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Old 02-25-2021, 09:04 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Steel vs Aluminum wheels. Can they be used together?

Does anyone know if steel and aluminum wheels can be used simultaneously on dual axles?

I am planning on upgrading my skoolie steel rims to 22.5 Alcoa wheels. My question is, do I have to replace all 6 wheels? Or can I keep the 2 rear interior steel wheels?
Keeping the two interior rims would save me about $600.

Is anyone aware of any downsides to switching over to aluminum rims?
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:13 AM   #2
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What size is on there now? You will need longer studs. What is your gearing like now?
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:32 AM   #3
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Like s2mikon said, you'll need longer wheel studs. But yes, you can use a steel wheel on the inside and aluminum on the outside...as long as they're the same size. It's actually really common. Dare I say, most common based on what I've seen?
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:41 AM   #4
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I currently have 22.5 steel rims. Not sure what my rear is.
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:43 AM   #5
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Thanks for info folks. I would definitely rather save $600 if I can.
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlupr View Post
Thanks for info folks. I would definitely rather save $600 if I can.
You definitely can save on the inner wheels...but don't scrimp on the studs. It will look "close" if you don't change them, but they won't normally be long enough unless you change them out for longer ones. It's really not a big deal to change them.
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:20 AM   #7
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Super common. In fact, it's more common to find 4 alloy/2 steel then all 6 alloy. Most oem's do this because it's cheaper, like you found.

I highly recommend using wheel guards with aluminum rims. Most oems don't, but it helps to preserve the aluminum, and prevents galvanic corrosion between the aluminum and steel.

https://www.haltec.com/pc/Truck-Wheel-Guards-c220.htm
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:22 AM   #8
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The only problem doing it this way, is that it makes tire rotation more labor intensive, as you have to dismount and remount the tires from the rims in order to keep the steel wheel in the back. Where as with all 6 being alloy, you can rotate the wheels.

Which might all mean nothing if you're not using all position tires anyways.
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:56 PM   #9
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Yes

2010 F450/F550, All had inner steel when alloy rears, There is not enough center pilot to locate two alloys on the same hub. If you switch to alloys, make sure you have two or more exposed threads after the wheel nut is torqued. I have heard some quote five threads, but really, from fasteners point of view, two is all that is needed. From a mistake point of view, five or more is better.

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Old 02-25-2021, 10:13 PM   #10
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What I did, inner steel and aluminium on the outside. With centramatics between them. Studs a little to short, this thread (ha ha) reminds me I have to fix that.
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Old 02-26-2021, 12:15 AM   #11
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Many vehicles have steel inners and aluminum outers they just look kinda funky sometimes if you rotate properly.
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:43 AM   #12
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you must protect the wheels from electrolysis whenever you attach aluminium to steel. it will weld your wheels together. research this before you commit. they make a thin plastic gasket that goes between the wheels to help slow it down you must use if you go this route. i would just look at chrome wheels instead
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:47 AM   #13
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if you buy used aluminium wheels check the date code stamped into the wheel. average life is only 10 years. get them checked for cracks using a dynacheck method as most old wheels will have them
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:49 AM   #14
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one last note some tire changing machines will wear off the edge of the bead on aluminium wheels. watch for this as once i saw a tire come off as the bead was too thin
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Old 03-03-2021, 12:20 PM   #15
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Should I be at all concerned about the age of my steel wheels? Is there a date code or something similar I should look for?
I am considering maybe keeping all 6 of them and just getting a decent set of simulators.
I have ordered 6 new tires and wondering if I got ahead of myself.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:12 PM   #16
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Steel and Aluminum

Having come from ten years of driving a truck for a living I can tell you that a lot of tire shops will not put aluminum and steel together.
Iím not sure if it is illegal federally or not, but I donít think that itís a good idea.
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Old 03-03-2021, 06:24 PM   #17
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Aluminium and steel together on the rear here too. With a centramatic in-between, never had an issue.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlupr View Post
Should I be at all concerned about the age of my steel wheels? Is there a date code or something similar I should look for?
I am considering maybe keeping all 6 of them and just getting a decent set of simulators.
I have ordered 6 new tires and wondering if I got ahead of myself.
yes age is important as aluminum has only a 10 year life average check as most 10 year old aluminium wheels have small cracks. and they have a date code stamped in them however i seen guys buff the stamping out so they can lie about the age. check the date code and if it dont have one walk away. you dont want the wheel to break off and kill someone
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BriteLeaf View Post
Having come from ten years of driving a truck for a living I can tell you that a lot of tire shops will not put aluminum and steel together.
Iím not sure if it is illegal federally or not, but I donít think that itís a good idea.
not illegal but not a good choice as the mounting face on aluminium is larger than the steel face and thats why they crack so quickly when mated together
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