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· Supra since '86
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It can be done. I thought about doing this a long time a go.

You will need a good machine shop. The centers can be copied from billet aluminium, then mounted on hoops to make a three peice wheel.

The cost will be very high. It would be cheaper to get centers from smaller wheels with the right bolt pattern and mount them on hoops you want.
 

· Supra since '86
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5,406 Posts
The best solution is to build a three peice wheel.

I called one company and they wanted US$115 per 18" inner hoop or outer hoop. US$145 for 19". Thats US$225 or US$290 per corner. Now add the cost of a cast center per corner.

A close friend of mine was working at a place that did this sort of investment castings. He is a metalurgist and he was the person who calculated the prices on the quotes that came in from either drawings or samples. He said it would not cost too much.

Then everyone just finishes them themselves.

PIM buils a three peice wheel in the same style as the original Pantera wheel but in 17" for its customers. Same idea as the person who started this thread suggested. So it has been done by others.
 

· Supra since '86
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5,406 Posts
canadian_psyko

I left a message with my friend to get a rough estimate on cost for centers. I will see him tonight when we hit Hess Village and further explore possabilities for such a project.

I want to go with a three peice design for many reasons.

1. Availability of ready made parts (hoops).
2. Custom widths and diameters.
3. If a wheel gets bent then just replace the hoops.
4. I can get the machining done by a friend.

I'd be very interested on what you find out though.
 

· Supra since '86
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5,406 Posts
Okay my friend said that his old employer would charge around CAN$300-$400/finished wheel. This however did not include the cost of the mold which would run thousands.

The problem lies in getting a true round outer edge and machining it.

He did say that casting a center for a three peice wheel would be considerably cheaper. Though the machining afterwards would be a lot, I could get that done at work.

We may take a sample center to a foundry and see what they say.

My father could have done the casting if we still lived in England.

I wonder if getting it done overseas in the far east would make it cheaper?
 

· Supra since '86
Joined
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5,406 Posts
I guess another problem is finding a place that can deal with such a large wheel diameter.

I took one of my unfinished 18 inch hoops to work to see if I could get the centers cut out and no go. The diameter of the hoop was just too large for the machine shop equipment there. They deal with mostly small parts. I'll have to get it done at a shop with a water cutter and that means more money. I'll just store the parts for now, I don't really have the need for any more wheels at the moment anyway.

In the end it will be cheaper to get something like Braids than a true custom wheels styled like the factory MK2 wheel.
 
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