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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:
http://www.fordmuscle.com/archives/2006/02/Steelies/index.php

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:



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Nice work, are you a machinist by trade? The job doesn't look all that difficult and seems economical, if you have the proper tools. Unfortunately, most of us don't have a lathe or tig welder, wish I did.
 

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Nice work, are you a machinist by trade? The job doesn't look all that difficult and seems economical, if you have the proper tools. Unfortunately, most of us don't have a lathe or tig welder, wish I did.
Well, the guys that are GOOD make that stuff look easy! LOL!

Actually, there are plenty of places to screw that job up! If you don't REALLY know what you are doing, that wheel won't even come close to being 'true'!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Nice work, are you a machinist by trade? The job doesn't look all that difficult and seems economical, if you have the proper tools. Unfortunately, most of us don't have a lathe or tig welder, wish I did.
I'm not a machinist by trade, though I did have three years of machine shop in high school. I bought the lathe I use in 1988, and have learned how to use it pretty good. The lathe is a belt drive 1936 Bradford that served time aboard a ship in WWII. I have a buddy that turns down the wheel centers for me when I don't have time, and he charges me $15.00 a piece, so even if you have to pay someone to do it it's a good deal.
 

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Well, the guys that are GOOD make that stuff look easy! LOL!

Actually, there are plenty of places to screw that job up! If you don't REALLY know what you are doing, that wheel won't even come close to being 'true'!

I know I could do it, I have a fair amount of lathe experience, and the welding wouldn't be a problem, I just don't own a lathe or a tig to make the "pretty" welds. Use them at work, but they'd probably frown on me bringing stuff like that in to work on. He does make it look easy though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I know I could do it, I have a fair amount of lathe experience, and the welding wouldn't be a problem, I just don't own a lathe or a tig to make the "pretty" welds. Use them at work, but they'd probably frown on me bringing stuff like that in to work on. He does make it look easy though.
The lathe has to have the ability to accept something 13 1/4" in diameter, and the welds are MIG welds, not TIG.
 

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What tire would you recommend for 10'' wide x15 wheel to have stock car look for street need some tread for weather. I 'm looking at 325/50 -15 mickey thomsons drag radial what do you think? its for 68 galaxie


Thanks
 
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