PDA

View Full Version : Minilite Wheels



Dudly
02-08-2010, 12:21 PM
The Minilite replicas I see in just about every parts mag look purdy, and appear to be a start in an attempt to get away from my stock steel set. Not to mention that they are fairly economical, $400 to $600. I was wondering how folks feel about them, like, hate etc..
OR
Should I save even more scratch to invest in something like either VTO re-make of the Libre, or Revolutions Retro 4's, or even the Pansport 8 spokes.

I welcome any and all opinions as usual.

TR4nut
02-08-2010, 12:23 PM
I have KN Minators, one of the cheaper replicas - I like them, and they were an improvement over the old stock rims and old tires.

trfourtune
02-08-2010, 12:39 PM
Panasports are considered the "better" of the bunch.IE machining tolerances, quality, balance, etc.
Just about any aluminum minilite type copy wheel is better than original steel wheels or spokes as far as strength and stiffness is concerned. Many do not give much weight savings over steel wheels though. They tend to be in the 15-19lb range.
very few "modern" wheels have the correct offset for our cars so selection is limited.
Rob

JKB1957
02-09-2010, 05:52 PM
Another option you can look into are real Minilite wheels. I picked up a set of 6 X 13's for my Spitfire and they were cheaper then the prices I found for PanaSports and some others. My last set I had to order directly from England. This time I found a wholesaler in Ohio.

DNK
02-09-2010, 06:19 PM
No way you can get a set of real mini lights for cheap.
IIRC ,they where magnesium.
I could be wrong though :shocked:

Moseso
02-09-2010, 07:25 PM
Well, I don't know about cheap...
But, look into this: https://www.minilitewheels.us/

Hap Waldrop
02-10-2010, 08:23 AM
I'll chime in since I master distributor for VTO, and had input into R&D and marketing of the new wheels. I'll put up our VTO classic 8 against any classic 8 spoke design on the market. When we decided to start making our own wheels, I wanted a smoother spoke design, a machined outer rim that truely looked hand polished and I wanted the wheel to be light, Our VTO 15x6 weights 13.7 pounds, that s the same weight as Panasport race (not legal for street use) wheel,our weels are DOT approved and street legal, add to that we still use hardened tapered inserts for the lugs and provide free lug nuts, center caps and valve stems with every order. Oh and did I mention free shipping in Feb. Oh and our wheels are designed with your cars in mind, we don't market for Honda, Mazda, Toyota and such, we make wheels for you guys and the cars ytou love, because we're one of you guys, everyone one of us involved with VTO wheels are LBC owners.

DNK
02-10-2010, 04:36 PM
Anybody wanna buy my 15X7 's for my Wedge with 205 Khumos on them. Tires have about 300 miles on them

Wait before I sell them,
<span style="font-weight: bold">Hap,</span> Do the new ones look like the old. If I bought 15X8's for the back will they look different than my 7's?

Hap Waldrop
02-11-2010, 02:11 PM
Anybody wanna buy my 15X7 's for my Wedge with 205 Khumos on them. Tires have about 300 miles on them

Wait before I sell them,
<span style="font-weight: bold">Hap,</span> Do the new ones look like the old. If I bought 15X8's for the back will they look different than my 7's?

Castings from one size to the other will slightly differ in looks, for one thing the spoke design has to be longer with larger diameter, different offsets also make the wheel look a little different. As for the 15x6s they look different to the Superlite product in many ways, but still somewhat simular. I got pictures on my website you can blow up of the 15x6s in both the black and silver centers and see all the details up close and personal, go take a look for yourself.

BIBBER
02-11-2010, 08:43 PM
Dudly...really comes down to personal choice...I've got Minilites on the 62 Sprite but only because I wanted Minilites (pic in Members Pictures)....the name is embossed on outer rim and caps have logo...otherwise if you don't care I'd check into Haps' wheels...

Dudly
02-11-2010, 10:22 PM
My spit is that funky Vermilion red, looks Cleveland Browns orange to most. I think it would look sharp if the wheels were a darker color. I have viewed 8 spoke that appear to be gunmetal gray, there is also the revolution 4 spoke that are black. I could think of other things that I could drop 500 or so clams on, but hey, I want to look cool this driving season.

Thanks guys for your thoughts.

