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How do I Tell If my Cragars are Genuine?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 3spd, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. 3spd
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 541

    3spd
    Member

    I just bought a set of uni-lug Cragar SS's because they were really cheap (I paid 65 for a decent set of 4) and I also bought a set of lug nuts and washers (for near what I paid for the wheels) that I was assured would work with my 4.5" bolt pattern if I had genuine Cragars.

    When trying to put them on the car today they did not seem to want to fit. I got 3 on but the rest did not line up. So either the lug nuts and washers are not what they are supposed to be or the "Cragars" are not what they claim to be.

    So, what are identifying marks of a genuine set of Cragar SS's?

    On the inside of the spokes it says:

    CRAGAR IND
    3 399 930
    3 410 606

    A clue might be that these say made in Brazil on them, did cragar make wheels in Brazil?

    Any thoughts?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    (click for larger images)

    Thanks,
    Ryland
     
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,881

    squirrel
    Member

    pics of the nuts/washers? What exactly is not lining up? Are the washers too big and hit the center part of the wheel, or what?
     
  3. Those wheels are the uni-lug wheels. My guess is you have some of the washers on the wrong way. You can put them on so they will fit a 4&3/4 pattern if the holes are to the outside and 4&1/2 if set to the inside. I'm guessing you've not got them all in the same way.
     
  4. 3spd
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 541

    3spd
    Member

    Here are the nuts and washers:
    [​IMG]

    Now that I look at it again it does seem the washers are too big and causing the holes to bind.

    Thanks,
    Ryland
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014

  5. 3spd
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 541

    3spd
    Member

    I had them all in the correct way, they are round and are clearly marked "wheel side".

    Thanks though,
    Ryland
     
  6. You should be using either round offset washers, or oval offset washers (depending on the particular wheel), if your wheels are unilug. It looks as if you have conventional washers, from the picture.
     
  7. I believe those washers are for the dedicated bolt pattern wheels.
     
  8. What do you mean "Genuine Cragar" wheel?
     
  9. [​IMG]

    Cragar makes two types of washers for Cragar SS wheels, as noted above, and which ones you need to use depends on your bolt pattern. Your Bolt pattern, front and rear, is 5 by 4 3/4 ... and that means you need to use the "center" washer --

    I found this and it looks like you have the correct washers
     
  10. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,545

    Squablow
    Member

    Can you take a close-up of the lug hole on the face side? That'll determine what style washers you need and help figure out why they aren't fitting.
     
  11. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,545

    Squablow
    Member

    He says at the beginning he has 5 on 4.5", so he needs the offset washers I believe, unless his wheels don't have the recesses for offset washers, then his regular ones should work.
     
  12. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,881

    squirrel
    Member

    I'd be inclined to just use normal cheap lug nuts with the small washers, they should fit those wheels on that bolt pattern.

    Check nut torque frequently.
     
  13. This is a blow up that I made of his wheel and it looks like they are not recessed
     

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  14. Looking at the original Photobucket picture, it appears as if he has the later style unilugs with round washer holes, so he would need the round offset washers if I'm seeing things correctly. Moose, I believe his wheels are designed for a "standard" 4 3/4" pattern which uses the round centered washer; the "alternate" pattern is 4 1/2" which requires the round offset washer. Those wheels are basically the common GM pattern, modified by the factory to be unilug. In the older days, the unilugs were a separate wheel, or rather a separate machining operation of two processes.

    Older unilug Cragars used an oval offset recess & therefore an oval washer, which is still available from other sources.
     
  15. You're right,I read his post wrong...I was thinking he had the 4 3/4 pattern.
     
  16. are they rusting ??? >>>>.
     
  17. They don't have to be rusty or made in the US to be Cragars.

    Mine are nice... built in 1976... and made in Mexico!

    They're also stamped "Drag Racing Only".
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  18. 3spd
    Joined: May 2, 2009
    Posts: 541

    3spd
    Member

    Man am I confused now.

    I have the 4-1/2" bolt pattern, do I need centered or off centered washers?

    I was able to get the wheel on without using the washers, however I did not tighten them down all the way.

    Here are some close up pictures for 'yall:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The reason I was wondering if they were fake was I have read about them being "hecho en mexico" but never made in Brazil.

    Thanks,
    Ryland
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  19. Cragar got them made where ever they were made the cheapest.

    Cragar is currently owned by Carlisle Tire in California. The hoops are currently made in their California plant. The centers are currently made "overseas" (take that anyway you want). However all of the chroming process as well as the assembly of the 2 pieces are done in the US at their California factory. The centers WILL be made here, in the US, within 1-1/2 to 2 years when the process gets moved.

    So in the not so distant future the Cragar SS will be completely owned and made in the good ol' US of A!
     
  20. Abomb
    Joined: Oct 14, 2006
    Posts: 1,659

    Abomb
    Member

    The washers don't sit in a recess in these wheels, the shank lugnuts locate the wheels. They're to the inside of the holes on a 4 1/2" pattern, and to the outside on the 4 3/4" pattern. Just make sure you have the right length shank and use round washers. They can be tough to mount, as you need to get 3 lugs on before they will center themselves.
     
  21. On my Starwires, I used shank lug nuts, and I believe offset washers.
     
  22. Just checked, I am using offset washers, and my Cragars are unilug and my car is the same as yours 5x4.5
     
  23. spiders web
    Joined: Jan 16, 2011
    Posts: 384

    spiders web
    Member

    If the chrome is peeling they are probably real. I have a set but have never cared for them. To me they look cheap. They look better on a chevy than on a ford but then again that goes with the whole cheap thing.
     
  24. blue 49
    Joined: Dec 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,275

    blue 49
    Member
    from Iowa

    Some old aluminum wheels have been torqued so many times that the metal starts to compress into the holes, making them undersized right under the washer. A carefull job with a file will make the lugs fit again.

    Blue
     
  25. blue 49 called it.Watch out for unilug wheels.These wheels are not hub centric.They use the lugnuts to center the wheel.if the alum around the lugs on the wheel is forming an ridge and making it difficult to install,filling the ridge could cause an off center wheel to hub.It will shake like a balance issue.You can buy centeric rings to fit your wheel and hub at any wheel outlet if needed.they are plastic.I ran into this myself.
     
  26. Phillips
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,291

    Phillips
    Member

    Abomb is right; the most important part is the length and diameter of the shank; it should just fit in the hole with little side to side movement. The correct slightly offset washers are the best, however a washer with a smaller diameter than what you currently have will work as well, as long as the washer covers the bolt hole fully.

    Cragar never had the recessed oval slots, that was ET, starting in 1965, (they trademarked "Uni-Lug") and it was really the best universal fit system out there. Ansen had totally different insert system as well for the Sprint II wheels. Originally Cragar's universal system was called "Vari-fit", it used a weird 5 hole ring that fit over the studs and into the back of the wheel, and then utilized offset washers for the 4.5 and 5 inch bolt pattern, and a round washer for 4.75. The rings broke easily.

    Check the torque on the lugs frequently.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  27. I owned two different sets of Cragars in the early '80s with the recessed oval slots...(shrugs)
     
  28. Phillips
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
    Posts: 1,291

    Phillips
    Member

    Ok, I'll add this to the looong list of stuff I am wrong about!:eek:
     
  29. Ha Ha!

    Yuooo funny guy you! :D
     

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