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Dually Wheel Fitment

November 4th, 2009

0809_st_fit_front_thumbMore and more, dually trucks are being used not only as tow pigs but insane show vehicles as well. The quest to stuff the largest wheels possible under the fenders has also been growing, and custom dually wheel companies have stepped up to meet customer demand.

More and more, dually trucks are being used not only as tow pigs but insane show vehicles as well. The quest to stuff the largest wheels possible under the fenders has also been growing. However, simply bolting a set of 22s and some low profile tires is not as easy on a dually as it is on most other trucks. Most cast wheel companies limit their production sizes to 16- or 17-inch dually wheels. Custom dually wheel companies stepped in to pick up the slack where other wheel companies had left off. These custom dually wheel companies set about looking for ways to adapt the much larger semi-truck wheels to fit on their own haulers. These wheels are one-piece forged aluminum, which keeps the load ratings high in order to be able to pull their loads safely. But first a few issues needed to be tackled. Semi-truck wheels are only available in 10-lug, whereas factory dually trucks come with an eight-lug pattern. This problem was solved by using custom metal adapters in order to convert the lug pattern to fit. While aluminum adapters are less expensive than their steel counterparts they have a tendency to crack or break under the stress and should never be used. Companies such as Brentz Wheels in Texas solved this issue by forging and cutting custom direct bolt-on wheels from scratch. This would ensure the truck would have no adapter or spacing issues while maintaining the strength and beauty of a one-piece wheel. The next issue to resolve before getting the larger wheels under the trucks was the tire size. Semi-wheels come in odd sizes, 19.5, 22.5 and 24.5 inches. Tire sizes are fairly limited in those sizes, especially for lower profile tires. If one has a large lift on their dually truck, then semi-truck sized tires can be used without modifying the wheels at all. Semi-truck tires are also rated for up to four times the mileage of normal truck tires. If more common lower profile tires were called for, the wheels would have to be cut down to fit the smaller tires. Many companies such as Diesel Wheels of Florida take blank one-piece semi-truck wheels and bolt it up to their milling machines before bolting them onto a truck. The bead on the hoop of the wheel is milled down all the way around in order to ensure that the tires will fit snuggly and easily onto the massive rims. After they have been milled down to fit 19-, 22- or 24-inch tires, custom designs are cut into the wheels to set them apart from their former semi-truck wheel lives. Diesel Wheels and other companies often sell wheel and tire packages complete with low profile extra load rated tires in an effort to maintain the stock towing capacity. However, lowered or lifted dually trucks may lose some towing capacity due to the suspension setups and different tire sizes. Being that the truck is a dually, the inner wheel on the rearend must be changed out as well. Many get plain, stock-looking inner hoops because they aren’t as visible on the truck. Ekstensive Metalworks in Houston, Texas, always recommends running the same sized inner hoop and tires as the rest of the dually. Cheapening out and running smaller inner hoops with thicker tires decreases load capacity and wears the tires down quickly. Going all out on a show truck, however, means getting a custom inner wheel that matches the rest of the wheels in cut and finish. The adapters also can act as small spacers ensuring that the rear tires do not rub or touch each other, especially with lifted off-road style trucks. Fitting dually wheels onto a non-dually truck offers a different set of problems, but the results are outstanding. Using a single rear wheel and front wheel on a lifted or lowered truck can truly set it apart from the rest. Narrowing the rearend, however, is required like with any other deep wheel. One has many things to consider when choosing to install larger wheels on their dually trucks, especially when the suspension has been modified. Measurements to determine what overall tire diameter can be fit should be taken as limited tire sizes can be a factor in determining what wheel size to install. Modifications to the rear axle and fenders are also required on some trucks when looking to ‘bag and especially body drop the truck and roll on larger wheels. Three-quarter-ton rear axles are sometimes used because they are narrower than the stock 1-ton rearends. However, narrowing the stock rearend 3.5 inches is recommended on ‘bagged trucks to allow the rims to tuck while keeping the heavy-duty rearend. The rear fenders often have to be reworked and raised on some trucks to tuck the massive wheels and tires. Tubbing of the firewall up front may be required as well when laying a dually truck out just as with any other large rims on other trucks. As with any custom build or element on a truck, many issues must be tackled and planning must be done when looking to put larger custom dually wheels onto your custom hauler.

Sources
Diesel Wheels Dept. STTR 7331 NW 27th Ave. Miami, FL 33147 305.696.9994 www.dieselwheels.com (http://www NULL.dieselwheels NULL.com)
Custom Wheels by Dima Dept. STTR 4005 1/2 Rosemary Ln. Houston, TX 77093 281.590.0049 www.cwdima.com (http://www NULL.cwdima NULL.com)
Brentz Wheels Dept. STTR 12901 Nicholson Rd. #150 Dallas, TX 75234 972.241.7373 www.brentzwheels.com (http://www NULL.brentzwheels NULL.com)
American Force Dept. STTR 12027 SW 114th Pl. Miami, FL 33176 800.620.6259 www.americanforcewheels.com (http://www NULL.americanforcewheels NULL.com)
Ekstensive Metalworks Dept. STTR 1804 Sunny Dr. Houston, TX 77093 281.442.1050 www.ekstensive.com (http://www NULL.ekstensive NULL.com)

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Eight- to 10-lug steel adapters are required to
fit the one-piece forged semi-wheels onto
duallys.

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Direct bolt-on custom wheels are also
available from some manufacturers such as
Brentz Wheels.

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Custom Wheels by Dima offer some highly
detailed and radical wheel designs.
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Installing single semi-wheels on non-dually
trucks is becoming more common on lifted
trucks to get a more aggressive look.
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Custom cut and milled down semi-wheels
allow for low profile tires to be used on
‘bagged and body-dropped dually trucks.

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