OK. We are Off-Road magazine and want to cover everything off-road. Our 2004 GMC Denali is all-wheel drive and heads onto dirt roads every once in awhile, but spends most of its time on the highway, either acting as a daily driver or towing projects around. We think many of you probably have a vehicle that does the same thing, so we thought we'd try a set of Weld 20-inch wheels and four Goodyear tires to see if they'd work on a multipurpose, fullsize SUV.
First, let's talk about the wheels. They're 20x8.5-inch EVO Cheyenne 6 chrome-forged alloys that, in our opinion, are some of the best-looking wheels available today. No, we wouldn't pick a chromed wheel for our hard-core off-road rig, but for mainly street use, the chrome looks great and is easy to clean. EVO, a division of Weld Racing, began in 1999 to manufacture advanced forged one-piece wheels for vehicles that demand the high performance only forging can offer.
Forged wheels start as a solid piece of aluminum alloy and under extreme pressure are formed into a strong, lightweight-yet-dense wheel. In contrast, typical cast wheels begin their production cycle as a liquid, and as such, contain some level of porosity (air pockets) that keep them from achieving the same strength, finish quality, and weight efficiency of forged wheels.
Every phase of the manufacturing process is completed in-house at EVO. It begins with a billet of aircraft-grade high-strength 6061 aluminum alloy. Prior to the forging process, billets are heated to 800 degrees F, then 8 million pounds of pressure force the alloy into the wheel die. The tremendous pressure creates outstanding density and eliminates porosity in the wheel for a strong, lightweight wheel.
The blank forging (the wheel prior to being sized to the proper width and without any styling details added) is then spun in one of three Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) spinning machines to its full width. It is also CNC-lathed in a dual-head, vertical-turning center that transforms the blank forging into a 100 percent CNC-machined wheel.
The wheel is then milled to add the cosmetics and bolt circle. The completed wheel is robot polished, inspected, and color-buffed by hand. Finally, a six-layer chrome finish is applied in a 36-tank chrome line that's more than 125-feet long. While most cast wheels are accompanied by a one-year finish warranty and other forged wheels carry a two-year finish warranty, Weld Racing's chrome finish is backed by a five-year limited warranty. EVO wheels have a lifetime structural warranty. This structural warranty is good, no matter what size tires you run on the wheels. If you read the fine print in the warranty of most alloy wheels, the warranty is void if you mount tires larger than 31 inches on the rim.
As you can see, these wheels don't just have a pretty face. They're super strong, carry a load rating that's at least double that of lesser wheels, and can be used in any situation we might need them in. Heavy-duty towing is no problem, and if we were going to mount 44s (or 49s) on them, we wouldn't worry.