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Author Topic: Tire & Wheel Hunting (specifically for 12R24.5's for a 4106)  (Read 5808 times)
technomadia
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« on: June 25, 2011, 02:20:29 AM »

I've spent the day researching and hunting for six new wheels and tires for our 4106. We're not leaving Yuma until we find some new shoes for our bus - one of the inner rears is shredded, and the rest aren't in much better shape.  The wheels are ugly steel split rims that have see much better days, and without a doubt everything needs to be replaced.

So unlike most, we are starting from scratch with a blank slate and need six of everything.

I've heard the recommendation from RJ and other 4106 owners that seeking out 11R24.5 sized wheels and tires with a low revolutions per mile is a very worthwhile thing, and in particular RJ recommends:

"Bridgestone Tire model M726EL, size 11R24.5, load range G, Part Number 186181, 75 mph speed rated, 470 revs/mile - PERFECT for the drive axle on your 4106 with the V-730.  Tallest tire I've been able to find in my research."

For aesthetics and weight reasons, I think it makes sense to go with aluminum wheels - at least for the outer four.

Having never bought truck wheels or tires before, I've called around to several local shops to get quotes for getting us on the road. I'm posting my notes here so that you more experienced nuts can point out whether or not these quotes and recommendations seem reasonable:

Ed Whitehead Tires:
Still searching for used aluminum wheel - waiting for a call back from their other shops.
Steel wheels - refurbished: $76.57/ea
"24.5's hard to come across lately."
Recommends a Dynatrac (Dynatrac PF440 - 14ply) all-position tire - $392.68/ea (mounted) -
Total for tires: $2356.  Wheels tbd.

====

Franklin Tires:
Referred me to "Red Barn Tires" for commercial tires like I need.

They came back with a total "out the door" quote of $5097 for wheels and tires, including mounting, lug nuts, and balancing the steering tires.
Recommendation - Firestone 16 Ply Tire - $427.51/tire + $41.51 excise tax.
Steel Wheel (inner) - $50/each - used.
Aluminum outer wheels: $353.96 - Matte aluminum.  Or I could pay $391.95 - Polished.
Bill at Red Barn noted that if I had needed hub piloted wheels, they would be $100/ea cheaper.

====

Purcell Tire:
Front polished aluminum - $370/ea
Rear polished aluminum - $400/ea - costs more because it required more polishing.
Steel wheels - $110/ea
He says the tire RJ recommends is a drive tire, and not ideal for all position use.
He recommends an all position Goodyear 661 - Highway tread 16ply.  $557/ea per tire.

====

I am going to try seeking out wrecking yards to call about finding used wheels, but I worry that I might not recognize the difference between a good deal and something that is past its useful life.  What should I ask for when I call, and look for if I go to check some wheels out?

Where else should I be calling to seek out wheels and tires?

And from a logistical standpoint - how can I best handle transporting the wheels around when I've only got a rental Chevy Cobalt for transport?  Will it be too much trouble to try and purchase the wheels and tires separately, and should I just let a shop put together a bundled quote for everything?

Our bus is movable - but with the shredded rear I am thinking that we should absolutely minimize the miles we drive between the RV park we are in now, and the tire shop we pick to install everything.

Any other guidance to help us find great wheels and tires without spending more on rubber than we did on the entire bus would be much appreciated.  Hopefully we can get everything ordered first thing Monday, and be road worthy well before the end of the week.

Thanks!

   - Chris
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chuckd
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2011, 04:05:52 AM »

Chris:  I have 4 aluminum rear wheels, 24.5 diameter that I took off my Volvo 770 unfortunately I doubt if they are hub centered and they are in Mn, but will check to make sure.  A bus nut could have them for not a lot of money.

Chuckd
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2011, 06:32:19 AM »

One problem with buying used wheels is they could have the lug nut holes worn enough to be out of round. The biggest problem is that no doubt they have been changed enough times using a big air gun that they have probably been over torqued more than once in their life and could be also be cracked. Hard to see the cracks sometimes until they become major.  I just replaced all of my wheels last year when i discovered that at least 2 of them were cracked and the holes on the others were getting bad. Being on a tight budget i thought about getting used, but as you will find out, there are not any really good truck wrecking yards in Yuma. I finally just bought new steel wheels from Purcell and  I sleep good at night knowing they are all new.  The other thing is that i do not allow anybody else to put my wheels on. I have a 12x1 torque multiplier and a torque wrench and do it myself.
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2011, 06:51:29 AM »

Are your wheels studs long enough to install aluminum wheels ?,the rear is not a problem you can buy longer nuts if running steel on the inside but the front is a different story just hate to see you doing all this shopping then have another problem.
Call American truck parts in Phoenix I know it 200 miles from you but rent a small Uhaul and pickup the tires and wheels they have acres of tires and wheels and you not getting anywhere with your search in Yuma  1-888-396-6943   

good luck
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 07:01:24 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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TomC
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2011, 07:39:45 AM »

Especially with aluminum wheels-because of many of the previously stated reasons, I highly recommend you to get new wheels.  Accuride also makes aluminum wheels that look just like the Alcoas, but are typically less $$.

The Bridgestone M726EL is the tallest tire since it has 32/32" tread depth.  But-it does make some noise at freeway speed.  My Michelin XZE 11R-24.5's don't make any noise.  Unless you're planning to go off road, I suggest you stay with the all position steering type tires all around. They're quieter and will get a bit better fuel mileage.  My tires have 476rpm-not that much different.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
technomadia
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2011, 08:24:19 AM »

Thanks for the feedback all...

