CAUTION FOR ALLOY WHEELS and Steel Spare

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
CAUTION FOR ALLOY WHEELS and Steel Spare

Guys
Please don't let this happen to you!

Basically a 2006 TIN owner and family driving their motor home and trailer rig to the Denver area.
Somewhere en route in Wyoming, metal road debris flew out from under a semi and tore through the side wall of his rear tire, mounted on a factory alum wheel.

Apart for the pucker factor to keep it straight and upright and stop at about 70mph (OMG)
He got the thing to the side of the road!
OK--now fit the spare--a steel wheel!!!

Forgetting the wheel bolts are LONGER for Alum wheel he bolts up the spare--then carries on!!
Well for a few feet!

In short, (excuse the pun!) the longer wheel bolts tore up the parking brake shoes, hardware, park brake cable, ABS tone ring, axle bearing carrier and ABS sensor. A right bloody mess.

Poor fellow limped it into our shop yesterday.
I managed to get enough stuff to fix it, the local Dodge dealer had some parts, and I had I did, the rest on the shelf. (luckily)
The Dodge parts guys asked if I had tried the local Benz dealers---Big chuckle--I stated they aren't even open on a Saturday gimme a break!:laughing::thumbdown:
I should go work for them said Mitch the parts guy!

Anyway a few hours later they were motoring away "All ship shape and Bristol Fashion" but short of some holiday money. Tires for starters aren't cheap in commercial 10ply that was $420 before we got going! And he had just replaced them all round.

Anyway bon voyage and lets hope he has no more incidences going back home.
AND
Don't forget you need shorter wheel bolts with "steelies"
Dennis
This just occurred to me. Nobody knows who might be changing the tire. Just knowing about this problem may not be enough.

Those who have alloy wheels and long lug bolts would be wise to include a large print warning about the bolts in with jack tools. Even better would be to cable tie a weatherproof warning to the spare tire steel wheel. I would thread the cable tie right through one of the lug holes. One would hope that roadside assistance would know about the difference, but it would be best not left to chance.

The spare is accessible enough that a laminated yellow or red note can be added without dropping the spare out of the holder.

:cheers: vic
 
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sandrak

New member
Pardon my ignorance, but where would we find the shorter lug nuts for the spare? Are they attached somewhere to the spare itself or maybe in with the jack?
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Pardon my ignorance, but where would we find the shorter lug nuts for the spare? Are they attached somewhere to the spare itself or maybe in with the jack?
They are likely in with the jack in the passenger foot board compartment. There is an OEM plastic tool kit pouch. They may fit into there. I have all steel wheels so I have no actual experience.

vic
 

H2Disco

New member
So I was just in the jack compartment and I didn't have extra lug nuts. I need to inspect to see if my spare wheel is different or the same as the other 4. Good info here. I would hate for this to happen in Baja where I'm sure it is much harder to get parts.
 

pickettt

New member
I think we need to clarify the difference between a nut and a bolt, and which your vehicle uses. Only then can you determine if this could be an issue with your vehicle.
 

kjg912

2006 T1N 2500
One big reason to also carry an alloy spare if you have four already on the vehicle. The different lug nuts are rim specific and this turned into a costly mistake - especially on the road where Sprinter shops are few and parts hard to get and expensive! Lucky for them that they were near Dennis in CO!
 

tschlau

New member
Seems like the vehicle which had the problem is a trailer. I thought this was a sprinter only forum. I'm concerned as to whether our Itasca Navion with cast wheels presents the same problem.
 

Dave D

Member
My 2016 came with factory alloys and a matching alloy spare, and I thought this was standard practice for Mercedes. Is this warning primarily folks with aftermarket wheels or upfitted RVs where they cut corners with a steel spare, or did some older sprinters not come with all the same wheels from the factory?
 

