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Old 01-17-2015, 10:58 AM
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Opinion please - repair rim or buy new?

I have a 2012 Overland with the 20" stock wheels. Right around Thanksgiving I started to develop a slow leak in one of my tires. Had 45,000 miles on the Jeep with the original Fortera's. They were well worn and ready for replacement. I figured I had a pinhole in the tire and time had come to replace them.

I outfitted the Jeep with Terra Grappler G2's. Wow what a difference in ride stability! However, a week or so later I noticed one of the tires was low again. Dangit!!! Went back to the shop and spent more hours waiting. They pulled the wheel apart, put in a new valve stem, gooped up the rim with sealant and replaced the tire. The shop owner said I should be good to go.

However, a week later that tire / rim is going flat again. Crud!!!

I currently have the vehicle at the dealer having recall work done to it. I asked the mechanic to check out the wheel. He found a hairline crack inside the rim. Dealer says they'll replace the Rim + labor for $650. Double crud!!! Seems mighty pricey.

I looked up how much rims would cost via various sources found with google search. I could get a used rim in new condition for around $400 shipped. But then need to pay someone to put it back together. Still going to be expensive.

A local shop advertised they repair rims. The gentlemen I talked to on the phone seemed very informative and said he could repair (weld the crack)the rim for $95. Seems much more reasonable. The cracked rim is in like new condition.

My question. I do a lot of highway driving. Will the wheel be stable / safe? I don't want to risk harming myself, my kids, or others because I wanted to save a few bucks. if you have some experience in the matter I would appreciate hearing your opinion.

Thanks

Gerb

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  #2  
Old 01-17-2015, 11:09 AM
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Re: Opinion please - repair rim or buy new?

Personally, I'd be a little leery of a weld repair on an aluminum wheel.

There are plenty of websites that offer used or reproduction OEM wheels for less than a factory replacement.

One source you could start with is a vendor here on the forum...
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Old 01-17-2015, 02:46 PM
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Re: Opinion please - repair rim or buy new?

You could get a take off on ebay as well if you don't find something here. Just make sure your getting the same finish as your other wheels.

Original 20" Jeep Grand Cherokee Wheel Rim Factory Stock 9107 | eBay
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Old 01-18-2015, 11:35 PM
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Re: Opinion please - repair rim or buy new?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaForester View Post
You could get a take off on ebay as well if you don't find something here. Just make sure your getting the same finish as your other wheels.

Original 20" Jeep Grand Cherokee Wheel Rim Factory Stock 9107 | eBay
Thank you all for your advice.

If this wheel were bent, dinged, or notably damaged I wouldn't be having this conversation. I'd just replace it. Christ, you should see the massively damaged rims people are repairing on Youtube. They are nearly split in half. However, mine is no where near that extreme of a case.

I inspected the rim myself after the tech pointed out what he saw. Literally a hardly visible 1/4" crack on the interior surface of the rim close to the rim wall (1/2" from the tire sealing surface). This could be a result of a weak zone due to porosity in the Aluminum casting process. He would literally need to lay a small bead in the area affected --> grind it flat --> mount and rebalance the tire --> job done.

I have the money to go either way. But as an engineer I just don't want to waste it out of ignorance. I want to understand the topic and make a sound decision. After researching the topic over the weekend I'm confident If I were to replace this rim it would be sold to a repair shop, corrected, then re-sold to one of us on Ebay. Why should I fund such an activity?

Everything I have learned in my career says this repair will be fine. However, there is always the unexpected. I was hoping someone had a similar experience and could comment on there findings accordingly.

Regards,

Gerb
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:49 AM
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Re: Opinion please - repair rim or buy new?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerbermultit00l View Post
Thank you all for your advice.

If this wheel were bent, dinged, or notably damaged I wouldn't be having this conversation. I'd just replace it. Christ, you should see the massively damaged rims people are repairing on Youtube. They are nearly split in half. However, mine is no where near that extreme of a case.

I inspected the rim myself after the tech pointed out what he saw. Literally a hardly visible 1/4" crack on the interior surface of the rim close to the rim wall (1/2" from the tire sealing surface). This could be a result of a weak zone due to porosity in the Aluminum casting process. He would literally need to lay a small bead in the area affected --> grind it flat --> mount and rebalance the tire --> job done.

I have the money to go either way. But as an engineer I just don't want to waste it out of ignorance. I want to understand the topic and make a sound decision. After researching the topic over the weekend I'm confident If I were to replace this rim it would be sold to a repair shop, corrected, then re-sold to one of us on Ebay. Why should I fund such an activity?

Everything I have learned in my career says this repair will be fine. However, there is always the unexpected. I was hoping someone had a similar experience and could comment on there findings accordingly.

Regards,

Gerb
Just have it repaired. You should see the wheels I've gotten repaired in my lifetime and they turned out fine no leaks/vibration issues. Your case sounds like a cake walk compared to the damage mine have had.
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:34 AM
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Re: Opinion please - repair rim or buy new?

You yourself stated this in your OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerbermultit00l View Post
My question. I do a lot of highway driving. Will the wheel be stable / safe? I don't want to risk harming myself, my kids, or others because I wanted to save a few bucks. if you have some experience in the matter I would appreciate hearing your opinion.
If this what your thinking, it's a no-brainer to me to replace it. I'm not sure what your implying about ebay. There are a thousands of listings for jeep owners that simply replace their rims from the getgo and put them for sale. The vast majority are legit. You can get screwed anywhere. Half the posts in this sub-forum are about people changing rims and/or tires and they resell there old ones and the vast majority aren't repaired.
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:34 AM
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Re: Opinion please - repair rim or buy new?

Greetings,

When you have to weld with Aluminum, very few welders get it right and we are not talking about a tack weld. I serious doubt that shop has somebody who is a specialist and have the correct welding equipment. Remember, the rim is subject an enormous amount of stress and that says it all with Aluminum.

As fellow member MDBones advise goes, follow it. Your safety is much more important especially since you have to be on the highway the majority of the time.

Best for now.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:04 PM
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Re: Opinion please - repair rim or buy new?

This is why you might want to look into buying: • ROAD HAZARD TIRE AND WHEEL - 7 YEARS (Option Code: RHTW7N Form Num: RHW1012). This is a Mopar Service Contract that covers both your tires and wheels for 7 years even if you replace them with aftermarket during the Service Contract. As far as I know you can buy this Service Contract at any time during your ownership of the vehicle. I bought mine from Zeigler at the same time I bought my Lifetime Service Contract. I don't remember the exact cost right now but seems like it was less than $300. I figured living in Michigan with our winters and famous pot holes this was a no brainer.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:09 PM
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Re: Opinion please - repair rim or buy new?

Yes, it could be repaired. If it was me, no, I'd buy a new one. After all it is a rim, not trim!!
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