Aluminium rims large failure

SteinarN

New member
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?
 

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mackconsult

New member
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

New member
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

Rollin Rollin Rollin.....
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

Member
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.
 
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david_42

New member
Looks like a design problem. The flare that is peeling is being stressed by the tire wall so eventually it cracks off.
 

maxzoom

Member
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

Member
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

New member
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.
 
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Mrdi

New member
"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
 
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ZED

Sprinter Newbie
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

Active member
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

Member
"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

New member
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

Active member
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

Poly - Thread Finder
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

New member
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 ?
 

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