In the words of Henry Ford , 80% of the beauty of the car is its wheels.
In the words of Henry Ford, 80% of the beauty of the car is its wheels. Maybe it was said and not Henry Ford, but this rule even today remains surprisingly accurate and fair. That is the beauty of alloy wheels is often the main reason for their purchase instead of pressed steel wheels. However, only one stand out beauty of alloy wheels or do they have other advantages over conventional steel wheels? And really stamped steel wheels give up easily without a fight? Anyway: on what to pay attention to when choosing wheels, alloy or steel? The answers are in this buyer’s guide.
The types of rims
Today there are two types of wheels: light alloy and steel. Alloy wheels, in turn, are divided into two large groups according to the material of which they do : alloys based on aluminium or alloys based on rare metals ( magnesium or titanium). However, titanium discs and magnesium wheels are becoming less and less often these materials are expensive to manufacture and capricious in operation. So today, the parade rule aluminum wheels. Also found several methods of production of alloy wheels: aluminum alloy wheels (normal casting, with a quick and inexpensive way), light-alloy forged wheels (casting under pressure, the disc turns is stronger and lighter but more expensive), rolled alloy disks (casting with passing the rim, midway between the two described above) and composite wheels (the drive consists of three parts connected at the rim with lots of small bolts ). Alloy disc in classic silver color. Note the many small bolts in the rim – the so-called integral drive. Previously this design was vital to simplify the repair disk (if the damage was only lunch), but today has become nothing more than decoration. Ordinary stamped steel wheels a lot easier in its manufacturing and material. Of iron by stamping out the two parts of the disk, which are then connected by welding. In order to protect steel wheels against further rust, their color of paint, usually in black or silver color. Conventional steel stamped discs. Simple, but sufficiently durable and cheap. It should be mentioned that paint and alloy wheels, but also protect the material from aggressive environment, here it is done also to make the wheel more beautiful. So alloy wheels can be painted in silver, dark silver, glossy black or matte black, white. There are options combined-color (black disc with a white rim), or painting different colors of the rainbow – red, green, silver, blue, etc. Colored alloy wheels are not uncommon on the market. Sometimes found up to 10 choices of colors for the same model drives.
The advantages and disadvantages of different types of rims
The main advantage of any alloy wheel their name implies – they are much lighter than conventional steel wheels. The difference in weight of one disk is 1-2 kg for small disks the size of 13-14 inches, and can reach 3-5 kg for a disk size of 15-16 inches. Thus, the four light alloy rims help to win up to 20 kg, and win where it matters most – in the chassis, in the field of so-called ” unsprung mass “. Because a reduction in “unsprung weight” has a positive effect on the life of the suspension, ride comfort, responsiveness and precision of vehicle control. Also, alloy wheels have another advantage – thanks to the large openings between the spokes, they allow for better cooling of brake mechanisms of the vehicle. However, steel wheels are its trump cards. First of all, this “give” metal with a strong impact on the edge of the pit or a large curb this drive of course just bend and subsequently, its geometry can be easily corrected. Under similar impact of cheap alloy cast drive may just crack and have to brew that will forever disrupt the structure of the material. Therefore, you should choose a quality, and, consequently, expensive alloy wheels or even forged / rolled wheels ( but they are even more expensive), which successfully opposed our tough roads. And here it becomes evident another advantage of steel wheels is their price. It is at times less than the price of similar sized alloy wheels. Large 16-inch forged wheels will help you to lose up to 20 kg, and are very durable. But there are many. Among the popular brands of alloy wheels has already been proven, it is possible to note OZ Racing, Borbet, slick, MAC, VSMPO, Advan, AEZ, WSP Italy. To inexpensive but high-quality CDs that can be attributed to the K & K, SCUD, Kormetal. Among the manufacturers of steel wheels, perhaps the most popular brand KFZ – these discs are sold for a high price, but similarly high and their quality. And among the Ukrainian producers of wheel disks can be called the two brands : Kremenchug wheel plant, which manufactures steel wheels at very attractive prices, and the company DISLA, which focuses on alloy wheels with optimum ratio price / quality. It is worth noting and discs – copy (or disk replica ) that visually repeat the original factory wheel, but much cheaper in price. Example – wheels under the brand names Replay and Replica.
