How to choose a Tonneau Cover for an All-Terrain Truck?

If you don’t drive a pickup truck with pigs, hay and manure in the back, you have plenty of reasons to get a cargo cover. And if you do, then all the more reason…
In recent years, the US market for pickups has grown so much that there is not only a whole subculture associated with this type of transport, but also its subspecies. Accordingly, there is a demand for caps of completely different types. We have collected the most popular ones in our review, without setting a task to compare them. Especially since the main purpose – to close the body from bad weather and unconscious citizens – they all successfully perform. And the way of fastening too, strange as it may seem, one – with clampings and overboard. Most models can be removed within a few minutes, but quickly return them to the place will not come out: have to adjust, otherwise there will be gaps, or the cover will be badly locked. On the other hand, there are also those that are designed for quick installation.

A very important part of the lid is locks. In our country, a lid that does not close is nonsense. Therefore, the design of locks is very important. Especially in view of winter and the possibility of freezing after washing.

The length of the body allows the lid itself to be used as a loading surface, so you should pay attention to its strength and the presence of fasteners on top. The strongest specimens can withstand two quads at once. However, the sides of the body are already rented out here…

DiamondBack

Suitable for all pickup trucks on the US market.

Made of durable aluminum alloy 3003 with a mirror surface resistant to climatic conditions. Also available with Line-X coating, a very strong black polymer that does not lose its appearance over time. Depending on the modification, the metal thickness of the caps is different: in LT – 1.6 mm, SE – 2.0 mm, HD – 2.5 mm. The model consists of three parts, two of which are opened. Each part has its own lock. Galvanized steel rods (crossbars) go under the board and securely lock the lid.

  • Simple and tight.
  • All lids are fastened by a simple method – by clampings.
  • Don’t steal it.
  • The original design of the lock does not give the intruder a chance

The cover panels are easy to remove without assistance: simply detach the two rods and tilt the panel 90 degrees. For pickups with long enough bodies there are kits that allow you to transport two ATVs at the same time.

Afcarfiber Grandbox

Suitable for Toyota HiLux

It is made of fiberglass, perfectly matches the pickup body and is easy to install. Equipped with four LED lights, which are connected to the parking lights and stop light. The rear window is electrically heated, luggage compartment lighting on the inside of the cover.

  • It’s like a sedan.
  • It looks like a real car trunk.

Extang Solid Fold

Suitable for Dodge Ram, Ford, VW Amarok, Toyota Tundra, Tacoma, HiLux, Nissan Navara, Frontier, Titan, Mitsubishi L200

Folding hard cover is one of the best bed covers for RAM 1500, which is easy to install. Lightweight and durable. Made of aircraft aluminum. The textured surface is qualitatively painted, and the inside is covered with thermal insulation. The original clamping system provides quick access to the cargo area when the cover is opened. The connecting hinges of the sections are designed to prevent water ingress. Finally, according to the manufacturer, the aerodynamic design provides fuel savings of up to 10%.

  • It’s airtight.
  • The lid mount will not let water pass.

NIIS

Suitable for Mitsubishi L200

The frame and ribs are made of aluminum, and the handles of the SUV body cover are made of metal and covered with plastic, which allows you to open them in winter without fear of frostbite. The model consists of two halves rising along the body, which is convenient for transporting cargo that does not fit under the lid. To facilitate the lifting of the sashes are installed shock absorbers, which also keep them open at an angle of 90 degrees. Moreover, jumpers can be installed between the raised shelves, giving the structure rigidity. In the future it is even possible to cover the sides which have been so thickened with an awning. The jumpers also serve as guides for long goods weighing no more than 60 kg and can be positioned where required. The cover handles are made of metal and covered with plastic, which allows opening them in winter without the risk of frostbite.

  • Flexible volume.
  • The design of this lid makes it possible to turn a pickup truck into a van.

Aeroklas

Suitable for VW Amarok.

Made of ABS plastic – lightweight, durable and durable material of new generation. Unlike metal, ABS-plastic keeps its shape well even after severe deformation. The cover opens at an angle of 45 degrees, it is easy to install. Simple and very reliable model.

  • There is no need to lose weight.
  • Despite its frail appearance, the cover can easily withstand human weight.

How to Clean Titanium Disks

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Light alloy wheels are more durable and easier to maintain than their old stamped metal counterparts, but like everything else in your car, they also need to be cleaned regularly to avoid corrosion. Here are some useful maintenance tips for light alloy rims that you can perform in your own garage with simple tools.

The wheels can be dirty and corroded from brake dust, and even road salt and slag used to treat ice roads. Even very started wheels can be returned to their perfect radiance.

The wheels can be dirty and corroded from brake dust, and even road salt and slag used to treat ice roads. Even very started wheels can be returned to their perfect radiance.

What are cast rims?

You may be curious as to what exactly a “light alloy rim” or otherwise a “cast rim” is. An alloy is a combination of two or more metals, aluminum and magnesium. Such disks look beautiful, well balanced and have high strength.

There are different types of cast discs with different coatings. Let’s learn the difference to know how to clean light alloy wheels properly and easily.

