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OEM Alloys

Discussion in 'Tyres & Alloys' started by johnny, May 1, 2012.

  1. johnny

    johnny Regolare

    Messages:
    437
    Greater Noida
    Greater Noida
    Grande Punto 1.3
    Immediately after I bought the Punto, I invested in an extra OEM alloy. I made it the steppney, and got rid of the steel rim steppney.

    In retrospect, it was not a bad decision. When I did my last wheel rotation, during the wheel balancing, I was informed that I had one alloy which had a bent rim. I replaced it with the steppney.

    In Mumbai, while I was inquiring about Sun Protection Films, I also asked if there was someone who could 'repair' a bent alloy. I was told that there were some guys near Alankar theater (kumarwada). So, I decided to give it a shot. Since I was told that the area was quite congested, I got the tyre removed from the rim, and took the rim with me in a taxi (the place is quite close to Colaba). After reaching the place and asking around, I was told that this job was done by some of the welders (this lane has welding shops). At one shop, I was told that one gas welder could do the job. When I spoke with the chap, he told me that he had done this earlier. So, I decided to take my chances with him. We agreed upon a price of Rs 400/- for the job.

    He heated the bent part for a while, and then hammered it with a wooden rod. After doing this for a few times, he had managed to straighten the bent part without cracking it. It seemed an OK job. So I took it back, mounted the tyre, and took the wheel for balancing. The guys doing the balancing advised me against using this wheel for regular use since (a) The wheel required about 140 gms to balance & (b) While the bent was straightened out, the rim was not really circular, but had become slightly elliptical - you could see the tyre bobbing up & down on the balancing rig.

    So, I thought about the matter, especially in view of the long drives I do regularly, and decided that a new alloy was required.

    I remember reading about Kava Motors in Mumbai for Fiat spares. I got the address & tele No from one of the posts on TFI & contacted them. They had alloys in stock, and they quoted Rs 6500/= per alloy (Fiat charges nearly Rs 11000/= for each). Kava motors is close to Churchgate rly station, and is close to Colaba. So, I went there and picked up the alloy. One point that struck me is that the shop is really small - the frontage was just about the same as a Pan shop.

    I have put the new alloy as steppney, and will decide on whether to substitute it for regular use during the next rotation (depending whether any other alloy is deformed).

    The point that emerges is that while alloy 'repair' is possible, it is an "iffy" affair, and a new alloy may be the only way out. This point will have to be factored in by individuals opting for 16" or 17" rims with lower profile tyres - the possibility of rim damage increases with lower profile tyres.

    Regards
    Johnny
    1 person likes this.
  2. clash81

    clash81 Regolare

    Messages:
    398
    Bangalore
    i think there are some members who have de-bent their alloys in the forum. Even my alloys have slight bent, i have moved them to the rear.
  3. theblack

    theblack Esperto

    Messages:
    2,188
    Bangalore
    This is interesting.. Why are alloys so prone to damages than steel wheels..
    Alloys are made from Magnesium and Aluminium mixes (with other things, AFAIK)
    Also they typically should have the same strength, if not more when compared against their steel counterparts.

    I've just seen so many folks complaining about alloy wheel bends..
    Is it that all wheels bent are alloys or all alloy-'ed wheels are bending ?
    This is a scary scenario.
    I've not heard such stories (in such huge numbers) when it comes to steel wheels...
  4. johnny

    johnny Regolare

    Messages:
    437
    Greater Noida
    Greater Noida
    Grande Punto 1.3
    @theblack, & @clash81,

    I think that both alloys & steel rims can get bent. However, it is quite easy to straighten steel rims by hammering the bent area. There is no fear of it breaking. It is also possible check the degree of repair, and make additional repairs if required - something like adjusting a cycle rim. You cannot do this with an alloy. If you hammer it when cold, it will crack. So, it has to be heated, and then hammered very gently using a wooden mallet/rod to avoid cracking it. It is also not really feasible to check the degree of repair & make additional repairs like for a steel rim.

    Secondly, I am not too sure whether the alloy rim will retain structural strength after the heating process. If I remember correctly, the Car manual says that the alloys should not be subjected to heat. You could check the manual about this aspect.

    The third point is that rim damage is more likely with low profile tyres. I do not think that anybody will fit low profile tyres on steel rims.

    So, at the end of the day, alloys have this problem, especially on the type of roads we have in India. Fitting low profile tyres will only add to the problem - necessitated if you go in for 16 or 17" rims. In fact, I was discussing with the guy who did the balancing. According to him bent alloys was quite a common problem he came across, irrespective of the make of the car.

    I tend to agree with MOD Gurjinder that the most practical alloy size for the Punto for Indian roads is 14", coupled with 185/70 tyres in order to maintain the wheel diameter.

    Regards
    Johnny
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  5. clash81

    clash81 Regolare

    Messages:
    398
    Bangalore
    If my crude knowledge is anything to go by, ideally alloys should crack, if they are to get damaged. Fiat alloys dont crack but they bend. This could be because there is more steel than alloy in the alloy wheel.
  6. puntolover

    puntolover Novizio

    Messages:
    35
    Bangalore
    Hi,

    Punto alloys are prone to bent while hitting path holes edge to alloy edge at high speed, it was happened to me while i returning from wayanad, it was unavoidable at 120+ speed, front right rim was hit & within next 1km tyre became flat, i changed tyre to spare wheel, Bent alloy was repaired at the entrance shop of siddaiah road, bangalore.
  7. anrad73

    anrad73 Amatore

    Messages:
    70
    Thane, India
    I understand that this is a common problem with the Alloys in FIAT, Polo, Vento and the old Jetta since these alloys come from the same Manufacturer.
  8. Relativity

    Relativity Superiore

    Messages:
    853
    Chennai
    Slightly OT, but my alloys are covered in Brake dust. is that normal? Is it because i drive very high speeds and then use brakes a lot?
  9. theblack

    theblack Esperto

    Messages:
    2,188
    Bangalore
    I agree with you..
    My point was not to say that steel wheels are 100% safe, what i wanted to say was that its safer than alloys in indian conditions.

    Also I've heard that FIAT alloys though look strong are not really all that great (its just what i've heard).
    Adding to this, driving in india is as such stressful enough for many .. I think i can make do without the added stress of an alloy bending when i go over a hump.
    I'll just stick to steel wheels for a long time to come i guess.

    Its perfectly normal , when you apply brakes the grinding action of the pads against the rotors releases dust, unfortunately its a bit more than usual because of the nature of the brake pads being used by FIAT.
    Dont worry about it until you hear a squeaking noise upon gradual braking and that's when its time to change the pads.
    1 person likes this.

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