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Your experience with aftermarket wheels

 
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  • 1 Post By pluminator
  • 2 Post By CREWZIN

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 27 Apr 2013, 10:17 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Minnesota
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Default Your experience with aftermarket wheels

My 2001 Limited still has the original 16-6.5" five spoke chrome-plated wheels on it. And, like many, I've had problems with rim leaks for about the past five years. Discount tire where I got my last set of tires is getting tired of sealing up my rim leaks twice a year and, obviously, would love to sell me a new set of wheels. I've held out thus far because I really liked those wheels. But, in looking at Discount Tire and Tire Rack's sites, looking at various wheel styles and how they would look on my car, I'm now starting to talk myself into new wheels. My first choice would be some Cragar SSs but a visit to their website shows that they have them in 15" and 17" but not in my 16" size, (and with an estimated 60,000 miles left on my tires, I'm not excited about dumping them to put 17" wheels on). Living in the land of snow and ice, and the salt used to remove them, I'm wondering if I should avoid more chrome plated wheels, lest they have the same corrosion problems. But I still like a shiny looking wheel. So I've looked at the ones with a machined face but in reading reviews of them, have found some people who have said that the clearcoat on them has started peeling after only a year. Then I've seen some American Racing ones with a PVD coating, some kind of a thin, vacuum applied layer of chrome alloy that has a clearcoat layer on the top but wonder what would happen to the thin chrome coating if the clearcoat peeled off from them.
I've read and read, clicked and clicked and just can't decide. I'd hate to spend $400-700 on a new set of wheels only to have them look like hell after just a year or two. Maybe I should just get one basic, painted one, (I wouldn't drive on the little go-kart tire spare except in a real emergency), and go around the car, one wheel at a time, having the inside rims of my original wheels refinished. Which is a very long-winded way of asking what experience anyone else here, especially those who drive on salted roads, have had with after market wheels, clearcoat peeling, corrosion, etc. or with repairing the corrosion on the original wheels. There's no better source of good information than those who have real experience and I've found the folks on this site to give good advice. Does anyone have any for me?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 27 Apr 2013, 11:04 pm
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1,354
Default Re: Your experience with aftermarket wheels

Quote:
Originally Posted by blucruzer View Post
My 2001 Limited still has the original 16-6.5" five spoke chrome-plated wheels on it. And, like many, I've had problems with rim leaks for about the past five years. Discount tire where I got my last set of tires is getting tired of sealing up my rim leaks twice a year and, obviously, would love to sell me a new set of wheels. I've held out thus far because I really liked those wheels. But, in looking at Discount Tire and Tire Rack's sites, looking at various wheel styles and how they would look on my car, I'm now starting to talk myself into new wheels. My first choice would be some Cragar SSs but a visit to their website shows that they have them in 15" and 17" but not in my 16" size, (and with an estimated 60,000 miles left on my tires, I'm not excited about dumping them to put 17" wheels on). Living in the land of snow and ice, and the salt used to remove them, I'm wondering if I should avoid more chrome plated wheels, lest they have the same corrosion problems. But I still like a shiny looking wheel. So I've looked at the ones with a machined face but in reading reviews of them, have found some people who have said that the clearcoat on them has started peeling after only a year. Then I've seen some American Racing ones with a PVD coating, some kind of a thin, vacuum applied layer of chrome alloy that has a clearcoat layer on the top but wonder what would happen to the thin chrome coating if the clearcoat peeled off from them.
I've read and read, clicked and clicked and just can't decide. I'd hate to spend $400-700 on a new set of wheels only to have them look like hell after just a year or two. Maybe I should just get one basic, painted one, (I wouldn't drive on the little go-kart tire spare except in a real emergency), and go around the car, one wheel at a time, having the inside rims of my original wheels refinished. Which is a very long-winded way of asking what experience anyone else here, especially those who drive on salted roads, have had with after market wheels, clearcoat peeling, corrosion, etc. or with repairing the corrosion on the original wheels. There's no better source of good information than those who have real experience and I've found the folks on this site to give good advice. Does anyone have any for me?

Well aftermarket wheels.......you get what you pay for, Discounted rims are not going to be as nice or reliable as the more expensive ones, they may have rim leaks, or un-even finishes, they may be harder to balance ect.

The one thing i can tell you with DEAD CERTAINTY. Is if you get aftermarket rims, make sure they are of a common style.

Now you may be thinking "well what if i want something unique". Well that is certainly a possibility however, the larger the rims you put on it, the less tire that surrounds said rim, meaning the rim is much more vulnerable to cracking, denting or warping if you hit a curb/pothole, seeing as there is less rubber protecting it from the thousand pound car propelling them smashing into the rim in the case of a bump or pothole.

