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1999-2007 General Questions General questions related to 1999-2007 Super Duty trucks. If it doesn't fit the other categories, post it here. Gas engine discussion that pertains to all models is allowed. Specific gas engine questions should use the Gas Engines forum.

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Old 03-19-2009, 01:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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front and rear dually wheels - why different?

The title pretty much sums it all up. Why are the front and rear dually wheels different? I know the lug bore diameters are larger in the rear preventing the fronts from going in the rears but why is that?
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Old 03-19-2009, 06:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I will be watching this thread to see what the experts have to say. I have a dually and I thought all 6 wheels were interchangable.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm not an expert, but I've read a lot, and here's what I understand:

With stock steel dually wheels, there is no difference. The fronts can be used on the back, and the back can be used on the front. You must turn the wheels inside or outside, depending on which position you want to mount the wheel. But any wheel will fit any position.

But with fancy aluminum wheels, you get four aluminum wheels for the outside positions, plus two steel wheels for the inside dual positions, plus one steel wheel for the spare. Ford finished only one side of the aluminum wheel. So you can still put front or rear on either the rear or front positions, but when you turn them right the ugly side will be facing out.

And you cannot put two aluminum wheels on one hub, so the rear hubs must always have at least one steel wheel. So even though your steel inside rear wheel will fit on the front, you can't put it there because it has to go with one aluminum wheel on the rear hub.

Why did they do that?

Money. Finishing both sides of the aluminum rims would cost more.

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I know the lug bore diameters are larger in the rear preventing the fronts from going in the rears but why is that?
I suspect you are misinformed. The front and rear wheels have exactly the same specs. For a '99-'04 models, the front and rear hole pattern is 8 on 170mm, 5.35" nominal offset, on a 16"x6" rim. For '05-up models, the hole pattern is 8 on 200mm, 5.55" nominal offset, on a 17"x6.5" rim.

As somewhat of a proof, your dually came with a steel spare wheel and tire. That spare will fit in any position on your truck, although it may not look great if you replace one of your aluminum rims with it. So if you have a flat on a tire either front or rear, inside or outside dual, the spare will replace the flat tire until you can get it repaired.
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Old 03-19-2009, 07:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for clearing it up. I have 6 steel wheels so I can move them around at will. If it weren't for the roll-a-long chrome covers they would be powdercoated by now
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Then why are the wheels marked front and rear? I tried once getting the front wheel on the rear and it wouldn't go.

I do agree with you regarding the polishing, that makes sense.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Then why are the wheels marked front and rear? I tried once getting the front wheel on the rear and it wouldn't go.
My OEM wheels are marked the same way, but I have rotated the fronts to the rear and vice versa without any problem. The inside steel wheels on the rear always stay put
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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"And you cannot put two aluminum wheels on one hub, so the rear hubs must always have at least one steel wheel. So even though your steel inside rear wheel will fit on the front, you can't put it there because it has to go with one aluminum wheel on the rear hub."


So let's say your steel spare is gone but you have another aluminum wheel acting as your spare. You can't put it on the rear? Is the wheel too thick?
Good to know, thanks. I guess I have to rethink my spare situation.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have heard of several people putting aluminum wheels on the rear inners to save a little more weight, and mostly bragging rights, so I gotta think they can and will fit.

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Then why are the wheels marked front and rear? I tried once getting the front wheel on the rear and it wouldn't go.
Is your truck's suspension/driveline all stock? Are you the original owner?
I think since the dawn of the dually, that the wheels fit front and rear. That's the reason for the hub adapter spacer thingy on the front hub. At least that's what I thought up 'till now.
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'll let ya know if and when I get a flat If I can get two aluminum wheels on the stock rear hub/axle. That's assuming I can get the dern wheel off! Anyhow nother topic I know for sure, but wheel is frozen on there nice and tight.

Thanks
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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[quote=Dauntless;1706975]Then why are the wheels marked front and rear? I tried once getting the front wheel on the rear and it wouldn't go.

I'm not a dually guy, but if the wheels are only polished on one side, then wouldn't it make sense that the front wheels must stay on the front, and the rears on the rear, since if you try to switch them you'll be hiding the polished face?
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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[quote=andrewbalser;1717464]
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Originally Posted by Dauntless View Post
Then why are the wheels marked front and rear? I tried once getting the front wheel on the rear and it wouldn't go.

I'm not a dually guy, but if the wheels are only polished on one side, then wouldn't it make sense that the front wheels must stay on the front, and the rears on the rear, since if you try to switch them you'll be hiding the polished face?
Yeah, but if they were different you'd have to have two spares.
I have used my spare on the front and the rear.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, in year 2000 I asked a couple of Alcoa engineers about this question. They make the wheel for Ford, to Ford spec's. They told me there is NO difference, other then the front rims are clear-coated over the polish on the outside, & the rear rims are clear-coated on the inside. ALL other demensions are the same. There is NO reason you cannot put front on rear & vice versa.

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Old 04-12-2009, 07:14 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I don't want to cast doubt on the Alcoa guys, as I believe they are correct about fitment, but mine aren't clear coated on either side. They are polished on one side, and look like crap on the other, but neither side is clear coated.
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Alcoa rims made for Ford have come in at least three different finishes. Some were "polished", some were clear coat, and some were painted - such as the King Ranch rims.

Way back in May, 1999, mine were polished. They still look good after 10 years, but they could use a little elbow grease.
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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OK. Just passing on what I was told by the guys who should know. As a matter of fact the one engineer I spoke too handled the Ford account. I can always stand to be corrected. Opinions are just like you know what. Everybody has one.

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