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Old 11-27-2012, 01:44 PM   #11
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All good info and I thank you all for taking the time to post. My thinking for aluminum wheels was ride quality and of course looks. I think I may stay with the rims I have. Any other thoughts are welcome. I need to decide by Jan 5th. The 1500 is for wheels only provided my Freightliner. I'm not sure I could bring my own and have them mount them. In fact I'm sure they will not do that. They are paying for the new tires.
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Old 11-28-2012, 12:24 PM   #12
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Go for the wheels - a deal breaker when I purchased our coach.

We just visited a motorcoach only resort over Thanksgiving. A couple of coaches came in and I noticed the rust coming out around the edges onto the tire.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:39 PM   #13
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Here's some facts Alum vs Steel wheels. This is Tire Rack, many other say the same, drop the weight, better handling, braking, less wheel hop and better brake heat rejection.

Performance Benefits


While many people choose alloy wheels for their beauty, there are equally important performance benefits to be derived including...
Reduced Unsprung Weight Compared to Steel Wheels

This is one of the most critical factors affecting a vehicle's road holding ability. Unsprung weight is that portion of a vehicle that is not supported by the suspension (i.e. wheels, tires and brakes) and therefore most susceptible to road shock and cornering forces. By reducing unsprung weight, alloy wheels provide more precise steering input and improved "turning in" characteristics.
Improved Acceleration and Braking

By reducing the weight of the vehicle's rotational mass, alloy wheels provide more responsive acceleration and braking.
Added Rigidity

The added strength of a quality alloy wheel can significantly reduce wheel/tire deflection in cornering. This is particularly critical with an automobile equipped with high performance tires where lateral forces may approach 1.0g.
Increased Brake Cooling

The metals in alloy wheels are excellent conductors of heat - improving heat dissipation from the brakes - reducing risk of brake fade under demanding conditions. Additionally, alloy wheels can be designed to allow more cooling air to flow over the brakes.

Heres another from Wik:

Effects of unsprung weight
The unsprung weight of a wheel controls a trade-off between a wheel's bump-following ability and its vibration isolation. Bumps and surface imperfections in the road cause tire compression—which induces a force on the unsprung weight. The unsprung weight then responds to this force with movement of its own. The amount of movement, for short bumps, is inversely proportional to the weight - a lighter wheel which readily moves in response to road bumps will have more grip and more constant grip when tracking over an imperfect road. For this reason, lighter wheels are sought especially for high-performance applications. In contrast, a heavier wheel which moves less will not absorb as much vibration; the irregularities of the road surface will transfer to the cabin through the geometry of the suspension and hence ride quality and road noise are deteriorated. For longer bumps that the wheels follow, greater unsprung mass causes more energy to be absorbed by the wheels and makes the ride worse.
Pneumatic or elastic tires help by providing some springing for most of the (otherwise) unsprung mass, but the damping that can be included in the tires is limited by considerations of fuel economy and overheating. The shock absorbers, if any, damp the spring motion also and must be less stiff than would optimally damp the wheel bounce. So the wheels execute some vibrations after each bump before coming to rest. On dirt roads and perhaps on some softly paved roads, these motions form small bumps, known as corrugations, washboarding or "corduroy" because they resemble smaller versions of the bumps in roads made of logs. These cause sustained wheel bounce in subsequent vehicles, enlarging the bumps.
High unsprung weight also exacerbates wheel control issues under hard acceleration or braking. If the vehicle does not have adequate wheel location in the vertical plane (such as a rear-wheel drive car with Hotchkiss drive, a live axle supported by simple leaf springs), vertical forces exerted by acceleration or hard braking combined with high unsprung mass can lead to severe wheel hop, compromising traction and steering control.
As mentioned above, there is a positive effect of unsprung mass. High frequency road irregularities, such as the gravel in an asphalt or concrete road surface, are isolated from the body more completely because the tires and springs act as separate filter stages, with the unsprung weight tending to uncouple them. Likewise, sound and vibration isolation is improved (at the expense of handling), in production automobiles, by the use of rubber bushings between the frame and suspension, by any flexibility in the frame or body work, and by the flexibility of the seats.

And lastly all high end 5ers, trailers and motorhomes come with polished aluminum wheels. Ford gets away with alum outside and steel inside of the big chassis they build. Just as long as all dimensions match up, there are thousands of F-53 made that way. Good topic, let us know what you decide. I see the upscale Berk has them.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceU View Post
Here's some facts Alum vs Steel wheels. This is Tire Rack, many other say the same, drop the weight, better handling, braking, less wheel hop and better brake heat rejection.

Performance Benefits


While many people choose alloy wheels for their beauty, there are equally important performance benefits to be derived including...
Reduced Unsprung Weight Compared to Steel Wheels

This is one of the most critical factors affecting a vehicle's road holding ability. Unsprung weight is that portion of a vehicle that is not supported by the suspension (i.e. wheels, tires and brakes) and therefore most susceptible to road shock and cornering forces. By reducing unsprung weight, alloy wheels provide more precise steering input and improved "turning in" characteristics.
Improved Acceleration and Braking

By reducing the weight of the vehicle's rotational mass, alloy wheels provide more responsive acceleration and braking.
Added Rigidity

The added strength of a quality alloy wheel can significantly reduce wheel/tire deflection in cornering. This is particularly critical with an automobile equipped with high performance tires where lateral forces may approach 1.0g.
Increased Brake Cooling

The metals in alloy wheels are excellent conductors of heat - improving heat dissipation from the brakes - reducing risk of brake fade under demanding conditions. Additionally, alloy wheels can be designed to allow more cooling air to flow over the brakes.

