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Main Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: Ron Dittmer on March 24, 2021, 07:23:11 pm

Title: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on March 24, 2021, 07:23:11 pm
Mister Procrastinator here.....

Our PC was built in the spring of 2007.  It is now spring of 2021, 14 years later.  I am finally replacing the original tires with 38716 miles as stated on the odometer.  The last cross-country trip we took was in August 2018 so our PC has been idle for nearly 2.5 years due to a focus on vacations in Europe with extra focus on Greece with Irene's family there, Egypt, and the Holy Land Israel.  But we are are back focusing on the good old USA so it's time to "reset" our PC with new tires and all fresh fluids.

Our original tires are just now starting to show some minor cracking as shown here, seen around the tire size.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51000525890_1ccf6386ef_z.jpg)

Here is the thread wear on the rear tires that is very nice and even.  I never rotated them.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51000535200_e8db854f4b_z.jpg)

Here is one of two front tires, both worn poorly, caused by bad shock absorbers, those red Koni-RVs that were unevenly adjusted, also made worse when the top mounts worn away.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51000534950_17fa02075e_z.jpg)

It is the perfect time to give our PC the full treatment with Alcoa wheels.  The way it works is that you replace only the wheels that show.  The inner duallies remain original steel.  These cost me $1,500 HERE (https://buytruckwheels.com/collections/ford-e450-e350/products/ford-e350-e450-16-alcoa-durabright-wheel-package-1).  I still await for Alcoa-specific Borg valve stems HERE (https://buytruckwheels.com/products/eseries-van-valve-stem-extension?pr_prod_strat=copurchase&pr_rec_pid=523110449188&pr_ref_pid=4378953646144&pr_seq=uniform) (not extenders) than extend out for easy air filling.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51069711181_b9f6e575d7_z.jpg)
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51071398382_41bf1f9a3b_z.jpg)

I will be stopping by Discount Tire to purchase 6 new Michelin Agilis CrossClimate 115/112RE tires of the exact same size and load rating.  I will mount them myself at my church where I volunteer as a mechanic for the under-resourced, to assure the wheels don't get marred, then return to Discount Tire to get them balanced with stick-on wheel weights placed on the hidden inside.  They quoted me $1316 for tires, tax, and balance.

I will reassign the two front steel wheels to the inside rear and discard the two front tires.  The original 4 rear wheels and tires will be sold locally.  Hopefully someone who drives a lot locally with an E-series Box truck or landscape truck who lives on a tight budget will value them.

I will also be selling my PC-supplied wheel cover set.  They would do nice for someone with a motor home that lacks them.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Volkemon on March 24, 2021, 09:05:51 pm
(cheer) (cheer) (cheer) (cheer) (cheer) (cheer) (cheer) (cheer) (cheer) (cheer) (cheer)
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: 2 Lucky on March 24, 2021, 10:04:16 pm
Congrats on those beautiful wheels! 2o2 2o2   They should have given you double discounts for all the good work that you do. heartshower heartshower

 tymote :)(:
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: DKCruzser on March 24, 2021, 11:18:51 pm
You got a great price for the 6 Michelin tires.  I also just purchased these tires.  Discount Tire charged me $1537 but that included installation, balancing, and the hazard package.  I also had them install the Borg valve stems.   I did have to give them the printed instructions on how to install the Borg valve stems.  They were not familiar with Borg stems mostly installing the flexible braided extenders.   

Dave
2017 - 2910D
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: CalCruiser on March 25, 2021, 12:18:16 am
Very cool!  The fronts look like they may improve brake cooling too. Good precaution to mount them yourself, and be sure to  loctite the dually valve stems.

Which jack do you have with enough extension to lift the rear tires off the ground? When I replaced the rear shocks using a borrowed floor jack under the aft spring shackles it woudn't even go high enough to put the bolts through the lower shock mounts.