Now why this comes into play is simple. You get very intricate and unique rims, have them for a year, then smash one up on a pothole, you will have a VERY difficult time finding a replacement rim for it. Whereas if you buy a more "normal" styled rim it is quite easy to find a replacement :-)

I learned this the hard way when i got some Black vs Chrome Enkei speedoch rims for my RX-7 which is a highly modified drifter and I wanted it to look amazing. They cost a lot, they looked great but 2 years later when i put a nice 2" dent in the edge with a curb, i had to replace all 4 rims because they no longer produced the rim I needed.

So keep that in mind and you should be all set :-)
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 28 Apr 2013, 07:54 am
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Default Re: Your experience with aftermarket wheels

One of the nicest upgrades (IMHO-1) is to move up to the 17 inch PT GT wheels. Looks good (IMHO-2) and they are pretty easy to find as many GT owners sell them when they upgrade theirs.

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Old 28 Apr 2013, 06:22 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 37
Default Re: Your experience with aftermarket wheels

Thanks for the replies, guys. I appreciate the caution about styles and manufacturers, pluminator. Two names that I've heard of in terms of wheels are Cragar, who doesn't make a 16" wheel to fit a PT, and American Racing, who does, but whose wheels have bad reviews on the Tire Rack site. But what to make of the bad reviews? The people most motivated to post a review are those who have had a bad experience and are upset about it. The happy buyers are out cruising on the wheels that they're happy with. For all I know, the bad reviews on the Tire Rack site may represent half of the bad experiences anyone has ever had with American Racing wheels. As for styles, I'm an old guy and probably favor styles that nobody else would care for. (I ought to be out looking for a motorized wheelchair, not wheels for my car.)
And Crewzin, thanks once again. I like the style of wheel you showed in the picture and wouldn't mind switching to 17" wheels at all. But my 16" tires are practically new. But your reply has made me think that 1) I ought to check and see what kind of allowance Discount Tire would give me for my 16" tires and 2) I ought to check the local junk, er, parts recycler, and see what they've got in PT wheels. I had discounted that route, thinking that any wheels they had would be prone to the same problems as mine. But I really ought to look before jumping to that conclusion.
By the way, I'd like to tell you guys a story. Some relatives of mine were on a trip, 2000 miles from home when one of their new tires, bought at Discount Tire, developed a bulge in the sidewall. They got it replaced, free of charge, at the nearest Discount Tire store and finished their trip with no further problems. I'd have probably left it at that. But when they got home they reported their problem to the store where they bought the tires -- and they put on a whole new set of tires for them. Free. And they've had no further problems. So when I needed tires, that's where I went, and made sure to tell the manager why I was buying from him. We all complain, rightly, when we're treated badly, buy junk, etc. But it seems like when you find someone who does business the right way, they ought to be rewarded for it. So I did.
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Old 28 Apr 2013, 09:56 pm
UptownSport's Avatar
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Posts: 3,912
Default Re: Your experience with aftermarket wheels

My suggestion is to get some 15" steelies, have them sandblasted and painted, then buy some tall, narrow snows for Winter. It wouldn't cost you much, and you'd be a lot safer for the little extra it did cost.

Then get whatever you want for Summer!!!
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 29 Apr 2013, 12:29 am
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Exclamation Re: Your experience with aftermarket wheels

My rims were 160 a piece, and they are still being produced. I even bought extra trim "fins" for the wheels.

But then again, I bought an extra set of side skirts, and am looking for a spare set of super slammers, just in case ya know.

Back to the rims, I wanted something that stood out. If mine were damaged and If I couldnt replace them with the same I Would go with something else. There are a bunch of different styles, I like the all gold, the orange rims, the neon green.

Anything looks good with black, so I am not all that worried about it.




Quote:
Originally Posted by pluminator View Post
Well aftermarket wheels.......you get what you pay for, Discounted rims are not going to be as nice or reliable as the more expensive ones, they may have rim leaks, or un-even finishes, they may be harder to balance ect.

The one thing i can tell you with DEAD CERTAINTY. Is if you get aftermarket rims, make sure they are of a common style.

Now you may be thinking "well what if i want something unique". Well that is certainly a possibility however, the larger the rims you put on it, the less tire that surrounds said rim, meaning the rim is much more vulnerable to cracking, denting or warping if you hit a curb/pothole, seeing as there is less rubber protecting it from the thousand pound car propelling them smashing into the rim in the case of a bump or pothole.

Now why this comes into play is simple. You get very intricate and unique rims, have them for a year, then smash one up on a pothole, you will have a VERY difficult time finding a replacement rim for it. Whereas if you buy a more "normal" styled rim it is quite easy to find a replacement :-)

I learned this the hard way when i got some Black vs Chrome Enkei speedoch rims for my RX-7 which is a highly modified drifter and I wanted it to look amazing. They cost a lot, they looked great but 2 years later when i put a nice 2" dent in the edge with a curb, i had to replace all 4 rims because they no longer produced the rim I needed.

So keep that in mind and you should be all set :-)
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 29 Apr 2013, 09:49 am
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Default Re: Your experience with aftermarket wheels

Thats a wise consideration-

I just take it really easy, except with the steel snow tires!!!
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