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Old 03-26-2014, 07:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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little red wagon - '08 ford ranger xl reg. cab
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steel vs alloy wheels

Is there a mpg gain to be had switching from steel to aluminum wheels? The ones I'm looking to get weigh about 8lbs lighter per wheel.

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Old 03-26-2014, 07:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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With no dollar consideration go w the weight reduction
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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there is a thread on here that experimented with the relationship between weight and mpg.

Long story short....for every 100 lbs you lose in weight, you gain 1 mpg.
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Old 03-26-2014, 08:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedi_sol View Post
there is a thread on here that experimented with the relationship between weight and mpg.

Long story short....for every 100 lbs you lose in weight, you gain 1 mpg.
keep in mind this is on the weight of the vehicle minus the wheels. The lighter wheels will net 1mpg at a lower weight(not sure on the weight) and will help with city driving, on the highway it would probably be negligible.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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little red wagon - '08 ford ranger xl reg. cab
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What about on hills? I drive 70 miles daily and I'm either going up or down. No level ground
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The difference won't be measurable on a Ranger, but if you can get them cheap enough, I'd go alloy since acceleration and handling will also be slightly improved. I'd probably mount snow tires on the steelies and fuel efficient tires on the alloys so that they can be swapped easily as needed.

The longer you keep the vehicle, the more the investment in alloys pays off. Get the alloys used and you can sell them for what you paid for them when you go to sell the truck.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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When I swap between alloys and steel on my car I can't tell any differences. The tires are a bigger factor in ride and handling.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craveman85 View Post
Is there a mpg gain to be had switching from steel to aluminum wheels? The ones I'm looking to get weigh about 8lbs lighter per wheel.
Theoretically, maybe. Practically? No.

But the alloys will make the car look sexier.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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What other differences are there in the wheels and what tires will be on each? Width of tire and weight of tire counts. Diameter of wheel counts. Eight pounds per wheel can be multiplied by 2 or even 4, depending. That's because it is rotational mass. So your're looking possible at a 64-128 pound *effect* from lighter wheels. And as long as long as you don't cancel that out with heavier, wider, stickier tires, you could see a modest benefit. BUT... if you compou d the benefit by getting same weight or lighter tires, narrower, and of the low rolling reststance grade... even more benefit.... check tirerack.com extensively.
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Old 03-26-2014, 10:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'd be running the same tire I run now. Same tire in winter and summer. Sadly it's a commercial traction tire. It's aggressive but it's a hard compound and gets better mpg than snow tires but obviously not max mpg. For my uses I really can't switch wheels and tires as needed. I'm running MasterCraft courser ct 235/75r15

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