How to Make Your Own Deep Dish [Hot]Wheels.
Today I am going to take you through the process of making deep dish JDM wheels for your 1:64 scale Diecast cars.
Documented here is my first attempts at making wheels. Let me emphasise that point again, because being my first attempt there is still a lot of refining to do, both in the way I make the wheels and the methods I employ to do so. But that being said (and at the risk of tooting my own horn) the finished product looks so hellaflush and JDM (yo) that I realised this information needed to be shared. Besides, the more custom hotwheels that sit hellaflush, the better I sleep.
"I hereby pledge my allegiance to this great nation of stance"... and so on and so forth
Enough Chit-Chat, Show Me How to Stance my Hotwheels Damnit!
OK first off let me point out that this isn't a simple and easy process. Well actually it kind of is, but there are so many finicky little parts to the build that it can seem overwhelming* But let's face it, nothing good ever comes easy and if it was easy then everyone would be doing it already... wouldn't they?
*I added this line after completing the guide and realised it did come across harder than it actually is. This was simply a result of making sure I included every little detail and mistake so that your learning curve is somewhat shorter than mine 😉
You will need the following tools to make your own deep dish wheels:
- Cordless Drill
- DREMEL (or similar)
- Vice or Clamp
- Sandpaper (Med course and wet/dry)
- Paint pen (Silver or other)[/box]
- Gloves (not too bulky)
- Superglue (maybe)
Step 1 - Choosing your Mainline Wheel.
Ignoring the oversized rear wheel on some models, there is one standard sized wheel with 2 different rim diameters, 7 and 8mm. (The wheels are the same size, it's the size of the internal ring I am referring to.)
Standard wheels like these are 8mm in diameter. I have not started testing with them as yet. Obviously the difference here is less tyre profile, although the back of the wheel is designed differently and doesn't look like it will accomodate the centre of our wheel. More on that shortly.
This is a 7mm wheel (same as on most JDM models) but I have chosen the Great Gatspeed because these wheels (the ones you can see through) are the perfect donor for our deep dish wheels as the back of them is uniquely designed so as to leave a step that is offset by 1mm and allows out insert to sit cleanly inside the wheel well
Step 2 - Preparing our Deep Dish
- Cut the axles and take your individual wheel and put it in a vice or some sort of clamp that gives you access to it from above.
- Take a 7mm drill bit and gently drill through your wheel insert. Be sure to have the outside of the wheel facing up and again, push gently as you go so you don't accidentally damage the lip of the wheel - we don't want gutter rash on our new rims bro!
- Once you have drilled out the centre of the wheel you are left with a ring. Take a 5 or 6mm drill bit and wrap sandpaper around it. I start with a medium course and then finish with a wet and dry rubbing to really shine that dish up.
- Finish the sanding job by hand, manually turning your drill bit through the wheel. The drill is too abrasive for the final touches.
- Now take a silver paint pen and colour the inside of the dish, starting from the back and working towards the rim. If you're using the Great Gatspeed wheel then be careful not to paint over the chrome lip, although if you do then make sure you paint the entire lip in the same silver.
- And voila! You now have a deep dish wheel ready for an insert and axles.
- We will also be grinding down the edges of our wheels to create the stretched tyre look that completes the stanced hellaflush look we are going for, but we can't do that without an axle to turn the wheel on...
*The back of the wheel also needs to be cleaned of any debris and plastic bits so that the insert can slot into place neatly. This is why I recommend using the above example as the amount of time spent cleaning and preparing the backside of the deep dish on other wheels is much greater (mainly because other wheels have the plastic parts going all the way to the rear of the wheel, and the problem is that the rear part of the wheel is actually 8mm in diameter and not 7mm like the front, so the drill doesnt clean out that back bit, you need to do it by hand... yeah exactly - choose the right bloody wheels 😉 )
See image slider below for examples:
Step 3 - The Wheel Inserts
Now that we have our dish prepared (and doesn't it smell divine!?) we need to find the wheel design that we like to finish the wheel off. For today's guide I will be sharing my BBS Style insert process as well as a bonus process involving Johnny Lightning wheel inserts.
BBS Style Deep Dish Wheels
For this step we are going to need our Dremel (or bench grinder - even better!) with a grinding attachment. (see image)
Basically what we are doing here is grinding down the tire until all we are left with is the central design, which we will insert into the back of our wheel barrel. But don't run off just yet because there's a few DO NOT DO THIS pointers coming up.
- Put gloves on! (I didn't. It hurt. I do now.)
- Hold the axle so that one wheel is below your fingers and the wheel you are about to grind is above.
*The reason you need to seperate the wheels is because if you don't then little bits of plastic get caught up in the axle between the two wheels. This is also why you can't leave the wheels in the base of a car while you grind them - seems logical to do it though!
- Hold the grinder so it is flush against the wheel and start grinding it - basically. You should notice the wheel spinning rapidly as you grind - be aware that it can stop turning suddenly (gets pushed too hard against your thumb or something) and if that happens it will leave a flat spot pretty quickly
- You can also try pushing the wheel between a flat surface and the grinder. I found this was more trouble than not and stuck with just holding the wheel where I had more control.
- Once you have gone down to the edge of the mesh (if using BBS style) then check to see if it fits into the end of your pre-prepared deep dish wheel.
You will most probably need to return to the dremel multiple times before getting it fitting just snug
- DO NOT force the centre piece into the barrel as there is absolutely no give in the plastic and the result will be a big arse crack in the wheel. (see image)
- You may need to use a spot of glue to hold the centre in place unless you've really nailed the grinding part 😉
- Now that the wheel is attached back to an axle you can take the grinder and using the same process that you used to grind down the center piece, you can grind down the edges of the tyres to give them that stretched look.
The Result and Aftermath
The best thing about this method is you are left with a deep dish hellaflush wheel that is attached to the axle and provides you with a 100% true rolling vehicle.
The other bonus is that you now have tires that are just slightly wider, wide enough now that they stick out slightly, meaning nice offset OR bend the axles for some stupidly awesome negative camber.
I also realise that this may mean the base of the car requires cutting to accommodate the extra width, but to those who complain at this fact I offer this nice refreshing glass of concrete 🙂
How to Make Custom Wheels - Bonus
During the process of figuring out how to make my own deep dish hellaflush wheels I discovered something quite delightful that I will share with you so that you may experiment for yourself. I did not end up going with this method as it leaves us with a wheel and no axle.
That would normally be an issue, but when the resulting wheel looks so damn good, who gives a shit right? I know I didn't :p
Johnny Lightning and Hotwheels together?
What I discovered was that the inserts from Johnny Lightning wheels fit perfectly into the back of the wheel barrel that we are making.
The problem with this is that the JL insert is just that, an insert that looks great aaaaaaaaand that's about it. When you insert the JL wheel into your barrel you end up with a great looking wheel that has no hole to put an axle through, but even if you did drill through them (like I did) you've only got 1mm of lateral support for the axle.
It's great for instant negative camber though, so great you're verging on 'Hover Mode' in fact.
Anyway, I'll stop rabbiting on and let the images show you why I'm not planning on removing these inserts anytime soon 😉
Hopefully you've picked up a few ideas that you can test for yourself. Again I want to reiterate that this was my FIRST ATTEMPT EVER at making deep dish wheels and as such I will be refining and possibly even totally changing the way i make them.
At least by sharing everything with you along the way you'll come up with some awesome ideas of your own - which of course you will come back and share with us 😉
Let me know your thoughts and of course if you have any questions please ask away.
Now go make your own hellaflush wheels and turn your custom hotwheels build from Ho-D-Hum to JDM (yo)