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Wheel Maintenance

By Jim Heaton

The Chrome 5-star wheels available or standard equipment on the ?96-98 SHOs have a tendency to build up brake dust in the "corners" between spokes. To keep them looking good I like to do the following maintenance whenever I rotate my tires (yearly for me).

1.   Put car in park, set parking brake, chock tires on opposite side of car.
2.   Loosen lugs on front wheel on this side of car about ½ turn.
3.   Jack up front of car (be sure to follow Ford instructions & use jack point)
4.   Remove lugs and wheel
5.   Spray back & front of wheel with wheel cleaner.
6.   Clean off dust from the entire inside of wheel and from front. Be sure to clean off any tar chunks from inside of wheel, which can throw off balance!
7.   Wax chrome portion of wheel with good quality wax. Notice how much more crud comes off even though the wheels LOOKED clean before waxing.
8.   Spray off calipers. Check rotors for grooving and brake pad thickness while the wheel is off.
9.   Put spare on. Lower front.
10.  Repeat steps 3-8 for rear wheel.
11.  Put clean front wheel on rear. Torque to ~110 ft lbs. Lower jack.
12.  Repeat 11 for front.
13.  13. Repeat 1-12 for other side of car.
14.  Drive car around. Do a few spirited turns. Re-torque all lug nuts to 110 ft/lbs.
15.  Set tire pressure as desired. On SARC equipped models (all except later build '99's), tire pressure makes a big difference in ride feel. For a luxury car ride, try around 28 lbs. For a firm ride, bump up to around 40. Don?t exceed the ratings on your tires. For non-factory tires these settings may not work.


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