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Is "Liquid Metal" a legitimate wheel manufacturer?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Colgate2004, Nov 14, 2019.

  1. Colgate2004

    Colgate2004 Member

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    Like seemingly most of the inexpensive wheels sold on Discount Tire, I can't find much about this company.

    Has anyone used or have any experience with Liquid Metal wheels?

    (I'm specifically looking at their "Shift" wheel for use as my winter wheels.)
     
  2. KenC

    KenC Active Member

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    There's a liquidmetal company. They have a unique steel that's supposed to be superlight and superstrong. I don't think they themselves make anything, but they license people who can use their metal. Maybe they licensed someone to make wheels. Seems like an ideal application for their metal.

    Ok, looked at the wheel, and the logo is different, than the company liquidmetal. The little sim pins used in the original iPhone was made out of liquidmetal. Completely different metal and company. Sorry.
     
  3. Ivan Abundance

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    They have their own web site Liquid Metal Wheels
    No personal experience.
    However, Discount Tire has a pretty solid record of customer care. I'd count on their reputation and trust the wheels they sell.
     
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  4. MRGEDU

    MRGEDU Member

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    I have them and bought them specifically for winter. The are fine no complaints on my P3D+

    A few things ...

    They need hub rings and the plastic ones they send are fine. I am going to have aluminum ones cut to fit the hub lip on the Performance 3 next season but no spacer is needed to clear anything.

    I don’t like the spoke ribs go past the bead edge (style preference).

    I do like that with A/S tires, lug nuts, TPSM, wheels, mounted, balanced and shipped they were just under $1100. Unlike most uninformed people at tire shops that don’t care, they actually clock the tires correctly on the wheels and come balanced perfectly. Also they are not that heavy and load capacity is 1800lbs.

    I purchased the 20x8.5 version.

    F9E25B5D-4418-4A71-BF63-6BC52D1E91A4.jpeg 88097E41-5B61-42E5-975E-8A0E03C676DD.jpeg
     
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  5. Colgate2004

    Colgate2004 Member

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    That's good to hear, thank you. This was my first time doing business with Discount Tire, so that's reassuring. Thank you.
     
  6. Colgate2004

    Colgate2004 Member

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    Very helpful, thank you!

    I'm not familiar with wheel manufacturers (I don't buy wheels that often and it's been years since my last new set!) and I wasn't able to find much of anything in the way of real-person reviews of the wheels, so that feedback is really valuable. Thank you!

    I ordered the 18x8 size; they are in transit and should arrive in the next couple of days.
    I bought a set of Hakka R3s from my local Tire Warehouse (they happened to have a set left over from last year... so the rubber is a year old... that's not of any concern, is it?), and later this week or early next I'll have them mount the tires and the TPMS sensors I got on Amazon.

    Did you say you got the wheels, lug nuts, tires, and TPMS sensors, mounted and balanced, for $1100?!?! If so, it sounds like you got a screaming deal!

    I got the wheels and lug nuts for $533, the R3s for $924, the TPMS sensors for $119 (link, in case anybody else needs Model 3 compatible TPMS sensors!), and I bought a set of aluminum rings for $10... bringing my installed, mounted, balanced total to $1,586... and I thought I got a good deal!

    (P.S.- Is it true the OEM lug nuts are too wide for the Shift wheels? The Discount Tire rep told me on the phone that the lug seating surface is the same on the Shift wheels as on the OEM Aeros, but the hole is a smaller diameter so the OEM lug nuts won't fit, necessitating the aftermarket lug nuts. It seems silly they'd make the wheels that way!)
     
  7. MRGEDU

    MRGEDU Member

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    So a few things. The aluminum rings do not have a deep enough bevel to clear the Performance hub lip, but should be fine for the LR version. Year old tires are fine, just double check the date code. And last, yes about the lug nuts. I have a special 13/16 socket and even with the outer protective plastic off it was a little too tight for comfort when I tried it. Go with the smaller lugs. If Tesla used a 3/4 lug nut, I am sure it would work on both wheels but I didn't want any surprises when I went to install.
     
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  8. Colgate2004

    Colgate2004 Member

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    Interesting that the P and the LR have different wheel hubs! Hopefully the rings I got will fit. I'll report back when I know!

    Well it's a bit of a pain but I guess it isn't a terrible thing to have separate sets of lug nuts for the two sets of wheels. I'll be curious to see what the socket looks like...
     
  9. zwz002

    zwz002 Member

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    How did the installation go? Looking forward to some pics :)
     
  10. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2020: Drain the Sewer

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    Yep
     
  11. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2020: Drain the Sewer

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    I paid about the same for the same package although my tires are Michelin ICE-X; I wish I had known that powder grey wheels are available.
     
  12. MRGEDU

    MRGEDU Member

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    Post a picture-
     
  13. p-f-g

    p-f-g Member

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    The hubs are the same but the discs on the LR are thicker and so cover the wider part.
     
  14. KD7LRJ

    KD7LRJ Member

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    I have a 2018 Performance Model 3 (large brakes). I got 18 inch Liquid Metal Shadows from Discount Tire last winter and wrapped them in Blizzak DMV2 rubber. They did not require spacers and have worked great for me so far. Total came to just under $1800 with everything. They just swapped them a couple weeks ago (no charge) to get ready for winter in Utah.

    upload_2019-11-27_11-26-34.png
    2019-11-27_11-25-16.png
     
  15. MRGEDU

    MRGEDU Member

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    I got the 20x8.5 with A/S tires since I don’t travel often in the snow and have a Jeep CJ7 for deep snow. Strangely enough, I have been getting better Wh/mile since I changed. I am not sure if it’s because of the break in period of the car with the factory 20” wheels or new lighter wheels with higher psi in the tires. I was at 285 wh/ mile average and now I am at 259 wh/mile on the same daily commute even with the colder weather.
    4593E172-A82C-471E-A9C1-0B39F84E28E5.jpeg
     
  16. MRGEDU

    MRGEDU Member

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    I would like to get Tesla center caps for them. I haven’t popped a center off to see what size they are.
     
