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Author Topic: Question on Alcoa Wheels  (Read 4596 times)
hargreaves
1987 MCI 102A3
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« on: December 14, 2009, 11:18:25 AM »

Hi guys, I'm looking to buy some Alcoa wheels for my 87 102A3. Good price but they only have drive axle wheels. Are the steering axles a different offset from the drive axles?  I have steel wheels on now and the offset looks to be the same.

Gerry
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2009, 03:25:56 PM »

Hi Gerry, I'm not a wheel specialist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know that my drives are nothing like my steers on the offset. The tags might be interchangeable with the steers, but definitely not the drives. I'm sure someone with real knowledge will pipe up soon. Good luck, Will
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2009, 03:52:31 PM »

Actually Will I'd be real surprised if yours aren't identical rims all the way around - mine certainly are.  They look different mounted on the front but they are the same rims.  I'm guessing that the OP's are too but I was waiting for an MCI authority to chime in.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2009, 04:25:40 PM »

I am almost certain that the wheels (steel or aluminum) are the same on every position.  I have never seen special drive wheels other than the super single units.

What you may find is a difference in how the aluminum wheels are polished.  The wheels are reversed from front to drive and they may not be polished on both sides.

What you will want to make sure of is that they are the same mounting system.  Most of the older buses are stud mounted (often called Budd).  Newer trucks and buses are hub mounted.  Stud mounted wheels will have a chamfer in the stud hole (both sides) and the lug nuts will have a taper on one side.  Hub mounted will be a straight hole and will seat on a shoulder on the rim.  You can not mix the two systems.

You will also need new long studs.  This will be at least $100-200.  The front ones will need to be pressed in.  If you have a tag, it those studs will need to pressed in.  If you use steel inner wheels, the inner studs will work, but the outer stud will need to be changes

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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jmblake
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2009, 05:01:52 PM »

On my MCI9 they are all the same, they are just polished on the side you can see. Jason
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luvrbus
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2009, 05:25:47 PM »

They do make different offsets on wheels buy what your bus needs I am not a MCI guy only telling you wheels come in different offsets.
It is a common practice for people with the widen Eagles to use different offsets


good luck
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TomC
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2009, 11:33:06 PM »

All my wheels are identical-take offs from my truck. Good Luck, TomC
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hargreaves
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2009, 08:57:04 AM »

Thanks guys, I am going to pick up the wheels today, I guess on some trucks the fronts have very little offset.  I checked the steel wheels on my bus and the offset is the same as the drives. I have hub mounted wheels. The place I am purchasing the wheels has narrower wheel nuts that he said might work so I won't have to change the studs. I'm hoping cause I really don't want to go through the hassle of changing them.  I'll post if it works.  Thanks for all the info.

Gerry
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wildbob24
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2009, 09:22:23 AM »

Gerry,

This wheel stuff is important. I mean no offense to anyone who has already posted, but in the interest of us all being on the same page, I'd like to clarify some terminology being used here. All wheels are stud or hub mounted. The difference is found in the terms Stud piloted (commonly called Budd, as Jim noted) or Hub piloted (commonly called Metric). As Jim also notes, you can't mix the 2 systems.

http://www.bridgestonetrucktires.com/us_eng/real/magazines/00v5iss1/ra5.asp

Now, your bus may have been converted, but every MCI I've seen from the late '80s had the Budd style, Stud piloted wheel. I'm not sure what your wheel vendor is talking about with a narrower wheel nut that "might" work, but I'd be very careful here. This is not an area where you want to make a mistake.

Bob
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kyle4501
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2009, 09:54:14 AM »

My understanding of the wheel nuts-
Standard nuts for the steel wheel don't have threads all the way into the tapered part so as to prevent it from bottoming out on the threads when used on a steel rim that is only 3/8" thick. It also allows easier starting on the stud.

There are special nuts for use on thicker (alum) rims that are threaded all the way thru the tapered end. This allows a shorter nut but with the same number of threads engaged with the stud. They can be more difficult to start when putting them back on & the socket won't have as much to hold on to. AND you will find this shorter stud makes it easier to scar up the rim while you are installing/ removing the nuts. However, they sometimes allow you to use shorter studs . . .

Enjoy your bling bling.  Grin
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hargreaves
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2009, 09:59:41 AM »

Hi Bob, thanks for the clarification, mine are hub mounted. I will check the length of the studs. When I pick up my wheels I will for sure, check these narrower nuts.  I work for a local bus company and know very well the importance of proper stud length and torqueing.

Gerry
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wildbob24
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2009, 10:28:31 AM »

Gerry,

My understanding is hub pilot wheels were introduced in 1991, so, at some point, your bus was converted, I guess.

I'd be curious to know about these narrower nuts too. Perhaps they are what Kyle refers too. Keep us advised, if you will.

Bob
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 06:51:53 PM by wildbob24 » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2009, 06:28:16 PM »

My first coach was a 1983 MCI-9 (NJT) .  It had steel hub piloted wheels.
          Iver.
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Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
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But while we are here we might as well dance".
hargreaves
1987 MCI 102A3
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2009, 08:05:48 PM »

Picked up my wheels today, The rep. I am dealing with was not there, I will contact him sometime this week tous was converted ask about the shorter nuts. I do not know if my bus was converted or not, but I know it has hub piloted wheels. It looks like the drives  and fronts had Alloy wheels at one time, but the tags need the longer studs.

Now I'm debating whether to use the tires I have on the steely's or mortgage the house and buy new ones. The fronts are good but the rears are snowy's and are retreads. the tags are also retreads.

Gerry
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buswarrior
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2009, 08:16:35 PM »

Hub mounted wheel systems have been around for a long time.

In my personal experience, my 1975 MCI has them, and GM transits here at Big Transit had them a long time before that.

The choice was available to the original purchaser as to the style preferred.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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