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Old 10-20-2014, 11:57 AM   #1
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Cracked Aluminum Wheels on 2004 Classic

As we were getting ready to leave the campground and head for Death Valley I noticed this (attached image).

Not only was this wheel cracked all the way through, but ALL the wheels were beginning to fail on a 2004 30' Classic. Has anyone else seen this kind of failure? We'd like to figure out the cause and avoid it in the future.

Good thing we saw it before we left or the "death" in Death Valley could have been taken literally.

Thanks for any feedback.

Carolyn
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Old 10-20-2014, 12:08 PM   #2
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Yes, on our 3/4 ton Suburban. I bought these Alcoa "Sport" wheels and received a letter from Alcoa that they were being recalled for the exact problem I see in your picture. They replaced all for wheels on our Suburban.
If I remember right, you'll need to remove the wheels and there is a 6 or 8 digit number on the inside. You'll need those numbers when you contact Alcoa for replacement wheels.
Good luck
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Old 10-20-2014, 12:22 PM   #3
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Oh my goodness gracious me! (The Shirley Temple version of what I really said!)

I am so glad you spotted that. It's something I never would have even thought of looking for, but might have run across while checking tire inflation. OMG there are two Classics of about your vintage at my current camp. I think I'll do an informal inspection of both today!

Paula
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Old 10-20-2014, 12:26 PM   #4
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Since you are going to be getting four new wheels anyway, you might as well use the opportunity to get 16" wheels and put LT tires on them rather than just getting new 15" inch rims with trailer tires.
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Old 10-20-2014, 12:28 PM   #5
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As a safety precaution, I ALWAYS add tires and wheels to my pre-trip inspection. While I am checking air pressure I look at my wheels while I am there.
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Old 10-20-2014, 01:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subfan1 View Post
Yes, on our 3/4 ton Suburban. I bought these Alcoa "Sport" wheels and received a letter from Alcoa that they were being recalled for the exact problem I see in your picture. They replaced all for wheels on our Suburban.
If I remember right, you'll need to remove the wheels and there is a 6 or 8 digit number on the inside. You'll need those numbers when you contact Alcoa for replacement wheels.
Good luck
Thank you, thank you, for the information. We'll be contacting Alcoa toot sweet. When did you receive the recall notice?
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Old 10-20-2014, 02:13 PM   #7
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Cracked Aluminum Wheels on 2004 Classic

We just talked to Alcoa (thanks to your replies, which gave us hope), but alas while they recalled the 16" wheels that failed, they did NOT recall the 15" wheels. Back to Big O in Pahrump NV for some steel wheels that will take us through the winter out West. Our 15" tires are still in good shape, but once they go, we're opting for the 16" wheels and Michelin. Seems to be the way to go.

At least we know it wasn't our fault. Thanks to all.
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Old 10-20-2014, 02:24 PM   #8
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Consider taking the plunge, go to 16's now if you can.
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Old 10-20-2014, 02:52 PM   #9
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Our Suburban was. 98 with 16 inch wheels. The recall was in early 2000s however it was the same design as your wheels. Did you have the serial numbers when you called them?
I would have asked to speak to a supervisor because the issue was the exact same description as in the photo. If they don't cover them, that's a bunch of BS!
Sorry it didn't work out for you. Like the other posters have said, go to the nearest discount tire and upgrade once. No need to add to that expense if your going to do it anyway.


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Old 10-20-2014, 04:16 PM   #10
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I had the same situation on a 2005 Classic that we bought used about 5 years ago. Mine were not cracked right across the web although I suspect they would have been before much longer.

I found them one day when polishing the wheels - cracks were progressing inward on several webs about a half inch on each side.

This was on both rims of the back axle.

At the time, I contacted Alcoa and to my surprise, they were still "JUST" within the warranty (5 years as I recall?) and they would take care of me even though I was not the original purchaser.

At first they told me that the wheels were no longer manufactured and it seemed as though they were going to send me four new wheels of a different style.

I was happy about that because I had noticed that the originals were rated at 2200# whereas the GVW at 10,000# didn't give much or a margin and I figured I would upgrade to heavier rims.

To my dismay, they were able to find two NOS rims from a dealer so that is what they finally sent to me.

I watched the rims very closely after installation and never saw a repeat problem - and the front axle rims were always fine.

I have since upgraded to 16" Michelins and rims rated at 3200# each. I would recommend going that route as I think the originals were somewhat marginal.

Brian.
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Old 10-24-2014, 07:13 PM   #11
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fraubear - In May I upgraded my running gear which included the 16-inch wheels and Michelin LTX225/75R16(E) tires at JC - they had a special around $360 per set (I bought 5).
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
Since you are going to be getting four new wheels anyway, you might as well use the opportunity to get 16" wheels and put LT tires on them rather than just getting new 15" inch rims with trailer tires.
I would agree with that recommendation. Great idea. If you choose to do that, I'm sure you will be glad you did.

Ken
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:42 PM   #13
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Been There, Done That

I had one of the wheels on my 2002 ASCL 31' fail along the inside center such that the tire went flat from the air leaking through the crack; I put the spare on and continued my trip to Oshkosh. On my way back to Houston I stopped by Jackson Center for some maintenance and told them about the wheel failure. They replaced it with one from their inventory at no charge.
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Old 10-24-2014, 10:18 PM   #14
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I have wondered about the alum wheels for this sort of problem.

But it could happen to steel as well.

I wonder how the steel would react to overloading if this was the cause of the cracking.
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