Alloy Wheels – Functional Beauty
The trend of hot looking alloy wheels on cars, trucks and motorcycles has grown in popularity and has reached every part of the country. These wheels or trims as they sometimes are called, differ from the steel wheels of the recent past, they can be manufactured in such a way to allow many intricate patterns.The mixtures of magnesium or also aluminium and in some cases both, a highly polished result can be achieved.
Alloy wheels that are referred to as mags, in some cases, are lightweight while still being quite strong. The wheels are not as sturdy as steel, but are much more attractive to consumers who come to expect them on luxury cars and in the more recent years even on the more moderately priced cars, trucks and motorcycles.
Performance is thought to be enhanced due to the lightweight wheels and this also is found to be true when speaking of the suspension, by reducing the weight the terrain may be more closely followed and this will result in better grip. Important facts to know before purchasing alloys are offset, PCD, centre bore and plus sizing.
Offset is the measured distance from the mounting face of the hub to the wheel’s back and its centerline. This can be found stamped and sometimes engraved in the wheel. It is measured within millimeters of ET,(short for Einpresstiefe), which is German and translates into “insertion depth”). If a wheel has its mounting face at the front it is referred to as positive offset and if it is zero offset, the mounting face is centered evenly with the wheel and is considered “ET 0”, while negative offset, is of course, is near the rear of the wheel, which will result in enhanced power for the vehicle which is negative offset.
PCD actually means, “pitch circle diameter” which is the measurement of a diameter that can be drawn within wheels and the bolts themselves. Measured in millimeters, it will indicate the amount of studs and bolts the wheel may have. Centre bore, by measuring the hole at the rear of the wheel, which the hub actually fits inside of, an alloy wheel’s centre bore may be obtained. For the wheels to be seated properly, a perfect match must be achieved. In addition, sizing is expanding the thickness of one’s wheels, which allows the profile to be reduced and at the same time, the rolling radius remains the same.
When it comes to fitting alloy wheels be sure the bolts and studs are accurate as there are many differences in threads, seatings and diameters. A four plastic spigot ring will be invaluable when it comes time connect the wheel and hub. Prior to tightening, ensure the wheel lines up properly and there is adequate clearance for the brake caliper, suspension strut and wheel arch. Do not forget to torque the nuts and bolts to manufacturer’s specifications and to re-torque after one hundred miles, as this results in some compression.
To prevent rust and corrosion, alloys require a good spraying with a paint sealer or in some cases covers for the wheels have been used. Consumers today and especially car and wheel enthusiasts will go that extra mile when it comes to their cars, trucks and motorcycles. Maintaining the clean look and artsy beauty of their alloy wheels is considered by most, a hobby not a chore.
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