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momorris 07-04-2011 01:58 PM

fibreglass smooth wheels
Ok im having real trouble smoothing my wheels. At the moment I have simply taped up the gaps but this needs to come soon ans wont last.

I was wondering if anybody has used fibreglass over a snap on hub cap to smooth it out.

edited to add: I have now found the t shirt and resin mod (I like this idea as I have never used fibreglass mat before and feel I may get a better finish).

My only other choice is do I use my snap on caps or the 4 hole bolted caps (more secure) that were originally on the car. If I used the 4 hole then I think I would cut out 4 circles for the bolts and grommit them up to keep the smooth but allow a wrench in.

brucepick 07-04-2011 03:56 PM

Good to "see" you here, momorris. What vehicle are these wheel covers going on? That info might get you some more specific tips / pointers here.

Smooth wheel covers are definitely a good project, judging from the gains others have reported. I'm partially done on mine now. I can't imagine taking the time to do them in fiberglass but who am I to say it's not worthwhile?

Most guys seem to have used plastic serving plates or stamped metal pizza pie pans. I'm using perforated aluminum sheet with a stiffener on the back side, but I can definitely tell you that method is not quick.

If you go to the project library:
EcoModder Project Library -
you'll find a few threads on smooth wheel covers. See the section "Project Section: Aerodynamic mods - fabrication", and you'll need to scroll down 15-20 threads there (currently) to see the ones on smooth wheel covers.

Here's a thread I've based some of my project on:
That wheel cover should be suitable for most wheels, the attachment method is specific to Honda HX and VX and maybe for alloy wheels in general. Worth reading though.

momorris 07-05-2011 10:09 AM

Hi, Its going on a Kia Picanto.

I have had to order new caliper parts today, second time of brake binding. The sliders just seem to stick and the rubbers perished so they are being replaced.

Just did my first hubcap today. Started with just the fibreglass but it started to dip into the holes. I quickly removed the damp sheet and put a cloth under it. The result is pretty good. It has a few dimples where the cloth also sagged a little as I didnt have time to secure it but it looks pretty good. On the next hub I will secure the cloth so its tight before fibreglassing over it. Didnt take long at all probably about 30 mins to glass up. I think the cutting of the excess and painting will take longer.

momorris 07-14-2011 04:20 PM

2 wheels done. I cant finish off all 4 untill I buy some new caps (1 went missing). The t shirt idea (not mine) give a good finish but I found it was weak in the gaps where the hubcap had gaps behind. Today I cut out some fibreglass sheet to fit these holes and fibreglassed the sheets on the rear of the cap. This has certainly made the whole thing a lot stronger.

I have also cut out a hole on each cap where the valve is, this allows me to remove the rubber gromit that will fit into the hole to access the vv for inflation or to monitor my pressure guards. I can now zip tie the caps in place for security.

Overall im more than happy with the end result.

jsatter 07-15-2011 07:29 PM

Check out this thread:

Just copying the address. Seems like a good way to use fiberglass. I'm planning to use the same method on my car pretty soon here.

Craig 07-15-2011 08:09 PM

I'm going to do something similar for my Saturn TDI project, but with the OEM wheel covers. Also thinking about using two layers of T-shirts for extra material integrity, but I'll do one layer first just to see how they turn out.

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