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SteinarN
06-17-2009, 06:16 PM
I have a total failure of the four aluminium rims with winter tires and also the four other rims with summer tires has started to fail.

The problem is the edge of the rim where the tire rests against develops a disastrous wear. The edge eventually wears into disintegration which causes the tire to fail also. This was mainly something that happened this last winter. I got a flat tire earlier this spring and when I removed the other wheels I discovered all four rims had failed. Taking a closer look at the summer wheels I saw a beginning failure there also. Total distance is roughly 100,000 km each on the summer and winter wheels. This is the second set of tires on both the summer and winter wheels. I need eight new aluminium rims. US$300 each!

Have any of you seen something like this before?

SteinarN
06-17-2009, 06:20 PM
More pictures.

AircooledJohn
06-17-2009, 10:08 PM
what rims are these?

mackconsult
06-17-2009, 10:49 PM
Wow, I am going to watch for this.

I have the aluminum wheels also, but haven't seen this condition yet (68k miles). Will rotate my wheels this weekend and check into it.

SteinarN
06-18-2009, 03:01 AM
what rims are these?

They are the original MB 15 inch aluminium rims for the T1N. One other person in my area I spoke with the other day had seen the beginning of this process on his rims also. He had only some 25,000 km on his rims! This is also a fault known to develop on some heavy truck aluminium rims.

I have had a lot of air in my tires, ca 60 psi, but on the other hand, my van is fully loaded also, 3,500 kg total weight. One person has sugested to much air may be responsible for this fault to happen.

maxextz
06-18-2009, 10:58 AM
sorry about your rims, but that is the price for bling alloys are to delicate for the abuse they suffer on the varied road surfaces and cant take it, if you get a flat and the rim touches the road while your moving thats it new rim,or mount a kerb like i do alot without the steel rims id give up:rolleyes: you cant beat "boring"steelies:thumbup:

max.........

maxzoom
10-17-2009, 06:22 PM
Oh man! I have the exact same problem! I have 2 sets of aluminum rims; one winter one summer. One set came with the Sprinter the others are Borbet's I ordered from tirerack.com. I went to the tire shop yesterday to change to new winter tires and that's when we discover it. All 8 rims are shot! Too worn out and dangerous to use! They are only worn out on the inside. The tire man explained that this is probably cause by the rims design; that being an off-set center and the soft aluminum.

Anyway I am buying steel rims from now on.

I have 133,000 rough miles Half on pavement half bumpy gravel and dirt roads.

david_42
10-17-2009, 07:57 PM
Looks like a design problem. The flare that is peeling is being stressed by the tire wall so eventually it cracks off.

maxzoom
10-22-2009, 04:46 PM
If ever there was a good cause for a safety recall this it! If one keeps driving with these aluminum rims there could be catastrophic tire damage resulting in serious injury or death.

Me and SteinarN can't be the only ones with this problem.

maxzoom
10-22-2009, 04:50 PM
They are the original MB 15 inch aluminium rims for the T1N. One other person in my area I spoke with the other day had seen the beginning of this process on his rims also. He had only some 25,000 km on his rims! This is also a fault known to develop on some heavy truck aluminium rims.

I have had a lot of air in my tires, ca 60 psi, but on the other hand, my van is fully loaded also, 3,500 kg total weight. One person has sugested to much air may be responsible for this fault to happen.

I keep my tires slightly under-inflated because I drive on bumpy roads. So I don't think too much air is the cause.

xfordfan
10-23-2009, 12:57 AM
what do you use to clean your wheels? never seen this on any wheel, let alone my sprinter. did you have the same tires on your old rims, maybe steel cable in tire is damaging the rim.

Mrdi
10-23-2009, 02:56 AM
"I have 133,000 rough miles Half on pavement half bumpy gravel and dirt roads."

This to me would seem to be the problem.
70,000 miles on rough gravel?
The gravel abrades the rim

ZED
10-23-2009, 05:05 AM
Definite bummer about the rims. I have seen that before on heavy trucks in the oil patch (rough roads). After a while they seem to wear the rims to a very sharp edge. I guess what you're seeing is likely a thinner rim edge actually wearing through. I wouldn't have thought of that happening with a vehicle as light as a sprinter.

talkinghorse43
10-23-2009, 06:24 AM
I keep my tires slightly under-inflated because I drive on bumpy roads. So I don't think too much air is the cause.