Types of cast wheels and shine difference

Most cars manufactured today come with standard cast wheels. They are also called aluminium wheels, which are made from a mixture of aluminium and nickel.

They are more eye-catching than steel wheels, but are much lighter and yet sturdy and durable. Less weight means lighter suspension for your car, better acceleration and greater fuel economy.

There are two types of cast aluminium wheels: cast aluminium wheels and cast aluminium billet wheels. The wheels of cast aluminum are made by casting molten aluminum into a mold, and the wheels of aluminum billet are made of a solid piece of aluminum.

When you clean and polish cast aluminium wheels, keep in mind that with cast aluminium wheels you can polish them, but you can never make them shine like chrome, so don’t try. By contrast, you can polish wheels from a workpiece until they look like chrome.

Light alloy rims


Of course, the wheels on cast wheels are very beautiful, but not everyone knows that they get dirty very quickly. You don’t have to go to the car wash every day because of that. Every car owner should know how to clean the wheels from accumulated dirt and how to take care of the wheels. No acidic cleaning solutions should be used with polished light alloy rims, as they corrode the surface. Read on to learn more about the specific brands of cleaning agents that are safe for these types of cast rims.

Alloy wheels vs. steel wheels


The light alloy wheels have been improved to become more and more durable, but in terms of strength and durability, steel wheels still have the advantage: the steel is rigid and extremely difficult to bend.

Since steel wheels are much heavier, they can put pressure on your car’s suspension and other parts, reduce acceleration speed and increase fuel consumption. As a result, they are used for powerful heavy-duty vehicles and in winter to provide greater traction on slippery icy roads.

The main enemy of molded discs

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Besides the usual dust, dirt, water and mineral stains, the worst enemy of cast discs is actually black or brown deposits from brake pads.

These brake deposits are formed every time you use the brakes. When you use the brakes, a component called calipers clamps the rotors to slow down the wheels. To reduce wear, the calipers have gaskets that come in contact with the rotors.

When semi-metal brake pads are ground on cast iron rotors, this creates brake dust, which consists of iron particles from the rotors as well as carbon residue and metal elements from the brake pads.

This is not a sign of a brake failure, but the intense friction and heat generated by the wheels during braking makes the brake dust very corrosive. This means that you will have to clean the brake dust regularly to ensure the safety of your cast discs.

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How to Clean Cast Discs – Cleaning Products

Vinegar and hot water

Vinegar is a universal detergent solution with natural acids, which can affect many substances, it is harmless, smell and touch safe. Dissolve some vinegar in a hot water bucket as a cleaning solution.

If your alloy wheels are not too dirty, you may want to try this simple household remedy. However, do not use vinegar on coated and polished alloy wheels. As noted above, do not use acidic cleaners on these types of cast rims.

Oven Cleaner

If you need something more efficient than vinegar, you can bring with you oven cleaner, which is probably available in your home. An oven cleaner can destroy persistent mineral stains, grease and rust within minutes.

Special Cleaners for Cast Discs

The best way to clean alloy wheels is to buy specialty cleaners in a supermarket or auto parts store and any hardest stains will be worthless to you.

We strongly recommend a wheel cleaner, such as the Hot Rims Aluminum Wheel Cleaner, which can solve all problems with polished metal: aluminum, stainless steel, chrome, brass or copper.

If your car has cast and polished rims, use only non-acidic solutions. Some safe options include SONAX Wheel Cleaner Full Effect, Wolfgang Tire & Wheel Cleaner and P21S Wheel Cleaner, which cost approximately 900-1000 rubles per bottle.

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How to clean molded discs – step by step:


1. Wash


First flush the wheels with a hose to remove dirt and brake dust. Be sure to flush every part, including the inside surface around the axle.

It is best to use an adjustable nozzle to remove stuck debris with a high pressure jet. If you do not have an adjustable nozzle or pressure nozzle, clamp the hose port to create a stronger and more concentrated flow.

2. Apply the product


If your wheels have plastic hub covers, remove them before performing this task. Spray enough of the cleaning agent you have selected onto the entire wheel, additionally spraying on hard-to-reach areas. Allow the cleaner to stand for at least 2-3 minutes to penetrate the dried out substances. This will make cleaning much easier later.

3. Scrub


After soaking, first take the least dirty places, then take the most problematic ones. This will give you more time to soak more dirty spots. Use a brush with soft bristles and a flexible rod to easily wipe every corner of the wheel without scratching the surface. Pull through the spokes to clean the entire surface from front to back. Do not forget the rim screws, where brake dust accumulates. You can use an old toothbrush to do a more accurate job. However, since you will clean alloy wheels frequently, it is best to use a car brush.

4. Rinse and Wipe


Thoroughly rinse with a wide nozzle for greater coverage. Make sure there is no cleaning agent left to dry out the residue and avoid possible corrosion. Then wipe the wheels dry with a soft microfiber cloth to avoid water stains and tiny scratches on the wheels.

5. Waxing


The use of sealants will give your wheels a glossy, shiny look. More importantly, sealants designed specifically for light alloy wheels will provide an additional protective layer that will make it difficult for dirt, dust and debris to stick to your wheels.

