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Old 03-10-2009, 10:24 PM   This thread is in the EcoModder Project Library | #1 (permalink)
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Cheap-o Smooth Wheel Covers

In the long tradition of making car mods quickly with coroplast, I just did up one proto-type wheel cover.

My truck has these crappy fake chrome rim covers, which I have always disliked. When I started seeing pizza-pan wheel covers on Ecomodder, I got very jealous.

Tonight, I realized that my crappy fake chrome rim covers ARE THE PERFECT STARTING POINT for some aero hub caps!

Here's one of the rim covers off the truck.



On the back of it is sort of a circular spring clip thing that keeps it on the wheel.

After popping the rim cover off, I set it down on some salvaged coroplast ( thanks Republican Party!) marked it, and cut out the circular plastic.

I then ran four self-tapping screws straight through the coroplast into the plastic rim. The hardest part was just that I had to predrill it, because of the extreme angle of the rim.

Here, you can see the screw sticking all the way through the rim.


And here's the whole thing back on the truck.


This was really super-easy to make. I wish I would have had some plain, white coroplast to use, but hey, recycling is great too!

I don't think the little exposed "tubes" in the coroplast is a big deal right now. This is more a mock-up than anything. A slightly thinner solid plastic would be better.

I have a little bit of aluminum left over from when I built my camper:

That aluminum is just about the right thickness, and it's reversable, silver on one side, white on the other, perfect to match my truck!

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Old 03-10-2009, 10:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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bennelson -

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Old 03-10-2009, 11:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice!
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Old 03-11-2009, 01:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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They are known as trim rings or beauty rings.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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bennelson...

Very patriotic with the red, white and blue "modern art" discs! The coroplast signs you are using to make them are probably doing more to conserve fuel and raise awareness of increasing mpg's than any of the candidates who posted the campaign signs...if they only knew they might learn a few things!
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I drove to and from work today (about 50 miles round trip) with the coroplast covered beauty ring on.

It didn't go flying off, I didn't feel the truck shaking or anything, heck, I didn't even get any weird looks.

I guess that means it's a success as far as a no-cost mockup goes. Maybe this weekend I can find that last piece of aluminum and see if there is enough for a full set of four covers.

Anyone have a good suggestion for how to cut aluminum in a perfect circle? It's too thick for tinsnips. More in the range of lightweight jigsaw.

Hmmm. Maybe I can get access to that plasma cutter again. Set the trim ring right on the aluminum and plasma cut it out!

I am starting to appreciate friends with tools!!!
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you have a router, you could cut out a wooden circle, then rout the metal. It's hard to explain in words so ill have to do a ms paint rendering for ya. But you should definitely put the shiny side out and polish the heck out of it.

The radius of your template would be the radius of the wheel cover minus the length from the edge of the router bit to the edge of the router. Get it?
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Good idea on the router.

I did do a little bit like that working on my camper. The router worked great, but was a bit frightening freehand on curves!

I think I got what you mean about how to use a wood template.
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Oh, and here's how you can cut your template out, you could use it for the actual caps, but you'd have to drill holes in the center of them.
Router Circle Cutting Jig for Woodworking
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Wouldn't routing it be pretty tough? Especially getting a nice edge?

I'd dig around, maybe even pay a shop for access to a bandsaw with a metal cutting blade. That will produce nice results, quickly and easily. Or a jigsaw too, but not quite as nice, if you clamp the work down.

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