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2022

Something that has bugged me from the start of this project was the wheel rims. I had used standard 14" Penta rims that I had had widened and stepped up to 15" and, even though they looked the part, they were not right.

This is what one of the rear rims on my car looked like:

And this is one of the original rear rims:

I had wanted to get the rims right for a long time and towards the end of 2020 I found a local specialist in the manufacturing of aluminium rims. I supplied them with photos of the correct rims and then gave them the rims off my car to get the measurements right. The front rims on my car were spaced because of the larger brake calipers and it was decided that the spacer would be made part of the rim.

After a few weeks, I was given computer renditions of the the rims and they looked great:

The manufacturing of the rims was a complex and challenging process. Moulds had to be made from scratch and these were turned in-house by the manufacturer. 

The casting process raised new challenges. Because of the size and design of the wheel centres, the molten aluminium was cooling before the entire mould was filled, resulting in large cracks in the spokes. The mould had to be adapted to accommodate an extra heating solution to keep the mould hot during the casting process and this solved the problem.

A number of castings were made, with each being thoroughly crack tested before proceeding with the next process of welding the centres into the hoops.

The rims were then machined and finished before being prepared by hand for the paint.

I am very, very happy with how the rims came out. The quick summary above is no representation of the eighteen month process, which created many trials and new challenges for the manufacturer, who has decades of experience in manufacturing aluminium rims.. I think that getting the right rims made has been the single biggest achievement in this entire build.

The twitchy handling under braking during the first track test needed to be tamed, and it was decided that the rubber bushes in the rear suspension needed to be firmed up, and a stronger anti-roll bar needed to be fitted.

I removed the rear trailing arms and they showed a lot of movement once clamped in the vice. This would be fine for a road car, but would not help much for a race car. I removed the bushes and then had new bushes made from polyurethane.

I had an extra anti-roll bar amongst some parts, so I got a friend to turn me some aluminium brackets and then mounted the extra anti-roll bar in tandem. The brackets are beautifully made.

The new anti-roll bar and rear suspension bushes have completely transformed the car, and it brakes in a straight line without any twitching.

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