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I was out with a friend the other day in a newer Chevy Trail Blazer with OEM aluminum wheels and we experienced a flat. There was no puncture in the tire and the bead was intact. The cause was a crack in the rim. The crack was on the backside inside of the wheel. We were off-road and the ground was soft to firm mud and hardpack dirt. This puzzled me. I've never heard of this happening. When I explained this to another friend he said that the driver probably hit something hard (ie. a curb) while driving in the city (since the vehicle is predominantly driven on pavement). This got me to wondering about the strength and integrity of Jeep OEM cast aluminum wheels. Has anyone heard of this type of wheel failure or experienced it themselves? If so, what caused it?
 

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That is wierd............I wonder if it was a problem with the casting of the rim from the manufacture. I have never heard of such a thing.
 

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Sounds to me like a bubble or other imperfection in the cast aluminum. Any casting problems are easily identified if there is a failure so any issues (with any manufacturer) should be covered under warrantee. I think if your buddy hit anything on the street hard enough to crack an unflawed rim it probably would have destroyed it in the process.
 
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It sounds like a flaw in the casting, could have been anything from a bubble, to a bad mix. Any damage from the street or trail hard enough to crack a rim would be evident on the rim. Did you see anything that would indicate this? The only other thoughts I would have is that they were damaged in the mounting of a tire, not to likely, but possible.

Ron
 
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Any damage from the street or trail hard enough to crack a rim would be evident on the rim. Did you see anything that would indicate this?
Not at all. The front end got stuck in the mud. We threw a tow strap on it and yanked it out. At that time we saw the flat on the front tire and swapped in the spare. Upon later attempting to repair the tire is when we discovered the air escaping from the backside of the wheel. I haven't heard from him yet about whether his dealership is going to warranty the wheel. I have some concern as to the dealership's position when they see evidence of mud in and around the springs and brake rotors --- with some of the stories I've read about dealerships declining to warranty some off-road issues (I told him to clean it up as best as he could).
 

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Jeep prides themselves on the quality of their rims. Most cast rims would not stand up to Jeep's testing. That said, any cast rim can be cracked if you hit it hard enough, and I doubt a delaer woud cover the replacement unless there was visible evidence of a flaw such as a bubble inside the wheel.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Ancient history, but when cast wheels came out this was pretty common. You'd crack the rim when you bonked something aired down, generally. Curbs would even do it if you were low. It didn't take much. We all thought the aftermarket casts were lighter, stronger and cooler looking than the heavy, cast OEMs. As it turned out OEMs took abuse better. The factorys did their homework (but were constrained by cost - weight). We went to steel because of it and sucked up the weight. Mickey Thompsons are the only ones that exist anymore of the earlier casts that I can think of.

To the point, it's probably a production imperfection of some sort, as mentioned.

BTW: Nice forum Justin!
 

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Plenty of junky cast wheels at the local tire store. Some of them are so bad you can see the flaws right on the backside of the wheel.
Most of them say in their literature that they are not for 4wd use, but there's a couple of trucks around with them anyway.
 
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Some of them are so bad you can see the flaws right on the backside of the wheel.
Most of them say in their literature that they are not for 4wd use, but there's a couple of trucks around with them anyway.
That erks me. The "image" that some of the manufacturers portray is ridiculous. They come out with "off-road" versions of their vehicles and few of them if any even meet these claims. As it was pointed out to me by a fellow Jeeper, "if you think Jeep make poor off-road factory parts, just have a look at the skid plates on any X-Terra, Escape, RAV4 and any other of the competitions offerings. I'll guarantee that the Jeep part is superior as far as OEM parts go." I just never thought that the wheels were such a weak item (not referring to the Jeep wheels). "Off-road", my a$$! Long live Jeep. :D :D
 
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