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Discussion Starter #1
2017 F350 dually polished aluminum wheels have bimetalic corrosion at the valve stems. I've already had the wheels changed out under warranty once, and the new ones are doing it now. I'm supposed to go Monday and Ford is going to change them again... I've specifically asked what the fix is for this and I'm not getting answers at the dealer. All my digging/ research isn't coming up with much as well.

Has anyone dealt with this or have any idea what can be done to stop this?

Thanks
 

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I don't believe the corrosion here is galvanic in nature though I am sure that can play a role. Aluminum and magnesium wheels corrode due to water and oxygen intrusion of the sealed surface due to any damage and cracks. Many of Ford's machined aluminum wheels exhibit this in different areas of the wheels and aluminum body parts. In this case, the coating on the wheel is compromised at the valve stem bore allowing water to get under the coating and migrate. My guess is the coating is damaged during the installation of the valve stem or the bore is machined after the coating is applied or the application fails to seal the bore effectively. If my memory serves me right, the valve stem is rubberized where it passes through the wheel like any other valve stem and there is not metal to metal contact and there is a rubber gasket if it's a bolt in type. I have changed these rims on prior years once but I honestly can't remember exactly what they are. It is also common to see filiform cracking and corrosion throughout the wheel as it ages and similar corrosion emanating from anywhere clamp on wheel weights are applied - as they too compromise the protective coating. Corrosion around the hub opening and wheel nuts is also predicable. I am afraid the best approach to this is to install a standard rubber valve stem with no metal trim. Personally I don't think they look bad... but that's just my opinion. From my observation over the years no matter what aluminum wheels you have (OEM or aftermarket) eventually you will likely have corrosion problems of some type.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
I believe the valve stem is all part of the TPMS sensor, whether metal or rubber. Im going to try and inspect the new wheels hopefully before the tech mounts them. I hear what you're saying Ford Doc, I just think first off... I'm certainly not the first guy to see this issue, secondly, there should be a viable solution out there. From doing some research, Ford has indeed had an issue with galvanic corrosion of these wheels in the past, as i found information on class action lawsuits on the issue, and it seems the chief complaint was losing tire pressure around the valve stems (likely inside the rim) causing an unsafe tire condition (resulting in accidents or mishaps). Now... whether the issue I'm having is the same (just the beginning stages) or it's like you are saying with clearcoat damage... at this point I certainly dont know.

I appreciate the input, gives me more to think about for sure.
 

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Either way, I definitely know you are not the first and won't be the last.
 

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My '99 aluminum wheels did that in various places, just like ford-doctor described, not around the valve stem, but anywhere a stone chipped the coating. My truck doesn't have TPMS so no issues at the valve stems, as they're rubber coated. I have even refinished a set with Glisten PC (a clear POR 15 product), and they're doing it also. I think even powder coating would exhibit that as it's not impervious to chipping.
A possible fix (or maybe just delaying the issue, realistically) would be to apply a clear coating around the valve stems to reseal the coating where it has been damaged from installation.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I also have an OBS (96) F250 with the alcoa rims. They certainly have a few issues as you guys describe from clear coat damage, and I've seen what you described on many aluminum rims over the years, so i completely understand what ya'll are saying.

If you start googling the issue I'm experiencing, it quickly becomes obvious that this is a known issue. There's plenty of discussion on it (no i didn't realize it prior to starting this post), and to cut to the chase, I'll tell you what i understand the best course of action is going to be.

I'm literally at the dealership as i write this, I of course discussed the issue with them and (I'm here because they orderd new back outer rims again for my truck)... I told them the consensus I got from research was to use rubber valve stems with the TPMS, versus the stainless steel bolted in style. This needs to be done from the start on brand new rims before any corrosion has started. There is quite a history of air leaks from the corrosion (on the inside of the rim at the valve stem sealing area) and the discussion is all about galvanic corrosion (or bimetalic corrosion due to the metal valve stems).
The service manager checked with the techs and they have the rubber ones, so that's what's going on my new rims. They said as long as i was good with it, they were good with it.
So... we'll see as time goes on if this was a wise decision. I'm really hoping so, i don't want to be back here a 3rd time for the same issue. If we don't try something different, it's just going to happen again.

Thoughts?
 
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