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New Build Stock Wheels?

SaxMan

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Does anyone make new build stock wheels? A couple of the wheels on my '69 Sprite won't properly balance. It's usually not a big deal unless two or more tires are on their unbalanced spot simultaneously causing the car to shake. One wheel, in particular, is pretty significantly out of round. The treadwear is uneven radially, i.e. if you are looking at a tire, I have significant wear at 12 O'Clock, but at that same spot on the tire at 6 O'Clock, there is still tread. It's not a flat spot from braking as the wear is on the inside of the tire and not across the tire like a flat spot.

The wheel / tire is currently on the left front, but I just did a rotation over the winter, so it was left rear last year and right front the year before that (I think).

I know there are plenty of aftermarket wheels, but they just don't seem to fit the look of my Sprite, although I may have to bite the bullet rather than drive on out-of-round wheels.
 

drooartz

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Not that I'm aware of. I'd love to find some myself (Bugeye ones) as I like the original style. VTO makes nice aftermarket style wheels, if you like the styles, but not that many options for stock styles.

There may be some places that can fix your steel stock wheels. I've considered that for my Bugeye wheels.
 

JPSmit

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I don't think so - though you can get rostyles.
 

Rut

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I really wanted stock steel wheels and was lucky enough to find a fellow Bugeye owner who was selling his. I bought 10 wheels for $25 and mounted each one on a hub which was bolted to a spindle, mounted a piece of coat hanger wire to judge roundness and runout and found 5 that were good. They were a mix of riveted and welded wheels and I lost them in the fire, but good ones are out there. I ended up buying another set that were pretty straight from a forum member. There are places that specialize in refurbishing steel wheels, but it ain’t cheap and new is up there with the unicorns.
Rut
https://www.rimrepaircenter.com/services/rim-straightening/
 
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SaxMan

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I really wanted stock steel wheels and was lucky enough to find a fellow Bugeye owner who was selling his. I bought 10 wheels for $25 and mounted each one on a hub which was bolted to a spindle, mounted a piece of coat hanger wire to judge roundness and runout and found 5 that were good. They were a mix of riveted and welded wheels and I lost them in the fire, but good ones are out there. I ended up buying another set that were pretty straight from a forum member. There are places that specialize in refurbishing steel wheels, but it ain’t cheap and new is up there with the unicorns.
Rut
https://www.rimrepaircenter.com/services/rim-straightening/

Actually, now that you mention it, my band played a wedding for a groom who owned a wheel repair / straightening business. I totally forgot about it until you mentioned it. I'm going to drop him a line.
 
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SaxMan

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Spoke to the groom -- he was happy to hear from me. He said "Sure, we can fix them", so I'll probably take them off the car and drop them off at his shop. I figure if I'm going to be holding onto the car for a while, I might as well get it "right".
 

JPSmit

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well remembered!

trying to imagine the play list.

Spinning Wheel
Helen Wheels
Life is a rock - then the radio rolled me
the wheels on the bus

:grin:
 

twas_brillig

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'The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round'. I'm sure we can work 'the hokey-pokey' in here somehow as well. Doug
 

hcallaway

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vS8lFeR.jpg

These wheels are riveted. They are holding air just fine and balanced with very few weights.
 

Rut

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The riveted wheels as well as the others were designed to be used with tubes and it’s not holding air that’s been a problem, it’s corroded rivets letting go. 58 yo wheels may or may not be round, true, and as strong as they were when new and a really good inspection is prudent.
Rut
 
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SaxMan

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I finally have gotten around to addressing this issue. I surveyed all four tires. The rears were worn on the inside -- they had both been rotated from the front over the winter. When I pulled the left front tire, my blood ran cold -- with the valve stem at 6 o'clock, the entire tread had worn away at the 12 O'clock position on the inside. There was still tread in the 6 O'Clock position, but worn on the inside. The right front also had a flat spot at 8 O'Clock, but not as severe as the left front. Needless to say, a new set of four tires is in order.

With the wear pattern, it seems as if I might have too much negative camber? I decided to dial in the tie rods a half turn on each side to see if that gives me better results.
 

nomad

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i think you're talking toe in or out, David, since that is all that is really adjustable. Not hard to check. You can use the sting technique for a quick and dirty assessment. I use a couple of 1X4's on blocks against the tires. Measure out in front of the car, flip them over and measure again to compensate for any warp in the boards. Average and you have a good idea of the toe. I go for just a tad of toe in. Besides being easy on the tires the car drives much better with toe in rather than toe out. Worn upper trunnion bushings tend to make the car toe out so they are worth a check.

Kurt
 

apbos

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Our daughter is now attending university in Stockton, Ca. Stockton Wheel has been making custum wheels for over 100 years. https://www.stocktonwheel.com/index.html We are only a 30 min drive away. If I get some encouragement I could take my spare and see if they could make a replica. I also wonder if making the rim slightly wider would allow us to use a more widely available tire?
Regards
Paul
 

Joe Schlosser

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I am a little confused. What are riveted wheels?? All the stock wheels that I have seen are welded. Looking at the picture posted I don't see where they are rivited
Also, I thought the 69 Sprite used the Rostyle wheels as opposed to the plain pressed steel wheels.
Luke
What kind of wheels are you looking for your 69.
 
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SaxMan

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The '69 Sprite had the pressed steel wheel. The Rostyles didn't debut until the Round Wheel Arch Midgets, IIRC.

I'm no longer looking for wheels, as I found out the existing wheels can be straightened out. I should be taking them and the new tires to the wheel shop towards the end of this upcoming week.

I tried using the string method...clearly I was not doing it right. I'll try the board method. Is there a particular number that you came up that I could use as a baseline?
 

Joe Schlosser

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Thanks re the Rostyle info. I have a set, needs repaint, if anyone needs.
However, I still want to know what riveted wheels are??
 

gfholl

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On earlier cars (Bugeye..) the wheel centers were riveted instead of welded to outer rim.
20180902_120958[1].jpg
 

Joe Schlosser

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Gary
Thanks, I learn something new every day. I bought my 60 BE in 1967 (had it 51 years now) and it had welded wheels. I had never seen a riveted wheel except on the pic you posted. I guess they were long gone by the time I started with LBCs
I have used all sorts of wheels on the car to allow for wider tires. My friends old Elva Courier wheels were 1/2 inch wider but would crack around the bolt holes. A set of 5" Chevy Vega wheels, needed special wheel nuts. Recently a set of Rostyle before springing for a new set of Panasport look a likes. IMHO the Panasport style look the best on the Sprite regardless of the vintage.
 
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