Sunday, March 8, 2015

Four-Way Wheel Swap

This post has actually been a draft for so long that plans have changed and it's no longer a 4-way wheel swap.

Four years ago, I got this '70 Oldsmobile 442 W-30, likely inspired by the muscle cars that raced Baja in the '60s and '70s.  It was cool for a while but I kind of wanted to lower it to stock height.

"The second photo"

First of all, no, this blog didn't exist in 2011.  I started modifying these cars in 2011 but as usual, they sat incomplete for a while because of schoolwork and distractions.  I've been planning to make this post since August but had to finish up the Oldsmobile first.  Also, looking at the font of the date stamp, I realize that the photos above were taken by this camera.

I don't have a before photo, unfortunately, but I'll do my best to explain it.  The knobbly monstrosities on the Dodge used to be on the red Ford GP.  To mount them, they were so big that I just had to cut slits in the "brake discs" and glue the axles in.  The tires spin fine but they're super noisy and slow when rolling.  The wheels on the Nissan Titan used to be on the green Dodge concept.  It used to be lowered so raising it was hard.  I gave it suspension in the process but none of it was very strong so that truck is actually awaiting repair and/or a total overhaul right now, as it has been for years.  You can see above how fragile it all is.  Yes, the front suspension is made from slices of a plastic bottle.  The rear differential was cut off another car, too.  It was a real hack job.

Not "the second photo"

The Ford in the second photo is wearing some extra wheels I had laying around but now wears the tan Baja wheels from the Oldsmobile.  When the second photo was taken, I was planning to install the "Y5" spoke wheels from the Nissan onto the Olds.  They're not pictured in this post but Google will show'em if you're curious.

Lowering the Olds meant chopping off the gigantic axle mountings and making my own (*Gasp* I could probably stick them on the Nissan!).  When I first started modifying these cars, that was kind of challenging but after the sprinkler repair last summer, I got the bright idea to start using that JB Weld epoxy putty on my cars.  It's perfect and can be filed, sanded, or painted if looks are an issue.  I tried coloring it silver with my metallic Sharpie, which didn't help the appearance too much but I don't really care.

I ended up not going with the Y5 wheels.  The axles for the Nissan were too long so the wheels were too far apart for this car.  I forget which car(s) these wheels and axles are from but they fit better.  Also, the Nissan's wheels would have been as big as the rear wheels seen here so the car would have looked like a Donk.  Not that it's a bad thing and I respect other people's tastes, but it's just not for me.  The stance it has now makes it look more like a '70s street machine of some sort so I guess that's more okay.

The car didn't roll as well as I would like because the JB Weld doesn't create a smooth enough surface for the wheels to spin smoothly against.  I tried gluing pieces of Hot wheels box between the wheels and the JB Weld and that worked kind of alright.  I know know that the big wheels were not an afterthought, as was the case for the F-150.  The car's proportions reflect the intentions - just look how long the overhangs are! I'm not sure if I'm completely done trying to change this car but I might as well be since JB Weld is pretty permanent.  I have enough cars lined up for modification anyway so I guess this one will stay like this for now.