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Monday
Nov302015

Wheel meet again

It's been a long time since I updated the blog, but there really hasn't been much to say until now - Vikki is essentially finished. But I have just changed her wheels.

If you recall, I had some original spec BMW basket weave alloy refinished when I put her on the road - and they where perfectly acceptable. But I've always wanted wire wheels, to complement the period look of the Sportster. The problem is that: 

  • Wire wheels are eye wateringly expensive - new or used, as used will more than likely need rebuilding
  • No one did a bolt on wire wheel to match the E30 hubs, so I'd need to have centre lock adapters made up 
  • Bolt on centre lock adapters are expensive and heavy, and mess up your offsets. 

But then I found these at Image Wheels

It's their special order D.B.W wheel - which is a little larger at 16", over the original BBS 15" - but not really an issue. The best thing is they'll make them to your specs - so it'll have the correct PCD, centre bore an offset. Brilliant!

So I ordered a set - and whilst ordering, asked if the centre spinner could be different, as the one they had looked more like a 60 style spinner, and I wanted something more Morgan / Jag. They said yes, as they're all CNCd anyway - and they just done some for another customer. 

Anyway. That was in July. 10 weeks was quoted, so I expected a delivery in September. September came and went, and I started getting a little worried. I'd not heard anything from them, So I called. They assured me that they where on the production schedule, and it'd be another couple of weeks. Another fortnight passes, and nothing. I call again, get the same response. This went on for another month...

I finally got so annoyed with the lack of communication that I wrote to the Company, explaining what I had been left completely in the dark, and it was now November - and I still hadn't got any wheels. The response was very apologetic. 

Apparently the offset I'd requested had necessitated a change to the casting patterns, so they'd been shipped back to the toolmaker, who'd had issues as well... You get the picture. But anyway - they where being finished, the spinners had just been put on the CNC, and I'd have them by that Friday. 

So - Time to get something done! I decided to swap from bolts to studs and nuts on the hubs, as taking the wheels off was always a pain with bolts - especially the back wheels, with the spacers. So I ordered some conversion studs from Mtec - all M12 x 1.5, but 12 at 50mm for the fronts and spare wheel carrier, and 8 at 80mm for the rear wheels.

These got screwed in with some red locktite:

It was then when I test fit one of the wheels. Perfect on the back. Not so good on the front! The offsets where as per the spec - but what I hadn't taken in to consideration was the thickness of the new wheels 'spokes' - they're much thicker than the BBS ones. So much so, that the inside of the wheel was fouling on the caliper. D'oh!!

Luckily, my mate Adam at Eibach Shop  managed to source me two 8mm hubcetric spacers at short notice, which sorted the problem out:

So, after the mobile tyre fitter had been and put some 205/50/16 Dunlop rubber on the new wheels, I bolted them on. 

I think it was worth the wait. :D 

 Anyone want to buy 5 reconditioned BBS wheels with nearly new tires? ;-)

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