If your 2007  Wheel Masters  wheel liners are the old bolt-on type someone should call dibs  before those get away .
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Volkemon on March 25, 2021, 06:09:01 am


Which jack do you have with enough extension to lift the rear tires off the ground? When I replaced the rear shocks using a borrowed floor jack under the aft spring shackles it woudn't even go high enough to put the bolts through the lower shock mounts.

If your 2007  Wheel Masters  wheel liners are the old bolt-on type someone should call dibs  before those get away .

Ditto on the wheel liners. They are durable and attractive. Mine are a year older, and look fantastic.

CalCruiser - The ONLY way I would lift the rear is with a bottle jack under the axle.  The same jack fits between the wheels on the trailer to change the tires.  I would never lift on the body.  :beg
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on March 25, 2021, 08:29:33 am
Very cool!  The fronts look like they may improve brake cooling too. Good precaution to mount them yourself, and be sure to  loctite the dually valve stems.

Which jack do you have with enough extension to lift the rear tires off the ground? When I replaced the rear shocks using a borrowed floor jack under the aft spring shackles it wouldn't even go high enough to put the bolts through the lower shock mounts

If your 2007  Wheel Masters  wheel liners are the old bolt-on type someone should call dibs  before those get away .
Yes Cal, I did have "front brake cooling" in-mind as a bonus feature with the Alcoa wheels.  They offer so much more heat-sinking mass than the steel wheels, to quickly draw heat from the front rotors.

Regard jacking up the rear tires, I will do one corner at a time using the 6 ton bottle jack that Phoenix provided when the rig was new, just like Volkemon recommends.  Though not convenient, I have used it to lift a rear corner before.  I only need to lift a couple of inches to rest the corner of the axle on a 3 ton jack stand, just high enough for a tire change.

My rear tires have not been removed since Ford mounted them 14 years ago.  It will be like opening a clay jar full of undisturbed Dead Sea scrolls.  My front tires have a similar story.  I removed them for the first time when changing to heavy duty Bilstein shocks a few years ago.

With tires removed, I will also flush my brake system.  Though the fluid in the reservoir looks brand new from being inside a heated garage most of the time, I am long over-due with that.

I removed one front tire last week and took it to my church shop to see if the equipment (and I) can handle the off-set wheels.  I took the tire off and remounted it just fine, but the tire balancer there can't handle the large center hole.  With the tire off, the sealing surface of the steel wheel still looked like brand new, a very unusual sight in these parts.

My Phoenix-supplied wheel liners are not the better bolt on.  They are the cheap pound-on type.  At least the front ones are.  I assume the backs are too.

Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 13, 2021, 12:40:03 pm
Well, I finally bought new tires.  I got 6 Michelin Agilis CrossClimate 225/75-R16 115R at an area Discount Tire Store for $1310.50 ($199/tire) which was just a simple carry-out sale.  They have date-code 1121 meaning they were manufactured in late March 2021, just 2 months ago.  I mounted them myself and will return for a wheel balance.

I weighed each tire-on-wheel at home using my bathroom scale.  The 4 Alcoa wheels with tires weigh a consistent 65 pounds.  The two standard steel wheels with tires weigh a consistent 83 pounds.  Using a food scale, the front wheel covers weigh just over 2 pounds, the rears just over 4 pounds.  So.....The steel wheel versions with covers weigh 20 pounds more.  Needless to say it is easier handling the Alcoa wheels.  If I find a used one locally sold cheap, I might later swap out my steel spare tire wheel.

I will be selling the original 4 rear steel wheels with tires locally on Craigslist either individually as spare tires for motorhomes, or as a set of 4 for an E350/E450 delivery truck.  Someone on a tight budget may want them.  I will also be selling the original set of wheel covers.

I will post pics once finished.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: donc13 on May 13, 2021, 01:28:47 pm
Ron,

You may certainly do what you wish with your old tires.  A person knowledgeable in tire life would NEVER sell (let alone use) 14 year old tires.  Sidewall cracking or lack thereof is not an indicator that the tires are safe for use.

