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Custom fabricated wheels....?!?


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16 replies to this topic

#1 NVBigBlue

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 11:13 PM

Hey guys,
I've been reading through most of the posts here, and it seems to me like most of the wheels being used to increase tire size on our Subies are either:
1. Wheels from Peugeot's.
2. Wheels from other vehicles that have been re-drilled to fit our pattern.
3. Wheels from other vehicles be hacked together with a suby hub.

So I mentioned this to a machinist friend of mine the other day, and he asked a very simple question. If there are so many people wanting to run bigger tires on their cars, why don't they all get together and pay someone to manufacture a custom wheel for them? Or better yet, why not use a simple adapter plate?

So being the curious guy I am, I pass this question on to you. Why can't this be done? (PLEASE... let me know if this HAS been done!) My machinist friend, who is semi-retired (he's 78 now, but still works for the University 25 + hours a week), has enough equipment in his shop to produce just about anything he wants. I'm sure that if enough people were willing, he would be able to crank out a very custom, very slick wheel, or adapter plate for us. As an example, you ever watch American Chopper on the Discovery Channel? Ya know when they design a wheel for a bike and they show that really cool, 4 axis milling machine spinning a big chunk of blank aluminum around, slowly spitting out aluminum chips as the design comes to life? Well, he HAS a machine in his shop that can do that. This guy has forgotten more about machining than I will ever know. He says that while a one-off is the expensive item, cranking out 75 or 100 items starts making things doable. SO? Any one interested in a 14" or 15" wheel or adapter plate with a custom USMB and Pleiades star cluster in the center? Just a thought.... hehehe
NV

#2 LEGACYTUNER

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Posted 05 December 2004 - 11:41 PM

I would like to see an adapter from the 4 bolt to the 5x100 bolt pattern, that way we could use the 14 15 16 inch wheels that subaru already produces, and i would assume that 4 adapters would be much cheaper than 4 wheels to fab, ask him what it will take to make these, i'm sure almost everyone who offroads older subarus would be interested.:grin:

#3 singletrack

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 12:05 AM

See, four pugs will cost you like $100. While you freind may be able to offer a reasonable price on new customs wheels, I'm sure they'll cost more than that.

Tis very cool notion though, and I would like to see it happen.

#4 Jibs

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 12:06 AM

Getting everyone together is the hard part. The other Hard part is the money involved. Even though your friend would be able to crank out quite a number of sets, what would it cost? probably more than we are willing to spend. Most of us are frugal with our money and thats why we lift Subaru's for 2-3K instead of lifting and making trail rigs out of other trucks that would cost a LOT more. Please check and see what it would cost for a set and per wheel, maybe it wouldn't be TOO bad.

#5 MorganM

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 10:08 AM

What kind of cost are you talking about? If a set could be had for $200 you might be onto something.

Custom made wheels has always been an option. If we could afford custom crafted wheels I don't think we'd be using Pugs, redrilled hubs or redrilled junkyard rims. :-p

#6 oddcomp

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 10:43 AM

i have seen a chevy truck running around town with custom made rims so he can run diesel tractor tires <big rig> so he can play in the mud and stuff
since those tires are talla nd narrow and usually have deep tread
watched him run a mud pit like that.. and man did they work

he made tehm himself i found out from talking to him

used a lathe to make the centersection and welded it into a exsisting rim
then turn down the welds on the lathe till it was all good and solid and fairly balanced
and by the way he also ran them on the road as well

#7 Sweet82

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 11:08 AM

I had custom rims made for the buggy
They weren't that pricey (more than a junkyard and less than most new Aluminum) Here's some pics...

http://usmb.net/gallery/albuo21/PIC4

Or....

This guy used the core out of his existing 13" and placed them in the center of a 15", aligned and welded. Here is the article.

http://www.rhinobugg...nts_gallery.htm

Further down the page you'll see folks running "dualies"...

