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Bullet center caps on OEM steel wheels?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by NYHC396, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. NYHC396
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 20

    NYHC396
    Member
    from NYC

    Hey everyone, just picked up a new project 57 Chevy. I plan on making the car a very mild 50's style custom. It has the stock 14" wheels with hub caps which have to be the first thing to go. I like that the stock wheels are painted to match the car so I'm going to keep them but after ordering a set of white walls today from Coker I don't have enough money right now to get the spider caps. I saw that the bullet center caps are pretty cheap (no idea why the spider caps are over $100 more) but do they make any that fit stock wheels? The ones Ive seen only fit aftermarket mags. If anyone knows a site that sells the smaller ones let me know, thanks. Also whats a good source for the ribbed style trim rings?
     
  2. when i installed the $5 bullets in the center of my stock '50 wheels, i had to open the inner diameter of the rim just enough to pop them in. it does not take a lot of grinding, just enough to slide in so i kept grinding and test fitting each time i grinded. easy install and IMHO I think it even looks a little better then spider caps, with chrome bullets and chrome bullet lug nuts
     
  3. matthew mcglothin
    Joined: Mar 3, 2007
    Posts: 967

    matthew mcglothin
    Member

    I agree . Center caps and bullet lugs look way better. Spiders are waaaay overpriced.
     
  4. BIG JOHN 37
    Joined: May 21, 2007
    Posts: 318

    BIG JOHN 37
    Member
    from central NJ

    Spiders=expensive. And, bullets would not fit over the hubs on my DB fronts, so I improvised and drilled and tapped all 4, both front and rear and added the caps off Torq Thrusts, with bullet lugs, and trim rings, love the look!
     
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  5. NYHC396
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 20

    NYHC396
    Member
    from NYC

    Thanks everyone, my stock wheels have a 2 7/8 opening, Im not opposed to some slight grinding on them.
     
  6. Indychus
    Joined: Jun 9, 2010
    Posts: 134

    Indychus
    Member
    from Irmo, SC

    I got some off ebay for $30/set... They were listed for a 4 lug wheel, but fit the bore on my 52's stock 15" wheels after minimal grinding. I'm pretty sure mine were 2 7/8" also. Quality is better than I typically expect from ebay. It took me 5 minutes per wheel to open them up enough with a burr bit on a die grinder for the caps to fit.

    And I also prefer the caps/bullet lugs over the spiders... the spiders look cheap to me.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
    jasonsalthouse likes this.
  7. NYHC396
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 20

    NYHC396
    Member
    from NYC

    That looks great, what was the length on the caps? I think they come in different lengths also.
     
  8. Indychus
    Joined: Jun 9, 2010
    Posts: 134

    Indychus
    Member
    from Irmo, SC

    Not sure on the length, I can measure them in a bit... They clear the dust caps up front by a good half inch all around.
     
  9. Indychus
    Joined: Jun 9, 2010
    Posts: 134

    Indychus
    Member
    from Irmo, SC

    Ok, they are difficult to measure on the car, but I get 4.25" total length, and around 2.5" from the base to the start of the taper. That's ballpark, so give or take a little for the bit inside/behind the wheel.
     
  10. Indychus
    Joined: Jun 9, 2010
    Posts: 134

    Indychus
    Member
    from Irmo, SC

  11. NYHC396
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 20

    NYHC396
    Member
    from NYC

  12. matthew mcglothin
    Joined: Mar 3, 2007
    Posts: 967

    matthew mcglothin
    Member

    Rally America has good quality bullet centers also. As well as other wheel accessories . There a alliance vendor too. "Wheelkid"
     
  13. 53 COE
    Joined: Oct 8, 2011
    Posts: 688

    53 COE
    Member
    from PNW

    Attached Files:

    40fordtudor likes this.
  14. jake8092
    Joined: Jan 17, 2012
    Posts: 38

    jake8092
    Member

    I have had great luck with The LugNutKing on Ebay, I've ordered several sets of push throughs and bullet lugs from him. can get a set of lugs and push throughs for about 60 bucks
     
  15. StefanS
    Joined: Oct 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,020

    StefanS
    Member
    from Maryland

    With the push through caps, does it keep the wheel from sitting against the drum? What I mean is, is all the pressure placed solely on the lip of the cap and does it affect the tightening of the wheel?
     