Heres another from Wik:

Effects of unsprung weight
The unsprung weight of a wheel controls a trade-off between a wheel's bump-following ability and its vibration isolation. Bumps and surface imperfections in the road cause tire compression—which induces a force on the unsprung weight. The unsprung weight then responds to this force with movement of its own. The amount of movement, for short bumps, is inversely proportional to the weight - a lighter wheel which readily moves in response to road bumps will have more grip and more constant grip when tracking over an imperfect road. For this reason, lighter wheels are sought especially for high-performance applications. In contrast, a heavier wheel which moves less will not absorb as much vibration; the irregularities of the road surface will transfer to the cabin through the geometry of the suspension and hence ride quality and road noise are deteriorated. For longer bumps that the wheels follow, greater unsprung mass causes more energy to be absorbed by the wheels and makes the ride worse.
Pneumatic or elastic tires help by providing some springing for most of the (otherwise) unsprung mass, but the damping that can be included in the tires is limited by considerations of fuel economy and overheating. The shock absorbers, if any, damp the spring motion also and must be less stiff than would optimally damp the wheel bounce. So the wheels execute some vibrations after each bump before coming to rest. On dirt roads and perhaps on some softly paved roads, these motions form small bumps, known as corrugations, washboarding or "corduroy" because they resemble smaller versions of the bumps in roads made of logs. These cause sustained wheel bounce in subsequent vehicles, enlarging the bumps.
High unsprung weight also exacerbates wheel control issues under hard acceleration or braking. If the vehicle does not have adequate wheel location in the vertical plane (such as a rear-wheel drive car with Hotchkiss drive, a live axle supported by simple leaf springs), vertical forces exerted by acceleration or hard braking combined with high unsprung mass can lead to severe wheel hop, compromising traction and steering control.
As mentioned above, there is a positive effect of unsprung mass. High frequency road irregularities, such as the gravel in an asphalt or concrete road surface, are isolated from the body more completely because the tires and springs act as separate filter stages, with the unsprung weight tending to uncouple them. Likewise, sound and vibration isolation is improved (at the expense of handling), in production automobiles, by the use of rubber bushings between the frame and suspension, by any flexibility in the frame or body work, and by the flexibility of the seats.

And lastly all high end 5ers, trailers and motorhomes come with polished aluminum wheels. Ford gets away with alum outside and steel inside of the big chassis they build. Just as long as all dimensions match up, there are thousands of F-53 made that way. Good topic, let us know what you decide. I see the upscale Berk has them.
I understand, probably better than most, regarding unsprug wheel weights as I race cars professionally, so everything you have posted is correct. That said those benefits would only really be measureable in a performance automobile or at the racing level, which I am sure the Tire Rack is mostly reffering too in principal. In a 25,000lb coach, yes scientifically and technically speaking less unsprung weight will be a "technical" benefit but in reality you or your coach will never know the difference. For comparison, at the racing level the difference in wheel weights helps with overall less unsprug weight which helps handling and overal power to weight ratio of the the car. So 5lbs per wheel can make a difference. But the difference at any tracks I typically race at, that kind of advantage in weight/handling might be good for maybe 1 or 2 tenths of a second, which in my sport can be the difference in qualifying from being on the pole to 5th. Worth it, yes. On the coach level, any performance gain would be better spent on someone taking a defensive driving course.

I also just returned from my local service shop here where they have both aluminum and steel wheels. I was there putting tires on my halfton truck but for kicks I grabbed a steel and aluminm wheel from a transport, which would be similar to our coaches. I didn't put them on a scale but I would say there is little or no weight difference, as the aluminum wheels offset the weight savings as they are much thicker than the steel wheels. I am sure someone could google the exact weights. They also mentioned that in the last 7-8 years they have seen more problems with aluminum wheels stress breaking/cracking due to inferior aluminum alloys being used (read that as supply from Asian countries).

With the air suspenion systems as well, the bump and rebound effect of having less unsprung weight is largely negated as well, which your Wiki definition isn't considering fully. Not totally but the air bags are quite effective at controling these dynamic forces, which is why the shocks and leafs are pretty minimalistic for such a large vehicle.

Anyway not trying to discredit you Vince, in any way, technically speaking you are right. Unless someone wants it for the look, I hate to see someone spend money hoping for some sort of gain that they will never really see and in my opinion on a coach, I just don't see it as money well spent unless it's about the look or style.


James
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:37 PM   #15
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From what I have seen on the internet, $1500 for 6 aluminum rims is a fairly good price ... especially if it includes installation and balancing. I would suggest shopping around with some of the tire/wheel shops that specialize in big rigs since my experience is that they are considerably less expensive.

One other thing to keep in mind is that your steel rims and used tires may still have a great deal of value if in good condition and sold on ebay of kijiji
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