I say that as a police officer with over 100hrs of specialized traffic investigation schooling and who spent 12 1/2 years investigating and reconstructing serious injury and fatal vehicle accidents.

Those tires are not safe in my opinion.

Don
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: WillLloyd on May 13, 2021, 06:29:21 pm
Ron, are they just decorative lug nut covers? And how do they secure on the Lugnuts?
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 14, 2021, 05:20:36 am
Ron,

You may certainly do what you wish with your old tires.  A person knowledgeable in tire life would NEVER sell (let alone use) 14 year old tires.  Sidewall cracking or lack thereof is not an indicator that the tires are safe for use.

I say that as a police officer with over 100hrs of specialized traffic investigation schooling and who spent 12 1/2 years investigating and reconstructing serious injury and fatal vehicle accidents.

Those tires are not safe in my opinion.

Don
Hi Don,

I will be stating their age in my sale ad.  The buyer may want them for the like-new steel wheels and replace the rubber, or as-is for emergency use only.

I bought 6 new tires.  This means my own (never used) spare tire is 14 years old.  It will remain a spare for "Emergency Use Only".  So I now live by the same standard.

As far as an old box truck is concerned, our church gets old box trucks donated to it's C.A.R.S. Ministry (https://www.willowcreek.org/en/serve/compassion-and-justice/cars-ministry), some with bald tires with the steel belts sticking out.  I need not say more.

Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 14, 2021, 05:23:58 am
Ron, are they just decorative lug nut covers? And how do they secure on the Lug nuts?
Yes, they are stainless steel lug nut covers that press over the original lugs.  To remove the lugs, I would first have to remove each individual cover, assumed with a screwdriver.  I will report on how that works after I try it.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 14, 2021, 05:52:13 am
Well, Discount Tire had a different story for me when I came back to get the tires balanced.  It cost me an extra $59 to balance 4 of the 6 tires.  They said "no way" to balancing the two inside steel wheels with the extra long valve stems.  I made sure they could when talking with them, but once they saw the stems, they didn't want to try it.  So I will be using BALANCING BEADS (https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/BK_7041440?cid=paidsearch_shopping_dcoe_google_monthly-special_202105&campaign=GSC-Promos&campaign_id=6478906937&adgroup_id=78844950918&adtype=pla&gclid=CjwKCAjwv_iEBhASEiwARoemvI2PIZ8wLLMpsvyWu35SLROhen0Q-ev7_FLjo1Bka512qdjqusn00BoCNc8QAvD_BwE&).

I mounted the two new front Alcoa wheels & tires just to get the rig back in the garage.  The original old rear 4 remain on for now.  The project is on-hold until after I get house chores done.  I want to flush the brake system while I have the tires off so there is more involved than simply swapping wheels & tires.

Here are my steel inner wheels with extra long valve stems.  Large rubber boots on the Alcoa wheels support the ends.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51179180150_111493bdc9_z.jpg)

Here is the tire pressure chart for these specific tires and size.  Michelin Agilis CrossClimate 225/75-R16  115R
One thing I found interesting is that the tire is rated for 90psi, though the max load is at 80psi.  That is something new to me.  I guess they added an extra 10psi for safety margin.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51178088551_5de31ee271_c.jpg)
According to the chart and the weight on my axles, my tire pressure should be as follows.

40psi for front tires
65psi for rear tires

40 in the front tires seems terribly low.  I will set it and evaluate.  If the tires look badly under-inflated, I will add more.  I used to put 60psi in my original Michelin front tires based on the PC-supplied sticker.  Maybe that was too much.  If 40psi turns out to be right, that will surely soften the ride up front.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 17, 2021, 08:33:24 pm
Good thing I don't do this for a living because I would be very poor.

Because the tire store would not balance the steel wheels with such long valves, plan-B was to add wheel weight beads, 4oz per the bead manufacture application chart, and I did it myself today.