My .02
Glenn
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#8 4RnrRick

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 02:01 PM

The thing that I've noticed is that most Subie Offroaders are POOR! and Very Tight on CASH. They still want to go have fun up int he woods but can't affoard much so they build a Subie.

That and doing a 6-lug hub conversion looks so simple and is DAMN cheap. The other thing is that most are Do it Yourselfers. Subies are not like the bolt-on Jeeps!

#9 carfreak85

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 02:14 PM

The thing that I've noticed is that most Subie Offroads are POOR! and Very Tight on CASH. They still want to go have fun up int he woods but can't affoard much so they build a Subie.

That and doing a 6-lug hub conversion looks so simple and is DAMN cheap. The other thing is that most are Do it Yourselfers. Subies are not like the bolt-on Jeeps!

I would agree and disagree with you. Although I am poor (college will do that to you), I just prefer subes to toyotas, fords, dodges etc. I like that I can rally my car one minute and point it up a mountain the next. They are cheap, pleantiful and can be made pretty quick. That being said, I think the adapters would be the way to go as they are much smaller and simpler to fabricate than a wheel. Two flavors perhaps? 5x100 for the street guys and 6x5.5 for the offroad crowd?

#10 Snowman

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 02:34 PM

Three words: cost, cost, cost.


I know this is taking the pessimistic point of view, and maybe it's just because I'm a major function-over-form kind of guy, but I don't think you'll be able to sell too many to this crowd until the price is within 10% or so of buying Pug rims. I find it hard to believe that even if you were to make a million rims that it would cost less than $25 or $30 a rim to do.

Don't take this the wrong way. I'm not dissing the idea, and I applaud attempts to innovate, it's merely that this is one thing that just doesn't seem feasible at this time.

#11 4RnrRick

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 04:54 PM

I would agree and disagree with you. Although I am poor (college will do that to you), I just prefer subes to toyotas, fords, dodges etc.

I'm not slamming anyone because they make more or less than another person. I just mearly said "to me" it seems like MOST subie offroaders are poor, hence they want to do stuff the most economical way. Also my definition of Poor is probably different than others..... I do have a good paying job but I got a morgage, student loans, credit cars, car payment, one child and a wife to support. The wife stays home and takes care of the little one so I bring home 90% of the money in the household. Some might call me rich (and have) but everyone live the best lifestyle they can whith what they have and everyone has priorities..... Just from what I seen so far from the Subie guys is MOST guys don't want to pay for something they can make for cheaper if they got the knowledge .... and manufacturing and selling new parts for this type of a NARROW market has lots of risks! Also subie owners don't appear to be always trying to out do the next guy.... with the lastest bolt on.... Hence like some of the Jeep owners I've met...

If you think you got a market or niche - Go for it.

#12 P K

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Posted 06 December 2004 - 06:40 PM

This was looked into heavily both here and in OZ. Problem was cost (~ $150/set of 4 adapters and the thickness (offset) of the adapter was 1.5".

Peugeots have about 1.2" less offset than stock Subes. So adapters with stock Subie 5-lugs would stick out maybe 1/4" more than Peugeots.

Peugeots can be had for $100-$150 /set of 4.

For those that want adapters for a nicer selection of wheels, there may be a company that will do them, but the one I inquired said the transistion from 4x140mm to 5x100 was too great. Try drawing the adapter on paper for those two dimensions and you will see its a difficult fit.

The best workable fit with good selection I found was 4x140mm to 4x114.3. Certain model year Honda Accord wheels were 4x114.3mm with nice ~50mm offset. But these are 4-lug. Many people would want 5-lug, and they just need to approach the adapter company with their request.

Just my $0.02 r/ PK

#13 RavenTBK

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 12:06 PM

Instead of going all custom making wheels or adapters to go 5 lug, why not just go 6 lug and use the nice selection of Toyota rims that are out there? Toy rims can be gotten in 14" and up sizes and various offsets for as little as $50 from the JYs.

6 lugs can easily be had on the Subie 4 lug hub. It'd be a helluva lot cheaper than going one-off.

