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Old 08-11-2009, 07:56 AM   #1
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Crack in Alcoa Wheel.

When polishing the wheels on our 2005 Classic 30, I just found a very fine hairline crack in one of the spokes, which naturally has me concerned.

It is about 1/2" in length and is so fine that at first I thought it was a light scratch, but I'm pretty sure it is a crack.

The crack is located at the radius of the spoke where it meets the wheel rim.

For now, I am just watching it very closely. I found it last week and we are on a trip with the trailer right now - heading home tomorrow.

For now I am just monitoring it closely - will probably measure it with calipers when we get home to see if it continues to propagate. I hope this approach isn't too foolhardy!

Anyone else have similar experience and/or advice?

I have heard these wheels are no longer available, so to replace it I guess I'd have to be lucky enough to find a good used one for sale or I'd be buying a full set of some other wheel type, so it won't be a cheap fix!


Brian.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:34 AM   #2
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Wheels have a weight rating. See if you can find out what the original rating was for the wheels. I suspect they are being used close to the limit as everyone is cutting cost.

I would not plan on running on a cracked wheel for any longer than it would take to get the trailer to where you are having them replaced. If that wheel fails you are looking a major trailer damage it that tire jumps up as it leave.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Wheels have a weight rating. See if you can find out what the original rating was for the wheels. I suspect they are being used close to the limit as everyone is cutting cost.

I would not plan on running on a cracked wheel for any longer than it would take to get the trailer to where you are having them replaced. If that wheel fails you are looking a major trailer damage it that tire jumps up as it leave.
Yeah, I know I should replace it, I just don't know how long it may take me to find a replacement. I'd like to buy just the one wheel, but may have to spring for a whole new set if I can't find one .... Damn!

I'm more concerned about trailer damage than our safety, as I don't think it would likely cause loss of control, especially with the Hensley.

Obviously replacement is the wisest choice, although I have no idea how long this crack has been there.

We bought the trailer used last Fall and have already towed it to California and back home - for all I know the crack has been there all along. I only found it last week when I decided to polish up the wheels!

I will be driving home with it tomorrow from Penn Wood Airstream park where we are today. Will watch it closely.

We had hoped to go away with the trailer again next month, but I'm not sure what to do now!

Brian
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:31 AM   #4
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i would put my spare on if i had one . if not i would buy a steel rim at a rv dealer and have a tire mounted for a spare. you must have a spare with all the miles you are traveling. if not your have been very lucky.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:09 PM   #5
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My company does durability testing on wheels in the Detroit area. A crack that long is considered a failure and we stop the test. It won't be long before interesting things start to happen. I work with the local Alcoa wheel folks, they might be interested in seeing some photos and total millage on the wheels. I can't promise anything but they should a least know what is happing to their product in service. PM me and I will give you my cell number.

John Gagern
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:14 PM   #6
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If you buy a steel wheel the "OFF SET of the Wheel" is important. To check the off set rest the wheel on its rim with 3 bricks, on a level surface, and place a 4th brick in the center of the wheel. The bricks should not touch the tire, as this will effect the measurement. Now you can measure the off set of the wheel by measuring through the hub hole to the 4th brick. Now knowing this you can check any new wheel by just placing it on a level surface and repeating your measurement. You may not be measuring the off set by industry standards but you will have a like for like measurement which is just as good.

Clearance of the shock and the outer wheel well edge are what you are interested in.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
When polishing the wheels on our 2005 Classic 30, I just found a very fine hairline crack in one of the spokes, which naturally has me concerned.

It is about 1/2" in length and is so fine that at first I thought it was a light scratch, but I'm pretty sure it is a crack.

The crack is located at the radius of the spoke where it meets the wheel rim.

For now, I am just watching it very closely. I found it last week and we are on a trip with the trailer right now - heading home tomorrow.

For now I am just monitoring it closely - will probably measure it with calipers when we get home to see if it continues to propagate. I hope this approach isn't too foolhardy!

Anyone else have similar experience and/or advice?

I have heard these wheels are no longer available, so to replace it I guess I'd have to be lucky enough to find a good used one for sale or I'd be buying a full set of some other wheel type, so it won't be a cheap fix!


Brian.

Brian,

If you can find a test lab in your area you may ask them to do water washable fluorescent PT on the area for you to confirm your suspicions. A small test lab around here would do it for a case of beer.

If you were close to me I could do it for you for as a courtesy.


Kevin
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:41 PM   #8
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Brian,

If you can find a test lab in your area you may ask them to do water washable fluorescent PT on the area for you to confirm your suspicions. A small test lab around here would do it for a case of beer.

If you were close to me I could do it for you for as a courtesy.


Kevin

Hi Kevin,

I'm a bit familiar with crack detection methods, but in this case, a close examination with a simple magnifying glass seems to leave little doubt that these are cracks!

I have them on two out five spokes on one wheel. Others seem fine.

Brian.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:26 PM   #9
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I had a 3/4 ton Suburban that had these wheels on them and Alcoa sent me a recall notice for the problem you describe. They are the "Sport" wheels.
Remove one wheel and write down the part number and then call Alcoa for full replacements. They are the same wheel. 6 or 8 lug, have the same problem.
They sent me out a set for our Suburban and paid for re-mounting and shipping back to PA.
Go on their web site for additional information.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:52 PM   #10
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I had a 3/4 ton Suburban that had these wheels on them and Alcoa sent me a recall notice for the problem you describe. They are the "Sport" wheels.
Remove one wheel and write down the part number and then call Alcoa for full replacements. They are the same wheel. 6 or 8 lug, have the same problem.
They sent me out a set for our Suburban and paid for re-mounting and shipping back to PA.
Go on their web site for additional information.
I never seem lucky with these things but its worth a try, I'll take a look! Thanks!

I am not the original owner of this trailer, not sure if that would be relevant.


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Old 08-11-2009, 09:08 PM   #11
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Try these....Alcoa: Strong Wheels: Home: Trailer: LTS
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:04 PM   #12
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Hey Brian,

Any possibility you can post a picture of your wheel style? any pics in your profile that show these wheels?

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Old 08-12-2009, 12:02 AM   #13
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Hey Brian,

A friend tipped me off to this wheel. Is this what you have?
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:51 PM   #14
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Yes, those are the wheels with the recall on them. Again, you'll need the part number stamped on the inside of the rim. There might be a date code there as well. Write that down too.
Good Luck!
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