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Old 10-11-2003, 04:06 PM
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is it safe to redrill steel wheels?

Is it safe to redrill steel wheels for a different lug pattern? I want to take 4 lug steel wheels and drill them for a 5 lug. I think their should be enough material there.
Thanks,
Scott

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Old 10-11-2003, 04:22 PM
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Unless the mounting surface of the center is flat where you wish to drill and countersink the new mounting holes; forget it.

One option would be to use center sections from steel wheels that match your bolt pattern and have them trued up and welded to the outers you wish to use.

Why go to all that trouble though? Just get a set of wheels that already have the correct bolt pattern.
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Old 10-11-2003, 04:28 PM
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If it can be done someone has done it, I just haven't heard of it being done.

These must be some sweet wheels. Steel wheels arn't all that expensive, is it and option to save up and buy new wheels one at a time? That is an area only an expert in design might attempt.




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Old 10-11-2003, 04:40 PM
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The offset and width that I want is difficult to find in my bolt pattern except in high end custom wheels. I have a 5x100 and want a 10" wide wheel with a neutral to negative offset for a wider track. Jeep wagon wheels seem to be a perfect match. Why is countersinking important?
Thanks,
Scott
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Old 10-11-2003, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by swoodard23
Why is countersinking important?
Thanks,
Scott
Most wheels are actually centered by the studs and not by the hole in the center of the rim. The lugnuts have a chamfer on them that must conform to the countersink in the steel rim to hold securely.

Custom alloy rims often use just a flat washer and they don't have the countersink. These should be torqued to manufacturer's specs when tightened.

You might check with Early Wheel at http://www.earlywheel.com/index.html or Wheel Vintique at http://www.wheelvintiques.com/main.html to get a set of steel wheels to your specs.
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Old 10-11-2003, 05:26 PM
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what is the worse that could happen if I did it anyway? Is wheel likely to break? I think the studs should hold. The mounting surface is flush but I have no way of countersinking. Can I just use a flat nut to offset that problem.
Thanks,
Scott
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Old 10-11-2003, 05:50 PM
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Old 10-11-2003, 06:50 PM
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Have a look where the bolt/nut contacts the wheel, that is not an ordinary countersink. Since the steel used in wheels lack the rigidity and thickness required to support the forces encountered in normal use, the area where the nut/bolt contacts is splayed at the angle of the chamfer. This spreads the load out on the wheel contact face and adds rigidity. This is why drilling a 1/2" thick plate as a center does not work, the wheel will warp under load. All the folds and punch work done on a steel wheel is there for a reason...strength and flexibility.

If you want you can cut out centers from another wheel and weld them in with stick or TIG, the welds must penetrate and unless you have a large MIG (like .050" wire) don't MIG weld them. Fabricating another steel center is best done in an eggcrate style with a billet center. If any of this is out of your equipments ability take them in to be done properly, aligning and tacking can be done by you and then final welding should be left to a professional with a ticket on the line.
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Old 10-11-2003, 08:11 PM
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There are no folds or punchwork. The wheels look similar to these. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=43955 The center surface is flat. Any problems with redrilling these?
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Old 10-11-2003, 08:30 PM
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They will work for another 4 hole application. There are a few places here in Michigan that do that type of work plus, cut the rims,widen/narrow and space them to any offset that you request. You should do a web search in your area. A lot of them straighten bent rims.
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Old 10-11-2003, 09:10 PM
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Also, the car they are going on only weighs 2300lbs. Does that make a difference?
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Old 10-11-2003, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by swoodard23
There are no folds or punchwork. The wheels look similar to these. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=43955 The center surface is flat. Any problems with redrilling these?
No problem with those, drill away. It can be done on a milling machine, any shop with a big enough mill and the right countersink can do it for you. Having the center sleeved for your hub might be a good idea if you intend to use them off road, the bolt holes tend to get beat out if they will be abused.
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Old 10-12-2003, 04:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by swoodard23
what is the worse that could happen if I did it anyway? Thanks,
Scott
You seem determined to want to drill out your wheels.

If you do not have the correct equiptment to get the bolt pattern spaced properly and concentric to the OD you will have major problems (won't be able to balance them correctly, excess tire wear, beat your axle bearings to pieces, erratic tire wear, etc.). The cost to have this work done correctly could have been spent on buying the correct wheels in the first place.

My final advise to you is simple: The life you save may be your own (or mine)!!!

Save up some money and buy the correct wheels!!!

Quote:
Originally posted by swoodard23
Also, the car they are going on only weighs 2300lbs. Does that make a difference?
No!

Last edited by Frisco; 10-12-2003 at 04:09 AM.
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