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GENERAL INQUIRIES

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What does it mean to own Real Rodders Wheels ?

Here are the bottom line facts about our wheels:

REAL VALUE vs. PERCEIVED VALUE

We manufacture our wheels using only the top grade 356 Aluminum, and our proprietary blend of alloys. This is the difference in our materials, which makes all the difference in both the shine, and the lasting durability of the wheel. You will hear owners of our wheels from the East Coast that have had them for 15 to 20 years say that ours still look as good as new, when others have long since bit the dust.

FINAL LUSTER and SHINE of WHEELS

You will not see the excessive waviness or lack of luster on our wheels, due to the great skill and care taken by our polishers on our show polished wheels. The soft look of a cast wheel, which is exactly the method used to make the originals, can not be copied to fool the eye by a billet or a two-piece wheel.

SHOW POLISHING

Both the front and rear of our wheels come fully polished. But here again, we have more cost in polishing just one of our wheels, than our competition has in two or three complete wheels. Again, there are no solid gold watches for a dollar. You get what you pay for.

AESTHETICALLY CORRECT

Our wheels are the highest quality and aesthetically correct wheels on the market. Real Rodders Wheels grace the cars found in the best industry publications such as “Rodders Journal”, “Street Scene”, “Hot Rod New Zealand”, “Gasser Wars”, “Gasser Magazine”, and, many more to come. We cater to guys that have to have only the best.

TIRE and WHEEL BALANCE

We have had customers tell us that they have had to use up to 25 ounces per wheel on our competitors’ wheels.

How is each wheel manufactured ?

Each one of our wheels is made from one-piece castings, in exactly the same manner as all the legendary wheels such as American, Halibrand, and Ansen were made from the 1940’s through the 1970’s. We use only the very finest aluminum, while adhering to strict quality and specification standards that we set for ourselves. The combination of these proprietary materials and casting using state-of-the-art low pressure molding gives us an extremely precise method of casting. With this combination each casting will yield the highest possible shine and luster.

To assure you of this on our show polish wheels, we employ one of the top polishing companies in the country. Also, you are assured of an incredibly long life expectancy for your wheels. In field use we have wheels that were purchased in 1983, when Eric Vaughn started the company, that look as great today as they did when they were purchased some 26 years earlier.

All castings will, by nature, have some slight irregularities. This natural occurrence creates unique characteristics which truly enhance the authenticity and beauty of each wheel. Each Real Rodders Wheel is polished by skilled craftsmen, enhancing and highlighting the unique “rich softer” polished appearance that can only be seen with a cast wheel exercising meticulous attention to detail.

Do you have small kidney bean style wheels available?

Our small kidney bean style wheel is a new-old choice for the Resto Rod, 1950’s and the quintessential front wheel on vintage Gassers, Muscle Cars, and Street Rods.

First introduced in 1954, our “early” small kidney bean wheels were carefully designed with nostalgia correctness in mind on both the front and the rear of the wheel. Front wheels come in the 15 x 4.5 size. We went to great pains for exact correctness of the kidney openings with the rear 16’s. In fact, we waited for over a year to get an original 16″ early-style kidney bean so we could measure the exact length of the kidney opening and duplicate it.

The 16’s are available in the following sizes 16 x 8 and 16 x 10 and custom widths. With the combination of the 15’s in the front and the 16’s in the rear, it gives the proper wheel stagger, or “Big and Little” look desired by so many rodders today. They are available in all of the popular sizes and offsets to accommodate multiple uses. Offered in Full Polished front and rear, or our Retro hand finished wheel. Adding our flat plates to the rear wheels gives the ultimate Gasser look.

What are your wheel installation procedures?

1. Before installing the tire on the wheel, make sure the wheel is the correct series that was ordered. Next, test fit the wheel on the vehicle and make sure that all of the hardware fits properly.

2. Torque lug nuts on by hand using the recommended 50 ft. lbs. on 7/16″ studs, and 60 ft. lbs. on 1/2″ studs, in a cross tightening sequence. Recheck your lug nut torque after 25 miles, and often thereafter. If a washer is to be used, make sure it is the proper one for your wheel and lug nut.

  • When using Acorn Head Lug Nuts, slide your wheel onto the studs until the back of the wheel is firmly against either the brake rotor or brake drum. Your studs should  have 4 to 5 treads showing outside of your wheel.
  • When using Open End Lug Nuts, one or two stud threads should be showing through the ends of the lug nuts when fully tightened.
  • In racing applications, or if your wheel has been widened beyond 10″ wide, we suggest you change your wheel studs to a stronger quality aftermarket brand.

