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Old 11-16-2010, 04:05 AM
Topdown Topdown is offline
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Default Horrible night... will 2008 1500 wheels fit my 1997?

for those that dont want to read the whole story, here is the question: Will the 20" wheels from a 2008 Ram 1500 fit my 1997 (backspacing? bolt pattern? etc...?)


The reason I ask:

So... I had "the" night. If you dont know what "the" night is, or you have never had it... let me explain it to you.

Imagine, if you will, that its 5:50pm, your driving down the freeway in the rain, surrounded by other vehicles going between 50mph and 200mph.

suddenly you hear something, something not "good" sounding over your radio.

you quickly snap 99% of your attention to your beloved pickup and slam the volume to zero. (gotta use that last 1% to not die in traffic)

something is grinding, you start to react before you really understand whats happening, that sound, its... its exactly what it would sound like if... oh F*CK

In the next split second, as you are reacting to your worst fear, it happens... that fear becomes real as the front wheel of your ram rips clean off and your now rolling on brake rotor, on the pavement, on the freeway, surrounded by innocent lives. your wheel has continued down the freeway into the darkness and disappeared...

I make my way, quickly, while sparks fill the windshield of the car behind me, to the far right shoulder and relative safety... and get the truck stopped. I hop out of the truck, not knowing if its on fire or not from the sparks and hear the unmistakable crunch of two cars connecting on a wet freeway at high speed... I think to myself "wonder if that was my tire or just a random unrelated accident". its too far away for me to see, must be coincidence... (thankfully it was coincidence, and no one was hurt)

Once I calm down a little, I call my wife, get her started on calling AAA and getting a tow truck on the way while I call the police and let them know the score (Wa-State trooper that stopped to talk to me, Thank you). Call my sister who lives about a mile away for info on local repair shops in her area... and just generally be in a SH*T mood for a little while.

After standing in the rain along side of the road for a while, the wife showed up with the kids, so we sat in her Subaru and waited for the tow truck (flat bed as it turned out). Had a tense discussion about nothing in particular - I was still feeding off the adrenaline in my system.

cutting all the boring crap - wait/load/drive/unload - I take a look at the damage... 4 wheel studs bent and torn, but only 1 (the 5th) missing 100% of its threads (that seems odd... going to have to investigate that more tomorrow). 1 chewed up brake rotor... not too bad. until I notice the dent in the fender, which makes me start looking at the fender gaps... ah sh*t! the hood touches the fender now slightly. The door looks like its not sealed/sealing along the top/back side of the door frame (no idea if it was like that before, so I will have to see if she leaks now, which should be easy since its raining like a MOFO outside) but the control arms are clean looking still, the brake caliper looks slightly scuffed, but not chewed, the brake line is clean and undamaged, suspension looks untouched... could have been worse. About 100.00 and a few hours in the morning and I should be back on the road... with my spare on.

I did end up recovering my wheel, which is a story all in its own right but the exceptionally short version is - a young lady, a mother with a young daughter in the car, filled with a level of kindness that I can only aspire to obtaining - passed my DOA Ram and then saw a random wheel/tire along side the road. god knows how far ahead... thought to herself (as she described) "I dont want someone to steal that poor mans tire" so she took an exit, came back around, passed me again, grabbed the tire and made the loop one more time. When she stopped along side the road with me, I was more than curious... and when I saw that she had seat-belted my dirty, heavy, chewed up wheel/tire into her front seat... I couldnt believe my eyes. If there is such a thing as Karma, I pray that she is blessed with safety and health for doing such a thing for a stranger... a big, slightly scary looking stranger standing in the cold, rainy darkness.

There you have it... most of the story of the evening.

