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CHEAP HOMEMADE 18"x6", 5 on 5.5 BOLT, EARLY FORD STEELIES, How-to with PHOTOS

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Joshua Shaw, May 8, 2008.

  1. Joshua Shaw
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    Joshua Shaw Member

    I wanted 18" early ford style steelies for the back of my 32' I called Genie wheel company and a few others and the cheapest I found was special order, 30 day wait, and $300 EACH!!

    I searched junkyards for the right hoops, and didn't fine what I wanted. (I found many 18" steelies, that were $75 to $100 EACH!) But that was just the hoop, then I needed a center and I didn't want wires.

    As most of you know, with late model rear ends, to run wires, you must run BIG spacers. I didn't want to do this. So, I sat down in the middle of my wheel stash with a tape measure, and figured this out.

    Slick Williams and I, hand made the wheels, when we built the Dynaliner coupe.. So I said what the hell..


    Enjoy.



    You will need a stock 32' ford 18" wire and a stock 40's Ford 16" steelie. Both availible at most swap meets from $20 to $50 bucks.

    [​IMG]

    Then you need to build a wheel holder.. I have an old bent axle that I use. BE SURE TO USE A DRUM, not just a hub as wires need the drum to stay true sometimes. Also, be sure to lock the spindle from turning.

    [​IMG]


    ***IMPORTANT!! BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR WHEELS FOR STRAIGHTNESS FIRST!! No steel wheel is truly 100% perfect, actually a lot are far from it(new and old). My own limit is an 1/8 inch of movement. If the wheel is moving around at 3/16 or 1/4, toss it aside.. Below is the best way to check them. Clamp a piece of steel to your table and draw a line on it.. Then give the wheel a spin!

    [​IMG]

    Lets cut the 18" wire first.

    THE VITAL KEY is to make a "clampable" arm to hold the plasma gun.(a torch will work, just not as clean) If you have niether, use the clamp arm to hold your sharpie, and mark the wheel as you spin it.

    The First cut is just inside the inner roll, ON EITHER side of the outer most spoke. When done right the center will still be intact. SAVE THESE CENTERS! You can make other wheels out of them(shown later).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    SAVE THESE!!

    [​IMG]



    Now its time to cut the 16" steelie. The cut is made 5/8 in from the outer most edge. Hook your tape on the tire side of the edge and wrap it in.

    [​IMG]

    Making the cuts, is pretty easy, just push the button and turn the wheel with your other hand... The speed is determined by your cutter.

    [​IMG]



    Next, unbolt the 16" wheel and put the 18" hoop with the Valve stem hole on the jig. (you have to weld the hole up, and on the inside you wont see it) Then, bolt your 16" back on and check it to be bolted on straight.

    [​IMG]


    Now the tricky part. (not really.. turns out easy) Align the 18" lip to the 16" wheel. If you have a buddy to hold it it makes it easier. I did not. So, I aligned it, pushed in with my hip and tacked (welded) the top... Then carefully rotate it 180 degees, tweak it if need be and tack it again.. At this point, SPIN TEST it.. Don't feel bad if you dont get it on the first try. Cut one or both of the tacks and make adjustments. REMEMBER!! CLOSE AS YOU CAN GET IT, IS FINE! (You will be amazed how good they balance, even the ones you think are way out)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Then repeat the process for the outter ring. An old rear wishbone works good cause its hooked..

    [​IMG]


    Once you have it where you want it, WELD IT SOLID!! ALL THE WAY AROUND!!

    [​IMG]

    Once welded I paint them, and finger smear Silicone on the welds, as well as the factory rivets.

    [​IMG]





    Now you have an 18x6 rim that ford never made.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I didn't weld the outside for two reasons.. My weld was penatrated and strong enough on one side and I didnt want to see a weld. This is what the seam looks like before paint.

    [​IMG]



    Here's the finished product with some rare ORIGINAL 18" Firestone dirt trackers on them. While I usually run all my old wheels TUBELESS these old tires were very hard and just wouldnt seat, so.. 16" tubes were used due to where the valve stem hole is in the wheel... YES 16".. Not 18's.

    They Balanced out good, One took 1.25 and the other .75

    [​IMG]



    Now.. for the "other" wheels you can make with the left overs!

    Head down to you local Tractor Supply and get some Ford 9N tractor front wheels.. 19"x3", about $40. then cut the centers out of them. The 18" wire centers will drop right into them. Depending on the brand 9N wheels, you may have to roll a spacer ring between the two. (this is what the Dynamat coupe has on the front)


    19" x 3" (like a model A wheel, but STRONGER!)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Hope this will help a few of you..

