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  1. #1
    MIARider's Avatar
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    Upgrading trailer wheels

    Im looking at upgrading the wheels on my trailer to something bigger and better like some 13" car wheels. Any of you guys running something similar ?


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIARider View Post
    I'm looking at upgrading the wheels on my trailer to something bigger and better like some 13" car wheels.
    Trailer wheels have one specification that you need to match if you're going to use car wheels. The offset (distance from the vertical centerline of the tire to the face of the axle hub) is zero. The center of the tread is right in line with the face of the hub, so no offset loads are applied to the trailer axle wheel bearings.

    Many car wheels have offsets other than zero, especially wheels for front wheel drive cars. These are not a good choice for a trailer.

    ST specification trailer tires are designed for the abuse a trailer tire gets (curb hits, pot holes at speed, and the rougher ride characteristics of a basic leaf spring type suspensions, no shock absorbers, etc).

    The ST (Special, Trailer) tire sidewalls are stiffer and tougher than car tires.

    ST tires are weight rated for trailer duty, and replacements are generally available wherever trailer servicing is available.

    What you CAN do is install larger, or higher weight rated (not the same thing) ST trailer tires. This is a common upgrade. Make sure the larger tires won't hit the fenders under full suspension compression (big bump in the road at speed).

    That said, some people do use car or truck wheels and/or tires on their trailers. I have no experience doing so.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by MIARider View Post
    Im looking at upgrading the wheels on my trailer to something bigger and better like some 13" car wheels. Any of you guys running something similar ?
    ditto on K`s reply...

    have a look for some wheels/tires here to get an idea. This is where I got the 12 in alum wheels and 12" radials.

    www.trailertiresandwheels.com

  4. #4
    MIARider's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, and that was some good info there K. I wonder if the salt water would affect belted tires aswell ?

  5. #5
    Click avatar for tech links/info, donation request K447's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIARider View Post
    Thanks guys, and that was some good info there K.
    I wonder if the salt water would affect belted tires as well ?
    Salt water shouldn't affect the rubber tires much (steel belted, radial, bias ply, doesn't matter), especially if you rinse them down afterwards.

    Salt water CAN affect trailer wheels. For salt water, you want galvanized steel wheels, or aluminum, not just painted steel wheels.

    Galvanized steel puts up with road and launch ramp abuse better than aluminum. Aluminum will never rust, but it can corrode, especially where the clear coat gets scratched off.

    Salt water means the entire trailer will want thorough fresh water rinsing, and frequent inspections of all the steel nuts, bolts, springs, etc.

    I strongly suggest you install (if you don't have them already), Bearing Buddy type grease caps on the trailer bearings. I use Kodiak Red-Eye, but there are several good brands available. These keep the grease under slight positive spring pressure, so that water cannot work its way into the wheel bearings while the trailer is in the water.

    Every so often, take the time to loosen, then tighten (with a torque wrench) each trailer wheel lug nut (one at a time). This prevents the nuts from rusting solid onto the wheel studs.

    Some people put an anti-seize compound on the wheel studs, but I am not sure what that does to the effective bolt stress when torqued, so I don't do it myself.
    Last edited by K447; 04-30-2008 at 09:35 PM.

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