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I've been fighting a wobble in my steering for a while on my '78 280z and took my wheels to be balanced again. One wouldn't balance right so two of the wheels stayed to be looked at by wheel repair man. Now I know that the rear diver side wheel is bent and the front one is bent less badly. I have the 5 slot aluminum wheels that I believe were offered as a dealer option so I'm not exactly what wheel I should be looking to buy. So, if anyone has been through this sort of situation any advice on how to fix the wheels / what wheels I should be looking for to replace mine.

IMG_20190831_210433.jpg

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Can they not be straightened? We have a company in our area that straightens wheels. I just had one done that had a 2" bulge in the rim. Can't find it now...

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So that's the kind of advice I was looking for, should I just be asking around for a place that straightens wheels? 

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6 minutes ago, Usain_Boat said:

So that's the kind of advice I was looking for, should I just be asking around for a place that straightens wheels? 

Thats where I would start. Google might find one. Price the repairs and see if that makes sense over trying to source a replacement of unknown quality

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So the one caveat to this whole thing is that the original person that looked at them said they weren't repairable. I'm not sure if it's because they didn't have the tools or if they are literally that bad. I'll just have to have them looked at.

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6 hours ago, Usain_Boat said:

So the one caveat to this whole thing is that the original person that looked at them said they weren't repairable. I'm not sure if it's because they didn't have the tools or if they are literally that bad. I'll just have to have them looked at.

They may be wrong. Specialists are what I'd depend upon.  Chances are they can be straightened by a specialist.

IIRC those are not factory option wheels, they were simply a very popular style that were often purchased for Z-cars throughout the 70's. 

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Update: The wheels are bent in the center and cannot be fixed, so this leads to more questions.

I have done the Toyota S12+8 front brake upgrade and have stock fenders with zero plans for flairs. Given this, what wheel size / offset would be recommended for me to be able to just bolt on?

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Aluminum usually cracks as it bends.  

You probably have the mounting surface machined to run true to the tire surface by a good machine shop.  Probably expensive to do though.

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There are lots of 5-slots out there, and they're still reasonable affordable. The problem is finding the exact wheel. Many different versions of the 5-slot are out there. My Z came with two from one brand, two from another, and the spare was from a third company:

I think you have these

34429400791_33c8f9dc78_z.jpg

 

This style has more negative offset, and no raised disc at toward the center

34518458306_e1c89f7027_z.jpg

 

If you want to find a replacement, write down all the markings on the back side, get the width and backspacing/offset measured, and learn how to spot the minute differences between the brands. I'm sure you'll find one.

 

Edited by ByStickel

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So I bought another wheel and it balanced well meaning there are two good wheels in the front. Even with this there is still a shake in the steering wheel. What are possible causes of this?

I have replaced all the bushings with polyurethane, replaced the shocked, and replaced the wheel bearings. I know I have torqued everything to spec though the bearings could be checked again.

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The technique for tightening the wheel must be in symmetrical and low force steps:

1. Tighten all lug nuts with fingers with wheel off ground. As you go, rock wheel to ensure the lugnuts centre in the holes or their beveled edge centres the hole. This is what centres the wheel on the hub and is critical.

2. Use a ratchet to snug the lug nuts little by little in a cross pattern.

3. Lower the car and torque to spec.

Edited by 240260280

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1 hour ago, Usain_Boat said:

So I bought another wheel and it balanced well meaning there are two good wheels in the front. Even with this there is still a shake in the steering wheel. What are possible causes of this?

I have replaced all the bushings with polyurethane, replaced the shocked, and replaced the wheel bearings. I know I have torqued everything to spec though the bearings could be checked again.

 

Keep in mind that balancing a wheel does not guarantee that it is not bent. You can balance a square block, but you can't make it run smoothly in contact with the road.  You should have any used wheels inspected or at least get the car up in the air and check the tire while rotating it.

Possible causes: bent rim, bad tire, bad tie rod end, steering rack problem. 

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On 9/17/2019 at 3:07 PM, Zed Head said:

Aluminum usually cracks as it bends.  

You probably have the mounting surface machined to run true to the tire surface by a good machine shop.  Probably expensive to do though.

I've had several aluminum rims with quite severe and deep rim dents fixed (curb impacts) without them being cracked in the process. They use heat to soften then manage somehow to remove the dent. They can then machine and polish as required to return the rim looking perfect.

I'm sure that if you just take a hammer to a dent in an aluminum rim you will likely crack it. I've been SO tempted to just tap a LITTLE and see what happens...

Still make me wonder how such high force "instant" impacts make such a nice consistent and BIG dent without cracking it Right then and there. Maybe the aluminum alloys they use are more malleable than we assume.... I'm getting my ball peen.....

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Aluminum wheels DO NOT generally crack when bent. If they did, all the wheel straightening places would be out of business. Rims can often be repaired very well, you just have to be willing to pay for it.

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 I'm curious if the lug nuts are the right ones for the wheels. My old 5-slot US Wheels used a lug nut with a washer and a long straight shoulder that was a snug fit in the wheel.

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Why dont you try this:

Jack up the car on one side, so you can spin one of the front tires. First check top to bottom and side to side for bearing looseness. Then lay a block beside the tire so it touches the sidewall and slowly spin the tire. This will show you if the wheel spins true as it currently sits on the car. Report your findings...

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2 hours ago, Pilgrim said:

Aluminum wheels DO NOT generally crack when bent. If they did, all the wheel straightening places would be out of business. 

Businesses will do whatever you ask them to do.  I'll bet you have to sign a waiver when you get an aluminum wheel straightened.

And just because the crack isn't big and obvious doesn't mean it's not there.

Why did these wheels not just bend more instead of breaking?

https://www.google.com/search?q=broken+aluminum+wheels&rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS862US862&sxsrf=ACYBGNQMDCvAg6Cu8S0cuZ4kPm4a15AjhA:1570667879205&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj94__nuZDlAhWVuZ4KHQaRAM4Q_AUIEygC&biw=1600&bih=757

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3 minutes ago, Zed Head said:

Businesses will do whatever you ask them to do.  I'll bet you have to sign a waiver when you get an aluminum wheel straightened.

And just because the crack isn't big and obvious doesn't mean it's not there.

Why did these wheels not just bend more instead of breaking?

https://www.google.com/search?q=broken+aluminum+wheels&rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS862US862&sxsrf=ACYBGNQMDCvAg6Cu8S0cuZ4kPm4a15AjhA:1570667879205&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj94__nuZDlAhWVuZ4KHQaRAM4Q_AUIEygC&biw=1600&bih=757

I have had wheels straighten and don't know of any kind of paperwork being signed for liability reasons

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