How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

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How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

Post by Keith Seymore on Tue May 12, 2015 7:21 am

My Dad and I have widened a number of steel wheels at home, most notably converting 15x7 truck sport full face wheels (Motorwheel) to 15x8;  and converting 15x8 Corvette rally wheels to 15x10 or 15x12 configurations.

We widen the wheels by preserving the front half (thereby keeping the dimensional integrity between the wheel spider and the front face of the rim) and by cutting the back portion off the wheel.

A new back portion, from a different wheel and with an additional 2", would then be fixtured to the front face/spider, using this spacer as a checking fixture, for a 10" wheel.  To create a 12" wheel the front face would be cut and replaced after that rear portion was secured.


This is the spacer, used as a fixture for controlling the overall width, made from a piece of black pipe.





The length of the spacer corresponds to the final wheel width. These are placed in three or four locations around the wheel and are secured with small screws in the end.


A small plate was affixed in four locations, allowing for minute adjustments of the donor portion.  Once the radial and lateral runout are within spec then the two halves can be welded together.



Here is a finished sample, a 10" Corvette rally with the front spacing preserved and the 2" added to the rear.



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Re: How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

Post by dynchel on Tue May 12, 2015 10:58 pm

That's pretty impressive Keith.  Why didn't you just buy some lighter aluminum wheels?  I had 15/8 corvette rally's and those suckers were heavy. It seems your car is mostly a racer I would think you would want less unsprung weight.


Last edited by dynchel on Tue May 12, 2015 10:59 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correction)
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Re: How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

Post by thatfnthing on Wed May 13, 2015 8:50 am

I was going to ask if you ran into balancing issues, but then I saw the 4 large balance weights on the inside rim, so I guess that answers my question.
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Re: How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

Post by Keith Seymore on Wed May 13, 2015 9:47 am

thatfnthing wrote:I was going to ask if you ran into balancing issues, but then I saw the 4 large balance weights on the inside rim, so I guess that answers my question.

That's from the tire.  It's not uncommon for me to have that many weights on a production wheel with the slicks or M/T tires mounted (note that they are all on the backside, rather than being split so that you could see them on the front).

We do spin the wheels alone before putting the tire on but no weight adjustment has ever been required.

K


Last edited by Keith Seymore on Wed May 13, 2015 1:59 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Re: How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

Post by Keith Seymore on Wed May 13, 2015 9:49 am

dynchel wrote:That's pretty impressive Keith.  Why didn't you just buy some lighter aluminum wheels?  I had 15/8 corvette rally's and those suckers were heavy.  It seems  your car is mostly a racer I would think you would want less unsprung weight.

Thank you - yes - I could shave a few pounds and a couple tenths with lighter wheels and smaller tires but the rallys have sort of become a "signature piece" now.  A lot of people comment on them.

It sort of adds to the mystique of the "big, heavy" Chevelle running high 9's/low 10's.

K
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Re: How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

Post by Limey SE on Wed May 13, 2015 5:59 pm

Very cool Info Keith thanks for sharing this Information !!
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Re: How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

Post by BBMALIBU on Wed May 13, 2015 8:35 pm

What is the backspacing on the 10" wheel?
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Re: How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

Post by Keith Seymore on Thu May 14, 2015 7:13 am

BBMALIBU wrote:What is the backspacing on the 10" wheel?

Stock + 2 (probably 6").

It moves the tire/wheel assembly inboard without having to narrow the axle.

K

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Re: How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

Post by black eyes on Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:40 pm

Very nice pice in the chevy mag were did you get your hood?

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Re: How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

Post by Keith Seymore on Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:43 am

black eyes wrote:Very nice pice in the chevy mag were did you get your hood?

US Body Source, in Florida.

I have a bolt on flat hood (40 lbs) and the lift off cowl (20 lbs); stock steel hood is 80 lbs.

The quality and fit were not very good but they are one of the few places to offer parts for our cars (at least, back then).

K
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Re: How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

Post by 77cruiser on Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:38 am

This would be easier, I think. I did it like this many years ago.
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Shop/Bart-Wheel-Shells/20.html
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Re: How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

Post by Keith Seymore on Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:53 am

77cruiser wrote:This would be easier, I think. I did it like this many years ago.
http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Shop/Bart-Wheel-Shells/20.html

Maybe, except:

a)  With my way the wheel "spider" portion stays attached to the front bead of the rim, ensuring dimensional integrity and giving me a spot to fixture the back side.

(Counterpoint - after cutting the spider out a person would still be able to install the Bart wheel shell and check for runout, both lateral and radial)

b)  Mine was "free" - since I already had all the wheels.  Wink

(Counterpoint - yeah, but Seymore - you wasted a couple Corvette rally wheels to do it your way)

I think it might be incrementally easier to cut the back off an existing wheel than to cut the spider out of a wheel.  Maybe not.

K
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Re: How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

Post by Keith Seymore on Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:03 am

Also -

We developed the technique in order to widen these "full face" Motorwheels, as shown on the pickup:




(the argent version of the 454SS wheel).

That's probably what pre-disposed us to go this way on the Corvette wheels.

We wouldn't have been able to use the Bart wheel shells on those.

K
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Re: How I did it: Widen Steel Wheels at home

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