  17. jaygeewin

    jaygeewin Member

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    Can you message me the tire size too? Square setup? I had these on my previous car (BMW 428i rwd) and LOVED THEM. Until the car got totalled, and thinking about buying the same wheels in 20's for my MS 70.
     
  18. MRGEDU

    MRGEDU Member

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    The tires I got were 235/35 ZR 20
    I was a little worried about loss of range so I went with the standard tire size especially since the tires I purchased were not "eco" tires. They look a little stretched and I probably would have gone with a 245 if I was to do it over again since they leave the edge of the wheel exposed.
     
  19. Colgate2004

    Colgate2004 Member

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    Well it's been quite a while, but I'm finally able to post some pics of my install (my wife had our first child in the mean time, so things have been a bit hectic around our house for the last several weeks )

    To recap, I ended up buying a set of Hakka R3s at my local Tire Warehouse, then bought a set of Liquidmetal Shift wheels (and lug nuts) from Discount Tire, along with sets of TPMS sensors (worked great, link below) and aluminum hub rings (did NOT work! More on that below) from Amazon.

    I hemmed and hawed, and ultimately decided to have the guys at the local Tire Warehouse mount and balance the tires/wheels/TPMS sensors, but not install the wheels on the car, because I was paranoid about them jacking up the car wrong and damaging the battery (they seemed competent and they probably would have done a fine job, but I didn't want to take the risk... the guy said they'd done a bunch of Teslas already, and maybe he was even telling the truth. I'm sure as time goes on they'll end up doing tons of Teslas and learn to lift them correctly, but I figure I'll let them learn on somebody else's car), then I installed the wheels myself.

    ONE BIG NOTE TO OTHERS DOING THEIR MODEL 3 WHEELS THEMSELVES FOR THE FIRST TIME:
    This is probably obvious to many, but it didn't occur to me: The Model 3 has lower ground clearance than my other cars, and the floor jack I had has too high of a minimum height to get under the car. So I had to wait a couple days to do the wheels until I could get to a Harbor Freight and buy a low-profile floor jack. So a word to the wise: If you're doing your Model 3 for the first time, check the minimum height of your jack, and the clearance to the jack points on your car (also remember to deduct the additional thickness of any lift pads/pucks if you're using them... I made my own out of hockey pucks, which are exactly 1 inch thick).
    tesla_winter_tires-20191205-IMG_3316.jpg

    When I first started trying to get the Aero covers off I was worried I was doing something wrong and would crack the plastic and I actually stopped to read the owner's manual about how to get them off. Turns out just pulling gently on them got them right off no problem.

    I was surprised to see the size of the OEM lug nuts... turns out they are 21mm nuts (also probably obvious to many, but it hadn't occurred to me to look that up). Thankfully one of the four sockets on my trusty, 40-year-old monkey wrench was a 21mm.

    As soon as I got the first wheel off it was apparent how much rust was on the wheel hubs (which was a little surprising, given that the car is only a year old):
    tesla_winter_tires-20191205-IMG_3317.jpg

    I knew the tolerances on the hub rings were going to be tight, so I decided to try to wirebrush off the hubs before I put the hub rings on. After a steel bristle brush and then two grades of steel wool, I was only slightly successful: tesla_winter_tires-20191205-IMG_3320.jpg

    It then occurred to me that if I was putting aluminum hub rings on these hubs it would be a disaster if I then couldn't get them off when I needed to switch back to the summer wheels, so I decided to lube the hubs before putting on the hub rings. I couldn't find any grease around the garage, so I lubed them with oil instead. Even with the oil, the aluminum rings I bought on Amazon DID NOT FIT (these are the ones I bought... DO NOT BUY THESE, THEY DON'T FIT!). Maybe it was the rust on the hubs. Anyway, luckily along with the aftermarket lug nuts, Discount Tire included some plastic rings in their "installation package," so I used those, which fit just fine:
    tesla_winter_tires-20191205-IMG_3321.jpg

    I got all four wheels changed over, added a bit of air to each to get them up to 40 PSI, went for a short drive, and in just a couple of minutes the car picked up the new TPMS sensors automatically, asked me which size wheels I was using, and started displaying the new tire pressures. These are the TPMS sensors I got... they were nice and cheap at $140 for the set, and I can confirm they work beautifully.

    At that point I noticed that the pressures were still a bit low (my cheap old tire pressure gauge must not be very accurate ) so I added more air to get the pressures as read by the TPMS up to 40 PSI.

    I'm generally happy with how they look; I may look in to getting some lug nut covers, but I'm not super concerned about it.

    Here's my baby with her snow boots on!
    tesla_winter_tires-20191207-IMG_3628-Edit.jpg
     
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  20. Colgate2004

    Colgate2004 Member

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    Ah, a couple of other notes:
    - As the Discount Tire rep told me and others have confirmed here, the OEM lug nuts DO NOT FIT the Liquidmetal Shift wheel lug holes (the lug hole diameter is too small), so you *DO* need to buy the aftermarket lug nuts (the nuts that came with the Discount Tire "installation package" were black-finished 12-pointed nuts, which of course need a 12-point socket, which came included in the package. Interestingly, Discount Tire sent me 32 lug nuts... so I have 12 extras.
    - For ease of future changeovers (so I don't have to use my old monkey wrench) I bought a Titan Tools 21mm, 1/2"-drive socket to fit both my air wrench (for removal only!) and my trusty torque wrench (129 ft-lbs) for installation.
     
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