    Joshua Shaw
    Shaw Shop Cin Oh
  2. mad-cad
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    mad-cad Member

    Brilliant!:D
  3. hemi coupe
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    hemi coupe Member

    Dude that is brilliant!! I would never even think of doing something like that!! NIce work man. You made what I thought was some lost art seem so easy!!
    Jimmy White
  4. Crusty Nut
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    Crusty Nut
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  5. Joshua Shaw
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    Joshua Shaw Member

    Here's the finished product. Thanks guys.

    [​IMG]

    Joshua Shaw
  6. The37Kid
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    Ridgefield, Ct.

    The37Kid Member

    Years ago there was a shop in New Jersey that would do wheel work like that, lots of stock car work. I had a pair of 16" Ford wheels widened for dirt track rear tires.
  7. Kiwi Kev
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    Kiwi Kev Member

    You tricky bastard!
  8. wheelkid
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    wheelkid Alliance Vendor

    neat way to do it.
    Jimmy
  9. Cshabang
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    Cshabang Member

    BITCHIN JOSH....I may have to find me some wheels...then build the car for them..haha
  10. lakester47
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    lakester47 Member

    Josh,

    Thanks for the wheel lesson. I have read your explanation of the Dynaliner wheels in Street Rodder several times. Seeing the excellent pictures was awesome. You're very talented. Thanks for sharing with us.
  11. Richard D
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    Richard D Member

    Holy shit, when's TECH Week?!?!? A+++
  12. hotrod1940
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    hotrod1940 Member
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club
    2. Lacquer lovers unite!

    If anybody asks what traditional hotrodding is all about, give them this thread.
    Great job.
  13. HHRdave
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    HHRdave BANNED

    Excellent post !!!! This is a great tech post. Nice work!
  14. Crazy Backyard Builder
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    Crazy Backyard Builder Member

    Wow, great tech ! I want a set of those.


    CBB
  15. Chris
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    Chris
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    1. 34 Fords
    2. Hamb dog lovers
    3. Northwest HAMBers

    Awesome!
  16. alteredpilot
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    alteredpilot Member

    faw king amazing.
  17. Minewithnoshine
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    Minewithnoshine Member

  18. Shoprag
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    Shoprag Member

    I wouldn't trust my welds on something so tender!!!
    Great job, looks nice!
  19. Dat Dirty Rat
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    Dat Dirty Rat Member

    Thats one of the best techs in my opinion in a long time!

    Nice job..
  20. Jeff Norwell
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    Jeff Norwell Art Editor Staff Member

    Nice tech Josh..very nice.
  21. SUHRsc
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    SUHRsc
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    very nice job!
    thanks for the info!

    Zach
  22. Sixcarb
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    Sixcarb Member

    Good idea on cutting up the 18" to get a starting rim, the rears on this were made the same way by cutting up a 16" early ford and welding it in to a newly bought 5" wide 18' outer, the outers were designed for tractors I believe, I was curious about the balancing since we didn't balance ours, when we welded them we set them in a spinning jig to get them true. Nice work on your pair they look great on the car.

    [​IMG]
  23. Joshua Shaw
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    Cincinnasty Ohio

    Joshua Shaw Member

    Damn.. I see a sprint car above! (#29.. Wiekert livestock, wolfgang car?)


    SOMETHING ELSE I WANTED TO MENTION!!!!!

    Be sure to ground your CUTTER and your WELDER to the wheel!! NOT THE TABLE!! While the hub bearings roll, a good constant ground is NOT made.

    I clamped mine to the lug nuts. You may have to weld a bit and move it cause you rotating everything.

    Good luck.

    Thanks.

    Joshua Shaw
    Shaw Shop Cin Oh
  24. Del Swanson
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    Del Swanson Member

    Josh, That's awesome! you're the man!
  25. 29 sedanman
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    29 sedanman Member

    Excelent tech post. Those look great on the back of Ol' Henry!
  26. 33 coupe
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    Double Oak, Tx

    33 coupe Member

    great post. was just fixin to buy 18s for a roadster i am building for b'ville. this will not only save $600, but will be a whole lot more fun than picking up the phone and just ordering wheels. Thanks again.

    33 coupe.
  27. aussiesteve
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    aussiesteve BANNED

    Josh
    Great Tech post you sneaky bastard.
  28. Joshua Shaw
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    Joshua Shaw Member

    I do it all for you steve!
  29. billshari
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    Altamonte Springs, FL Key West, FL Troy, NC

    billshari Member

    Awesome job. That is what real hot rodding is all about. One of the best tech posts I have seen.

    Bill
  30. Chris Casny
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    Chris Casny Member

    Absolutely crazy, and brilliant, great tech

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