3. Follow instructions for the proper inspection of rotors and/or drums prior to wheel installation.

4. Clean your studs of rust and dirt and be sure they are dry, without lubrication, and not stripped, before installing the wheel.

5. Make sure your caps fit properly without rattling.

6. This would be a good time to paint your drums black, red, or whatever color you prefer.

7. Check for tire and fender clearance by turning your wheels in both directions, with the car weight fully on the ground.

8. Do a final cleanup with tire dressing and a proper wheel cleaner.

What are your wheel specs?

15 x 5.5

Our new 5.5″ wide wheel has particular application to the front of street rods. The extra 1″ of width toward the inside of the vehicle serves several purposes. The main benefits are:

  1. Our 5.5″ vs. their 4.5″ rim width is much more suitable and compatible with a normally-used tire size, usually 155 x 15.
  2. By insetting, or adding width to the backside of the rim, a noticeable decrease in steering effort is achieved at the steering wheel. It gives the car a “power steering feel”.
  3. Particularly on open front wheel cars such as roadsters, our 5.5″ wheels with their extra inch of width cover up a large portion of the ugly brake “hang out”.
  4. 15 x 8

Our new 8″ wide wheel has these offset benefits. In line with contemporary design practices, our 8″ wheel has more of the width toward the inside of the vehicle than many older wheel designs. Some of the benefits of this insetting of the wheel are:

  1. Ease of steering and tracking when installed on the front of a vehicle.
  2. Added clearance in the most sensitive tire-to-outer-edge area.
  3. Eliminates the need for cutting the rear end housings and axles on most street rods. We suggest using a rear end flange-to-flange width of 59″ on most ’28 – ’34 vintage cars.
  4. When installed on street machines from the sixties, such as Z-28’s, the wheel’s additional width toward the outside is at a minimum in relation to stock. This works the best.

15 x 10

Our 10″ wheel is exactly the same as our 8″ wheel on the back side, or drum side. The extra 2 inches of width, in relation to the 8″ wheel, is all to the outside. Here again, our dimensional offsets work to your benefit by not having too much width toward the inside. This allows the wheels to fit properly on a greater variety of applications.

Aluminum Wheels Information

Show polished wheels have the outside and inside surfaces show-quality polished, without any ripples, waves, gouges, pits, or streaks.

The 15 x 5.5 is a more practical alternative to the traditional 15 x 4.5 front wheels. With an extra inch of width added to the inside, the 15 x 5.5 still accepts narrow front tires, but also helps cover bulky front brakes that detract from the lines of the car. The 15 x 5.5 Real Rodders Wheel is the definitive front wheel for any hot rod, and it’s also a great choice for a gasser, a muscle car, or an early Corvette. The 15 x 5.5 has a 3″ backspace,
and has the extra inch of offset to the inside for easier steering, fender clearance, and better coverage over “disc in a drum” brake setups, compared to a 4.5 inch wheel.
Two of the favorite Real Rodders Wheels for rear use on street rods are the 15 x 8, 15 x 10, 16 x 8, and 16 x10 which all share the same backspacing, so they can be swapped on the same car. On the 15 x 10 and 16 x 10 the extra two inches is all on the outside for those applications, like a highboy, when you want both a serious tire, and a wheel deep enough to draw a crowd!

  • The 15 x 8 and 16 x 8 is a classic back wheel that can also be used on the front of cars that have the clearance. This wheel is a perfect match for all early Fords, as well as muscle cars. The 15 x 8 has a 4-1/4″ backspace.
  • The 15 x 10 and 16 x 10 is the perfect back wheel for highboys, as well as for muscle cars and fendered hot rods that have the room for them. The 10’s has the same 4-1/4″ backspace as the 8’s, with two inches added to the outside.

Rather than using the same center as on our 15 inch wheels, and then simply adding extra material just inside the rim, our 16 inch wheels are accurately scaled-up versions of the 15’s, with identical proportions throughout.

Our Aluminum wheels are available by special order in custom widths and offsets. Please contact us for more information.

Real Rodders Wheels are available drilled in any 5-lug bolt pattern, including Ford and Mopar 5 on 4 1/2″, Chevy 5 on 4 3/4″, GM 5 on 5″, and early Ford 5 on 5 1/2″. They can also be supplied in the standard six-pin pattern for sprint cars and other vintage race cars.