So, if you've read this far, you now know why I need at least 1 new wheel. I havent been able to easily find a single replacement OEM wheel for my 1997 Ram, but I have found a set of 20's from a 2008 with 70% tread on the tires (my tires needed replaced, so I had been saving the $$ for new tires)... I just need to know if they will fit (P275/60R20)

Thanks!
-Ryan
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Last edited by Topdown; 11-16-2010 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:30 AM
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Yes, they will fit.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:38 AM
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Thanks chithead,
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:10 AM
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Wow, what a story, hopefully you get it back on the road soon, oh and post some photos
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:21 AM
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Very interesting reading and you already have an answer for the wheel. You could have a best seller there if you publish it. Great story telling and it's nice to see there are still compassionate people out there willing to help out a stranger in need !!!
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:49 AM
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WOW what a day that you had

i have to ask, when was the last time that that tire had been taken off for whatever reason
I see people along the roads all the time that just within a week they had had work done like having the brakes checked & they were sitting there with a missing wheel & tire
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:57 AM
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Man, what an unfortunate situation, but thank goodness for that lady that helped you. Do those other wheels need tires too or can you just bolt them on and go?
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:16 AM
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Pictures... pretty self explanatory so I will let the pictures do the talking:






a few hours later...





I ended up getting a set of chrome OEM steelies with caps and almost new tires off craigslist tonight, so I will be back (safely) on the road. The spare tire was/is the original OEM spare, which is a 1997, so I have to assume that its past its usable life and will need to buy a new replacement spare tire for that wheel. but, it worked and didnt cause any problems, but I wouldnt want to trust it in an emergency.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTyankee View Post
WOW what a day that you had

i have to ask, when was the last time that that tire had been taken off for whatever reason
I see people along the roads all the time that just within a week they had had work done like having the brakes checked & they were sitting there with a missing wheel & tire
the last time it was off, was about a month ago when I redid the brakes. I wouldnt think it suspicious but when I went around and checked the other 4 wheels, the drivers-side rear had 4 loose and 1 torqued lug nut. the passenger side were all torqued down.

So, either I somehow managed to torque only 1 bolt on the front and 1 bolt on the rear drivers-side wheels or someone thought it would be funny to try and get me killed. also, when I park in the driveway the drivers side is to the outside and there is a street light that you cant see right at the end of my driveway that lights up my truck very well at night.

The last piece that is concerning is that since doing the brakes, I have been driving the truck exclusively (let the Camaro stay dry) which means multiple trips up and down a couple extremely winding roads, all over town, freeway trips... with no problem. Then my family went on a weeks vacation and the truck sat outside while we were gone and within 4 days of driving it again, the wheel mysteriously comes off on the freeway.

I will be checking the torque on the new wheels (pics coming soon) every day or two for a long while I think and if they come up loose again, I will have to set up the wireless security camera... you would think having a cop live next door and another one across the street would make the neighborhood safe.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chithead View Post
Man, what an unfortunate situation, but thank goodness for that lady that helped you. Do those other wheels need tires too or can you just bolt them on and go?
Yeah, if I was a little more calm, I would have gotten her name or something... I am still in shock that she risked her life, her time, the interior of her car and everything else for me. I am truly grateful and very, very thankful that #1 - I didnt get hurt and #2 - that she was so unbelievably kind and brave. (if it were my wife, I would probably have considered that a foolish thing to do, too dangerous). As dumb as it sounds, it really does make me want to be a better person.

I picked up the 17's from this really nice guy about 15 miles away... which was a tense 15 miles driving on that 10+ year old spare tire . He bought himself a new-to-him Ram and put a set of black/machined 20's on it. 2 of the tires look darn near brand new, 2 of them look like maybe 50% but they're much less aggressive (all-terrain vs mud-terrain) than the ones I had, and they ride smooth and so much quieter. apparently one of my old wheel/tires was out of balance as well, because the vibration that I had between 45 - 50mph has now disappeared as well.

The great side benefit is that I think the truck looks better with the new wheels on it than the old wheels... so all in all it was a great 400.00 craigslist purchase (wheels, tires, caps)
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Last edited by Topdown; 11-18-2010 at 01:58 PM.
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