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Cracked Steer Wheels


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So...new M144s going on this morning...they found one hairline CRACK in each steer wheel.  Each Crack starts at a stud hole and reaches out towards the outer edge...  both are about 4 inches or so long but neither is through the thickness (cross section) of the wheel.  Shop wouldn't mount tired on them ...so I bought two new Alcoa wheels for $275 each.

My question,  can I get the original wheels repaired since these are D hole wheels and no longer available?

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Aluminum wheels are being repaired on smaller vehicles (in the bead area) but I doubt you would find a professional shop willing to take liability for a big rig wheel repair given the loading (especially on those steers, flexing in turns) and pressures. Not only the safety on the road but also the installer's. I do understand the sentimental value but would rather check with a dismantler junk yard. Might be cheaper even if you find some shadetree place, it isnt hard but liability is a problem. I got a spare for $125.

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1 hour ago, malcoll said:

So...new M144s going on this morning...they found one hairline CRACK in each steer wheel.  Each Crack starts at a stud hole and reaches out towards the outer edge...  both are about 4 inches or so long but neither is through the thickness (cross section) of the wheel.  Shop wouldn't mount tired on them ...so I bought two new Alcoa wheels for $275 each.

My question,  can I get the original wheels repaired since these are D hole wheels and no longer available?

In a word NO.  These cracks could propogate and then be a real safety issue.  The tire shop appears to be reputable.  You CAN try google searches for “big truck rim repairs”.  Odds are NO.  I have a background in Metallurgy as well as casting aluminum and zinc.  I would NOT trust or try to have them welded and remachined and polished without having a certified testing lab do a complete Xray or other testing to identify the cause or source.  Maybe they were over torqued? Maybe they were under torqued and they flexed and fatigued the metal? The list goes on.

If you want the original Accuride “Monaco D Hole” wheels, then find them at a salvage yard.  You could call Accuride and maybe get more info.  Then ask them “HOW, WHY, REPAIR?” I would also want a complete inspection, maybe even Magnafluxing or today’s higher tech equivalent, done to make sure that the used ones were sound.

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Definitely good points.... I bought the new wheels... hard to tell the difference from front to rear other than the nice new finish on the fronts... but I could buy two more rear Alcoas so they match....but I have other projects to work on first... 

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33 minutes ago, malcoll said:

Definitely good points.... I bought the new wheels... hard to tell the difference from front to rear other than the nice new finish on the fronts... but I could buy two more rear Alcoas so they match....but I have other projects to work on first... 

YES... SHINY.  One could polish or have a detailer polish them.  FWIW.  The REAR D Holes ARE a good feature...totally wasted on the front.  Many folks have REMOVED the idiotic SS hose fitting and put their TPMS sensors on each valve stem to prevent leaks.  I have the ACCURIDE...but in 2009, they were ROUND...  BUT, with the D, the opening is wide enough, assuming your hands and digits are OK to sort of contort...so you CAN screw on the TPMS on the REARS.  I would KILL for being able to do that.  I had to had LONG special made extensions (BORG Design).

Just a tidbit.  TRIVIA....at its finest...

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That's not a typical crack location from fatigue or overloading, maybe torque issues.  Are you sure they're cracks, not just rust or grease tracks? If in doubt, spray with penetrating oil, wipe clean, then dust and a crack should grab the dust. 

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They are definitely cracks.. but they look superficial to me.... they cannot be seen on the backside at all, but regardless the Tire Shop refused to mount new tires on them.  

 

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5 hours ago, malcoll said:

So...new M144s going on this morning...they found one hairline CRACK in each steer wheel.  Each Crack starts at a stud hole and reaches out towards the outer edge...  both are about 4 inches or so long but neither is through the thickness (cross section) of the wheel.  Shop wouldn't mount tired on them ...so I bought two new Alcoa wheels for $275 each.

My question,  can I get the original wheels repaired since these are D hole wheels and no longer available?

Most likely, this happened because the flange nuts were under torqued.  When mounting these tires, if reusing the old flange nuts, it's important to put a couple of drops of oil between the flange and nut so they turn freely.  It's also a good practice to temporarily use a couple of sleeved flange nuts to be sure that the wheel studs are centered in the hole and that the stud threads aren't touching the wheel stud hole openings.  Once the other wheel flange nuts are tight, the sleeved flange nuts are removed and replaced with the normal flange nuts.  A tire shop who knows what they are doing will follow this procedure.

When removing and remounting a wheel, one other Item is that, after a few hundred miles, wheel nut torque needs to be rechecked - most folks don't know to do this.  In practice, I never found any that were under torqued but there is always a first time.Untitled78.jpg.6ecbd3f63d5cab545bc0e5a506748072.jpg  

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Friend of mine recently bought a '05 Monaco gasser (can't recall the model), that came with coated Alcoa's.

Ours came with uncoated Accurides!

Monaco made some strange decisions!

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5 minutes ago, malcoll said:

So what is the torque value on these lugnuts?

500 ft lbs

Good shops will have a calibrated torque wrench.

I carry one on my coach.

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1 hour ago, Frank McElroy said:

500 ft lbs

Good shops will have a calibrated torque wrench.

I carry one on my coach.

AND….it is recommended that after say 50 miles, the torque, with a calibrated torque wrench, be checked as well as retorqued.  MOST (or maybe not) tire installers just “HIT the trigger again”. NOW, if the torque wrench is set way high…then maybe the torque is up to 600 Ft Lbs.  Overtorquing will or can DAMAGE the wheels.  The impact guns should be set to around 450 or so Ft Lbs…then you properly torque, to 500 Ft Lbs…. You do NOT KEEP pushing the torque wrench…STOP at 500.

MORE IS NOT BETTER!

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