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Introduction to Spindle Mount Wheels

1/16/2018
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Tim is back in the shop talking about some of his favorite pieces of all time – Spindle Mount Wheels.

The origins of these wheels started in drag racing and were originally made out of magnesium. The wheels have continued to develop and improve overtime. New Radir wheels are now heat-treated aluminum that look the part. If you are working on an Old Willy’s Gasser or ’55 Chevy Gasser or you just want that old school look, Tim suggests these are the wheels for you.

More recently, a mount surface was added to allow simple brakes to be mounted to the wheels. Speedway carries options for both Ford and Chevy Spindles. Speedway has also developed a Disc Brake Kit specifically for Chevy Spindles on these wheels.

Tim reminds users that even new wheels were designed for drag race use, so keep that in mind when applying them for street use. Anything under 2,600 pounds is the key for these wheels.

If you are looking for a gnarly set of wheels for your hot rod, these are the way to go!

Video Transcript

"Hi everybody welcome back to Speedway Motors! My name is Tim, feels good to be back in the shop talking to you about some of the cool parts that we have available for you. Whatever you're working on we probably have some goodies that will help you out. Today I brought some of my favorite pieces of all time. I was reminded about spindle mount wheels when I was visiting a friend of mine not long ago, he said “Tim come on over to my shop I got to show you the treasure trove”. Sure enough he brings me into the backroom, sitting right next to his old 34 Ford are all these magnesium American Racing wheels and some of the highlights of his collection are his spindle mount wheels."

Brief History of Spindle Mount Wheels

"Back in the good old days if you were kind of crazy or you're building a drag car you'd run a wheel up front to try to reduce not only rotating weight but just weight in general. You'd run it just right off the spindle snout. You wouldn't have any kind of hub or anything like that. The hub was actually incorporated into the wheel and these became really popular with drag racers. They're actually strong if you didn't want to use like a motorcycle wheel on the front of your rail or if you're building a gasser of some kind this would have been right up your alley. Of course back in the day these would have been made out of magnesium so when you find them these days they'll be all crusty or they'll be black or tarnished. Magnesiums are really tricky material to deal with. I know in our museum we're always struggling with ways to make magnesium look good, but not have to put any external coating on."

Radir Vintage Replica Aluminum Spindle Mount Wheels

"So we've solved that problem with some of these new wheels from Radir. They're actually brand new. These are heat treated aluminum, so they're nice and strong and they look just the part. I mean if you have an old Willy's gasser or a 55 Chevy gasser or something that you want to give it that old-school look there's really nothing better. My buddy actually has these on the front of a T-bucket and they're wonderful. These come set up a couple of different ways and we'll talk about them here a little bit. I brought the cast as cast finish wheel and I should talk about this a little bit. Back in the day guys wouldn't have put brakes on this they would have run the back brake on the car because these would have been a drag racing only type scenario. Have guys run them on the street? Yeah absolutely, the problem is that it’s a pretty skinny tire and what you start running into is when you get a lot of side load on the car or you hit the binders, your contact patch of the tire isn't very big, so you can adjust with your proportioning valve to try to balance out your brakes and get things dialed in. But you know these were kind of designed for drag race use so they give you a real great drag race look. If you look at the wheels as they're made they even give you a little warning here it says drag race only. Of course this is where the brake portion would actually bolt to so that's something to consider. I've never seen one of these break you know, so keep that in mind. Guys have used them on the street, but just be mindful. Side load, probably an issue if you’re taking any kind of serious corners and then also braking like mentioned before."

Vintage Radir Wheel Details

"Let's get into the meat and potatoes of these things a little bit! The original wheels as they were made back in the 60s wouldn't have had this portion here, this machine portion for a break to fit on. Guys weren't worried about using brakes with these particular wheels. Later there was enough meat here that they found out that they could machine these down and actually put a mounting surface here to mount a simple brake kit, so that's pretty cool. They would have made these originally for a Ford spindle or an anglia spindle. They also made them for Chevy spindles. We have them for both Ford and Chevy spindles and when I say Chevy, I really mean our Speedway Chevy modified spindles. So if you have a stock early Chevy spindle you can have those machined either by us or at your machine shop to work with these, or you can just buy our brand new spindles and make it easy for a song and a dance. You get brand-new parts which is really nice and they'll work on your axle and whatnot. So this again is the cast finish, let's get over to these polished units and we'll look at one of the new brake kits we have for these. As you can see this is actually set up for a Chevy spindle. I love these displays, these are brand new displays that were made for us to kind of show off this brake kit and the way these are mounted of course. This will be the front of the wheel over here and you'd have your dust cap when you buy these wheels from us. Radir actually supplies a dust cap either in polished or fat flat matte finish like the wheel behind me."

Final Thoughts On These Radir Wheels

"So you get a good look at how these break kits look again Chevy spindle, nice Wilwood caliper, all the hardware to put this together and bolt it to the wheel, and it makes for a really nice setup. Again you know if you hit the binders too hard on this it's going to skid your little skinny tire. These are 18 by 3 inch wheels and these are the polished ones, they say Radir on the inside of the spoke. Really well done piece. I just took these right out of the box and they're just gorgeous. The polish job on them is amazing and they look the part. You can never get a pair of magnesium wheels to look this good and have them stay this way just because of the corrosion issues, so if you want a really gnarly set of wheels for the front of your hot rod this would be a great way to go. Again anything under 2,600 pounds is the key, anything over that you might start running into issues. So just a little word of warning to you, but if you're building a gasser and you're going in a straight line, boy, you can't get anything better. I hope that helps you out. I hope it gives you a little sneak peek into some of the cool parts that we have here. I love talking about vintage wheels and old school stuff, so tune in again. Check out some of my other videos there's actually a link right here for you, you can check out some of the other parts I love talking about. Until next time thanks for visiting us here at Speedway Motors. Check out our website and stop back again sometime, we love having you!"

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