  16. Yep this us who I always use.....I hate spiders...the new ones are total crap, way hard to get on, stupid mounting flange twists when you put the lugs on, 150 bucks was the cheapest I paid for a set....never again!
     
  17. No.....no issues with that
     
  18. StefanS
    Joined: Oct 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,020

    StefanS
    Member
    from Maryland

    So what's the best way to open up the center without making it look like s*@t?
     
  19. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    I'm curious too, trying to do the same and don't want to get spider caps.
     
  20. StefanS
    Joined: Oct 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,020

    StefanS
    Member
    from Maryland

    UOTE="53CHKustom, post: 10711333, member: 251002"]I'm curious too, trying to do the same and don't want to get spider caps.[/QUOTE]
    I'm thinking of trying a 3" hole saw. Lowes has one for metal and I think it's like $13 or so
     
  21. bulletz
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 74

    bulletz
    Member
    from nz

    This is one way I've used, to get around having to use spiders on hubcentric wheels, and saves you opening up the centre hole.. the flange is just wide enough to sit under the edge of the nut
    [​IMG]
     
  22. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    That's an interesting trick for sure! Is it really that hard to grind the bore of the steel rim? For instance I measured 2.90" for the opening and saw some of yours are 70mm or 2.95 inches. My worry is the rear. I have a 57 chevy rear on my 53 chevy but not sure if would need to grind out the axle/drum as well. Also the bore/hole on my rear steel rims don't look perfectly circular. It seems I need to grind out the tabs.


    1.jpg 2.jpg
     
  23. StefanS
    Joined: Oct 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,020

    StefanS
    Member
    from Maryland

    On my '54s wheels, the center opening is just about 2.75". To open it up enough for the caps to push through (3") I would have to grind the center holes lip completely off. The problem is keeping it perfectly round. You dont want the f-ing thing all wavy cause you'd be able to tell once the bullet went through. On the '57 rear, it looks like it's the same exact size as the front hub so it should take the same amount of grinding to fit
     
  24. 53CHKustom
    Joined: Jun 24, 2014
    Posts: 1,433

    53CHKustom
    Member

    I went back and re-measured with a set of digital calipers and the fronts seem to have closer to 2.75" opening and the rear 2.85". I guess it would be quite a bit more grinding for the 2.95" push through caps and then some of the flange may be missing. hmmm.
     
  25. StefanS
    Joined: Oct 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,020

    StefanS
    Member
    from Maryland

    I got a quote from the local machine shop for $30 per wheel so I think I'm gonna try the hole saw on my spare wheel and see how it goes. I'll post up as soon as I find out
     
  26. If you are going to use a hole saw, you can make a phoney centre guide by placing a piece of plate across the area where the wheel stud holes are , drilling out 2 or 3 holes to line up the wheel stud holes and bolting this to the rim. That way you have a place fo your guide drill bit which is inside the hole saw to go into.
    I have enlarged the centre hole by using a mill with a fly cutter bit in it.
    If you are real careful (and your bullets aren't wafer-thin, ) you may be able to weld the bullets to you rear rims (so they sit on the ouside of the rim), with a couple of small tacks.
     
  27. Movinman
    Joined: Feb 20, 2005
    Posts: 925

    Movinman
    Member

    Instead of doing all that grinding and potentially damaging the rim, just contact member Bullets here on the HAMB. I couldn't find a center bullet for my 15" stock Ford rims. They have a very narrow bore, although I can't recall the exact measurement. One message to him, and a set of custom made center caps were on their way to my home.
     

    Attached Files:

  28. StefanS
    Joined: Oct 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,020

    StefanS
    Member
    from Maryland

    That makeshift jig idea is a really good one. I just measured my o.d. on the lip around the center hole and it's just under 3" so if I used the 3" hole saw, I could use the lip to hold it in place for a nice even cut
     
  29. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 3,115

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D Just out of curiosity,could you have the hole stretched a bit using one of those hydraulic
    units that are used for exhaust pipe?Or,would the steel be too tough for it.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
  30. StefanS
    Joined: Oct 7, 2013
    Posts: 1,020

    StefanS
    Member
    from Maryland

    I don't know if the wheel steel would be too hard to stretch or not but there's no way it would stay flat against the brake drum
     

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