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  #1  
Old 12-16-2014, 02:59 PM
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stock wheels back on....

Well some weird shit happened to me on Friday. Here's the story:

On my way to Wimberley (Austin area) to my friend's ranch to hunt and drink and eat. Had my 5 month old son in the car as well as my wife. Everything went well for the most part. Cruised at 80. Right before getting to Bastrop I heard a weird creaking sound, looked behind me and saw something in the road...I wasn't sure if I hit it however this thing looked like a loose reflector so it was very small and low. Then I noticed my steering wheel was slightly out of balance. I figured I threw a weight off of a wheel. So we kept driving until we got to Cabelas in Buda. Shopped, and as I was pulling and turning out of the parking lot I heard a very strange noise. My steering wheel became very lose. I went ahead and pulled over. I was thinking one of my HD Sway Bar Links had failed. Looked under the Jeep and all around, couldn't find anything wrong. As I stepped back I saw it. Clean breaks in a few of the spokes on my front driver's side wheel center. HOLY CRAP. My whole family and I could have died.

Talked to the distributor I purchased from. He was professional although he did not sound legitimately concerned about my plight. That's another issue however as he has done at minimum what should be done. He contacted IForged and they agreed to rush build me a new wheel at no charge. However I have to send my old wheel back to confirm it's no road hazard.

So I had my Jeep towed to an Austin Jeep dealership, my friend took my wife and son, and I went to go rent a car. Obviously no spare tire fits and my stock wheels are in Houston. I also run different front and rear offsets so no dice there. Fortunately Enterprise had a pimped out 2015 Suburban so I used that all weekend. Drove back SUnday night, Monday morning came to my office, picked up my stock wheels, and drove back to Jeep in Austin stopping at customers along the way. Got everything mounted up and drove home. Today I dismounted the tire/wheel and shipped it off 2nd day air to IForged.

Now I wait. I've put in writing that I am very concerned about the integrity of the other 3 centers. IForged and my distributor are confident it's a manufacturing defect. I know HRE, IForged, ADV.1, etc. all get their barrels and forging blanks from the same places. This is obviously a forging issue, not a machining issue. I've also confirmed all of the other top wheel companies have had these QC problems. I have experience in manufacturing and understand even the best quality products have issues. Regardless, I'd still prefer all the centers be replaced. I'm going to have them ultra sounded locally to look for weaknesses, if they are solid then I'll let it rest. However, if I find defects and my distributor and IForged do not honor the replacement, I will pursue litigation. I'm hoping they do the right thing and set it straight. Up to this point it looks like they will.

I've never hit any pot holes and all of my wheels are non-bent. What's strange is I've heard a creaking from the left front of my vehicle off and on since I've had the wheels. I never thought anything of it and never made the association. I also noticed that they went out of balance quickly on two occasions after hearing the noise. That's why I thought I had thrown weights. After the last balancing everything has been great. Looking back and knowing what I know now those centers have been weak from the beginning. The reason they went out of balance is because the centers had bent some due to a structural flaw.

A few bits of advice for those going the custom wheel route, talk to distributors and make sure they cover this type of catastrophe. Mine only had a 30 day warranty and seems very disinterested in stepping up if IForged doesn't. IMHO a good company would offer to refund the wheels and take them back in the situation was serious enough. My other advice is DO NOT purchase custom wheels if you cannot afford them. I.e. if you have to sell your stockers to finance the purchase. Keep your stock wheels!!!

One clarification. The barrels were inspected by Discount as well as myself and videod. No bends or any issues. Tire was holding air fine.

Hopefully I'll have a replacement in a few weeks and be rolling clean yet again.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Failed Wheel 1.jpg (212.2 KB, 246 views)
File Type: jpg Failed Wheel 2.jpg (167.6 KB, 221 views)

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  #2  
Old 12-16-2014, 03:23 PM
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Re: Stock Wheels Back On :(

When they went out of balance before, nobody noticed anything funny as they rebalanced the wheels?