DNK
02-11-2010, 10:38 PM
Dudley, Mine are a Grey Black
https://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o316/donkelly23/DSCF2994.jpg

Hap Waldrop
02-12-2010, 09:39 AM
Hey Don, I recognize those :smile:

As for Minilite, it's just a name now, same wheel as the KN Minitor, and regardless of what they tell you, it's not made in the UK, in fact it's made in one the lowball manufactuers, we order a wheel or two from all our competitors, this is how I know this. Our goal with the new VTO was to be better than Pansport for the KN Minitor price, and after selling, myself, like 400+ sets of Superlite and VTO, I've never had a return because someone didn't like the product. Right now I have a special going with the new VTO wheels, free shipping in 48 states in feb. and disconted shipping elsewhere, and a free Acme Speed Shop T shirt, visit my website below if interested.

Hap Waldrop
02-12-2010, 09:40 AM
Hey Don, I recognize those :smile:

As for Minilite, it's just a name now, same wheel as the KN Minitor, and regardless of what they tell you, it's not made in the UK, in fact it's made in one the lowball manufactuers, we order a wheel or two from all our competitors, this is how I know this. Our goal with the new VTO was to be better than Pansport for the KN Minitor price, and after selling, myself, like 400+ sets of Superlite and VTO, I've never had a return because someone didn't like the product. Right now I have a special going with the new VTO wheels, free shipping in 48 states in feb. and discounted shipping elsewhere, and a free Acme Speed Shop T shirt, visit my website below if interested.

LfmTR4
02-12-2010, 03:04 PM
I favor the Minilites, these came on the car when I got it. Think they are older models 15 x 5.5. Lots of room.

https://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z308/lfm614/ab4c2263.jpg

GeeBee1
02-12-2010, 03:12 PM
More shameless sales pitches... :laugh:

Minilite rims are by a chap who bought the original molds, I recall some years back him trying to drum up funding to get them cleaned up and back into production.

Pat

DanB
02-12-2010, 03:39 PM
Don,

Are you seriously thinking about selling your wheels and tires?

Dan

Hap Waldrop
02-23-2010, 07:04 AM
Only a few days left on the Feb. factory supported free shipping deal on VTO wheels. Also have some Superlite 15x6 clearence sale for GT6/Spitfire and TR7/8

TR4nut
02-23-2010, 08:36 AM
Only a few days left on the Feb. factory supported free shipping deal on VTO wheels. Also have some Superlite 15x6 clearence sale for GT6/Spitfire and TR7/8

Hap-

You want more sales, get VTO to make 15x5.5". Much better for the TR3/4 owners, and just fine for the TR6 guys too. There is a market there, just not on the racetrack!

Randy

billspit
02-23-2010, 08:40 AM
Hap
Are the retro four wheels going to be 4 spoke?

Moseso
02-23-2010, 01:10 PM
Only a few days left on the Feb. factory supported free shipping deal on VTO wheels. Also have some Superlite 15x6 clearence sale for GT6/Spitfire and TR7/8

Hap-

You want more sales, get VTO to make 15x5.5". Much better for the TR3/4 owners, and just fine for the TR6 guys too. There is a market there, just not on the racetrack!

Randy :iagree:

I want some 15x5.5 alloys for my TR3. I have nearly new 165x15 tires on my steel rims. I could continue to use them up on a 5.5 rim, but not on a 6". Then, when they're used up, I could go wider , if I wanted. In any case, I can't afford to scrap my tires to get a 6" rim.

Hap Waldrop
02-23-2010, 01:48 PM
Only a few days left on the Feb. factory supported free shipping deal on VTO wheels. Also have some Superlite 15x6 clearence sale for GT6/Spitfire and TR7/8

Hap-

You want more sales, get VTO to make 15x5.5". Much better for the TR3/4 owners, and just fine for the TR6 guys too. There is a market there, just not on the racetrack!

Randy

Not saying we won't do it, but we had zero fitment issues with the 15x6 on TR3 and TR4s and have literally sold hundreds of sets to those guys.

Hap Waldrop
02-23-2010, 01:56 PM
Hap
Are the retro four wheels going to be 4 spoke?


Yes they are going to be a modern remake of the American Racing Libre, here's a rendering of them, we will getting the first two sizes in them by mid March, 14x5.5 and 13x5.5, Retro 4 15x6s will be available by Summer.

TR4nut
02-23-2010, 02:27 PM
Hap-

With my 5.5" KN's I am on the extreme outer edge of my front fenders on the TR4 - and on the inside I've had to fiddle very slightly to reduce lock to lock as I was snagging the upper ball joint. I don't see much more room there for a street car.

