I needed a pair of plain steelie wheels for my '64 Galaxie that is built Nascar style. They had to be 15" x 10" with a 5 x 5" bolt pattern to fit the Frankland quickchange rear end. The aftermarket wheels I found had a dual bolt pattern that I did not like, plus they were about $160.00 each. I decided to build my own.
Three years ago I did a tech article on building steel wheels that used O.E.M. wheels shells and centers to build a pair of 15" x 8" wheels. That article can be found here:
This article would use a slightly different method as there are no 15" x 10" O.E.M. wheels shells that I know of. I found new 15" x 10" steel wheel "shells" from Speedway Motors for $39.00 each. Speedway also has 15" x 8", 15" x 12" and 15" x 14" wheel shells, so any width is possible. I had some plain steel wheels with the correct 5 x 5" bolt pattern, so all I had to do was remove the centers from the wheels on hand and weld them in to the new "shells".
Here is the new wheel shell, and the wheel I would get the center from. The I.D. of the new shell was 12 5/8", and the O.D. of the center was 13 1/4". Some machine work would be required:
The wheel center was spot welded in with eight spot welds. The welds are located and center punched. The welds are then drilled with small drill bit at first, progressively getting bigger until a 3/4" drill bit is used:
The center is then persuaded out with a large hammer:
The center is then bolted to an axle that is chucked up in a lathe and the outer edge is turned down to 12 5/8":
The machined center is tapped into the wheel shell, and the backspace is set, which in this case is 3 1/4":
I use an old spindle with a hub on it bolted to a workbench to true the wheel before welding. A dial indicator is used to get as little run out as possible. This wheel had .020", which is really good:
The center is tack welded in four places, and then welded solid alternating welds from side to side to eliminate any warping:
Here is the finished wheel waiting for sandblasting and paint. Total cost about $100.00 for two wheels:
Here is the car they are going on:
Here is one of the 15" x 8" front wheels built using the same method: