Wondering if anyone could share some input. I am debating getting some alum rims for my 03 P71 to replace the steel service wheels, I have found the service wheels plus tires weight about 60lbs each through some forums, alum w tires around 30 -40.
Would this reduction of weight improve millage much?
I live in an area that gets some snow so we have our share of potholes ect. so having the steel would have some benefits, I don't plan on jumping any curbs but one never knows. Obviously the alum will also improve appearance.
I replaced my steel wheels with factory alloy wheels. I never checked for a mileage difference but any weight that can be taken off the car would improve mileage. Here's a good write up on unsprung weight. The cars always felt like they rode smoother with alloy too.
As Bert already stated about the smoothness of ride, most definitely! Less rotational mass and pretty much the same concept they incorporate into high-speed aluminum driveshafts to dramatically reduce drivetrain vibration.
-1992 Ford F-150 (winter truck)
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I encourage you to replace your steelies regardless. The stock steel 16" wheels are prone to cracking at the welds. I've only worked with P71 rims and from 03-05, and I replaced at least one a month for the first six months that I started working at my taxi company. I've seen them split to the point that the wheel had lateral runout that could be measured by over an inch.
One thing I have noticed about the aluminum rims is that they develop slow leaks with greater frequency in areas where salt is used on the roads. I live in Ontario Canada, so lots of salt and sand!! 97 Explorer and 94 CV with Aluminum rims!
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