You know, those things that hold your tires on to your Ford truck are there for more than just looks. Wheels can impact the braking performance, handling, and even the horsepower of your FoMoCo and you probably don’t even realize it.
In this special, we’ll take a deeper look into wheels and why they are an important performance consideration on you next modification.
Wheels of Destiny – Design
Let’s first talk about the design of the wheel and how it impacts your truck for more than just looks. Yes, wheels designed by leading manufacturers do design their wheels for great looks.
However, at the same time that wheel face is being designed to take the load from the weight of the truck, forces it encounters while cornering and braking, and even impact from road imperfections.
Many high performance wheel manufacturers like BBS, Rays Engineering, and others will start the design process on computer to determine how loads are spread from the barrel of the wheel, to the wheel face, and finally the hub.
With high-horsepower factory cars becoming a normal process tire bead slip is becoming an area where some manufacturers are looking towards eliminating. In the most extreme case of tire bead slip, beadlocks are employed to hold the bead in place.
However, that’s not exactly street legal by DOT standards. An example of a street legal solution comes from Rays Engineering. The latest version of the Volk Racing TE37, the TE37 Ultra, uses bead seat knurling in its forging process.
Another example from Rays is under their Gram Lights line of Cast and Rays Cast Flow wheels with the 57FXX. Instead of a knurling on the bead seat, a special coating is used instead to add a surface for the tire bead to grip on and prevent slip.
Read the next installment Wheels of Destiny – Wheel Sizing (Part Two)