Indicate sizes and options wheels
Now, when it became easier to determine the type and material of the disks and their manufacturers, you should pay attention to the size of the wheels. The starting point is a regular size wheel, and it is better to stick to these sizes or dimensions are specified as alternative to manual operation of the vehicle. But what do these sizes, sets of letters and numbers? Rim – alloy or stamped steel consists of several basic elements: the rim, where the tire is mounted ; the core, which is attached to the disk drive suspension; and the spokes connecting the lunch and the core. So, the size of the disk describes the parameters of all these parts. For example, consider the marking BBS 123 ( R15 W6.5 PCD4x100 ET35 DIA65 ), also the disk may be referred to as BBS 123 ( 6.5×15 PCD4x100 ET35 DIA65 ), that is, the first two parameters are recorded in reverse order. It is logical that the BBS is a trademark, and 123 – specifying the model. But then comes the fun part: R15 – indication of rim diameter of disc in inches, and, accordingly, the diameter of the tires that it wears ; W6.5 specify the width of the wheel rim in inches, respectively, are boarding the bus size on the disk, the equivalent of the width of the tire in mm; PCD4x100 – landing size the disk on the wheel hub which describes the number of bolts for fastening the disc ( in this case 4 ) and the location of these bolts in the circle ( in this case with a diameter of 100 mm); ET35 – the flight of the disc, that is, the displacement of the disk closer to the center of the machine ( recorded ЕТ35, offset 35 mm), or further outward from the machine center ( recorded with a negative sign, in the form of ET – 35, similar to 35 mm); DIA65 – bore of the disk, then there is a hole in the center of the disk, which it fits over the wheel hub is recorded in mm, in this case equal to 65 mm. it Should be understood that among this set of characters and numbers, no “extra bukvochki “, each item is responsible for what and will not allow a rejected attitude. Basic parameters – diameter and the width of the disc – in fact, describe the size tires that you can install to disk. Choose drives more and / or wider – and have to buy a big bus, which, in turn, can jam the wheel arches. Rim with holes for 4 bolts cannot be installed on a car designed for 5 – bolt discs on these parameters clearly indicates landing size “bolt” ( PCD ). Games departure ( ET ) lead to an increase in load on the bearings of the wheel hub, and rapid deterioration of the parts of the chassis. In the end, the beautiful but “wrong” for departure drive may pull a costly repair suspension. Finally, the Central hole ( DIA ) also should be selected as close as possible to the original. Of course, if the hole in the disk is too large and the hub is small, it is possible to establish between them prostovoljno washer, but it is desirable that they were minimal. Fortunately, today one disk, with a diameter and width, are often produced with several sizes, PCD, DIA and ET.
This guide wheel was complete, mention should be made about the care of them, here are a few basic rules. First, wheels and light alloy cast iron and stamped, should be periodically washed at a car wash, to remind the cleaner about it. Because wheels often become clogged with fine dust from brake pads, and if it is not periodically washed away, the dust literally still glued to the inner surface of the disk and clean it will be very, very difficult. Second, again, all wheels should touch up if damaged they paint on stones or curbs. After all, steel rims paint is used to protect iron from possible corrosion due to contact with water and light alloy rim paint protects the aluminum alloy from contact with the aggressive external environment ( melting snow salt, stains of oil or gasoline in water) and similar electrochemical corrosion.
Don’t forget about automobile chemicals: to clean and Shine the rims there are even special formulations. Similar purpose cleaning and protecting discs and for making them more shiny and serve a special Polish – is not excessive and periodic processing disks such compositions. Here is a simple third rule. We hope our article will help you make the best choice.