I replaced the fluid in the brake master cylinder, then bled the right rear brake caliper, so it was finally time to mount one pair of new tires as shown.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51185509442_99e2cdf7d6_z.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51187272940_633bc5c7da_z.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51186204386_16ea8dddef_z.jpg)

The new valve stems are quite nice compared to the stainless steel braided hoses I had before.  I did have to bend the long inner valve stem to fit properly.  The picture does not show it well, but the inner valve stem passes through a black rubber boot that snaps into the Alcoa wheel hole.  The rubber boot stabilizes the stem properly.

The Ford lugs get covered up with push-on stainless steel lug caps.  The only way I was able to remove one was to grab it and wiggle it side-to-side.  I first tried using a 90 degree pic which was futile.  They are on pretty tight.  I am not worried of loosing one, more worried about getting them off after years of grime sets in.  I will see how it goes over time.  The lug caps must be removed before wrenching off the lugs.  Using a bigger socket to loosen the lugs would surely destroy the nice lug caps.  Maybe such a socket would make easy side-to-side motion to remove them.

So for a good comparison.........

Here are the PC supplied wheel covers.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/1625/25509285301_61f9faee02_z.jpg)
Here are the Alcoa alloy wheels.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51185509442_99e2cdf7d6_z.jpg)
I have to admit, the PC supplied wheels covers do show very nicely, though true alloy is the real thing and it shows.

Not only for appearance, but I hope to benefit from 20 less pounds of unsprung weight on each front corner, and 22 less pounds on each rear corner.  The alloy wheels on the front hubs should also better distribute heat generated from the front brake rotors.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Bangorbob on May 18, 2021, 08:47:48 am
Nice job.  Can't wait to see full view pic of front and rear mounted.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: WillLloyd on May 18, 2021, 12:01:15 pm
Sharp. Iíll bet it goes faster too.....
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 18, 2021, 06:35:38 pm
Sharp. Iíll bet it goes faster too.....
Haha, no faster than before.  Our 67-68 mph cruising speed will be maintained, but now done in style, and hoped to improve our riding comfort a little better with the 20 pound dumbbell removed from each of the 4 corners.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: jim.godfrey on May 18, 2021, 08:26:56 pm
That looks REALLY sharp Ron!

Is the surface behind the lug nuts a different color or is that just the pictures? Almost looks like a black chrome effect.

Either way they look sweet!
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 18, 2021, 08:37:12 pm
Is the surface behind the lug nuts a different color or is that just the pictures? Almost looks like a black chrome effect.
The thin black ring behind the chrome lug nut covers are the original black steel lugs with integrated washer/domes.  The fancy snap-over caps do not quite cover them, I think it is intentional because the hub caps are held on with the OEM washers.  If the fancy caps completely covered the OEM washers, there would be an interference with the hub caps.
Here are pics of one OEM lug nut.
(https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/J84AAOSwVgFfIMTy/s-l500.jpg)
(https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/BisAAOSwTKVgb4pI/s-l500.jpg)
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: jim.godfrey on May 19, 2021, 07:52:55 pm
Ron: I was referring to the large flat surface that the lug nuts all rest upon. It looks to be a different color or maybe just the way the light is hitting it in the pictures?
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 20, 2021, 11:58:39 am
Ron: I was referring to the large flat surface that the lug nuts all rest upon. It looks to be a different color or maybe just the way the light is hitting it in the pictures?
Ah, I understand your question now.

It's all the same, 100% polished alloy with the Dura-Bright finish on it.  That dark ring is a reflection of me and my dark colored car behind me.

