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Old 22nd November 2014, 10:53   #46
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Default My Learnings and Experiments with Alloy wheels

My car - Premier 118NE 1995.
It had 81000kms already on the odo while it came to my hands. Which means that the tyres would have been replaced a couple of time, removed many times to fix punctures. The result of these man handling showed up on
1. Non-uniformity along the lip of the rim (The tyrewala hits a long lever to pull the tyre out)
2. Deformed bolt holes (Tyrewalas who work on truck tyres rend to over-tighten the wheel bolts and rim showed deformation in those areas too.
The deformation was to such an extent that each rim needed at least 20gram of Lead weight on either side, still remained little unbalanced. A new rim for 118NE is next to impossible.
Lastly, 118NE runs on bias ply tyre of size 5.6-13 which is not being manufactured by major tyre manufacturers or not stocked by tyre shops as this is not a fast moving tyre spec. The closest option is 155/80/R13.
Alloy wheel was more of a need than for style / performance / Weight reduction. Again, a 13" X 98 PCD alloy is quite a rare spec (Available in very few shops or brought by order). Luckily struck with a deal in OLX for 5 Nos 100PCD X 5.0J used alloy for 10000. With my vernier I was assured about the back spacing, Press fitted a ring to shrink the center hole dia, used wobble washer and long bolts to adapt 100PCD alloy rim on a 98PCD hub. My car finally rides on Apollo Amazer 3G 155/80R13 tubeless.
Weight-wise I think I didn't have any advantage. After all Magnesium alloys give better weight reduction than Aluminium alloys.
In all, my advice would be, stick to OE spec rims or alloys because they have been tested not just as a component but as a overall system. Excessive deviation from the OE specs would lead to problems like suspension bush wear out, wheel bearing wear out, strain on the stub axles, returnability of steering, etc. So think wisely before a tyre or alloy upgrade.
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Old 25th November 2014, 21:34   #47
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Default Re: Are Steel wheels/rims better than alloys?

Thanks for sharing your experience. That's a whole load of work you've done in retaining that awesome car. The alloys surely look nice. NE 118 was a fantastic car and I remember seeing many around during childhood.

Quote:
In all, my advice would be, stick to OE spec rims or alloys because they have been tested not just as a component but as a overall system. Excessive deviation from the OE specs would lead to problems like suspension bush wear out, wheel bearing wear out, strain on the stub axles, returnability of steering, etc. So think wisely before a tyre or alloy upgrade.
You are absolutely right here. This is one thing that has been bugging me ever since I've decided to go for a tyre upgrade. But, the amount of understeer my car offers is good enough to convince anyone in my favor once they drive my car. I can't even take a right turn on a roundabout at a speed of 30 km/ph. Have to drop down to crawling speeds to take a turn. I am sure that the tyre are at fault here.

One thing that surprises me is that the same variant was offered with meatier tyres (185/60 R14) abroad. The drop in diameter and increased side wall for Indian road conditions makes sense. But why make the tyre thinner. Feeling a little ripped off.
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Old 27th February 2015, 10:25   #48
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Default Re: Are Steel wheels/rims better than alloys?

Many years ago when I fitted my Zen (1st model) with Aura Alloys retaining the OEM tyres I found that my steering had become very hard although the ride was fabulous albeit in a straight line. Although I had retained the original wheel diameter by using the same OEM tyres, I later realised the Offset and width of the alloys greatly affects steering behavior. I could not drive with the alloys for long especially as I did not have power steering and reverted back to the steel wheels-instant relief. So the lesson learnt is you will have to find an alloy that has the same offset (or within 10%) and of the same width (tough) as the original steel rims if you want to retain the original steering characteristic of the car. Sometimes even company fitted alloys can make the steering awkward because it is very difficult to find alloys in the required size.
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Old 15th December 2015, 16:08   #49
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Default Re: Are Steel wheels/rims better than alloys?

Hi Guys,

I am pretty new to this thing but from some of the reviews on team-bhp and elsewhere as well.....I have found the reviewers mention that the ride quality with alloy wheels is a little bumpy due to thinner sidewalls as compared to regular steel wheels. Is this true since I was under the impression that alloy wheels offer better ride quality and almost all manufacturers offer alloy only on the top end version. So infact are people paying more money for a less comfortable and more expensive option? I do understand the better looks and maybe better braking ability with alloys on, but if the ride quality is compromised then in my opinion its not worth spending extra money.
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Old 15th December 2015, 17:15   #50
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Default Re: Are Steel wheels/rims better than alloys?

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Originally Posted by adutta2k View Post
Hi Guys,

I am pretty new to this thing but from some of the reviews on team-bhp and elsewhere as well.....I have found the reviewers mention that the ride quality with alloy wheels is a little bumpy due to thinner sidewalls as compared to regular steel wheels. Is this true since I was under the impression that alloy wheels offer better ride quality and almost all manufacturers offer alloy only on the top end version. So infact are people paying more money for a less comfortable and more expensive option? I do understand the better looks and maybe better braking ability with alloys on, but if the ride quality is compromised then in my opinion its not worth spending extra money.
The alloys should offer a marginally better ride quality.
What happens is that when most of us upgrade to alloys, we also upgrade our tyres to slightly larger ones (as most cars are generally equipped with the skinniest tyres available in the name of costs).
When we upgrade to larger tyres, it generally results in the sidewall height being compromised (i.e. lower profile as compared to stock), resulting in a poorer ride.

However, on the bright side, a conservative upsize with good quality rubber will not only see handling improve, but also comfort and FE.

Also - in the long run, alloys are safer as they are less prone to bends and cracks.
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