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My Nightmare Experience After Fitting New Alloy Wheels In Sri Lanka


edsal
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I wanted to plus size my 4x4 SUV with four new 20-inch alloy wheels an upgrade from my original 17-inch alloy wheels. After shopping around I found a shop in Colombo which sells nice alloy wheels plus 4 brand new tyres fitted/balanced for a price of Rs 4,50000 (Rupees four and a half lakhs) and here my nightmare began.

1. My vehicle is almost new ran silky smooth now started to wobble and vibrate above 80 Kmph specially on roads like Colombo to Galle freeway, Also the vehicle felt like it wanted to jump out of my hands on certain bumpy roads.

2. I went back to the shop and they tried to remount the tyres and balance, balance and balance with no result. They even sent me to many leading tyre/wheel specialists in Colombo also I went to a place recommended in the Autolanka forum as Road wheel experts in Boralasgamuwa with zero result. The best part was none of these expert places could tell me exactly what was wrong but only lot of guess talk and trial and error.

3. I managed contact few alloy wheel dealers from overseas they advised me to check the fitted alloy wheels for Hub centric Vs Lug centric design. Behold I discovered this shop had sold me “Lug centric alloy wheels with a large center bore not suitable for my vehicle.

4. Subsequently I had to import a set of Hub centric rings from overseas as well as accepting another set of alloy wheels (supplied by the same shop, not of my choice/selection) in order to rectify this problem.

5. The morale of this storey to the Dear Auto Lanka members is that I spent weeks wasting my time, effort and money now stuck with something I am not entirely satisfied due lack of technical knowledge or any support of the these people who sell alloy wheels in Sri Lanka.

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It's also a complete lack of technical knowledge of what you're buying on your part. If you're gonna spend half a million just do some research online to see what gives. You would've noticed in your search of alloys that very very few places in Sri Lanka stocked 20" alloys. As the diameter gets bigger they get harder and harder to balance simply because most of our balancing/alignment places are not equipped to handle such alloys.

I'm guessing the alloy place just saw a good opportunity to sell some goods they had gathering dust in the stores to the first guy who came along asking for them.

The next time you make a drastic change to the driving dynamics of your car, have a look around first. Post a query/search here. Google always helps. Read some forums. There will always be someone who went through this and suffered the consequences. And you'd have a wealth of knowledge on your intended purchase. And it won't cost you 400k. Won't cost you anything!

And remember too that this isn't the us of a. Sometimes these radical changes might not be suitable for our roads. But that being said I'm not one to comment I just slammed my car 3" off the ground. And I have no issues to date!

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Those who checked your wheels for dynamic balance may have gone wrong when they fitted a lug-centric wheel to the standard conical hub of the wheel balancing rig which is meant for hub-centric wheels. The other thing is lug-centric wheels can be substituted for hub-centric wheels with a spacer. Anyway thank you for sharing your experience.

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All i see are numbers... 20 inch and 450,000!!!! Jeez!!!!

Why would anyone play with those numbers? In Sri Lanka, anything above 16/17 is too much! We dont have the roads for them nor the proper tech support... heck... I was in a tyre shop recentluy and there was a guy in a EvoX asking the tyre shop for used 18 inch tyres.

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All i see are numbers... 20 inch and 450,000!!!! Jeez!!!!

Why would anyone play with those numbers? In Sri Lanka, anything above 16/17 is too much! We dont have the roads for them nor the proper tech support... heck... I was in a tyre shop recentluy and there was a guy in a EvoX asking the tyre shop for used 18 inch tyres.

Dude seriously???

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Those who checked your wheels for dynamic balance may have gone wrong when they fitted a lug-centric wheel to the standard conical hub of the wheel balancing rig which is meant for hub-centric wheels. The other thing is lug-centric wheels can be substituted for hub-centric wheels with a spacer. Anyway thank you for sharing your experience.

Hi Rumesh88,

Your are very correct but these people who sell these shiny alloy wheels in SL knows jackshit about them nor they can support what they sell! Only big talk and it is like one blind following another blind!

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Thanks for sharing that info. Honestly I got to know about those hub centric and lug centric wheels today thanks for AL.

