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Old 11-04-2010, 04:52 PM   #1
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Alloy v Steel

I am going to be looking at tires in the near future [prior to white stuff] and that is a good time to also look at wheels.

I went through all five pages of this forum and didn't find any good discussion of the differences between Alloy and Steel wheels.

I am not going to be loading up 33-35s on my ride so that is not a necessary consideration for my part of the conversation but might be for others.

What are the differences [and effects]... durability, ride, balance, unsprung weight and the subjective...comfort, hassle.

I am leaning toward simple black rims on the khaki Unlimited. I have the Ravine stock wheels and my options include snagging extras of those and powder coating them black, going with something like a Cragar 365 steel or a Procomp 7089 [examples to show the simple style I prefer]

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Old 11-04-2010, 05:20 PM   #2
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alloy are stronger, and look better

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Old 11-04-2010, 05:22 PM   #3
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You musn't have looked hard becuase this topic pops up often.

Paging Mr.Bransford!

Know the diffetences between both wheels types is easy as thinking about it. Steel wheels can be lighter and cheaper but are usually a pain to ballance. Alloys will hold up to abuse better but will require more maitnance... But the don't rust either.
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:33 PM   #4
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Steel bends, alloy breaks. That's rarely an issue, but can be for people who run really tough trails with really low air. You can't pound a broken alloy back into semi-shape.
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:37 PM   #5
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x2 ^^
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:58 PM   #6
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15" MB72 alloy Vs 15" Steel options

Here's a thread I posted on the topic.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f27/15-...tml#post859106
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Old 11-05-2010, 01:48 PM   #7
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Good information.

My search was on this sub forum, though I bet there are conversations on other parts of the forum. That might be where I missed it.

Having dealt with AMG wheels in alloy I know there are different qualities of allow [same with US v Chinese steel]. Euro allow has different ride qualities from Chinese replicas.

So what I was hoping for was the subjective part of this. Folks who went from A to B and noticed a ride difference or a control difference or a "death wobble" difference.
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Old 11-05-2010, 02:03 PM   #8
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i have black cragar streetlockers on my 94 YJ...rusting now and when they scratch they rust even more!...if u rock crawl they are better to repair (on site), and they are heavy too with my 33" on em! but i have some 15x8 Dick Cepek DC1 Alloys on my 93 YJ easy to clean!...dont rust!..nice to look at! and light too...just dont smash into rocks too hard with low air!!.. ALLOYS GETS MY VOTE
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:36 PM   #9
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I like alloys. They look better, lighter and don't rust.
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:52 PM   #10
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I went steel for cheapness and since i have a TJ I didnt need spacers, but the only time I will be switching over is when I get WE's
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McBear View Post
Good information.

My search was on this sub forum, though I bet there are conversations on other parts of the forum. That might be where I missed it.

Having dealt with AMG wheels in alloy I know there are different qualities of allow [same with US v Chinese steel]. Euro allow has different ride qualities from Chinese replicas.

So what I was hoping for was the subjective part of this. Folks who went from A to B and noticed a ride difference or a control difference or a "death wobble" difference.
I don't think you'd notice much of a difference unless the wheel was forged 1 piece or 2 piece. Most of the aftermarket alloy wheels for trucks are "cheap" in a sense that they were cast leave a lot of un-evenness to the overall density to the wheel where a forged wheel is a more evenly displaced material. And to tell you the truth, on a vehicle like ours, with as heavy a frame and body as we have, it's going to be really hard to tell unless you have a super plush suspension.
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:37 PM   #12
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I don't think you'd notice much of a difference unless the wheel was forged 1 piece or 2 piece. Most of the aftermarket alloy wheels for trucks are "cheap" in a sense that they were cast leave a lot of un-evenness to the overall density to the wheel where a forged wheel is a more evenly displaced material. And to tell you the truth, on a vehicle like ours, with as heavy a frame and body as we have, it's going to be really hard to tell unless you have a super plush suspension.
And that might be the reality of the issue.

I think, as pointed out above that the alloy is the best option. The thing that brought it up was the proliferation of steel that I see in mags and online. I am not used to that and wanted clarity before going down one path.

Lots of good information here. Thanks guys.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
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And that might be the reality of the issue.

I think, as pointed out above that the alloy is the best option. The thing that brought it up was the proliferation of steel that I see in mags and online. I am not used to that and wanted clarity before going down one path.

Lots of good information here. Thanks guys.
Not a problem.

The number one reason why steel wheels are popular is because they are CHEAP. Cheap to buy because they are cheaply made.
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:53 PM   #14
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So alloys are lighter than steel...Better perforance and easier to clean?
Is being lighter material a good thing?
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:55 PM   #15
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Steel rims are lighter? Crossed wires here? I thought they were heavier?
Quote:
Originally Posted by AzTJ View Post
You musn't have looked hard becuase this topic pops up often.

Paging Mr.Bransford!

Steel wheels can be lighter and cheaper but are usually a pain to ballance. Alloys will hold up to abuse better but will require more maitnance... But the don't rust either.
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:58 PM   #16
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Anyone have experience with Ion Allot Wheels?
171-5865P - iON Alloy (Style 171) 1-Piece Polished Alloy Wheel with 5x4.5 Bolt Pattern - Quadratec
They seem pretty inexpensive for Alloy's
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:49 PM   #17
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Like everything else, pros and cons to each, and what really matters is what fits you the best for your budget, the look you desire, maintainability, etc.

I am thinking of upgrading from a 215 size tire to a 31 or 32, which will probably be about 11 to 15 lbs more per tire, so an alloy wheel would help overcome some of the weight increase (it seems like a 15 inch wheel in steel adds about 8 pounds extra). In theory, the lighter the wheel, the better, but I am not sure how much a few pounds will really make. Refer to Unsprung mass - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

From what I hear some alloys (the cheaper) don't do well with mag chloride either, so this could be a problem if you run in winter in snowy areas and like shiny aluminum wheels
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:09 AM   #18
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... From what I hear some alloys (the cheaper) don't do well with mag chloride either, so this could be a problem if you run in winter in snowy areas and like shiny aluminum wheels
AMEN brother!! I'm in the rust/snow belt - and my M/T's are HATING LIFE after 5 years of wear/tear. At first, I was able to keep up with 'em every Spring - with A LOT of hand polishing, Mothers' product, etc. Now, two of the rims have some pits from debris and they look pretty ugly. I'm debating loosing them over it. I'm going to research it a bit - see if they are salvageable with some chemicals and a pneumatic powered buffer wheel - any advice?
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:20 AM   #19
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Yup, alumibrite acid and Buschs polish
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:17 AM   #20
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Thanks Ibuildembig - You know what's wild? I saw a set of the same wheels as mine on a Silver TJ last week in a parking lot and didn't recognize them! The Silver TJ's had the black alloy rings on 'em versus the non-colored rings - wow, what a difference the rings made (besides they were polished to all hell!) ... and NO rusty center caps!
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:44 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wranglerYJnewb View Post
Anyone have experience with Ion Allot Wheels?
171-5865P - iON Alloy (Style 171) 1-Piece Polished Alloy Wheel with 5x4.5 Bolt Pattern - Quadratec
They seem pretty inexpensive for Alloy's
Those are pretty nice. I may have to try a set. Price is right.

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