This pictures shows them true.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51069711181_b9f6e575d7_z.jpg)
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 20, 2021, 07:30:12 pm
I finally am finished with new wheels & tires, but with a wheel alignment that still needs some attention.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51193129969_3ba3312e41_z.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51191649697_a9db679e3d_z.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51193425035_6df90cbeb8_z.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51193424965_86bb6da0c4_z.jpg)

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51192573433_1f8742a33d_z.jpg)
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: jim.godfrey on May 20, 2021, 08:13:15 pm
Very Nice! ;)
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Joseph on May 21, 2021, 02:56:32 pm
Looks really good.   Now get it back in the garage!
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: CalCruiser on May 21, 2021, 05:44:00 pm
 2o2

Did it still take a routine alignment with the drop springs?
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 22, 2021, 11:39:56 am
2o2  Did it still take a routine alignment with the drop springs?
The jury is still out on the alignment.  I am in the middle of working through it with the alignment shop with plans to post my alignment challenges in my softer-front-spring post.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Bangorbob on May 22, 2021, 06:40:15 pm
Ron,  really nice looking.  Let me see, I can do this upgrade OR get a used motorcycle.  This is cheaper for sure.  Thanks for posting pics.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Joseph on May 22, 2021, 06:55:28 pm
Those rims are killer looking no question about it.  Not something Iíll do but without question the best Iíve seen on a motorhome.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 23, 2021, 05:24:03 am
The wheels I bought are made by Alcoa, by far the most trusted brand installed on cross-country 18 wheel trucks.  I paid $1500 for them from HERE (https://buytruckwheels.com/collections/ford-e450-e350/products/ford-e350-e450-16-alcoa-durabright-wheel-package-1).  I have found other brands sold cheaper, but I knew nothing about their reputation and also was concerned how the finish would hold up.

There are two types of Alcoa wheel finishes.  One is raw polished alloy.  These have the Dura-Bright finish that cost $100 more.

$1500 is a lot of money for me to spend on this but I have always wanted them for the look, improved heat dissipation, and 20 pounds less unsprung weight per corner when considering the steel wheel and it's wheel cover combined.  I hope to recover 1/3 of the expense through the sale of my wheel covers HERE (https://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/wto/d/dundee-e350-e450-motorhome-wheel-covers/7322932713.html) and 4 original rear steel wheels with tires that I recently sold for $400.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Joseph on May 23, 2021, 08:26:53 am
Ron, they look awesome. My comment it isnít something Iíd do wasnít to be disrespectful nor is it about money. I can afford the expense, itís simply something Iím not in to. IE, my last few motorcycles I never added one piece of chrome. If it didnít add range or comfort I wasnít interested and I parted out my last heavy cruiser (a 2012) with 190,000 miles in 2017.

If my comment that itís not something Iíd do come off as disrespectful, I do apologize, it was not intended.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 23, 2021, 02:45:22 pm
If my comment that itís not something Iíd do come off as disrespectful, I do apologize, it was not intended.
"GOOD GOLLY", I never thought that from your comment....not one bit, so "PLEASE" do not be concerned.  All is well. Joseph.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Joseph on May 24, 2021, 08:52:47 am
Thanks Ron, too often things get lost in translation with text.  I didnít want that to be the case.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 25, 2021, 08:01:32 am
Thanks Ron, too often things get lost in translation with text.  I didnít want that to be the case.
I do understand.

Sometimes I get to the point in typing that I can come across as a self-proclaimed know-it-all of which is "never" my intention.  One thing certain.....I am NOT a know-it-all.  I just share my determination & experiences.
Title: Re: After 14 Years, First New Set Of Tires (Plus Alcoa Wheels)
Post by: Ron Dittmer on May 31, 2021, 04:20:40 pm
2o2    Did it still take a routine alignment with the drop springs?
The jury is still out on the alignment.  I am in the middle of working through it with the alignment shop with plans to post my alignment challenges in my softer-front-spring post.
Tada!  Good News!  Wheel Alignment Done Right!  All Is Well Now!
I added the details to the end of my "Softer Front Springs" opening post.  CLICK HERE (https://forum.phoenixusarv.com/index.php?topic=4168.msg36350#msg36350) to read about it.