow and presumably uses lots of salt, so it's a bad environment for corrosion. On the U.S. west coast, I don't know if the relatively mild climate of Washington and Oregon leads to much salt use.

Here in the middle of Alberta we're north of the vast majority of the North American population, and winter lasts half of the year, but in our dry climate snowfall is moderate and with our winter temperatures salt is limited in effectiveness so not much is used; corrosion of anything is much less of a problem here than in some areas which are hundreds of kilometres south of us.

I've heard that even warm southern climates can have corrosion issues in coastal areas, due to the salt of sea water. I don't know if this is a real issue for wheels.

If your trailer is parked all winter, and only hits the road in summer conditions, it doesn't seem to me that winter road salt should be a factor.
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Old 08-12-2016, 08:13 PM   #30
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Oregon does not use salt anywhere. Lots of gravel/cinder mix. We have a thriving windshield replacement industry thanks to those who follow too close.
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