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HTSpec TSX Redeux: Part 7, An Update on Rays Wheel Work

  • Posted: 04-08-2014 12:10 PM
  • HTSpec TSX

For all prior HTSpecTSX blog updates, please visit:

HTSpec TSX Redeux Build Log

After spending much time on the HTSpec TSX tearing it down and delivering it RBP Auto Collision, curiosity got the best of us and we visited Skip's Wheel Werks to check up on our GT-7s.

We've said it before; our Volks are in good company. On this one rack in Skip's entry way you've got some real sick wheels. Fuchs, Porsche Turbo wheels, O.G. Viper wheels...stuff to oogle at while our parts were retrieved from the other room for viewing.

Here is one barrel, completely stripped and lightly polished. Skip gave it a "satin" finish with an abrasive. This is the inside for those of you wondering if this is the lip and we are planning on running 30 degrees of camber.

Here is the inside finish. There was some pitting and whatnot which was taken down. This area is going to get cleared for easy cleaning.

The face mounting flange and lip are all masked off as these will be raw aluminum. No clear wanted here.

Skip expounding on the properties of the clear he is going to use that makes it cost $400 a gallon. I've heard similar stuff from RBP, actually.

The outsides of the barrels were cleaned and lightly scuffed, Some corrosion was found on the bead surfaces and was cleaned. The finish texture hints at the craftsmanship that goes into cast barrels.

Here is a face. All the old paint has been chemically stripped to the raw forging.

Custom inserts mask the fastener interfaces. You don't want any paint there. Sandwiching paint between mounting surfaces is a no-no. The coating gets crushed and pulverized, which makes it thinner and therefore the mounting looser. Anyway, no paint on critical mounting surfaces!

Now here is something that we are really proud of Skip for taking on (or his wife, we should say). When these GT-7 were first produced, there was a special process done on the faces where the entire face was painted and then the centers were given a machine finish. After that the lug holes and other intricate recesses were bored out.

To replicate this process now is impossible because the lug holes and such can't be unbored! So re-machining the centers to give a fresh, genuine finish is a bit out of the question. Skip scratched his head a bit on the centers when we dropped off the wheels, thinking that the whole face might need paint. That, to us, was not going to work. These centers need to contrast the rest of the face, So instead, he attempted to replicate the finish.

Unfortunately we'll need to wait to see how this turned out as the area has been meticulously masked for paint by Mrs. Skip. However the masking, we're sure, is just as impressive to look at. Each wheel took an hour to mask.

Here is the back-side of the face. The mounting surfaces, again, are all masked. Lugs hold wheel bolts in the lug holes to keep these areas clean as well.

Lastly, the hardware, which has yet to be shipped out for refinishing in black.

And now for some random shop eye-candy.

A new Viper wheel. Yikes!

Some bingy wheels with two-tone lips.

And on the other end of the spectrum, some old Alfa Spider wheels.

The last photo taken on exit of Skip's building, is comical, and perhaps looking for an appropriate caption?

That's all for this update. We expect the next time we visit Skip's Wheel Werks, the wheels will be all done. Time to start thinking about tires!


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