Custom 15" Early Style FJ40 Wheel. (1 Viewer)

Joined
Aug 3, 2020
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Seattle
Since getting power steering, I've thought about making a smaller 15" version of my current wheel. I spent some time today tackling this and have a 3d printed mockup ready in place. It's not a perfect model yet. Spokes feel a bit thin. Bit the idea is there and it's easy to update in CAD.


Starting this thread to track my progress.

wheel installed.JPG

Mocked up in the cab.


wheel size.JPG

Size comparison to OEM wheel.

wheel stacked.JPG

The same amount of dish as old wheel


Now comes the fun part. Figuring out how to make it for real. I have a few options.

1: Full CNC Aluminum 6061 Wheel.
This is the simplest option really. My fear with this direction is how do I deal with the wheel getting hot/cold with the temperature? Not sure coatings will help here. Paint/Cerakote can only do so much. Also, will an aluminum spline hold up? I want to guess it will but not 100% sure as the current one is steel.

2. CNC Aluminum Wheel with Steel insert.
Same as above but use a Grant 4579 33 spline adapter ( or custom steel hub insert). This gets rid of my fear of the spline holding up), but doesn't tackle much about the temperature issues.

3. CNC Steel Core with Cast Outer.
Essentially recreating how the current wheel is made. I'd mill a steel core. Most likely weld up a ring and spokes to it and then cast the shape around it. This would require me to have a full CNC pattern, make a two-part mold, make a steel core, and cast. By far the most involved process, but would get me a wheel that isn't temperature sensitive and is strong. Plus can make a few of them if something does go wrong easily.

4. CNC Steel Core with 3D Printed outer shell.
A bit simpler but less repeatable. Mill a Steel core and then skin it with 3d print. Most likely high-quality SLS/SLA based print (not home-based FDM for heat resistance). Then bodywork for seams and paint. Not as intensive as the cast option but maybe not as durable.


Input of these options?
 
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Joined
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Been working on this bit more. I've decided to go with option #2 and use the Grant 4579 as the base and a full billet aluminum wheel. This will be the cheapest of the options as I do not have to pay to have the splines cut in. Which is a pricey operation. This also means the wheel can be potentially adapted to fit the earlier 36 splines too with a change in the hub.

The wheel will be machined 6061 aluminum. Bead Blasted to get a uniform finish and then Type 3 Hard Anodized Black. So should hopefully be very durable in terms of finish.

I thickened up the grip a bit but it's still thin. 72mm grip circumference. I'm debating if I want it to be even thicker. But the idea is to leather wrap the outer edge to get some temperature resistance. So may not be needed.

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Now in order to keep all the functionality of Turn Signal canceling and Horn. The grant hub has to be modified. This is pretty simple A few drilled holes and shaving a tiny bit on the lathe to reach this part. I 3d printed a jig to get the holes and will use a lathe to turn in the step so the stackup fits on the column and let me run the horn assembly.

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hub.JPG


Latest version mocked up.

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Joined
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Ok still working thru some options. Got some quotes back and the option shown above would be about $1,000 per wheel to me. Great deal considering the amount of CNC work needed.

But I'm kinda disappointed in the fact that I'm spending a decent amount to make a custom wheel and then leather wrapping them. Seems like I should just go all the way and have a wheel I can show off without the need for leather wrap because of how cold/hot aluminum would get based on the climate.


So exploring option #4. CNC Core with Plastic edge. The green would be HDPE. Orange 6061 Aluminum and the Pink is the Grant Adapter.
I could make the back HDPE one piece to limit the amount of filler needed too.

I'd pin and glue the plastic to the wheel. Bondo up the seems and paint a uniform black finish. This is way more work but gets me a wheel that has temperature resistance and retains an OEM look. The only worry is that temperature expansion it may crack the Bondo on the wheel. But I doubt it, considering it doesn't happen on body panels.


Also gives me the option to make a wood ring version. If I really wanted to get crazy down the line.



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Joined
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Central WA
Have you checked out 3Dhubs for quotes on the CNC portion? They've sometimes surprised me with reasonable costs. Sometimes the surprise is the other way however...
 

Tank5

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Cool project! I look forward to seeing your finished product.
 
Joined
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Have you checked out 3Dhubs for quotes on the CNC portion? They've sometimes surprised me with reasonable costs. Sometimes the surprise is the other way however...
I used to use 3DHubs, Xometry, Fictiv, Protolabs, etc. But I've found they are really more tailored to ultra-quick turnaround times. Xometry now has an economy option which isn't bad. But I can usually get a better price by going direct to overseas CNC shops.

I still use them for a gut check and like you said though sometimes it's a pleasant surprise. Especially since it's algorithm-based. So I've gotten some killer deals on parts through Xeomtry before.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Making progress. Updated the design to just have the back be a solid piece. The front is held on with hidden countersunk m6 screws. Then the back bolts on with countersunk M5. Hoping this means I do not need to do any bodywork and the wheels look clean. If it doesn't look nice. Then minimal bodywork should be needed before painting.



Green is black delrin with a bead blast to a matte finish. Orange will be bead blast 6061 aluminum with a Type 3 black anodize.


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Final mockup.

chrome_2021-01-17_12-18-10.png



Order for the wheel has been placed. Ended up ordering 3 sets as the price break there is the best. Even still they are expensive. Not sure if anyone else is willing to pay as much for this. But figured was better to do it now and keep them in storage in case there is interest. Parts should get here in 2 weeks.

This wheel will keep the stock horn and turn canceling which was my biggest goal. Along with the more power steering friendly 15" diameter. It also has a beefed up grip to feel a bit better in the hand and finally, it should be temperature friendly and not get too cold or hot.
 
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Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
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Parts came in and they look awesome. Still need to spend a bit of time putting everything together. But the initial mockup looks great. The Plastic color does not match the hard anodize currently, but that was expected. So will explore options here. May require some paint or a flame polish.

The larger grip diameter is great and the horn button fits perfectly.


wheel1.JPG


wheelfront.JPG
wheelback.JPG
detail.JPG
pieces.JPG
 

samatulich

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Jan 3, 2012
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449
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Olympia, WA
Can always check it out in person, I'll eventually make it out to a Seattle Cruiserheads meeting.
I’m in south sound, haven’t been to a cruiserhead meeting in years. Where about are you? It would be cool to meet other 40 owners in the area.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Seattle
I’m in south sound, haven’t been to a cruiserhead meeting in years. Where about are you? It would be cool to meet other 40 owners in the area.

Greenlake, haven't been to one yet either. Hopefully, once the weather is nice and isn't pitch black at 6 I'll make it to one.

I will be the first to say it, " I want one" Let me know if you can run more??
I currently have 2 extra sets of CNC parts and will have to make more grant hubs modifications. But they are pricey. About $1500 in cost. If there is a lot of interest the price can come down. But they won't get to sub $500 without a large order. Just too much machining time on the billet center. Have a feeling it'll be these three and that's it because of cost.

Also, the downside to the hefty price is the expectations that comes with it. At $1500 they have be perfect and haven't tested enough to know that.
 

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