I've read on Internet bit. It seems spacers are required for my wheels too specially for front (for rear, I think it fixing or am I wrong? Why I say that is because rear hub cap is bit difficult to fix)

I don't know why they (JJ Lk) didn't fix it or am I clueless? Any place to buy those? At the moment, I feel no issues.

Edited by Charith H Jayasinghe
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Hi Rumesh88,

Your are very correct but these people who sell these shiny alloy wheels in SL knows jackshit about them nor they can support what they sell! Only big talk and it is like one blind following another blind!

No offense machang, but you cant blame the seller for being bold... buyer should use the brains a bit also, right?

A fool and his money can easily be parted... :)

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Now that's being cheap! Chinese 17's go for 15 a pop. Brand new

IMO, i'd take a used non-chinese branded tire (provided it has even wear & is within 3yrs of its D.O.M) over a brand new chinky tire anyday

Not saying tires like Maaxxis are bed (used 2 sets!) - its just that there is a marked difference between the overall performance of those & of better designed/built tires ; from everything ranging from mileage, grip, resilience, composition, ride quality etc etc etc

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1. Also the vehicle felt like it wanted to jump out of my hands on certain bumpy roads.

No wonder mate! By going from 16inch to 20inch now you've got less rubber on the side walls to absorb bumps.

And just in case you used to take your SUV a bit of off-roading before, better off not doing that anymore with your new 20" wheels, unless you wanted to run the risk of ripping apart your suspension and a host of other problems.

Edited by HardHat
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No wonder mate! By going from 16inch to 20inch now you've got less rubber on the side walls to absorb bumps.

And just in case you used to take your SUV a bit of off-roading before, better off not doing that anymore with your new 20" wheels, unless you wanted to run the risk of ripping apart your suspension and a host of other problems.

Like damaging those half a million rupee rims.... :)

What is the SUV BTW... I hope its not a Mahendra Scorpio or something.

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First off thanks for sharing the experience. learned about the lug centric/hub centric issue :)

I'd echo what Komisiripala said, you should've done way more research than just relying on the shop. I was trying to do the same with my Wrangler and luckily there are a lot of forums and a huge selection of model specific choices to chose from.

What's your SUV btw? With 20"s on, you can forget about ever leaving the tarmac. Honestly, I would've stuck with 17"s (even stock wheels) and gone for a wider tyre with a more aggressive tread pattern. Would give a more muscular look than the pimped-out look. Not to mention it would actually increase your vehicle's capability.

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First off thanks for sharing the experience. learned about the lug centric/hub centric issue :) I'd echo what Komisiripala said, you should've done way more research than just relying on the shop. I was trying to do the same with my Wrangler and luckily there are a lot of forums and a huge selection of model specific choices to chose from. What's your SUV btw? With 20"s on, you can forget about ever leaving the tarmac. Honestly, I would've stuck with 17"s (even stock wheels) and gone for a wider tyre with a more aggressive tread pattern. Would give a more muscular look than the pimped-out look. Not to mention it would actually increase your vehicle's capability.

nah. he just pimpin' possibly compensatin'

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Don't blame yourself for wanting bigger rims.I know people who spent nearly 1mil putting in those american bling rims to their SUVs.'Wheels maketh the car' as they say.Don't mind the haters,Infact the people hating on you probably can't afford anything bigger than 15s...

Having said that you could have been a bit smarter and done some research my friend.But whats done is done.

You say you don't like the replacement wheels either.Are they 20" too?...If so,Let me know if you plan on selling them via PM.

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Don't blame yourself for wanting bigger rims.I know people who spent nearly 1mil putting in those american bling rims to their SUVs.'Wheels maketh the car' as they say.Don't mind the haters,Infact the people hating on you probably can't afford anything bigger than 15s...

Having said that you could have been a bit smarter and done some research my friend.But whats done is done.

You say you don't like the replacement wheels either.Are they 20" too?...If so,Let me know if you plan on selling them via PM.

:sport-smiley-004:

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while a set of large diameter wheels and low profile tires do improve the looks (and if done correctly - the handling as well) of a high performance car, they make most SUVs look stupid, IMHO

True that! The only SUV I've seen that actually looks good with bigger wheels is the Grand Cherokee SRT8. The Escalades kind of pull off the mirror polished big ones. Other than that bigger rims look much better on low slung sports cars.

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