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Welding steel truck wheels

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  • Welding steel truck wheels

    Hi Folks,
    Just finished making these offset adapters so i can put the wheels off my old truck onto my new old truck.

    Need some advise on welding them in place, don't want to put to much weld and cause problems and same for to less. Put some red lines on the back side wheel picture. At the top is about a 2 - 1/2" span. Don't know if I should put a short bead in the middle or one either edge and how long?

    Will weld on front side of wheel as well for the ID. These will need to be done first so they can be assembled and torqued down for alignment. Not worried about strenght, just want to keep them in place permanently.

    Any suggestions, never done this before.

    Cheers, Bob

  • #2
    If they're just spacers, I wouldn't weld them at all.



    • #3
      I agree with Andy.

      If you do decide to weld them you should either demount the tyres or at least let the pressure out and keep the valves out whilst welding and until the rims are cold again.

      If you do not do that the heat from the weld will raise the air pressure in the tyre and there are documented cases of tyre/rim explosions caused because of this, some ending in the death of the welder or a bystander. Google tire explosion weld for many examples of this.
      Last edited by Gavin; 04-18-2009, 09:02 PM.


      • #4
        Nice machine work Bob, but would like more info, such as : what is the old old truck, and what is the new old truck, and why do You need the nice looking adapters.



        • #5
          Yeah, unless we're missing something,
          don't weld.
          That thin a spacer will be just fine by itself,
          and welding the hub area might promote cracking.
          The hub actually flexes a bit in normal operation...

          And it would completely devalue the rims.

          I run up to an inch+ of spacer, and just keep
          an eye on the lug torques.

          rusting in Seattle


          • #6
            No need to weld the spacer to the wheel but you may need longer wheel studs depending on how much thread is left.


            • #7

              I've done this several times on various cars and trucks, including a couple of faster ones. That kind of spacer is fine; you are still bolting metal to metal, full diameter, so little or no flex is likely to happen, Wayne.


              • #8
                There's nothing special or valuable about them, just strong steel rims. Purchased them when I got my old truck about 15 yrs ago (88 suburban 4x4). For some crazy reason you couldn't get a 16" plain steel rim for these things that fit right only 1/16" clearance to tie end, everything in 16" is K series- wrong offset.

                Now that I have my new truck (88 suburban 4x4 but its much better, its brown) decided to fix the problem permanently. Never could get wheel weights on the inside front for balance.

                Pretty sure the studs are long enough, the wheels I'm replacing are big fat aluminium jobs which are a fair bit thicker at the bolt holes but not suitable for the abuse they will get out back. Although they look fancy. I will look up the diameter to length ratio unless someone here can remeber off the top of their head.

                Last thing I want to do is deal with loose mud or ice covered parts 40 miles out in the dark trying to clean off matings surfaces, when I change a flat. Unless of course I have no choice. It would be like...Look here comes a clown car .

                Cheers, Bob


                • #9
                  I would avoid welding,that's usually a recipe for starting cracks.

                  How about sneaking in a few flat head allen screws to keep all the parts together,kinda like they do with hat rotors on front wheel drives?
                  I just need one more tool,just one!


                  • #10
                    Second the screw idea! Some really old truck wheels had holes for screw near the hubs.

                    If you really want to weld them in place I would use a Mig and do 3 - 1 shot tack welds maybe 3/16" dia. Might have to preheat the spacers for weld bonding compairable to the thinner steel wheel metal.



                    • #11
                      no need to weld spacers we use them all the time on dirt cars to change the handeling. i would not weld them on a bet.

                      by the rules you have to have 3 threads through the lug nut.


                      • #12
                        X3 on the bolts idea. 2 or 3 bolts would be the best idea. 1/4" should work, if you are just trying to keep them on safe from getting lost.


                        • #13
                          Weld and they WILL crack...the only question is when...not if.

                          On a truck that is used to carry loads you are just asking for problems...and maybe a lawsuit.

                          Think about it...a rim separates and you cause an accident where a death occurs.

                          Welding the rims has placed all the on you and your estate.

                          Lawyers will line up to take the other guy's case.


                          • #14
                            Lawyers will line up to take the other guy's case.
                            Not in Canada. We have limits on punitive damages. Liability is limited to actual cost of injury and that can be limited too.

                            Bob, just glue them on with some urethane glue. They won't fall off while changing a tire.
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                            • #15
                              Hi Folks,
                              Thanks for the great info, think I opened one of those don't ask cause I can't give you because of liability things. They weld and repair wheels every day, guess the big difference is I'm doing it.

                              Think I may go fishing and substitute one of these adapters for a deep diver, if the glue thing don't work. Betcha if i polished one enough it make one heck of a spoon.

                              Cheers, Bob