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Cheap Wheels

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:08 pm
by danoliver
Hey just passing this on.
I just bought a set of 21" rims and spokes from BMI Karts in Versailles, OH.
The rims are $20 ea. and a set of spokes is $30.
The guy said they bought some huge quantity of these things from a bankruptcy and now they're just trying to get them off the shelf.
I was skeptical at that price but they seem pretty nice.
I weighed the rims (bathroom scale) 6.4 lbs ea.
Spokes and nipples 3 lbs per set.
The steel thickness on the rims (including chrome of course) measures .075".
The spokes measure .158" dia with 10-32 threads.

Rather than make hubs first and then order special spokes to match, I'm hoping I can make my hubs to match these spokes. Wish me luck.

Re: Cheap Wheels

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:12 pm
by tom kreiner

I'd like to suggest you read up on the wheel topic by reviewing this link: There's quite a bit of discussion on the WCP site about wheels from several guys, including Mike Cuy, whose plane is top notch.

While it's a nice thought to use the spokes that come with the rims, and save a few bucks, they may not work. Unlike a motorcycle, airplane wheels have significant side loads, which in turn require a significantly different angle to support. This has been widely discussed, and I think both sites will have searchable threads to read up on the subject.

Re: Cheap Wheels

Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:55 pm
by EAB4

I second what Tom said, a lot of good info in those pages from people that have been there and have planes that work.
(the only thing I would disagree with is straight-laced spokes. While they do look "original" they make a wheel that is
weaker in side loads than a cross-laced wheel whether using brakes or not)

I can fully understand wanting to save money on these projects, but I think you would be better off waiting to find some quality rims
and spokes.

Re: Cheap Wheels

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:54 pm
by danoliver
Fellas, thanks for your concern. Criticism is always welcome, especially when it's safety related. I guess I misrepresented my intentions. I do plan on going with the 6" wide hubs hacked from 4130 steel, I'm just hoping to adjust the spoke hole locations to accommodate the standard length spokes. The difference between where they land on a motorcycle width hub and a 6" wide hub looks like only about 5/16" with an angular difference of around 8 deg. Seems like small potatoes to me, at least in theory. I'll let you know if the geometry works out in practice once I've tried building one.

Re: Cheap Wheels

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:08 am
by EAB4

My concern was not in how you are planning on making the wheels but the quality of parts you are using.
Yes, you are going to use 4130 for the hub, but then you have the unknown Chinese steel in the rims and spokes.

But, this is experimental aviation and we all have our own level of safety and acceptable risk and you can use whatever you like on your aircraft,
but they are not of the quality I would recommend for an aircraft wheel.

Re: Cheap Wheels

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:00 pm
by CuBob
Does anyone have a source for hubs.

Re: Cheap Wheels

Posted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 1:41 pm
by EAB4
adapting motorcycle hubs, or making your own are the most common sources