Lotus Elan

Wheel repair - US

PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:26 am

Charles,

Have you considered contacting a local to you shop that repairs wire wheels? They may have the tooling to straighten steel wheels.

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PostPost by: fattogatto » Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:20 am

Not a lot of call for repairing wire wheels in Memphis.
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PostPost by: lotocone » Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:43 pm

I'm going to try a shop in my area with an ACU-TRU repair machine for a couple of KO wheels with some lateral problems. Their website looks promising. I see there is a shop with this equipment in Louisville, KY , but not in Memphis

Here is the ACU-TRU website which indicates they do work on steel wheels, but I doubt they will disassemble a wheel to work on the center. http://www.acu-tru.com/services.html

Will report back about my wheels. I might go next week.

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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:38 pm

Charlie,

Whilst corresponding with Mefro, I enquired about new wheels. Apparently the bulk of the cost is in the press tool. Dave Bean must have had a supplier with such a tool. Perhaps they would let you know who pressed the centres of the wheels.

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PostPost by: lotocone » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:03 pm

lotocone wrote:I'm going to try a shop in my area with an ACU-TRU repair machine for a couple of KO wheels with some lateral problems. Their website looks promising. I see there is a shop with this equipment in Louisville, KY , but not in Memphis

Here is the ACU-TRU website which indicates they do work on steel wheels, but I doubt they will disassemble a wheel to work on the center. http://www.acu-tru.com/services.html

Will report back about my wheels. I might go next week.

Bob


A shop near me spun my wheels to see their condition and quoted $65-70 per wheel to make them straight and round. The wheels don't have any sizeable dents, but they all show obvious problems when they are spun. This would all be rim work using an ACU-TRU machine and no work on the centers.

Another company that I'll try to visit this week may be able to weld on a new rim, so that would be work like Richard Hawkins did. Maybe a 5 in rim that is little stronger/heavier than stock would be good. I have a feeling that once they see the wheels and give me a price, new Minilites will be cheaper.

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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:54 am

I believe the steel wheels sold by Dave Bean were made by the Elan Factory in Austrailia. The Elan Factory spent an enormous amount of money, time and effort to reproduce the wheels with a considerable investment in press tooling. I recall reading about their journey into wheel production in a blog on their web page.

The result was a very nice replica wheel, a bit heavier and more durable than original. The cost was a bit less than the Panasport wheels at the time.

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PostPost by: oodsell » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:53 pm

I have a question in connection to the steel wheels. I have owned my Elan Sprint for many years, but only recently noticed that one of my rear rims looked strange. One of the punched holes was greatly offset, and the "spoke" width on the side of the hole was 17 mm on one side and 45 mm on the other side (see photo).

This made me measure the "spoke width" on all wheels and they seemed to be in average 30 mm, but varying between 28-37 mm. I had assumed that the holes were punched by a tool in one go, but now it seems that they have been punched manually one by one (?). And the operator of this wheel must have had a bad day.... I have not had any problem with this strange wheel, and I guess that any imbalance will be sorted in the total wheel balancing.

Has anyone experienced the same with your steel wheels?

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PostPost by: lotocone » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:44 pm

You seem to have a rarity like a coin error from a mint. I've never seen a hole punched like that before. It does make you wonder how the holes were punched when the wheels were made.
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:26 pm

I expect that the ventilation holes were punched out before the flat disc was pressed to shape. I am a little surprised to see that they were punched one at a time. It may have been too expensive to make a multiple punch for a relatively small order. It is hardly possible for that one to get through inspection, but there it is. It should be worth a lot. Find me another !!! As they say.
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PostPost by: lotocone » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:34 pm

I left 2 stock steel wheels with light damage at Weldcraft in Livonia, Michigan. They thought the other 2 were good enough. The cost is $35/wheel, so not bad.

They thought that many types of old steel wheels were probably not so good even when new. Mine should be a lot rounder and straighter when done. The outer rims have bent outward somewhat where they have hit potholes and that left a flat spot in the circumference also.

They will also widen steel wheels, but not with a new rim which they call a "barrel". They would cut off one side of the rim and weld in a hoop and weld the rim back in place, so you would have the same rim thickness. Cost is in the range of $175-$225/wheel. I'd just go for new Minilites instead.

They can be contacted by email which on their website. Photos can be sent to the owner to discuss work. http://weldcraftfab.com/about

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