My contention is KN's sell on TRs because other than more expensive Panasports they are the only 5.5" option. You make those VTO's and hands down you will have a nicer option for buyers.

And if you make that Retro in 5.5" you have a buyer right now!

Randy

Hap Waldrop
02-23-2010, 02:44 PM
Ok, guys I'm listening, good stuff. Bottom line right now were's making what has been our best sellers, so the MGBs and TR6s always come first, because those two groups buy more wheels than the rest of the market combined, add to that everything has to be made in minumum order of 100 units, even a color change from say black to silver centers means a 100 unit run, so eventually we'll have all the sizes, it may take us a year or so but we'll get there. Now something to keep in mind is differnet wheels have different offsets, and different wheels are thicker on the inside than others, so comparing a KN Minitor to another wheel doesn't always work. I tell you what I'll do for feedback Randy, it sounds like you know what you are talking about, I'll send you a 15x6 VTO so you can test fit and give me feedback for, no obligation to buy it or anyhting and supply you with a return shipping label to test fit it on your car and give me feedback.

TR4nut
02-23-2010, 02:55 PM
Hap-

I don't always know what I'm talking about, but I do make a good test dummy! I'm in!

Randy

ekamm
02-23-2010, 02:56 PM
Sounds really good Hap, you sound like you want to help. I am also in the market for a replacement to put on my tr3 and will soon take what works best. Oh and what is cheapest of course.

Vaark01
02-23-2010, 06:46 PM
Hap,

I'll be interested in 15 5 1/2 for my TR-3B.

Paul

Moseso
02-23-2010, 06:51 PM
Sounds like about 12 of the first 100 are already gone, if you you don't take years to do 'em... I'm ready. Of course, I was kind of hoping to drive 'em this summer.

alfa33047
02-23-2010, 09:47 PM
I have been driving for 5 years on a set of 165 X 15 radials on 6 inch alloy rims with no problems. They would start to scream when taking a corner to fast, and they felt unsafe in corners. Last year when I noticed checking around the bead where the tire meets the rim, I went out and bought a set of 195/65/15 tires and it greatly improved the handling of my TR-3. Bill C. Mesa. Az

billspit
02-24-2010, 11:54 AM
Hap
Are the retro four wheels going to be 4 spoke?


Yes they are going to be a modern remake of the American Racing Libre, here's a rendering of them, we will getting the first two sizes in them by mid March, 14x5.5 and 13x5.5, Retro 4 15x6s will be available by Summer.

I definitely could see a set of those on my 80 Spit.

Dudly
02-24-2010, 12:43 PM
Me Too Bill ! Either the AR Libre's or the Retro 4's would look soo cool!
Incidentally I was at Team Triumph over the weekend and was shown a photo of a spit racer that Scoot built, it had the 4 spoke in black like the VTO Retro 4's, looked very nice.
And thanks Hap for your info.
D

Hap Waldrop
02-25-2010, 06:02 AM
Hap-

I don't always know what I'm talking about, but I do make a good test dummy! I'm in!

Randy


Randy, sorry it's been a wild and wooly couple of days, been running in the shop like a chicken with my head cut off. I'm sending you a PM now.

toysrrus
02-25-2010, 06:13 AM
Hey Don, I recognize those :smile:

As for Minilite, it's just a name now, same wheel as the KN Minitor, and regardless of what they tell you, it's not made in the UK, in fact it's made in one the lowball manufactuers, we order a wheel or two from all our competitors, this is how I know this. Our goal with the new VTO was to be better than Pansport for the KN Minitor price, and after selling, myself, like 400+ sets of Superlite and VTO, I've never had a return because someone didn't like the product. Right now I have a special going with the new VTO wheels, free shipping in 48 states in feb. and discounted shipping elsewhere, and a free Acme Speed Shop T shirt, visit my website below if interested.

Howdy Hap;

Who do I have to Kill to get an "Acme Speed Shop Tee Shirt"?

Thanx, Russ

Mark Jones
02-25-2010, 08:00 AM
Man, I sure wish I had the money for a set of those wheels...

DNK
02-25-2010, 11:03 AM
OK who was interested in my wheels and tires?