Granted, if I had the money to do it, I'd love to make some custom wheels.. but I fall into the POOR category described above. :-p

Just my opinion..

#14 bushbasher

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 02:01 PM

The thing that I've noticed is that most Subie Offroaders are POOR! and Very Tight on CASH. They still want to go have fun up int he woods but can't affoard much so they build a Subie.


I think thats true to a point, but one can buy a toyota pickup or a samurai and weld the diffs, swap junkyard leafsprings in, do a spring over etc for really cheap too. It still comes down to a matter of preference. I just like that these subarus look like unnasuming boxy commuters, but if you know what to do with them and are willing to spend a little bit of money and a lot of time, they can be turned into whatever you want them to be, from rally cars to baja to 4x4s or to autocross. My subaru has done obstacles that alot of other 4x4s weren't able to do, yet it is still a blast to rally around in with a suprisingly low COG, and it still carries 5 people and a bunch of stuff in the back.

Its funny, because I told my friend I had some money laying around, and he asked me why the hell wasnt my subaru done yet then. Well, money doesnt get me anywhere cause I can't spend money on a subaru without spending alot of time; nothing is bolt-on once you go beyond the PK type body lift.

#15 Brumby Boy

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Posted 12 April 2005 - 10:27 PM

I would be very interested in some adaptors from the Brumby/brat paters to the currant subaru 5 stud patters depending on cost

#16 Qman

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Posted 13 April 2005 - 10:06 AM

Adapters

A few things to consider on this. Price, functionality, feasablity, usablity.


Price; While always a consideration can be overcome.

Functionality; How will your rig function with a wider stance? How will the bearings hold up to the increased stresses of larger wheels and tires as well as being pushed 1 1/2+" out away from center.

Feasability; The 5 lug pattern(5X100) just won't fit into the adapter for 4 lug(4X140) Spacing is all wrong. This is not to say that a different pattern wouldn't work.

Usability; I had to use spacers for the Nissan diff on my Brat. I didn't like the idea of 2 1/2" spacers sticking out off of the drums like that. But, I didn't have much of a choice without running two different types(offsets) of wheels.

As the wheels go out away from the car the need for larger mudflaps and flares to keep the treads within allowable limits increase the price.

Ideally, I think the answer lies in the hub not an adapter. If a "new" hub could be designed and built that would accomodate a different pattern then that would be the best of all worlds.

Wheels

People have built custom wheels in the past. Bratsrus1(Jerry) has built 2 sets of 14's I believe. Both were a bit on the heavy side. Most manufacturers will add your center to another blank. Cost is an issue here. Starting with blank, unstamped wheels is another option but most wheels don't have a hub opening large enough. Most truck wheels will have a big enough hub opening.

Another problem is that most wheel manufactures will not retool to accomodate a 20+ yr old vehicle. There simply isn't enough revenue for them to alter dies and such. I had a long talk with some people at ARB about this type of thing. Bottom line is that manufacturers want to see very large returns on there investments. Making our lives easier really don't factor into the equation.

Just a few pros and cons for people to consider. There are viable options on the table already. Tried and true methods. You and others will have to overcome this before others will pay good money for the product.

I am not saying don't try it. I am a firm believer that trial and error are the best methods to broaden ones horizons. What I am suggesting is to not limit your thoughts to "old" thinking.

#17 Sweet82

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Posted 13 April 2005 - 10:21 AM

Hey guys,
If there are so many people wanting to run bigger tires on their cars, why don't they all get together and pay someone to manufacture a custom wheel for them? Or better yet, why not use a simple adapter plate?

So being the curious guy I am, I pass this question on to you. Why can't this be done?
NV


Did you ever follow up on this???
I think if we had an idea on the cost, we'd know more about demand.
Cost is going to be the ultimate decision maker,
with out a price, people really don't know if they could afford it.

If I remember right when I looked into this, it would have been around $80 per/

Just curious,
Glenn
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