Our rims will also fit the ‘ 64 ’78 Corvette with large OEM calipers by using a 1/4″ spacer.

Wheels are available in virtually any 5 bolt pattern. Knock-offs, flat plates, and custom caps are available for all wheels.

Magnesium Wheels Information

Magnesium alloys and magnesium casting techniques have progressed significantly in the last 60 years. Our Real Rodders Nostalgia magnesium wheels are vastly superior to any of the old magnesium wheels in terms of balance, consistency, concentrically, corrosion resistance, porosity, purity, sealing, and surface finish.

To make sure that our magnesium wheels work reliably with tubeless tires, we incorporate a proven new patented method to seal the rim.

  • The 15 x 4.5 is the perfect early rod front wheel.
  • The new 16 x 5 and 16 x 7 sizes are available as Real Nostalgia magnesium wheels. These 16 inch wheels meet the demand for larger diameter, yet traditional-looking wheels that accept both nostalgia bias-ply tires and modern radials.
  • The 16 x 5 was designed to provide lots of front fender clearance on early hot rods. For those who want the look of narrow bias-plies all around, the 16 x 5 can also be used on the back of an early Fifties-style hot rod. The 16 x 5 has a 2-1/2″ backspace.
  • The 16 x 7 works well on the back of traditional hot rods and can be used all around on bigger cars. The 16 x 7 has a 3-1/4″ backspace.

Real Rodders Wheels and Real Nostalgia Magnesium wheels are available drilled in any 5-lug bolt pattern, including Ford and Mopar 5 on 4 1/2″, Chevy 5 on 4 3/4″, GM 5 on 5″, and early Ford 5 on 5 1/2″. They can also be supplied in the standard six-pin pattern for sprint cars and other vintage race cars.

Rather than using the same center as on our 15 inch wheels, and then simply adding extra material just inside the rim, our 16 inch wheels are accurately scaled-up versions of the 15’s, with identical proportions throughout.

Polishing is available on request on our magnesium wheels. Our rims will also fit the ’64 – ’78 Corvette with large OEM calipers using a 1/4″ spacer. Wheels are available in virtually any 5 bolt pattern. Polished center caps and knock-offs are available.

What Is A Trick 8 Wheel?

Until now, our 15 x 8 and 16 x 8 Trick 8’s were custom, hand-made wheels that were constructed from a 10 inch rim with two inches cut out of the back side, then welded back together, re-machined, and polished. They usually ended up being between 8 1/4 and 8 1/2 inches wide, and were used primarily by builders of high-end hot rods, in very limited numbers. The cost of these custom-built wheels could easily be as high as $950 apiece, and you had to be prepared for a long wait to get them built.

Our new Trick 8 wheel is actually a true 8 inch wide rim. The beauty of this rim is that you get the aggressive deep dish look of a 10 inch wheel, with the size and ride of an 8 inch wheel that will fit under a full-fendered car. The difference in the look of our Trick 8 wheel compared to a regular 8 inch is dramatic, to say the least.

We also offer Trick 6 wheels, if you’re interested in this please contact us for more information. A Trick 6 is a 16×8 that you have cut down to a 6 inch wide wheel. There are additional costs for us to do the machine work.

Our Trick 6 has the look of a 16×8, but is actually a 16×6. It fits perfectly on the rear of all coupes. It is available in any of our wheel styles.

Do you have classic smoothie rims available ?

We have brought back the classic Smoothie to give the owners and future builders of early 40’s Resto Rods an authentic high-end look that is period-correct. A perfect alternative to use on your hot rod, other than the now played out, overdone, steel rim hub cap and beauty ring set up.

These rims were first brought out by the legend, Ted Halibrand, starting in the 1940’s. They were used on the sprint race cars and were state of the art exotica for the day. These wheels found themselves on a select few of the hot rods of that time period, primarily because of the high cost.

These smoothies are now available in 356 aluminum at an affordable cost, and just like the originals and the car you’re putting them on, they are Made In the USA.

What type of finishes do you offer?

  • Machined as cast
  • Machined as cast with hand-finished satin lips
  • Polished
  • Chrome
  • Machined as cast 100% Retro finish
  • Retro finished with hand-finished satin
  • Brushed lips or machined lips
  • N.O.S. Retro finish
  • E Z Care Magnesium
  • Ceramic finishes complete or with polished lips
  • Satin black with hand-finished satin brushed
  • Lips or machined lips
  • Machined as cast satin black finish
  • Machined as cast polished lips
  • Smoked Chrome
  • Machined as cast 100% Dow 7 finish
  • Dow 7 with hand-finished satin brushed lips or machined lips
  • N.O.S. Dow 7 finish
  • Combination Dow 7 lips with Retro center
  • PVD coatings in both bright and smoked chrome
  • All powder coating capabilities

Contact us on pricing for all custom finishes.

