A Wheel Project?


This 5×100 wheel thing is getting me down… that and the solo regulations which I’ve decided to abide by which place my FRS in CS, and also restrict me to 7J width.  To date, a set of Enkei RS-III circa 1995 are the most interesting thing I’ve found, but I haven’t even gotten them on the car yet, and I’m deep into shopping.

… and not finding much that is interesting.

At this point, I’m essentially out of legal mods to do to the car, so the only real option I have (besides driving) to keep myself interested in the FRS is to change wheels.  I really really want more, and since nothing is really out there, I’ve been looking at really really weird wheels that most crowds might find repulsive.

And… I’ve been thinking about building myself a set of aero covers, aka turbo fans.

This is something that I’ve been considering for years, but have never really been able to determine a solid plan for construction. Many early eighties race use aero covers were relatively crudely constructed from aluminum sheet, with perhaps some simple beads rolled into them or bends used to add stiffness. Others may have had fins welded or riveted to the back side.

By the late eighties, mass production and consumer use fins were generally single piece ABS plastic, or occasionally composite.  

For a mild car that I use every day, hack creation sheet metal fins seem (1) a bit over the top.  I also (2) don’t really trust my own ability to make something out of sheet metal that I would be proud enough to make the most interesting part of my car, and (3) aluminum, relative to ABS plastic at least, is pretty heavy.

The recent obtainability of 3D printing, makes ABS a much more practical solution than it used to be.  I imagined that I could simply design something, send it off to be printed and then wait for the package to arrive.  That does appear to be a possibility, but the quotes I got from some printers showed numbers way bigger than I imagined.

Like in the range of $800USD per disk.

I’m no expert in 3D printing or manufacturing, but converting a spool of fine ABS thread into a big flat disc obviously isn’t very cost-effective.  The better thing to do, might be to cut a disc and fins from ABS sheet, and then perhaps 3D print a hub or other more complex mounting fixtures.  The parts could then be chemically welded or bonded together to form a single unit.

It still wouldn’t be cheap, but might be something I could stomach.

The fact that I’ve taken the idea seriously enough that I’ve been willing to invest a couple of hours in front of the computer, says I’m relatively desperate for something different.  I originally imagined that I might make something to cover said RS-III’s…  Something like this.  It’s not a finished product.  The fans could either mount to a bracket that cups the spokes of the wheel, or perhaps utilize an adapter/attachment to a couple of the wheel assembly bolts. I’m also missing a cutout for the valve stem.

It is probably smarter for me just to shop harder for more wheels.

If I do continue on with this, it will be a sign that the 5X100 wheel situation truly is in the dump.

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