Sunday, February 23, 2014

Multiple kinds of wheels

Yesterday, I went to the Ballarat Swap Meet with my father, and while there was keeping an eye out for a few things. One was a deep dish steering wheel to suit an aftermarket boss kit (rather than a splined factory wheel from something) and the other were 4x100 16" wheels.

As it turned out, almost every wheel at the swap meet was 5 stud, 5x114.3 or 5x120. Not ideal, but not surprising given most of the parts there were for Holden, Chev or Ford with a smattering of other parts interspersed.

The first find was these, a pair of Momo M1 4x100 16x7" wheels. They don't have an offset written on them but everything I could find on google points to them being ET38. I wanted these wheels as I still have a number of 16" tyres left over from my MX-5 which were the right overall rolling diameter for the E21, and should be good for a few sessions of drifting at least. They only need to fit the rear, and with some luck (the internet indicates it MAY work) they will fit without a spacer. If they need a spacer, I will have to get a 15mm one and longer wheel bolts; here's hoping they just fit!

It's almost a pity there wasn't a full set - despite looking a bit average when I first spotted them, they actually don't look like they'll suit the car too badly; and I could have always purchased larger spacers for the front (normal front offset for an E21 is around ET15). They came with Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres at approx 50% tread, all for the princely sum of $25.

The second find was this SAAS "GT" wheel from the late 70's early 80's. It isn't in mint condition (the finish is a bit worn, but the rubber/foam is still attached to the core and it feels like it'll have good grip. At $20 including the boss kit (which I should be able to sell; it's a SAAS 24 for deep dish wheels if anyone has a HQ-HZ or VB-VH?) it was a bit of a bargain. It's a deep dish wheel (see below) and of course being SAAS it's an aftermarket wheel so it fitted right onto the car....

Except that it didn't.

Here's the reach with the original wheel - not too bad for wheel to shifter movement, but too far from the seat even with the seat back almost completely upright. Not ideal, given that the seat is basically sitting where I want it at the moment.

Here's the problem. The old wheels obviously didn't have a locating hub. Over the years, it looks like wheel and boss kit manufacturers have added a 60mm locating hub to quality boss kits, to ensure the wheel stays centered. I used the original wheel I had on the car to mark the hole, then spent what felt like two hours filing. Note to self: get a sanding roll for the drill in case I ever need to do something like this again!.

I also countersunk the holes to use the Allen head bolts that were holding the original wheel to the car.

It's a slightly different angle, but here's the new location of the steering wheel. It's much better; for starters it's actually round unlike the one I removed, and secondly because of that I can read all of the instruments. I can also nearly reach the whole wheel properly. The E21 doesn't have rake adjustment but I think I can modify it to give me an inch or so of rake (with a spacer) which should properly sort it out.

Side on. This image is a reminder of why I should endeavour to use the SLR to take images rather than the iPhone.

Interior shot from the driver's seat. It looks much more period correct (not that the motor choice is - shhh!)

A shot of the fuel cell and pump arrangement since I've got the camera out. I'm going to upgrade the fuel supply hose to the pump to a 1/2" ID hose with -8AN (or JIC8) fittings, as I already have the -10 to -8 adaptor on the tank, and a -8 to 18mm/1.5 adaptor for the fuel pump.

This shot shows the wiring running to the driver's side headlight/indicator assembly.

And I'll leave you with this photoshop of Scarlett in what looks like a moving E21 (it's from a static shot!)

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