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Fiat Ducato PVC 2018 – 16” alloy wheels cracked and leaking – steel replacements?


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Hi again

We have had our Pilote Fiat Ducato PVC since new in 2018. It came from the dealer with the automatic puncture repair liquid inside and for four years we had no issues with tyre pressure (not that you could check)

Since we’ve had to have new tyres, without the liquid in, we are losing pressure all the time and tried to get them repaired in Italy along with the language barrier. We thought we’d resolved the issue but now back in the UK we are having the same problem.

I took them to an alloy wheel repair place in Milton Keynes today and they have identified that both the front wheels have cracks around the valve hole making them virtually impossible to repair.

I have just ordered two new alloy wheels from Fiat at a ridiculous cost and am having second thoughts. Are there any better alloys or should we source some steel wheels instated? If so, can anyone recommend any please?

I suspect we’re not alone!

Thanks again, Rob

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Check the PDC of your existing wheels ( 118 or 130) and contact these folk,

https://www.elitewheels.co.uk/collections/fiat-ducato-16

I have had steel wheels in the past from here,

https://www.oponeo.co.uk/steel-wheels/fiat/ducato/16

Cracks at the valve on the alloys is a known issue, and In my view should have been fixed with a recall.

If you chose steel  wheels you will have a weight saving.

If two have failed  then the others won't be far off failing.

Edited by MikeF
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13 minutes ago, MikeF said:

If you chose steel wheels you will have a weight saving.

But you will also most likely need all new nuts or bolts as the thread length (of a bolt) and seat shape (of both) is usually different.

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Ducato-compatible steel wheels are available from here

https://www.thewheelshop.co.uk/product-category/space-saver-wheels/fiat-vans-motorhomes-1/fiat-ducato/?filter_vehicle-year=1998-present-day

I assume Rob's 2018 Pilote V600G PVC's 16"diameter wheels are on 'light' hubs with a PCD of 5x118 and - as the vehicle apparently had OEM Fiat alloy wheels from new - I think the wheel-design is as shown below (and priced new well over £500 per wheel)

image.jpeg.c75be1f571d66a6b0318fff609fec737.jpeg

I think OEM Fiat Ducato alloy wheels and their OEM steel equivalents would use the same wheel bolts, and, if steel wheels were fitted, presumably they would be fitted all-round and plastic wheel-trims would also then be added. (Doesn't the V600G have a steel spare wheel?)

It's easy enough to source brand-new alternative alloy wheels advertised as suitable for a 2018 Ducato and some of these will be around the same £500-ish price as an OEM Fiat alloy. Whether these are any 'better' than the Fiat wheels is anybody's guess and a set of four would cost over £2000.

So the options seem to be to opt for steel 16" wheels (say £300) and fit plastic wheel trims, or buy a pair of matching 'genuine' Fiat 16" alloys (say £1100) and hope the two remaining 2018 alloys don't crack, or buy a set of four aftermarket 16" alloys at £2000+.minimum.

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Who thought wheels could be such a pain.

I managed to get a set of Fiat Ducato alloy wheels for £832 inc VAT but having now read more about them, I'm loathed to buy them. There are sets of four after market alloys going for anywhere between £500-£1500.

Steel wheels seem to now be very hard to find, thewheelshop are out of stock and aren't sure of the load rating but they think about 1050KG which is a lot less than some of the alloys. They also don't know delivery times as they're obviously on a ship from China.

I can't seem to find any other steel options.

Our van does have a steel spare which is currently fitted but the standard factory bolts for the alloys look very "wrong" on the wheel, see photo. I have also attached a photo of one of the cracks on the alloy that goes through to the valve hole making repair very difficult. Also note the thinness of the wall of the valve hole.

I also need to find some high pressure valves as we now have standard valves which have a far less PSI rating! 

Thanks again, Rob

Crack_to_valve_hole.jpg

Nuts.jpg

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Two cost effective solutions spring to mind, both of which have worked well for us in past years on cars and vans.

Contact online vehicle breakers for suitable wheels and matching nuts/bolts

Fit inner tubes inside tubeless tyres - not always recommended but has worked for us in the past.

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This 2023 Fiat Forum thread may be of interest

https://www.fiatforum.com/threads/wheel-bolts-alloy-wheels-versus-steel-wheels.499824/

The wheel-bolts shown in the lower of Rob's two photos above are the standard shape for the bolts used with OE Ducato steel wheels. The bolts have a steeply tapered 'shoulder' and are either M14x1.5 or M16x1.5 I'm also reasonably sure the same bolts would be used with OE Fiat Ducato alloy wheels,

https://coastalmotorhomes.co.uk/clutch-drivetrain-transmission/hubs-wheelbearings/wheel-bolts.html

Rob may think the bolts look 'wrong' when fitted to the steel wheel, but I can assure him that this is 100% 'right', even though the effect isn't exactly pretty. If I remember correctly (I had OE steel wheels on my Ducato-based 2015 Rapido 640F) the fact that the bolts stick out like sore thumbs allows the complicated spring-wire mechanism on the rear of the OE plastic wheel-trims to hook around the bolts' shoulder and hold the trim (fairly) firmly in place.