Could be underinflation is the cause. Rubbing contact between the tire and the rim causing wear. The tire rubber could be trapping dirt next to the rim and abrading the aluminum, like sandpaper.

maxzoom
10-23-2009, 04:37 PM
"I have 133,000 rough miles Half on pavement half bumpy gravel and dirt roads."

This to me would seem to be the problem.
70,000 miles on rough gravel?
The gravel abrades the rim


The outer side of the rims are fine; so I don't think gravel roads are the problem. And the only tires I've had on them are the original Michelins and the Bridgestone Blizzaks W965, both load range E.

mackconsult
10-23-2009, 05:30 PM
My 2005 has the aluminum rims. I have a to do to remove, inspect brakes, and rotate. I will be sure to inspect mine very closely, take pictures and post.

I have 73k on my van 99% of its use is lightly on paved roads. Keeping my fingers crossed that they are okay. If I see failure at any time will go with steel wheels.

talkinghorse43
10-23-2009, 05:45 PM
The outer side of the rims are fine; so I don't think gravel roads are the problem. And the only tires I've had on them are the original Michelins and the Bridgestone Blizzaks W965, both load range E.

Haven't driven on gravel roads lately, but don't the insides of tires collect much more dirt than the outsides? Seems to me mud from potholes will splash onto the tires on the opposite side. The combination of collected mud/dirt and underinflation (causing rubbing contact) might be causing the wear.

Aqua Puttana
10-23-2009, 08:44 PM
FWIW. I suspect it is a combination of poor alloy choice, material stresses in the area where the rim edge formed and corrosion perhaps accelerated from trapped grit/debris. It's hard to tell from pictures though. The edges look like they might from corrosion, but again....only going by the pictures. I know from experience that improper aluminum alloy selection or poor alloy quality control in items used around boats/marine environment can show corrosion in a surprisingly short time. Were the rims around salty roads (ocean area/winter use)? Do the edges near the failure have any powdery residue? Then again, what do I know? I prefer steel rims. AP/vic

skye12
10-24-2009, 05:14 AM
Checked the 02 , all looked good . Had a thought , Could it be something with the break dust. We keep the outside clean , but who cleans the inside ? I know if I don't get off all the dust it pits the finish . Do we use different compounds in the pads then they do in Europe ?

talkinghorse43
10-24-2009, 03:41 PM
Here's some info from Alcoa that might help:

http://www.alcoa.com/alcoawheels/north_america/en/brochures/docs/Alcoa_Dura_Flange_Sell_Sheet.pdf

maxzoom
10-24-2009, 06:21 PM
Here's some info from Alcoa that might help:

http://www.alcoa.com/alcoawheels/north_america/en/brochures/docs/Alcoa_Dura_Flange_Sell_Sheet.pdf

From that link...

""Alcoa Dura-Flange® wear protection wheels have half the rim flange wear
of traditional aluminum wheels – or less.

Specially treated to reduce or eliminate rim flange wear.""

""Alcoa Dura-Flange® wear protection wheels have a proprietary treatment on the wheel rim
that provides a protective shield to prevent rim wear. This design feature makes Dura-Flange®
wear protection wheels most appropriate for applications where loads are heavy and prone
to shifting, causing tire walls to rub against the wheel rims. Alcoa Dura-Flange® wear protection
wheels are the only aluminum wheels on the market today that are protected from this type of
wear, giving them at least double the life of other aluminum wheels in applications like transit
bus, tanker and heavy hauling. And, in heavy hauling applications, Dura-Flange® wear protection
wheels can also be specified to extend the life of severe service wheels.""

Thanks, now I know what the problem is and how it is caused.

mackconsult
10-26-2009, 01:08 AM
My 2005 has the aluminum rims. I have a to do to remove, inspect brakes, and rotate. I will be sure to inspect mine very closely, take pictures and post.

I have 73k on my van 99% of its use is lightly on paved roads. Keeping my fingers crossed that they are okay. If I see failure at any time will go with steel wheels.

