I feel like Jamie Oliver or something here because today we’re going to be making a 5 minute dish – with a lil’ bit of basil yeah.
Seriously though – what we are doing today is very similar to the very first how to make deep dish wheels article I shared all those moons ago except now we’ve perfected the process and found the perfect wheel donor – thus eliminating the need for the Dremel. So let’s get into it shall we 😉
How To Make Deep Dish Wheels for Your Custom Hot Wheels
What we are basically doing is taking a specific type of mainline wheel, drilling out the centre and painting the barrel silver. Then we are going to cut the plastic ‘tyre’ section around another specific type of mainline wheel and insert said ‘bit’ into other said ‘bit’ Fairy Nuff then.
The first thing you need to know is what sort of mainline wheel you can work with. I am not sure the specific code name for it (I am aware that all wheels do have one) but it’s a very common wheel and easy to explain. Basically it’s the only mainline wheel that you can see through. The design is a basic 5 spoke and off hand I know it comes on the yellow datsun 510 Wagon and the Great Gatspeed*
Although you can only use the front wheels on the Great Gatspeed as they are staggered the fact they are chrome to begin with means if and when you perfect the drilling part of the process you will have a nice chrome lip to work with. Keep an eye out for models that have an all chrome design and buy up big 😀 (I did and now have a huge pile of wheels to play with which is also why I have no idea what cars you can find them on. :p )
- Cut the axles and insert a wheel into a vice. Be careful to find the right balance between holding it tight and not squeezing it into an oval shape (easily done)
- Take an 7mm drill bit and drill down into the barrel.ALWAYS DRILL STRAIGHT DOWN AND WITHOUT APPLYING TOO MUCH FORCE. LET THE DRILL DO THE MAJORITY OF THE WORK
- Once drilled remove the wheel and turn it over.
You will notice a little ridge running along the inside of the wheel where there is a step between the thickness of the front and the back. This ridge is what holds our insert and makes the wheel look so clean from the other side… so we need to clean this up.
- Take a blade exacto knife really sharp thingy and scrape and cut away the excess bits of plastic that remained.
I find it works best if you take a knife and cut from as shallow angle as possible and really define the ridge with the blade end. This way when you start hacking from above all the pieces fall out where they meet your blade mark – right on the ridge 😉
- Take a smaller drill bit, wrap it in sandpaper (medium to coarse grade) and insert it in the back (NOT THE FRONT!) and let it give a final clean to the inside lip.
Now we need an insert to go inside – and the perfect candidate is a wheel that has been around for a while (apparently) but is becoming more and more common in the mainline series of late. The wheel itself (which you’ve obviously already seen pictured above) is any wheel that is super thin like that. The Copo Camaro has them – and they come in a funky orange colour too! 😀 – Actually that was last year. The new Orange version has grey wheels…. anywho the point is moot because you can paint the wheels any damn colour you want – it’d be easy (and I’ll tell you when at the right time…)
- Take a pair of pliers and start to cut around the edges of the wheel. DO NOT CUT THE AXLES.
- Once you have cut all the way around take your stupidly sharp knife blade thingy ( I really need to find out what the official name of these things are!!) and carefully cut (away from yourself) around the wheel removing the jagged edges.
Note that you don’t need to be perfect as the wheel fits in even with some rough edging (and promptly gets hidden behind the lip inside the wheel 😉
- Now push the wheel down into your barrel until it won’t go any further.
- Check that the axle is pointing straight up in the air AND also turn the wheel over and make sure it is straight and neat within the barrel as well.
- Now apply superglue (I recommend putting a few drops of glue on a laminate (business) card and then using a half cut axle to apply the glue. This way you do not get spillage and dripage AND you control where exactly the glue goes)
Now you have your wheels – complete with axles and all you need to put them on a vehicle.
Now it is important to note that because these wheels are now wider you will need to cut out some of the base to accommodate. I personally use a dremel and the round grinding stone piece and allow that to cut into each side of the base for about 2 – 3mm.
BONUS SECTION – DESERT!
You may or may not be aware of this but once you have drilled out your mainline wheel there really is no limit to what you can find to insert into the end. Obviously it needs to be from another wheel as you need the centre part that holds the axle* but there are many other wheels that fit.
*Johnny Lightning inserts fit but because they actually pop out of the centres they have no middle hole or support in which to put an axle. They still look awesome and can be made to work:
More importantly (for those in Australia) the cheap as chips Welly’s diecast models ($1 at any KMart) have inserts that fit without the need for cutting at all! Simply pop the centre out (after cutting the axles) and then place them into the barrel. They fit perfectly and just need to be glued into place as per normal.
Pictured above are some of the models and their wheels (along with some I prepared earlier of course 😉 ) – and below is a custom RX7 I was almost finished with when all of a sudden the Stig jumps in and drives away!
Come back Stig, I need to apply decals!
Now back to the process, because this next bit is crucial.
This is the most important step.
Once you have finished your wheels and placed them onto a car you need to sit back and just be like holy shit that’s hot and then bask in your own awesomeness for a while. It’s hellasweet and oh so important :p
Now Bask in My Awesomeness…
Stanced R32 Treasure Hunt
Before I had even started making these wheels I knew they were going on the Nissan Skyline R32 Treasure Hunt. The colours were very similar and I had been wanting to drill apart and modify one of my R32’s for a long time now.