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Cheap wheel ideas

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    Posted: 28-November-2010 at 7:31AM
I thought I'd share some of my ideas for cheaper decent looking wheels.  I know swap meet wheels can be good deals. I have done the sandblasted rusty Cragers SSs and painted the spoke black and the outside rim area gray to simulate Torque Thrust wheels, but here are a couple other ideas I've come up with.

The first is dirt cheap if you have 15" steel wheels on your car.  I did this to a 96 Crown Victoria that had no hubcaps when I got it.  I originally was going to try and get the factory correct caps, but I had a set of caps from my old '85 F150  that I junked.  They didn't look terrible, but it was suggested to me topaint the caps black.  So I did.  I have replaced those cap from a swap meet $5 at the end of the day.  I bought the paint and masking tape for less than $10.  For less than $20 you could go from this


to this



to this




I decide this winter I'm gonna drive the 77 LTD II in the snow.  The 14" tires on it had good tread, but were dry rotted.  So I had my turbines on it.  The 275/60s that were on the back were not gonna work great in the snow.  I figured if I was gonn buy tires I might as well get snow tires.  I got a great deal on some 225/75R15 blizzaks on C-List.  Problem was the car had 14"s and I didn't have any 15" steelies in stock.  I posted a WTB post on C-List looking for some steelies.  I planned on using the F150 deal above on 15"ers if I could get some.  I couldn't and j-yards wanted $25 a wheel.  I could do below cheaper.

I did see a guy posting and reposting 15" steel wheels from a Jeep Cherokee.  They used this wheel on the Cherokees and Wranglers I think for a lot of years so I see them on C-List offen.  In fact this is the second set I did.  They aren't near as cheap as the F150 caps, but I needed something.   The first set I did I used the jeep center painted black.  The problem with doing that is the fronts don't clear the dust caps.  To fix that I cut the center out so the dust caps stuck through.  It was OK, but not great.  With the idea of using the Police Crown Vic or Ranger center caps Form Crownvic.net and Andy(eliteman)  I decided to use Ranger caps.  There are several designs that will work.  I like the ones Andy used better, but these are the ones I found.  Like I said above not super cheap and they also have the downside of having a lot of backspacing 4.75-5"s  I know they will work on 72 ups, but can't comment on earlier models.

Ranger wheels might be a better choice,but I don't see them on C-list near as often as the jeep wheels.
I got a set of 5 jeep steel wheels of C-List for $30, but they looked like this.

That wasn't gonna work for me.  I sandblasted them, but forgot to take a pic.  You could probably get similar results with a wire brush sand paper and a lot of time.  I then painted them with Duplicolor self etching primer.



I then painted them with Rustoleum Hammered Finish dark bronze 7218(finish is kinda dimply.  It hides the pitting better).  The Dark Bronze looks more Charcoal to me.



Here is with center caps.  They use special lug nut.  You need at least 12.  Get ones from a Crown Vic.  Ranger ones will work too, but if you get Ranger ones you'll want all 20.  Ranger lug nuts use a 3/4" socket instead of the 13/16" socket we use.  That way you won't heed to carry two lug wrenches.



Here was the price list for me.  Parts bought new include WI sales tax.
Jeep Wheels of C-List                      $30.00
Sand Home Depot 3 x 4.12 + tax     $13.04
Blasting Tip                                    $ 2.63
Primer (in stock) Est $5                   $ 5.28 (probably wouldn't need this with Rustoleum paint)
Paint Walmart                                 $ 6.30 (  I had 1/2 a can in stock that I used as well  Could probabl finished with 1 but YRMV)
Caps and lug nuts J-yard                 $30.00    
Total cost with cost of in stock items $87.25     

By the time you include gas money to get the items listed I probably have $100.  I know that doesn't seem cheap, but if you buy new cheap steel wheels it'll cost over$200 by the time you buy lug nuts and centers.  Used alloys in decent shape will probaby cost more than $100 too.


I'd like to see some other peoples ideas
Tom
1972 Gran Torino Sport 4Spd
1974 Montego wagon "GT" with GT hood, correct buckets
seats, console, and floor shift
2013 Focus 5 speed- Daily driver
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-November-2010 at 7:47AM
what are you crazy?driving the 77 in snow.dude your gonna kill another classic,shame on you.Drive the Crown Vic,those are a dime a dozen cars why trash a classic you can hardly find anymore.Sorry but you lost points on that one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72sport Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-November-2010 at 7:54AM
The Crown Vic is long gone.  It was my winter beater 2 years ago.  Id save the LTD II 4 door from the salt, but I had it up for sale a $800firm nobody bit. Even though it is a low mileage(54k) rust free car it obviously isn't a desired car and I couldn't sell it.  I might as well enjoy it and drive it.
Tom
1972 Gran Torino Sport 4Spd
1974 Montego wagon "GT" with GT hood, correct buckets
seats, console, and floor shift
2013 Focus 5 speed- Daily driver
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote antlerfiend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-November-2010 at 8:38AM
What does the LTDII look like and what about the wagon? I might be interested if you are not to far away.
Alex
72 GTS (Morgan's Baby)
68 CJ Drag Car Clone
65 Mustang (first car)
77 LTD II (Drag Car)
78 Mustang II V6 4 speed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 72sport Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-November-2010 at 10:09AM
Sorry.   I need to update my sig.  The wagon and the 73 4 speed are gonna get locked in a room together to see what happensWink.  The LTD II would cost more than $800 now.  I replaced all the belts, hoses, water pump to make sure it would be reliable.  I also wired it for a six channel amp and put in a fairly basic system 'cause I gotta have my tunes.  I'm in WI anyways.  So I'm not close.
Tom
Tom
1972 Gran Torino Sport 4Spd
1974 Montego wagon "GT" with GT hood, correct buckets
seats, console, and floor shift
2013 Focus 5 speed- Daily driver
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote antlerfiend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-November-2010 at 12:07PM
Just checkin. Thanks. I am really diggin those LTDII's.
Alex
72 GTS (Morgan's Baby)
68 CJ Drag Car Clone
65 Mustang (first car)
77 LTD II (Drag Car)
78 Mustang II V6 4 speed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unlovedford Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-January-2011 at 6:14AM
Great ideas on using the Jeep wheels. Thankfully the 5 X 4.5 bolt pattern is quite common amongst the manufacturers.
 
I regularly swap wheels around to suit styles as they change, and have found that 15 X 7 Mopar Police Rally wheels from the late 70's to late 80's work very well and have the larger center hole to accomodate different hub sizes. They really don't go out of style and are super durable, too. Mopar/Ranger/Explorer centers work well and I have even modified a set of early dog dish standard Ranger centers (polished aluminum with a red or black center - came on the low level Rangers with steel wheels) with great results. Attached are a couple of examples of these wheels:
 
 
Joe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rockatansky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-January-2011 at 8:16AM
i grabbed a set of Mopar 15x8's for my 72 Ranchero, not sure what color i'm gonna paint the steel? Red, Black, Anthracite, Argent... match to body?  
 
but i have a set of vintage baby moons for the centers & a set of trim rings that the chrome peels off of that i may end up painting also
 
maybe i saw it overlooked  on a different forum but it should be noted that the late model wheels don't hold the old style Poverty Caps, Dog Dishes or whatever you want to call them. besides that, i found out that there are MANY different sizes while looking for my Moons 
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