IAN PHILLIPS

Specialist Engineering Services

Custom Wheel and Hub Conversion
An Audi A6 owner wanted to fit uprated disk brakes and calipers together with a set of alloy wheels to his already highly customised car, the wheels he wanted were actually from a much larger vehicle and had a different mounting hole pattern. Although both wheels were five stud fixings, the new wheels holes were on a much larger pitch circle diameter and it was not possible to re-drill the existing hub flanges as the flange diameter was too small. We got round the problem by designing a laser profiled steel ring fitted with longer length wheel studs, this was then installed behind the existing hub flange. Semi-circular notches in the edge of the flange centralised the ring and allowed the transfer of driving and braking torque. The project proved to be a challenge because both the front and rear wheel hubs, bearings and housing are manufactured as sealed units and could be dismantled to install the new stud carrier ring. The problem was circumvented by sculpting the internal profile of the new ring in such a way that it fitted over the rear mounting flange of the housing in the manner of a ‘Chinese Puzzle’.
 
New brake rotor mounting hardware was made, as well as new mounting brackets to allow the installation of Porsche 8 Pot brake calipers.  On another car (from the same owner) came a request to make a set of stainless steel wheel nuts that would be a bit different to the standard offerings. The alloy wheels had very deep counterbores and for cosmetic reasons the owner wanted the new nuts to be flush with the face of the wheel. The new nuts were made by modifying very large stainless steel 'Allen' bolts, the bolt shanks were shortened, fitted with conical washers and internally threaded to suit the studs. 

Custom Wheel Nuts
A fastidious car owner who regularly exhibits his car at concours car shows, felt that the standard chrome plated wheel nuts were letting down the appearance of his expensive and rare alloy wheels. The wheel nuts sat in deep and relatively large diameter counterbored holes and made the standard nuts look undersized. We designed and made new wheel nuts by modifying large high tensile stainless steel hex socket cap screws. The 'Allen' bolts were shortened and fitted with the appropriate conical sleeves after they had been drilled and tapped to fit the hub studs. The bolts were machined on all surfaces (even the face at bottom of the hexagon recess) and when fitted sat flush with the face of the wheel.

Classic Car Door Hinges
The 1960s Lotus Elan was, and still is, extremely well designed and desirable car. The two seater has lightweight fibreglass bodywork and the doors have rather unusual (for a car) hinges. The doors are mounted on two hemispherical ended nylon bolts that pivot in matching recesses in diecastings bonded into the fibreglass. With use, both the nylon and the diecast alloy wear quite badly and whilst new nylon bolts and diecast cups are still available replacing the moulded-in part is a complicated and expensive job that requires special care to avoid paintwork damage.
 
Our solution is not to remove and replace the female recess but to install a new bronze 'liner'. The worn opening in the diecasting is enlarged with a die grinder and the liner bonded in with an epoxy filler. Two small stainless fixing are fitted to hold it in position until the epoxy cures. The male ended nylon adjusting bolt is now replaced with a new stainless steel bolt that has a female recess. When the door is reassembled to the car, a stainless steel ball is fitted between the two parts, the resulting hinge has an infinitely low wear rate so does not need the frequent adjustment that the original required and is virtually invisible when installed so does not offend owners that crave originality.
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