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I have a '97 Outback Limited and thought I was losing my mind until I discovered this site. After doing some research here I learned that the factory wheels on Subarus can actually corrode. Several of mine are in bad shape causing the tires not to hold air for more than a few days before needing to be pumped back up. However, I'm having a difficult time finding steel wheels to replace them. Tire Rack does not carry them and I have scoured the internet for a source to no avail. Does anyone have any suggestion where I can find them? I'm interested in new ones not something from a recycling yard. Any advise will be greatly appreciated.

M
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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2009 Subaru Outback 2.5i 5sp Manual
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I have a set of 4 factory wheels off my 98 OB up for sale if you are interested. There is some corrosion, but not close to the point of not holding air.

I purchases a set of 17's of an 05 OB, and love them. Steel wheels can rust just as bad as alloys will corrode.

If you are interested in the wheels PM me and I can send you more details.
 

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DIY-Turbo 2.2l OBS 12.89s 1/4mile @ 106.17MPH
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Smaller urban/ghetto tire shops fix this by removing the tire & wire wheel'ing the corrosion off of the area the tire bead is in contact with - for extremely bad wheels (slght bends etc) they use a sealer on the tire bead area.

The tires will almost always hold air after the bead seat cleaning if not the sealer is applied...
 

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2018 and 2006 Outback Wagons
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I had slow leaks due to corrosion on several wheels. Had the local tire shop perform their "bead sealant" process and they hold air perfectly now. I think it was about $10.00 per wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
AWDFTW:

Thank you for your response and the site address. When I opened it went directly to a wheel. Is that the correct size I would need for a '97 Outback Limited?
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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12,277 Posts
Yup. That is their 15" wheel.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
Joined
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12,277 Posts
Welcome.

I have had nothing but good service from Discount Tire, so I do try and send folks their way.
 

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'96 Outback EJ22E/5MT
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74 Posts
Whilst on the subject of corroded alloys, the only real solution is to remove all corrosion (usually with aforementioned wire-wheel/drill or other abrasives), prime and repaint the affected areas.
I took a heavily corroded set of alloys that were all leaking air right back to bare metal for my old Mercedes, and they were perfect once refinished.

As purchased:




During stripping:




Stripped bare:




Primed:


Painted & Lacquered:


Time-consuming, but worth it for a set of wheels you'd rather hang on to.
 

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What about all the pittimg that occurs after the clear coat is broken? If you want to clear coat again, can you deal with that pitting if you're going to redo a clear coat instead of painting?

I tell you what, after seeing the cumulative effects of the local idiots changing my wheels every year, I'm never having a shop do it again. They slam that impact wrench all over my alloys and now they are all beat.. Looks like a a junior NASCAR pit crew practiced for a year on them.
 

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'96 Outback EJ22E/5MT
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What about all the pittimg that occurs after the clear coat is broken? If you want to clear coat again, can you deal with that pitting if you're going to redo a clear coat instead of painting?
Yes, if you're talking about the types of alloys with an unpainted (but clearcoated) rim - you need to use fine abrasives to get rid of all the corrosion, and then polish the rim evenly all the way round.
Depending on where you live (ie somewhere sunny and dry ideally), it's often an idea to skip new clearcoat and instead maintain the bare polished rims with polish and wax.
That said, if I ever lived somewhere rainy/snowy, I wouldn't bother having polished rims at all - I'd just paint them and save myself the heartache.

BTW, thanks Mr Discount Tire. Done a few sets over the years, love those rewarding little DIY projects!
 
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