For my own sanity and peace of mind, I'd much prefer going new.  We have a enough new challenges to overcome as novice bus nuts to be worrying about having selected failing used wheels & tires.  

One reason we favored automatic over manual transmission was to keep our flexibility of going off-road a bit.  We have collected quite a group of friends with houses out in the boonies on maintained dirt roads that we want to continue visiting in our travels Smiley  Not to mention, we love going down forest service roads (after walking it of course) to find remote boondocking spots.  So tires better suited for that is definitely a plus for us.

Thanks for the lead in Phoenix, luvrbus - that idea could work out well if they have what we need. What about the contact you mentioned previously near you?  Is it worthwhile coming up your way with a U-haul?

 - Cherie
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robertglines1
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2011, 08:29:45 AM »

They rent full size 3/4 ton here should haul 6 tires easy with wheels.  I just hauled 4 plus 6 bay doors- 2 rear doors 1 bumper fandrive and other misc parts 400 miles in a 3/4 ton    bob
« Last Edit: June 25, 2011, 08:34:18 AM by robertglines1 » Logged

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luvrbus
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« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2011, 08:53:36 AM »

here is JR's number call him and see what he can do for you 1-760-733-4401 and I'll check other tire stores in my area,it is about the same mileage to here as Phoenix and I know you will get a better selection in Phoenix JMO 

good luck
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« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2011, 09:36:41 AM »

  I was thinking about tires for the Bus again yesterday, and I started thinking about the failures ive had. While I never drove OTR trucks, and this is my first real Bus, I have driven large vehicles quite a bit. And ove the last almost 40 years of driving, have had a number of tire failures. It dawned on me that most of the failures were Michelins. Most of the failures were cords seperation, one in particular had the tread delaminate (wiped out the rear quarter panel, beat it up pretty good), and a couple flats that shredded.

  I know any tire can fail, and once flat from a puncture, any tire will desintegrate. But I do find it odd that so many were Michelins when overall it represents only a fraction of the usual tire brands ive owned and driven on.

  Firestone always gets a bad rep, but ive never had trouble with any ive had. Way back they made the 500 and it got a lot of publicity over the recall, but they came back strong. When the Ford Exploder debacle was going on over tire blowouts, Ford did a good job of shirking responsibility and pointing the finger at Firestone, but the truth is, Ford recommended tire pressures far below the tires actual rating. Running under inflated tires at 75 mph in 100F plus heat is a recipe for disaster no matter who made the tire.

  The point of this, is that while some like Michelins and have had good luck with them, they are rapidly gaining a reputation of selling greatly overpriced tires they wont stand behind, and in the OTR tires, known for blowing out the sidewall. I know several tire guys that no longer carry Michelin for the very reason they WILL NOT cover them under any circumstance. And if the company your buying from wont stand behind their product, why buy from them, when another company can sell you a tire for half as much. I know that in the big truck tires almost no one stands behind them, so a lot of the above is moot. But if people are seeing higher failure rates with a particular brand, perhaps its a good bet to switch brands.
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technomadia
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2011, 10:00:56 AM »

Are your wheels studs long enough to install aluminum wheels ?,the rear is not a problem you can buy longer nuts if running steel on the inside but the front is a different story just hate to see you doing all this shopping then have another problem.

Woah, I knew about the need to change the studs on the rear, and one of the shops quoted $10/stud ($100/side) to do that.

But I hadn't heard that there might be any stud issues on the front.  Can other 4106 owners chime in here - is this a potential issue?  Are the front studs harder or impossible to change?

Thanks,

   - Chris
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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
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technomadia
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2011, 10:33:53 AM »

The Bridgestone M726EL is the tallest tire since it has 32/32" tread depth.  But-it does make some noise at freeway speed.  My Michelin XZE 11R-24.5's don't make any noise.  Unless you're planning to go off road, I suggest you stay with the all position steering type tires all around. They're quieter and will get a bit better fuel mileage.  My tires have 476rpm-not that much different.  Good Luck, TomC

Are the Bridgestones not suited for use as a steer tire?

Ideally we'd love to get six matched tires, unless there is a really compelling reason to use different steer / drive tires.

How big of a difference will the tread make for going down rather typical dirt roads?

Thoughts?

   - Chris
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2011, 11:03:27 AM »

Chris, that guy is not going to change the rear studs for 10 bucks each he is going to use a longer nut on the inner steel wheel and you can buy those for less than 3 bucks each from Ryder Fleet and the tire guy can install those for, the front is always the problem right now with the steels wheels on the front if you don't have 3/4 to 1 inch of thread showing from the outside of the nut the front studs have to be changed and 200 bucks a side is a great price for that job

good luck
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2011, 11:41:38 AM »

Those particular Bridgstone tires are exclusively for drive tire use only.  Bridgestone also makes steer tires.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2011, 12:04:45 PM »



I replaced Michelin xza:"something low profile" with Hankook AH12's on my 4104 with q 6v92 and v730.

was probably the most noticeable change to the driving that i have made.

have put about 3,000 miles or more on them.

uncle Ned

PS they cost about 2500 dollars installed about 1 year ago.
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4104's forever
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2011, 01:02:11 PM »

How are you guys able to find stud pilot wheels so easy?

It took me forever to trace down a set of 24.5" Budd wheels around here in Vancouver. Now the hub pilot 24.5" are everywhere, but the question is, can I grind a chamfer around the bolt holes and use them as stud pilot?
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