Hap Waldrop
02-25-2010, 11:26 AM
Hey Don, I recognize those :smile:

As for Minilite, it's just a name now, same wheel as the KN Minitor, and regardless of what they tell you, it's not made in the UK, in fact it's made in one the lowball manufactuers, we order a wheel or two from all our competitors, this is how I know this. Our goal with the new VTO was to be better than Pansport for the KN Minitor price, and after selling, myself, like 400+ sets of Superlite and VTO, I've never had a return because someone didn't like the product. Right now I have a special going with the new VTO wheels, free shipping in 48 states in feb. and discounted shipping elsewhere, and a free Acme Speed Shop T shirt, visit my website below if interested.

Howdy Hap;

Who do I have to Kill to get an "Acme Speed Shop Tee Shirt"?

Thanx, Russ

Russ, whats up bud, all it takes is order, or sweat equity in your case might work as well :smile:

DNK
02-25-2010, 11:12 PM
Hap- Any wider Retro in the plans?

Hap Waldrop
02-26-2010, 08:22 AM
Hap- Any wider Retro in the plans?


13x 5.5 and 14x5.5 will be here in March/April, 15 x 6 by summer, eventually we will probably even bigger/wider versions, 15x7, 16x7,but it will take time, most poplular sizes and offsets first, then less desireable size/offsets over time, fiquire it atleast a 2 year paln to have a very good selection, but the heavy hitters of the hobby will be priority #1.

DNK
02-26-2010, 11:59 AM
there is a little interest in the Wedge clan and they were wondering sizes and weights.
I take it it will be similar to the Minilite style in weight

Hap Waldrop
02-27-2010, 06:57 AM
Don, the VTO product is definately coming out lighter than the Superlite or Minitor type product, for exmaple the Superlite 15x6 weighed 17.8 our VTO 15x6 weighs 13.7, I have no reason to expect the Retro 4 will not come in at simular weights, maybe lighter, since they have less material in the center design. On of my big issues with the new VTO wheels was light enough weight, that the street crowd got race weight wheels and the racers got light wheel for street prices, so far I very impressed with what is coming out.

DNK
02-27-2010, 12:54 PM
Thanks Hap. I meant the VTO weight, just was to lazy to go back to see what it was called.

Scott McK
02-27-2010, 02:41 PM
Hi group, I own a set of what I believe to be original minilights. They have been on my on-again off-again restoration of a 61 TR4 that has been in my family since the early 70's. Does anyone know how I can identify these has true minilights and how do I restore these for a new paint job. The only identifing mark I could find was on the inside of the wheel on one of the stud flanges with the numbwer 61550. There is an amount of white corrosion on them but not a large amount at all. Bottom line is what exactly do I have here and I do I restore them? They appear to be 15x6 but I may be measuring the width incorrecly.

Thanks for your input.

Scott

DNK
02-27-2010, 04:15 PM
If they are real I believe they are magnesium.

Roger
02-27-2010, 06:46 PM
If they really are magnesium Minilites, and have external, visible corrosion, don't use them except for display. They may well have internal corrosion that would scare you to death if you saw it, and be very dangerous if you drove on them.

If you scrape a bit off, it'll light if it's magnesium and burn brightly.

bob67bgt
02-28-2010, 06:26 AM
Is that not the number on the back of the American Racing Silverstones? I guess I could go in the garage and check if it was not early and dark outside. Got a picture? Bob

angelfj1
02-28-2010, 07:48 AM
The only identifing mark I could find was on the inside of the wheel on one of the stud flanges with the numbwer 61550.

Well, actually you have American Racing Silverstones.
https://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/angelfj/AmericanRacingSilverstones/arw-11.jpg

https://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q159/angelfj/AmericanRacingSilverstones/250-1.jpg

also, this thread may help
https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcforum/u...eel_#Post359882 (https://www.britishcarforum.com/bcforum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/359882/Searchpage/4/Main/37130/Words/silverstone/Search/true/Re_American_Silverstone_Wheel_#Post359882)

Scott McK
02-28-2010, 10:11 AM
Thank you for the positive identification, it's nice to know exactly what I have here. What kind of shop would you reccommend for the evauluation of the wheels for future service? It appears a dye penetrant is adviseable.

Thanks, this site is great!

Scott

angelfj1
02-28-2010, 06:48 PM
I'm not sure. Intuitively, I would think that dye penitrant may uncover something. The only other method that I am aware is x-ray examination with interpretation by a metalurigist who knows his stuff. However, this could be very expensive. perhaps a phone call to

American Racing
19067 South Reyes Avenue
Rancho Dominguez, CA 90221
310-761-4915