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Hi

Why not go for your alloy wheels that you quote  if they are in good condition, hopefully new, and try an keep the van as was built hopefully It may be beneficial if you re sell later , then again you may come on some people  that prefer the steel wheels and really they should not be that difficult to source , "Oponeo" covers quite a range of same 

Regards

7 hours ago, robdav said:

There are sets of four after market alloys going for anywhere between £500-

 

Edited by onecal
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15 hours ago, Derek Uzzell said:

Rob may think the bolts look 'wrong' when fitted to the steel wheel, but I can assure him that this is 100% 'right', even though the effect isn't exactly pretty. If I remember correctly (I had OE steel wheels on my Ducato-based 2015 Rapido 640F) the fact that the bolts stick out like sore thumbs allows the complicated spring-wire mechanism on the rear of the OE plastic wheel-trims to hook around the bolts' shoulder and hold the trim (fairly) firmly in place.

Yes

The part of the cone thats sticking out is used to hold the hubcaps where fitted.

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18 hours ago, Tracker said:

Two cost effective solutions spring to mind, both of which have worked well for us in past years on cars and vans.

Contact online vehicle breakers for suitable wheels and matching nuts/bolts

Fit inner tubes inside tubeless tyres - not always recommended but has worked for us in the past.

I don't know if you can still get inner tubes?  Back in the days when you got tubed and tubeless tyres, inner tubes were cheap and easily available so I often fitted an inner tube as an alternative to repairing a punctured tyre.  But I wouldn't do it to refit a cracked wheel.  If the wheel is cracked - chuck it 

Steel will take a lot more bashing about than alloy - I would rather trust steel on Englands potholed roads.

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1 hour ago, Derek Uzzell said:

Avon Tyres advice on inner-tube fitment can be read here

https://www.avontyres.com/en-gb/tyre-care/car-tyre-care/tube-fitment/

QUOTE '3. Inner tubes should never be used as a means of repairing a puncture to a tubeless tyre, as a proper repair should be carried out to retain the tubeless properties of the tyre.'

Well repairing a good but punctured tubeless tyre with an inner tube it was common practice many years ago, as an apprentice I was told to do it,  and have done it many times.  But we wouldn't use a tube to repair a cracked wheel.

As always I am not advising anyone else to do it, just saying thats what I did and it worked out ok.

Avon may be right.  But tyre seller saying always fit a new tyre reminds me of Warren Buffet's advice - never ask a barber if you need a haircut 😊

Certainly some of the customers we had would have moaned about having to fork out for a new tyre. 

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It's still possible to obtain inner tubes, but they'll be intended primarily for older vehicles that have wheels unsuitable for mounting tubeless tyres (eg. wire wheels).

In Rob's case, fitting inner tubes to his damaged alloy wheels would be a mite perverse. A more rational approach would be to use tyre sealant that should handle the narrow cracking in Rob's 1st photo. As pressure loss did not occur when the wheels had sealant within the original tyres, using sealant with the recently-replaced tyres should be similarly effective.

The Fiat alloy wheels are plainly designed to accept 'ordinary' snap-in tyre valves - hence the thinness of the metal at the valve-hole. If the wheels had been designed specifically for clamp-in tyre valves, the metal could be significantly thicker and (possibly) less prone to cracking.

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Just read this and I'm a bit late to the party. I recently replaced my 15 inch steel wheels with 16 inch steel wheels. I bought them from a company called Halmerend Wheels and Tyres, via eBay, for £60 a wheel. They are manufactured by a French company who are part of a larger Italian group and may well be an OEM supplier to Fiat, as they look identical apart from not having the Sevel logo stamped into the wheel.

They are TUV approved with a load rating of 1100 kg per wheel, which I understand is the maximum for wheels with 118 PCD, the limitation being the hub. If you are after steel wheels with 130 PCD the load rating will be higher. I have all the details on my computer at home, which I can't access at the moment as currently in Norway.

The wheels were delivered extremely well packed and protected against even cosmetic damage, and I am very happy with them.

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My Fiat Ducato-based Rapido 640F motorhome was bought new by me in April 2015. It had the standard 15"-diameter steel wheels and I wanted to obtain another matching steel wheel to carry as a spare.

I THINK my wheel also came from Halmerend Wheels and Tyres, as the Stoke-on-Trent address sounds familiar. As the steel wheel being advertised was remarkably cheap, I rang the supplier and asked for more details. I was told that the wheels were genuine Fiat parts and the UK supplier was importing them from a motorhome builder in Germany who bought Ducato vans with steel wheels and tyres and then removed the tyres and fitted them to posh alloy wheels when transforming the van into a motorhome. 

When I received the wheel it was still in packaging that started out in Germany and had just been readdressed by the UK company to forward it on to me. The wheel was indeed a genuine Fiat product (Sevel-marked) in as-new condition, but it had obviously been on a vehicle as there was a small balancing weight stuck on the rim.

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On 26/06/2024 at 18:04, Deneb said:

They are TUV approved with a load rating of 1100 kg per wheel, which I understand is the maximum for wheels with 118 PCD, the limitation being the hub.

Just for clarification, the 1100kg limitation must only apply to steel wheels.

Borbet CWD alloys in 5x118 (the approved replacement alloy for my van, listed on its CoC) are TUV approved to 1320kg.

There is another Borbet, the CWG, that is TUV approved to 1600kg on 5x118.

cwd.JPG

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update - in the end I cancelled the two Fiat alloys at c£800 and ordered a set of ROMAC alloys from Duncan at van wheels.co.uk https://www.vanwheels.co.uk/ducato-2006-on c£616 for four alloys, new high pressure valves and black bolts. 1000 miles in and pretty much on our 3500kg weight limit and no problems so far. Any more issues and it will be steel wheels!

Thanks for all the input as always!

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