I climbed under my van and my wheels look fine. I believe my van may not have been used very much, or very hard. Probably all highway. I will keep an eye on this though because I do take my van on rock roads quite a bit.

Aqua Puttana
10-26-2009, 02:10 AM
From that link...

""Alcoa Dura-Flange® wear protection wheels have half the rim flange wear
of traditional aluminum wheels – or less.


So they still don't say they eliminate aluminum wheel rim wear, only make it last a bit longer.

One of my biggest reasons to not like aluminum alloy rims is that it seems inevitable that corrosion will eventually cause rim leaks. That and they don't hold up as well to the ever present New York State potholes.

What's the wear rate on steel wheel rims? I'm really not trying to be a smart-ass (this time). I haven't ever had a problem with steel wheels wearing out, but I also haven't been regularly loading my vehicles at or near max. Are steel rims on Sprinters prone to wear out if you regularly keep a vehicle fully loaded? AP/vic

SteinarN
10-28-2009, 10:09 AM
I havent been in here much lately.
To answer a few questions, the fault is only on the inside. The outside is flawless. No gravel road or other harsh environment, very little salty roads. There is no sign of corrosion, the failure is entirely caused by abrasion. The surface of the faulty areas were shiny. No uneven wear of the outside/inside of the tires. Each rim set has seen two set of tires. No harsh chemicals used on the rims, only normal car wash.

Hit The Road Jack
10-28-2009, 12:08 PM
Looks like tire changer damage to me...:thinking:

Altered Sprinter
10-28-2009, 12:35 PM
Or Tyre failure placing the original photo under a spectrum Annaliese for contaminates Rust shows in three sections.
It appears the tire was either run flat or had gone out of round, till it failed taking out the rim as well it would be interesting to see the leading edges of all tires as to bead damage of the tires lip edge. It is unusual for rust to show on a fresh flat where the steel casing beads should be clean metal. not rust.
Richard
18161

SteinarN
10-28-2009, 01:44 PM
AT, its correct you spot rust there. This is the worst rim/tire, the one which developed a leak while driving. However it passed some days, maybe a week or two before I took the pictures. The wheels was stored outside. It may have rained in that period. One of the other rims is as badly worn, however that tire isn't split as this is. The tires have never been run flat, not even slightly underinflated.

maxzoom
10-28-2009, 02:42 PM
"Looks like tire changer damage to me..." No because it only happens on the inside of the rim.

maxzoom
10-28-2009, 02:53 PM
SteinarN... Interesting this rim failure happened to you too. You have the lighter version 118" Sprinter with 15 inch tires right? Maybe the heavy loads you carry contributed to this rim flange wear. I use my Sprinter for a taxi business. Most of the time I'm running with light loads...only one or two people extra. Once in a while I do get a full cab.. 10 people and baggage.

""Very little salty roads" How do the Norwegians deal with icy roads?

Up here in Alaska they are heavy on the salt.

SteinarN
10-28-2009, 04:40 PM
Yes, 15 inch tires. Medium wheelbase, not sure how many inches but probably 118 if thats the medium lenght.

In some parts of Norway they are heavy on the salt. I live in northern Norway. Here is only the main roads salted and only when it's icy. When it's snowy conditions salt isn't used. So, probably salt one month each year on the main road here. Thats it.

Chuckclark
12-28-2009, 07:56 PM
SteinarN I just joined and just found this thread. This is serious stuff. It is the biggest safety related issue that I have found on Sprinter Fourm. Have you had any other thoughts on the issue. I noticed that you have load range C tires on your Sprinter. These tires have more flexible sidewalls than the load range E tires that most Sprinters use. Maybe this is what is causing the aluminium wheel failures. Thanks for sharing this issue with the Sprinter world.

ZED
12-30-2009, 02:12 AM
...
I noticed that you have load range C tires on your Sprinter. These tires have more flexible sidewalls than the load range E tires that most Sprinters use. Maybe this is what is causing the aluminium wheel failures.
...

A possibility to be sure. However, there are many threads which point to sprinter owners searching for, and complaining about the lack of availability of, load range E tires. Especially if you have a model which came with 15 inch rims, getting the proper load rating is very difficult. My current tires flex tremendously, even when unloaded. The search continues...