I probably wouldn't run the other 3 wheels without X-ray or similar non-destructive fault inspection on them.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:35 PM
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Re: Stock Wheels Back On :(

holy shit. that's fing scary.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:39 PM
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Re: Stock Wheels Back On :(

Very glad you and the family are ok. That type of failure on a wheel would have me extremely worried. Hope everything works out the replacement and 3 other wheels.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:53 PM
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Re: Stock Wheels Back On :(

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Originally Posted by lstowell View Post
When they went out of balance before, nobody noticed anything funny as they rebalanced the wheels?

I probably wouldn't run the other 3 wheels without X-ray or similar non-destructive fault inspection on them.
No. I clean the crap out of the Jeep twice a week on average. I get down and dirty with the wheels. There were no imperfections or anything to indicate a problem. The first two times they were balanced standard techs did it. The last time I started using their touchless tire machine specialist/tech. He said + wheels are more difficult to balance and sometimes you have to use a more thorough method with more steps. He balanced it properly and it drove great for 2 months. It's worth noting that the first two times the wheels were never perfectly balanced so that is another reason no red flags were raised.

An X-ray would also be great although I'm not sure where to find an industrial grade capable of doing so. I know the oil field uses ultra sound to inspect welds so given my contacts that's the direction I'm planning.

I'm not overly angry it happened, as you can search the net and see no explanation HRE cracked centers etc. I don't think this is an IForged problem. My only issue is how concerned they are about my safety. We'll see how they handle this and then I'll pass judgment.
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Old 12-16-2014, 05:20 PM
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Re: Stock Wheels Back On :(

Wow,...that is crazy stuff.
I'm glad you and your family were safe and no one was hurt.
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Old 12-17-2014, 02:14 AM
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Re: Stock Wheels Back On :(

Two words. F##K...that...

Absolutely scary, considering the weight and speed that this vehicle possesses.

Kinda makes one wonder what kept the whole center from failing at that point.

Glad you got lucky and/or it just wasn't meant to turn out horrible for you and the family.
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:37 AM
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Re: Stock Wheels Back On :(

Whoa man. That is scary. Glad it wasn't a catastrophic failure while moving. Keep us posted as to the outcome.


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Old 12-17-2014, 07:08 AM
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Re: Stock Wheels Back On :(

2nd SRT Ive seen this happen to recently. The other was a 14 with similarly designed wheels from forgiato. I just don't think these thin spoke wheels everybody is buying nowadays can take the weight and force needed.
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:18 AM
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Re: Stock Wheels Back On :(

@scott I've been wondering the exact same thing. I raised that issue in my concerned email to the distributor and iForged. As a matter of fact, before I even ordered these wheels I questioned the suitability of these wheels for an SUV application. Their response "all of our wheels are load rated individually for each custom fitment". If I find issues with the other wheels then it's probably safe to say they are not suitable. I do have 7 spokes however and with my limited engineering knowledge they should be strong enough
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:37 AM
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Re: Stock Wheels Back On :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by A-kon View Post
@scott I've been wondering the exact same thing. I raised that issue in my concerned email to the distributor and iForged. As a matter of fact, before I even ordered these wheels I questioned the suitability of these wheels for an SUV application. Their response "all of our wheels are load rated individually for each custom fitment". If I find issues with the other wheels then it's probably safe to say they are not suitable. I do have 7 spokes however and with my limited engineering knowledge they should be strong enough

I would think that with as much as these things cost they would run an FEA on the design as part of the engineering process but that may just be wishful thinking. Just my 02.




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Old 12-17-2014, 09:58 AM
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Re: Stock Wheels Back On :(

Man, that is some scary stuff. I've always had that fear in the back of my mind concerning thin-spoke wheels. Also, I wonder how much engineering and FEA some of these wheel companies really do. I'm not saying iForged is to blame or even speaking about them...just thin-spoked wheels in general. Regardless, glad you and your family are ok and that you caught it when you did!
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