Corvette Knock-Off Wheels - Technically Speaking

James Berry Aug 1, 2011 0 Comment(s)
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When installing a wheel adapter, all mating surfaces must be clean and free of any dirt, grease, slag, or other debris. Install the adapter by aligning the vehicle wheel studs with the holes in the adapter and tightening the lug nuts to 75-85 ft-lb of torque. It's acceptable to use your original lugs.

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Make sure the wheel adapter seats flush against the wheel, with a minimum of free play between the adapter drive pins and the wheel drive-pin holes.

If a wheel is not tightened correctly, the movement from acceleration and braking can cause an elongated wear pattern to form in the aluminum where the adapter pins are inserted. Excessive wear can create free play between the adapter and the wheel, potentially causing the wheel to work its way loose over time.

Install the knock-off wheel-and-tire assembly flush against the wheel adapter by aligning the small holes in the back of the wheel with the wheel-adapter drive pins (Image C). Note that there have been instances reported in which the wheel's drive-pin holes were mistaken for its lug-nut holes. If installed incorrectly, the wheel won't seat when tightened and could provide a false torque reading. This can allow the wheel to loosen and possibly come off. If you're using the correct long lug nuts when installing the wheel adapters, it should be almost impossible to improperly index the wheel.

Spinners
Knock-off wheels are designed to tighten as they rotate. The driver-side wheel rotates counter clockwise as the car is driven. The knock-off spinner is righthand threaded so it tightens as the car rolls forward. The passenger-side wheel rotates clockwise as the car is driven. The knock-off spinner is lefthand threaded so it tightens as the car rolls forward.

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Remember that just because it says "left" on the knock-off, that doesn't mean left side; it means lefthand thread. Think of it this way: Righthand threads go on the left side, and lefthand threads go on the right side. This configuration will always tighten the wheel as you drive.

Tightening Procedure
Now let's review the preferred procedure when installing a knock-off wheel on your vehicle. Position the car off of the ground, with no weight on the tires. Apply Loctite to the wheel-adapter threads. Install the knock-off wheel assemblies flush against the wheel adapter by aligning the small holes in the back of the wheel with the wheel-adapter drive pins. Make sure your adapter seats flush against the wheel, with a minimum of free play between the adapter drive pins and the wheel drive-pin holes.

Have a helper step on the brake pedal. Hold the wheel firmly onto the wheel-adapter pins while centering the spinner onto the wheel center cone; tighten by hand (Image D). Tighten the spinner further by striking its wings several times with a lead hammer. Don't be afraid to hit the spinner, as lead is softer than chrome.

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After you've pre-torqued all of the wheels, lower the vehicle to the ground—with your helper still applying brake pressure—and tighten the spinner further by again striking its wings with a lead hammer, using several hard blows (Image E).

Note that both the spinner and the wheel adapter possess semicircular grooves. As you finish tightening the spinner with the lead hammer, the grooves on the wheel adapter and the spinner should align to form a circle; this will allow you to insert the knock-off pin. Never loosen the spinner to achieve knock-off pin alignment. Rather, continue to tighten the wheel until proper alignment is achieved.

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