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Now you know how to clean light alloy rims at home. Remember to take care of your wheels when operating your favorite car. It is not only about making your car look clean and new, regular cleaning of cast wheels will protect it from corrosive brake dust that accumulates while driving.

Titanium discs details?

Wheel Light
Car tyres are mounted on rims. There are two types: aluminium (light metal) or steel wheels. Does it really matter?

Weight

Let’s get right to the point. When we talk about cast discs, weight is usually considered a huge plus. The claim that “cast wheels are lighter than steel wheels and thus have a better impact on ride quality” is currently irrelevant. Of course, the main component of aluminium is lightweight metal, and it is not as heavy as steel. However, thanks to modern technology, the walls of steel discs are very thin and the difference in weight is barely noticeable. When an aluminium disc is combined with a large or wide tyre, the issue of weight is relegated to the background. There are, of course, exceptions: very, very expensive cast aluminium wheels with magnesium in their composition and carbon fibre wheels with carbon fibre are ultra-thin, but very expensive for frequency use. These tyres are generally used in motor sport.

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Additional parameters when choosing tyres

Stability

A steel disk made of rolled steel is a standard part, especially in small cars. Steel rims often consist of two parts, the rim itself and the wheel rim. The parts are welded together so that heat or load cannot damage the joints. Cast rims are often poured in one piece and then painted. If the disc consists of two parts (the rim bottom and the rim base), they are screwed together. Another metal, such as iron, is added to the disc to increase stability for those who find aluminum too soft. In this way, it is correct to call the cast discs “aluminium alloy discs”.

Durability

Everyone who drives frequently on dirt roads is advised to use steel discs. This material is more durable than light metal. Road salt only damages the discs visually, the steel structure remains unchanged. If a disc is hit hard by the roadside, it can usually be repaired easily. Although the steel will rust, it will only affect the surface of the rim and will not affect the ride quality. Such rust can be easily removed. Cast discs, however, are much more vulnerable to sand, dirt and road salt. When the disc hits slightly, visible scratches appear on the surface. If liquid gets into these scratches, the disc corrodes and becomes unstable. A deep puncture may cause serious damage to the molded disc. Repairing molded discs is a little more difficult or sometimes even impossible. There is an alternative for those who like molded discs: stronger molded winter discs, which can be purchased for an extra fee. However, these models cannot compete with the stability of steel wheels at the moment.

Price

Steel disks are cheaper than aluminum ones. If you do not want to give up cast discs, but you are limited in budget, you can consider supported discs. When buying used castings, make sure you do not buy damaged discs. It is also important to know if there are any surface scratches. These marks are usually clearly visible on used molded discs. Their absence indicates possible defect hiding and straightening.

New or used, aluminum or steel: it is worth comparing prices.

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Appearance

When it comes to appearance, cast discs always look better. Painted, polished, matte, sometimes with chrome parts, the cast discs are undoubtedly much more beautiful. Cast discs can also be bought in different colors – silver, black, multi-colored or to match the color of the car. Aluminum disks can make even the most ordinary family car stylish and throwing. Not very attractive steel disks can at best be decorated with various plastic tires.

Now let’s talk more about it:

Cast

Cast drives are more affordable than forged drives. They are manufactured by casting from several metals and do not require any further processing afterwards. Aluminium is traditionally used as the main component in cast rims. That’s why they are also called aluminium rims.

Manufacturers constantly develop various variants of disks, therefore casting is presented in the greatest assortment, besides:

  • the rims are resistant to chemical reagents;
  • excellent heat dissipation from the brake unit;
  • with quality tyres it is possible to do without balancing;

After installing the cast wheels, the inertness of the car improves, the car accelerates faster and brakes better. This is a consequence of the lighter weight. After all, compared to steel, they are 30-40 percent lighter. However, such disks also have a weak side – brittleness. After hitting a small hole, cracks may form. It is necessary to restore such rim, but it is not necessary to speak about reliability after repair.

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Steel

Steel drives are among the most popular of all the above. They weigh the most and have no exquisite design. However, it is possible to brighten up the stamped appearance. They are made of plastic hoods, which are easy to install and can be in different shapes and colors. From afar they resemble forged or light alloy wheels.

The advantages of steel discs include their affordability and maintainability. After all, because of poor quality coating, this very element of the wheel next after the tires takes over the blow. The metal of a rim is often deformed, but considerably reduces mechanical influence on a running gear of a car. This fact is an undeniable plus.

Steel rims for a small fee are corrected on any tire fitting. This procedure can take place several times, after which they are ready for installation again.

When selecting a set, the purpose of the car should be taken into account. If it is used by professional drivers or is produced in a limited edition, stop with professional forged wheels. Light alloy wheels are suitable for everyday use. Having an iron kit in stock is also not superfluous. It all depends on preferences and financial possibilities.

Conclusion

The choice between aluminium and steel wheels is a personal choice for each driver. Both models have their pros and cons, which each driver considers for himself. Cheap and reliable or beautiful and slightly more expensive? If you want to combine all the features, you can put beautiful aluminum wheels for summer and replace them with more stable steel wheels in winter.