By Levi Quinn
Alloy wheels or rims are aluminum structures that tires are fixed on. The installation process determines the functionality of the tires. In addition, the alloy wheels determine the overall look of the car. It is therefore important that it be done correctly. Alloy rims are best suited for all car types because they are light and can withstand long use. At such, people looking for durability are better off choosing alloy wheels over the other types available in the market. Alloy wheels offer calm air surge over the vehicle’s brake system, hence preventing tire overheating.
The installation process begins with choosing the right wheels best fitted for the car. Some people will opt for wheels compatible with the load rating specified for their vehicle. Others, especially owners of sport utility vehicles opt for bigger wheels, as this gives the car a more sporty appearance. Another consideration has to be the pattern of the vehicle. This is because alloy wheels are made in different patterns.
The next step involves getting the right wheel offset as this determines how well the wheel sits on the hub. Wheels that stick past the car’s body are known as positive offset, while those whose center is flush with the wheel’s outer portion are referred to as negative offset. The offset position determines the durability of the wheel bearing. The offset also affects the steering of the vehicles as well as the overall handling of the automobile.
The next step involves fitting the tires on the wheels. At this stage, the person installing the wheels must remove any retaining devices such as stud clips installed at the factory or the wheel repair shop. In addition, he/she should verify that the balance weights and outer flange fitted on the drum are not against the wheel seats. This is especially the case with cars that have drum brakes. Additionally, ensure previous wheel hubs have been removed before installing the new or repaired wheels.
The next step involves perfectly fitting the vehicle’s hub on the wheel. Some application may require the person installing the wheel to use a centering ring. The important factor at this stage is that the bolt circles on the wheel must coincide with those on the vehicle. The wheel must also be in full contact with the hub’s mating surface. This sets the stage for the installation of the lug bolts and nuts, which should match the thread sizes. The lugs should be finger tight and any resistance while tightening could be because of obstructed threads or mismatched lug studs. With each alloy wheel replacement, the person doing the job must ensure that the lug bolts and nuts engage the threads well.
Wheel replacement is no harder than replacing a flat tire. However, this does not mean that every body can do it. As evidenced in the steps above, some level of knowledge of the different wheel settings is necessary for the perfect results to be attained. At such, the wheel replacement job should be left to the properly trained people who handle it with professionalism
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