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Junkyard Kustoms
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On my 53 merc it has a huge 6 bolt pattern, Its a big one tonne beast and recently i saw someone making custom rims for it since it has suicide ones on it now...

Basically they took the centers out ot the bigger wheels and put them into a 16 inch rim. I was wondering if this was possible on my own. I have a set of 15" ford rims to use for it and i want to know what i have to cut out and what type of welds i should use mig or Arc?
Has anyone attempted this before? Any sucess?
 

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Come Home Safe Soldier
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Find a competant shop to do that if that is the route you are planning on taking.Balance and safety issues are to much to try in your garage without the proper tools and machines.
 

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Summerged arc is the best method although I have seen some decent MIG welded ones (you need a heavy duty large wire MIG), you also need a large lathe set up for low rpm (<1 rpm) to do it properly. Many large engine shops have submerged arc welders to do large crankshaft weldups and will do the nicest job and keep the wheel straight at the same time.

Since this mod is being done to such a critical component I don't recommend you do it at home unless you have a lot of experience, balancing the wheel after is advisable since you don't want a half pound of lead on the wheel rim. Coin shaped steel sheetmetal slugs welded to the center of the inner rim is the best technique.
 

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Apparently you have a one ton chassis, correct? Single or dual wheels? I don't know if 15 inch wheels will fit over the rear drums. It wouldn't be hard to change to some 3/4 ton axles and have more common 8 hole pattern, if you want to keep it a truck.
I think you could make your own wheels. You would have to set up a jig and use the front hub of the truck to bolt the wheel to. Once you have the wheels cut apart and the centers fit, just bolt the center to the hub and set the rim on. Some sort of stationary pointer to maintain your desired backspacing and just slowly spin and tack it to keep everything straight. A little patience and maybe having to grind off the tack welds a few times and I think you could get them pretty good. If they are within 1/4 inch they will be as good as any stock steel wheel. I have bought brand new 16 inch wheels with 3/8 inch of runout.
If you aren't confident in your own ablity to run a bead with good penetration and no undercut then when you get them all tacked together get a proficient welder to finish the welding.
Or you could ship them off to Stockton Wheel and for about $80 each they will use your centers and make you new wheels to your specs.
 

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willowbilly3 said:
If they are within 1/4 inch they will be as good as any stock steel wheel. I have bought brand new 16 inch wheels with 3/8 inch of runout.
:eek: It should not run out more than 1/16" and even then I would take them back. 1/4" is a huge amount of runout and will definetly cause you problems. Check your runout at the bead seat not the flange.
 

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On a car wheel yes, but on a 16 inch pickup wheel (I'm talking steel 3/4 ton wheels here) it isn't a bit unusual to see 1/4 inch and more. In fact if you were to try and get ones with less than 1/8 you would have to go through a bunch to find a full set. And on a 53 Ford one ton that probably has springs like a deuce and a half and a top speed of 60 it would still be fine.
Most tire shop employees never look at wheels or tires when they are spinning them, but if you did some time in a tire shop and checked all the steel wheels you would be surprised how few really straight ones you'd find.
 

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Junkyard Kustoms
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ok

ok well the mods arent for street use its just to really roll the frame around..... i blew a tire and the rims are suicide rims so you cant mount tires on them... so im stuck with 3 wheels.... can you weld up the center??? where the two parts connect.......
 
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