sailquik

Well-known member
Dave D,
ALL Sprinters come from the factory with a "set" of wheels.
For 316/319/2500 Sprinters with LUG BOLTS you get 5 steel wheels (any position using short LUG BOLTS).
If you order a 316/319/2500 (USA) Sprinter with the factory alloy wheels (4) or it comes this way when you
buy it off the dealers lot, you get a steel spare wheel that needs a set of short LUG BOLTS.
If you add aftermarket wheels to a 316/319/2500 (USA) you need to get LUG BOLTS with the wheels that fit the
grip length required for the wheels you purchase.
If you have 516/519/3500 (USA) Sprinter with dual rear wheels, you have LUG NUTS and you can safely mount
aftermarket (if correctly designed to support the weight on a fully loaded Sprinter) wheels or the OEM steel wheels
using the same LUG NUTS.
All 516/519/3500 (USA) wheels will fit in any position, but the fronts and the inner rear wheels mount with the
offset toward the center of the vehicle.
The outer rear 3500 dually wheels mount with the offset facing away from the center of the vehicle.
Just a cautionary safety note here.....Sprinters with dual rear wheels do NOT use the BUDD Wheel system
where there are inner and outer lug nuts.
So, if you remove the lug nuts to change an outer flat tire, just be aware that both wheels are loose and
the vehicle could easily fall.
All the little "tricks" that truckers use to change an outer flat tire do NOT apply to Sprinters.
Roger
 

zwsandman

New member
I recently bought an 06 2500 140in WB . My spare is definitely steel... I'm not sure what wheels i have, a magnet does stick to them (no super strongly), they are silver in color. Wondering if these are "alloy" wheels? i don't have any separate bolts with my jack. Just found out i gotta take a 1000 mile round trip ride to go to funeral and i came across this thread, wondering if I can use my spare if need be!!
 

CJPJ

2008 3500 170"ext. 3.0 V6 OM642.993
I recently bought an 06 2500 140in WB . ... a magnet does stick to them (no super strongly), .. wondering if I can use my spare if need be!
If a magnet sticks; then they have iron in them. They are a iron alloy = Steel wheel.
The stock spare is also Steel.
 

Van Campa

New member
My 2016 came with factory alloys and a matching alloy spare, and I thought this was standard practice for Mercedes. Is this warning primarily folks with aftermarket wheels or upfitted RVs where they cut corners with a steel spare, or did some older sprinters not come with all the same wheels from the factory?
My 2002 313CDI had factory alloys and steel spare. The extra bolts were in the passenger side compartment with jack.
I had to use that spare once and luckily had those spare bolts.

Sent from my SM-N910U using Tapatalk
 

Kirk

Member
Anyone know where I can order a set of lugs that will work with the steel wheels? I only need 6 of them for my spare as I installed new aftermarket wheels and kept the steel spare and sold off the stock wheels with the lugs included. I now need to get 6 lugs that work with the steel wheel to keep in the van.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Michelin Truck Tire Manual

Not really related to lug bolt length. TooMuchHair referenced a very nice tire manual by Michelin. :thumbup:

There is a section specific to RV's.

An example of included info.

I copied this paragraph about mismatched dual tires from the Michelin truck tire handbook, page 142.

5. Dual Mismatch Height
Dual mismatch tread depths (tire height differences)
will cause irregular wear. Additionally, the larger tire
(the one with the greatest tread depth) will become
over-fatigued due to bearing more weight, this
accelerates premature casing failure.
Goal: Match tires in dual assembly with equal tread
depths. Well maintained fleets use +/- 4/32" of tread
depth as maximum allowable difference in overall height
between the duals.
Effect: Dual mismatch tread depths can cause a
permanent irregular wear pattern in a few weeks
resulting in early removal or a lost casing.

They also make a similar point about the importance of matching air pressure in dual wheel pairs because of the difference in diameter causes the tires to travel different distances causing scrubbing of the tread surface, sometimes severe.

Lots of good information in this manual. Including selecting correct air pressure based on weight, which is the correct method if you can. Truckers that run lots of empty miles soon realize that the pressures necessary to carry there loaded weights can cause extreme wear at times when running empty. It is a dilemma because its just impractical to let air out of 18 tires (or?#) everytime you deliver a tanker load of fuel for example. That's one of the reason you see more trucks with lift axles, It not only gets 4 tires off the road completely, but increases the weight on the axle carrying the empty truck back to a distant load point. Win/win.

As a side note, there is some good info on page 77 about using blocking under tires properly. I cringe when I have seen people (mostly mechanics, i've never been in a campground but I have seen a few pictures of bad leveling block placement too)) make the mistakes shown in the diagrams.

Here is the link to the entire manual:

https://www.michelintruck.com/assets/pdf/Truck_Tire_Service_Manual_2011.pdf
In case the link changes:
View attachment Truck_Tire_Service_Manual_2011.pdf

vic

Added:

More RV specific

https://www.michelinb2b.com/wps/b2bcontent/PDF/RV_Tires_Brochure.pdf

View attachment RV_Tires_Brochure.pdf
 
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