What Is A Retro Finish Wheel?

Our Retro Finish aluminum wheel with hand finish satin edges has an exclusive look that was originated by Real Rodders Wheels. It looks like a 50 or 60 year old magnesium rim that you found in excellent, restorable condition. You then spent untold hours in the garage hand sanding, reworking, and detailing this wheel. Wringing with patina, this wheel screams RETRO, without the “I just bought it from a catalog” look.

It is truly a hand-finished wheel that could only have originated in a specialty wheel boutique such as Real Rodders Wheels. We debuted this wheel at the 2006 L.A. Roadster Show and it received rave reviews from an extremely seasoned “Been There – Seen That” audience.

Each wheel receives a tough powder coating with our custom color to mimic “aged magnesium”. Followed by our classic finish which involves both machine and hand finishing, and is exclusive to Real Rodders Wheels. This process accentuates both the patina and design patterns of each wheel, producing a stunning result that is extremely durable and resilient.

Before your wheel is boxed, it is visually inspected by three different individuals and hand polished one last time before being wrapped in plastic. Each wheel is boxed in our heavy-duty boxes with our own custom-made flexible foam box liners that literally sandwich your wheel safely in the box. This gives you the utmost in shipping protection, guaranteeing you of a scratch and dent free delivery of your wheels.

Wheel care is easy using only a mild soap and water with non-scratching cloth to wash your wheels.

How do you read your part numbers?

For information on our prices and how to read our part numbers. Click Here

What are your wheel care recommendations?

Care of Aluminum Wheels:

Use only a mild soap and water with a non-scratching cloth to wash your wheels!

Care of Polished Wheels:

We recommend using Adams, with a non-scratching applicator and wipe-off cloths.

Care of Classic Retro Finish Wheels:

Should the machined hand-worked portion of your wheel become scratched or dull, you can carefully go over it with gray Scotch Brite, which can be purchased at any body shop supply store. Exercise caution not to come into contact with the powder-coated portion of the wheel.

What form of payments do you take?

For Domestic (US) orders we accept Visa, MasterCard, checks and cash.
For International orders we accept PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, wire transfers, checks and cash.

ALL orders have additional shipping, handling and insurance charges. Your credit card will not be charged until your wheels are ready to be shipped to you.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or suggestions you may have.

What are your shipping options?

Domestic orders are usually shipped Fedex Ground unless otherwise requested at time of order.

International orders can be shipped Fedex directly or shipped Fedex to a port for container shipping. Let us know what you prefer and we can refer you to some international shippers.

We encourage international buyers to price themselves online to make the most informed choice. The “from” address for pricing purposes is:

1884 Eastman Ave
Suite 110
Ventura, Ca. 93003

Return Policy

Our wheels come with a 100% Money Back Guarantee, if not satisfied. This applies to all wheels that have not had a tire mounted on them, and are returned to us in the original factory box.

Our Guarantee

Our As-Cast, Machined, and Polished wheels come with a 30 Day Unconditional Guarantee. This applies to wheels that have not had a tire mounted on them, been altered or damaged in any way, and they must be returned to us in the original factory box.

Please note: the 30 day unconditional guarantee applies only to our as-cast, machined, and polished wheels. Special order finishes including our N.O.S. Dow 7, E Z-Care Magnesium, and retro finishes are not returnable. The clear coat finish on our wheels has a 2 year limited warranty.

Dealers Contact Info

U.S.A. DEALERS

INTERNATIONAL DEALERS

  • Brian’s Race Wheels – New South Wales, Australia | 02.46480056

Submit Your Car

The staff at Real Rodders Wheels would like our past preferred and valued customers to send us pictures of their hot rods with our Real Wheels on them. We would like to feature some of these vehicles on our future calendars, as well as on our Website. The only condition is that your car MUST have our wheels on it to qualify.

Please send digital pictures to:

Attention: Pat O’Brien
1884 Eastman Ave Ste 110.
Ventura, Ca. 93003.

Or send via email to:

PatOBrien@RealRoddersWheels.com.

For more information please contact us.

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