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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday a friend was cleaning up his garage, and asked me if I wanted two 15" Halibrand aluminum wheels. Have old 60's Goodyear Blue Streak racing tires still on them! Of course I rushed over to get them, but was somewhat disappointed when they were 4 bolt pattern. Didn't stop me from taking them, but now I'm wondering what options I might have to make them useful?
Wonder if the holes might be plugged and welded, then refaced and new 5 bolt pattern drilled? Don't want to use an adapter, and not sure they make a 5 bolt to 4 bolt adapter anyway.

 

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Beyond my abilities, but I would think aluminum slugs could be pressed in,short on both sides, and welded in flush. A big enough lathe could then reface both sides and whatever bolt pattern you want could be drilled into them. Wouldn't be cheap, unless you have friends that have access to the equipment, but it would be worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Beyond my abilities, but I would think aluminum slugs could be pressed in,short on both sides, and welded in flush. A big enough lathe could then reface both sides and whatever bolt pattern you want could be drilled into them. Wouldn't be cheap, unless you have friends that have access to the equipment, but it would be worth it.
Kinda what I was thinking also. I even thought that the plugs might not need to be welded, if they don't interfere with the new 5 bolt pattern. The 4 bolt pattern is the smallest I've ever seen on any wheel! Thought maybe soft aluminum plugs could be pressed in and then the surface machined flat, and they most likely would be pretty well hidden. I don't mind a little expense, since they were free, but don't want to go crazy either.
 

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I had one of my friends do that with the 10" slots that I put on my '55. Someone had used a drill to turn the 5x5 wheels to 5x4 3/4 dual pattern. They weren't true or straight so he milled them out and plugged them and re-drilled the bores and they are perfect now. I'm sure yours would be easier. There are 5 lug to 4 lug adapters but they would add an inch or so to the track. They are only about $90 a pair.

Mike
 

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I would try and avoid doing any kind of welding/heating on the aluminum, since the heating process will anneal the aluminum and make it weaker. I would think that would be especially dangerous around the lug area where stress concentrations would be the highest.

Unfortunately I have a set of Ansen Sprint Mags that have a small hairline crack on the inside so they slowly leak air. I thought you could just run a tig torch down the crack just hot enough to melt and seal the crack, but no one will touch it (and I don't have a tig) because of the annealing from the heat of the torch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Since this is a very thick area, and also could be easily Tig welded, I doubt what little heat a Tig weld on a plug would create, could cause any change in metallurgy. But I'm not certain a weld is even necessary for a pressed in plug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Vall, they sound like the basis for a Vega GT Gasser build to me. You are looking for new projects, yes?
Vegas are cool, but too new for me. The holes that exist are the smallest 4 bolt pattern I've ever seen, and I think might be much too small for most American 4 bolt hubs. I'm leaning towards a street legal altered coupe for my next project! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
oooh, now that would be fun. Try and figure out what the wheels fit and find a front end and thennnnnn.
They came off his Lotus road racer that he ran at tracks like Laguna Seca in the late 50's and early 60's. Not sure if they would be the same pattern as a Lotus that was for the street or not?
 

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ill trade you the ets for them if your still needn one so ironic my new axle has the four lug hubs they on econoline spindles if your dead on keeping them ill give you the hubs enstead of seeing vintage drag equipment destroyed
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wont do any good to have 4 bolt hubs, unless they were the same 4 bolt pattern. These are a very small 4 bolt pattern, like Lotus, so a Ford 4 bolt would still require drilling holes.
 

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i beleave they will fit my hubs on this new axle i got its a chrome tube unileaf from way back the lug pattern is real small i will measure them and take pics ill send to you they are chrome with small chrome disck behind the lugs they appear to be ecoline spidels ii send tommorow
 

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Make a pattern of the lug bolt spacing you want then do a lay over, move it around, you may find that they may be far enough away from the pattern you want that a simple drilling can fix them, No heat are you sure there aluminum and not magnesium that will go up like a flare if welded on,
 

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Make a pattern of the lug bolt spacing you want then do a lay over, move it around, you may find that they may be far enough away from the pattern you want that a simple drilling can fix them, No heat are you sure there aluminum and not magnesium that will go up like a flare if welded on,
I agree on both points. Its possible they could be redrilled without interfering with the 4 hole pattern. If they are indeed real Halibrands then they are probably Magnesium. I don't believe Halibrand made aluminum wheels back then. If they are the real deal they are valuable and it would be worth having a wheel specialist redrill them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
They are real Halibrands, and yes, Halibrand made aluminum wheels. Probably more aluminum made at their Kansas plant, than magnesium. The 4 bolt pattern is so tiny, that when I overlay my wheel pattern checker, it's inside all the holes.
 

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Interesting. Ted Halibrand started in Culver City, Califonia in 1946 and later moved to Torrance. I don't think they ever made Aluminums until after he sold the company in 1979. Unussual for a Lotus racer in the 50s/60s to not have Magnesium wheels.

Anyway. Redrill them, use them and enjoy them. Good Score!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, when Ted Halibrand owned the company he never made any aluminum wheels. But the last two owners made both aluminum and magnesium. The friend I got these from told me they were "Kansas Halibrands", which lead me to believe they are aluminum, and he also thought the same. He was a Halibrand dealer in the 60's and 70's, and ran and sponsored SCCA cars. I have to go by what he's telling me, as he's sharper on these old Halibrands than I am.
Since Halibrand was strictly magnesium in the 50's and 60's, I'm guessing he's not remembering which of his cars these came off, or when he got them. He still runs vintage race cars at places like Laguna Seca, and other tracks today, in his early 80's.
 
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